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Re: Theos-World Atma is Maya

Mar 02, 2002 05:22 PM
by Steve Stubbs

--- wrote:
> But, if that is so, an "experience of ultimate
> reality" would require our 
> "awareness," and since awareness is the root of
> consciousness, and 
> consciousness is necessarily part of the sensory
> system -- then any 
> experience of ultimate reality would also have to be
> considered as mayavic. 

I don't follow you. Consider this. We are told manas
is seven-fold, as are the other seven "principles." 
The lowest merges with kama, therefore is called
kama-manas. Consciousness at this level involves
representations which are sensory in character -
visions, sounds, etc. Those subdivisions above the
kama-manas level represent the other states such as
swapna (dream state which does include sensory
representations) and susipti, the state of dreamless
sleep. Dreamless sleep by definition has no sensory
contents, else it would not be dreamless. The
experience of "ultimate reality" is said to be beyond
even that, which is for sure devoid of sensory
content. This is where we approach buddhi-manas, the
seventh sub-principle of manas.

The SD equates the sixth Theosophical principle with
the "alaya" (the alaya vijnana of the Yogacara
system). That is said to correspond in yogic practice
with the pleasant state of mental quiescence
experienced by some in meditation. The mind is
completely quiet and all sensory experience has been
left behind (i.e., the yogi is in pratyahara). Yet
this is not enlightenment. Because it is so pleasant
the practitioner may be tempted to stay there - thus
it is called the "cave of devils." If the
practitioner succeeds in pushing beyond that, he makes
it to the amala vijnana, which in Theosophy becomes
the "atma" (borrowing a name from the Adwaita Vedanta)
and at that point there is enlightenment. There is no
sensory content in this experience, though, and it
cannot therefore be described in words (which refer to
sensory representations of experience, after all.) 
Having gone beyond words (sounds) and signs (visions)
the yogi believes that he has penetrated to the
unknowabke noumenon of all things, which is by
definition not maya being non-phenomenal.

This is nbot hair splitting, but what is actually

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