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My personal problems with monism

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by DreadFish, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    I have searched and didnt find any topics related to this, but the idea that everything and everyone is the supreme consciousness really bothers me. Its just such a lonely thought to me that there really exists only this One, and everyone I meet would technically be me. But am I misunderstanding something here? I do understand that my physical brain can only understand so much right now and there is much that I cant even fathom. I know some say that we are parts of God, or that parts of God are within us, but to say that we are really the same as God, that everything is God experiencing itself, doesnt feel right. I know there are different concepts of this relationship, but this one really bothers me to the point that I keep thinking "what if?" "doesnt that make everything practically meaningless?"
    Im really struggling with this in my life and I know my knowledge on this is still very limited, which is why I wanted to get other peoples view, and hopefully other peoples more educated view. I would really appreciate it.

    Very many thanks in advance :)


    EDIT: I realized I maybe should have just put this is the Dharmic religions forum, not just the Hinduism sub-forum.
     
    #1 DreadFish, Nov 15, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  2. Satsangi

    Satsangi Active Member

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    Friend Dreadfish,

    There is a BIG difference between thinking intellectually about God and actually having God realiztion. Only reading scriptures does not help in God realization in any philosophy; they are very important to start with though. God can only be realized through a God realized Guru (or God Himself) in my opinion.

    Advaita (Monoism) is a state of a devotee who has undergone "gyan pralaya"- this means that he has had the "realization" (dissolution of everything including self ego due to knowledge or realization of God) and he sees only Brahman everywhere (including himself- "aham Brahmasmi") and the rest is an illusion which cease to exist FOR HIM. This does not mean that the world stops to exist for other people or even to that devotee. Just like a person standing on Mount Everest cannot see individual trees in the valley- he only sees the earth. But a person standing on a small hill can see everything in the valley seperately. This is an analogy of the Advaita(monoism) and the Dvaita (Dualism) states of the devotees. The Mt Everest and small hill analogy should not be taken as a measurement as to which is a higher or lower state; they are just different states.

    The devotee who has actually had the advaitic state of God realization is really a great saint and the God resides in his heart in all His glory; he is a very pious person. When the ego undergoes total dissolution, this sets up the state of advaitic God realization. But I would not believe the so called advaitins who are actually busy taking care of themselves and their family first and then saying that "everything is God"; they are at the best ignorant and at the worst deceitful.

    I hope this helps you,

    Regards,
     
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  3. Onkara

    Onkara Well-Known Member

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    Namasté Dreadfish and Satsangi
    The Advaitin who has realised that all is Brahman ceases to be the "doer" of actions. Although action still continues, the Advaitin is not on "pause" from life. Instead s/he flow with life rather than against it. An Advaitin may appear to act selfishlly and may display negative behaviour from the perspective of an onlooker, but the Advaitin is not acting from the same causes as before realisation. Because the cause is different so is the effect.

    The Adviatin before realisation may be motivated by desires and individualistic needs, whereas following realisation the motive for action and the results are no longer individual desires and needs as the Advaitin has become One with Brahman.

    I hope it does not add to any confusion. The Bhagavad Gita goes into this in great detail.

    Kind regards
    Onkarah.
     
  4. Anti-religion

    Anti-religion Well-Known Member

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    It is aspect of truth,realized in the super-conscious state of Samadhi/nirvana etc.
    Nothing is wrong ,the state has to be realized through experience and not through perverted arguments(i am * not * implying you here).The truth is beyond understanding."It is understanding not understanding" as a famous zen quote goes.

    Indeed this is nature of advaita vedanta or Buddhism ,that does not mean it is completely illogical.Do u know what happened in deep sleep state?But "u" where there to experience it.Samadhi is even finer than this state.It cannot be told,for the speech does not go there.
    "I" as u write is not there is not there in this state.There is total annihilation of ego.Then indeed what we say is called monism.

    Even this theory of non-duality is a mere concept.
    Duality and pluralism as seen normally in the waking state is a product of mind alone.If mind is the cause of bondage ,the same mind is the cause of liberation too.
     
    #4 Anti-religion, Nov 17, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  5. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese Well-Known Member

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    exactly....

    the map is not the territory
     
  6. Satsangi

    Satsangi Active Member

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    Onkarah,
    Yes Nishkaam Karma is elaborated in the Bhagvad Geeta and that is great. But, there have been many people in th dark middle ages of India who has utilized the Advaitin philosophy to fulfill each and every desire of their Indriyas and then hide behind the statement that everything is Brahm. Such people will surely go to hell, I believe.
     
  7. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    I can see how samadhi may seem threatening to one's ego-integrity, DF; like a loss of individuality or self, as a drop being swallowed up by an ocean. But in fact, the experience is more an expansion of awareness than a dissolution. Nothing is lost. It's an awakening, as if from sleep.
     
  8. santdasji

    santdasji Member

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    Seyorni, Self realisation or becomming Brahmrup is not Samadhi. Samadhi is a state when the soul leaves the body. Goes to other lokas or abodes and then re-enters the sthool body.
     
  9. Onkara

    Onkara Well-Known Member

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    Satsangi
    Thank you, you make a solid point. I am sure there are souls out there who have taken advantage of every opportunity. It would be interesting to explore the idea further, perhaps in a new post, e.g. what makes a false prophet or false claim to enlightenment. Perhaps it is a request for money, material or carnal pleasure in return for their services, as I have heard it said that a true Guru will not require anything in exchange. My understanding of this is that once all is Brahman, where lies the need for cheating and robbing an "other".

    :)

    Kind regards
    Onkarah.
     
  10. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    All your answers are greatly appreciated. Iv been thinking about this too much and causing myself anxiety lol. I know theres no reason to worry, but its a habit of mine.

    Thanks very much, and more answers are appreciated too if anyone has more to contribute. I feel like something will click and I will finally understand a bit better and not feel uneasy about this. Its all however im guided.

    Peace
     
  11. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    I was also wondering if anyone could better explain the idea that everyone IS God. I read it somewhere that some sects (I think mostly sects of Saivism) believe that the self is God and that the whole of existence is God experiencing itself, and after everyone is fully realized then it just starts everything over again and experiences itself again. I dont know If I understand this right, but it doesnt feel right, and again it kind of scares me to think about it. (Mind you I already have depression, anxiety and derealization sometimes) So along with these problems Im not really giving myself any peace of mind about this, but I would really appreciate some insight into this.


    Peace
     
  12. Satsangi

    Satsangi Active Member

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    Friend Dreadfish,

    Since u have depression, anxiety and derealtzation, I think Bhakti or worshipping the form of God that u like i.e your "Ishtadev" is the best path for u. There are nine types of Bhakti called Navadha Bhakti; do the one that best suits you. Also read the books about God's leelas as Avatar on earth; that is the easiest way to bliss.

    But if u must know the answer to ur question above, here is my thinking and understanding. Yes, a devotee after certain stage when he has God realization, he sees God as the basis of everything that exists including himself. In his mind, nothing else exist except God. This does not mean that he is God; yes such Saints are in a way form of God Himself as He is present in them in all His Glory. Having a darshan of such a Saint is equal to having darshan of God Himself.

    Regards,
     
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  13. Onkara

    Onkara Well-Known Member

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    Hi DreadFish
    In Vedanta philosophy the creator and the creation are inextricably linked. The fact that each form (or person), is linked to the creator (Vishnu/Brahman), implies that we are all connected at a subtle level although the gross material level often leads us to believe that we are not. That subtle connection IS God. Brahman is connected via the Atman, like the string which connects the beads of a necklace.

    It is the failure to recognise that connection (atman) in yourself which leads to misunderstadning and suffering as a body in a big world.

    Blinded by all the life around me I fail to recognise that I am life itself. Life is wonderful in itself, life is the marvel. Clearly if I take selves to be a limited to the body-mind-intellect alone, then I miss the subtler truth that I am also "being, consciousness and bliss" at the core of this swirling, whirling, amazing material universe.

    Kind regards, Onkarah.
     
    #13 Onkara, Nov 28, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
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  14. Satsangi

    Satsangi Active Member

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    Excellent explanation Onkarah
     
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  15. Anti-religion

    Anti-religion Well-Known Member

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    Now this "idea" is one of the ways to describe nirvana.
    Sri Ramakrishna compares this with salt doll finding a ocean.The moment the goal is found,the salt doll dissolves.Think yourself to be salt doll,ocean is ofcourse god or whatever u call it.

    It is Hindu way.

    But Buddhism says "nothing is GOD" is also true.You can see Buddha also reached the same samadhi state.
    Just see two statements
    "He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye"---Buddha

    "He who sees all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from It (the Self)."---->Isa Upanishad

    This represnted in Jainism as Syādvāda,accepts both these ideas.

    syād-asti—in some ways, it is,
    syād-nāsti—in some ways, it is not,
    syād-asti-nāsti—in some ways, it is, and it is not,
    syād-asti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, and it is indescribable,
    syād-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is not, and it is indescribable,
    syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, it is not, and it is indescribable,
    syād-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is indescribable.



    Saivism and Smarta(the normal advaita sect), are both monistic school encouraging yogic meditation practices.Vaishanavism is predominantly a bhakti sect,as far i know.
    U may say self is god:But that is just talk.Talking is one thing, living is other.
    What is happening over and over again?Which school of shaivism(Shaiva siddanta,Kashmir Shaivism,Siddha Siddhanta) ?

    Probably ,you should try out bhakthi(devotion ) or simple praying.Before start or even think about these things.
    See ,mental illness is exactly opposite to mysticism.Mental illness happens out absolute mental restlessness ,samadhi is perfect restfulness.Again you dont have to think about it.Remember,u are thnking abt the "unthinkable".:)
     
    #15 Anti-religion, Nov 29, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
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  16. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    Hey everyone! Your responses are very helpful and very appreciated!

    To Anti-Religion: The Saivite sect I was talking about is Kashmiri Saivism. It says on this site:

    Siva creates the worlds through his dynamic Shakti for the pure joy (ananda) of rediscovering himself through his individual selves. He creates this game of creation and plays it within himself, repeatedly from one creative cycle to another, using himself as the resource and playground, the subject as well as the object, the goal as well as the means for his own joy. Using his free will, he hides himself or conceals his God consciousness in his limited selves, in order to rediscover himself or find himself and realize through his limited selves that what he was looking for was already there and never lost.

    I would post the URL but it wont let me yet. The site is Saivism dot net and then looking under the kashmiri sect.

    Also I do understand I am trying to "think" about the "unthinkable" so of course I wont be able to comprehend it :)
    I think right now I just need to level myself out and, like a few of you have said, I think I do just need to focus on devotion and just live life for a while before I get into any of this kind of thing.

    Many thanks! And if anyone has anything else they want to add go for it! All of your knowledge and insight is greatly appreciated.

    Peace. :)
     
    #16 DreadFish, Nov 29, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  17. Anti-religion

    Anti-religion Well-Known Member

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    I got it here:Kashmiri Saivism, Philosophy and Practices

    In kashmir,you may find only Islamists and no Shaivites today.

    Actually,I dont buy these creationist theories ,i dont reject them either.They are beyond mortal understanding.On questioning they seem to lack purpose.Anyway a some other guy may explain this better to you.

    The material Universe is created and destroyed repeatedly.In dharmic religions,the time is cyclic.The creation part is similar to big bang. The souls that not been liberated ,will cast into material universe ,during these cycles of material creation and destruction.However, a person who is liberated,frees himself from "time" and "matter" itself and hence will not be reincarnated forever.And this regarded as a play.:facepalm:(i dont buy this theory)
    The Jiva (man/soul) is Shiva at the end.The shiva(jiva) is hidden in man as consciousness.Shiva himself manifests in his creation.That is normal hindu panentheism.Jiva-Shiva=Shava(corpse) .This truth has to be realized.But then there is nothing to realize. It is like a man who is in the shade voluntarily leaving the shade, going into the sun, feeling the severity of the heat there, making great efforts to get back into the shade and then rejoicing 'How sweet is the shade'.

    Just my thoughts here.:)
     
    #17 Anti-religion, Nov 29, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  18. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Last night I dreamed a world of people and things. This morning I woke to the realization that this world and its creatures were illusions; "real" only in the subjective sense -- but while I dreamt I lived in this illusion and it was real to me.

    On waking from my dream only "I" remained.

    In this waking life I'm again living in a world of people and things. As I live it it's real to me, but this is where the dualists and non-dualists part company. When I wake from this life I will again find that it was all an illusion and that only "I" remain.

    This is the monism of the dharmic religions. We are dreaming this world. All the persons, places and Gods are illusions; dreams. They exist only subjectively. The only Real, objective Reality is the singular, unalloyed Self.

    Does that help clarify things?
     
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  19. DreadFish

    DreadFish Cosmic Vagabond

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    Thanks for the replies. I thought of something to post, as an example of what I feel (and really hope im right) about the relationship between the soul and God (or atman and brahman.) A while back I had a great experience while I was laying in bed meditating (like I do many nights) and I dont remember it as clearly now, but, I remember feeling myself rise out of my body and seeing just golden light (like when you have your eyes closed and its really sunny outside, except brighter.) Just to note, a little while before then I had read about enlightenment and the authors comment about all the things you thought you knew about the world just dissolved. SO, I remember feeling slightly anxious about letting go of myself and everything in my life (because I had to, as that was the nature of the experience, had I not, then I feel like I would have just come back down), but I decided "ok, i'll just let go" and I remember feeling the greatest feeling of ecstasy and unity, and I remembered thinking back on that thing I had read about everything I thought I knew dissolving, and I remember it did. Now the unity I experienced wasnt like I was God, I didnt have the same concept of myself, but I was still a conscious entity, but still a part of the whole, so I may not have had an ego, but I wasnt one big consciousness, I was a part of, but not, God.

    Anyway, I wanted to share this and see what anyone thought of this experience. It was a very encouraging experience, and it took away my fear for a while because I wanted to feel that bliss again. But as time has gone by I have kind of forgotten the feeling and have come back down in the fear.

    Thanks and peace!
     
    #19 DreadFish, Dec 23, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  20. Functionless

    Functionless Nothing

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    It is a lonely universe regardless, is it not?
     
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