This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
This is a course in questioning and in seeing, not in believing. Question everything! Believe nothing! See directly!
Why are we dissatisfied with life?
• We feel separate from our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. • We think they should not be the way they are… • …so we try to change them. • The more we try to change them, the more separate from them we feel.
We feel separate from the world…
• We think it should not be the way it is… • …so we try to change it. • The more we try to change it, the more separate from it we feel.
the more we yearn for it. • Yet. . the farther we seem to be from it. anyway? • We yearn and yearn to know it.We feel separate from Reality • What is Reality.
Is there a pattern here?
• Who is this ―I‖ that is trying so hard? • Maybe ―I‖ is what we should investigate! • But, that seems too hard and it might make our heads hurt. (We’ll do that later.) • Let’s start with something ―easy‖, like philosophy and physics. • That might give us some answers… • …and it might help us to avoid the hard questions!
The concept of objective reality
• Objective reality is assumed to exist whether or not it is being observed. • The existence of separate objects is assumed to be verifiable by observation, at least in principle. • The common feature of all objects is that they are by definition separate from each other. • This means that separation is a basic assumption… • …so the observer-object is assumed to be separate from the observed-object. • We will see later that these are all nothing but assumptions!
But, as we have seen, separation seems to be the source of our dissatisfaction!
• We experience dissatisfaction if we perceive ourselves to be separate from... • …our thoughts, feelings, body sensations; • …the world; • …Reality.
• 3) Agreement with others on the existence or nonexistence of the object.The active components of objective reality • In addition to the basic assumptions. objective reality has three active components: • 1) Observation of the object or its absence. • 2) Communication of the observation to others. .
If it is not confirmed. .Still more on objective reality • Agreement is required because… • 1) We must agree on the definition of the object • 2) The existence or nonexistence of the object must be confirmed by at least one other observer. the existence or nonexistence of the object is indeterminate.
how can we say that there is more than one observer? • How can we say that we observe anything outside of the mind? .But. who is it that is agreeing? • All of our observations are nothing but mental impressions! • If all of our observations are mental impressions (a mental impression for each of the five physical senses).
why would you believe them? They exist only in your own mind! • .Questions about objective reality Is there any proof that anything exists if you are not observing it? • If you cite the reports of others. why would you believe them? They might exist only in your own mind! • If you cite your sense impressions.
• Space and time are assumed to be objective—they are assumed to exist whether or not there is an observer. .The philosophy of materialism (pure objectivity) (Earliest materialists: Atomists Leucippus. at least. • If consciousness exists. Democritus. and Epicurus: 460-270 BC) • Everything is assumed to be matter (or. it is governed by physical law). it is assumed to be an epiphenomenon of matter with no independent existence of its own. • Matter is assumed to be objective—it is assumed to exist whether or not there is an observer.
‖ • Do you agree with this statement? If so. are you all of the body or just parts of it? • Which parts are you? Which parts are you not? • Where in the body are you? • What is this ―I‖ that is a body? • Is it material? • Is it conscious? .Personalized statement of materialism • ―I am a body.
Other questions about materialism • Which.g. and what is the evidence for it? – Cats and dogs? – Plants? – Microbes? – Self-reproducing protein molecules (e. of the following are conscious.g.. rocks)? . if any. prions)? – Inanimate objects (e..
• He proposed that mind and body can interact with each other. • He proposed that a body is a divisible object that has physical size. it occupies space. . independent substances. • He proposed that a mind is an indivisible conscious. i.. 1596-1650) • Descartes proposed that mind and matter are two fundamental.e.The philosophy of Cartesian dualism (objectivity plus subjectivity) (René Descartes. thinking entity without physical size or spatial location.
• This implies that ―I‖ am subjective but the body is objective. is a personalized statement of materialism.Personalized statement of Cartesian dualism: • ―I am a mind and I have a body‖. • (Note that the complementary statement. are you all of the mind or just parts of it? • Which parts are you? Which parts are you not? • ―Where‖ in the mind are you? . ―I am a body and I have a mind‖.) • Do you agree with the statement of Cartesian dualism? If so.
Other questions about Cartesian dualism • Similar questions as for materialism: Which objects have minds and which do not: • Animals? • Plants? • Microbes? • Prions? • Rocks? .
• Whereas. Berkeley (1710). .… • …Nonduality is taught as a pointer to Reality (Reality cannot be described. idealism is purported to describe Reality (assuming that Reality can be described).The philosophy of idealism (pure subjectivity) Plato (380 BC). and… • …there is nothing but Mind. Kant (1781) • Idealism is a Western philosophy that proposes that everything is Mind. only pointed to). • This is similar to the Eastern teaching of nonduality (next slide).
separation is not real.The teaching of nonduality (pure subjectivity) Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950). objects are not actually separate from each other. Nisargadatta Maharaj (1887-1981). Space is only a concept in the mind. • Since space is only a concept in the mind. Therefore. It is only a concept. Ramesh Balsekar (1917-) • Nonduality teaches that Consciousness is Awareness plus all of the objects of Awareness . . • Awareness does not exist in space.
• 1) Appearance of the body and I Am (the birth of the infant as pure Presence). Return to pure Awareness. • 3) Identification of I Am with the concept. • 4) Identification of I Am with the sense of personal doership (―I‖ observe.Stages of manifestation and demanifestation • 0) Pure unmanifest I (pure Awareness). • 5) Disappearance of the sense of personal doership. ―I‖ think. ―I‖ feel. the appearance of dissatisfaction and anxiety. ―I‖ choose. • 2) Appearance of the concepts of boundaries and separation (the infant perceives objects). . disappearance of dissatisfaction and anxiety. • 6) Disappearance of pure Presence (death of the body). ―I‖ do…). return to pure Presence (the sage). ―I am Stanley‖ (put in your own name).
the Awareness of ―my‖ mind is identical to the Awareness of ―your‖ mind. . feelings. sensations. • Even though ―my‖ mind is different from ―your‖ mind. and perceptions. feelings. and perceptions. • ―Your‖ mind includes all of ―your‖ thoughts. • ―My‖ mind includes all of ―my‖ thoughts. emotions. sensations.The mind in nonduality • The mind is an object of Awareness. emotions.
how can ―you‖ see objects that ―I‖ cannot see? • If minds are in fact separate. how can minds be separate? • If minds are not separate. there is no objective reality!) . how could ―you‖ and ―I‖ see the same objects? (Remember.Questions about minds in nonduality • If space is only a concept in the mind.
Personalized statement of nonduality • ―I am pure Awareness/Presence‖. can there be any actual separation between ―me‖ and pure Awareness/Presence? • If space is only a concept in the mind. can there be any actual separation between ―you‖ and ―me‖? . • If space is only a concept in the mind.
These properties were assumed to have no intrinsic uncertainties. and orientation whether or not they were being observed. Consciousness was not part of the theory. .Classical physics Isaac Newton (1643-1727) • Classical physics was assumed to be both materialistic and objective. independent existences whether or not they were being observed. velocity. such as position. • They were assumed to have definite properties. • Classical objects were assumed to have separate.
Classical physics (cont.) • Classical objects were assumed to be acted upon by classical forces such as electromagnetism and gravity. . which is assumed to be determined by the state of the universe in the past. • The laws of classical physics were deterministic. This means that the state of the universe in the future is assumed to be completely determined by the state of the universe in the present.
and actions? • About other people’s feelings.Questions about classical physics • How might our lives be different if there were no external objective reality but we did not know it? • What if we did know it? • How might our lives be different if the world were deterministic but we did not know it? • What if we did know it? • Suppose you accepted the principle of determinism as truth. decisions. How do you think you would then feel about your feelings. and actions? • How do you think it would affect your judgments about yourself and others? . decisions.
g. blackbody radiation. physicists replaced it with quantum theory in the 1920s. observable objects! . physicists had to throw out the basic assumption that matter consisted of separate. the photoelectric effect. and line spectra of atoms).In the late 1800s. (Why did it take so long?) • In order to get a theory that successfully explained the experiments. problems arose with classical physics • It could not explain certain experiments (e. • After 3 decades of trying to make classical theory work.. independent.
independent.If quantum theory does not describe separate. If it is incorrect. physical phenomena. from elementary particles to the entire universe. it was intended to describe only microscopic phenomena. observable objects. what does it describe? • Quantum theory was originally formulated to describe only objective. but now it is assumed to describe all physical phenomena. . • In every direct and indirect experimental test of quantum theory so far. we have as yet no other theory to replace it. • It is the only physical theory we have at the present time. the basic principles have been never been shown to be invalid. • At first.
In quantum theory. an interpretation is necessary • In classical physics. . if anything. quantum theory turned out to be purely mathematical and… • …it was not obvious how to relate the mathematics to what. is being observed. • An interpretation was needed for this… • …but the interpretation was not self-evident. • However. no interpretation was necessary because it was assumed that it described classical objects directly without an interpretation.
almost as many as there are those who interpret it. • We still don’t know if there is a ―correct‖ one… • …and. if there is. we don’t know what it is! .In fact… • …there are many interpretations of quantum theory.
• Or it could be purely subjective (observer only). the probability that a position measurement will yield a specific position). . • It could be purely objective (objective reality).… • …the mathematics of quantum theory is routinely used to predict the probability that an observation will yield a specific result (e.g. indeed. • Or it could be none of the above.Nevertheless. • It could be partly objective and partly subjective (objective reality plus observer). • This can be done without needing to know exactly what it is that is being observed (if. it is anything)..
. and bongo drummer) • ―…I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.Richard Feynman (1918-1988) (Brilliant.‖ The Character of Physical Law (1960). creative. iconic theoretical physicist.
we still live in a pre-quantum world! . if we feel separate.An interpretation is an attempt to relate quantum theory to some kind of reality • Physicists use different interpretations for different purposes. • But in none of them is separation real… • …so.
There are three general types of interpretations of quantum theory • Interpretation in terms of purely objective reality (ontological interpretation). • Interpretation in terms of purely subjective reality (epistemological interpretation. . • Interpretation in terms of Cartesian dualism (objectivity plus subjectivity).
Bohr (1925-1927) • Even though the Copenhagen interpretation is supposed to be the ―orthodox‖ interpretation.The Copenhagen interpretation Born. Heisenberg. • And a few (very few) think it is purely subjective. Schrödinger. • Some physicists think it is partly objective and partly subjective. . there is widespread disagreement on it. • Some physicists think it is purely objective.
.In the (orthodox) Copenhagen interpretation… • …space and time are assumed to be objectively real. but… • …the only thing in space-time that is assumed to exist prior to an observation is a wavefunction that exists over all space.
It is a purely mathematical wave. . • Physical waves carry energy and momentum. • However. • Examples: Water waves and electromagnetic waves.Elementary description of a physical wave • A physical wave is a traveling oscillation. the quantum wavefunction is not a physical wave.
Big paradox: The wavefunction is purely mathematical. all of the possible positions) that could be obtained ..g. position)..g. • It describes all of the possible results (e. • It represents the probability (not the certainty) that a specific result will be obtained if the observer makes a specific type of measurement (e. . but is assumed to be objectively real! • The wavefunction is assumed to exist whether or not there are observations. but cannot predict which result will actually be obtained.
• At the moment of observation, the wavefunction is assumed to change irreversibly from a description of all of the possibilities (e.g., of position) that could be observed to a description of only the event that is observed. • This is called wavefunction reduction, or wavefunction collapse.
The next observation
• After an observation and wavefunction collapse, a new wavefunction emerges. • It represents all of the possibilities that are allowed by the previous observation. • Another observation results in another wave function collapse, etc. • In this theory, any observation results from a stream of wavefunction collapses. • Without wavefunction collapse, there are no observations.
• ―Your‖ mind consists of one stream of observations. • ―My‖ mind consists of another stream of observations. • However, the wavefunction represents all possibilities and therefore predicts only the probability, not the certainty, that ―you‖ will observe something. Similarly for ―me‖. • It does not guarantee that what “you” see is the same thing that “I” see.
suppose ―you‖ and ―I‖ set up an apparatus to drop no more than one B-B onto a table top (all described by the wave function). but we don’t know in advance where it settles on the table top. no matter how far apart ―we‖ are.Consistency requires that collapse be nonlocal • The Copenhagen interpretation requires that wavefunction collapse happens over all space simultaneously or nearly simultaneously so that ―your‖ observations are consistent with ―my‖ observations. • For example. suppose ―you‖ and ―I‖ simultaneously or nearly simultaneously observe the table top. • Now. • What prevents ―you‖ from seeing a B-B at one place on the table while ―I‖ see it in a different place? . This is called nonlocal collapse.
• But. no matter how simultaneity is defined. .But… • What is meant by ―simultaneous‖ or ―nearly simultaneous‖ observations? • That depends on the definition of ―simultaneous‖. the same statement holds in the Copenhagen interpretation: Simultaneous or nearly simultaneous observations result from collapses of the same or nearly the same wavefunction.
can travel faster than the velocity of light. • Einstein made one assumption: The velocity of light in vacuum is a constant. (This was also consistent with the measurements of Michelson and Morley. because it has been verified innumerable times both directly and indirectly. . No experiment has ever invalidated it. more than just a theory.*Side note • Albert Einstein’s (1879-1955) invented the special theory of relativity in1905. (This assumption was consistent with the measurements of Michelson and Morley (1881)).) • This is now considered to be a physical law. Einstein proved that no physical effect. independent of the relative velocity (also assumed to be constant) of two observers observing each other. • Using only this assumption. including information.
• Therefore. • Thus. there is no physical explanation for anything that happens over all space simultaneously or nearly simultaneously so there is no physical mechanism for nonlocal collapse. nonlocal collapse can only result from a nonphysical mechanism.) • Einstein’s special theory of relativity says that no physical effect can travel with a velocity greater than the velocity of light.Nonlocality (cont. .
• Awareness is not an object. . It cannot be observed. It cannot be localized in space and time. It could collapse the wavefunction so that what ―you‖ observe is consistent with what ―I‖ observe. • Because It is nonlocal.A possibility that most physicists do not like to consider • It might be Awareness that causes wave function collapse. It is what is aware of objects. • Because It is not an object. Therefore. It is nonlocal. • Since It is not an object.
• Awareness exists on a different level from the objects of awareness. • What you are aware of cannot be what is aware.) • Even if there were a physical mechanism for wavefunction collapse.Wavefunction collapse (cont. It needs no proof. That you are aware is the only thing you can be certain of. • The awareness of the observer is self-evident. • Everything else is subject to definition. interpretation. it would produce nothing but a collapsed wavefunction. • A collapsed wavefunction is not aware! It is only a collapsed wavefunction. and change. .
such as electromagnetism and gravity. • In addition. . the particles are assumed to be acted on by a quantum force.Hidden-variables interpretations David Bohm (1917-1992) • Particles are assumed to exist as classical particles whether or not they are observed (purely objective interpretation). • They are assumed to be acted on by the classical forces. which is derived from the quantum wavefunction.
there is no explanation for how consciousness arises. there are no faster-than-light effects. Therefore. all effects are local.Nonlocality in hidden variables theories • In classical theory. • In fact. • However. hidden variables theories are intrinsically nonlocal because the quantum force acts at all points in space simultaneously. consciousness is not even a concept in the theory. • Since hidden variables theories are purely objective theories. or for which objects are conscious and which ones are not. .
the wavefunction branches to manifest the world that ―I‖ observe with a probability given by the wavefunction. At any moment that ―I‖ (as part of the universe) make an observation. 1930-1982) • • • • • Many-worlds is a purely objective interpretation. but there is a manifestation of ―my‖ world. The entire universe is described by a single wavefunction. There is no wavefunction collapse. Since there can be no observer or observation that is separate from the universe. the wavefunction never collapses. . The wavefunction is assumed to exist as the only reality from the moment of the big bang.Many-worlds interpretation (Hugh Everett.
there is no explanation for how the consciousness of the observer arises. thus. • The different worlds cannot communicate with each other. all of the other possibilities given by the wave function are manifested as other worlds. there are as many worlds manifested as there are possibilities in the wave function. • Each time there is an observation. • Since many worlds is an objective theory.Nonlocality of the many-worlds interpretation • At the same moment that ―my‖ world manifests. • Since there is no wavefunction collapse. for which objects are conscious and which ones are not. • A world is manifest over all of its space simultaneously. There is a ―me‖ in every one of them. . the wavefunction of the universe continues forever. many-worlds is nonlocal. and for how the branching occurs.
son of Hugh Everett and founder of Eels • ―My father never.Mark Everett (1963-). 2001 attacks. I was in the same house with him for at least 18 years but he was a total stranger to me. He was a physical presence. 11. He was in his own parallel universe.‖ • Mark’s father. Hugh died of a heart attack at age 51. I think he was deeply disappointed that he knew he was a genius but the rest of the world didn’t know it. like the furniture. . sitting there jotting down crazy notations at the dining room table night after night. His cousin and her husband were flight attendants who died in the Sept. ever said anything to me about his theories. His sister committed suicide at age 39 and his mother died two years later.
and he derived an inequality that was valid only if local hidden variable theories were valid. • The inequality depended only on experimentally measured quantities.Bell’s theorem (John Steward Bell. 1928-1990) • Bell devised a way to determine experimentally whether reality could be described by local hidden variable theories. Any violation of the inequality would prove that reality cannot be both objective and local. . hence it was independent of any specific theory.
Furthermore… • Futhermore. physicists had largely abandoned the assumption of classical particles. reality cannot be both objective and local. . reality must be bizarre and counterintuitive.Many experiments have shown that reality violates Bell’s inequality • Thus. • Even before these experiments had been done. (1981-82) showed that reality is nonlocal. • And Gröblacher. Aspect. if hidden variables describes reality. they had abandoned the assumption that material objects exist even if they not are observed. et al. Thus. et al. (2007) showed that.
there is no problem of nonlocality. • Since there is no objective reality. • Since there is no nonlocality. • The wave function is assumed to be nothing but a mathematical algorithm used to calculate the probability that a specific experience will follow another specific experience. there is no space-time and no nonlocality. there is assumed to be no objective reality. There are only subjective experiences.The subjective interpretation Christopher Fuchs (1964-) • In this interpretation. .
agreement is required! .One mind vs. if there is more than one mind. • In order for there to be communication between minds in the nonsolipsistic interpretation. there are at least two minds. agreement on the definition of what is observed is required. • In a nonsolipsistic interpretation. Logically. you and I must agree on the definition of ―chair‖ before we can talk about our observations of a chair. Thus. • This is the ―agreement‖ property of the subjective interpretation. this view can be neither proved nor disproved. even in the subjective interpretation. there is only one mind. many minds in the subjective interpretation • In a solipsistic interpretation. • For example. Logically. this view also can be neither proved nor disproved.
• However. . we regard separate sequences to imply that there are separate ―observers‖ making the observations. all experiences are nothing but sequences of observations. but are they separate? • Since any experience consists of a sequence of observations. in the subjective interpretation. so there can be no spatial separation between ―observers‖. space is only a concept in the mind.Minds may be different from each other. • Normally.
there is no objective reality in this interpretation. if ―observers‖ really are separate how can they communicate? (Remember.More questions about the subjective interpretation • Is it possible that the ―observer‖ is nothing but a mental construct? • What does the requirement for agreement between conscious ―observers‖ imply about the separateness of the ―observers‖? • In other words. so there are no objects that different ―observers‖ can observe and agree on.) .
We shall use Schrödinger’s cat to illustrate the different interpretations Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961) Schrödinger invented the cat paradox to show that a microscopic wavefunction can have macroscopic consequences. .
Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment • Radioactive source of microscopic particles • Particle detector • Bottle of poison gas • Hammer to break bottle • Cat .
• Manifestation cannot be described by the Schrödinger equation. all macroscopic objects in the box are simultaneously manifested: particle detector.Schrödinger’s cat in the Copenhagen interpretation • Before the observer looks in the box. poison gas bottle. Thus. there are no objects in it. • At the moment of observation. There is only a wavefunction. consciousness is thought to be necessary. and live or dead cat. .
.Schrödinger’s cat in the hidden variables interpretation • All objects are objectively real and classical at all times. • The quantum force is nonlocal and acts on all objects simultaneously. • Consciousness is not a required part of this theory. • They are acted on by a quantum force as well as classical forces.
the wavefunction branches into two worlds. • In one world.Schrödinger’s cat in the many worlds interpretation • There is nothing but a wavefunction at all times. • At the moment of observation. • Consciousness creates a branching. the cat is alive. the cat is dead. • It describes all of the objects in the box. . • In another world. but itself is a mystery. each described by its own wavefunction.
. poison gas bottle. particle detector. there is no need for communication or agreement between minds. or cat.Schrödinger’s cat in the solipsistic subjective interpretation • There is no objective wavefunction. • Since there is only one mind. cat. • There is only a mind. • Everything is an image in the one mind.
Schrödinger’s cat in the nonsolipsistic subjective interpretation • There is no objective wavefunction. • In order for there to be communication between the minds. particle detector. or cat. • These are only images in the minds. there must be agreement on the definition of ―live cat‖ and ―dead cat‖. poison gas bottle. there can be communication about whether a live cat or dead cat is observed. cat. . • If there is agreement on the definition.
• Therefore. on the definition of what is observed or what is not observed. agreement requires communication. on the definition of what exists or does not exist. is it possible that the need to communicate is our most basic need. and communication requires agreement. is it neither. there must be agreement—in the objective case. is it the heart that needs to communicate. or is it both? • Is the need to communicate a reflection of our innate connectedness? . even more basic than the need to survive? • And. is it the mind. and in the subjective case. • But.Agreement↔Communication • In both the objective and subjective interpretations of quantum theory.
• The EEG of subject is measured simultaneously with the EMG from the finger.The experiments of Benjamin Libet. (1973) • Subject is told to lift a finger whenever he/she chooses. . et al.
This process is repeated many thousands of times and the results are averaged.The results • • • • The subject associates his/her awareness of the urge to act with his/her observations of the time on a clock. Result: The average EEG signal begins 0. Thus: The brain begins to process a muscle act prior to the subjective awareness of the urge to act! .3 s before any subjective impulse to lift the finger. No separate muscle action is required.
Heinze. • Instead of watching a clock.The experiments of Soon. Brass. The randomness guaranteed that the subject could not anticipate the letters. . and Haynes (2008) • Functional MRI measurements of the brain showed that the brain begins to process pushing the either the left button (dark voxels) or the right button (light voxels) up to 10 s before any awareness of the subjective urge to push a button. the subject watched letters being flashed on a screen every 0.5 s in random order.
any mental or sensory process happens before our awareness of it because the brain requires time to process an event before we become aware of it.Conclusion • In objective time (time as measured by a clock or other instrument). . all subjective experiences happen after the corresponding objective events. This applies to “volitional” experiences as well as “nonvolitional” ones. • Thus.
• If you can choose your thoughts. • If you can choose your actions. why do you have feelings that you don’t want? • Free will assumes that you can choose your actions. why do you have thoughts that you don’t want? • Free will assumes that you can choose your feelings.Free will • Free will assumes that you can choose your thoughts. • If you can choose your feelings. why do you do things that you don’t want to do? .
and actions. feelings. Were you successful? • If you can’t control your thoughts. Were you successful? • Try to stop feeling all body sensations for 30 seconds.Exercises on free will • Try to stop thinking for 30 seconds. what can you control? . Were you successful? • Try to stop all muscle action for 30 seconds.
and actions but we can observe directly that we have no control over them. . feelings. body sensations.What can we control? • We experience thoughts. • We experience will but we can observe directly that it is not free.
• ―We‖ cling to them because ―we‖ believe they are what ―we‖ are… • …and ―we‖ simultaneously resist them because ―we‖ judge them to be wrong or lacking.The cause of suffering according to the sages • The sages tell us that suffering is a result of identification with the sense of doership and separation. • We believe that ―we‖ are the thinker. feeler. and body sensations. . emotions. feelings. and chooser of our thoughts.
• ―I‖ should not be in this world (―I‖ should be in a more compassionate world). • ―I‖ should not have these body sensations (―I‖ should have only pleasant sensations). • ―I‖ should not have these feelings (―I‖ should have only pleasant feelings).Examples of identification as doer • ―I‖ should not have these thoughts (―I‖ should have only pure thoughts). • ―I‖ should not have these emotions (―I‖ should have only loving emotions). • ―I‖ should not behave the way ―I‖ do (―I‖ should always behave compassionately). .
competent. sad. and anxious.More examples of identification • ―I‖ want to change but ―I‖ am afraid to change. guilty. • If ―I‖ don’t cling to my identity. angry. or as compassionate. what will ―I‖ be? • How will ―I‖ behave? • What will ―I‖ do? . • ―I‖ am afraid to give up my identity as being shameful. loving. confident. and intelligent.
desolate. we will feel shame although it may be concealed by other feelings. • That is the feeling of shame. • As long as we think we are separate. .The original suffering: Shame • Shame (―original sin‖) is the thought that we are defective. and separate. incomplete. • Exercise: Notice the way you feel when you are feeling lonely. and isolated.
separation is not real! • Proof: Close your eyes. how can there be any when your eyes are open? . If you can find any.But. go inward and downward. where are they? • If you cannot find any. see if you can find any boundaries to it. With your eyes closed. and feel pure Presence.
Consciousness is the circle (Awareness) and everything inside it (objects of Awareness).Nonduality • Nonduality is the teaching that all there is is Consciousness and Consciousness is all there is. . • Symbolically.
• For example. • However. • This process of separating and naming is called conceptualization. the separation between yin and yang is nothing but a concept. yin and yang) and then it names the parts.Duality • Consciousness is always whole and unsplit. the mind tries to split Consciousness into parts (e. YANG YIN .. • Anything that is thought to be separate from anything else is nothing but a concept.g.
• With clear seeing comes the end of suffering. ―I‖ am not really separate from my body-mind… • …and ―you‖ are not really separate from ―me‖. therefore. ―enlightenment‖. . or ―nirvana‖. • Clearly seeing through this illusion is called ―disidentification.The basic split • The mind tries to split Consciousness into ―me‖ and not-‖me‖. • In this teaching. the illusion of separation is extremely persistent. • However. ―awakening‖. • All spiritual practice has the aim of seeing through it. this split is not real.
am ―I‖ nothing but a concept? .Questions about concepts • • • • • • • • Am ―I‖ really separate from… …this thought? …this feeling? …this emotion? …this sensation? …this body? …you? In other words.
and purely subjective. what am I? • In nondualistic teaching. if I am not a concept. . unsplit. I am Consciousness which is whole. • That is my true nature… • …and there never is any real separation.Well.
• Identification is weaker in the present moment. • Hence. • Thinking mode is always in the past or future. there is less suffering in the present moment. • Being mode is always in the present moment. .How can suffering end? • We can begin to disidentify by shifting from the thinking mode to the being mode.
• As ―doer‖. emotions. emotions. we cling to our thoughts. feelings. and sensations. .) • Clinging and resisting gives structure to our lives and to our world. and sensations. but… • …they also prevent us from experiencing anything outside of our structure. feelings. • (Example: Jung’s ―shadow‖—or ―dark side‖. • (Example: Jung’s ―persona‖—or ―mask‖.When we are in thinking mode… • We identify as ―doer‖.) • We simultaneously resist other thoughts.
feelings. there is no doing…we are disidentified from doership.When we are in being mode… • There is no clinging… • …we do not cling to our thoughts. feelings. or emotions. or emotions. • …we do not resist our thoughts. . • Without clinging or resisting. and… • …there is no resisting.
into the being. and body sensations.Spiritual practice • Spiritual practice helps to take us from the doing. nor is there an ―I‖ that can do anything--including spiritual practice. • Spiritual practice helps to dissolve the separation between ―me‖ and ―my‖ thoughts. • And it helps to make clear that there is no ―me‖ to judge or to resist. feelings. in which there is suffering. . • It helps to dissolve the separation between ―me‖ and ―you‖. in which there is no suffering. disidentified mode. identified mode. emotions.
• If a spiritual practice helps us to disidentify from what we think we are and to become aware of what we really are. . it will reduce our suffering.Spiritual practices • The paradox of spiritual practice: We have to do it in order to see that we are not doing it! • There are many spiritual practices. almost as many as there are teachers.
. and… − Self-inquiry (upper case).Inquiry: One form of spiritual practice • There are two basic kinds of inquiry: − self-inquiry (lower case).
– Ask the question.What is self-inquiry (lower case)? • self-inquiry is the investigation of the ―I‖. who is it that is feeling this? Then. look and see if you can see the doer. look and see if you can see the feeler. who is it that is observing this? – Then look and see if you can see the observer. who is it that is thinking this? Then. – Ask the question. – Ask the question. look and see if you can see the sufferer. look and see if you can see the thinker. who is it that is suffering? Then. who is it that is doing this? Then. – Ask the question. . – Ask the question.
sufferer. can it be you? • What is it that sees them? • If you don’t see a thinker. or observer. doer. doer.What do you see? • If you see a thinker. feeler. sufferer. can there be one? . feeler. or observer.
What is Self-inquiry (upper case)? • Self-inquiry is the investigation of the true I. it can’t be what is seeing because it is what is being seen. anything you can see cannot be you. if you can’t see it. but it is what is seeing.) – So. – Ask. then what are you? . – If you see something. what is it that is aware? Then turn inward and look and see. which is pure Awareness. or pure Being. (Remember.
Another form of Self-inquiry. • This is a simple but very effective disidentification practice. become present to the experience of the moment. • This takes you out of doing mode in which you have never had any control . . • Whenever you are suffering... • …and puts you in being mode in which you see that there is no need for control.
• A widely taught form of Buddhist meditation is called Vipassana and consists of two aspects: – Concentration – Mindfulness . • You may have to try out several teachers and several forms of meditation to find one that will help you to accept yourself as you are and to realize your true nature.Meditation • Meditation is best learned from an experienced teacher.
• Whenever we notice that we have been lost. • We do this a million times. • The attention will wander and we will become lost in thought. • Each time we become aware of having been lost. we bring the attention back to the breath. it is another awakening! . and feel the body sensations from the inside. • We then put the attention on the breath. • With eyes closed.Concentration • Concentration is required for mindfulness. we slowly scan the body from the feet to the head.
Mindfulness • Mindfulness requires concentration. • We notice our thoughts and feelings as they arise. moment by moment. • We can practice mindfulness in either meditation or in activity. we open to the unpleasantness and see it clearly without trying to change it or to escape from it . . • If we experience a distressing thought or feeling or actual physical pain. nor do we analyze or judge them. • We simply observe them intentionally and nonjudgmentally. • We don't ignore them or suppress them. as they arise in the field of our awareness.
what does that imply about the existence of a thinker or feeler? . who/what is it that sees this? • If we see that they arise and fall spontaneously. or whether they arise and fall spontaneously.) • We notice whether it is we who are thinking our thoughts and feeling our feelings. • If we see that it is we who are thinking or feeling them.Mindfulness (cont.
Satchidananda is the experience of disidentification • Sat: Beingness. Bliss . Awareness • Ananda: Peace. Presence • Chid: Consciousness.
Namaste΄ ―I as Awareness/Presence acknowledge you as Awareness/Presence.‖ .
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