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Sam Harris and Rupert Spira

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Fascinating discussion (this is only an excerpt)  --

 

 

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written 2500 years ago (conservatively speaking), one of the aphorisms states -- "knowledge is from direct experience, the testimony of a reliable witness, or intuition". In all cases, Consciousness is the primary mode of knowing. Even in the case of the anesthesia -- the assumption Sam is making is that the "awareness" is only localized to a body-mind. Actually, for those who have advanced yogic capabilities, even these so-called "unconscious" experiences are simply awareness without any objects. This is an everyday experience of deep sleep. In order to 'experience' deep sleep, a certain degree of disentanglement with the mind needs to occur (in the waking and dream states) -- which is called "abiding in awareness". Then deep sleep is simply and directly known as "deep sleep" while it is occurring. Similarly with anesthesia. Such people can are perfectly lucid across all three states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.

Edited by dwai
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1 hour ago, dwai said:

Fascinating discussion (this is only an excerpt)  --

 

 

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written 2500 years ago (conservatively speaking), one of the aphorisms states -- "knowledge is from direct experience, the testimony of a reliable witness, or intuition". In all cases, Consciousness is the primary mode of knowing. Even in the case of the anesthesia -- the assumption Sam is making is that the "awareness" is only localized to a body-mind. Actually, for those who have advanced yogic capabilities, even these so-called "unconscious" experiences are simply awareness without any objects. This is an everyday experience of deep sleep. In order to 'experience' deep sleep, a certain degree of disentanglement with the mind needs to occur (in the waking and dream states) -- which is called "abiding in awareness". Then deep sleep is simply and directly known as "deep sleep" while it is occurring. Similarly with anesthesia. Such people can are perfectly lucid across all three states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.

 

 

Come on now.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Apech said:

 

 

Come on now.

 

 

 

No ... really  !

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, dwai said:

Actually, for those who have advanced yogic capabilities, even these so-called "unconscious" experiences are simply awareness without any objects. This is an everyday experience of deep sleep. In order to 'experience' deep sleep, a certain degree of disentanglement with the mind needs to occur (in the waking and dream states) -- which is called "abiding in awareness". Then deep sleep is simply and directly known as "deep sleep" while it is occurring. Similarly with anesthesia. Such people can are perfectly lucid across all three states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.

 

 

This is an increasingly common misunderstanding of the so-called four states of consciousness. It can be rectified quite easily by using a modicum of common sense and self inquiry.

 

 

Edited by Daemon

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I don't think that's Sam's point at all. In my mind, this argument is based on the confusion between epistemology and ontology. Rupert says that we cannot experience anything apart from consciousness (a statement about what we can know, or epistemology) , therefore nothing exists outside of consciousness (a statement about ontology). He further makes this claim on the basis on his own (or anyone's) current conscious experience, not from any ultimate POV. 

 

But as Sam points out, this is a mere tautology as experience and consciousness is the same thing. Sam's point is that when is under anesthesia, the world is still carrying on apart from one's conscious experience of it, which tends to support the idea of a world apart from one's conscious experience (or indeed, the conscious experience of any instantiated being). 

 

Just now, dwai said:

Fascinating discussion (this is only an excerpt)  --

 

 

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written 2500 years ago (conservatively speaking), one of the aphorisms states -- "knowledge is from direct experience, the testimony of a reliable witness, or intuition". In all cases, Consciousness is the primary mode of knowing. Even in the case of the anesthesia -- the assumption Sam is making is that the "awareness" is only localized to a body-mind. Actually, for those who have advanced yogic capabilities, even these so-called "unconscious" experiences are simply awareness without any objects. This is an everyday experience of deep sleep. In order to 'experience' deep sleep, a certain degree of disentanglement with the mind needs to occur (in the waking and dream states) -- which is called "abiding in awareness". Then deep sleep is simply and directly known as "deep sleep" while it is occurring. Similarly with anesthesia. Such people can are perfectly lucid across all three states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.

 

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That is something that Rupert was never able to explain properly when asked about it because he doesn't have a first-hand experience of nirvikalpa samadhi. Consequently, despite having a fairly good intellectual grasp of some aspects of Hindu philosophy (that mistakenly attempt to conceptualise that which exists beyond thinking) he continually outed himself whenever he tried to address this issue.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Daemon said:

 

This is an increasingly common misunderstanding of the so-called four states of consciousness. It can be rectified quite easily by using a modicum of common sense and self inquiry.

 

 

Why don’t you enlighten us? :) 

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1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

. Sam's point is that when is under anesthesia, the world is still carrying on apart from one's conscious experience of it, which tends to support the idea of a world apart from one's conscious experience (or indeed, the conscious experience of any instantiated being). 

That’s the same rationale used in context of deep sleep. :) 
The localized appearance of awareness does not refute/disprove its primacy. 

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

Why don’t you enlighten us? :) 

 

By "us" do you mean the @Jeff Group? :)

 

 

Edited by Daemon

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14 minutes ago, Daemon said:

 

By "we" do you mean the @Jeff Group?

 

 

 

I too wanted to hear about  this particular '4 stages of consciousness  '  - to see if it fits in with my 3 : 4 theory .

 

But this answer above is pretty confusing  ? :huh:

 

Dwai asked if you could enlighten US , yet you changed that to  ' we '    ....  " by 'we'  "  ... what we ? 

 

Then a quantum leap to  'summoning'  Jeff  ....  or, at east , if it isnt a quantum leap, there is some connection inside your thinking .

 

Now ... you have not been 'visualising' Dwai , have you  ? 

 

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQasIvBeHu7SmlJrnOKsau

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Just now, dwai said:

That’s the same rationale used in context of deep sleep. :) 
The localized appearance of awareness does not refute/disprove its primacy. 

 

Similarly, there is no good warrant for universalizing one's experience. Let's say I was color blind from birth. No matter how I looked, I could see no color. Would it make sense to deny color under all times and conditions? Of course not. But this is what Rupert does, in my mind. 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Nungali said:

I too wanted to hear about  this particular '4 stages of consciousness  '  - to see if it fits in with my 3 : 4 theory .

 

Fair enough. :)

 

Happy to discuss this with you.

 

Firstly, it's the so-called four states of consciousness concept that dwai misunderstands.

 

Incidentally, there are actually at least 5 "states" of consciousness in Rupert's Hindu-based advaita "philosophy" (he fails to address the 6th, lucid dreaming but that doesn't really matter unless you need a more complete understanding).

 

Rupert's "states" are:

  1. Waking
  2. Dreaming
  3. Deep sleep
  4. Nirvikalpa samadhi/turyia (तुरीय).
  5. Sahaja samadhi (the flow state, as it's sometimes known in the West).

But, as I've said, Rupert hasn't actually experienced nirvikalpa samadhi/turyia, so he has to rely on his intellectual misunderstanding of Hindu advaita, which is itself deeply mistaken in attempting to pour the ocean into a thimble.

 

 

Edited by Daemon
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Now, all that anyone needs to do is to apply a bit of common sense and self inquiry.


Firstly, consider deep sleep, which (by common agreement) is dreamless. Even if it isn't dreamless, you already know that nothing happens that you can remember, so nothing has ever been described about the experience by anyone nor will it ever be described by anyone (except as a lingering sense that they “slept well").


Secondly, consider that some people claim to remember what happened during their deep sleep. If you stop to consider this for even a moment, instead of buying into their delusion without proper thought, you'll realise that these people couldn't be describing deep sleep (by definition). They must therefore be describing either a dream (or an experience of nirvikalpa samadhi).


There’s a video of Greg Goode tearing this nonsense about deep sleep to shreds while describing his experiences of putting straight some of these people who imagine that they have a memory of deep sleep (while he's simultaneously laughing his socks off).

 

His punchline is “Dude, that was a dream...😂🤣😂🤣😂"

 

 

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2 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

Similarly, there is no good warrant for universalizing one's experience. Let's say I was color blind from birth. No matter how I looked, I could see no color. Would it make sense to deny color under all times and conditions? Of course not. But this is what Rupert does, in my mind. 

 

 

 

I don’t understand how consciousness can be equated to color blindness. :) 

While it is possible that one could be color blind, one can’t say the same about consciousness. If there is no consciousness in a subject, they are effectively non-existent. 

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3 hours ago, Daemon said:

 

By "us" do you mean the @Jeff Group? :)

 

 

Huh!?! 

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22 minutes ago, Daemon said:

Now, all that anyone needs to do is to apply a bit of common sense and self inquiry.


Firstly, consider deep sleep, which (by common agreement) is dreamless. Even if it isn't dreamless, you already know that nothing happens that you can remember, so nothing has ever been described about the experience by anyone nor will it ever be described by anyone (except as a lingering sense that they “slept well").


Secondly, consider that some people claim to remember what happened during their deep sleep. If you stop to consider this for even a moment, instead of buying into their delusion without proper thought, you'll realise that these people couldn't be describing deep sleep (by definition). They must therefore be describing either a dream (or an experience of nirvikalpa samadhi).


There’s a video of Greg Goode tearing this nonsense about deep sleep to shreds while describing his experiences of putting straight some of these people who imagine that they have a memory of deep sleep (while he's simultaneously laughing his socks off).

 

His punchline is “Dude, that was a dream...😂🤣😂🤣😂"

 

 

Why is Greg Goode an authority? :) 

what makes Greg Goode any more reliable than my own experience? 🤔

 

What do you think is the difference between deep sleep and nirvikalpa samadhi? 

Edited by dwai

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On 2/5/2021 at 5:25 PM, dwai said:

Fascinating discussion (this is only an excerpt)  --

 

 

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written 2500 years ago (conservatively speaking), one of the aphorisms states -- "knowledge is from direct experience, the testimony of a reliable witness, or intuition". In all cases, Consciousness is the primary mode of knowing. Even in the case of the anesthesia -- the assumption Sam is making is that the "awareness" is only localized to a body-mind. Actually, for those who have advanced yogic capabilities, even these so-called "unconscious" experiences are simply awareness without any objects. This is an everyday experience of deep sleep. In order to 'experience' deep sleep, a certain degree of disentanglement with the mind needs to occur (in the waking and dream states) -- which is called "abiding in awareness". Then deep sleep is simply and directly known as "deep sleep" while it is occurring. Similarly with anesthesia. Such people can are perfectly lucid across all three states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.

Chuang Tzu the story of the butterfly is the point between these states of consciousness. It is much simpler and not so convoluted. The awareness predates the body and after the body is gone. I believe these guys maybe limited of experience of the topic at hand.

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Just now, dwai said:

I don’t understand how consciousness can be equated to color blindness. :) 

While it is possible that one could be color blind, one can’t say the same about consciousness. If there is no consciousness in a subject, they are effectively non-existent. 

 

It is not that consciousness is equated to color-blindedness, it is the notion that "if I don't experience, it doesn't exist." So I think what Sam is critiquing here is not the primacy of consciousness for a subject, but the absence of an external, physical world (however you wish to define it--- as material, as consciousness, etc.).  Do you deny the external world? I thought Vedanta gave the external, physical world provisional status. 

 

Just now, Daemon said:

Incidentally, there are actually at least 5 "states" of consciousness in Rupert's Hindu-based advaita "philosophy" (he fails to address the 6th, lucid dreaming but that doesn't really matter unless you need a more complete understanding).

 

The states you set forth as just variations of the typical three: waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. Some teachers teach that there are varieties of all three states within the three states. To call "lucid dreaming" a state is to deny that dreams can have degrees of lucidity. Similarly, there can be degrees of lucidity in the waking or dreaming state, and also of the deep sleep state. This is the basis of disagreement between schools that say deep sleep is a state of ignorance until one attains lucidity in the deep sleep state, and other schools that deny this. 

 

Turiya is not actually a fourth state, but the basis for all states, as I recall. 

 

Incidentally, Swami Sarvapriyananda makes a good argument that the three states can be reduced to just two: dreaming and deep sleep. Waking is simply a more stable dream. 

 

Just now, Daemon said:

There’s a video of Greg Goode tearing this nonsense about deep sleep to shreds while describing his experiences of putting straight some of these people who imagine that they have a memory of deep sleep (while he's simultaneously laughing his socks off).

 

IIRC, Greg Goode follows Atmananda in putting deep sleep as a form of nirvikapla samadhi as opposed to a state of ignorance. If there is a short video, I would like to see it. 

 

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In the sleep yoga practice of Tibet, a state of clarity in dreamless sleep is cultivated. It is clear and aware, in the absence of any content of dream, emotion, or thought. It is an unbounded and very stable experience. It is similar to resting in the Nature of Mind during waking and similar to recognizing dream as dream, but purer in the absence of all appearance or display. I hesitate to assign Hindu terms but this is a profound tantric training that is said to help one to recognize and liberate in the bardo and escape the cycle of rebirth.

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14 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

It is not that consciousness is equated to color-blindedness, it is the notion that "if I don't experience, it doesn't exist." So I think what Sam is critiquing here is not the primacy of consciousness for a subject, but the absence of an external, physical world (however you wish to define it--- as material, as consciousness, etc.).  Do you deny the external world? I thought Vedanta gave the external, physical world provisional status.

There certainly is a provisional status (vyavahārika) for an external world, but that is through the filter of Maya. Advaita Vedanta says the phenomenal world is known as such under the influence of Maya. Once the veil is dropped, the phenomenal world is known as Brahman/Self itself. 

 

This particular "problem" that Sam points out, is due to the mistaken identification of Consciousness with an individual (who is considered to be unconscious or in deep sleep, or awake) -- or perhaps, better worded as "mistaken identification of consciousness with all individuals". That is why the statement, "you might not be aware of the world outside when you are in deep sleep or under anesthesia, but others continue experiencing the world". The assumption here is that consciousness is an emergence from/consequence of these individuals (you and "others"). But such is not the case. Consciousness is non-dual, and it appears to operate through these separate beings. It is the same consciousness that causes "absence of the world" of the world in the "deep sleepers", while simultaneously causes the "experience of the world" in the "wakers".

 

There is an experience in both cases -- in one there is the experience of the absence of phenomena, while in the others there is the experience of phenomena. The constant/unchanging is consciousness itself. 

 

Edited by dwai

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8 minutes ago, steve said:

In the sleep yoga practice of Tibet, a state of clarity in dreamless sleep is cultivated. It is clear and aware, in the absence of any content of dream, emotion, or thought. It is an unbounded and very stable experience. It is similar to resting in the Nature of Mind during waking and similar to recognizing dream as dream, but purer in the absence of all appearance or display. I hesitate to assign Hindu terms but this is a profound tantric training that is said to help one to recognize and liberate in the bardo and escape the cycle of rebirth.

In my own humble experience, that is the case. It is an experience -- but not like other experiences. It is literally an experience of the absence of phenomena. Words cannot describe it -- there is no time, there is no space, only being.

 

The reason why deep sleep and nirvikalpa samadhi are categorized as different is while under the influence of Maya (i.e. a layperson), deep sleep is awareness enveloped in a covering of tamas (the inertial quality). In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the veil of Maya is dropped, and there is only awareness without that envelope of tamas (darkness). 

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Dreaming is not an action which is confined to falling asleep. We dream 24 hours a day. A part of our consciousness which is not fully engaged in the physical plane dealing with day to day problems is focused on the subtle aspects of the body.

 

Many times a day we shift conscious focus from physical reality to subtle reality. Our awareness at that moment may be focused on a friend that is at the other side of the planet. Sometimes if our focusing is intense enough something unexpected may happen: the phone rings! It is our friend calling from the other side of the planet to tell us they were thinking of us just at that moment. Has this happened to you? Ordinarily we call these happenings `coincidence’. A word for labeling the unexplainable. 

 

The full spectrum of the life force is not something unexplainable. The whole spectrum is happening simultaneously, 24 - 7

 

One of the insights which opens as one begins to consciously shift mental focus from the physical to the subtle is that the life force is not limited by physical reality. The physical is just one aspect of the energy spectrum. There is the rest of the spectrum operating simultaneously beyond the physical. Energy is not limited by space or time. 

 

Time and space have no influence whatsoever in the subtle energy dimensions. Time and space are not a limiting factor and play no role whatsoever in phenomena. It is extremely hard for physical beings to imagine the state beyond time and space, specially if we have no direct experiences of subtle energy in our bodies or consciousness.

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7 hours ago, Daemon said:

 

Fair enough. :)

 

Happy to discuss this with you.

 

Firstly, it's the so-called four states of consciousness concept that dwai misunderstands.

 

Incidentally, there are actually at least 5 "states" of consciousness in Rupert's Hindu-based advaita "philosophy" (he fails to address the 6th, lucid dreaming but that doesn't really matter unless you need a more complete understanding).

 

Rupert's "states" are:

  1. Waking
  2. Dreaming
  3. Deep sleep
  4. Nirvikalpa samadhi/turyia (तुरीय).
  5. Sahaja samadhi (the flow state, as it's sometimes known in the West).

But, as I've said, Rupert hasn't actually experienced nirvikalpa samadhi/turyia, so he has to rely on his intellectual misunderstanding of Hindu advaita, which is itself deeply mistaken in attempting to pour the ocean into a thimble.

 

 

 

 

Errrmmm ....  thanks ,  I think .    I suppose its a classification within that philosophy  ?   I It doesnt seem to fit with my ( 'number' ) theory , which, as far as I can tell, seems to contain all systems   and that manifests in a particular way .   It also goes along with the 'number theory' of manifestation in TTC .

 

But I am not familiar with this above system or the terms , I;d heave to look them up and try to get a concept .    But maybe its just a list of states and what comes 1st or 4th is immaterial ? 

 

'My' system  ( or the 'natural' system ) would suppose a primal overall consciousness ( and a state of zero or   0 consciousness as a 'prelude'  to that ) , so that would be 1.  Then that would have 2 polarities ;  2. and 3. Perhaps the conscious and unconscious . They would then form an 'interactive' triplicity' that gives manifestation to a 4th stage , where these 'ideal' energies or concepts 'solidify'  ( specific thoughts -  'the ten thousand things' ) and drive actions on the physical plane .

 

 

Edited by Nungali
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3 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

The states you set forth as just variations of the typical three: waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. Some teachers teach that there are varieties of all three states within the three states. To call "lucid dreaming" a state is to deny that dreams can have degrees of lucidity. Similarly, there can be degrees of lucidity in the waking or dreaming state, and also of the deep sleep state. This is the basis of disagreement between schools that say deep sleep is a state of ignorance until one attains lucidity in the deep sleep state, and other schools that deny this. 

 

It is certainly possible to view creation many different ways. I have only elaborated on Spira's 5-state approach and advaita vedanta's 4-state approach because both are on-topic. I mentioned lucid dreaming for the sake of illustrating that AV fails to address the phenomenon adequately (and fortuitously Steve has illustrated that shorcoming further).

 

3 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

Turiya is not actually a fourth state, but the basis for all states, as I recall.

 

That's certainly the way that it's usually presented.

 

https://sites.google.com/site/advaitaenquiry/three-states-and-one-reality#changeless

 

However, it can be seen and presented in other ways as well, which is what I attempted to do here.

 

4 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

Incidentally, Swami Sarvapriyananda makes a good argument that the three states can be reduced to just two: dreaming and deep sleep. Waking is simply a more stable dream. 

 

I've no idea who Sarvapriyananda is but that seems to illustrate my previous contention quite nicely. It's best not to be too rigid about mental constructs because in the end they have to be transcended and relinquished if you want to reach the end of the Path. I found that Greg was quite skilled at explaining why that's the case and how it's done incidentally.

 

4 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

IIRC, Greg Goode follows Atmananda in putting deep sleep as a form of nirvikapla samadhi as opposed to a state of ignorance. If there is a short video, I would like to see it. 

 

I corresponded with Greg regarding Atmananda about ten years ago, so I'm reasonably familiar with what his position was back then and I formed the same impression (he was just following something that Krishna Menon wrote in those days).

 

The video to which I referred can be found on a 2 DVD set that he and Chris Hebbard marketed as Illumination: The Direct Path of Krisna Menon.

 

 

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5 hours ago, dwai said:

Why is Greg Goode an authority? :) 

 

I didn't say that Greg was an "authority", I just indicated that he was good at deconstructing a particular sort of common misunderstanding/misrepresentation. 🙂

 

5 hours ago, dwai said:

what makes Greg Goode any more reliable than my own experience? 🤔

 

An excellent and pertinent question and one that I'd encourage you and others to ponder. I provided a signpost to the answer earlier by referring to your membership of Jeff's group. 🙂

 

5 hours ago, dwai said:

What do you think is the difference between deep sleep and nirvikalpa samadhi? 

 

It's analogous to the difference between darkness and light or the difference between ignorance and knowledge. 🙂

 

 

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