Inviation in satsang & the ‘holy sequence’ II – Philip Renard


Why the name Advaya?


This site is called Advaya. This is a Sanskrit term, which

means ‘non-duality’. This term has been used very often in

texts of both Mahayana Buddhism as well as Advaita Vedanta,

from the beginning of the Common Era. Because the

term advaya has been used by both of these non- dualistic

movements, it is highlighted on this site: as a fundamental

starting point for a possible insight in the underlying unity of

both approaches – and in fact the unity of all religious and

philosophical approaches, despite their different vocabulary. Continue reading

Posted in non-duality, spirituality | Leave a comment

Inviation in satsang & the ‘holy sequence’ – Philip Renard

Philip Renard, a Dutchman, is perhaps not so well known in the Anglo-Saxon world as other sages from India and the West, but he is a master of spirituality, that is, a sage, in his own right. He has only a few publications in English, and a book by him is forthcoming.


On the invitation in satsang,
and the ‘holy sequence’
The invitation in satsang is always the same.
It could be summarized as follows.
Recognition of your true nature is possible as soon as you are
to allow a gap between one thought and the next,
right in the middle of an inner story or perception,
Even though this gap is only the entrance,
looking from this gap you can see
that seeing itself is in fact something great:
it shows that you yourself are the knowing, seeing
principle, which continuously, from within, bestows light on
Without this self-illuminating principle you cannot know or
experience anything.
From the gap mentioned you can also see
that it is inseparable from the things which arise in it –
that in fact everything is inclusive.
There is thought as well as no-thought. Mind as well as
no-mind. Continue reading

Posted in non-duality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Appearance and reality

Can appearance itself be doubted?  (Discussion in QUORA)

The question is not about the relation between appearance (things) and noumenon (thing in itself). It concerns only the appearance ITSELF. That means, I’m not asking about whether appearance is capable to reveal the noumenon, rather whether the trueness of appearance can be doubted.

For example, while I’m licking honey, it tastes sweet to me. I’m not asking whether the honey itself is sweet, rather ‘it tastes sweet to me’ can be doubted.

Tom McFarlane. As long as there is some kind of judgment involved, no matter how subtle, there can be doubt. And, as long as there is a characterization of an appearance as being this or that, there is judgment, which can be doubted. And this will always be the case since no experience is a perfectly pure appearance, free of all interpretation or judgment. So, for example, if you lick some honey and have the experience of it tasting sweet, that involves identifying ‘it’ and ‘sweet’ and ‘tasting’ and putting those together in a judgment that can be doubted. If you strip away or suspend all interpretation and judgment, then what is left is not any appearance at all, but the simple naked fact of awareness itself, about which nothing can be affirmed or denied. Continue reading

Posted in non-duality, philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Consciousness and reality

Q/A in Quora  /

What is reality in the absence of consciousness?

I’m beginning to be convinced that in the absence of consciousness there is nothing. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Answer: (M) That is an impossible, or a self-defeating, question. If there were no consciousness in the world, you could not write that sentence. What is more, no communication would be possible (books, newspapers, radio, etc.). Still more, no life and no evolution of life, because life depends on communication of information (DNA, neuronal synapses, etc.), which derives itself from what is no less than a conscious universe. There is no need to believe in a personal (anthropomorphic) god to have this understanding or realization.

It is the same if we say, ‘absence of intelligence’. It is consciousness/intelligence which originates the universe and inheres in it. In Dante’s words, ‘l’Amore che muove il sole e l’altre stelle’ (The Love which moves the sun and the other stars) – and that is so because without love there is no life, Love being a synonym of Being and of Light. The supreme triad is, Being-Consciousness-Will, or Being-Consciousness-Bliss (or Beauty).

Posted in non-duality, philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is metaphysics meaningful?

Is metaphysics meaningful? – Question in QUORA

Any hypothesis which predicts observations can in principle be tested scientifically.

Take “metaphysics” to be the set of hypotheses about people and the universe which does not predict any observations, or none which differ from those predicted by their null hypotheses.

Can a hypothesis be meaningful even if it does not predict any observations?

Answer. (M) The dictionary def. of ‘meaningful’ is, primarily, ‘significant’, ‘purposeful’. The answer to the question ‘Is metaphysics meaningful?’ is, ‘yes’ (otherwise there would not be such a thing or notion). But metaphysics is not empirical science, so it does not work with hypotheses or with experimentation (measurement, etc.). Once called ‘the queen of the sciences’, it is at the root of all thinking, scientific as well as philosophical, in particular the basic or fundamental ideas about what real/reality is.  Thus, the métier of metaphysics is philosophical, including the presuppositions underlying empirical science: beingness or existence, space, time, and causality, and also matter/energy, subjectivity and objectivity. Traditionally metaphysics is considered as a branch of philosophy.

Posted in philosophy, science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The proof of Advaita philosophy

Q&A in Advaita Vision – reproduced here.

Q. 388 – Proof of Methodology

Posted in non-duality, philosophy, vedanta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Consciousness and neuro-science


  2. (Different from above) Prof. Donald Hoffman – The Case Against Reality .

A professor of cognitive science argues that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses.

Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. They guide adaptive behaviors. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know. And that’s pretty much all of reality, whatever reality might be.

Snakes and trains, like the particles of physics, have no objective, observer-independent features

Gefter: I suspect they’re reacting to things like Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff’s model, where you still have a physical brain, it’s still sitting in space, but supposedly it’s performing some quantum feat. In contrast, you’re saying, “Look, quantum mechanics is telling us that we have to question the very notions of ‘physical things’ sitting in ‘space.’”

Hoffman: I think that’s absolutely true. The neuroscientists are saying, “We don’t need to invoke those kind of quantum processes, we don’t need quantum wave functions collapsing inside neurons, we can just use classical physics to describe processes in the brain.” I’m emphasizing the larger lesson of quantum mechanics: Neurons, brains, space … these are just symbols we use, they’re not real. It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain! Quantum mechanics says that classical objects—including brains—don’t exist. So this is a far more radical claim about the nature of reality and does not involve the brain pulling off some tricky quantum computation. So even Penrose hasn’t taken it far enough. But most of us, you know, we’re born realists. We’re born physicalists. This is a really, really hard one to let go of.

Hoffman: The formal theory of conscious agents I’ve been developing is computationally universal—in that sense, it’s a machine theory. And it’s because the theory is computationally universal that I can get all of cognitive science and neural networks back out of it. Nevertheless, for now I don’t think we are machines—in part because I distinguish between the mathematical representation and the thing being represented. As a conscious realist, I am postulating conscious experiences as ontological primitives, the most basic ingredients of the world. I’m claiming that experiences are the real coin of the realm. The experiences of everyday life—my real feeling of a headache, my real taste of chocolate—that really is the ultimate nature of reality.

Tom McFarlane – The cosmos described by physics, however, is a characterization of only that aspect of reality which is revealed when we look through the lens of discrete mathematical concepts which are all traced back to the primordial act of making a distinction. There is still—lest we forget—that aspect of reality that is not revealed as order. This aspect may be called the complement of the cosmos. Because the cosmos is discrete, this suggests that its complement is a continuum—not the mathematical continuum which has definite structure, but an indefinite continuum, a formless void (i.e., the original meaning of the Greek word chaos) that lacks any order and is thus beyond comprehension in terms of concepts or distinction. Reality in its totality, then, encompasses both the cosmos (order) and its complement (chaos). But, more fundamentally, it is prior to the even distinction between cosmos and chaos, form and formlessness, discrete and continuous. Its ultimate nature is therefore ineffable, beyond the scope of mathematics, physics, and even thought itself, which depends on making distinctions. Insofar as it can be known at all, it must be known through other means.


Posted in philosophy, science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment