What is Vedanta III


This basic method of object-analysis can be applied to all seemingly independent phenomena both gross and subtle, for as is obvious with regard to dreams and even emotions – which are invariably evoked by images, vivid or vague – even subtle phenomena have a sensorial aspect.   The thoughtful application of this inquiry leads inevitably through a series of four illusion-shattering realizations.

First, no sensory experience verifies the existence of an independent perceiver.  In other words, through your sensory experience of a supposedly independent object, you do not experience some other perceiver who exists independently from you (i.e. you don’t see another seer, smell another smeller, etc.).  The upshot of this realization is that you are the only witnessing entity whose existence can be undoubtedly determined.

Second, no sensory experience verifies the existence of an independent object.  Honest analysis of your own direct experience reveals that the perceptions of any one sense organ do not add up to the whole of the object you think has its own independent existence (i.e. the visual sensations of color and shape you experience when looking at the driver’s side of a car do not account for the existence of the front and back ends nor the passenger’s side of the car; you only assume that those aspects exist because of the way you have been conditioned to accept the three-dimensional nature of the world).  This observation leads to the realization that what you are actually experiencing is not an independent physical object, but only one or more particular sensorial qualities (i.e. the sense of sight perceives the qualities of color and shape; the sense of touch experiences degrees of heat and coolness, hardness and softness, wetness and dryness, roughness and smoothness, heaviness and lightness; and so on for the other senses).  The upshot of this realization is that the sensory qualities that we experience cannot be verified as coming from any separate object that exists outside of ourselves.  Ted Shmith

(Note. Those interested in this subject and wishing to read the conclusion of this essay, can go to ‘Advaita Vision’ – under Ted.)

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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