Dear H: I realise that much of our disagreement has to do with the use of language – the meaning each one of us attaches to certain terms – and also to perspective. I base myself almost exclusively on Advaita Vedanta’s terminology and teaching.
You: ‘… it seems less confusing to others if we confine ourselves to the three primary distinctions of awareness, consciousness, and materiality. Conceptually, these are three categories; ontologically, then in actualised ND, they are not.’
A1. Excerpt from Quora: (Paul Bush) ‘Yes, I like the AV perspective. The distinction between awareness and consciousness is from Nisargadatta [who comes from a different school, not from AV] and is useful here I think… it distinguishes the phenomenal objects and events, the contents of consciousness, from the underlying reality which is awareness.’
Comment: Alright, accepted – this agrees with your position – but then, what is the difference between consciousness and mind? I realise you are hesitant to use mind as a category on its own. In Advaita Vedanta mind is subsumed under consciousness or awareness and is considered severally as either being a single entity or having four aspects or components: discursive mind, memory, ego, and Intellect. But this is an intermediate teaching, to be superseded later on.
You: ‘To repeat him [Max Plank]: “matter originates and exists”…. How do you see that differs from my saying that apprehending exists, the world exists, yet both are identical?’
A2. The first sentence or proposition in that paragraph brings a point of contention between us: matter (or the world). What is it? For me there would have been no problem if you had used apostrophes around the word ‘matter’, making it akin to ‘phenomenon’. I feel much more comfortable with this latter usage, as per Advaita, and equally so with ‘individual’, ‘person’, etc. We could go now into the notion of ‘physicality’, what it is, or means, but I will just append here a short excerpt:
(From a source): “There is a postulate: ‘non-duality implies the universality of consciousness. Concomitantly, it implies that consciousness is the ‘stuff’ everything is made of’, then adding: ‘this is the fundamental equation of Eastern philosophy: Atman=Brahman, Consciousness=Reality’…… [T]he notion of reality has been the subject of a complete inversion. It is not the forms which are real, but rather the void in between the forms. In the scale of Franklin Merrell-Wolff, the formless void has an infinite reality while the forms inside are really the contours of the reality.”
We can see that empirical science cannot fully explain what that mystery, ‘matter’, is, and, given the enormous amount, comparatively, of space that lies between the orbiting atomic and subatomic particles, starting with the positron and neutron, it may never will.
As to the second sentence (‘How do you see that differs from my saying that apprehending exists, the world exists, yet both are identical?’), I find it acceptable provided that, again, you place ‘the world’ between apostrophes, meaning that one does not consider it in principle as something solid and existing separately from consciousness or awareness; that is, objectively real.
It is exactly the same problem, as I see it, with what follows: “There being a world of physically discrete objects [Plank: matter exists] does not preclude the unicity of ND which itself is not subject to the mind’s overlay of a subject/object dichotomy as regards to apprehending the world.” That sentence is heavy with solidity and separateness; this is what one primarily gets on reading it.
How can you say: ‘Not Two-ism’, which itself does not reject multiplicity’? You must have said that inadvertently! – For it is a contradiction in terms.