Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Eyes are not Windows

Advaita Vedanta points to what you are - in doing this many concepts and beliefs must be seen as false.

We have a solid belief that there is a ME in this brain, "looking out" the eyes, seeing an "outside" world.

As if the eyes were windows, transparent, like looking out the windows of a house at the city. This same assumption is seen with hearing, smell, taste, touch...

We believe that there is a ME housed or contained in this body, this organism, seeing out the eyes. But the eyes are not windows, they are like "lenses".

The eye receives the input as light - the eye sends this input through nerves, NOT as a "picture" of the "outside world", but as pure data, into the brain. The same thing happens with the nose, the ears, the nerves in the skin for touch, taste buds...

The brain receives this input and TRANSLATES IT. But where does this happen? Where does the picture we're seeing happen? Can it be "outside" of the brain?

A dream is a realistic appearance, complete with a ME that thinks, desires and fears, moves around in an apparently solid world. But the dream happens in what we call "Consciousness." When we awake, it seemed real but we know it was only a dream. Nothing happened to "this body".

But isn't it this same "Consciousness" IN WHICH this appearance happens NOW? This "waking state"? Where else can this picture happen? The wall "over there" is IN HERE! In Consciousness. The picture only happens in Consciousness. Imagine a little projector and screen inside the head - THAT is where the picture happens, not "out there"!

And the YOU you've taken yourself to be, the YOU that has been invested with so much, the life story that has been believed in, the "things" that have been desired, the "path" to Enlightenment or to end suffering, the goals and the meaning and the purpose and the hope and dreams and the happiness and sadness and sense of beingness, the idea of a brain and this translating process, and the very feeling that I AM A PERSON - happens only in Consciousness.

All there is, is Consciousness. The eyes are not windows. Even the idea of "eyes" appears in Consciousness.

Can you get outside of Consciousness?


Steve said...

As you say all perception happens in the brain and the IDEA of a brain appears in consciousness.
However without a brain there can be no consciousness - so the REALITY of a brain is also evident.
These experiences of awareness without thought are wonderful but surely no more than a (trained?) pattern of brain behavior?

Randall Friend said...

"Without a brain there can be no consciousness"

This is another belief, an assumption. Where did the idea of Consciousness itself come from?

What is a "brain"? Is the brain separate from present appearance? Where does the idea of a "brain" or "Consciousness" happen?

"Experiences of awareness" is not what's really going on, is it? If we look closely, experiences happen IN awareness - the experiences happen, even the passing of the waking, sleep and deep sleep states, but awareness knows all of these.

This knowing awareness or cognizing "space" or emptiness is THAT IN WHICH the entire appearance happens, cannot BE without awareness.


Anonymous said...

Going by present evidence, there's no such thing as a brain. Where I am alive there is no grey matter obscuring the view.

J. said...

How do you know there is no such thing as a brain. What are you using to figure that out with. Does this dream know anything? The very dream is a dream. You don"t know anything and even that is not true. :)

Steve said...

It is truly frightening, however I would rather accept that all the evidence indicates that they can be no awareness (and therefore nothing) without the supporting mechanism of a brain/nervous system than attempt to persuade myself that there is anything self-cognizant.

I have no idea why there is existence at all but it evidently comes as a package including a physical element - which owing to the temporary nature of anything physical is, sadly, all to brief.

J. said...

This may sound like a bold statement, but anything....I mean ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that comes up in your mind or experience is false. Including this statement.

Anonymous said...

'Physical objects' implies something out there that's solid.
Alltough 'temporary' implies that it's not lasting, that it's not real or independent.
Everything including mountains and cars and birds and... are like ephemeral passing clouds wich have no seperate existence from the awareness in wich they appear. There is something very familiar when you watch a physical object it's the One 'thing' recognised in all 'things', wich gives them a sameness, that sameness never leaves you, because it is you.

Steve said...

Thanks for the responses and I do appreciate the time given by all of you in answering the questions, however I would not like to be run over by a 'temporary car' and all the evidence would suggest the car would continue to exist even if I did not.

Intellectually other arguments look silly and if they are true (based on a reality that turns everything around) then , truly, well done you guys!

Anonymous said...

Somehow this vortex in a stream gained the power to reflect upon itself as a separate thing. It'll dissolve whilest complaining or not. Doesn't matter. The River keeps on flowing. As that, It never stops.

AsunAparicio said...

It´s nost clearly expressed. Firstly talks on the brain and explains that the picture is taking place in the brain but then starts to talk on consciousness without continuity and says that it is happening in consciusness. It´s confusing.

Could it be said that brain also appears in consciousness and that it is brain and senses what "elaborate" the picture?
Whithout brain there is consciousnes but not "picture", is it so?