Location: Dublin, Ireland
Hi Francis, I wonder can you help me understand consciousness. I have listened to J Krishnamurti on dvd many times talking about consciousness. My understanding of what he is saying is that consciousness is not mine or yours or anybodys, but it is universal. I also understand that he states that this consciousness is chaotic as we look at what the way the world is today. When I listen to what you say, it appears that consciousness is the truth and the absolute and when it is operating in or through me this is the oneness and this is what non duality is. Could you help me to understand this question of consciousness please. Many thanks, Martin
Consciousness is that, whatever that is, that is perceiving these words right now. Since it is you, Martin, who is perceiving, it follows that consciousness is you, your real self, operating through a body-mind called Martin. In other words, there are two Martins: the perceiving Martin, the true Martin, Martin1, consciousness, on the one hand, and, on the other end, the perceived, limited body-mind also called Martin, which we will call Martin 2 for the sake of clarity. Our education, our parents, the culture in which we live don’t make any distinction between the two Martins. Since Martin 2 is obviously limited and separate, and because of the absence of distinction between the two Martins, we believe Martin 1 to be also limited and separate. This belief and absence of distinction is called ignorance in the advaita teachings and is the source of all psychological suffering.
The way out is through the distinction or discrimination between the two Martins, which puts an end to ignorance. This process usually requires the guidance of a teacher established in peace and happiness.This discrimination has to be applied to all realms of our experience: thoughts, bodily sensations and external sense perceptions until we are established in peace and happiness. Neo Advaita teachings tend to limit the application of discrimination to the sole realm of concepts, stopping the process before reaching full liberation. This may be due to the fact that many of the neo advaita teachers have derived their partial understanding without the proper supervision of a competent guru, and genuinely believe that they have reached the goal, whereas they only had a glimpse of it from afar. They too play an important role for some Truth seekers, taking them to their level of understanding.
However, a sincere truth seeker should never forget that the final goal is unalloyed peace and happiness and never call off the search before having reached it.
P.S. In order to clarify the distinction between neo Advaita and Advaita, it could be interesting for our friends and readers to read the chapter “Guru and upaguru”of the book “Initiation and spiritual Realization” by René Guénon on the subject of the various types of teachers.
This text is available on Google books by performing the following Google search:
rene guenon Initiation and spiritual realization “guru and upaguru”Index