Objects only come in and out of existence from the point of view of a subject, whilst I, Awareness, who am neither a subject nor an object and yet the reality of both, am eternally present.

The Semantics Of The Self

When we use words like "illusion, imaginings and unreal" to express the material world, mind and body as juxtaposed to the One of nondual realization, are these words not clumsy and lazy semantics?

Rupert,
 
When we use words like “illusion, imaginings and unreal” to express the material world, mind and body as juxtaposed to the One of nondual realization, are these words not clumsy and lazy semantics that do not accurately differentiate what is experienced as ongoing in the shift from relative to absolute perception of the Knowing Presence?
 
They are certainly stumbling blocks (an interesting metaphor) to the seeker (refreshing to read your clarity on the issue of seeking) of nondual clarity, when someone who is limping from a knee or noggin bruised by the sharp corner of an “illusory” coffee table reads them.
 
Knowing Presence as who we are escapes this suffering - that is understood, but as you have written, not the pain.
 
Your ability to avoid the trappings of the mix of absolute language in an argument against relative reality rings with clarity and is really enjoyed.
 
My preference is to refer to a Primary Identity that we awaken to with nondual realization and a Secondary Identity as the “old” identity that we previously held as “us”. For me, this fits with Ramana Maharshi’s “I’ and “I-I” and avoids the use of words that may not precisely capture the nuance of “maya”. Interested in your take.
 
Semantically sincere,
 
Jeff

 

Dear Jeff,

Jeff: When we use words like “illusion, imaginings and unreal” to express the material world, mind and body as juxtaposed to the One of nondual realization, are these words not clumsy and lazy semantics?

Rupert: No, if understood in the context in which they used, they are neither clumsy nor lazy. No word can accurately describe the reality of our experience and yet this fact does not invalidate their use in an attempt to point towards it.

Jeff: They are certainly stumbling blocks…to the seeker….of nondual clarity, when someone who is limping from a knee or noggin bruised by the sharp corner of an “illusory”  coffee table reads them.

Rupert: That is true only if the words are misunderstood. When it is said that the coffee table or indeed the world is illusory, it is meant that its existence, independent of or separate from Consciousness, is illusory. There is no contradiction between this statement and the appearance of a coffee table or a pain in the leg, if properly understood.

Jeff: My preference is to refer to a Primary Identity that we awaken to with nondual realization and a Secondary Identity as the “old” identity that we previously held as “us”.

Rupert: Everyone has their preferences and as long as we define our terms there is no problem with the use of different words or phrases. However all words, even the most carefully chosen and defined will have their limitations. For instance, the example you give of a Primary Identity and a Secondary Identity could, if taken out of context, be misunderstood as suggesting that there are two different identities. If taken in context there is no reason why this misunderstanding should occur.

However, there is a deeper implication to your objection. This understanding has nothing to do with words or semantics. If the words that are spoken come from love and understanding they will deliver that love and understanding irrespective of how ‘advaitically correct’ they are. And likewise if they do not come from this love and understanding, no matter how perfect they are, they will only speak to the mind and keep us forever turning around and around there.


With kind regards,

Rupert