This and That

This and That

The Upanishad use words like “this” and “that” to describe aspects of reality. For example:

Puurmam adah puurnam idam puurnaat puurnam udachyate
puurnasya puurnam aadaaya puurnam evaavashishyate

That is full, this is full. From fullness, fullness comes out.
Taking fullness from fullness, what remains is fullness.

– Shaantipaatha, Ishaa Upanishad

Often, “That” is taken to mean Brahman as it is indescribable with relative words. However, there are layers of understanding we can draw from this verse.

marina tulipAt first, “That” is infinite consciousness. “This” is the relative world. Both are full but they are a duality. This is the reality of well-established Self Realization.

Later, with the Unity shift, all This is recognized to be That. There is only That. All becomes one wholeness.

Or That is universal consciousness where This is the point value, the place we’re experiencing from. They’re not separate, just as a wave isn’t separate from the ocean.

And still later, That is Brahman. This may be seen as consciousness, arising out of That. The former This of the world is now seen as an uncreated appearance.

Too often the mind wants the “one right answer” when reality is many-faceted. It is so large and inclusive that the truth is everything at once; all perspectives of all beings in all time.

The fullness of reality isn’t known by one individual but by all of us together.

Last Updated on May 27, 2021 by Davidya

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  1. Sandesh Sheth

    How does the wave realize that it is the ocean? The only thing it can realize is that I am made of water and so are other waves. Or in other words how can a finite realize the infinite? Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom – it means so much to me as a seeker.

    1. By transcending its surface activity and recognizing its nature as the ocean. This is part of why we meditate – to settle out of constant activity and discover our universal nature, under the waves.

      You have to be careful not to take the analogies too literately though. A wave just is – it doesn’t meditate. 🙂

      1. Jeff

        Ultimately, it is all silence moving within itself. But any activity, a wave of the hand, a breath of air, or even blood running through my veins when I exercise thrills the silence as it moves within itself.

          1. Jeff

            To me, it an interaction with the divine. To me, we have a symbiotic relationship. It is the interaction of the two that maintains creation. Last night while listening to Rudra Abhishek the darshan of Shiva rolled through my awareness.. I can walk away without listening and the interaction continues.

            1. Yes, you highlight a distinction. There is an experience that arises and fades. And there is an opening that brings an experience that becomes available at any time thereafter.

              The first is a peek, the second opens the door permanently.

              The latter is much easier when established in unchanging being. When the platform is still pulled around by the mind, it’s much harder for doors to remain open.

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