Qualifying to Understand Vedanta

Vedanta means “End of the Veda” or the end of knowledge. It relates to the Unity through Brahman stages of development. As this places it several stages ahead of the average person, it is not comprehended as intended by most people. And yet, there are many teachers and even conferences devoted to Advaita or Non-duality. I spoke at such a conference last fall. Advaita is the approach to Vedanta emphasized by Shankara. I’ve written elsewhere about some of the issues with more common ideas about what nonduality is. Certainly, some of the stories from the Upanishads are quite beautiful and … Continue Reading…

Our Natural Potential talk @ SAND15

In October, I gave a Stages in Consciousness talk at the Science and Nonduality conference. Here is the talk synopsis. I was introduced by Rick Archer of Buddha at the Gas Pump fame. His talk had preceded mine and, on agreement, ran partly into the break between our talks. This meant people where still transitioning in and out as my talk began. My opening reference to Rick’s style is because he read his large talk to cover the content while mine was unrehearsed. I had a lot to cover so also rolled quickly. There where 8 concurrent tracks at the … Continue Reading…

The Divinity of Brahman

How does one describe a quality of divinity that is beyond consciousness, beyond existence, beyond even the subtlest division? We can use the word Divinity itself. True Divinity. Totality. A profoundly “exquisite delicacy” that is prior to differentiation or distinction as Lorne Hoff put it. It is uncaused and can only be known by collapsing the dynamics of consciousness and merging with it. Brahman is the knower of Brahman. As the sage Shankara framed it: “Brahman is real the world is not real [the half truth] Brahman is the world” Put another way: “The whole world is nothing but Brahman, … Continue Reading…

Brahman is Conscious

As the saying goes, Brahman is the knower of Brahman. And as I’ve noted, consciousness arises in Brahman. But Brahman is also beyond consciousness. The key here is the distinction between conscious and consciousness. Conscious in this context is that quality of lively alertness. It knows itself. However, when that lively alertness flows and becomes aware of its nature as consciousness, it creates the dynamic of self-aware consciousness – knower, process of knowing and known (aka subject, process, and object). Self-aware consciousness (Atman) looks in on itself, creating what might be called a virtual space into which it creates. But … Continue Reading…

More on Means

Recently, I wrote an article highlighting a snippet of the Rig Veda where it observes that the enlightened act by means of that which remains to be united. That part that is not “enlightened”. A similar passage comes up in the Isha Upanishad. Into blinding darkness enter those who worship ignorance. Into as if still greater darkness enter those who delight in knowledge. “It [Atman} is other than knowledge,” they say. “It is other than ignorance,” they say. Thus we have heard from the wise who have explained it to us. Knowledge and ignorance – he who knows both together, … Continue Reading…

The Three Stages of Brahman

There are a lot of three’s in this process of awakening. There is the observer, the process of observation and the observed. There is the purification, the refinement and the embodiment. There is the 3 stages of consciousness awakening to Itself. (Cosmic, Unity and Brahman, although Cosmic, Refined Cosmic, and Unity align better with the above patterns) There is the rise of kundalini, the descent in higher stages, and the final rise of embodiment. The Brahman (third) stage itself has three aspects: The initial Brahman shift, often in 2 main steps. The refined version of Brahman, as with other stages. … Continue Reading…

The Illusion of Consciousness

In the process of shifting from being a me, identified with a body-mind, and becoming Atman, the cosmic Self, there is a series of stages. I typically describe this in terms of stages of development in consciousness. Shifts in how consciousness is self-aware locally. Adi Shankara described this process in a slightly different way that I’ve mentioned here several times. That is in terms of the dominant guna of our body-mind. This is more about the Shakti or feminine side of the process, unlike the more masculine consciousness-based approach. More of an emphasis on embodiment. As described before, when Tamas … Continue Reading…

Stages of Development in Consciousness

aka higher states of consciousness or stages thereof One of the most popular articles on this blog over the years has been on states of consciousness. First as an outline of the 7 states of consciousness model, then a newer version, consolidating the many updates to the prior article. This article reframes that model a little further to better reflect how people are experiencing the process. I’ve begun making references to this model, so I thought it time for a new Key Post. I’m also working on a book that goes into this in much more detail. Psychology has begun … Continue Reading…