Author Topic: Michael James about The Science Of Consciousness knowledge based on teachings of  (Read 1063 times)

ramana_maharshi

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In this waking state we assume that this world existed while we were asleep, but we have no means by which we can independently verify the validity of this assumption. To verify it, we must depend upon the testimony of other people who claim to have been awake while we were asleep, but those other people are part of the world whose existence we wish to verify, so they cannot be independent witnesses.

Some philosophers believe that though much of our knowledge concerning this world is relative, our knowledge of the laws of mathematics is absolute. They believe that since two plus two equals four under all circumstances and in all conditions, it must be an absolute truth. However, their assumption that it is true under all circumstances and in all conditions is incorrect, because it depends upon the obvious condition of the existence of two. In sleep we do not experience the existence of two, so none of the laws of mathematics are valid in that state. Mathematics is a science of duality and multiplicity, and as such it is inherently relative. It is relative primarily to our mind and its power of imagination, because only when our mind imagines the existence of more than one do the laws of mathematics come into existence.

Therefore, if we are to attain true knowledge, we cannot do so through the medium of our mind. We must turn our power of attention, which we have till now been constantly directing outwards through the media of our mind and its five senses, away from our mind and all its thoughts, back on itself, towards our real consciousness ‘I am’.

Thus in reality our mind is nothing other than our non-dual real consciousness ‘I am’, just as the snake that is superimposed by our imagination upon a rope is in reality nothing other than that rope. Its seemingly separate and limited existence as ‘mind’ is merely an illusion caused by our lack of clear self-knowledge, just as the snake is merely an illusion caused by the lack of clear daylight. When we once shine a clear light upon the rope and thereby distinctly see it for what it is, we will never thereafter mistake it to be a snake.Similarly, when we once shine the clear light of our keenly focused attention upon our consciousness ‘I am’ and thereby know it distinctly as it is, we will never thereafter mistake it to be what it is not – any of the alien adjuncts by which we formerly defined it.

Since our mind is not only a transitory phenomenon but also a mere figment of our imagination, whatever we may know through it is also both a transitory phenomenon and a figment of our imagination. Therefore any knowledge that we may acquire by making research on anything known by our mind is imaginary, and is no more real than any knowledge that we could acquire by making research on anything that we experience in a dream. Hence, though the knowledge that we acquire by making objective research in our present waking state may appear to be quite valid and true so long as we experience this waking state, it is in fact nothing but a figment of our imagination, and it therefore cannot help us to know and experience the absolute reality that underlies and transcends all imagination.

In order to experience that absolute reality, we must penetrate beneath our mind and all its imaginary creations by seeking to know the true consciousness that underlies it. Since we are the consciousness in which our mind and all its imaginations appear and disappear, we are that which underlies and therefore transcends it. Hence to penetrate beneath our mind we must know ourself – our real self or essential consciousness, which we always experience as ‘I am’ – and we can do so only by focusing our attention wholly and exclusively upon ourself, thereby withdrawing it from all the products of our imagination.

Only when we thus know our essential consciousness ‘I am’,which is the absolute reality underlying the transient appearance of our mind, will we be able to judge correctly the reality of all the other things that we know. Until then, we should not waste our time making research upon any other thing, but should concentrate all our efforts in making research upon our essential consciousness by persistently trying to centre our entire attention upon it.


The real reason why most people, including many philosophers and scientists, and even people with exceptionally brilliant minds,tend to shy away from this science of consciousness or true selfknowledge,and also in most cases from the entire simple and rational philosophy that underlies it, is that they are too strongly attached to their own individuality, and to all the things that they enjoy experiencing through the medium of their minds. Unlike other philosophies and sciences, which allow us to retain our individual self and all our personal interests, desires, attachments, likes and dislikes, this philosophy and science require us to relinquish everything, including our own mind or individual self.

Source: Happiness and The Art of Being Book
which is a layman’s introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana By Michael James