“I am the combining Agent” this phrase from the Upanishads explain the principle of Consciousness which brings about the union between the enjoyer and the objects of enjoyment. This goes straight into the ontology of Being and Existence. The Cognizer is the Cognized, or, the Observer is the Observed; subject-object split is transcended in the ultimate Reality of Consciousness or the Brahman or Atman (the TAO) which pervades all things in space-time causality. Though material manifestation is a projection of the Brahman, it is the only real Supreme Intelligence, which though participates in the process of creation but, itself remains unchanged. German philosopher, Martin Heidegger emphasised on the analysis of first hand experience of ‘What We Are’ than on Husserl’s ‘What We Know’. He felt western philosophy from Greeks was primarily concerned with knowledge and ethics but they ignored the question of Being. Heidegger’s main focus was on the ontology of Being, he asked ‘What is Being, What is it to be?’
Buddhists have talked about 3 natures of thing (tri-svabhava), basically there are 3 natures of any one ‘thing’ or entity or being. They are
- Parikalpita-svabhava – Imaginary or False Nature of a thing. – Level 1 Perception
- Paratantra-svabhava – Thing in its nature of being dependent on other conditions for existence – Dependent Existence -Level 2 Perception
- Parinispanna-svabhava – The perfected or absolute nature of the same thing – Level 3 Perception
The fist 2 levels of perception are at the phenomenal level and the 3rd perception is at the noumenal level as the subject-object split is overcome by understanding that consciousness is choosing from itself, from its array of infinite possibilities. This is how Measurement Paradox is overcome in Quantum Physics. Brains, Bodies, Cells, Galaxies, Plants, Animals etc. are all possibilities within consciousness. Consciousness, which is the source is endowed by unlimited potentialities and is unitive in nature. Not separative consciousness of Level 1 and 2.
Kensho or the initial insight experiences in Zen usually belong to Level 1 and 2, whereas, Satori which is a much deeper experience is a glimpse of what is in store at the 3rd level of noumenal experience. Satori is a glimpse and not a state of enlightenment, it is a positive opening to stimulate the spiritual quest of the aspirant.
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