Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 07:11 am

Dreams and the Philosopher

Plato's Dream

From the Philosopher

Oneira - Dream Wisdom: Dream Philosophy
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Electra phil
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 07:39 am
@Electra phil,

A deeper insight into this mystic symbol reveals that it is composed of three syllables combined into one, not like a physical mixture but more like a chemical combination. Indeed in Sanskrit the vowel 'o' is constitutionally a diphthong compound of a + u; hence OM is representatively written as AUM.

Fittingly, the symbol of AUM consists of three curves (curves 1, 2, and 3), one semicircle (curve 4), and a dot.
The large lower curve 1 symbolizes the waking state (jagrat), in this state the consciousness is turned outwards through the gates of the senses. The larger size signifies that this is the most common ('majority') state of the human consciousness.

The upper curve 2 denotes the state of deep sleep (sushupti) or the unconscious state. This is a state where the sleeper desires nothing nor beholds any dream.
The middle curve 3 (which lies between deep sleep and the waking state) signifies the dream state (swapna). In this state the consciousness of the individual is turned inwards, and the dreaming self beholds an enthralling view of the world behind the lids of the eyes.
These are the three states of an individual's consciousness, and since Indian mystic thought believes the entire manifested reality to spring from this consciousness, these three curves therefore represent the entire physical phenomenon.
The dot signifies the fourth state of consciousness, known in Sanskrit as turiya. In this state the consciousness looks neither outwards nor inwards, nor the two together. It signifies the coming to rest of all differentiated, relative existence This utterly quiet, peaceful and blissful state is the ultimate aim of all spiritual activity. This Absolute (non-relative) state illuminates the other three states.
Finally, the semi circle symbolizes maya and separates the dot from the other three curves. Thus it is the illusion of maya that prevents us from the realization of this highest state of bliss. The semi circle is open at the top, and does not touch the dot. This means that this highest state is not affected by maya. Maya only affects the manifested phenomenon. This effect is that of preventing the seeker from reaching his ultimate goal, the realization of the One, all-pervading, unmanifest, Absolute principle. In this manner, the form of OM represents both the unmanifest and the manifest, the noumenon and the phenomenon.

As a sacred sound also, the pronunciation of the three-syllabled AUM is open to a rich logical analysis.
The first alphabet A is regarded as the primal sound, independent of cultural contexts. It is produced at the back of the open mouth, and is therefore said to include, and to be included in, every other sound produced by the human vocal organs. Indeed A is the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet.

The open mouth of A moves toward the closure of M. Between is U, formed of the openness of A but shaped by the closing lips. Here it must be recalled that as interpreted in relation to the three curves, the three syllables making up AUM are susceptible to the same metaphorical decipherment. The dream state (symbolized by U), lies between the waking state (A) and the state of deep sleep (M). Indeed a dream is but the compound of the consciousness of waking life shaped by the unconsciousness of sleep.

AUM thus also encompasses within itself the complete alphabet, since its utterance proceeds from the back of the mouth (A), travelling in between (U), and finally reaching the lips (M). Now all alphabets can be classified under various heads depending upon the area of the mouth from which they are uttered. The two ends between which the complete alphabet oscillates are the back of the mouth to the lips; both embraced in the simple act of uttering of AUM.

The last part of the sound AUM (the M) known as ma or makar, when pronounced makes the lips close. This is like locking the door to the outside world and instead reaching deep inside our own selves, in search for the Ultimate truth.

But over and above the threefold nature of OM as a sacred sound is the invisible fourth dimension which cannot be distinguished by our sense organs restricted as they are to material observations. This fourth state is the unutterable, soundless silence that follows the uttering of OM. A quieting down of all the differentiated manifestations, i.e. a peaceful-blissful and non-dual state. Indeed this is the state symbolized by the dot in the traditional iconography of AUM.

The threefold symbolism of OM is comprehensible to the most 'ordinary' of us humans, realizable both on the intuitive and objective level. This is responsible for its widespread popularity and acceptance. That this symbolism extends over the entire spectrum of the manifested universe makes it a veritable fount of spirituality.

Om - An Inquiry into its Aesthetics, Mysticism, and Philosophy
Electra phil
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 07:45 am
@Electra phil,

Maya is the power that deludes. From where does this power come? It comes from Prakriti or Nature. Prakriti is the creation of God. First He creates Prakriti and then enters into it. And when He enters into it, He becomes enveloped with his own maya leading to his own delusion and bondage.

How the delusion is caused? It is caused through the senses. The Bhagavad gita explains the process, " By constantly thinking of the sense objects, a mortal being becomes attached to them. Attached thus he develops various desires, from which in turn ensues anger. From anger comes delusion, and from delusion arises confusion of memory. From confusion of memory arises loss of intelligence and when intelligence is lost the breath of life is also lost (2.60-63)."

Maya causes delusion in many ways. Under the influence of Maya an individual loses his intelligence and power of discretion. He forgets his true nature. He loses contact with the self with in and believes that he is the ego with a body and a name. In that delusion, he assumes that he is doer of his actions, where as in truth he is is just an instrument of God, who is the real doer. He develops attachment with worldly objects and wants to possess them. He strives for wrong objectives in the world, having lost his connection with the real self and having forgotten the true purpose of his existence.

He accepts as true what his senses confirm and ignores the truth that is hidden in every thing. Driven by passions and emotions, instincts and desires, he suffers from the distinctions of heat and cold, happiness and sorrow, success and failure, and union and separation. He becomes restless due to the unstable nature of his mind. Deluded thus, he pursues wrong aims, indulges in wrong actions and suffers from the consequences of his own actions and gets caught in the cycle of births and deaths.
One can overcome the power of maya, by developing detachment, by withdrawing the senses from sense objects, by surrendering to God and by performing desireless actions accepting God as the doer.

Nature of Reality

Does Hinduism consider the world in which we live as real or unreal? Hinduism considers the world in which we live as a projection of God and unreal. It is unreal not because it does not exist, but because it is unstable, impermanent, unreliable and illusory. It is unreal because it hides the Truth and shows us things that lead to our ignorance. It is unreal because it changes its colors every moment. What is now is not what is next.

In one moment so many things happen here. Many new souls enter. Many depart also. Friends become enemies and enemies friends. The sun and the earth change their positions continuously in space and time, while the wind moves, the rivers flow and the oceans shift their currents. The people who live on earth are also very fickle. Their minds are never stable. Their thoughts never cease. They seem to live today and disappear tomorrow. While all this is going on in the whole wide world, at the microscopic level, millions of atoms, cells and molecules in the bodies shift and change their positions or get destroyed.

The world in which we live gives us an apparent illusion of stability, where as in truth it is not. It is an illusion to believe that this world is the same always, or that the people we deal with are the same all the time. The world is therefore an illusion, not because it does not exist in the physical sense, but because it is unstable, ever changing, impermanent, unreliable and most important of all never the same. Ask yourself this question. Are the same person you were a minute ago?

The scriptures say that it would be unwise on our part to center our lives around such an unstable world, because if you spend your precious life for the sake of impermanent and unreliable things, you are bound to regret in the end for wasting your life in the pursuit of emptiness. The real world lies beyond our ordinary senses where our existence would be eternal and where things would not change the way they do in this plane.
The philosophy is very simple but difficult to follow. After all what is illusion? It is something like a mirage which misleads you into wrong thinking and wrong actions. This world precisely does that. It offers you happiness but leads you into the darkness of suffering. It tempts you with many things and when you run after them you find them to be unreal and incapable of quenching your thirst for stability and permanence.
Electra phil
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 08:39 am
@Electra phil,
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