the Advaita of perceiving and identifying

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“Please explain Reality in simple terms. Is reality is absolute?. Is the perceiver and perceiving different?” – prabhakara Rao Gogineni


A tree and a branch of the tree are distinct, but are they “different?” Are they exclusive?


Recognize that “the perceiver” is a label in language. All units of language can be perceived, right? Consider that the label “the perceiving” can include “any particular thing perceived” and “any particular thing perceiving.” So, I can say “I claim to be a limited little identity distinct from all else, like limited to the space of this body.” I can also say “I am my entire life, including the present, past and future.”


English: Through a distinct process of perceiv...

English: Through a distinct process of perceiving visual form – realization – change, Henck van Dijck invites the viewers to let his works lead their own imaginary lives. Nederlands: Via een denkbeeldig parcours, te weten: beeld-besef-verandering, appeleren de denkbeelden van Henck van Dijck bovenal aan het verbeeldende vermogen van de kijker het beeld een eigen imaginair leven te laten leiden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


So, what can be realized now is that, through the use of language, there a many processes of identifying that are possible. I can identify myself as included in some category in language or excluded from another category. I can say “I am just an isolated perceiver” or I can say “I include the perceiver and the process of perceiving and even all that I perceive. My life is all of that. I am all of that. I am all of my life, including even the future… which is beyond any perceiving that happened so far!”


I can also say nothing at all- if only for a moment. When there is no speaking of a process of identification, what am I then? Do I cease to exist? Am I just an invented identity in language? What happens to me when the body sleeps and there is no consciousness of perceiving?

When driving, I say that someone almost “hits me,” but in fact it was not my body that was almost hit, but the back bumper of the 20 foot long truck that I am driving. And it was not “someone” that almost hit the “me” of the bumper on this truck, but another wheeled vehicle. So am I limited to the edge of “my skin?” If someone takes a skin sample of a few dead skin cells and carries the skin cells in to the next room and burns them in to ashes, when do the skin cells stop being me and become “someone else” or “no one at all?” Without language, how can such boundaries be invented or constructed or identified in to being?


Could I be deeper than identifying, deeper than any activity of language, deeper even than perceiving? Before there was a learning of language for this organism, like before there was a neurological recognition of spoken sounds and the coded meanings of language, did I exist? Before the development of any human language in prehistoric times, did I exist? Before the arising of humanity, did I exist?


Painter of the burial chamber of Sennedjem

Painter of the burial chamber of Sennedjem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


These questions do not make any sense except within the context of language, yet is language something that I do, or is language something that simply arises in to reality, with a recognizing of the activity of language, then perhaps a linguistic identifying of a “me” that is only a momentary exclusive identity: the one that began about one hour ago when a process of perceiving started for a body. But language can also identify a “me” that is a continuous identity that includes “my yesterday,” too. Those are distinct in language, not in direct perceiving.


“I am the eternal perceiving which has no name and has no beginning.” That linguistic identifying is also something that “language can do.” Through language, an identity is invented through a lingusitic process of identifying as some “this” which is “not that,” an isolating in language or excluding through language.


The famous Greek word logos — “word, speech, a...

The famous Greek word logos — “word, speech, argument, ratio, etc.” Deutsch: Das berühmte griechische Wort logos — „Wort, Rede, Argument, Berechnung usw.“ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If language pauses identifying, there is no identifying of “me,” for identifying requires language. However, language can say “but language [The Logos, The Word] existed prior to identifying and identifying was with language and identifying was language.” Identifying is another way of labeling “I am.” So, there is the “uncorrupted” meaning of the first statement in the Christian New Testament (John 1:1).


A sequence of language can be translated- sometimes rather clumsily.  However, language is still present. Without the presence of language, there is no dividing of the heaven from the earth, the day from the night, the good form the evil, the light from the darkness.


Beware of getting caught up in the tree of the knowledge of contrasting categories (such as “good and evil‘). Both good and evil are just branches of the same tree: the tree of all life (all linguistic subcategorizing of life in to distinct, isolated branches of good or evil, me or not me, past or future, and so on).


There is tremendous foolishness and imprecision and presumption that can be experienced when language is “stuck” in the duality or divisiveness of contrasting labels. Language can agonize over “but am I a human or a mammal or an American, because I cannot be all three, of course, right?”



Tree (Photo credit: @Doug88888)


Well, actually it is possible for language to invent an infinite number of identifications, all of which are symbolic partners upon a tree with many branches, or within a mansion that has many rooms. These are the ancient teachings of the Hebrew tradition, some of which were apparently repeated by Jesus as he quoted prior prophets like Isaiah. “I did not come to reject the prior prophets, but to develop further what my Father (Creator, Source) began with them and continues with me.”


What is the Father? Is it language, or did language arise from it?


“I abide within my Father and my Father abides within me…. You are like a branch of the vine of I AM, with the branch of linguistic identifying abiding in you and you abiding in it….  Before Abraham was, I AM!”


The Biblical Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew Name f...

The Biblical Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew Name for God the Father. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Language [The Logos, The Word] existed prior to identifying and identifying was with language and identifying was language. Does perceiving exist independent of language? Is language perceived, and if language is perceived, then language cannot be the perceiver, right?


Language is secondary to the perceiving. However, without language and symbolic, poetic labels, there is really nothing much that anyone can say about the perceiving which is distinct from the activity of language. Indeed without a specific activity of language to identify, to label,  to invent a someone in to being, there is no one.


English: The Earth's atmosphere refracts the s...

English: The Earth’s atmosphere refracts the sunlight, causing the sun’s disk to appear squashed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The linguistic, poetic, symbolic creation of an isolated someone are like branches which are secondary to both the trunk of language and the root of that trunk, which language can identify as “perceiving” or “absolute, unlabeled reality” or “God” or whatever. In a moment, when the activity of language eventually ceases, does perceiving also stop? Does the root of the tree continue to live even when it is winter time and there a no leaves on the tree? Does perceiving continue to operate whether or not the activity of language is happening?


English: Eliezer Ben-Yehuda עברית: אליעזר בן-יהודה

English: Eliezer Ben-Yehuda עברית: אליעזר בן-יהודה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



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