Reason and Experience

f. maiello egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Mon Apr 20 23:25:36 CDT 1998

Parisi & Watson wrote:

> I have been very impressed with the high quality and helpful nature of
> the responses that have been offered to my questions, but I confess to
> being a little confused on one point. Almost everyone has reminded me
> that an understanding of the ultimate nature of things cannot be had
> from reasoning or the intellect alone, and yet I have been given a long
> list of Advaita texts to read. Is there not a discrepancy here? Could I
> not spend, say, the next ten years learning Sanskrit and studying
> Shankara and the Upanishads, only to remain in the end as divided and
> confused as I am now?

Really, the only way is the middle way.  The prescribed pathis threefold:
sravana (hearing or studying); manana (reflecting
[on what was heard]); and nidhidhyasana (applying it pragmatically).
Now, these do not run successively; rather they intertwine, thereby
comprising--in tandem--"the path."

What the human mind manages to accumulate over time is obviously
a massive agglomeration of information and ideas, 99% of which
is found to be erroneous and self-limiting.  The only way to eliminate
these ideas (thereby purifying the mind) is to, at first, utilize the
of this selfsame mind, in terms of logically reaching an understanding
that the mind itself--as King Janaka said--is the thief [stealing one's
*natural bliss*].  We have no other recourse but to use logic to discover
that logic itself must be discarded in the end, if we wish to embrace
the life-pulse of the mystical, which is ever residing in our Heart, as
atman (the hologram of brahman).

The texts by Sankara that were recommended are excellent.  You
might also want to consider reading MAHA YOGA, being a simple
yet comprehensive introduction to advaita.  (Hopefully by now it is
back in print.)   It can be ordered from:

Arunachala Ashrama
66-12 Clyde Street
Forest Hills, NY 11374
718 575 3215
email: Ashrama at

Ask for their catalogue.

Also highly recommended:

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