I think the ideas of Plato, Adi Shankar and quantum mechanics’ infinite amount of dimensions work well together. Brahman = Plato’s ideal world and Reality, the manifested Atmans are examples of the infinite amount of universes. All reality, including time, concepts, matter and the experience of the self, are illusions, only God exists.
This idea is fine with me, to a certain degree. But Brahma/God IS an objective reality to some people, Brahma really does exist, if you believe in this form of Buddhism. As I see it, it doesn’t matter how aware you are of the fact that you’re delusional if you fail to see that you actually believe in a reality, no matter how transcendent, as I assume all buddhists do, despite calling themselves enlightened. Not talking about religious buddhists either, just philosphy.
Cuz really, what reason do we have to assume that the material reality is the illusion? We know we are delusional about the true nature of existence, but why assume that the true nature of existence is immaterial instead of material if we don’t have a clue to begin with?
Brahma is defined as the indescribable. For me, God is equated with “the unknowable”, not merely things that can’t be described by words, but pieces of existence that I don’t even know I don’t know about. It’s the blackness where my experienced universe is the light and I can’t even see the blackness, I can only see light.
So, for all practical purposes, the universe in my head is the universe i use to navigate through existence. But the true nature of reality is beyond me. However, at this point we can do what Descartes did, ask ourselves, what can we really be certain of.
“I am”, was his conclusion. But, “I am” is a circular definition. “am”, the idea of being, presupposes a subject or object, in this case I, that “is”. If we assume something exists, like we assume that a material or immaterial reality exists, we see that no matter how we manipulate our thoughts and language, we never free ourselves of our subjectively experienced universes. Like in my own case, in my world there are cucumbers, the colour green, bit of cords, supernovas, protons, and I necessarily form all my subsequent understandings based on this world-view. There is nothing I can be certain of, and at the same time I inevitably rely on my understanding of the universe, which is also true for my conclusion that there is nothing I can be certain of.
(Btw, if we can’t know anything for certain, then knowledge = belief). I believe that I am made from DNA. That is, 1 molecule, half of which comes from my dad and half from my mom, with some environmentally created chemical/radiation mutations and further upbringing factors added, which copied itself according to its own inbuilt map, and was and is me. The cell is like a bacteria, and before multicellular organisms arose less than 1 billion years ago, bacteria was the most complex form of life for more than twice as long, and they still exist. (Virus is like bacteria but without the cell structure, it’s like free radicals of DNA on the loose.) Is this material view right or wrong? Well, for all practical purposes it’s much better than saying “I don’t exist” (“I am not”).
The idea of a mind is part of my mind. An immaterial, unique mind that arose from a singular dual complex material molecule in a universe that is homogenous or heterogenous as strings or random fluctuations, which are the cause of the universe going from non-existing to existing and all these words are just different definitions on different levels of perspective for the very same universe. Is it coincidence that the earth and the atom are both spherical and unison, which might lead people to see the universe as infinite repetition where atoms in my foot are galaxies or universes in which other tiny sentient beings like ourselves exist, while everything on a visual level got edges, finite objects that are easier to grasp, both physically and mentally? It might be, how on earth should I know whether its by accident or not; whether it’s a reflection of how my mind works or not? A pattern is not necessarily devised. (Creationism is bullshit btw, but i think we’re beyond that already.)
However, I always return to consciousness, it seems to be a focal point, accidental or not doesn’t help me understand. A focal point is in itself more interesting than telling. The idea of oneness is an axiom of math. It’s an assumption that cannot be proven or disproven. And we base all our scientific understanding on this intuitive assumption, even when the resulting theory is counter-intuitive, like black holes and extra dimensions. (My intuition tells me black holes are no different from other material phenomena. People seem to think they’re supernatural, like the speed of light. It makes a tiny bit of sense to say something is immaterial in the sense that it’s below sub-atomic level if light is the building blocks of particles. But then most likely light can be divided into sub-particles itself. Either way, silicon melts into glass, carbon becomes diamonds under pressure, iron is fused in stars, what kind of processes and products can we expect to exist at the core of a black hole?)
Oneness links the multitude of Atmans to the one Brahman. The concept of transcendence enables 1=2. When we have a subject-object relationship, we can say that 1) only the subject exists, 2) only the object exists, 3) only the relation exists, 4) only an underlying thing exists, 5) any combination of the 4. Come to think of it, it all seems more like mind-play than enlightenment. It’s not really an explanation to say that reality doesn’t exist, it’s just caused by God, which is the thing that actually exists; or to say that it’s neither the object in the mind or the mind itself that exists, it’s the process of the mind that actually exists. You must remember that all these ideas are constructed by humans. They may be very intelligent, but they’re not omniscient. So-called enlightened people are still mere congregations of carbohydrates.
“Some medieval Christian mystics argued that it is incorrect to say that God exists, because existence amounts to taking a particular form within a space of time. God has no particular form and is outside of time. Therefore, God does not exist. However, God is. That’s an argument that many of us atheistic Buddhists can appreciate.”
If God doesn’t exist in a sense of the word exist that humans can talk about, then we can’t talk about God. God is the unknowable and indescribable and for all pruposes in reality does not exist and has no attributes. What’s the point of a God without attributes? Without attributes we don’t know if it’s a He, if it is omniscient, if it has a will, if it lives anywhere, if it created anything. We’ve reduced the concept of god to nothingness, to blackness, to the absence of everything, to the unknowable. God is dead, as it were. We’re left with the material world as the sole guide to understanding existence and we are very uncertain about the material world so we must be very uncertain of what existence is, for it is, isn’t it? Or what’s really going on? Why do I think? This question repeats itself forever, my thoughts are all circular definitions repeating themselves in new versions, avatars, of themselves every time I write a new sentence or my neurons reform from new experiences. Inventing brains in a vat is no different from inventing a God or an ideal world or any form of duality. It’s just adding a magical unknowable to the knowable and the error lies in the description of the magical unknowable because by definition we can’t know it. Therefore any attempt to describe a God beyond our knowledge is stupid. It might be true, but it is pointless to say so since we can’t know the anything about such a God.
This applies to free will as well. We have cause and effect. This means that all the input into your brain results in an output determined by the laws that govern electricity and chemical and biological reactions in your brain. Even quantum randomness is part of the predetermined reactions, unless that is how God’s free will affects the material world, but given the history of science it’s more likely we don’t fully understand what’s going on down on that level yet so maybe wait a bit before supposing magical and supernatural forces. Either way, on a neurological level there is no such randomness, all mental activities are possible to describe with simple molecular processes. Compare it to real numbers, like 1, 2 and 3. 1+2=3. There’s no room for a random factor in that equation. Similarly there is no room in the brain for a free will. If there was a free will it would be able to alter the effects that would occur on their own, and since all our decisions can be reduced to and explained by naturally occurring phenomena, like biology and environment to put it simplistically, there is no place for a magically affecting thingy.
The universe explains itself to itself like a dream within a dream and it thinks it is God but it’s clueless beyond it’s self.