Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Some Paths May Be More Complete

We are ignorant of our true essence until our ignorance is removed. Because we are wired for survival, our ignorance does not easily come into question. It takes someone who's ignorance has been removed to show others the path. Advaita Vedanta is one of the more advanced paths and has a long teaching tradition.
Many people have had mystical experiences and not understood the implications. The significance, meaning, and import of these experiences needs to be deduced. Without a complete teaching, such as  Advaita Vedanta, it is very hard to reach the full flowering of what the experience points to.
People with a little spiritual knowledge think because they had an experience they are awake. Most likely not. The experience is a pointer, like the proverbial finger pointing at the moon. Typically a mystical experience or two will rouse curiosity. This is the beginning of the path. Not the end.
Experiences come and go. Awareness does not. Until it is pointed out by an astute teacher, the mystical experience becomes the be all and end all. This is a mistake and will likely subvert further progress on the path. Advaita Vedanta doesn't have this problem. It is a complete teaching. Someone who gets the complete teaching and understands, is free. Even then, further application or embodiment of the understanding needs to be taken on.
Neo Advaita teachers may know they are awareness, but an incomplete teaching leaves many seekers frustrated and without any direction. To say "You are awareness and there is nothing to do about it, just accept it," is more like a belief system. In contrast, Advaita Vedanta is a scientific explanation of consciousness that satisfies the intellect while it also opens the heart.


When it comes to enlightenment, there are many paths. Depending on the person, one path may be better than another. If someone is really ripe, a zen Koan, or a profound experience may cause them to become aware of their true nature as Awareness. If there is only one reality, any path that points to it is useful. This post started as a comment I made regarding Advaita Vedanta being helpful for understanding mystical experiences. My only point is that Advaita Vedanta was helpful to me. There are many paths and some are more helpful than others. Some are more complete than others. For me Advaita Vedanta as traditionally taught was very clarifying, removed doubts, and satisfied my intellect. 

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