FROM A SITE VISITOR: Hi Floyd, Firstly i must thank you for this wonderful blog on Advaita and also your thoughfulness to provide a platform for asking questions. Although I am a Hindu by birth, only recently i was introduced to Advaita(about 6 months ago).
My concept of Brahman(God) has so far been like, It is the Ultimate spaceless-timeless Void which has Consciousness. The Void itself being aware nothing exists. There is no spirit, but only Consciousness without any substratum. Now, Consciousness is what provides for the experience. Not the experience itself. SO Consciousness should make you aware that you exist. Same goes for Brhaman. COnsciousness makes It aware it exists.
Now, in every religion there is no parallel existence to God. God does not change also. Even if there is Consciousness, how could God become aware of It's existence, unless there is some percievable change within it? Hypothetically, if i became deaf,blind,numb to touch, insensitive to smell all at the same time and there is no bodily feeling inside me, and my memories got erased too that wud mean i'm in a coma right?
How could i be aware of my own existence, without even knowing any external or internal changes happening? I understand that this would be the case even if i believed God to be a Spirit. I mean, there is not much difference. the Void should know nothing exists. the spirit should know nothing else exists. But how does this knowledge comes in the first place? Hope this doesn't sound like a babble. P.S: English is no my mother-tongue. so excuse me for my grammatical errors. Vignesh
F.: Hello Vignesh: Please pardon the delay but an out-of-town Advaita seminar will be conducted Tuesday-Thursday. Responses to this e-mail and both follow-ups will begin on Friday.
To all visitors: While out-of-town, a summary of available resources is provided below. If not interested, there are nearly 800 postings that are archived. You’re invited to click on a month and year to the right and read other postings. Peace and Light.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE BOOKS IN THE ADVAITA COLLECTION:
The books are presented in the recommended ordering for reading. They may be ordered individually, or in one of three sets, or in their entirety. [The Entire Advaita Collection: all twelve books + the CD $187.00 + S&H]
THE MEDITATION GUIDES
These books can be read in either order since each stands alone. The entries each day provide an excerpt from a non-duality book, followed by one or more considerations for that day. Some read the books from beginning to finish while others use them on a daily basis. Either way, they offer hundreds of pointers that are intended to allow those in the early stages of seeking to begin consideration of pointers that deal with something other than the body and mind issues that dominate most persons. Reading all of the entries in either or both guides will allow the consciousness to begin processing subject matter that is beyond the phenomenal. That will prepare the consciousness to receive the Advaita pointers at the end of the volumes and that continue in a progressive order throughout the remaining books on the list. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
IT’S ALL BULLSHIT (And Why Knowing It Sets You Free)
This book contains a series of “propositionalities” that would be worthless except to the extent that they prepare all seekers to become willing to question the sacred cows of your culture. Ultimately, this all deals more with the relative than the Absolute, but one cannot abide sanely as the Absolute without first seeing the insanity of the relative. If one can question his/her core beliefs that are generally held sacred by the masses, then discarding all of the other nonsense of the culture might become easier. That alone can begin the "journey" toward total freedom and total peace. Few will ever be able to discard the minor cows, much less these six sacred cows, but this book is an invitation to begin questioning what is usually taken for granted after years of programming and enculturation. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY (Recovering What Religions Lost)
This book is for the 6 billion+ persons who have been programmed with the dogma of the planets’ religions, especially the three outgrowths of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is also for those who are playing a spiritual role or who have become spiritually intoxicated (which prevents moving beyond all role-playing and Realizing Fully). It's intent is to allow persons on the "path" to transition beyond the religious and spiritual identities that are assumed at the third step of the "journey." The focus is on those three since their dogma has programmed—and corrupted the consciousness of—most persons on the planet, but the overall message reflects the truth about all religions and all “spiritual” programs or movements as well. The content reveals the 16 tenets common to those religions which evolved from the killing of virgins; exposes the contradictions of those teachings; discusses the glorification of suffering; catalogues and exposes the false promises that are made in order to attract and control the masses; explains the way that their leaders' addiction to power drives them to manipulate their followers; exposes the lies upon which those institutions are based; identifies the results of religious and spiritual intoxication; and uncovers the mental disorders that result from strict adherence to the dogma and ideology. If you have been exposed to any religious or spiritual indoctrination, or if you live in a culture where the leaders have been indoctrinated by religion, this one should be read. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
[The four volumes above + a CD are available as “The Advaitin Beginner’s Package”: The Meditation CD, two Meditation Guides, Bullshit, and Spiritual Sobriety $62.00 + S&H]
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “PEACE OF MIND” (There Is Only Peace if You’re Out of Your Mind)
This book leads to the next level of freedom, allowing seekers to transition beyond the mind. The content explores the history of the human brain, including the fact that for millions of years, human and human-like beings functioned without any mind. The book uncovers the ways that the brain evolved over the ages and developed an ability to store and retrieve memories. It then shows how the original memories were used constructively but how programming and conditioning changed all that and created a "mind" that most often overrules the brain and generates relative-existence harm and destruction. Similarly, the book shows the way that personality develops during childhood as a means for survival and adaptation but later becomes a liability when those childhood personality traits continue to drive adult thinking and behavior.
Ultimately, the content of the book shows why Advaitin sages for centuries have correctly identified the "problems of the planet" as being rooted in body-mind-personality identification and offers suggestions for being free of all of that nonsense via Realization. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
This book helps remove the next barrier to Realization: personality. After being freed from body-mind identification, transitioning into the next step begins the process of being freed from identification with personas and being unconsciously controlled by personality traits. This book studies the nine most basic persona types as identified in the enneagram method and offers the way to be freed of the influences of personality. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE?
This book offers the opportunity to shift to the next level of understanding, the level at which you come to realize that you cannot die since you were not born. Fears generally begin to fall away after reading this work. The Foreword offers this: “If you find the answer to ‘What happens when I die—what happens after the body ends?’ the result will be that the remainder of your relative existence will be marked by an incredible lightness of being. Persons addicted to chaos will hate that possibility. Those seeking to be restored to sanity will seek the answer until it is found.” Eventually, it will be understood that You cannot die since You were never born. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
THE ESSENCE OF THE TEACHINGS
This book is used by many as a primer and companion piece to FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE. “PART ONE” includes answers to frequently-asked questions and provides an overview of terms used during the teachings. “PART TWO” provides information for those who are “close” but haven’t yet “gotten it.” "PART TWO" moves the seeker to a depth of understanding that sets the stage for the final message in FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
[The four volumes above are available as “The Mid-Level Seeker’s Package”: Peace of Mind, Liberation, What Happens When I Die? and The Essence of the Teachings $54.00 + S&H]
FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)
Most of the so-called “Spiritual Masters” addressed all of the steps that must be taken, in a very exact order, to shift from identifying with the false “I” to abiding as the Absolute. All of the steps (or “stages” to use Maharaj’s term) have been discussed for centuries, but this is the first time that the steps have been offered and explained in simple language in the exact order in which the seven steps must be taken in order to move from “the lie of the I” to Full Realization. Most of the content of this book contains the complete set of transcripts from audio tapings of a series of satsang sessions that guided the participants from step one to Realization. Some have said that by reading the questions from seekers and the immediate responses by floyd (all offered in their original easy, conversational format), they have felt as if they were present in the room, actively engaged in the satsang along with fellow seekers. This one should be read last. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
Recommended: Use in conjunction with FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE the CD entitled SPIRIT JOURNEY TO YOUR TRUE SELF in order to have an experiential awareness of the seven steps as you read about each. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS: The Nature of Reality Beyond Self-Realization (Peace Every Day When Abiding as The Absolute)
After following the “path” as outlined in FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality) in order to Realize, the next step is to understand the difference in consciousness and awareness in order to abide as the Absolute for the remainder of the manifestation and then be totally free. "The Final Frontier" of the Advaita Teachings is transitioned when the Nature of Reality is understood and when the Advaita Teachings are "applied" on a daily basis even in the absence of any “Applier.” The Nature of Reality cannot be understood until the differences in Consciousness and Awareness are understood. Understanding the Nature of Consciousness allows for abidance in the I AM, but what of THAT Which Is beyond, and that which is beyond the beyond? To be at perfect peace on a daily basis, abidance as the re-purified Consciousness must be transitioned and abidance as the Absolute Awareness must happen. Only abidance as the Absolute allows for the remainder of the manifestation of Consciousness to happen in Perfect Peace. This book will distinguish between Consciousness and Awareness, will define the exact Nature of Reality, will offer explanations that will allow fixation in the Full Realization to happen, will allow for an understanding of the Functioning of the Totality, and will assist all earnest seekers to find the way to fixate in a state of peace from NOW until the Consciousness Unmanifests. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS
This book, the third in the “Advanced Seeker’s Package,” is only for Realized Advaitin seekers. The recommendation is that both FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE and CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS be read (in that order) and that the pointers in both of those books be understood before reading FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS. An understanding of the pointers offered in this book can allow the advanced seeker to shift even beyond SELF-Realization, even beyond an understanding of Consciousness and Awareness, and to an understanding of that which preceded the Absolute. The content of this book can, in fact, allow the advanced seeker to truly comprehend the Reality of “no concept,” of “no duality,” of “no something,” and even of “no nothing.” The Advaita Teachings offer an invitation to be free of all concepts, all beliefs, and all ideas in order to be totally free. Yet how many reach that "state," and how many who reach that "state" are able to fixate in that understanding and truly be free and thereby at peace? This book will offer details of the way that can happen. To order, visit http://floydhenderson.com/order.htm
[The three volumes above are available as “The Advanced Advaitin Seeker’s Package”: From the I to the Absolute, Consciousness / Awareness, and From the Absolute to the Nothingness $45.00 + S&H]