Comments Extracted from recent discussions:



The Central Point

A Theory of Everything

Descriptive and Constructive Theories

Constructive TOE

The Metaphysics of Materialism and Mysticism

Ontology and Phenomenology

Two Directions to Look

Universal Consciousness

Mystic Paradigm

Skeptical Analysis

Materialist Paradoxes

Consciousness without Physical Support

Ockham's Razor

What is a World?

Empiricism and Holistic Science

Limitations of the Senses


Meta-System Transition and System Boundaries

System Hierarchies and the Underlying Profusion

Individual Awareness is Inner Form

Awareness Itself is Universal

Identification and the Growth of Mind and Ego

The Universe is Virtual

The Mind is an Obstacle and a Tool

Direct Experience

Personal Paradigm Shift

All Mystic analogies Point at This

Conceptual Renovation

Naive Realism (Commonsense Realism)

The Origins of Dualism

Going Beyond the Objects

Further Reading




The Central Point

The central point of view that these comments ultimately express can be hinted at by these few quotes:

""materialism is the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself."... an observing subject can only know material objects through the mediation of the brain and its particular organization. The way that the brain knows determines the way that material objects are experienced." (Schopenhauer from

"Noumena (the reality that is the foundation of our sensory and mental representations of an external world) do not cause phenomena, but rather phenomena are simply the way by which our minds perceive the noumena... we participate in the reality of an otherwise unachievable world outside the mind... We cannot prove that our mental picture of an outside world corresponds with a reality by reasoning... [however] we can participate in the underlying reality that lies beyond mere phenomena." (

"The old foundations of scientific thought are becoming unintelligible. Time, space, matter, material, ether, electricity, mechanism, organism, configuration, structure, pattern, function, all require reinterpretation. What is the sense of talking about a mechanical explanation when you do not know what you mean by mechanics? The truth is that science started its modern career by taking over ideas derived from the weakest side of the philosophies of Aristotle's successors. In some respects it was a happy choice. It enabled the knowledge of the seventeenth century to be formulated so far as physics and chemistry were concerned, with a completeness which lasted to the present time. But the progress of biology and psychology has probably been checked by the uncritical assumption of half-truths. If science is not to degenerate into a medley of ad hoc hypotheses, it must become philosophical and must enter upon a thorough criticism of its own foundations." (Alfred North Whitehead

"That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that Supreme non-dual Brahman - that thou art." (Sankaracharya)


Moods are in the mind and do not matter. Go within, go beyond. Cease being fascinated with the content of your consciousness. When you reach the deep layers of your true being, you will find that the mind's surface-play affects you very little... A ray of awareness illumines a part of our mind and that part becomes our dream or waking consciousness, while awareness appears as the witness. The witness usually knows only consciousness. Sadhana [path leading to realization] consists in the witness turning back, first on his conscious, then upon himself in his own awareness. Self awareness is Yoga [union with existence].” (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, "I am That", p508-9 [ref])


To know what is beyond both mind and practice one should cut cleanly through the root of mind [I-thought] and stare naked. One should thus break away from all distinctions and remain at ease."

(Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra [ref])

A Theory of Everything

It is possible to develop a Theory of Everything in words but not using the currently dominant conceptual language, it relies on too many arbitrary beliefs (such as objects in space and time) that do not correspond with the deeper reality. Quantum physics is opening up new conceptual terrain in this respect. But using Sanskrit as a language and Vedanta as a conceptual language there is already a full Theory of Everything (TOE) in words. But it was developed for a different age and we need a TOE that is more suited to our needs.


Any theory is just a collective cognitive reflection of reality and a TOE is one that is comprehensive enough and holistic enough to comprehend all relevant aspects of reality in a manner that is meaningful for those using the TOE. Thus many different TOE's are possible, each just being a reflection of reality within a particular cultural context. Each of the mystic traditions has at its core a TOE that is adequate for it purposes. Mystics are not interested in technologies and detailed intellectual knowledge and so on, they seek direct personal contact with reality and everything else arises from that contact. That is the easiest way but to most modern minds these TOE's are incomprehensible and impractical so it would be good to take the best of modern wisdom and the best of ancient wisdom and refashion a TOE for these times. In fact I think such a TOE is essential if we are to avert certain crises that threaten our survival.


But the language that the TOE is expressed in, whether words, mathematics, practices, images or whatever, needs to have a conceptual structure that is capable of representing the holistic understanding without distorting it or corrupting it with implicit false beliefs. This is related to what some call idiomatic sufficiency and requisite variety. The symbolic system used to represent the TOE must be sufficiently complex and expressive to be able to represent the TOE and it must also be complete and comprehensive enough to actually represent all relevant aspects of the TOE.


An example of idiomatic sufficiency and requisite variety is if you have a physical photograph and you want to represent it in a diskette you cannot do this directly because the symbolic structure of the information space within the diskette can only represent binary data and not physical matter. The diskette lacks idiomatic sufficiency. So you scan the photograph to translate it into a suitable format. But then you find that the high resolution bitmap is too large for the diskette, which lacks requisite variety. So you convert the bitmap into a jpeg and then you can represent it within the diskette. It is not the 'real' photograph but it is close enough to be useful for most intents and purposes.

Descriptive and Constructive Theories

Some more thoughts about theories in general... A theory is a conceptual model, but there are two basic types of model. The empiricist 'descriptive' approach is to model the experiential appearance of things whilst the deeper 'constructive' approach is to attempt to model the underlying causal processes that create those experiences. Any equation or theory that explicitly relies on the concepts of space, time, observable attributes and so on is just a description of appearances, whilst in my own work and many other approaches (scientifically realist quantum physics, computational metaphysics, etc) we attempt to comprehend the underlying dynamics. Quantum physics is constructive when the wavefunctions are considered to be primary and these only give rise to observable phenomena through certain interactions, where the type of interaction determines the type of observable attribute that is experienced.


An example of the difference between descriptive and constructive approaches is if you encounter some computer program - but you don't know what a computer or a computer program is. You sit down and interact with its interface and try and understand it. The descriptive approach would take the buttons and dialog boxes and so on as ontological entities and you would develop theories about the perceived causal relations between these entities. When this button is pushed that dialog box appears, and so on. But the constructive approach is to hypothesise that the appearances are just appearances and beneath these there is a deeper causal domain in which there are no ontological 'buttons' and so on. One could use the analogy of systems and information to approach this in a general way without making ontological assumptions. Then one could contemplate the information flows that occur behind the scenes and develop models that recreate the appearances and the observed behaviour.


The descriptive approach could ultimately lead to a good guide to using the software but it could not result in any truly deep understanding. Whilst the constructive approach could ultimately lead to creating a program that is different in its details (maybe written in a different language) but which is algorithmically equivalent and can even be used in place of the original program. This could lead to complete understanding of the situation.


It is in this sense that my mathematical models are constructive. As proof of this they give rise to a new VR technology where we can use the mathematics of SMN to implement the 'unseen' information dynamics that underlies the 'seen' virtual universe. This gives a metaphysical foundation to the concept of ‘cyberspace’; it also gives a mathematical foundation to software development; as well as a mathematical foundation to system science, which provides a foundation for all sciences. When the mathematics is implemented directly in software it creates virtual universes within with system theoretic properties within which virtual systems can exist and interact. These systems have subjective experiences of their world that are essentially the same as ourselves; they experience themselves as objects in space and time that interact with other objects. I have made some simple proto-types that show that the concept works and it is efficient enough to create VR simulations, general software and so on. These can be downloaded from my website.

Constructive TOE

Regarding the idea of a TOE in words, another interpretation of this could be a constructive TOE where words are the ontological entities. The idea of a 'word' is often used as an analogy for abstract symbol systems. This analogy has been used since ancient times, and it connects up with modern analogies too. There is a guy (Christopher Langan) who proposes the idea that the ontological reality generative process that creates this experiential reality can be thought of as a self-configuring self-processing language SCSPL. This is related to the self-excited circuit proposed by the physicist Wheeler. Within this abstract symbol system forms arise and take on semantic meanings based only on their relations with other forms. In this way the forms have no intrinsic meaning but when they interact they have different roles within the overall situation, like in the "game of life". E.g. a form may be "that thing that passes between those things" and so in our context we call it a messenger boson in particle physics...


This idea of a virtual-reality generative language is equivalent to the analogy of the "word of God".


"In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
This Word was with God in the beginning.
Through it all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through it.
All that came to be had life in it
and that life was the light of the people,
a light that shines in the dark
a light that darkness could not overpower.
But to all who did accept this Word
it gave the power to become children of God" (Bible, John. 1:1-5,12)


"Without the Word of God no creature has meaning.
God's Word is in all creation, visible and invisible.
The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity.
This Word manifests in every creature.
Now this is how the spirit is in the flesh - the Word is indivisible
from God." (Hildegard of Bingen)


"God is constantly speaking only one thing. God's speaking is one thing. In this one utterance God speaks the Son and at the same time the Holy Spirit and all creatures." (Meister Eckhart)


"Creatures can be called God's Words... [they] manifest God's mind just like effects manifest their causes." (Thomas Aquinas)


"In this Word the Creator speaks my spirit, your spirit, and the spirit of every person who resembles the Word. And in this utterance you and I are true sons and daughters of God, as the Word itself is child of the Creator." (Meister Eckhart)


"Your human nature and that of the divine Word are no different." (Meister Eckhart)

The Metaphysics of Materialism and Mysticism

The philosophical meaning of the word 'metaphysics' is:


---- Quoted from ( ----

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the nature of reality, being, and the world.


Metaphysics addresses questions such as:


What is the nature of reality?

What is humankind's place in the universe?

Are colors objective or subjective?

Does the world exist outside the mind?

What is the nature of objects, events, places?


A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into what types of things there are in the world and what relations these things bear to one another. The metaphysician also attempts to clarify the notions by which people understand the world, including existence, objecthood, property, space, time, causality, and possibility.

---- end of quote ----

Ontology and Phenomenology

Two main aspects of metaphysics are ontology and phenomenology:


"Phenomenology is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view."



And "Ontology can be said to study conceptions of reality."



Phenomenology is the study of “what seems to be” (the modifications of the mind).

Ontology is the study of “what is” (the ongoing process of the ‘real’).

Two Directions to Look

There are two primary paradigms; one either looks ‘out’ at the objects of awareness and takes them to be ontological ‘physical’ objects and one dwells in maya or in earth. Or one looks ‘within’ into awareness itself and takes that to be ontologically real and one realises Brahman or Heaven. The outer approach leads through naive realism to materialism, empirical science and secularism, which borrows from mysticism to create political religious institutions. The second approach leads through growing awareness to mysticism, holistic (spiritual) science, genuine religion and most importantly direct contact with reality.

Universal Consciousness

Now consider what it would mean to study the structure of Universal Consciousness where the first person is the Supreme Self; this is phenomenological. BUT the universal consciousness is also the ontological reality and the universe that we experience is a phenomenon within universal consciousness; like a dream. So such a study would be a unification of phenomenology and ontology.


Ontology and phenomenology are normally considered to be separate but related approaches so one either talks about “what is” OR about “what appears to be” but never both at once. This perceived dualism between ontology and phenomenology is related to Cartesian dualism. If we existed in an inert physical universe that produces consciousness via brains then ontology and phenomenology are totally separate; with a materialist ontology and a phenomenology based on our experience of allegedly brain-created consciousness within a physical universe.


But if consciousness is the ontological reality then the situation is much different.

Mystic Paradigm

Put very simplistically, the mystic paradigm proposes that there is a universal ontologically real 'consciousness' within which phenomena arise. These phenomena are what we experience as ourselves and the universe, which is all the observable forms as well as all the observers; like a dream or a self-contained virtual reality (no external observers but only internal ones). When parts of the universe such as humans experience the universe, most of them conceive of it as a physical universe because it seems ‘tangible’ and ‘solid’ so they develop their ontology based on this. And they are 'conscious' of the universe so they also develop a phenomenology that they associate with their alleged brain-created consciousness.


But in the context of the mystic paradigm the ontology and phenomenology that philosophers traditionally talk about is actually relative/worldly ontology and phenomenology and what mystic wisdom talks about is absolute/transcendent ontology-phenomenology. The relative ontology and phenomenology are dualistic (matter/mind) but the absolute ontology-phenomenology is unified because the ontological reality is consciousness.

Skeptical Analysis

One can use faith to align with genuine religion, spiritual science or mysticism but in this world of confusion and mixed messages I have followed a skeptical approach:


“Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. It is the application of reason to any and all ideas - no sacred cows allowed. In other words, skepticism is a method, not a position. Ideally, skeptics do not go into an investigation closed to the possibility that a phenomenon might be real or that a claim might be true. When we say we are 'skeptical' we mean that we must see compelling evidence before we believe." (

Materialist Paradoxes

If considered skeptically there is no reason whatsoever to reject one or the other paradigm off hand; both are worth serious consideration. But on analysis the load of inexplicable paradoxes in the empiricist/materialist approach hampers it whilst the unifying and clarifying effect of the cognitive/mystic approach advances it.


In the materialist paradigm there is:

##  the paradox of how consciousness arises from inert matter,

##  the paradox of present moment existence,

##  the paradox of the arrow of time,

##  the paradox of the beginning and end of time,

##  the paradox of the 'coherence' found on all levels


##  the paradox of psychic phenomena which are scientifically proven to exist beyond any doubt


##  the paradox of spirituality and mysticism being so inherent to human nature and ubiquitous throughout human civilisation (which could only be delusional in a materialist universe, but why do we all fall for the same delusion and why does it crop up in every civilisation throughout history?)

##  and many other fundamental aspects of existence that are simply incomprehensible within a materialist paradigm, such as life, love, beauty, truth, bliss, oneness and so on.


These paradoxes are intractable but if one shifts to the idea that some kind of universal consciousness is the ontological reality then all these paradoxes completely dissolve and no new paradoxes are created, and a holistic perspective arises that unifies all the fragmented empirical sciences with each other and unifies all scientific, religious and mystic paradigms. The whole of creation can be taken in with a single view, like the view from a high mountain top that brings the entire landscape into perspective.

Consciousness without Physical Support

Regarding the question of how a consciousness can arise without a physical support; that question is based on assumptions arising from our experiences within the universe and we would experience the same things and make the same assumptions whether the universe was physical/inert or mystical/cognitive. Neither is more obvious than the other it's just that we have an experiential bias towards empiricist/physical concepts.

Ockham's Razor

Given the previous discussion it is seen that the idea of a consciousness-only / VR metaphysics can simply and elegantly explain all known phenomena without any paradoxes, whilst the materialist / empiricist approach is highly complex is riddled with paradoxes and leaves most of our experience of reality inexplicable, this would suggest that Ockham's Razor should remove materialism / empiricism from consideration. It simply cannot withstand rational enquiry and is retained only due to entrenched beliefs and vested interests.

What is a World?

Many people these days think of 'world' as something objective but to many it is something subjective. E.g. we each dwell within a world of our own making. Hippies and politicians dwell in different worlds. Meeting someone can be a clash of worlds or a merging of worlds. Falling in love can be a world changing experience. "With our thoughts we make the world" (Buddha). And so on.


A world is a personal subjective experiential context that is partly determined by the range of interactions (the pattern of connectivity that the system has with surrounding systems) and also with the internal processing of the input signals leading to experiences and ideas. E.g. someone may have access to a bookshop with many scientific books (range of interactions) but if they have no scientific education or interest then these books will not register as meaningful to them and will only vaguely impinge on the person's awareness. That which they are aware of is a part of their world and that which they are unaware of is not a part of their world.


A system can only experience the flow of information through its inputs and this flow converges in the mind to form a world. This world is the only one that the mind has access to. The ego is a thought construct within the mind so whilst ever we are identified with the ego we are bound to operate only within the mind. Also if we are attached to intellectual knowledge we are also bound to operate only within the mind.


Krishnamurti described this using the analogy of a circle with a center and a circumference. In his thinking, like all mystics, the ontological reality is a unified field of awareness. But when the I- thought arises in the mind it re-structures awareness to believe that it is located in a single point, the center of the circle. When awareness comprehends things from this point it has only a limited range, which creates the circumference.


So we experience things from a point-like perspective and we have a "range of realisation" that expands as awareness expands. Only when these ranges or circles overlap can communication arise. E.g. we both need access to the internet to communicate. If your range included the internet but mine did not then our circles do not overlap and there is no common bridge for awareness. But right here I am aware of writing these words and you are aware of reading them so there is an overlap of fields of awareness so information can flow.


Because of the overlaps and feedback many people come to believe in the idea of "the world", which is thought to be objective. I call this the pseudo objective world because people think of it as objective but it is really just an amalgam of many subjective worlds. There are fundamental aspects of reality that cannot be comprehended from any subjective perspective so when we merge our subjective worlds through communication we form a pseudo objective world that cannot comprehend the truly objective aspects of reality.


If one keeps expanding one's awareness one's world gets bigger, deeper, subtler and more holistic. And if one's awareness goes on expanding and expanding until the circle is so vast that the center and circumference are not as restrictive, the egoic I-thought and the limitations of a point like perspective are no longer as apparent. This is an analogy for why growing awareness and a growing world usually weakens the ego. It also explains how overcoming the ego can liberate one's awareness from the point-like limitations so that it can expand to fill the entire field of cosmic awareness. But those caught in very narrow worlds with very little awareness are usually clinging to the ego. If they cling to the center their awareness cannot expand very much.

Empiricism and Holistic Science

Empiricism is the unquestioned acceptance of perceptual experience as a foundation for knowledge and science, it is the underlying belief upon which all our later beliefs rest. If people look into the nature of perception and not simply take it as an objective window onto reality, then they will see how erroneous, limited and limiting the empiricist beliefs really are. Perception is a window onto reality but the mind is a highly complex and non-linear process, which we need to understand and use appropriately before our perceptions and experiences can be relied upon and we can infer accurate knowledge from them.


The low-level empiricist beliefs give rise to the ongoing idea that quantum physics is just a bizarre calculational tool that miraculously gives by far the most accurate answers to tens of decimal places but which bears no relevance to reality because it contradicts our deepest beliefs that are based upon human sensory experience. Empiricism assumes that human sensory experience is the ultimate window on reality and because of this all other forms of knowledge must conform with the ideas that arise from human sensory experience. If quantum physics says that objects are non-local and they are also waves, then people assume that this is impossible because they don't experience that themselves.


But if people questioned the nature of empirical experience and how it arises they would see that the objective reality precedes the process of perception. So any theory based solely on the content of perception (empiricism) cannot comprehend the underlying process of perception or the objective reality out of which that process arises. This is like the hypothetical case of an AI being living within a VR universe who experiences objects in space and time and they try and comprehend the underlying VR program and computational space in terms of the objects of their perception. Such an attempt is bound to result in confusion. However if they developed a science that delved into the computational space of the program, that science would be formulated in entirely non- empiricist terms, there would be no objects in space and time, but instead there may be probability distributions and non-local interconnections. Indeed the idea of location in space only exists within the context of the VR and in the computational space it is more a matter of abstract states and state transitions.


Such a science is rationalist and scientific-realist but certainly not empiricist. But it can still be empirical without being empiricist. It can rely on experiment and theory that must ultimately connect with our experiential worlds but it certainly doesn't enshrine our unquestioned experiential concepts within its metaphysical foundation. I call such a science a "holistic science".

Limitations of the Senses

Through the senses we perceive a certain view which is only one of zillions of possible views. For example, the human eye only picks up a very narrow range of the EM spectrum. If you could perceive everything you would know that in the time it takes to read this sentence over 10^20 neutrinos pass through the full stop at the end. These are streaming from the sun and they can pass through about 8 light years of solid lead before they interact with something and become perceptible. We also see things on a certain macroscopic scale, losing all the details of the atomic, molecular, cellular, planetary, galactic and universal dynamics.


The process of meta-system transition has a perceptual nature where regions of high integration are seen as objects and regions of low integration are seen as the space between objects. In this way system boundaries are resolved, which determine the objects of perception that are experienced. By using different perceptual apparatus we can perceive different system boundaries, for example, if we perceived in the gamma ray spectrum we would not be aware of tightly defined solid objects such as rocks and trees and everything would be translucent.


So due to our particular perceptual apparatus we resolve and experience a particular perceptual 'slice' through the system hierarchy. The slice captures all the systems at our scale of existence (such as people, places and everyday things, but not atoms or galaxies). Actually, the entire system hierarchy is also a perceptual construct where each 'system' at each level arises through a perceptual MST process.

Meta-System Transition and System Boundaries

What are the dynamics of a meta-system transition or the resolution of system boundaries. In a simplistic analysis one might say that systems are made of sub-systems so system A is a sub-system of system B. But this implies exclusive nesting where system A is definitely a sub-system of system B and not of any other system. Engineered systems often try and create this kind of explicit nesting, e.g. where the cpu is nested within the computer and the user only interacts with it via software interfaces. But this explicit nesting is an illusion from many perspectives. When a cosmic ray passes through the earth and interacts with the cpu it doesn't do so via the software interface. It might instead interact directly with an atom within the cpu.


In this sense there is no ontological system hierarchy and all structures of systems within systems are formed out of patterns of interactions. Systems interact with other systems and these interaction channels connect systems. When a system interacts with another system it is in some way participating in a larger context. If a system primarily interacts within a particular context it seems that it is a sub-system within that context (e.g. a member of a group). But systems can have many different interactions within different contexts (they can be members of many groups). I am an Australian to the degree that I believe in the concept "Australia" and I participate within that context. But I am also a sub-system of the global economic system depending on what products and services I consume. And I am also a sub- system of India because I am interacting and participating within that context right now. And I am a sub-system within many different super- systems such as usenet, metaphysical discourses, family and so on.


When a system such as ourselves perceives another system we use a very entropic perceptual process (that loses most of the information and heavily interprets the remaining information). Once all the details are lost we see clumps of systems that behave as if they are all just one system. E.g. atoms interacting to form a rock. Then we interpret this perceived system as a single whole system. This is the essence of a meta-system transition, which describes how systems integrate and disintegrate. The pattern of interactions between systems creates dynamic structures, which evolve into groups, organisations, objects and in general into super-systems but there is no simple system hierarchy because systems can participate in many super-systems. This means that any high level system is not an entity in any ontological sense, it only seems to be. It is really a high level perceptual phenomenon and the ontological reality is a vast and complex network of systems interacting, participating and forming regions of high connectivity and regions of low connectivity. These underlie all our experiences of objects and the space between objects.


The mathematics of SMN captures all of these subtleties and in this way it can model general systems, not just explicitly nested engineered systems.

System Hierarchies and the Underlying Profusion

Underlying any perceived or imagined system hierarchy there is just a vast profusion of interactions and micro-flows of information / proto-awareness. This is the underlying substance of the universe, it is the 'something' that is the reality underlying our experiential impressions of things; this is what I usually refer to as the universe. Within the vast profusion of interactions there arises structured relations or patterns within the flow, which can be perceptually resolved and experienced as 'systems'. The vast profusion of interactions represents a deeper reality than any particular perceptual slice through it.


Picture a system hierarchy,


......./\........- physical universe
....../  \.......
...../    \......
..../      \.....
.../\      /\....- I and world   ← experiential slice
../  \    /  \...
./\  /\  /\  /\..- matter
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\.- quantum field
-----------.- ground of being


These labels represent the outer forms of systems just to indicate the general structure of the hierarchy, but all systems have an inner aspect too. Just as I have consciousness so too are all systems aware in their particular way. Just as outer forms vary greatly so too do inner forms. The inner form of the quantum field is the universal consciousness or the transcendent virtual-reality generative process.

Individual Awareness is Inner Form

The awareness that I experience is just one inner form within the vast system that we think of as the physical universe. Just as our senses arbitrarily take a slice through the outer forms of the universe so too does the particular nature of my organic human mind take a slice through the inner forms; through the space of awareness. That which I experience as my awareness is something that flows through all things but I experience it only when it flows through me.


This 'I' or 'me' is a particular system that experiences itself as having well defined outer boundaries (determined by a particular sensory slice through the outer forms) and well defined inner boundaries, i.e. well defined personality (determined by a particular cognitive slice through the inner forms). All these inner and outer forms are just experiential constructs that are resolved out of the underlying profusion of proto-awareness.


I experience only the flow through my inputs. The localisation of these inputs in space and time make them like a point-like perspective in the universe. In this way there arises a 'center' around which awareness spreads but only subjectively (via the channels that pass through that point of awareness). This subjective limitation is the constraint that creates the circumference and the depth of penetration or insight via this subjective perspective determines the radius of the circle.

Awareness Itself is Universal

Without this subjective constraint the awareness is not tied to a particular perspective, instead it flows through and permeates all systems. It is analogous to the stream of computation that flows through and permeates a VR universe where AI beings experience a world. The flow of computation (proto-awareness) animates all things, it is all that is seen and all seeing.


The cosmic awareness is One and Whole but it flows in intricate ways. Within this flow or through this flow there arise countless multitudes of systems, all interacting where the interactions and the flow are the same thing.


Through the particularities of my inner form I experience a personal subjective world in which I perceive my own outer form through my particular sensory apparatus. From this I develop the idea of 'I' and I identify with that idea.


The ideas of 'I' and 'world' are informed by sensory and cognitive experiences of a narrow slice through the flow of awareness, thus creating objects of awareness. Then naive realist confusion of these objects with the idea of ontologically real objects leads to the experience of being an object in a world of objects. The underlying flow of awareness is vast and intricate and when it is resolved into systems the system hierarchy is vast and intricate, but underlying all this awareness is One.


Any particular form, whether inner or outer is an experiential construct. All forms are ephemeral patterns within the flow that resolve only in the "eye of the beholder" into objects of perception. In reality there is just a vast streaming of awareness and when "in the stream" and flowing through the universe the awareness experiences a world. When it streams through me I experience being me.

Identification and the Growth of Mind and Ego

But the idea of 'I' and 'me' creates identification with a particular system that is a particular perceptual / cognitive construct. This forms a core belief around which many other beliefs and ideas form. This 'I-thought' grows like a seed into the mind. The whole mind arises from and is structured around the I-thought, which is also the center of the circle of awareness. In this way the mind experiences being me. From this "experience of being" arises the ego. It is a thought form that naively takes the experiential construct (jiva, personal self) to be real and identifies with it. In this way the I- thought believes itself to 'be' that construct.


This growth of the mind and ego were encouraged by evolution so that 'I' could take charge of the body and integrate all the various parts into a single 'self'. This includes possessions and close relations as well. The deep identification with a particular system (perceptual / cognitive construct) means that when awareness flows through that system it experiences being itself in a world, both of which are perceptual / cognitive constructs. This is the biologically evolved state of an animal, to which we have added the higher-level perspective of intellect and reason.


The alternative is to identify with awareness. If I do that I flow through all things and I am One. The system is just a perceptual / cognitive construct, it is a form that integrates and disintegrates, it is an ephemeral pattern in the flow. The flow itself is the timeless reality.

The Universe is Virtual

Just as people insist that a computer is 'real' but a character in a computer game is 'virtual', in fact the flow of proto-awareness is real and we are virtual beings inside a virtual universe.


"The real does not die, the unreal never lived. Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death." (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I am That)


"What is it that had birth? Whom do you call a human being? If, instead of seeking explanations for birth, death and after-death, the question is raised as to who and how you are now, these questions will not arise...


The body is born again and again. We wrongly identify ourselves with the body, and hence imagine we are reincarnated constantly. No. We must identify ourselves with the true Self. The realised one enjoys unbroken consciousness, never broken by birth or death - how can he die? Only those who think 'I am the body' talk of reincarnation. To those who know 'I am the Self' there is no rebirth.


Reincarnations only exist so long as there is ignorance. There is no incarnation, either now, before or hereafter. This is the truth." (Sri Ramana Maharshi [ref], re: Rebirth and After-Death)


If you wish to "be real" then awareness is the way to go. It is the pure still substrate of consciousness, which is the substance of the mind. This is all that is real. This is the Supreme Self or the Universal Consciousness. All else are objects of awareness that are just phenomena within the mind.


You can either succumb to naive realism and identify with the content of the mind (the perceptual / cognitive constructs) or you can identify with awareness, which is the real substance of the mind.

The Mind is an Obstacle and a Tool

By identifying with the contents of the mind we become beings in a world and by identifying with awareness we become the Supreme Self. This is the reason why many people meditate and do countless other things to identify with awareness rather than the contents of the mind.


It is also why 'scholars' who are deeply involved in a world of ideas and who grow a vast mind that is firmly anchored to strong egoic roots, they find it hardest of all to comprehend these things and to re-identify with reality. They are very attached to their ideas and are reluctant to let go. This has been my experience.


But if the mind can be clarified and freed from its false beliefs it can be a very powerful tool that can cut through illusions and break the false identifications. This has also been my experience. I was a scholar who became a mystic and I work to build a bridge so that other scholars can do the same if they wish.


But it all depends on what are your deepest beliefs that structure the 'I' and 'world' that you experience? What is your role and agenda within that world that structures the life story that you experience? Where and how is your awareness focused? But most importantly, with what do you identify?


Hence a jnana yogi constantly enquires with their whole being "who am I?" and they constantly discern and reject all that is "not I". All these "not I's" are the contents of the mind, anything that can be perceived is just the contents of the mind, only that which is beyond all perception, the process of perception itself is real. After stripping away the false identifications (with body, mind, role, family, past trauma, nation, etc) what is left is the substance of consciousness itself; pure awareness.


"The seeker is he who is in search of himself. Give up all questions except one: "Who am I?" After all, the only fact that you are sure of is that you are. The "I am" is certain. The "I am this" is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality. To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not. Discover all that you are not; body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that; nothing concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. The clearer you understand that on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only [not this, not that], the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realize that you are the limitless being." (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I am That)


The substrate of consciousness, pure awareness is the timeless and all pervading Universal Consciousness, the only true reality. All forms are ephemeral, they are phenomena that arise in Universal Consciousness. Only that which is timeless is truly real. To totally identify with pure awareness is to become Universal Consciousness - omniscient, omnipotent, immortal and impersonal.


"Q: How long will it take me to get free of the mind?
M: It may take a thousand years, but really no time is required. All you need is to be in dead earnest. Here the will is the deed. If you are sincere, you have it. After all, it is a matter of attitude. Nothing stops you from being a gnani [knower of the Highest Knowledge] here and now, except fear. You are afraid of being impersonal, of impersonal being. It is all quite simple. Turn away from your desires and fears and from the thoughts they create and you are at once in your natural state." (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, "I am That", p333 [ref])


"The Valley Spirit [flow] never dies. It is named Dark Animal Goddess [the primal existential potential that nourishes all things]. The door of the Dark Animal Goddess is called the root of heaven and earth [primordial pure awareness, analogous to the role of CPU in a VR]. Like an endless thread she endures [like the SMN thread weaving through all things and ceaselessly animating the simulated world]. You can call upon her easily [it is our inner most essence, the substrate of pure awareness]. He who has found this mother understands he is a child [the egoic isolated illusion disappears and we see that we are totally dependent on 'her']. When he understands he is her child and clings to her [drops the false identification with the body and re- identifies with pure awareness] he will be without danger when the body dies [the body is a transitory pattern of light but awareness IS the light]. (I Ching, Total I Ching: Myths for Change, trans Stephen Karcher, pg87)

Direct Experience

The real test of anything is direct experience and mystics throughout history have experienced the universal consciousness as their inner most Self and there are clear and mature methods for attaining this experience. It only requires self-honesty, self-enquiry and self-awareness. A confused and agitated mind cannot approach such an experience no matter how much it fills itself with intellectual knowledge. An educated mind is irrelevant in attaining direct experience; one needs a still, clear and subtle awareness. But if one is entangled in intellectual confusions then a little intellectual clarification can help one realise the reality of the mystic path and the benefits of calming and clarifying awareness.


"The ego and vanity in man often stand in the way of his acceptance of the position that super-ordinary consciousness, to which he is a total stranger, can be possible for some members of the species to which he belongs. This frame of mind is often pronounced in scholars who fondly believe that more and more extensive knowledge of the world and its infinitely varied phenomena provided by poring over vast libraries of books, is the only expansion and advancement possible to the human mind. It cannot but be repugnant to a polymath to be told that there is a learning beyond his grasp, that the very nature of the mind can change and can soar to normally super-sensible planes of being, which are inaccessible to the keenest intellect, however well informed and penetrating it might be."  (Gopi Krishna from 'The Wonder Of The Brain')


The materialist assumption is that the world is an objective physical universe and the mind is a separate viewer looking through a cognitive window. In this scenario there is no door through which we can step to see whether our view through the window is "accurate."  According to the traditional empiricist/materialist belief system there can be no door. But if you think about it, beneath all our perceptions and ideas there is 'something' that is real. In some way we are a part of that something. When another 'something' interacts with ourselves it manifests objects of perception within our minds and we normally just accept those objects as being the actual reality (commonsense realism). This is biologically programmed into us and it is adequate for animal survival but it is not representative of the ontological reality. By confusing the modifications of our minds with the idea of "external objects" we build within our minds the belief in a world of objects in space-time. But all we really know is that we exist in some way, that something else exists in some way and when these two resonate there arises phenomena within consciousness, which we interpret as portraying a world of objects in space-time. If one remains skeptical and does not resort to belief then one cannot begin to talk about a physical universe. First we must resolve the deeper issues of what is the something, what is consciousness and what is the relationship between the something, consciousness and the world that we experience.


From this we see that we ourselves are the bridge or door between the ontologically real 'something' and the phenomena of the mind. If you are identified with the mind or the ego then you are unaware of the underlying reality that is the real you, because the mind cannot directly grasp reality, it can only reflect it in distorted ways.


So to step through the door is to return to your Self through growing self-awareness and the overcoming of the mind made reflections that we so often confuse for reality. We ARE the reality so by knowing ourselves we can know reality. This isn't a mind based intellectual knowing, because the mind cannot go there, it is a direct knowing through awareness and personal experience. This can later be expressed in words and ideas but these are just cognitive reflections of reality. It is only through pure awareness that reality can be directly known.

Personal Paradigm Shift

So in brief the personal experience of the paradigm shift from materialism to mysticism is that you are not an isolated physical being in a physical world, operating solely by mechanistic means; who is born, lives and dies. Instead you are the universal consciousness experiencing through an empirical/worldly perspective. Once you fully overcome the illusion that you are a physical being bound by mechanistic constraints you realise that you are everything and there is nothing that is not you. That is a very BIG paradigm shift! It is the ego that keeps us trapped and limited within the little self (jiva), whilst the actual reality is egoless and universal (you are Atman and Atman is Brahman).


"That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that Supreme non-dual Brahman - that thou art." (Sankaracharya)


"That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being - I am That." (Amritbindu Upanishad)


When Christ was asked by Pontius Pilot, "What is Truth?" he answered "I am the Truth."


Being a “son of God” is the same as realising that “I am Atman and Atman is Brahman”.

All Mystic analogies Point at This

This paradigm is what all the mystics and the scriptures point to with their analogies and it is what some modern scientific analogies are also beginning to point to. There are certain cutting-edge branches of mathematics, system theory, physics and computer science that are just more modern analogies. These can potentially draw wisdom from the mystic paradigm and evolve into a detailed modern holistic science that comprehends the nature of illusion, the nature of mind, the nature of reality, the nature of ourselves, our place within reality and how to grow and participate in harmony with existence.


But if you just hold these ideas in your mind that is only the beginning. If it is just an ephemeral intellectual idea within a mind that is still totally structured around empiricist beliefs then it is of no lasting benefit. The shift actually occurs as your mind restructures and you come to experience and understand reality in a totally different way. The universe is no longer experienced as being random and mechanistic but instead it is intelligent and responsive, and we participate in it via both mechanistic means and via focused awareness. Psychic participation is just acting in the context of the universal consciousness whilst mechanistic participation is just acting in the context of the relative reality (world illusion) and operating within its constraints. After a period of gradual but radical transformation, as the last vestiges of delusion fall away, when the ego eventually dissolves you realise your true identity as the Supreme Self that is timeless and all pervading.


"The real does not die, the unreal never lived. Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long." (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj)


"What is it that had birth? Whom do you call a human being? If, instead of seeking explanations for birth, death and after-death, the question is raised as to who and how you are now, these questions will not arise...


The body is born again and again. We wrongly identify ourselves with the body, and hence imagine we are reincarnated constantly. No. We must identify ourselves with the true Self. The realised one enjoys unbroken consciousness, never broken by birth or death - how can he die? Only those who think 'I am the body' talk of reincarnation. To those who know 'I am the Self' there is no rebirth.


Reincarnations only exist so long as there is ignorance. There is no incarnation, either now, before or hereafter. This is the truth." (Sri Ramana Maharshi)


"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" (Bible, Mat:6:25)


I.e. don’t let the ego start giving itself life and weaving illusions in the mind about what you need or don’t need, what must do or mustn’t do. Don't conceive of yourself as a physical being operating through mechanistic channels, use the mystic channels and then everything flows perfectly.


"the sage keeps to the deed that consists in taking no action [they are not the ‘doer’ so they flow freely with the Way] and practices the teaching that uses no words [rather than just operate in the cultural domain of ideas they connect directly with reality]." (Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching [ref])

Conceptual Renovation

In the materialist approach it is thought that the best we can do is refurbish or reconstruct our percepts, by modifying the structure of beliefs embedded in them, so that the changing scene in the window becomes more predictable.


But in the holistic approach that is just the first step. It clarifies illusions and confusions that keep us looking in the wrong direction; outward into the objects of sense perception rather than inward into the actual process of perception and experience. To look outward is to be aware only of the contents of consciousness and to believe that those contents are the reality. To look inward is to clarify and develop consciousness itself.


The first step in this clarification process is to question and challenge naive realism or commonsense realism. To stop confusing the objects of perception with the idea of ontologically real objects. This is simply overcoming a biologically programmed belief as a precondition for being able to think about things without constantly slipping back into a naive realist, empiricist and materialist belief system. This frees you to think clearly and skeptically about things.


There are many illusions that we succumb to because of the fundamental constraints of our situation, because of biological evolution and because of the historical evolution of ideas and beliefs. The process of clarifying false ideas is the level that I mostly work on; using skeptical intellectual analyses to clarify illusions and comprehend the deeper nature of ourselves, the universe and existence in general.

Naive Realism (Commonsense Realism)

Naive (commonsense) realism is the first confusion that needs to be cleared up before people can think about things without being constantly drawn back into the habitual empiricist belief system. This involves distinguishing between objects of perception and the idea of ontologically real objects. When people perceive an object it is natural to just accept the appearance of the object and respond to it as if it was real; this is a biologically programmed response and it is adequate for animal existence. But in truth, when one perceives an object all one knows is that there is ‘something’ there that generates objects of perception when it resonates with the mind. All else is just belief, assumption and projection. All we experience is the modifications of consciousness in response to that ‘something’. The mind is filled with many ideas and as the ‘wind’ of sensory stimulation blows through consciousness it stirs up the ideas and this cloud of cognitive impressions is what we actually experience. So the actual experience is entirely a construct of one’s mind.


“With our thoughts we make the world” (Buddha) and a ‘world’ is a subjective experiential phenomenon that exists only within our minds. We each dwell in a world of our own making, which is constructed from cognitive responses to the actual objective reality; the realm of spirit.


"If we truly desire to understand the world, then we are forced to fight constantly for clear vision. We must fight constantly against our expectation bias, against our human tendency to see only what we want to see. Researchers who assume it's easy to avoid self-delusions and wishful thinking... are probably the victims of self-delusions and wishful thinking. It takes quite a bit of effort to avoid these pitfalls. The effort starts with a painfully honest self-examination, wherein we discover just how large our personal capacity for self- delusion can be." (


Overcoming naive realism is only the first step but lifelong habits can be very difficult to overcome.


"Karl Popper [ref] pointed out that although Hume's idealism appeared to him to be a strict refutation of commonsense (naive) realism [ref], and although he felt rationally obliged to regard commonsense realism as a mistake, he admitted that he was, in practice, quite unable to disbelieve in it for more than an hour: that, at heart, Hume was a commonsense realist." (quoted from David Hume on Wikipedia [ref])

The Origins of Dualism

Dualism goes very deep. It arises from naive realism which goes very deep. The moment you attribute ontological existence to the objects of perception you create a dualism where there are ontologically real objects and a phenomenological process of perception. Without this assumption there is only consciousness and the objects of consciousness so it is all phenomenology. But if consciousness is the ontological reality then it is also ontology at the same time.


Our naive realist tendency to attribute ontological reality to the objects of perception goes very, very deep. First of all it relates to the intrinsic nature of systems. All systems are only aware of the signals that enter their inputs and they treat these as if they are real. For example, when a control system program operates in a computer (e.g. the autopilot system on an airplane) it has no awareness that it is a program running on a computer, it has no awareness that the computer is onboard a plane, and so on. But it is aware of the input signals flowing into its interfaces and these signals have their own meaning within the internal logic of the program. This is all that the control system is aware of; this is its entire world. So when it receives these signals it simply operates on them as if they are real. When a signal arrives saying that the wind has changed the control system does know enough to query this - it doesn't even know what wind is. All it knows is that the signal has been received. The signal is trusted and assimilated into the control model thus leading to output signals based upon the experience that the wind has changed. This is an aspect of ALL systems; they are only aware of the input signals and they treat these as if they are real.


Secondly it relates to our biological/evolutionary origins. Cells originally formed, which are systems and that function in the context of being objects. They are localised in space and time and they interact with other similarly localised systems. In this context many billions of years of evolution have selected those that best adapted to being objects within a world of objects. Then multicellular beings formed through a phase of meta-system transitions called the Cambrian Explosion that occurred about 550 million years ago. Each organism is a civilisation of trillions of individual cells, where each cell is a whole living being that experiences its world from its own perspective. But these organisms came to experience themselves as single whole organisms (objects) within a more complex environment composed of other organisms. The ongoing evolution further selected those that best adapted to the context of being an object amongst objects.


Then very recently human civilisation arose and collective knowledge arose and within that context we have recently recognised some of these phenomena and attached labels to them, such as matter, mind, Cartesian dualism, ontology/phenomenology and so on. So within the context of the human cultural discourse these concepts can make valid points but in reality they are built upon a foundation of systemic, biological and cultural illusions. Once one conceptually steps out of the virtual context of subjective experiences and cultural discourses one sees that in the deeper reality there are no objects, there is no dualism, and ontology and phenomenology are actually the same thing. Only within the virtual subjective context do beings conceive of an ontological reality (physical universe) within which cognitive phenomena arise (human minds). The deeper reality can best be thought of as an ontologically real consciousness and that which people think of as ontological objects are actually cognitive phenomena within the cosmic consciousness. Then when these objects of perception are experienced we think that the experience is only phenomenological and that the objects are ontological - but that is only how it seems from a subjective perspective that is embedded in the universe.


So an ontologically real consciousness exists. It is a consciousness so phenomenological processes exist. Then from a perspective embedded within those processes there seems to be ontologically real objects and these objects seem to manifest phenomenological processes within our personal consciousness. In this way the universal ontology/ phenomenology produces the virtual ontology and phenomenology. It is in this sense that I say that all traditional discourses on ontology and phenomenology are actually discussing virtual ontology and phenomenology. Hence these discourses are only valid within the virtual context.


The first ontological assumption in any traditional phenomenological reasoning process is that the objects that we are aware of are physical objects. But if you consider my re-definition of 'physical' you can see why I describe this ontology as 'virtual' ontology. It only describes our assumptions about the objects of perception, which we think of as "physical objects". The actual ontology is much different.

Going Beyond the Objects

Once one stops falling back into naive empiricist beliefs about ontologically real objects, then one can see beyond those objects of awareness and begin to comprehend the underlying ‘something’. In this way one makes contact with the realm of spirit. The underlying ‘something’ could be poetically described as spirit-in-motion and so too for ourselves and all things. When spirit flows through us it generates inner responses, some of which result in objects of awareness. But if one is not fixated on just these objects one can become aware of all the other subtle ways in which spirit flows through us and through the cosmos, binding and unifying all things. If one sees beyond the world of objects in space-time one comes to see a universal dance of Spirit, a dance of Light, Life, Love and Truth. This is the actual substance of the universe, which is a phenomenon in Universal Consciousness.


To go beyond just perceiving this subtle form and to actually merge with it, one must overcome the I-thought, the ego that separates us from the Oneness. The I-thought is like a circle with a centre and a circumference that arbitrarily divides the Oneness into an inner and outer domain. Once this circle dissolves there is only the Oneness.


"Cut the root of a tree and the leaves will wither; cut the root of your mind [the I-thought and the naive, habitual interpretations] and samsara [the world illusion] falls. The light of any lamp dispels in a moment the darkness of long kalpas [aeons]; the strong light of the Mind [Universal Consciousness] in but a flash will burn the veil of ignorance.


Whoever clings to mind sees not the truth of what's beyond the mind. Whoever strives to practice dharma [spiritual path] finds not the truth beyond-practice.


To know what is beyond both mind and practice one should cut cleanly through the root of mind [I-thought] and stare naked. One should thus break away from all distinctions and remain at ease."

(Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra [ref])


“Q: If the immovable [absolute reality] cannot be known, what is the meaning and purpose of its realization?

M: To realize the immovable is to become immovable. And the purpose is the good of all that lives.


Q: Life is movement, Immobility is death. Of what use is death to life?

M: I am talking of immovability, not immobility. You become immovable in righteousness. You become a power which gets all things right. It may or may not imply intense outward activity, but the mind remains deep and quiet.


Q: As I watch my mind I find it changing all the time, moods succeeding moods in infinite variety, while you seem to be perpetually in the same mood of cheerful benevolence.

M: Moods are in the mind and do not matter. Go within, go beyond. Cease being fascinated with the content of your consciousness. When you reach the deep layers of your true being, you will find that the mind's surface-play affects you very little.


Q: There will be play all the same?

M: A quiet mind is not a dead mind.


Q: Consciousness is always in movement - it is an observable fact. Immovable consciousness is a contradiction. When you talk of a quiet mind, what is it? Is not mind the same as consciousness?

M: We must remember that words are used in many different ways according to the context. The fact is that there is little difference between the conscious and the unconscious - they are essentially the same. The waking state differs from deep sleep [due to] the presence of the witness. A ray of awareness illumines a part of our mind and that part becomes our dream or waking consciousness, while awareness appears as the witness. The witness usually knows only consciousness. Sadhana [path leading to realization] consists in the witness turning back, first on his conscious, then upon himself in his own awareness. Self awareness is Yoga [union with existence].” (Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, "I am That", p508-9 [ref])


"Normal consciousness is a state of stupor, in which the sensibility to the wholly real and responsiveness to the stimuli of the spirit are reduced. The mystics... endeavour to awake from the drowsiness and apathy and to regain the state of wakefulness for their enchanted souls." (Abraham Heschel [ref])


"And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the glory of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect." (Bible, 2 Corinthians, 3:18)


"...To bring Peace to All, one must first discipline and control one's own mind" (Buddha [ref])


By making direct contact with reality the confusion, agitation and consequent distortion of our perceptual / experiential process gives way to wisdom, harmony and clarity. The deeper coherence of the Cosmos flows through us and we come to 'reflect' this deep coherence in our own lives.


"Mahamudra or the "Great Seal" ["Great Symbol" or "Supreme Gesture"] refers to a Mahayana Buddhist system of meditation on the nature of the mind and is undertaken for realizing Enlightenment - the complete elimination from the mind of all delusions and obstacles...


[It involves] meditation to develop mental quiescence (samatha) and penetrative insight (vipasyana). The former is the achievement of single-minded concentration in which you reach the mind's basic or natural level of blissful, clear, bare awareness, free from mental dullness, agitation and wandering. Penetrative insight is into Voidness or the true, transparent-like nature of reality in terms of this pure, mirror-like mind. With the joint achievement of both, you eliminate the darkness of ignorance that had been obscuring your realisation of what had been the case all along. By familiarising yourself with your innate, pure, pristine awareness of reality, coupled with an Enlightened Motive, you eventually become a totally awakened being, a Buddha with the full ability to help others." (Alexander Berzin, trans "Mahamudra: Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance", by the Ninth Karmapa {1556-1603})


"Buddha gave this as the ultimate / final teaching. It leads to a direct experience of the mind."

(Topga Yulgyal Rinpoche [ref])


"In Mahamudra all one's sins [delusion, agitation] are burned; in Mahamudra one is released from the prison of this world [entrapment in illusion]. This is the dharma's supreme torch. Those who disbelieve it are fools, who ever wallow in misery and sorrow...


To transcend duality is the kingly view. To conquer distractions is the royal practice. The path of no-practice is the way of all buddhas. He who treads that path reaches buddhahood... [ref]


If without effort you remain loosely in the natural state, soon Mahamudra you will win and attain the nonattainment.


To know what is beyond both mind and practice one should cut cleanly through the root of mind and stare naked. One should thus break away from all distinctions and remain at ease.


The supreme understanding transcends all this and that. The supreme action embraces great resourcefulness without attachment. The supreme accomplishment is to realize immanence without hope. At first a yogi feels his mind is tumbling like a waterfall; in mid-course like the Ganges, it flows on slow and gentle; in the end it is a great vast ocean where the lights of son and mother merge in one."

(Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra [ref])


This does not describe a ‘technique’ or something you should ‘do’ and it doesn’t result in some abstract ‘heightened state’; it merely returns you to your natural state. It directs you toward being yourself: “If without effort you remain loosely in the natural state, soon Mahamudra you will win and attain the nonattainment.” i.e. the state of being your Self in reality, rather than being a confused and agitated individual in a world of your own imagining. To see through the illusion or the world of appearances requires no effort, just be “loose and natural”.


“Q: Must I not use effort to arrest the movements of the mind?

M: It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet - you just find your way between.


Q: If I use my will to control the mind, it only strengthens the ego.

M: Of course. When you fight you invite a fight. But when you do not resist you meet with no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.


Q: How long will it take me to get free of the mind?

M: It may take a thousand years, but really no time is required. All you need is to be in dead earnest. Here the will is the deed. If you are sincere, you have it. After all, it is a matter of attitude. Nothing stops you from being a gnani [knower of the Highest Knowledge] here and now, except fear. You are afraid of being impersonal, of impersonal being. It is all quite simple. Turn away from your desires and fears and from the thoughts they create and you are at once in your natural state.”

(Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, "I am That", p333 [ref])


"I saw you and became empty.

This emptiness, more beautiful than existence,

it obliterates existence, and yet when it comes,

existence thrives and creates more existence!


The sky is blue. The world is a blind man

squatting on the road.


But whoever sees your emptiness

sees beyond blue and beyond the blind man.


A great soul hides like Muhammad, or Jesus,

moving through a crowd in a city

where no one knows him...


Why should we grieve that we've been sleeping?

It doesn't matter how long we've been unconscious.


We're groggy, but let the guilt go.

Feel the motions of tenderness around you, the buoyancy. "

(Jelaluddin Balkhi aka Rumi)


Further Reading

These ideas were mainly extracted from the essay:


An Information Systems Analysis of Mind, Knowledge, 'the World' and Holistic Science

This essay provides a single structured discourse on the ideas. But it is very detailed and technical in places because many people cannot accept the simple truth, they argue about minor details – so I have tried to clarify many of the minor details too.


There is also the website: which provides access to the overall conceptual landscape so people can explore it in their own way.


If you wish to discuss any of this you can either email me ( or join in the discussions on (alt.philosophy) or wherever else they crop up (do a search for Anandavala to see what discussions there are).


Best Wishes :)

John Ringland