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Understanding of the implications of lay spirituality

Paolo sul divano a Spilamberto
To better understand the implications of lay spirituality it is necessary to step back in time, bringing attention to the formative dawn of Advaita Vedanta, the non-dual knowledge of Reality, expressed in the terminal portions of the Vedas (Vedanta) and Upanishads. For example, in the commentary on the Taittiriya Upanishad made by the great sage Shankaracharya, who lived in the fifth century, this is said:

"Knowledge and ignorance belong to the realm of name and form; they are not the attributes of the Self ... And they -name and form- are "imagined" (superimposed) as are day and night in reference to the sun ".

The similarity with the sun is very appropriate here. From the point of view of the sun there is neither day nor night and yet without the reference to the sun there can be neither day nor night. It is only in the perspective of the observation from the earth that day and night have meaning and are superimposed on the sun. Likewise in the pure Self (the absolute non-dual Consciousness) there is no knowledge or ignorance. These are relevant only to the finite intelligence (the dual mind), but still these can take on meaning only if superimposed on the Self.

The Self, which is the Absolute Reality, has the nature of Absolute Knowledge, not not as a mental recognition but in that of unconditional Awareness. And it is this same Awareness that underlies the empirical knowledge/ignorance, the same that produces the mirage of name and form ....

Paolo D'Arpini

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Date: 20 February 2018Author: Paolo D'Arpini

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