Also see:

The Tendency to Extrapolate a Universal Consciousness

No Universal Mind

No Universal Mind, Part 2


Kyle Dixon wrote

15 points ·
2 months ago
· edited 2 months ago

Buddhism is just a different approach to liberation. A universal consciousness is deemed unnecessary, and impossible. I used to dabble in Advaita when I was first learning buddhadharma, and this disparity likewise led me to believe that the Buddhist view was somewhat more limited because it involved discrete mindstreams. It felt like Advaita was going further than Buddhism because the negation of discrete entities in its framework was quite simple to understand, and the Buddhist reification of the same conventional entities seemed shortsighted or immature.

Later when I had a better understanding of the philosophical and methodological underpinnings of the buddhadharma, I discovered that the Buddhist view, despite these features, is able to improve upon the Advaitan “singular consciousness” model, and evade the disadvantageous implications of fortifying an ontological principle of that nature.

Which is to say the Buddhist model is in no way limited by virtue of including discrete conventional mindstreams. At the time of the result in Advaita Vedanta the purusa stands alone as true and real, that is an ontological view. Buddhism only lends ontologies a provisional status, and then collapses them with epistemological insight that reveals they were false from the very beginning. Unlike Advaita however, there is no ultimate ontology, instead, the mind is freed from the burden of the misconception of all ontological natures by seeing or knowing the way things really are, as being empty.

This still establishes a non-dual realization and still ultimately negates all entities, but there is no ultimate nature established in the end, because for Buddhism, ultimate truth is nothing more than the lack of substantiality in that which appears to be relative. Thus Advaita reifies a reductive nondual nature via understanding phenomenology via ontology in positing a single overarching universal consciousness, whereas buddhadharma actualizes a non-reductive nondual insight via understanding phenomenology via epistemology in the realization of emptiness and non-arising.

Advaitans like Gaudapāda tried to adopt the Buddhist view of nonarising [anutpāda] in his Ajātivāda, but he still falls into an eternalist trap and fails to accurately actualize nonarising because he still reifies an ultimate purusa. Gaudapāda is saying nonarising is true. In buddhadharma, when nonarising is realized, not even nonarising is established

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