Another exchange. Advaita, Kant, Schopenauer, antinomies…

Re: Advaita
From: Nemonemini

Date: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 10:22 am
There are some new words I need to get used to as I read WHEE, such as “Antinomy”…
Also, sorry to change the subject for a moment, but what do you think of Advaita? I recall you trying to assess it at the end of Debriefing Gurdjieff which seemed like it was a couple of years ago, so maybe you have thought more about it since then. Advaita Vedanta seems to teach that reality is merely an illusion. I also came across a statement that said Schopenhauer had similar ideas of reality or the external world not existing or something. Such a perspective or teaching makes me wonder what exactly it is supposed to lead to because it seems to me that such a view trivializes anything going on at the phenomenal level, making even something like the evolution of civilization a part of Maya or illusion. It is very difficult to speak about real things with kids today who are into this stuff because they dismiss it all as illusion anyway.
If Schopenhauer was influenced by Kant, did Kant also entertain the idea of reality being an illusion? Or is this just the Hindu influence on Schopenhauer? It seems to me you are a critic of Hinduism, which is refreshing, but I did not see your comment on the reality as illusion issue yet

Above is your original post, and I discussed the issue of the antinomies.
Advaita is a difficult subject, but I actually had something critical to say about it
which I put in one of my other two books on New Age subjects, one is ‘Ravings of the Masts’.
The other is What is the Path, all kindle at amazon.
I let them slide into the background:
Those books archives, not really books.
The issue of Advaita is vast and classic with an immense western following.
I may retract my criticism or set it to one side and go over Advaita again at The Gurdjieff Con.
Again speaking in general about reality as illusion is mostly pointless. If you mean that
reality follows the classic antinomies you have a case, but the general usage here as a sort
of disillusion isn’t right. That thinking is taken as an excuse to proceed without ethics
or any restraint as a kind of ‘so what’. That’s a mess made out of the original thought.

Advaita should be examined: You might like Nisargadhata: he is the best, next
to Ramana Maharsi. Use google.
But Advaita has turned into a mess in the west with a lot of self-styled gurus
and a confused take on the issue. Then there is the fellow Eckhart Tolle
about whom I can’t speak.

The problem I had with Advaita is that something has gone wrong, or got lost
in translation.
The Advaita path proceeds to consider that Atman is Brahman, a beautiful
and classic teaching.
But what does it mean? It has lead to a lot of basic physics on Youtube about
how the universe is conscious, etc…Is it? Recall our discussions, isn’t ‘will’, a la Schopenhauer better? The core idea in translation
is to me fallacious.
Still the experience of people like Ramana Maharsi is a huge ad for Advaita
but I doubt he followed advaita himself. Hard to resolve…

Schopenhauer rescued Kant from obscurity with his classic style.
But his thinking is very close to but different from Kant, in non-essential ways, to be sure.

The issue of ‘illusion’ has been vulgarized and needs to be left behind.

After all, the best source for all that may as well be quantum mechanics

JL

—–Original Message—–
From: Nemonemini
To: @hotmail.se
Sent: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 9:24 am
Subject: Re: Advaita

The antinomies are discussed in the second part of Kant’s CPR in the section called Dialectic.
They are fundamental to understanding Kant and Schopenhauer, and reality in general.
We rarely notice such contradictions: one of the most famous is the antithesis with is an antinomy
or contraction, there is a beginning in time, there is no beginning in time. The contradiction argues both ways
and can’t be resolved. Now look at the last century of physics: The thesis of the Big Bang emerged and displaced
Hoyle’s steady-state, and now the argument is starting all over again, etc..Physicists won’t say so but they are caught up in that Kantian antinomy. Is there a beginning in time or not? We can still accept Big Bang thinking
in any case, but the point is that a basic contradiction here pervades our thinking, and this set of contradictions or antinomies
There is another, there is an end of space, there is no end of space, …
Taken together these contradictions undermine our sense of reality and show the way to ‘transcendental idealism’.
The idea of reality as ‘illusion’ skirts this kind of discussion, but I am wary of agreeing with anyone who talks that way:
You might interpret Kant that way, but first you have to read him. Instead the idea that ‘it’s all illusion’ is made in a general
way in conversation bey people who have lost the meaning of someone like Kant. So it is isn’t helpful to say ‘it’s all illusion’.

Let me recommend a book by Bryan Magee on Schopenhauer and Kant the issues there, including the antinomies.
(which were discovered by the Greeks)
The antinomies rapidly lead to a direct insight into the paradox of reality as our experience. because our
perceptions fool us.
Confessions of a Philosopher: A Personal Journey Through Western Philosophy from Plato to Popper (Modern Library (Paperback)) Paperback – May 18, 1999
by Bryan Magee (Author)
Magee discovered the antinomies as a teenager lying in bed, in a fascinating tale.

I will discuss the other issues later.

JL

—–Original Message—–
From: A. C.
To: Nemonemini
Sent: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 6:59 am
Subject: Advaita

There are some new words I need to get used to as I read WHEE, such as “Antinomy”…

Also, sorry to change the subject for a moment, but what do you think of Advaita? I recall you trying to assess it at the end of Debriefing Gurdjieff which seemed like it was a couple of years ago, so maybe you have thought more about it since then. Advaita Vedanta seem to teach that reality is merely an illusion. I also came across a statement that said Schopenhauer had similar ideas of reality or the external world not existing or something. Such a perspective or teaching makes me wonder what exactly it is supposed to lead to because it seems to me that such a view trivializes anything going on at the phenomenal level, making even something like the evolution of civilization a part of Maya or illusion. It is very difficult to speak about real things with kids today who are into this stuff because they dismiss it all as illusion anyway.

If Schopenhauer was influenced by Kant, did Kant also entertain the idea of reality being an illusion? Or is this just the Hindu influence on Schopenhauer? It seems to me you are a critic of Hinduism, which is refreshing, but I did not see you comment on the reality as illusion issue yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s