Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hinduism and Reality

Is the world of ordinary experience, of living from one moment to the next, going up and going down, illusory? If we saw things the way they really were, would we say that the world of our experience is the real world, or is some other reality real.

One school of Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta, says the is one reality, and it is the spritual reality of Brahman. It is one. The idea that I am a distinct person from you is an illusion. If I go to prison tomorrow, it's not real. If I win the lottery tomorrow, it's not real. Brahman, the true God whom we cannot even define with our words, that's what's real.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yikes! That would mean that Steve Hays is not a distinct person from John Loftus!

Victor Reppert said...

That would not make either of them happy.

Gordon Knight said...

sounds like F.H. Bradley to me.

AmandaLaine said...

Regarding your first question, by definition of the question I can not know that it is illusory. Once I know, it has ceased being illusory. Therefore the original question must be answered with either 1) no, or 2) that's a trick question. Yes is not a possibility.

Regarding your second question, what do you mean "if we saw things the way they really were"? If you mean we see all the innerworkings of every object in every room at a molecular level, we'd cease functioning. We don't have (I presume) the mental capabilities to process "things as they really are". Second, regarding the same question, if you saw things the way they "really are" then you'd call that reality. You have answered your own question in the question. Besides that, the term "real" needs defined.

Maybe I just pointed out a bunch of obvious things, but, interesting post!

Anonymous said...

"the[re] is one reality, and it is the spritual reality of Brahman. It is one."

"Brahman, the true God whom we cannot even define with our words, that's what's real."

Sounds a lot like what I've heard reported as being contended by John Hick.

Mike Darus said...

Victor,
The refugee family we are sponsoring is Hindu. Once we get the language issues a bit more defined, we should have some interesting conversations.

IlĂ­on said...

Yet I find it impossible to believe that even ardent adherents of Advaita Vedanta Hinduism ever *behave* as though they are I. Or you. Or that rock over there.