1. Setting aside the somewhat unethical way in which you quoted personal messages, I think you have failed to grasp the main point of my post. I actually don't mind you quoting things I've said in PM's to you because I'm consistent in my views, but you might find that others are not so accommodating.
Dr.Alan wrote:of course we expect you to try and run down anything anyone says.
Actually, I think "we expect" and "anyone says" should be replaced by "Dr. Alan expects" and "Dr. Alan says". I don't think you can speak for anyone else on this forum but yourself. If others on this forum disagree with my points they are entitled to say so. They certainly don't need you as their spokesperson.
Dr.Alan wrote:This is what your mind is full of - doubt, scepticism and controversy.
In fact, I am quite happy that my mind operates with a bit of doubt and a healthy dose of scepticism. If I had had a bit more of these when I was in the SFSK perhaps I would have extricated myself from that place earlier. Scepticism is merely the idea that anyone that makes a claim about anything needs to provide some independent evidence to support the claim. What's so terrible about that?
Dr.Alan wrote:You cannot argue with the good qualities listed in the Bhagavad Gita. They are echoed in all respectable codes of life across the planet. I have not said that Advaita is the only way - I actually related them to all societies on the planet. Please read what is written - instead of the first idea which pops into your mind and takes control of you.
I never "argued" with the good qualities you mentioned. However, you only related the good qualities with all societies on the planet; you did not relate Advaita with all societies on the planet. Shankara himself states that the Veda are the only valid means of knowledge. Thus my question was legitimate. Perhaps you should read your own posts more carefully!
Dr.Alan wrote:Why do you not simply try to include some of these good qualities in your life
Who's saying I'm not? Also - this is a completely different question to whether the metaphysical claims of Advaita are true or not. Advaita is not just some ethical code or system of values. It is primarily a metaphysical and epistemological system that attempts to characterise our experience of the world. In other words, it is a philosophy
, in the true sense of the word. Why are you so reluctant to admit this? Why are you so concerned with making Advaita "special"?
Dr.Alan wrote:stop applying your childhood frustrations which came from SES membership at everything which contains the words Advaita Vedanta in it.
This is a ridiculous assertion. I don't have a problem with Advaita Vedanta in general, but if you are going to make grand sweeping statements about the way you think the world operates then I am more than entitled to express a certain scepticism with regard to those statements. The fact that you happen to derive your views from your own understanding of Advaita is actually irrelevant. I apply scepticism to any claim made without supporting evidence. This forum is one in which Advaita is a likely topic of conversation, but I'm applying no more scepticism to your claims than I would to anyone else's.
Dr.Alan wrote:And stop calling it intelligent debate. It is no more than doubt and scepticism of something you have not sincerely tried to model your life on.
How on earth do you know the quality of my sincerity? This is a completely baseless claim, and moreover you are simply committing a No true Scotsman fallacy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman
: There's nothing about Advaita that necessitates
a belief in it. I could equally say to you - "well, if only you truly
tried to model your life on Advaita you would inevitably see it was false. You still think it's true, therefore you cannot have truly applied yourself." You wouldn't agree with that argument at all, and yet that is exactly the argument you are presenting here. Clearly, this claim is spurious.
Dr.Alan wrote:The effect of receiving the teaching in your life long before you were ready for it - is very clear from every word you write. As I have said before - you should seriously consider ceasing your involvement with this subject. It is very clear that you are not ready for it. But it is also clear that you cannot - and do not - want to see this simple fact. Your mind is seriously deluding you but you believe every thought that comes into it and then speak and act.
Actually, when you said this to me before, you later said that it was "all a test". I won't quote your PM for ethical reasons, but I'm sure you remember the exchange. You say that my mind is deluding me, but your only evidence for that is the fact that I disagree with you about the truth claims of Advaita, and really that's no evidence at all. This claim is also spurious.
Dr.Alan wrote:When I wrote to you to say that you will have to stay in the doubtful state you are in until you meet a realised soul. You would not have it that this could be a situation for you. So you then wrote to me to say that you had been to India and had met a realised teacher "As a matter of fact, I have met someone who is "realised" on quite a number of occasions (in India)" with whom you had conversations. And that this person was all those "incredible" things you had been told that a realised person was.
I was merely relating a fact about my life to you. I don't see how that represents "not having it that this would be a situation for me". I didn't invent
that fact just so I could "escape" your argument. Why would I do that? I also said that "(not surprisingly) I found him to be all the incredible things we were told realised men were." Clearly what I meant there was that I was preconditioned into being accepting of the fact that he was "realised" and possessed of incredible qualities etc. Your point here is therefore spurious as well.
Dr.Alan wrote:By saying this you put to bed the suggestion that your life might be deficient in some way - because you had countered my statement that you would have to wait. This is all your mind wanted to do - countermand everything which appears you may have a deficiency. This comes from your childhood experience with SES.
Leaving aside the ad hominem
, wherefore is the categorical statement that my childhood experience with SFSK makes me now want to countermand everything that appears to have a deficiency? In any case, what's wrong with wanting to discard ideas that have clear deficiencies? The idea that the world is flat has clear deficiencies - are you really suggesting that the desire to discard this idea is ill-placed?
Dr.Alan wrote:But then because you like to run down the idea that someone might be realised you said that when you met this teacher the last time, you considered that he was just an ordinary person. saying "On the other hand, there is a big difference between being "an exceptional human being" and being "realised". "
That is absolutely untrue. How do you know beyond any doubt what my "intention" was? All I did was apply the same scepticism to the claims about him as I would to claims about anyone else. Again - there is nothing wrong with doing this. It doesn't represent some sinister agenda of mine or anything like it. I don't "like to run down the idea that someone might be realised" - I just don't think there are convincing reasons to hold that there are such people, because there is no independent evidence that establishes that quality in a person. Perhaps you just don't quite understand what Scepticism is?
Dr.Alan wrote:So when I naturally asked you what your criteria were for deciding whether a person was realised or not, you said "I actually don't think there is a way to determine this. Everything seems to rest on people's subjective beliefs and desires regarding the person they call "realised". I don't think there is any independent test that establishes whether someone is "realised" or not.
Once again your mind wanted you to appear to come out on top so you made the above statement.
What you did not realise was that you had completely undermined your own previous statements.
1. That you had met a realised person.
2. That you had later considered he was not realised.
You have not made any logical sense with your statements - because you cannot say you have met a realised person if you also say that there is no way to determine that a person is or is not realised.
Also you cannot say "he was just an ordinary person" if you have no way of determining that he was or was not a realised person.
This point is really quite interesting:
(i) Your comment about me "wanting to come out on top" is spurious for the reasons I gave above.
(ii) I said that when I first met the Shankaracharya, I thought he was realised (because I was pre-conditioned to thinking that way). At the time I merely took that as an article of faith; I used no "test" or anything like it. I am quite happy to say that this was a deficient way to approach the question of whether he was realised or not. I now realise that there is no actual test to determine whether someone is realised or not. This just makes my earlier belief (that he was realised) incorrect.
The burden of proof is on the person who claims realisation is possible, because this is the more tenuous position. We would only need a "test" precisely because it isn't self-evident that someone is realised or not. In fact, as I've said to you before, the Geeta (Ch. 2) spells this out as well: ("the sage walks, talks, eats, sleeps" etc.) The argument is simply that no one can claim that anyone is realised because they have no way of determining this objectively. I said "he was an ordinary person" because there was no reason or evidence to suggest he was anything else. There is nothing illogical about that position.
Dr.Alan wrote:You are a confused person who has been let down and misled by the very people you trusted would guide you correctly. This is abuse of you as a child - and as such you are suffering from as serious an effect as those others on this forum who were sent by their parents to the SES children's schools. It is no wonder that you think the way you do about Advaita, after such prolonged and serious abuse of you by the adults who should have cared better for your life.
I'm not sure what you're trying to get at here. Again, the only evidence for my "confusion" is that I disagree with you regarding Advaita. There are many people in this world who would disagree with you about Advaita who were not abused as children. Not once do my arguments regarding the truth claims of Advaita mention "abuse as a child" as a supporting reason. The moral abhorrence of child abuse has nothing to do with whether or not Advaita is true.
Dr.Alan wrote:It shows how deluded you are when you compare the controversy which you like to engage in with the kind of debate which Adi Shankara had to deal with. There are many people much more intelligent than you who have said that Adi Shankara was one of the greatest minds that lived on this planet. A great genius and much more - only your silly mind would compare itself with Him.
I never compared myself with Shankara. All I said was that your point about Advaita not needing to be debated was ill-founded because Shankara spent most of his life debating Advaita. Nowhere there is a comparison between Shankara and myself.
Also - your standard of intelligence just seems to be "whether or not he/she agrees with me about Advaita". If they do then you think they're intelligent. If they don't, you think they're "silly". This is truly a ridiculous standard.
I also happen to think that Shankara was one of the "great minds" of history. The fact that I see great value in his philosophy doesn't mean I have to agree with everything he says, much less everything you say.
Dr.Alan wrote:There is no doubt that instead of getting some value from this post - your mind will immediately fill with thoughts to countermand everything which is written here. You will never get value out of philosophy by this approach. You need to see that it is the silly thoughts in your mind which are leading you into the traps of the illogical mistake shown above. You are not those thoughts of yours. You really know better. I have exposed your mistake so that you will seriously consider getting out of this subject - for your own good and peace of mind. But you will not believe me more than the silly thoughts which come into your mind - because they are in control of you - you are not in control of yourself.
All you seem to have "exposed" is the illogic of your own arguments. Moreover, you have still to answer my original question: why are you so reluctant to engage in a discussion about the truth claims of Advaita? Yet again you have reverted to personal attacks, and all this does is make you look frustrated and inept.
11. Finally - I remember that on one of the previous occasions where you made statements like "It is time for you to stop believing every negative thought which comes into your mind about any belief system. Get on with living an ordinary life without these things" you claimed it was all a "test" and that you didn't actually think that. I have decided to approach your post as "not a test". If you are being disingenuous again, then you have simply done yourself and everybody else on this forum a disservice.