Reply To: The Experience of Art

  • Mike Todd

    June 22, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Lucy,

    Your experience by the lake sounds very much like an instance of nondual awareness – nondual in the sense of there being no apparent subject-object division. Perhaps you already see it as such.

    The following article, which may seem out of place in a thread such as this, makes clear that instances of nondual awareness (NDA) may sometimes be phenomenally rich and are therefore distinct from minimal phenomenal experience (MPE), which other literatures equate with the paradigmatic NDA experience, so-called “pure awareness”.

    The article also highlights that NDA is only conditionally nondual: there is, albeit only in retrospect, a diaphanous reflexivity at play, demonstrated by the simple fact that NDA experiences can be recalled, sometimes vividly, which implicitly acknowledges that “something” had an experience of “something else”, even if the terms subject and object now appear wholly inadequate.

    I believe that “something” and “something else” are none other than The One manifesting to itself as The Many, the cosmos (re)cognising itself – and thereby we see that, as Advaita Vedanta puts it, Atman is Brahman, although at the same time this undermines AV’s view that The Many is a dreamlike illusion to be renounced and transcended. All of this is congruent with Max Velmans’ metaphysic of reflexive monism, which is explored in the following video:

    The diaphanous reflexivity I mentioned is perhaps put best by Emerson in Nature:

    Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.