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Further Reflections on Psychotic Knowledge (cont.)
By Shunyamurti

The real problem for secular rationalists is that acceptance of these non-material facts would put them on a slippery slope. Where do we stop, once we accept teleology and higher dimensional beings? Must we not then accept such phenomena as channeling, the downloading of information from akashic records, and so on? What criteria can we use to ascertain truth from charlatanry?

If a young woman declares, for example, that she is possessed by a thirty-five-thousand-year-old male warrior spirit from another planet—then on what basis can we say she is deluded? But do we then believe everyone all the time? And when we end up with conflicting narratives, how do we decide if the aliens who are speaking through the people in front of us are from the Pleiades or Sirius or Zeta Reticuli? Clearly, we are at an epistemological impasse. How do we solve this problem, without holing up in our fortress of materialist crypto-rationality and denying all of that as impossibly mad—or giving up on discourse altogether?

Here is where the ancient Indian spiritual traditions, such as Yoga, Advaita, and Buddhism, can be of immense help. First, let us examine the great syllogism of Shankara:

The world is illusion;

The only Real is Brahman (the Absolute);

The world is Brahman.

This bit of Logos, the Advaita Principle (non-duality), forces us to accept that any belief system regarding the world is delusional—because the world itself is Maya, illusion, through and through. What is real is the Absolute. But Brahman is also nirguna (without qualities). That means that the Real cannot be described or explained by any means. This leads to the Advaya Principle, which was the ground of the steadfast silence of the Buddha. This principle states that there is no form of discourse that can approach an accurate understanding of the nature of reality. In Christianity, there is a congruent principle of apophatic theology, which accepts that nothing true can be said of God. But the Advaya Principle is far more radical, maintaining that no aspect of reality can be captured by language.

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