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Re: Dreams as explained by discussions on pramanas

From: Chandrasekaran Venkatraman (
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 04:37:10 PDT

Dear Sri Venkat,
   Thanks for the response. At the outset, I would like to tell that my first 
name is "chandrasekaran" and would like to be addressed thus. Thanks.

> Dear Bhagavtas/Sri. Venkatraman,

>KEY POINT: There is no question of talking about effect independent of
>cognition.  For example, suppose one shuts off all his sense organs;
>some time after that, an object is placed before that individual.   Can the
>object act as a catalyst?  No!  

  I think, you missed my point in the previous mail. I fully agreed and even
established that cognition is the very basis of the experience. I never rejected 
it. I only said that being an unquestioned agent in experience, cognition is not 
the object under question.
  We show heat to wax; it melts and drops into a warp and a doll is made;
Here in this example I would equate heat => rope-snake;  molten wax => cognition;
doll => fear. Do you agree the sequence?
  If so, let's see what is the cause for the doll. molten wax is indeed the basic
material cause for the doll. But without heat the wax wouldn't have taken the form
of a doll. So the essential cause is heat. It's out of place to question the agent 
"molten wax". It's an unquestionable agent like cognition in the case of fear. So 
no question about experience will target cognition as its object. Do you agree?

  Again, I never said object alone is the cause of experience. My statement is 
assuming cognition is there. That's why I many times asserted the basic importance 
of cognition in an experience. But you will also agree that cognition has a 
dependency on external sense contact. In your words "triggering agent". The 
question is only about this trigerring agent and not the intermediate 
indispensable agent viz., "cognition". The question about experience will be 
useless in itself if it targets "cognition" as its object.

  Here is how I would like to re-present the question:
  " cognition is always real and experience is always real. no question about
these aspects. it is the objects that are real and unreal. question is if unreal
objects can induce experience at all".
  I say yes, because when a false-snake (unreal object. rope is real. snake is 
unreal. but it's snake that is crux here) is seen, cognition of snake is triggered
by the unreal snake. The cognition of snake which is real in turn gives rise to 
experience of fear which is also real.
  You will agree that without a real/unreal snake in front, the cognition itself
wouldn't have got triggered. Note that this is assuming that the person's sense
organs are not shut off. I am assuming cognition is constantly present. Otherwise
there is no talk of experience. And note that cognition is internal and is not 
part of the question.

>Please note, we are discussing a topic that belongs in a metaphysical

  Yes. I agree. But metaphysical realm has a dependency on the external things in 
this case. The question itself is not about metaphysical object.

  Yes, as you said, it's a real object that leads to experience in the case of 
rope-snake since rope is real. But I think the essence of the argument may not be
referring to the object as a mere physical entity. Along with the physical entity
the false form with which that object appears is what is meant by unreal object in 
the case. rope-snake may be a bad example for treating an unreal object in that 
sense. Why can't we take mirage or the "lizard carcass" case which I discussed earlier ? In these cases clearly the objects that induce the experience are 
false in the physical sense too.


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