The Relationship Between Atman and Brahman (The Ātman as Mirror or Limitation)
However, it may be generally said that the relationship of Atman to Brahman is most significant in the Hinduism of the Upanishads (c. BC). This is perhaps. However, within Hinduism there are many different theories or beliefs regarding the nature of the relationship between Brahman and atman. The RelationshiP betWeen atMan And Brahman is that they are the very same thing, only seemingly separated by the Ego. A very fortuitous.
Now, the central idea in Hinduism is the idea of Brahman. And Brahman should not be confused with the god Brahma. Brahma is sometimes, you could view, as a aspect of a Brahman, but Brahman is viewed as the true reality of things.
Atman & Brahman
It is shapeless, genderless, bodiless, it cannot be described. It can only be experienced.
Now, according to Hindu belief we are all part of Brahman. And, what we perceive as our individuality is really, you can consider to be a quasi-illusion. So, this might be one individual right over here and then we might have another individual right over here.
And, this separateness, the illusion of the reality that we see around us this is referred to as Maya. And, Maya is not just the illusion or the quasi-illusion created by our senses it is even notions like our ego, our identity.
Brahman and Atman: That Art Thou
And, within that context that inner self, the thing that is even within our, that is even deeper than our sense of identity. This is referred to as Atman. And, as you can see they way it's been diagrammed here, the way we've drawn it out Atman is essentially the same thing as Brahman. And, oftentimes you will see it referred to as Atman-Brahman, they're really the same thing but it's really, it's an illusion that there is this separateness of our reality.
Now, according to Hindu belief in each life you have this core part of yourself which is Atman, which is part of Brahman. And, when you die it doesn't disappear, but it will take on or it will subjugate itself to another reality.
So, after death this individual or this perceived individual might take on another identity in another reality. They would perceive it as another life.
And, this notion of one life after another, one reality after another is sometimes referred to as transmigration of the soul, sometimes referred to reincarnation, or this notion of Samsara, which is this endless cycle of birth and rebirth.
Brahman - Wikipedia
It really comes from this notion of same flowing, this thing, this pattern that goes on and on and on. And, according to Hindu belief what that next life is, what that next reality is is based on your actions in this life.
Karma, literally is referring to actions, but it's really actions driving consequences not only in this reality but in the next reality. Now, there's another notion of Dharma.
Dharma is based on what is the role you should play given the reality, given the life that you are in. So, in a very simplified way you could say, "Well, Dharma is the rightful role, the rightful actions, "your duty depending on your role, "depending on your reality.
Now, a core idea of Hinduism is to try to escape from this cycle, to awaken to the true reality, awaken from this quasi-reality.
Ask the Pundits
And, this is really one of the central ideas of the Upanishads that eventually if you can awaken, so let's say that this is an awakening, this entity, this Atman, this self right over here, this perceived individual has now awoken and can see through, pierces the veil of that Maya.
Now, they have rejoined Brahman and they've recognized that Atman and Brahman are the same. And, this freeing from Samsara, from this birth death cycle, this is referred to as Moksha. Now, to make this idea a little bit clearer let's look at some quotes from the actual Upanishads. So, this is two versions from the Isha Upanishad and the reason why I like to show it is because it shows that if you're translating from Sanskrit into English or really from any one language into another there's gonna be some room for interpretation but we can see it here.
So, this is from the Isha Upanishad which is considered one of most important ones. Using the mind to manipulate the mind; be the medium emotion, will power, etc. Yes, that is a valid point, but I think the aim is to see past the paradigm. Religion is, or should be, a timeless concept disregarding whatever the current metaphysic trend is.
I understand that God is a turbulent subject and that it is fashionable to follow non-God religions like Buddhism or neo-Gurdjieffean concepts; But regardless, the Nirguna Brahman concept is fairly diplomatic and non-dogmatic, and the atheist criticism, of it being some sort of cop-out, is disregarding the true metaphysics of the actual concept since we are focusing on Advaita here, and less on Pantheism.
Whether or not spiritual experiences are supernatural is up for discussion, but following general Advaitic traditions, since God and man are the same, and all is one, then supernatural, mystical and mundane experiences are the same, with the mundane simply being mystical experiences clouded by ignorance.
Using psychedelics, as you mention, is the same as meditating or practising yoga, all means to an end of understanding and experiencing God; God in the widest sense of the word. Just as, equally, small amounts of cannabis or LSD will enable you to experience your Self, Atman, Soul, in the widest sense possible.
Whatever you see, whatever you remember, hear, taste, smell, sense, or can imagine, are non-different and inseparable from your true Self. Whether or not "God" is a hot potato should be besides the point. From the dawn of time, man has been preoccupied with identifying with its creator, its essence, and its purpose. Be it simply a refusal to accept death as the final word or refusing to accept that the universe is random and therefore unfair, man has strived for a higher level or more full sense-perception of his surroundings.
- Hinduism: core ideas of Brahman, Atman, Samsara and Moksha.
It might be that "strange" occurrences are just that, strange occurrences, or coincidences, and that they have no supernatural significance; But just because God, ipso facto, creates meaning behind seemingly random occurrences, or God creates meaning where there before was none, does not, therefore, mean that it cannot be true.
This would be like finding a dollar bill on the ground, and refusing to pick it up since it would be "too good to be true". What is significant with Advaita and Nirguna, is that it manages to bring together Jungs archetypes and collective unconscious, Korzybski refusal of language as being non-directly related to phenomena, or Koestlers and Jungs synchronicity; These are all, it can be claimed by such writers are David Bohm and Michael Talbot proof of the Holographic universe and that synchronicity, and including archetypes and deja vu, are in fact "flaws in the fabric of the universe", allowing man to peek behind Maya and see true reality.
There are, it should be stated, two forms of Advaita, or three, depending on your liberal view. The first one is Adi Shankaras Advaita: Neo-Advaita or Holographic theory in Quantum physics. A theory within quantum physics that claims that there is no separation and that all is indeed One, if you look at it on a particle level, and that this implies a lot of possibilities for supernatural or mystical phenomena, as it means that "reality" is, ipso facto, something we project or create, as a shroud over the true reality experienced in meditation, yoga or before and after death.
You should look up "Is the Moon there when no one is looking" by David Merman for this particular philosophy. But, I guess the main question to your input is: Just because the term God is unpopular and mocked amongst the reigning militant atheists, does that mean that we must, for ever, reject any belief in a God or higher state?
Dear AnrBjotk, God can indeed be prayed to in Advaita for He is understood to be Ishwara; the Lord and Controller of the Srishti its manifestation, maintenance, and dissolutionwho gives all the Jivas the fruits of their karmas.