Ancient and Traditional Buddhism and Upanishadic Advaitism
Seen in Relation to the Radical Way of Advaitayana
The central orientation of all the traditional schools
of Buddhism is toward the transcendence of conditional existence (samsara).
The central orientation of Upanishadic Advaitism (finally
epitomized in the tradition of Advaita Vedanta) is toward Identification
with That which inherently transcends conditional existence (samsara or
The Way of the Heart (which may also be called Advaitayana
Buddhism) is not strategically oriented toward either the transcendence
of conditional existence or Identification with That which inherently transcends
conditional existence. It is not founded in the view of conditional existence
as a problem, nor, therefore, does it pursue any form of Identity (or Identification
with Reality) as a solution to that problem. Rather, the Way of the Heart
is the natural process of intuitive understanding of conditional existence.
In that process, all conditions of existence (in the apparent form of either
self or not-self), all subject-object states, or all distinctions, are
simply observed to be forms of self-contraction (or contraction and differentiation
or individuation of the subject-consciousness). And this understanding
is naturally disposed (rather than strategically oriented)
to the intuitive Realization of inherent and free Identification with That
in which all distinctions, all forms of self and/or not-self, or all forms
of contraction and differentiation or individuation are apparently arising.
Therefore, the Way of the Heart effectively Realizes the
Buddhist ideal of the transcendence of conditional existence as well as
the Advaitic ideal of Identification with the Transcendental Reality. But
it does so naturally or inherently rather than strategically (as a form
of problem-solution) and, therefore, it does not depend on the more conventional
Buddhist and Advaitic arguments to verify either the practice or the Realization.
And this Way of Advaitayana Buddhism is inherently free of the exclusiveness
that tends to be associated with the classical Buddhist and Advaitic goals.
(That is, it does not argue itself into the corner of either denying the
existence of the Transcendental Identity or the natural association between
that Identity and the conditional or phenomenal process of manifest existence.)
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