Everything is in the mind. The intrinsic nature of ultimate reality is the mind.

Pratyabhijna Self-awareness

On Self-knowledge

Nondual Śaiva philosophical tradition concerned with articulating and defending the idea that everything is Śiva, as well as the practices that lead to this realization

A form of Cosmopsychism which is in turn a form of ontological idealism

  • Ultimate Reality (Śiva)
    • Consciousness as the infinite potential for any and all manifest worlds
    • Śiva is like a sculptor, a playwright, or a yogin because he spontaneously creates worlds from within himself
  • Conventional Reality
    • Embodied worlds created through exclusion
    • Manifests because the ultimate desires to experience itself in diverse forms
    • When we imagine, for example, an elephant, our consciousness presents this object (‘this’) as distinct from our conscious selves (‘I’). Despite this distinction, we know ‘this’ is only imagined and arises from the self.
    • Consciousness, when this happens, does not become the elephant, nor does it cease to exist as the ‘I’ when taking on the elephant’s form, it simplify manifests itself as something distinct from the ‘this’.
    • This plasticity is what the Śaivas call “freedom”
  • Internality is the reflective awareness ‘I’, externality is the reflective awareness ‘this’
    • For objects perceived there are two kinds of externality
      1. Object of cognition through the external sense
      2. Object of cognition through the internal sense
  • No ontologically independent external objects
    • The internal self must have the notion or essence of object to manifest it as external (?)
    • Cannot infer the existence of something that has never been perceived

Has many holes in its axioms but again presented here just to learn:

  1. Intrinsic Existence: consciousness must exist from its own intrinsic perspective, independent of external observers
  2. Composition: consciousness is structured and composed of multiple phenomenological distinctions (elementary or higher order)
  3. Information: consciousness is specific. Each experience is particular and uniquely distinct
  4. Integration: consciousness is unified. Each experience is irreducible and cannot be subdivided into non-interdependent disjoint subsets of phenomenal distinctions
  5. Exclusion: consciousness is definite — it either has or does not have certain phenomenal distinctions


  1. We observe causally specific differentiation in our everyday world
  2. Something that is causally specific must be the effect of a specific real cause
  3. Each real cause produces only the effects that are in accord with its nature
  4. Such causes must be either internal or external to consciousness
  5. These causes cannot be external to consciousness because, per Vasubandhu and Dharmakīrti, external objects are irrelevant and logically incoherent
  6. These causes therefore must be internal to consciousness
  7. It is not the nature of something undifferentiated to produce different effects
  8. Consciousness cannot be totally undifferentiated and produce different effects
  9. Consciousness must be inherently differentiated if it is to account for the differentiated awarenesses observed in the conventional world
  10. Since there is no other viable candidate for the cause of this differentiation, the nature of reality is ultimate consciousness that inherently contains the capacity for the expression of all differentiated awarenesses

‘Ill-taught’ people satisfy themselves with conventional reality call it ‘inert’, failing to see it is a subset of Śiva. “Only consciousness can present itself as precisely what it’s not while still remaining itself”