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I Perceive, Therefore I am

by Prakashatma
1st October 2013

The knowledge of the perceiver cannot be refuted because we cannot doubt our own existence.
But who is the perceiver who experiences the body and the external world? Is it the insentient body consisting of various sense organs? Or is it something that uses the body as an instrument?
If one knows the perceiver, everything else will also be known because it is the perceiver who perceives everything. Understanding the perceiver means understanding everything.

The scientific method however is inadequate to understand the perceiver because one can only understand the instruments through which the perceiver perceives, and the things that the perceiver perceives, but never the perceiver, himself. The perceiver seems not to be an object that can be studied, but may be the very essence of existence. I am presenting here certain concepts from the Upanishads and other Advaita Vedanta sources which I hope would help seekers in their quests for self-discovery and realization.

The soul is imagined first and then the objects, internal and external.

The distorted Reality
The senses are the only means through which we gain knowledge about ourselves and the external world.
The observed external world constructed from sense-data is therefore not the complete picture of reality, and may have little resemblance to the actual reality.

The Self is the indwelling controller, the source of all. It is the beginning and end of all beings

The Body
The perceiver uses the senses as mere instruments to gain various sense-data, and generates conscious experiences. This creates a limited subjective experience of the external world and leads to the incorrect identification of the perceiver with the body.
Out of these experiences, everything may be wrong, distorted, and imaginary, but the perceiver surely exists as it perceives everything, whether real or imaginary.

That is complete and this is complete. The completeness proceeds from the complete and by taking completeness from the complete, it remains complete alone.

Everything has that as its self. That is the Reality. That is the Self. You are that (perceiver).

The Reality
The perceiver is the sole independent reality, inherent in everything, in everyone, without which there can be no verifiable existence. It is this reality that has created the world.


Mandukya Karika 2.16
Mandukya Upanishad 6
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 5.1.1
Chandogya Upanishad 6

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