The Vedic Period

He, assuredly, awakes this world, which is a mass of thought. It is thought by Him, and in Him it disappears.

He is that shining form which gives heat in yonder sun and which is the brilliant light in a smokeless fire, as also the fire in the stomach which cooks food. For thus has it been said: “He who is in the fire, and he who is here in the heart, and he who is yonder in the sun–he is one.”

To the unity of the One goes he who knows this.

18. The precept for effacing this [unity] is this: restraint of the breath, withdrawal of the senses, meditation, concentration, contemplation, absorbtion. Such is said to be the sixfold yoga. . . .

30.  . . . Verily, freedom from desire is like the choicest extract from the choicest treasure. For, a person who is made up of all desires, who has the marks of determination, conception, and self-conceit, is bound. Hence, in being the opposite of that, he is liberated. . . .

34.  . . . Samsara [cycle of existence] is just one’s own thought;

With effort he should cleanse it, then.
What is one’s thought, that he becomes;
This is the eternal mystery.

For by tranquility of thought,
Deeds, good and evil, one destroys.
With self serene, stayed on the Self,
Delight eternal one enjoys!

As firmly is the thought of man
Is fixed within the realm of sense–
If thus on Brahman it were fixed,
Who would not be released from bond? . . .

By making mind all motionless,
From sloth and from distraction freed,
When unto mindlessness one comes,
Then that is the supreme estate! . . .

The mind, in truth, is for mankind
The means of bondage and release;
For bondage, if to objects bound;
From objects free–that’s called release! . . .

(VI. 17-18, 30, 34)

[The Upanisads, Maitri Upanisad; from: Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, Princeton, 1957] . . . .

[I don’t really know what this is; I just found a xeroxed page with “Heidegger” written on it in my desk drawer, and this is what it said.]

Argumentum Ornithologicum :: J. L. Borges

I close my eyes and see a flock of birds. The vision lasts a second or perhaps less; I don’t know how many birds I saw. Were they a definite or an indefinite number? This problem involves the question of the existence of God. If God exists, the number is definite, because how many birds I saw is known to God. If God does not exist, the number is indefinite, because nobody was able to take count. In this case, I saw fewer than ten birds (let’s say) and more than one; but I did not see nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, or two birds. I saw a number between ten and one, but not nine, eight, seven, six, five, etc. That number, as a whole number, is inconceivable; ergo, God exists.

[From Dreamtigers, by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Mildred Boyer]

[This would have made more sense (or less) if all he had written was: “The number, as a whole number, is inconceivable; ergo, God exists.” But that wouldn’t have been Borges. Apparently, his entire argument hangs on the word “inconceivable” (spoken with a lisp) . . . but how that word makes this a sound argument, I don’t know . . . I love Borges.]