Hari Om Sunilji,
Thank you for your response. I think we are on the same page - am answering some of questions you’ve raised so that there is no mis-understanding :
a) Question “Are you saying from the I-the ego, creates mind? “
No, I am not saying Ego creates mind. I agree with you – Avidya creates both the Ego and Mind and both are different aspects of antakarana.
b) Question “Does the ego come first or does the mind come first?”
I think we both understand that between, Buddhi(Intellect), Mind (Manas), Ego (Ahamkara), and Memory (Chitt) one cannot say what comes first and what comes next. All are merely thought modifications.
Coming to the more important discussion on Reflected-Consciousness :
I understand the heat example you use – In your first post you mentioned that heat permeating through the vessel is a better example of reflected consciousness. Yes, this example is interesting; can I also add to this that depending on the quality of the vessel, the heat is either well conducted and the vessel heats up quickly or it takes a long time to heat. (Just like quality of the mind)
Forgive me for persisting but I find the mirror example so apt and beautiful – especially because we are talking about Consciousness. Consciousness as you know is often compared to Light - we call it Jyoti or “Light of Consciousness”.
Now, when we say Reflected Consciousness – the Mind-Intellect is also an inert object but it has that a peculiar characteristic. It reflects. It is just its nature. Like a mirror or water – the mind also reflects, all are inert. (Eg : On a full moon day, you cannot see the reflection of the moon in the ground or on stones – but you can see it in the water. That is the nature of the water as a material which is different from earth. Both are inert. When we stand facing a wall, only the mirror on the wall will reflect our face not the other parts of the wall. Some inert objects reflect and some objects don’t reflect so well – Infact, this explains why we cannot perceive Consciousness in many inert substances around us although Consciousness is everywhere)
So, as the Mind-Intellect has this quality and since Consciousness is like Light – the Mind reflects this light. The body doesn’t. I came across this quote while I was studying Atmabodha:
sadaa sarvagatoapyaatmaa na sarvatraavabhaaste
buddhaavevaavabhaaseta svachchheshhu pratibimbavatah
The Atman does not shine in everything although He is All-pervading. He is manifest only in the inner equipment, the intellect (Buddhi): just as the reflection in a clean mirror.
When Consciousness shines through the mind, it enlivens us and we experience the world outside. We can feel this experience of Consciousness in the mind every minute. We think it is Consciousness but in reality it is a false perception of Consciousness as this is limited by the mind's experiences. That is why it is called “Chit “abhasa” – “A false reflection” of the Chit in our mind.
I just wanted to explain some aspects of this beautiful an subtle representation of mirror and reflection to you as I understood it. I hope I have made the example a little more appealing to you.
Coming to your first post - does that make us incidental? Yes it certainly makes this BMI Identity of us incidental and I see no reason for confusion - It does make us as well as everything else we see around us have a dependent reality; dependent on Consciousness, which is the only Reality. Isn’t that Oneness the beauty of Advaita Vedanta?
Pranams. Happy learning.