Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Not only memory

A subject –according to many philosophers, from John Locke to Sidney Shoemaker– is needed in order to account for memory. In his Vivṛti on ĪPK 1.4.3, Utpaladeva adds the case of projective cognitions, in which one's subjectivity is projected in a future time:

Thus, it is illogical that the perception of a past object and the object become contents of memory if the following two conditions not occur:
1. the manifestation [of the object] within memory at the present time,
2. the fact that there are two kinds of cognitions of the object (i.e., its actual memory and its past experience).
Therefore a subject of memory and experience is said to be established. And this subject consists of the unity made of the [faculty] of bringing together [memory and experience]. Hence [the Vṛttikāra] said "in this way the experience…". With "etc" (in the Vṛtti) a cognition such as the projective knowledge (of the future) is expressed. This has the form "this object will be perceived again by me". And it must be included because the [present] notion of a projective cognition must be brought together also with the experience of a future time.
(tad evaṃ vartamānasmṛtiprakāśatāṃ vinā paurvakālikārthānubhavasya arthasya ca tajjñānadvayātmatāṃ vinā smṛtiviṣayībhāva eva nopapadyata ity uktā smṛtyanubhavayor
anusandhānamayaikarūpātmasiddhiḥ. tad āha “evam anubhava” iti. ādigrahaṇenotprekṣādisaṃvid uktānubhaviṣyate punar artho mayeti bhaviṣyatkālānubhavenāpy utprekṣābuddher anusandhānāt.)

(edited by Raffaele Torella in Mélanges tantriques à la mémoire d'Hélène Brunner, my translation).

For other translations of Utpaladeva's Vivṛti, check the tag "Śaiva" and here.

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