Also, instead of starting a whole new thread, I wonder what would be the Buddhists response to the Kashmiri Saivist doctrine of consciousness. In the book, "The Doctrine of Vibration" by Mark Dyczkowski he compared Yogacara Buddhist doctrine to that of Kashmir Shaivism and whether reality is an illusion:
The Yogacara Buddhist similarly maintains that consciousness creates its own forms. But, according to him, because the perceived and perception are identical, there is no perceived object at all. The so-called outer world is merely a flux of cognitions, it is not real. He is firmly committed to a doctrine of illusion. The reality of consciousness from his point of view is established by proving the unreality of the universe.
"All this consists of the act of consciousness alone", says Vasubandhu, "because unreal entities appear, just as a man with defective vision sees unreal hair or a moon, etc."
He points to dreams as examples of purely subjective constructs which appear to be objective realities. The apparent reality dreams possess is not derived from any concrete, objective world, but merely from the idea of objectivity. While the Yogacara does not say that an idea has, for example, spatial attributes, it does have a form manifesting them. While he agrees with the Saiva idealist that appearances have no independent existence apart from their appearing to consciousness,
he maintains that for this reason they are unreal. The creativity of consciousness consists in its diversification in many modes having apparent externality; it is not a creation of objects.
While the Kashmiri Saivite agrees that the world is pure consciousness alone, he maintains that it is such because it is a real creation of consciousness. The effect is essentially identical with the cause and shares in its reality. Matter and the entire universe are absolutely real, as 'congealed' (sty ana) or 'contracted' (samkucita) forms of consciousness. "This God of consciousness", writes Ksemaraja, "generates the universe and its form is a condensation of His own essence (rasa).''' By boiling sugarcane juice it condenses to form treacle, brown sugar and candy which retains its sweetness. Similarly, consciousness abides unchanged even though it assumes the concrete material form of the five gross elements.The same reality thus abides equally in gross and subtle forms. Consequently no object is totally insentient. Even stones bear a trace (vasana) of consciousness, although it is not clearly apparent because it is not associated with the vital breath (prana) and other components of a psycho-physical organism. Somananda goes so far as to affirm that physical objects, far from being insentient, can only exist insofar as they are aware of themselves as existing. The jar performs its function because it knows itself to be its agent. Indeed, all things are pervaded by consciousness and at one with it and hence share in its omniscience. Thus, Siva, Who perceives Himself in the form of physical objects, is the one ultimate reality.
Whatever the case....damn metaphysics can be confusing
. Perhaps it would be better in the end for me (or everyone?) to follow the Taoists maxim:
"To become learned, gain daily. To obtain Tao, reduce daily."