What is it that continues to perceive after death?
We cannot say that the consciousness continues to perceive after death because the very fact that perception is changing moment by moment is the proof that it is something which grows and stops. And the fact that we are no longer perceiving crawling around on our hands and knees in diapers is evidence that this consciousness only experiences that which is ripening at the moment. It is forced
upon us by our past actions that have been set in motion. The perception of being human and all that it entails is a karma ripening upon us...and when it ceases, we too will cease to have those perceptions.
Perhaps I'm wrong to think that the last post was sarcastic, but it certainly sounded that way. Nonduality? What is this nonduality that you express? What is the definition that YOU have asserted that Bergson achieved that the "gentle Buddha" did not? Of all the things that he asserted which were incredibly valid, he asserted that emptiness cannot be directly perceived but can only be conceptualized. The definition of an Arya is anyone who has directly experienced emptiness. To discuss this "thing" philosophically is to create concepts concerning this adjective. But, to directly perceive this is beyond conception and takes a very disciplined mind to hold onto such a reality. The ideals that are formed concerning emptiness are only sign
posts and maps that lead to this direct perception.
The fallacies of those who would deny this highest perception is the inability to perceive it for themselves. It is not an experience that can happen in your everyday experiences. This requires arduous training of the mind into deeper and more subtle levels of consciousness. Reading what someone else does little to bring one to this "zero". Anything, regardless of how sublte cannot render anything but a duality. There can be no experience of an "I" and an object of meditation. This is the meaning of nonduality.
To the question "what is it that is reborn", Jeff replies "pure intuitive consciousness (enlightenment) ". This consciousness, though not stained by experiences, by karmas, is still intermixed with the karmas that have "entered' into it. Your assertion would be like saying that there is a snowball that exists independently of the snowflakes and
bits of dirt and other material in it. The snowball simply IS the accumulation of all of that. The mind that has not seen directly the fact that these things are as much a part of the flow of the mind that is perceiving the APPEARANCES of these objects is subject to carry them on until they have run their course or with strong countermeasures to diminish the energy that they will render. The assertions made prior are much like those of the Svatantrika- Madhyamika of Buddhist philosophy. They say that we should "transform" our problems into good, presupposing that a problem somehow exists "out there". If there is any essence to things at all, they would simply be impossible to overcome and liberation would be impossible. Therefore, the perceptions that you are having are simply you...your past actions of body, speech, or mind rendering the accumulated energies into your perceptions now.
Consider the color blue, it is something which is
devoid of being of a separate substance from the valid perception which perceives it; because it is invariably found in combination with it.
Any attempts to imply a disparity fails: that is nonduality.
You say that we cannot "teach" enlightenment. I would agree to a point. It is, however, a mistake to think that things can just randomly arise in the mind. We do rely on those in higher planes of perception to guide those in the lower. Tathagatagarbha is not something that means that we all have a buddha inside of us but have yet to uncover it. That is not the case. There are so many ignorances and delusions that riddle our consciousness, many laying latently. Once these are removed, all forms of suffering have been removed but the highest form of enlightenment is still out of reach. The force of perception is always there, even in enlightenment. There is never a time that the consciousness is not conscious of
something. As our perceptions shift and allow us the openness to receive information from another being, helping us to reorganize data that we just haven't put together correctly, we make further progress. We cannot do this alone. There are beings around us all the time teaching and guiding, corporeal and otherwise.
If you perceive an oyster on the ocean floor, you are perceiving the APPEARANCE of an oyster. The projection of a thing called oyster is real, very real and it works! But, as for a self existent thing that is not dependent upon your consciousness to experience it, there is none. This would be false. This would be the slip of the foot on your acceptance of the notion of nonduality that you presented.
I'm sorry, the appearance of my self-existing eyes, though they do not exist that way, are having an appearance of being tired, though they do not exist in that way either. So, this appearance of an
appearance of a man appearing to be tired must appear to make the appearance of himself appear to go to the appearance of a bed for the appearance of a night of an appearance of sleep. Never static...nothing.
As long as space remains, as long as living beings remain, until then - may I too remain to dispel the sufferings of the world. - Master Shantideva