A few thoughts on the notion of adhyasa or superimposition:
The view of Padmapada in his Panchapadika that adhyasa is creative is plainly wrong. Adhyasa is a completed operation on an existing reality and cannot first create that reality in order to operate on it. Incoherent and circular argumentation that has become accepted remains wrong. Being an analogy, adhyasa is capable of development and is not the final and fixed doctrine which the opponent in the preamble to the B.S.B. attempts to rebut. He says: What about the Self and the ego-sense which you say are mutually superimposed? Those two are not like your paradigm examples i.e. snake/rope, shell/silver because they are not two objects. It is a characteristic quibble of mine, fascinated by the interesting but irrelevant as I am, to hesitate when asked to accept that the notion of adhyasa also covers cases of formal error. The form of a wok is projected onto space i.e. the dome effect. Is Sankara, as the football pundits say ‘taking too much out of the ball’? If he had said ‘well that central paradigm of adhyasa is merely propaedeutic. What I am trying to do is introduce you to the ‘inner’ constellation of Self and ego-sense’.
Sankara metaphorically has passed the mike to me:
Think of the famous duck/rabbit. What is it, is it a duck or a rabbit or both? Answer: It is a mass of marks that perception organises. Think of the Self as a mass of consciousness which is constantly morphing. Infinite rabbits, infinite ducks.
I had a dream once in which I was walking along a beach to some event with a large crowd of people. Oh, hippies, I thought. We were then in a big tent in which there was a dais with a woman sitting on an armchair, a Mother. As I looked Her face constantly changed from young to old, to plain, to beautiful, myriad forms. Then we were outside chanting with a humming resonance - Engrossed is the bee of my mind :
Many Versions, this is one,