Friday, June 6, 2008

Floating world of Consciousness

SV: Hej! denna dagens blogg är helt på engelska, jag ber om ursäkt om någon blir frustrerad över denna orättvisa, men om du inte lärt dig engelska ännu så passa på att öva! Det är iaf en text av Srila Sridhar Maharaj, en fantastisk vaishnavamunk som tillbringade sina sista dagar på jorden i Västbengalen i Indien. Jag har saxat ur hans bok "Subjective evolution of Consciousness" som egentligen är en samling nedskrivna samtal (från knastriga gamla ljudinspelningar) där han eloborerar över varat och dess gestaltning. Jag har just skickat nedanstående text till en vän jag träffade häromdan på stan, vi talade ett tag om subjekt och hur man ska kunna vara objektiv när man är ett subjekt etc etc och jag kom att tänka på denna bok. Idag läste jag lite igen (2 år sen sist) och fastnade i spegelbilden av mig själv i dess klara vatten, mao dess beskrivning av själen, subjektet. Så håll i hatten och hoppa ner och läs!

ENG: The other day I met one friend in the streets who was very inquitisitive about the subject and how we can be objective when we are subjects etc... so we came to talk about this and we could have continued for long i think but when i came home i remembered the talk and one special book came to my mind; "Subjective evolution of Consciousness" by Srila Sridhar Maharaj, that i read 2 years ago. it is a collection of talks
he had on his veranda (transcripted from old recordings) and there he deals with just this subject. I started reading and got stuck, its so fresh and clear knowledge. I request you all to read it!

Here´s the quote i send to my friend in an email:

Srila Sridhar Maharaj:
"If my senses are removed, the entire world of our experience is nothing to me. Only through my senses can I be aware of the existence of the outside world. Minus senses, eyes, ears, no world is apparent to me. Then, above the senses is the mind. What is the mind? The mind deals with acceptance and rejection: sankalpa vikalpa. In other words, the mind thinks, "I want this, I don't want that." It deals with attachment and hatred. The mind determines who is enemy and who is friend, this is mine, that's yours. If we want to understand the mind we have to look within, to inquire within: what is that element in me that seeks friends and avoids enemies? Where is he? Sometimes the mind is apparent; then other times it is hiding. I must find out where the mind exists, of what substance is it composed? By analysis I can understand what aspect of my inner self is the mind. Then, having some idea of what the mind is, I may analyze that part of me which deals with reason, the intelligence. Where is the intelligence?

When the mind demands something; the intelligence says, "Don't take that, don't eat that." By introspection, I may look within and find out: what is that principle in me which reasons? Where is that fine thing? What is its nature, its substance, its existence? We shall try in our introspection to find it out, substantially. If that is possible, then the next step will take us to the soul. What is that soul which makes possible the intelligence, the reason by which we act, which prompts the mind to want, and also gives our senses the power to connect with things? What is that spark of knowledge? Where is that soul within me? What position does it hold ? I want to see it face to face. Then in this way we can evaporate like lightning all the misconceptions of body and mind. By finding the soul through introspection, we may experience the lightning touch of realization.
At that time, the whole world will be turned in a diametrically different line, and we shall see things differently: "Oh, this material life is undesirable! These senses are enemies in the garb of friends. If I confront them now, they say that I may have an honorable friendship with them, and that without them I can't live. But it is all a hoax."
From a realization of the soul, from the point of that wonderful knowledge, one may come to see the ocean of knowledge. One may begin to see what is in the subjective area, and hanker for how to come in connection with that divine realm. At that time, the very trend of one's life will be changed, and a total change will come in our search, in our standard of prospect in life. And our search will take a concrete shape in devotion. In this way, we must begin our search after the higher sphere. And how to enter there?"

"Descartes said, "I doubt everything. Whatever you say, I doubt." Then, Descartes says, the question that arises is, "Does the doubter exist - True or false?" You have to start your search for truth from there. Who am I ? To whatever truth is related, whatever idea is stated, one may say, "I oppose that statement. I doubt it." Then the question arises does the doubter exist, or is he nonexistent? If he is nonexistent, then there can be no question of doubting. If one takes the position of an extreme skeptic, he must explain his own position. He may assert, "Whatever you have said, I doubt;" but he must discern whether or not he really exists. That must be the starting point for any further inquiry.
And what is the doubter? Is he an atom? A particle of dust? Is he without knowledge? And if so, then how has he comes to assert doubt? This question should be examined. Whenever one may doubt, the question must be asked, "Who is the doubter? Is he conscious? Does he have reason? Has he any existence at all? Or is he imaginary? Is it matter that is submitting the question? Or is a unit of consciousness asking the question? What is the origin of this question? Who is asking the question? Has it come from the conscious region? If it has, then what shall we consider as the basis of existence? Consciousness or matter? A fossil or God? Before the First World War, I was a student of law in the university. In my senior year I studied philosophy under a professor named Mr. Stevenson. He was a German scholar, but during the war he took Indian citizenship. His class dealt with ontology and psychology. Professor Stevenson's language was very simple, and he used fine arguments to make his point. He gave four arguments against atheism, one of which I find very useful: "Consciousness is the starting point of everything." Whatever you say presupposes consciousness. Any statement presupposes consciousness.
If we examine the fossil, what do we see? It is black, it is hard, it has some smell, some attributes, but what are these things? These are all different stages of consciousness. Without the help of consciousness, no assertion can be made. No assertion is possible at all. One may say that the fossil is the most elemental substance, but a fossil means what? Some color, sensation, hardness, taste; but the background is consciousness.
After everything is analyzed, we will find that it is an idea. This is Berkeley's theory. Everything is an idea in the ocean of consciousness. Just as an iceberg floats in the salt ocean, so the fossil is floating in the conscious ocean. Ultimately everything, whatever we can assert, whatever is within the world of our experience - is floating like an iceberg in the ocean of consciousness. This point can never be refuted.

I have had personal experience of this. When I was twenty-three, I had some deep and natural indifference to the world. At that time I had an experience of the reality of consciousness. I felt the material world floating on consciousness just as cream floats on milk. Conscious reality is much deeper than the apparent reality of our present experience. The world of experience is like cream floating on milk which is the mind. This physical world is only the visible portion of reality floating over the mental world. I felt this myself. When there is a huge quantity of milk, the cream that floats over the milk and covers it is very meager. In the same way, I could feel at that time that this physical world is only a meager portion of reality, and that the subtle world, which is at present in the background, is far more vast. The mental world is a huge and vast reality, and the physical world is a small cover over that mental world.
Whatever can be perceived by the eye, the ear, the tongue, the nose, the skin - any of the external senses - is only a covering of reality. In Srimad-Bhagavatam Prahlada Maharaja says, na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum, durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah. We are making too much of the covering of reality, we are devoting our minds to the external coating - bahirartha-maninah - but we do not dive deep into the eternal substance. If only we were to dive deep into reality - there we would find Visnu. The most peaceful substance is within, but it is covered, just as milk is covered by cream, and we are making much of that cover. The real substance is within, just as fruit is covered by its skin. What we experience at present is the cover, the skin, and we are making much of that, ignoring the very substance which the cover is protecting.
The primary step in the search for truth is to penetrate the covering and find the knower within. And then begin our analysis. What is he? Is he an atom like an atomic particle of dust? Or is he a fantastic atom in the conscious plane? At first we must approach reality in this way. There is the knower and the unknown, the inquirer and the inquired.
Try to find yourself. Then gradually, you will come to know that you are the soul, the particle of consciousness within. And just as you are spirit covered by matter, the whole world is also like that; the spiritual reality within is covered. Upon realizing your self as spirit soul, you will be able to see that everything is a part of consciousness. Within the world of consciousness, worlds of different sorts of experience are floating. In the conscious sea, the sun, the moon, trees, stones, human beings, our friends, and our enemies are all floating. As we approach the spiritual plane, we will find it to be nearer to our real self. And in this way, we will see that matter is far, far away, but the soul is near.
Try to conceive of reality along these lines. Soul, spirit, consciousness, is nearer to the soul and you are a child of that soil. Matter is far, far away. But the interrupting planes are so close together that we don't see the nature of spiritual reality, just as if you put your hand over your eye, you can't see the hand. But if the hand is only one foot away, we can see it very clearly. Sometimes what is very close, we cannot see. I may be able to see so many things, but I cannot see myself.
Although the Buddhists and other atheists argue that consciousness is a material thing, I say that there is no material thing. If I am to answer the question of whether or not consciousness is produced from matter, then I shall say that nothing is material. Whatever we feel is only a part of consciousness. Everything is an idea. We are concerned only with consciousness from the beginning to the end of our experience. Beyond that we cannot go. Everything is an idea: the stone, the tree, the house, the body - all are ideas. The plane of consciousness is very much closer to us than we perceive. And what is shown as a particular thing is far away. We are involved only with ideas. We can't go outside that. Everything within our experience is a part of our mind."

ok, kom du ända hit så hoppas jag du ger en kommentar/svar :)


  1. wow, var hittar jag denna bok?

  2. och här...

  3. Antar Mauna är ett redskap för att få förståelse för texten. Man leds via sinnena, tankarna till ett medvetande, som bara är där, som en stilla iakttagare.

    Fint att du saxar! Ska genast kolla upp boken :)

  4. nice to be here.... thanks for share

  5. Jay! Srila Sridhar Maharaj Ki Jay!