December (from The Philosophy of Religion)
1. No One can be Fully Satisfied with Things
No one in the world can be said to be fully satisfied with things. In whatever condition one may be placed, there is a kind of dissatisfaction. Nothing is complete in life anywhere. There are some complaints to make against everything. Nothing can satisfy anybody, though the reason why cannot be easily understood. One is likely to imagine that all the difficulties are socially constructed. Man looks around and sees people, and is thoroughly dissatisfied with the way they are behaving. “What a wretched society it is!” he often complains under the impression that society is the source of the evil that he sees in life. He believes his sorrows are caused by other people. It is the cussedness of man’s nature that is the source of his sorrows. Man is not behaving as man. “What man has made of man,” says the poet. Society is not directing itself in the way it ought to. There is something dead wrong in the structure of human society. So, one looks up to the skies and exclaims, “What can I do?”
2. The Science of Ethics and Morality
There is the science of ethics, often called morality, on which people hang very much for a safe conduct of human life. This is another of man’s attempts at trying to tackle his feeling of inadequacy, insecurity, and bondage. A standard or a norm is framed for the behaviour of people, and, if the norm is broken, that behaviour is called unethical, immoral, and so on. Thus, the religions of the world today, especially those which have leant too much on these norms of ethics and morality, have turned out to be nothing but mechanisms of dos and don’ts, a different set of mandates that compel men to behave in a particular manner. While man is forced to behave in a particular manner only, willy-nilly, by the regulations of the government, the mandates of ethics and morality compel him in another way and force him to behave in a standardised manner, whether he wants it or not. So, again, he is in a state of bondage. Not even a ray of freedom can be seen in life. There are always compulsions from every side. Religion compels everyone to say, do, and think in this manner or that manner; society forces in its own way; and so do political governments.
3. Every Individual Asks for Freedom
It appears that man is a bound soul pressed into a concentration camp, and it further appears that he just cannot hope to discover what he is internally aspiring for. The world does not seem to have the capacity to deliver the goods. There is no freedom in this world. It cannot be seen anywhere. Everybody is tied down by the shackles of some system, regulation, law, ethics, morality—whatever they may be. Governmental laws are external mandates which force man to behave in a given manner. But man cannot be forced like that. Nobody wishes to be compelled to do, or even to think, something by force. There is a spontaneity in man. Every single individual asks for freedom and not bondage, be it of any kind whatsoever. Even to be subjected to the law of a government is a bondage, and to think what man aspired for was freedom! So, when men asked for freedom, they got bondage! From one kind of bondage they have entered into another kind; in the bargain, no freedom has come. Man, now, has a fear of a different type. While he was afraid of one individual or one group of individuals then, now he is afraid of a larger spectre that is before him, which he has himself created, and he does not seem to be any the better for it.
4. Man has Problems within His Own Self
What are man’s problems? What does he lack finally? It is an ocean of problems, and no one can easily give an answer offhand indicating the source of these difficulties. Man is apparently buffeted from every side. Man has problems within his own self, problems from outside society, and problems and unknown difficulties descending from the heavens like natural cataclysms, catastrophes, etc. In Indian philosophical terminology, these difficulties arising from the three sources are called tapatraya, a problem which is threefold in its nature. Inwardly there is some problem, outwardly there is some, and from above there is something else altogether. The fear that man has from things outside him, from men and things, etc., is the external problem. One cannot trust things fully. There is an anxiety about everything. This is the difficulty that he faces from the phenomena outside. There are also fears of a different type whose causes are unknown, which are capable of descending on man from above, like floods, droughts, earthquakes, cyclones, tempests and thunderstorms, and other such natural calamities. But over and above these, there are inward difficulties of one’s own. Man is a psychological derelict in himself. There is a conflict in his own personality.
5. Entering Religious Consciousness
When one enters the religious consciousness, in any degree whatever, one gets transported totally. The soul is in a state of rapture. One is then in a large sea of delight because the whole that is above is trying to pull one out from the lower levels in which one is encased. It is as if the pith of one’s individuality is being drawn out of its shell. Whatever image or description we can employ in understanding this process of the rise of one’s being into the levels of religion, we will find that words cannot touch the spirit. No prophet has endeavoured to describe the universal dimension of religion in its essentiality, except in terms of the requirements of a particular time historically, or of a place geographically. The universal can be comprehended only by itself.
6. There is No Such Thing as Society
A philosopher must be able to stretch his mind beyond what merely appears to the eyes, into the field of what is not substantial and tangible, even if it may be of notions or concepts. Most of the matters that are important to man are mere concepts. Without these concepts and notions, he cannot live. They are necessary notions. For example, human society is a phenomenon that can be cited. Really, there is no such thing as society. It does not exist. What is there is only a heap of individuals. There are men and women and children. Nothing else is seen. Society cannot be touched. It cannot be even seen with the eyes. A society is a psychological interpretation of relational circumstance, so that it becomes a relation and not a substance. So are administrations, governments, etc. They are not visible to the eyes. Only people can be seen. The building bricks of administrative organisations, even of the human society for that matter, are the individuals which are the substances. So, when an attempt is made to define the content of philosophy, one would be landed in the definition of a substance, an existent something, rather than a notion.
7. Nothing Can Stand in the Same Condition Forever
No human institution survives for eternity. All empires came and fell. No kingdom succeeded for eternity, and no institution can, because all institutions which are humanly organised are conditioned by the evolutionary factors to which the minds of people are subject, and, as there is an advance in evolution, there is, naturally, a change in the setup of psychic actions and reactions. Therefore, human institutions cannot be perpetually established in the world. No family, no nation, no empire can stand for ever, because it is not permitted by the law of evolution, just as one cannot be a baby always, though one was a baby once upon a time. A baby becomes a mature person, and advances. The systems of organisation in the form of social institutions grow into maturity, and they become old like the individual; then they decay, and they perish. The law of growth and decay that is seen in the individual personality and things operates even in institutions. This is so because institutions are only manufactured goods psychologically projected by the characteristics of the individual, which are subject to this evolutionary process of growth, decay, and final extinction. The whole world seems to be subjected to this law of evolution. Nothing can stand in the same condition forever.
8. There is a Mystery Hanging Above Our Heads
Philosophy is a study of causes behind events, or, rather, the causes of effects, or, to push it further, it may be said to be a study of the ultimate cause of things. This is the subject of philosophy. Why should there be anything at all, and why should it behave the way it behaves? It is often said that science is distinguished from philosophy in this: that, while science can tell the ‘how’ of things, it cannot explain the ‘why’ of things. That is not its field. The ‘why’ of anything is investigated into by the study known as philosophy. Unless the question as to the ‘why’ of a thing is answered from within oneself, one cannot feel finally contented. There is a mystery hanging above our heads, and everything seems to be a mist before us. Why should anything conduct itself or behave in the way it does? Social philosophies of different types study the nature of human behaviour. The science of sociology, again, confines itself to the ‘how’ rather than the ‘why’ of human behaviour. “How do people conduct themselves, and how do they behave in human society?” it asks. But we have a different faculty within us which puts the question: “Why do these people behave in this manner?” We often say, “I do not know why people are behaving in that way.”
9. Only the Material World is Seen
There are two aspects of experience—the real and the unreal; and everything can be divided into two camps—that which really is, and that which is an appearance. That which does not partake of the characteristics of reality is called appearance. One of the philosophers has defined reality as that which persists in the three periods of time, that which existed in the past, that which exists in the present, and that which shall exist in the future also, without any change. But, with our eyes, we have not seen any such thing. There is nothing in the world which will stand this kind of a test of indestructibility, unchangeability, and permanence. All the same, the inherent instinctive feeling of man that there exists such a reality, along with the urge to find a solution to the human predicament, motivates the search for reality, which, quite naturally and understandably, starts with the analysis of the immediately available human experience, which is the world. There is only the material world seen, and generally this is regarded as the reality. The world is the reality before man—the physical world of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. The philosophical and scientific minds analyse this fivefold elemental existence into several bits of components, which may be called chemical compounds.
10. The Supreme Aim of Life is the Attainment of Moksha
Ultimately, the supreme aim of life is not the fulfilment of any desire, but the attainment of liberation, moksha. The evolutionary process of the cosmos is the movement of all phenomena towards Self-realisation, not of any given individual, but of all things uniformly. It is the Self-realisation of the universe. The universe is struggling to become aware of its own existence as a total whole. The cosmos is endeavouring to regain its integrality in an all-inclusive Self-awareness. Towards this end, every part of it is moving, like the parts of a machine when it is operating. The goal of life is the attainment of God, the realisation of the Absolute, the unity of the individual with the cosmos. This is Moksha. This is the final aim of all life.
11. Every Thought is a Whole Thought
The spirit of religious worship and meditation has to saturate and seep into the secular life, if life is to become a healthy whole. Even as cloth soaked in water absorbs into its very fibre the whole of water, the apparently secular life has to become a living step to the more organised dimension of religious experience. Meditation need not necessarily mean a withdrawal in an antisocial or unsocial manner. Nothing can be more natural than meditation. Meditation need not suggest the shutting oneself off psychologically from certain other functions of life. The psyche is a whole, a Gestalt, as they usually call it. It is not a partitioned house divided against itself. The psychological organ is a compact indivisibility. Every thought is a whole thought. Thus, when we enter into meditation, the entire psychic wholeness gets charged, even those aspects which are connected with the well-known secular engagements.
12. It is not That One Mountain is Here, Another There
Generally, we have the feeling that matter is contained as a substance inside space. Very rarely does one feel that there is such a thing called time. Man is inviolably connected with the process of time. Yet, he thinks very little of it, but is acutely conscious of space. The dimensions of matter, which man identifies with the substances of the world, are due to the extensions of space. There is what is called distance, and that principle of distance is due to the existence of space. Man has an intuitional apperception of the characteristic of space, such that he does not bother much about its nature. He thinks that it is all clear. Everyone knows what space is—it is a kind of emptiness, we think, which contains every blessed thing. This was the original eighteenth or nineteenth century conclusion of even physics, which led to the notion that the universe of astronomy is an arrangement of material bodies which were formed out of the galaxies, and which constituted the solar system, the Earth, the planets, etc. However, it is not evidently easy to accept that bodies are scattered independently in space, as if they have no connection whatsoever among themselves. It is not that one mountain is here, another there, or one tree is here and another there, without any connection between the two.
13. There is, Perhaps, a Cosmic Society
The deeper does one go into the world of matter, and the further does one move in the direction of space, the more is the insight one gains into the secret of the operation of nature, the secret being an organic relation among bodies, which appears to be outwardly scattered in space. It is humanly impossible to imagine how the Earth, for instance, can move along the same track which it was following for aeons up to this time, as if there is a set of rails laid down on its path in space. Man is used to thinking that things, like the planet Earth, are inorganic, inanimate, incapable of thought, without eyes to see and minds to think. But the precision with which bodies work surpasses even the best mathematical imagination. Perhaps, man has invented the system of mathematics only on the observation of the way in which material bodies operate. We are not intending to refute the opinion of rationalists like Kant, however, in connection with the grounds of mathematical intuition. It cannot be explained how such a precision can be possible at all, where the action of the mind is not even apparent. Though this is difficult to understand because of man’s habit of thinking, probably, finally, he will have to come round to attribute an intellect or a reason to what goes as inanimate existence. There is, perhaps a cosmic society, even as man has his own little small human society.
14. Man is not Outside the Universe
What does the modern scientist say? Matter has been dematerialised. Matter is no more considered to be a hard, solid substance. Man is gradually evaporating into thin air—so thin, so ethereal, and so fine that a time has come now when it is not possible to distinguish his own presence from the wider atmosphere of the universe. The observing scientist, or the philosopher, is inside the universe. This is important to remember. How can man look at the universe when he is a part of it? How can man study anything in this world? How can he make an analysis of any object, if he is not really outside it? From the fact of the conclusions that one arrives at through the consequences following from the law of gravitation, it follows that the universal structure cannot exclude the contents thereof. Man is not outside the universe. This should be a simple fact. If he is not outside the universe, how can he study the universe? Where comes the need, and the necessity, or even the possibility of his observing anything? Here is the crux of the whole situation. The problem that hangs like an iron curtain in front of the modern scientist is this difficulty of his inability to disentangle himself from the object of his observation.
15. Man is a Concentrated Point of Energy
Human personality is not a granite or flint pillar. Man is not a solid object. Your personality or my individuality —whatever it may be called—is not a solid object like a stone, a brick, or a heavy substance. It is a movement, a continuous transition, rather than a thing that exists exclusively. Man is a concentrated point of movement. This is an important thing to remember. Movement can be higgledy-piggledy, chaotic action, running about in any direction, or like the cyclone or the wind that blows, but the movement that is human personality is not a jumble of agitation. It is not a tempest that blows in any direction as it wills. It is a well-organised purposive movement. There is a system even in madness, as they usually say. In this transitoriness that the human personality is, in this movement that man is, in this complex of forces rather than of substances that he seems to be, there is an order, a system, a method, and a logic of its own. That is why human beings are actually sane and not wild sceneries. If man were to blow like wind, and the components of his personality were to go anywhere they willed like a storm in the ocean, he would be torn to pieces; a part of him would be there, and another part of him would be anywhere else.
16. The Need for Meditation on Consciousness
The philosophical foundations and the religious consequences of the analysis lead to the need for a meditation on consciousness as the quintessence of the whole adventure. All study, all endeavour, and every enterprise, in every walk of life, results in the fixing of oneself in a type of reality. This is precisely the function of meditation. To recognise one’s true relationship with the Ultimate Reality is to place oneself in the context of the highest form of meditation. Meditation is, in fact, not a psychological act or a physical movement, or even a social adjustment, but a trans-empirical attitude of the whole of what one is, a perfection of outlook one adopts in the light of the nature of the facts of life. From the beginning of this study, an attempt has been made to understand what reality is, how it manifests itself by degrees of expression in the universe and in the individuals who form themselves into groups, societies, or organisations for the purpose of self-fulfilment. There is a gradual descent of the character of reality in the process of creation, and the aim of meditation is just the opposite of this descending series. Meditation leads to the gradual ascent of self by degrees of expansiveness.
17. Meditation is Practising True Religion
When one is in a mood of meditation, one is practising true religion, but by so doing one does not belong to any particular religious cult. We live religion when we are in a state of meditation, because religion is the relation between man and God, between the soul and the Absolute. The affirmation of it in life is religion’s aim. Religion is not the act of belonging to a creed, a temple, or a church. It is an inward acceptance of one’s conscious relation with the Almighty, who presents Himself as the degrees of Deity in the different religions. When we are in a holy mood, we are really in the temple of God. When we are in a state of meditation, we are in the church of Christ. The temple or the church is this very transcendence which is the spirit of religion that occupies a position superior to the empirical subjects and objects of the world. The church does not belong to the world. It is a divine occupation, lifted above the mundane. The temples are trans-earthly atmospheres which have in their precincts whatever is of value. Anyone seated there does not belong to sides or parties, but to the Divine Whole. This world is nothing but a spatio-temporal complex of subjects and objects. And our endeavour is to overcome this limitation. One becomes truly religious only in meditation. In other activities one sinks back into the bodily individuality.
18. It is not True that Matter is the Same as Life
What is meant by prana? What is life? The biologists tell us that there is a thing called life which is incapable of identification with matter. Though, many times, mechanistic materialists have held the opinion that life is not different from matter, it has become very difficult to accept this doctrine. How can anyone say that life is the same as brick, or a body with which one is lumbering, and without which also one can exist? It is seen that man can exist even without being conscious of the body. If the body were the same as life, life would be extinct when it is dissociated from the body. But man is alive even in dream, sleep, and states of deep concentration. In deep meditation one is not aware of the body. Man would be dead at one stroke, if it were true that matter is life, in conditions when the body is not an object of his consciousness. It is not true that matter is the same as life. They are two different things. But it is difficult to understand what the relationship is between these two. No one has ever come to a final conclusion as to what life means. It is this life-force that is called prana-sakti. There is the prana-sakti, the power of the prana. Prana is vitality, living force, organic energy. It is a living, protoplasmic, organismic, and energising vitality in man. Sometimes prana is identified with breath. But it is interior even to breath.
19. Food is Also a Kind of Medicine
The vital energy within man is the sum total of his strength. Whatever strength or energy that one has is nothing but the prana. It does not always come just from the food that one eats. Though fuel is necessary to ignite fire, fuel is not the same as fire; petrol is not fire, though petrol is necessary for ignition. There is a difference between the heat, and that which causes the heat to ignite by means of a fuel. So, while energy is accelerated, accentuated, and enhanced by consumption of food, it is not identical with strength itself. Strength is an impersonal capacity that is within man, the force that is inside. How does man gain strength at all? It is not merely from the almonds that he eats, or the milk that he drinks. A corpse also can have food thrust into it; milk may be poured into its mouth, but it cannot gain strength. Any food that is served to the corpse cannot infuse energy into it. Another principle, called vitality, is necessary for the energisation or the digestion of the food that is eaten. Vitality is that which helps the working of the medicine that is taken, but if the vitality is gone, medicine is dead matter. It helps no one. So is the case with food. Food is also a kind of medicine that is taken for the illness of hunger, but it itself cannot provide the energy, unless there is vitality within.
20. The Five Functions of Prana
The prana is a common name that is applied to the total capacity in man, the energy of the personality, but it performs different functions. When a man does the work of dispensing justice, he is called a judge; when he is a chief executive of a district, he is called a collector; when he dispenses medicine, he is called a physician, and so on. The same person is known by different names on account of the functions he performs. So is this prana, which performs five functions. When one breathes out there is exhalation, and prana is operating. Prana is a term that is used in a double sense. It indicates the exhaling force, and also the total energy of the system. So, prana means two things—the force that expels the breath out in exhalation, and also the total energy. The force by which one breathes in is called apana. The force that circulates the blood through every artery, vein and every part of the body equally, is vyana. It is known that the body is connected to other parts in such a harmonious manner that if any part of the body is touched, the sensation is felt in every other part also. This sensation that is felt in every part, as a wholeness of one’s personality, is due to the vyana operating, a particular aspect of the function of the energy which moves throughout the body equally. The energy that digests the food is called samana. There is another force which causes the deglutition of food. When food is put into the mouth, it is pushed inside to the oesophagus, through the part of the throat by which food is swallowed. An energy operates here.
21. Man's Strength Depends Upon the Energy of the Cosmos
Prana gets irregularly distributed in the personality on account of desires, primarily. Man is full of desires. No one is free from them. But, if they are wholesome desires, harmonious with the atmosphere or the environment in which one is, they do not cause agitation. There is nothing devilish about desires as such, but, then, there is nothing devilish about anything in the world, ultimately. Everything is right, provided it is in its allotted place. Only when a thing is put out of context, when it is misplaced, or is given an excessive importance, especially when there is intense love and intense hatred, the prana is thrown out of gear, and there is a lack of its equidistribution in the body. Love, of course, is good, and man lives only by love—certainly so. But it does not mean that one should pour one’s love on a particular object only. The lowest kind of knowledge is that where there is concentration on a finite object, as if it is everything. Love is the source of our vitality, energy, health, and sustenance; but love directed exclusively to a single object is a danger. There, prana is directed unwholesomely in one direction only, cutting off its relationship with other objects. Man’s strength depends upon the energy of the cosmos.
22. Man Cannot Meditate on Brahman
Brahman is the Absolute, and one cannot meditate on Brahman, because it is inclusive of even the meditator himself. Man cannot meditate on God because God includes the human location. Thus, to endeavour to meditate on the omnipresence of God would be a simultaneous attempt to abolish one’s own individual existence. When God is, man ceases to be. This is a subtle result that would insinuate itself into the effort at meditation on the supremacy of All-Being. God, thus, ceases to be an object of individual contemplation. God is the Supreme Subject which contemplates Itself as the All. One, generally, regards oneself as the subject, and what is contemplated upon as the object. But in the case of God, conceived in the true sense of the term, the meditating consciousness affiliates itself with the object in such an intimate manner that in this inward association of the meditator with the object of meditation it would appear that the object itself is in a state of meditation.
23. Meditation is God Bathing Himself
In a heightened form of meditation, the meditating spirit enters into the body of the object with such force that it dissolves itself in the object, as rivers melt down in the ocean. In a sense, it may be said that no one is meditating on God, because that someone is a part of God’s all-comprehensive Being. Then, who would do the meditation? When one goes deep into this investigative spirit, it would be realised that it is a meditation with which God is bathing Himself. It is God becoming conscious of Himself, or the universe getting illumined into its own self-conscious attitude. One cannot distinguish between the universe and God in the ultimate sense. The distinction has arisen on account of our maintaining an individuality of our own as physical bodies, social units, psychological egos, etc. The Yoga-Vasishtha tells us that the highest form of meditation is an inward affirmation of the cosmic presence of Brahman. This is what is known as Brahma-Abhyasa. The form which the mind takes in this meditation is known as Brahmakara-Vritti, the psychosis which assumes the form of the cosmic substance.
24. Consciousness of the Fullness of the Universe
Meditation is our graduated participation in the consciousness of this enveloping fullness. It is achieved by degrees. The divine consciousness manifests itself in stages in the evolutionary processes of the universe. Even the little individual mind here, as a person, is a degree of that very consciousness. But here, in the case of man, it has descended to so low a state that it has identified itself with the physical form and is unable to feel its presence in other forms. The all-pervading consciousness has come down to the physical forms and has become individual bodies and objects. The lowest descent has taken such a morbid shape that it cannot recognise its kinship with the rest of the world. It has got tied up to the four walls of this tiny body and it cannot visualise itself in other such bodies. But, though it cannot consciously feel its presence in others, yet, subconsciously, or unconsciously, it is pulled towards other things, for it is, after all, present there at the invisible depths and centres of things. Consciousness cannot be destroyed; it is immortal and undividedly present. The unconscious pull exerted by its own presence in other things is the reason behind attractions, affections, loves and spirits of organisation in creation, from the lowest forms of the gyration of the atoms to the galaxies that spin through endless space.
25. Man is a Greater Mystery and Secret
Space and time are supposed to be one complex whole. They are proved to be not two different things in the end. The objects, including human bodies, being placed in the context of space-time are conditioned by the nature of the space-time complex. If man were to be living in a different order of space-time, he would certainly not be a human being as he is now. But, man is a greater mystery and secret than can be observed on the outer surface. The analysis that Indian philosophers have made here is astounding. The study of philosophy in India began by a study of the nature of man. However, philosophy in the West, in its empirical meanderings, was confined to the study of the human individual as a subject from the point of view of experiences available in the waking life. Everyone, in the waking condition, is aware of the presence of the world outside, through the operation of the sense organs. What does man learn when he is awake? He sees a world. But how does he see a world? He is aware of the existence of the world by means of various factors that work together in bringing about this knowledge.
26. Occult Meditations
Meditations which are more occult in nature consist mainly in the exercise of the will, charged with a determined understanding. This system, too, has a philosophical basis, though it takes an intensely practical turn when the exercise commences. This type of meditation is psychic in the beginning though spiritual in the end, a process by which one places oneself in a closer affinity with the objects of the world. By continued habituation to the subsisting relationship between oneself and the things of the world one gets into their substance and, in a sense, embraces the very roots of objectivity. The meditational techniques prescribed in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali border upon a cosmic association of oneself with objects, stage by stage, commencing with particular things chosen for the purpose of meditation, and gradually expanding the area of action into other objects, culminating in the concentration of consciousness on that great reservoir of all things, the universe of elements and forces.
27. I Cannot Doubt that I am Doubting
The great philosopher of India, Acharya Sankara, and another reputed philosopher of the West, Rene Descartes, thought on equal terms at different times in regard to the nature of the self. The doubting of the existence of one’s own self has been regarded as impossible, because scepticism, while it can be applied to the nature of things outside, cannot be applied to the conclusions arrived at by the sceptic himself. The doubting of everything is an acceptance of the doubtless position which the sceptic maintains. The conclusions of a sceptical argument are not subject to the very same scepticism to which other things are subject. “I cannot doubt that I am doubting.” This is the basic conclusion one finally lands upon. One can doubt everything but cannot doubt that one is doubting, because if one doubts the doubting, such doubting would have no sense. There is some peculiarity in man which defies the grasp at ordinary logical analysis. And this was the stand taken finally by most of the Indian philosophers. This mystery, this secret, may form the key to unlock the secrets of all nature. This “I am,” or “I exist” is uncontradictable, undeniable, and is infallible knowledge.
28. Man is not Always Waking
There are occasions when man passes through states which are different from the waking one. Man is not always waking; he is in other conditions also, when he still exists. Dream is one instance. Man exists even in dream; he is not dead. But here the waking consciousness does not operate; the senses are not active. One does not see with the eyes, does not hear with the ears. If a sound is made near the ears when one is dreaming, he may not hear it; if a particle of sugar is placed on the tongue, he may not taste it. A mechanism operates even in the state of dream. And, “I dreamt yesterday,” is what everyone generally says when one wakes up from dream. Did ‘I’ exist in dream? Yes, ‘I’ did exist. In what condition did ‘I’ exist? Not as the body, for the body was inactive. One was not aware of the existence of the body. One could not identify oneself with the body. Man was not the body at all, for all practical purposes, in his dream. What was he, then? Well, one may say, “I was only the mind.” The mind was operating; the mind was existing; the mind was functioning; the mind was experiencing the whole phenomena of what could be regarded as a dream life.
29. I Knew Nothing, I had a Good Sleep
Deeper still, there is a state called sleep. What happens in sleep? Even the mind does not operate here. This is important to note. The intellect, feelings, volitions, and sense organs all cease to operate. But does man exist in sleep? Yes, he does exist. In what capacity? What is man then? “I am” is the assertion that everyone generally makes on waking. But in what way was one existing? In what state was this “I”, the self? In the state of deep sleep the “I” did not exist as the body. It did not exist as the intellect which was then not functioning. There was no psychic operation of any kind in the state of sleep. When there is no body, no mind. what remains in man? Nothing remains; it is a vacuum, as it were. Man was in an inexplicable darkness, which is identified with sleep. No one knows anything in sleep. What does everyone say about sleep when one wakes up in the morning? “I knew nothing; I had a good sleep.” But when one says, “I knew nothing, I had good sleep,” one is making a self-contradictory statement. If nothing was known, how could one know that one slept well? It is not true that one does not know anything, though it appears there is no object of consciousness in sleep. One does not know anything in sleep, because there is no external object there.
30. It is Being which is Consciousness
Everyone was in the state of deep sleep, in a condition of pure being—impersonal, featureless, indeterminate awareness associated with existence. What was everyone in the state of deep sleep? Only existence which is associated with consciousness in an integral manner. It was not existence and consciousness. It was existence which was consciousness, Sat-Chit. The Vedanta philosophy uses the word ‘Sat-Chit’, which means Existence-Consciousness. The difficulty of language is such that no word can be used at all to designate what Sat-Chit means. They are not two different things or states. It is Being which is Consciousness, or Consciousness which is Being. Being is Consciousness, and Consciousness is Being. So the hyphen is used, Existence-Consciousness, because no other way is known to write it down. Everyone is only Existence-Consciousness in the state of deep sleep. If the Self is Consciousness, naturally it cannot be divisible. It is not partite, it is impartite. If one imagines a division of Consciousness, theoretically at least, or academically, one has to imagine a space between two parts of Consciousness, because what distinguishes one thing from another thing is space, or time. Now, can one imagine that there is space between two parts of Consciousness?
31. Existence Which is Consciousness is Bliss
Existence which is Consciousness is of the character of Bliss. Why is it Bliss? Because, all suffering and finitude, every difficulty and penury of any kind, is the result of the finitude of one’s nature. When one has become the Infinite, all desires are fulfilled. The desires are not abolished or destroyed in the Infinite, as people may imagine. All wishes are totally fulfilled in their reality. We enjoy at present dream objects, a shadow of the substance, as it were. But there, one becomes the archetype or the original of things, as if one in dream rises into the waking life and beholds the reality of things as they are. Even this Bliss is not separate from Existence-Consciousness. Existence, which is Consciousness, itself is bliss. If the Self is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss in deep sleep, can it be otherwise in the waking and dream states? No, because it is indivisible, thus, infinite; it would be the same always. Thus, essentially, the Self is Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Here Infinity and Eternity get blended into All-Being.