René Descartes had said-
“Cogito ergo sum” – “I think, therefore I exist”.
That lead the western man to believe that his mind resides ‘inside’ his body. He equated himself with a concept of an isolated ego, his mind that now has an additional function of controlling his body. This lead to the basis of classical physics, no doubt, and it led to the differentiation of mind and body. Cartesian Dualism created an unnecessary conflict between involuntary instincts and conscious will.
Understand yourself, for a moment. You are further separated into compartments, all at conflict with each other. Your feelings, beliefs, activities, experiences leading to a metaphysical frustration. Think about the confusions and about the things that anger you. It all boils down to Multiplicity of Self.
Look around you now. We see what we feel, within. If we are fragmented within, we see our world to be made up of independent things. Thus, the Cartesian Theory has managed to simultaneously be very beneficial and detrimental. Beneficial, thanks to its role in advancing technology, mathematics and physics. Detrimental because it successfully destroyed the Unified Concept of existence. Do we really expect to work out a ‘Unified Theory’ by relying on such laws? We live in a world where, according to our convenience, light alternates between particulate and wave nature.
In Buddhist thought, the tendency of our mind to categorize what we see and thus see them as separate things is understood to be an illusion- ‘ignorance’, and that has to be undone by realization.
“When the mind is disturbed, the multiplicity if things is produced, but when the mind is quieted, the multiplicity of things disappears.”
Law of Conservation of Energy states-
‘Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
It can only be converted from one form to another’.
And following is a Sanskrit ‘mantra’-
Om purna mada purna midam
purnat purnam udachyate
purnasya purnam adaya
purnam eva vasishyate
om santi santi santihi
[That is the Whole, this is the Whole,
From the Whole, the Whole arises,
Taking away the Whole from the Whole,
The Whole remains,
Om Peace, peace, peace]
Similarity between the two is not a coincidence. Our physical world is made up of matter and matter is energy. Everything we see, feel, live, kiss and breathe is one. We live in a world that looks different but has the same essence. The highest aim for the followers of Schools of the Eastern Mysticism (Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism) is-
to become aware of the mutual interrelation of all things,
to transcend the notion of an isolated individual self,
and to identify themselves with the ultimate reality.
This ‘enlightenment’ is a religious experience involving your complete self and the entire universe, in its ultimate nature. It is, perhaps, when you truly understand the world and the meaning of your existence. It is, I believe, the most wonderful experience ever. One that sets you free. And an open mind is all you need to be on this path.
The Eastern Thought sees universe as dynamic with Time and Change as essential features. The cosmos is seen as one inseparable reality- forever in motion, alive, changing, spiritual and material at the same time. People often fail to understand is how easy our lives really are. Complicating matters for the heck of it is not the solution to be happy. Simplifying stuff, is.
In the next post, I would like to share parallel concepts between Quantum Mechanics and Eastern Mysticism. Also, a theory that explains Earth to be one organism and we, making it one.
love and peace
[Published in the Epigram Magazine]