Monday, September 1, 2008

Perception of reality

If a person has always lived far from the sea and has never had an idea of a shell, he would look at the picture on the right and say that it is a butterfly. Perception of reality is a derivative of conscious mental maps that we store through our sensory inputs. But senses can be misleading as we see in the picture of the opened shell. The world we live in has been the source of our knowledge but we are given the gift of intuitive seeking beyond the apparent. Spiritual masters have taught the way and Eastern philosophy heavily relies on an intuitive journey rather than analytical and logical reasoning.
The Gospel of Thomas has 114 sayings of Jesus and the style of writing is very eastern in approach.
Much is left to the seeker to find out the hidden wisdom and this process takes the ultimate recipient of wisdom to remove layers of falsification that covers our conscious thinking mind.
This is similar to the way Zen masters taught disciples through Koans where a deep meaning is embedded in a crisp and short communication.
Now we will look at a saying which seems full of contradiction but approached from an intuitive level renders itself to deeper interpretation.

Jesus said, “This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?” ….. Saying 11 – Gospel of Thomas.

The meaning I see here is that:
The physical manifestation of space-time is short lived and hence all that is created through the senses will pass away but the everlasting spirit or prana will never perish. In this temporal manifestation a continuous creation takes place when aggregation of matter, which is inanimate, is given life in our bodies. When we realize our integral nature with Godhead all individuality and attributes cease to exist and there is no becoming (dynamic action) but only being. In our human birth we become two with the human nature predominating and our spiritual self hidden by illusion. When Jesus asks what will you do? The answer is we should remove the illusion or maya which arises through our avidya (ignorance) and strive to become one again.

Love to you all


  1. Good one!
    When we do not agree with a statement we are either extremely wise or as narrow viewed as the well frog trumpeting about the ocean it lives in.
    When we are neither we tend to take sides according to our limited perspective or the convenience of the situation.
    Implied messages or hidden meanings I think are things of the past because we are living in an age of crisp clear cut computarised communication.

  2. Thanks for the input.
    In this information age, the problem is that we rely on direct experience or communication to accept any concept as valid or true. During the period of oral transmission, disciples used to recite from memory whole vedas but with the introduction of writing we lost our innate capacity to memorize. The computer age still further degraded our mental faculty. This is the reason for gadgets. There is another side to this development; namely the explosion of knowledge. The sheer volume is mind boggling.
    There are universal and absolute truths which do not fall in this category of knowledge acquisition. They belong to the nest level, namely wisdom. Acquiring wisdom is a totally new process.

  3. Albert Einstein once said “I claim credit for nothing” “Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end .by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the inert as well as star, human being, vegetables or cosmic dust we all dance, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible piper”.

  4. Although two human beings share the same genetic and biological architecture and function, perhaps what one perceives as a dintinct color and smell is not exatly equal to the the color and smell the other perceives. We give the same name to this perception but
    we cannot know how they relate to the reality of the outside world. Perhaps we never will.

    Scientific research proves that:

    The brain is reflecting what we are feeling, even if that's not what really happened."

    "We think we know what's out there in the physical world, but it's all interpreted by our brains. Everything we sense is an illusion to a degree."

    Best Regards

  5. Venkat, Thanks for the thought provoking input.
    Many philosophers and scientist have pondered over the topic of 'Mind' and we still do not have an answer as to where it resides.
    Sense organs are only inputing device. Processing goes on in the brain but what other inputs, apart from sensory data, get superimposed due to our evolutionary consciousness or past impressions stored and modified in the mind, is difficult to fathom.
    This also leads to the philosophical and scientific question of the role of the observer and that which is being observed. Can these two be seperated? This where Patanjali's Viritis or modifications come to our rescue.
    Only when we are completely void of any viritis to the mind true Yoga or union with reality can be achieved.