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The Nature of Reality

The World is Inseparable from Consciousness

Swami KrishnanandaAn extract from The Philosophy of Life by Swami Krishnananda.

To the outward vision a so-called inanimate object like a stone may appear to be dead and unconscious. But, really, nothing can be said to be dead and motionless in this universe. Even the condition of the apparent motionlessness of a thing is one of intense motion within it. Modern physical science tells us that an object cannot exist without being in a certain state of motion; the mass and the inertia of an object are due to a special type of motion in it.

There is no impenetrable hard matter anywhere, everything is vibrant force, motion and power. The so-called stability of a thing is an illusion. There is no static world of localised physical entities; there is only a universe of force, where each individual enters into the constitution of the other and determines its existence and nature. The world is not a visible object.

Its visibility is one of its partial conditions coming in contact with the consciousness manifested in our minds. The world is what we know in a particular space-time situation. Knowledge cannot come in contact with what is not of its nature, for knowledge of anything requires that there should be a relation of equality between knowledge and its object. Either there ought to be knowledge of what is essentially of the nature of knowledge alone, or there is no knowledge at all. Knowledge is consciousness with a content.

A knowledge of objects would not be possible, had they been totally alien to the character of consciousness. Knowledge of the world, then, discloses the essentially intelligent nature of the world. Our environment is not material or physical but spiritual. It is in this sense that the world is said to be a content in the Mind of the Cosmic Being. Mac-Taggart is of the opinion that we have no reason to suppose that matter exists at all, and that to talk of matter existing without consciousness is absurd. Matter, in his view, does not partake of any reality belonging to itself. The world cannot be real if it is not real to any knowing subject. And all individual knowing consists of either sensations or a synthesised product of sensations. The existence of the world is said to be an inference from our consciousness of events that take place in the form of experiences that are given to us. Our sensations and experiences are, however, what are valid to us all, created beings, collectively.

Swami Sivananda holds a thorough-going spiritual view of life "This universe is nothing but a mode of the mind, self-evolved from Brahman, the Cause of the universe. Hence, this world is nothing but consciousness itself." "This perishable universe exists only when the mind exists, but disappears with the absence of the latter." "Like a dream generating another dream in it, the mind, having no visible form, will generate non-existent visibles. With the growth of a paltry Sankalpa, there will arise the universe." "This universe is no other than the mind itself. What we call the world is the mind only. The Self-light of the Para-Brahman alone is appearing as the mind and this motley universe." "The mind is subjectively consciousness and objectively this universe." "All the universes with their heterogeneity, though they are really Atma-Jnana, shine as worlds only through our illusory minds, like the blueness of the sky, which is really non-existent" (Mind and Its Mysteries, pp. 89, 209-12). But this is not to say that the world is within any individual’s head. "The non-existence of the world or its destruction does not mean the annihilation of mountains, lakes, trees and rivers. When your determination that this world is unreal gets stronger and stronger, and when you are well-established in this idea,-this alone is destruction of the world" (Ibid p. 210).

The negation of the world in Consciousness has a universal connotation. No other word brings out this sense so comprehensively as 'Brahman,' which is the appellation of the highest Reality.



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Keywords: nature of reality, belief systems, consciousness, quantum physics, spirituality and quantum physics, spiritual, spirituality

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Swami Krishnananda was the General Secretary of The Divine Life Society from 1961 until 2001. Swamiji was a direct disciple of His Holiness Swami Sivananda, founder of this Institution.
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