Here we come to what used to be a fundamental difference between Eastern and Western philosophy. Back in the days when I was finishing high school (mid 60’s), I was taught that mind and consciousness developed or evolved out of material substances, an opposite view from Eastern philosophy. According to Eastern teachings, consciousness exists as a universal (spiritual) reality, a pure Awareness that has intelligent awareness of its own existence. It manifests, through vibration, as electromagnetic energy, to become the universe in its material form. Intelligent awareness then evolves perception and senses to experience its own self-creation. We as humans are the perceivers of the universe – a divine manifestation.
In the ancient texts known as the Vedas, written by Indian sages thousands of years ago, this philosophical concept is explained time and time again. There have been subsequent commentaries written about these texts down through the ages. The view expressed therein has become known as Samkhya philosophy, the underlying principle of yoga. Looking at the structure of the universe through the lens of Samkhya gives us a kind of scheme of energy flow, from its source in consciousness to its destiny in solid matter. Consciousness in this context is pure awareness of being. The universe is aware of “Being”, on a large scale, and this awareness is at the center of everything. We, as very little parts of that universe, have small pieces of that awareness, which gives us individual perception of ourselves.
As this universal consciousness begins to vibrate it becomes a cosmic energy substance called prakriti. In modern technology, this infinite energy field is what I refer to as the electromagnetic ocean. In more recent times it is refered to as the Quantum Field. It contains within it every aspect of the energy world, from the smallest quantum to the largest galaxy.
- The way in which consciousness vibrates demonstrates intelligence and order—which we might call Mind on the big scale, (Universal Mind, called Buddhi in Sanskrit).
- One of the functions of mind is imagination, and on the universal scale it becomes the creator that manifests the world, kind of like the dreamweaver.
Mind then works through that dream to develop the senses of perception:
Through these senses awareness can experience life as it has been created, while the purpose of the creation is for the enjoyable experience itself.
- When we hear vibration we call it sound (music, voice, thunder, etc.).
- When we feel the vibration we call it feeling or emotion (hard, soft, warm, solid, happy, etc.).
- When we see the vibration we call it sight (yellow, bright, round, etc.).
- When we taste it we call it flavor (sweet, salty, etc.), and when we smell it we call it scent, from roses to coffee.
These are all the ways in which consciousness perceives the vibrating energy field, and of course it all occurs through the mind.
Here is another view of this concept, but from the perspective of center to outer realms.
In order to complete visible manifestation there needs to be a way to interact with the senses of perception. To do so, five organs of action are added:
- the feet,
- organs of elimination,
- organs of procreation,
By the time all this is done we are well out in the material world and usually out of touch with where our awareness originated. There is a type of natural barrier, called Ahamkara in Sanskrit, that keeps us preoccupied in our mind stuff and the experiences of the world so that we don’t tend to look inward to the Buddhi. This creates the sense of individual ego that makes us feel separate from the rest of manifested creation. This Ahamkara is very connected to the Manas aspect of our mind, which creates a limitation in that we cannot see beyond what the worldly senses can perceive. We cannot see beyond the walls of the room we are in, for instance, yet we know there is a world out there. The result is that we think about the obvious reality and function in the context that contains our body. The higher mind of the Buddhi brings in the imagination and memory – extending our thought process to unlimited.
If we take a look back at the Samkhya Philosophy we introduced at the beginning of this text we can now see more clearly and perhaps understand that this ancient system of knowledge was really quite scientifically accurate in its description of “reality”. Let us make a brief comparison of how reality is perceived in Samkhya and in Modern Science:
The differences in terminology above are referring to the same phenomena. As the languages are not the same, we do not at first glance see the similarities, but when looking more deeply into the explanations for the terms, either in Sanskrit or in nuclear physics we are drawn towards the conclusion that both schools of thought are indeed talking about the same things. These differences in language are of course based on varying sounds which have been associated with certain concepts. The fact that the concepts present in modern quantum physics are elaborated upon in Sanskrit texts that are thousands of years old makes us look again at what the ancient peoples knew.
|Purusha >||– Consciousness|
|Prakriti >||– Electomagnetic Ocean|
|Buddhi >||– Intelligent intellect|
|Ahamkara >||– Ego Individuality|
|Manas >||– Sensory Perceptive Mind|
|Gnanendriyas >||– Senses of Perception|
|Objects perceived are composed of:||Material world composed of:|
|Vayu||Force of Repulsion|