‘Switch off the light in your room’, this is what inspired me to write this post.
I have heard many times that the world is _______________ (depends on your vision). How can ‘what the world is’ depend on ones vision or perspective? How can the same world be different to different people? This is something that I have tried to understand for a long time. Everytime I agree to it, when faced with reality, my understanding undergoes a change. Let me share my thoughts with 4 Examples. (Experience, Expermiment, Encounter and Enlightenment)
A & B – An Experience
Recently I had a chat with two of my friends. For ease of reference, let me label them as A and B.
A was talking about how things have changed and that the worst is happening all around us and that there is no hope left and that things would just get worse from here on.
B spoke to me about how things have changed and how connected people have become and how there is so much more readiness to help and that how promissing are the days to come.
Both live on the same planet, earth, in the same country, India, in the same city, Bengaluru and on the same side, Southern Bengaluru and yet such a difference !
A Tree – An Experiment
Me – What is the man seeing?
Myself – A tree of course.
Me – Can you please elaborate?
Myself – Ok, I am seeing a big tree with so many branches and leaves. I don’t see any flowers or fruits. I dont see any brids or insects. Its just a tree. Its so still, seems lifeless, seems so bored, even a single leaf is not fluttering, yes….Its just still, idle and static.
Me – Thank you. What else do you see.
Myself – I either see the tree or I don’t see it. What else is there to be seen?
Me – Hmm, Never mind. You will understand soon enough.
Myself – Ok. Can I go now?
Me – Hang on for a while. Just keep looking at the tree and envision that which is very much present but not visible to your eyes.
Myself – Hmm…let me try…………!
(After a few minutes of contemplation)
Myself – Wow, I see something incredibly beautiful, ineffable, inexpressible. How did I miss this all this while, when it is so very present right before my eyes.
Me – Are you sure that you are seeing the tree alone and not halucinating now.
Myself – Ofcourse I am seeing the very same tree. The tree is so dynamic, lively, interconnected, busy, harmonious, vibrant, miraculous indeed, intricate systems, patterns, systems, movement, purpose, indeed ineffable.
Me – Please elaborate once more.
Myself – There is nothing more that I can say here. Words fail to convey what I am am able to see. Wait, hang on, let me show you what I am seeing through some pictures – https://www.canadiannaturephotographer.com/microscopicplants1.html Please do see what I can see, by visiting this link.
Me – Thank you. But you clearly don’t have an inbuilt microscope in your eyes. So how are you able to see all this?
And thus….! Myself was able to see the same object in a different light (different perspective, different understanding) . He saw through the eyes of his knowledge. When you see the tree with your knowledge, it is totally different. The eye is just an organ that relays pictures back to the brain the way it sees the world. Its just like a camera. Whereas, the mind (mind’s eye) can see with or without the eyes. The mind sees through knowledge, emotions, experiences, understanding and wisdom.
When I began to focus my attention on the insides of the tree, branches, leaves, roots, et al, I began to see the ingenuity of the design of the tree. Its filled with numerous functions, systems, processes, interdependencies, uniqueness, patterns, movement of particles and chemicals and so on. There is clearly nothing that can be more dynamic and vibrant, in the whole of creation, that the tree I saw.
Switch off the light – An Encounter
I woke up quite early this morning, at around 3:45 AM. At first I switched on the tube light in my room. But then my eyes were not yet ready for such bright light and so I switched them off again. Once I did that, the room became very dark, pitch-black indeed !
And then I suddenly asked myself this question, “What do you see?”. I got an answer that I saw nothing. Its just darkness. I dont see anything else.
I then switched on the tube light and asked myself the very same question, “What do you see?”. I got a very long answer. I could see so many things around me. The windows, curtain, photos, books, a shelf, cupboards, drawers, door, and so on and on.
This encounter is what prompted me to write this blog post. Clearly, very clearly indeed, light determines what I see.
At nights during the dream, I live the experience with aboslutely no doubt that its real. I dont have the faintest thought that its unreal. When I wake up, I realize that it was just a dream. Was it real for me in the dream? Yes. Was the same dream an imaginary one for me when I woke up? Yes, again. Quite the same here as well.
Is it true that at first I saw darkness, Yes its true. Therefore my answer was, “There is nothing in the room.”
Is it true that later I saw so many things, Yes its true. Therefore my answer was, “There are so many things in the room.”
But then what exactly is the truth here?
This brings me to the last and final example.
What did the seers see – Enlightenment
From ईशावास्योपनिषद् (Ishavasya-Upanishad)
ॐ ईशावास्यमिदंग्ंसर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत्। तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम् ॥ १ ॥
Meaning: All this, whatever moves in the universe, including those that move not, is indwelt or pervaded or enveloped or clothed by the Lord. That renounced, thou should enjoy. Covet not anybody’s wealth.
तदेजति तन्नेजति तद्दूरे तद्वन्तिके। तदन्तरस्य सर्वस्य तदु सर्वस्यास्य बाह्यतः ॥ ४ ॥
Meaning: The Atman moves and It moves not; It is far and It is near; It is within all this, and It is outside all this.
हिरण्मयेन पात्रेण सत्यस्यापिहितं मुखम्। तत्वं पूषन्नपावृणु सत्यधर्माय दृष्टये ॥ १५ ॥
Meaning: The face of Truth is covered by a golden lid; remove, O Sun that (covering) for me, the practitioner of Truth, so that I may behold It.
The seers have seen the truth itself. They were able to see beyond what the eyes revealed to them. They have seen that which is beyond even the mind’s capacity to comprehend. They have seen the the truth through the eyes of their consciousness. It is with such a vision they emphatically declared that:
पूरणमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णमदुच्यते। पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवाशिष्यते ॥
Meaning: That is Whole; This is Whole; From the Whole, the Whole arises; Taking away the Whole from the Whole, The Whole remains. (You may replace the word ‘Whole’ with ‘full’, or ‘complete’ and read again)
The seers have not only thus described what they saw, but have also explained the methodology to obtain and experience such a vision. Hence, this is experienceable and verifiable.
I do hope that the 4 Examples – Experience, Experiment, Encounter and Enlightenment, will now help you to understand the depth of meaning in the below sentence.
यथा दृष्टिः तथा सृष्टिः ।
As is the vision so is the creation.
The world is ______________ (depends on your vision).