BEGIN THE BEGIN
Inner and outer space
By Wg Cmdr Gorowala
I am reachable on 040-27110279
I was in my teens, class twelve, 1945, when I read H G Well's 'TIME MACHINE'. That is when I got the first hint to the meaning of the concept of 'ISNESS', the very meaning of the word 'is'. In this the reasoning starts with the basic idea of imagining that an object, say, a table 'T', is. For 'T' to be, that is to exist, it has to be specified as to where, in which room, which part or corner of the room. To visualize it in its reality, one will have to know its size, shape, design, colour, the material it is made of and may be the texture of its finish. And when all these details can be specified, the existence of 'T' is probably still not fully covered because we do not yet know as to how long has that table existed and how long will it occupy space in its present shape and form. May be it was crafted by the carpenter only a day earlier, or for all you know, it is one of the antique pieces discovered in Mohanjodaro, belonging to the Paleolithic age, five thousand years earlier?
In short, if 'T' 'is', then its dimensions in space as well as in time are the primary requisites which need specification. Its appearance, feel, touch, shape, smell and various sub-aspects of these qualities may need detailed description. To develop this idea further, let us examine our incident of watching a sun-rise on a clear morning: we see the top of the sun's disc emerging above the horizon, say, at 0620 hrs and we declare this as the 'sun-rise –time'. But is that the real time at which the sun occupied the space where we observed it? The answer to that query is a clear no, because in fact the sun had occupied that spot in space eight minutes earlier, light having taken that much time to travel from the sun to our eye on earth. Our view of the sun-rise is in fact that of an 'apparent sun-rise'/ 'delayed sun-rise'. Similarly, our watching a planet or star or any heavenly body, is an act of viewing an image of the body, as it existed a few hours, months or years earlier, depending on the distance of the object under observation. For instance when we see our brightest planet Venus in the western sky in the evening then what we are seeing is the planet as it was say, fifteen minutes ago. Suppose a sailor at sea spots the North Star in the sky on a particular night at 9 PM to compute his position, then is he observing the actual position of the star at 9 PM on that date? No, he is in fact observing the image of the star as it appears to him on that particular date and time, the light that impinges on his eye, forming the star image, had in fact commenced its journey many years ago.
There are two prima facie axioms that we can arrive at this stage of our argument, firstly, that when we are observing an object, we in fact are only observing its image which has formed on the retina of our eye(s) and secondly, that there is a time gap between the two moments, that when light is received at the retina of the eye and the moment when that ray of light commenced its journey from the object under observation. In relation to terrestrial objects, this gap can be a mere nano-second, whereas in the case of heavenly objects it may range from a couple of seconds (our moon) to the farthest observable objects, new-born galaxies during the 'big-bang', which are more than 13.7 billion light-years away. Images of these first galaxies that our cosmologists have recently managed to photograph through the Hubble Space Telescope, have achieved this extra-ordinary act by gathering and focusing the infinitesimally small quantity of light onto their photographic films, that light which emanated from those initial galaxies of our universe, 13.7 billion years ago.
Based on these two axioms, we can conclude that we see all objects only as and where they were, in the past. In short what we see are only ghosts. For example, the Pole Star observed by the sailor, in fact, might not have been in existence at the time of observation, it may have been swallowed/ destroyed by a black-hole, a fact which we may come to know only years hence.
Then what 'is Then, What 'Is' and what 'is Not?
In the light of the above we can clearly state that complex sensual data casts an image on our individual minds. Reception of these images as well as their presentation to the person (individual) are bound to be different in each case as potential for receptivity, selectivity, quality and past experience differ from person to person. Thus same scene has varied effect on different individuals. We can hence surmise that the world that we experience, the world of phenomena, has only a relative existence. To examine this idea in more detail, we must study our experience of the world under two different states of awareness, the wakeful state and the dream state.
During our waking hours, when we are not day-dreaming, sense data is received from the environment, from sources out-side the person. Where as during dream state, data is received from the sub-conscious mind within. In either case instantaneous assessment of all data is automatically done. Sequencing and selection of connected data brought into action during waking state has its habitual, cultivated relationship to our waking world. On the other hand dream-world pertains to another frame-work of the same space with a differently oriented time frame. However, due to certain predominant influences in the past, this data gets shuffled and recast on the screen of dream-consciousness, creating a separate sub-world. However, our dream-world, during its time of existence, imparts to the dreamer a similar sense of reality which the person has of the wakeful- world during his waking part of life. Probably, the only difference between these two states of awareness is the comparative longevity of our wakeful state, thereby influencing our waking -state memory more deeply, leaving markedly stronger influence on the mind..
This brings us back to the question of 'is' and 'is not'. Our experience of the world as long as we are awake, gives us the impression that every thing that is happening around us is real, if I get hurt I feel the pain. If there is soft soothing music being played it will create pleasing moods, noise on the other hand will create annoyance and irritation.. During a dream, happenings create similar effects. These two frame-works of space-time can therefore be taken as two different/separate modes of our awareness in which our experience depends on sensual data fed to our minds, our awareness. We must also note that quality and degree of receptivity of the sense data by the same mind varies from time to time. Focus of the mind on the subject under view is the primary controlling factor on which receptivity and absorption of the sensual data depends. Focus in essence depends on the interest that the individual concerned has in the subject, which invariably is a product of past experience and its recorded memory. That which is in the pleasant file, the mind hankers after and loves to re-create. In the maze of this hankering after old memories, the mind loses touch with reality, with what 'is' and gets stuck to what is not – mere memories of the past, or else, starts imagining things and situations to a non-existent future.
And when we call a halt to all that is happening, say, like stopping the time-clock and examining things around with a view to assess all that has happened since we were last mindful of things, we would certainly realize that a lot of water has flown under the bridge. By and large, such occasions arise after long gaps, as during the constant run of our routine we are reluctant to stop and look back; it happens only when we are forced to do so by an unhappy or adverse circumstance that breaks the routine. Such retrospective breaks are essential for a healthy progressive life as they majorly contribute to making life purposeful, giving it direction, focus and meaning. This being a vast subject and beyond the scope of the present study, we will leave it out of our discussion.
Coming back to 'that' which 'is', I suppose we can say that, 'it' must 'be' in all possible phases of existence only then 'it is'; it must 'be' in all frame-works of space-time-continuum, a state which is bound to include complex mixes of 'Being' in all possible frame-works of space-time. In the multi-dimensional creation around us, of which we humans are capable of experiencing only an infinitesimally small portion through our sensual perception, it is not possible for us to get even a fleeting glimpse of the 'Multi Dimensional Being'. To achieve a level of awareness beyond our customary three dimensional state of mind, we have to find ways and means which can enable us to transcend our minds, entering into an awareness which is limitless, has no bounds and is beyond the confines of time it self. The way to get on to a path which leads to this state of awareness is said to be very simple. Those who are in that state of awareness tell us that our natural state of awareness is, in fact, that very boundless, infinite state. We, by our own default and indulgence in our desires, with our own actions and thinking have covered it, making it subject to the bounds of space and time. This cover of our desires on our original, pure, limitless nature is a cover of our own ignorance. Removal of this cover is all that is needed to make us aware of 'All That IS'. We have not to achieve any thing new. All that is needed is shedding of our ignorance that we are not 'pure', not 'complete', not 'limitless, boundless, infinite'. The means to achieve the capability of this act of getting rid of our ignorance, in fact, are built-in within each one of us. It is said that all that is necessary to activate this force which commences the process of shedding the ignorance, is primarily a burning desire within the individual to throw off this shroud. Those who have travelled this path, proclaim that the intensity of this desire is required to be so strong and persistent that no other thought or desire must enter the mind of the seeker, it needs to be an all consuming desire, only then it becomes capable of taking effect and that too when 'krupa' of the 'Ultimate Isness' descends on the seeker. The grace, 'krupa' remains absolutely unqualified as well as independent of any time frame, at the same time, it is never denied to a true, sincere seeker.