Difference Between Consciousness & Sentiency – Part 13
In previous part 12, we resolved contradiction how can relative-words reveal absolute-reality, when words themselves are limited.
Now nature of question turns to resolving differences despite all being One…
Student asks, “Since the WHOLE is Consciousness, why do we have differences such as sentient and insentient? The world should have no inanimate objects in this case.”
” We are animate beings.
Yet from our body grows many inanimate objects, like hair, nails, teeth and bones.
Thus from the inanimate earth… grow animate beings, plants and trees.
If we look at our dreams, we have both animate and inanimate objects in them. Like lakes, hills, animals and human beings.
Whole dream is created by us, the sentient person.
It is the same with Consciousness…
Consciousness (Brahman) has capacity to manifest. This capacity in potential, is called māyā.
When this māyā-capacity is manifesting as the universe (jagat), we then call māyā-capacity, as Īśvara.
Thus Īśvara refers to when Brahman is wielding His power of māyā.
In this way, Īśvara can be translated as Lord of the Universe. God. Bhagavān.
Thus when we say the WHOLE or God, we are referring to Īśvara. And truth of Īśvara is Brahman (Consciousness).
Now that we have defined some terms, we can say…
The universe (jagat) consists of diverse sentient and insentient forms. Like rock and insect.
Another example is if we turn to science…
The entire universe can be reduced to particles or atomic dust.
Perhaps the dust material is intelligently wielded by a some God-particle genius.
Or some hypothesize that particles have somehow accidentally arranged themselves into this universe of complex brain, hummingbird, oak tree, sun flares, clouds, feelings of love, etc.
Eitherway – out of particles, different living and non-living forms are produced. And each serves a purposeful function connected to another form.
Tornado is connected to wind. Wind is connected to pressure differential on Earth surface. Which in turn is caused by uneven surface heat. Which in turn is connected to Sun, etc.
Another example is like the power of electricity…
The one same electricity expresses itself through diverse instruments, like fan, light, phones and heaters.
Similarly, one same Consciousness expresses itself in an astonishing variety.
Therefore the world of variety reflects Brahman's capacity of māyā, which is called Īśvara (God).
This capacity is witnessed as everything. We are never not experiencing māyā's effects.
Even in deep sleep, effects are experienced as “nothing-ness” (avidyā or total ignorance of names-forms).
Īśvara is also observed as knowledge of all names and forms.
For example, leaf-knowledge, wind-knowledge, red-knowledge, green-knowledge, peace-knowledge, mother-knowledge, etc.
We only ever speak about different names and forms, which all belong to Īśvara, since Īśvara is ALL names and forms.
Īśvara is also observed in form of various laws and orders which we depend on every moment.
For instance – space/time, gravity, physical, chemical, botanical, psychological, physics and biological laws.
Remember, “we” is also Īśvara. Therefore don't think the observer of names & forms is somehow excluded from the WHOLE.
The WHOLE means nothing is excluded. Not even the thinker or witness of the WHOLE is excluded from the WHOLE. And truth of the WHOLE is Consciousness (Brahman).
Thus, the world is an assemblage, an elegant and intelligent putting together… which we as conscious beings can know, understand and learn the workings of this wondrous creation.
“Creation implies a motive, a desire on the part of the creator. Does Ishvara have a mind?”
” Without free will, motive or desire… the Limitless One (Brahman) reveals and resolves His māyā power.
Thinking is a mental action. Thinking involves time and space.
The Limitless One (Brahman), together with His māyā power, whom we call creator (Ishvara) – if Isvara thinks or acts, then Ishvara becomes limited.
Because thinking only ever involves one thought at a time. This contradicts Ishvara's nature of omniscient or all-knowing.
Thinking also involves “time to think”. And time is always connected to space. Which contradicts Ishvara's nature as omnipresent or all-pervading.
Therefore, Īśvara's omniscient and omnipresent nature can't be attributed to mind. Because mind is limited to knowledge and time-space boundary.
Whereas humans do have a mind. And it is limited by time-space and knowledge.
For example, if mind is thinking about food, it is not thinking about mathematics. Even if thinking about math, it doesn't have all math knowledge in the universe.
Thus we only know a minuscule amount at any one individual time and place. We can't have all-knowledge simultaneously, because of limited mind.
Whereas Īśvara's omniscience means, all-knowledge, at once.
Because Ishvara is all-knowledge (which manifests as various laws and orders, making up this world)… every new discovery and learning fills up with joy.
We feel happy learning new things because everything is a reflection of Ishvara's all-knowledge.
And truth of Īśvara is Brahman, which is limitless ānanda.