Individual Mind, Individual Ignorance – Part 26


In previous part 25, we highlighted an important word “mithya”. Without fully understanding it, we can never reconcile Oneness and world of multiplicity.

World is mithyā, a dependent reality.

Meaning whatever aspect of the world you look into, that very aspect depends on another aspect which you are failing to acknowledge.

For example, we say “tree!”. But it's actually just wood. As seen below….

If you call it a “tree”, why didn't you call it “wood”? If you call it “wood”, why aren't you calling it a “tree”?

Going further…

Wood depends on cellulose and lignin out of which it's made.

Even smaller…

One cellulose molecule depends on 6 Carbon atoms, 10 Hydrogen atoms, 5 Oxygen atoms. As seen below…

Molecular structure of cellulose.

Change just one variable. Instead of 5, make it 6 oxygen atoms. Then there's no cellulose. No wood. No tree.

Yet more subtle…

One oxygen atom depends on a proton, neutron and electron. As seen below…

Atom structure further depends on even smaller constituents.

Proton further depends on three quarks (two up quarks, one down quark).

Presence of a quark depends on time and space.

Same model applies to your mind. It's thoughts depend on past memories.

Memory depends on an event which happened in the world made of quarks (or smaller particles).

Memory also depends on time. How long does each thought last!

Therefore each level of reality depends on another. This is meaning of mithyā. Dependent-reality.

Dependent on what?

On that which illumines it's dependent-status.


To demonstrate…

Mithyā is change.

How is change of anything recognized?

Change is recognized in reference to the non-changing.

It's only because of non-moving sun that we can tell earth is revolving.

It's only in reference to a non-moving ground that we can tell train is moving.

It's only in reference to that which is not bound by time, that we can validate the principle of time.

In other words, only a non-changing principle can recognize series of changes.

And it remains free of any changes it illumines.

If it was contaminated by the changes, then we could not appreciate a world of color, emotions, memories.

Thus our very Awareness of mithyā is the non-changing, unmoved, unaffected principle. (Called self or atman).

It is the very truth of everything, because nothing can BE without Awareness.

If there is noone Aware of time, is there time? You can only answer “yes” or “no” because Awareness is illumining your mind which is presented this question. The question itself is dependent on time.

To illustrate further…

The one non-changing ink is the truth of multiplicity of words.

Some words are “evil” some are “good”. But neither define the ink.

In same way, neither sin (pāpa-karma) nor virtue (puṇya-karma) define you (Awareness).

They are conditions of the individual mind. They are not conditions of the One non-dual Awareness reflecting on 8 billion minds.

Above statement introduced an objection in the students mind…

The student asks “If as you say everything is the One. There is no other, nor two or more. Non-dual is your opinion. If one person understands the Truth, it stands to reason the entire universe must also be released from ‘I' ignorance.”

” No, that is not correct.

I think you have misunderstood.

If what you say is the norm, then if I know Turkish, the whole world must know it also.

That is clearly not the case. It's not true.

If you need to know Turkish, you have to learn it. Only you, no one else can do it for you.

The mind with it's limited capacity is a separate individual entity.

It appears to condition the One Consciousness (atman).

Just as a pot that encloses space comes in various sizes and shapes, the mind appears in infinite varieties with it's own peculiarities.

It is covered by ignorance. And needs individual knowledge to remove the darkness.

Just as when one pot breaks, the enclosed space blends with the all-pervading space.

While the other pots remain unaffected.

While the pot body was “alive”, the space inside it was never different from the total space.

Same is true for the ‘I' ignorance.

Each person has to learn and understand the truth of the ‘I', no one else can.

There is no such thing as one person knowing and releasing the universe from the ‘I' ignorance. “

Conversation in part 27 further expands on objection, “If minds are separate entities, it contradicts claim that everything is One”.

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