All posts by mayajk

Analyzing Awareness

To learn about Awareness, you need to first understand and analyze the experiences you have. All our perceptions, feelings, thoughts and current thinking are nothing but the experiences we have. When we are awake, there is hardly any moment when we do not have some sort of experience. We have experiences on a continuous basis, sometimes it is structured and willful, while at other times it is random, jumping from one thought to another.

Experience can only happen in the mind and nowhere else. The world is out there, but we experience it only in our minds. Science also states the same thing. Light is reflected from an external object, and this light travels to the retina in our eye. The retina converts the incoming light into an optical signal. This optical signal is transmitted to the visual cortex in the human brain. Science still doesn’t tell us how the optical signal is converted to an actual image, but somehow the visual image is created and we experience this visual image in the mind. This is true for all the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Even the internal thoughts and emotions which we experience happen only in the mind.

  • Everyone has a unique and private experience. Even if two people are seeing the same object, the experience each of them will have will be different. I am color blind, when I see the external world, I have a different experience of the world compared to other people.
  • If you think about it, experience is the only connection we have with the external world. There is no other way to learn and understand the universe. If we do not experience a thing, then the question can be asked does that thing even exist. Experience is the only way to validate the existence of the universe. We understand and learn from experience, there is no other way to get to know the external world.

As experience only happens in the mind and we want to learn about the building blocks of the mind, the only way forward is to analyze our own experiences.

Experiences Decoded: The following simple equation is a perfect analysis of an Experience

Experience = Awareness + Form

We are always aware of our experience. We can never say we had an experience, but we are not aware of it. This is simply not possible because awareness is a critical pre-requisite and ingredient of an experience. You are having an experience because you are aware of it. If there is no Awareness, there can be no Experience. We are aware that we have a non-stop and a continuous flow of experience. Usually no two experiences are the same, the form part of the experience is always different and keeps changing. Sometimes it is visual, sometimes it is auditory, and sometimes it is based on past memories. The Forms keeps changing, the Experience keeps changing but does the underlying Awareness also keep changing? Our experience confirms that Awareness will always remain the same. It would seem that Form part is superimposed on the unchanging Awareness to complete the Experience.

If you expand this logic and apply to the entire human race, each and every person will have their own experience in their own mind. This Experience equation is valid for everyone. Everyone has different Forms superimposed on Awareness to complete the Experience. Everyone will have their own unique Form to create their own unique Experience.

The common factor in everyone’s experience is Awareness. This Awareness seems to be present in everyone’s mind. Can there be so many different Awareness’s? Is the same Awareness present in everyone’s mind? Is your Awareness different from mine and everyone else? These questions will answer themselves once we get a better understanding what we really mean by Awareness.

Understanding Awareness:

Awareness is the most powerful force in the universe and it is the underlying reality of this universe. It has the power to connect with a form present in the mind and create an experience which you are aware of. For an analogy, think of the sun. When there is no light from the sun, you cannot see anything, but in the presence of the light everything becomes visible. In the same way when any form which comes in the presence of the light of Awareness, the experience bulb lights up in your mind and you are aware of the form. If you think about it, even the light of the sun is a form in the presence of the light of Awareness.

If you carefully study Awareness, you will conclude that the Awareness is made up of a Subject and Object with the following functions

  1. There must be a Subject, who is Aware of the experience. This subject is the knower of the Awareness
  2. There must be an Object, which must be experienced. This object is the known part of the Awareness
  3. There must be Intelligence by which the subject gets to know the object. This is the knowing part of the Awareness

Knower, Known and Knowing are the 3 powers of Awareness. It must be clear that

  • Awareness = Subject + Object + Intelligence
  • Power of Awareness = Power of Knower + Power of Knowing + Power of Known

Awareness is made of Subject, Object and Intelligence and it has three different powers – Knower, Knowing and Known. It must be understood that the Subject and Object and the three powers are not something outside in the world, but they are within Awareness and make up Awareness. If any one of them is missing, the awareness will not work, and will be incomplete.

  • If there is an object to be observed, but there is no subject, there will be no awareness, as there is no one to see the object.
  • If there is a subject, but no object to see, there will no awareness as the subject has no objects to observe
  • If there is an object, but the subject has no way of knowing what this object is, no awareness will take place. This knowing must have intelligence.

Wherever there is awareness, the Subject, Object and Intelligence must be present with all the three powers. Let us try and understand this in little more detail.

  1. Power of Knowing or Intelligence

The knowing or intelligence component of Awareness is extremely powerful, in fact language and words may not be enough to describe its awesome power. Here are some examples that indicates its strength and power.

Example 1: I am seeing a tree. A more Vedantic way to put it will be ‘I am the seer seeing a tree’

This is a simple experience we have every moment, but it shows the extraordinary power of Awareness. Let us breakup this experience into the different components of Awareness

Ego = I am

Subject = Seer

Object = Tree

Intelligence = Seeing is the power of Awareness, which makes it possible for ‘I’ to know the tree. Without the power of Seeing, none of us will see any object. Someone may argue that the eye provides this power. The eye does nothing other than converting the image into an optical signal and bringing the signal to the mind. What is the ability that decodes this optical signal into the understanding that this object is a tree? It is power of the Seeing which is within Awareness which allows us to know that there is a tree. This intelligence in Awareness knows that the optical signal is a tree.

Awareness = Seer + Seeing + Seen

Example 2: You are reading a book or ‘You are the reader reading a book’

This power of intelligence is within Awareness and is available to each and every one. Let us decode the experience of reading.

Ego = You

Subject = Reader

Object = Book

Intelligence = Reading is a power within Awareness which allows the Subject or Reader to connect with the contents of the book. It is within Awareness because you are aware that you are reading – first, to know the words and sentences, and then to know what is being read. We are so used to reading that we do not think of this ability as anything special. If there was no power of reading within Awareness, there would be no way you could read anything. With this power of “reading” we are aware we are reading and this awareness completes the reading experience.

Awareness = Reader + Reading + Read

Example 3: You are visiting a friend or ‘You are the visitor visiting a friend’

Subject = Visitor

Object = Friend

Intelligence = You are aware that you are visiting a friend. This power of knowing that you are visiting is part of the Intelligence within Awareness and also knowing that this person is a friend. If you did not have this power within you, you will never know this person is your friend and you have specifically made an effort to visit him.

Awareness = Visitor + Visiting + Visited

We can continue to give any number of examples to highlight the power of Awareness. We can take any verb in the English language and add the ‘ing’ to this verb. This word when connected with a Subject and Object will have the power of creating an awareful experience within the mind. Some more examples:

Awareness = Eater + Eating + Eaten Awareness = Sleeper + Sleeping + Slept Awareness = Fighter + Fighting + Fought (an Object) Awareness = Player + Playing + Played (an Object) Awareness = Learner + Learning + Learned

The intelligence within Awareness has an unlimited range of power, it is impossible to comprehend. We can comprehend only what experiences our mind can handle. We will be discussing shortly, our minds are limited and therefore can handle only a limited range of experiences.

Awareness is not limited by the capacity of our mind. It is much more and has an infinite amount of intelligence, it has the infinite amount of knowledge about everything that is possible. What is amazing, this unlimited intelligence, this pure intelligence, this Awareness is available within everyone’s mind.

  1. Power of Knower or Subject

In the earlier section, we saw the power of knowing, the intelligence of knowing. There must be a Knower to actually see an object and perceive what it looks like. This is done by the Subject within Awareness. The Subject is the Knower of the experience. This Subject is not only the Knower of seeing, but is also the knower of hearing, the knower of reading, knower of sleeping, etc.

  • When it is the knower of seeing, the Subject is a Seer
  • When it is the knower of hearing, the Subject is a Hearer
  • When it is the knower of reading, the Subject is a Reader
  • When it is the knower of running, the Subject is a Runner

There is only one Subject, and it is the Knower of so many things. In fact it is the Knower of everything. All this is within Awareness. We shall see later on this Subject with the Power of Knowing is available within the mind of each one of us and it is the only way we can know, what our experiences are.

Our minds are limited and therefore the power and range of the Knower is limited. Awareness is beyond the mind and this Subject within Awareness is Knower of everything that is possible. There is nothing that Awareness does not know.

Conclusion: Where ever there is Awareness, there must be a Subject. This Subject is the Knower and has the power of knowing everything that is possible. We should never confuse this Subject with Ego. This Subject is part of Awareness and this Subject does NOT have an ego. If I say ‘I am the Knower’ or ‘I am the Subject’, the ‘I am’ is the Ego. Knower and Subject is not part of the Ego, it is part of Awareness. In Awareness there is no attachment and no ego, it is simply aware.

3.Power of Known or Objects

The Object component of Awareness is also extremely powerful and it has the ability to take any form that we experience in the mind.

If you see a round circle, then awareness cannot take shape of a square. If it does, you will never experience the round circle. Awareness must also be a round circle with the same exact dimensions. If you see a tree, then awareness must also take the shape of the tree. This tree must be filled up with the Awareness. If the tree is half filled with awareness or the awareness does not have the same shape as the tree, you will not be aware of the tree.

If you want to observe any object with form,

  1. The form must be filled in with Awareness and nothing but Awareness. If the form does not have Awareness, then observer or subject will not be able to experience the object with that form.
  2. The Awareness must take the exact shape of the form.

Awareness by itself is formless, but it has the potential to take any form. If you look into a powerful microscope, awareness can take the shape of a molecule or if you look at the universe through a telescope, awareness can take shape of the stars and galaxies. Big or small, awareness can take the shape of anything. Awareness has the potential to take any form.

What is the difference between Awareness and Form?

Pot/Clay Metaphor: Vedanta uses the example of pot/clay to explain this concept. If you have clay, this clay has the potential to take the shape of any type of pot – small, large, round or square. Once these pots of different shapes and sizes are ready, the question can be asked, what part is the pot and what part is the clay? The answer to this question is as follows

Pot = Form Clay = Content

The content is only clay; the pot form is superimposed on the clay. There can be no misunderstanding and confusion about this. In the same way everything we experience in our mind is only made up of Awareness and different Forms are superimposed upon this Awareness.

Next time you see a tree, or listen to music or feel the cold water, you must be clear that the tree, music or water is made up only by Awareness and nothing but Awareness.

Awareness is this powerful force in our mind, which has the ability to take up any shape or form. Another way to put it: all possible ‘potential forms’ are available within Awareness. They are inherently present in Awareness and they take a required form when you experience that form in your mind. How many different ‘potential forms’ are present in Awareness? Countless, infinite!!

Awareness and Maya Shakti Vedanta teaches us that Maya Shakti is the creative power, and this creative power is available within Awareness. From our earlier discussion we saw Awareness has the following 3 powers:

  1. Power of Knowing/Intelligence
  2. Power of Knower
  3. Power of Known/Objects

Maya Shakti is sum total of these 3 powers.

Maya Shakti = Power of Knowing + Power of Knower + Power of Known

This unlimited and amazing power is called Maya Shakti and it is resident within Awareness.

time (t) = 0 is Pure Awareness

To understand and interpret science properly, it is important to understand what we mean by t (time) = 0.  We can say that t=0 means that it is not the past, not the future but the present. It means it is ‘now’. Anything t = 0+ or t = 0- is not ‘now’ but it is the future or the past. Even a nanosecond more or less than t = 0 is not ‘now’; it would be past or future. For your information, based on the Plank constant, the smallest possible time unit is t = 10-44. Even the passage of this extremely small time unit would mean the event is not ‘now’, but the past or the future.

So, where is the t=0 for the universe? Science tells us that the big bang is the t = 0 for the universe. I do not think this is correct. The big bang is 13.7 billion years old, which means the t = – 13.7 billion years for the big bang. Only the location of ‘now’ can be t = 0. Therefore the big bang cannot be t=0. It may have been t = 0 at the time of the big bang, but right now the big bang is 13.7 billion years old. It is an event from the past. So how do we explain t = 0?

Any perception process must have the following two elements

  1. Subject or Observer
  2. Object or Observed

Without these two elements, the perception process would be incomplete.

In the following sections we will analyze and show where we can locate the t = 0 for the Subject/Observer and the Object/Observed. The proper understanding of t = 0 will go a long way in explaining many of the shortcomings faced by science.

Where is t = 0 for the Observer/Subject?

Even before we start understanding t = 0 for the Observer/Subject, the question which must be answered is – what do we mean by an Observer?

  1. All perception takes place only in the mind. Even science agrees with this – the outside image falls on the retina, which is converted into an optical signal and sent to the brain for processing. Science never explains what happens after that but it does state that the final perception takes place in the mind. Also, science never explains who the observer of the image within the mind is. Who is watching the movie being played in the mind?

According to Vedanta, Atma is the Observer which witnesses everything that is happening in the mind and we know the mind is full of activity. This Atma is the Real ‘I’ and it is our underlying reality. Atma is merely an Observer and it never influences, neither is it affected by what is happening in the mind. It is like a witness to a movie which is running in your mind. Though in real life a sad movie can make someone cry, in the case of Atma, it is never affected by the movie running in the mind.

  1. To locate the t = 0 for Atma/Observer let us study the external objects out there. If we can see a faraway star, say, 5 million light years away, it takes light from that star 5 million years to reach us. Now we see the sun, the light from the sun takes 8 min to reach us. We look at the moon; light takes 3 sec to reach us. We look at the plane flying in the sky, at 30,000 feet; light takes about 300 milliseconds to reach us. As the distance of the object being viewed is reduced, the time taken for light to reach us is much smaller. I now look at the tree outside the window; the time taken for light to reach me is 10 microseconds (10-6). I am looking at the computer screen 1 foot away while typing this article, light takes about 1 nanosecond (10-9) to reach me. You even watch your thoughts, they too take some time to form; they are not instantaneous. As the distance reduces the time taken for the light to reach our eyes, reduces. If you extrapolate this backward, the only logical location for t to be equal to 0 is in the Observer, who is watching all these objects. Atma is the Observer, so Atma is t=0 within you. This t=0 is beyond time, it is always ‘now’.

If you or anyone else looks around at the objects in the universe and uses the same reasoning as above, each one will reach the same conclusion: that the Observer within us is the t =0. Everyone will have their own t=0, which is within themselves. This will apply to every living being in the universe. It would therefore seem that I have my own t=0, you have your own t=0 and every living being in the universe has its own t=0. The only way to understand this is that each and every living being creates their own universe and also the t = 0 for each and every one of them. Does this mean that there are multiple t = 0, one for each and every living being? Vedanta teaches us that Atma is the common Observer/Subject for every living being and therefore there is only one t = 0.

  1. So how does Atma create the illusion of being a different Observer within each and every living being? To explain this, the classic example given by Vedanta is the example of buckets filled with water. Picture the sun shining over an unlimited number of buckets filled with water. What would you see? The sun reflected in each and every bucket. You will not see a partial image of the sun, but the complete image of the sun in each and every bucket. Now imagine the bucket represents our body and the water in the bucket is our mind. There are an unlimited number of living beings with a mind in this universe. The shining sun is the Atma. This one, and only one, Atma is reflected in the mind of each and every living being. So, you can see how, Atma/Observer within each one of us is the t = 0.

Where is t = 0 for the Observed/Objects?

If you look closely, you would agree that whatever we see out there is all dated or past stuff. The far way star is 1 million years old, the sun is 8 min old, the moon is 3 sec old, the plane in the sky is 300 milliseconds old, the tree outside my window is 10 microseconds old, and the computer in front of me is 1 nanosecond old. We do not see any ‘now’ objects where t = 0, we only see ‘memory objects’, which are no longer current. The universe is only made up of ‘memory objects’. It is just impossible to find a ‘now’ object in the physical universe. It must be understood that ‘memory objects’ means both living and nonliving objects.

The question is, does there exist a ‘now’ version of any memory objects, where t = 0 for the object? Intuitively you would think there should be a ‘now’ object somewhere. But where is this ‘now’ object?

Science adds to the confusion, when it talks about memory objects, it makes it seems as if they are talking about ‘now’ objects. When a planet is discovered 5 million light years away, it is referred to as if it is a ‘now’ object, but in reality it is a memory object. They are talking about an object which is 5 million years old, no one knows where that planet is ‘right now’. Does it even exist, has it already been destroyed by meteor. No one can be certain. One certainty is that the ‘now’ object cannot be in the same location where ‘memory’ object is 5 million years back.

It almost feels as if there are two different universes – one is the ‘now’ universe and the other is the universe of memory objects. We know where the universe of memory objects is – it is right in front of us. So the question is – where is the universe of ‘now’ objects? You will never find the ‘now’ universe by looking at memory objects, those are all in the past, with old content. You cannot extrapolate memory objects to the future to understand the ‘now’ objects/universe. In a way, memory objects and ‘now’ objects have no connection whatsoever. Therefore, I wonder if science is on wild goose chase when it is looking for the Singularity, by studying and analyzing memory objects.

So where is the universe where everything is ‘now’ and where there are no memory objects? This is just not possible in the space time framework as we know it. To be in the ‘now’ universe, every object in this universe must be at t=0. If t is not =0, then it is not a ‘now’ object, it is a memory object. We know the t = 0 for the Observer is within you, but where is the t = 0 for the ‘now’ object.

We know that the sun we see is 8 minutes old and it is a memory object. Let us play around with this. Now for whatever reason, the sun is only 3 minutes old; it would mean the sun has moved closer to the Observer (and much hotter). In the same way, if the sun is only 30 seconds old, it would mean the sun is extremely close to the Observer, but it’s still a memory object. If you keep extrapolating this and finally if t becomes 0 for the sun, it would only mean that the sun is within the Observer/Atma. We have seen earlier t=0 is the coordinate for the Observer/Atma. For the sun to be a ‘now’ object, it must be within Observer/Atma.

At t=0, the sun is a ‘now’ object, and this ‘now’ object is beyond the space time framework and is within Atma. The only way to understand that for anything to be outside the space time frame work, it must be in its ‘un-manifest’ or ‘potential form’ or ‘seed form’. There is no actual sun, but there is only the potential to become the sun. Just Playdo used by kids has the potential to be manipulated to become different objects, in the same way Atma has the potential to become any object in the universe.

This reasoning and logic will be applicable to every memory object in the universe. The t=0 for all the memory objects in this physical universe is present within Atma/Observer in its ‘potential or seed form’. There is no actual universe within Atma, but the only the potential to become the universe. We are going to explain later on what we mean by ‘potential or seed form’

T = 0 Is Pure Awareness

We just saw that the t = 0 for the Observer is within each one of us. We also saw the t = 0 for all the ‘now’ Objects is also within us. At t = 0 both Subject and Object are the same. They are completely unified and homogeneous with no separation whatsoever. What does this mean? THIS is the singularity which Science talks about. It is the unity of the subject and object.

Vedanta teaches us that the essential nature of Atma is Self-Awareness; that is, it is aware of itself. If you look at Awareness more closely, you will realize Awareness must always have the following two elements.

  1. If you are aware, then there should be someone who is aware. Awareness needs a subject
  2. To be aware, there must be an object which you are aware of. Awareness needs an object.

Subject and object are needed to complete the Awareness process. To be Self-Aware, the subject and object must be within Awareness itself, with no separation. This is Pure Awareness. In our daily perception, we always feel that the subject is here, while the object is out there, there is separation; we are therefore not Self Aware.

Earlier, we saw that t = 0 has both the Subject and Object as non-separate from each other. The only conclusion we can reach is that t = 0 is not only Aware, but it is Self-Aware. Vedanta teaches us that Atma is Self-Aware. Therefore t = 0 is Atma, and this t = 0 is the underlying reality of the universe, including for every living being.

t = 0 is a concept which science can understand. If science does properly understand t = 0, it must reach the conclusion that t = 0 is no different from Atma, which is the underlying reality of this universe.

Time vs. Space

In classical physics, space and time were considered completely different and independent of each other. Newton considered space to have 3 dimensions and a separate single dimension for time. Einstein with his Theory of Relativity showed that space and time where interlinked and he changed the terminology from ‘space and time’ to ‘space time’ and this space time had 4 dimensions. But, it’s hard to understand 4 dimensions, it’s not intuitive. We can only visualize 3 dimensions, so where is the 4th dimension? Neither Einstein nor science has given a proper explanation for this.

  1. If we look at the teaching of Vedanta, this confusion between space and time becomes quite clear. Einstein showed Time and Space are one and the same thing, the only difference is that Time is subtle while Space is gross. Space and Time are referring to the same thing. Space is the gross version of Time. Space is gross; we can see Space out there. No one has seen Time, but we can certainly experience time. From our discussion elsewhere on Subtle and Gross bodies, we can understand that Time is non-physical or subtle. We know that anything subtle is an activity that happens in the mind and mental activities are made up of waves or ‘vrittis’. Since Time is nonphysical, subtle, it must be a mental activity and it must be made up of waves or ‘vrittis’.

Vedanta teaches that the subtle body creates the gross body. Time is subtle and Space is gross, it only correct to conclude that Time creates Space. How to understand this? Science tells us that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. If a photon has to travel from beginning of the universe, it will take the photon 13.7 billion light years to reach us. 1 light year is the amount distance light travels in one year. The size of the universe will be the distance travelled by the photon from the big bang. This distance travelled by the photon is the outer limit of the Universe, because there was no universe before the big bang. If you assume the universe is 13.7 billion years old ‘right now’. After one second, the age of the universe will be 13.7 billion years + 1 sec. The photon now has to travel an additional 186,000 miles to reach us, which means the size of the universe has grown by 186,000 miles. After 10 seconds, the size of the universe would increase by 186,000 x 10 = 1,860,000 miles. After one year from now, the size of the universe will increase by 1 light year. From this reasoning it is quite clear that Time is creating the expansion of the universe. Every year the universe is expanding by 1 light year. As more Time is passing, the Space of the universe is expanding. It is therefore only correct to conclude that Time (which is subtle), creates Space (which is gross).

  1. If Time is subtle, it must be a ‘vritti’ or wave which is present in an individual mind and also in the cosmic mind. This wave has the power to create Time. It is quite difficult for us to understand or visualize the composition of this waveform, but one thing is certain that Time is subtle and therefore it is a waveform and is present in everyone’s mind. If you are looking at the sun, the sun will also be present in your mind as a ‘vritti’ or waveform. Let us try and visualize how the ‘vritti’ of the sun combines with the Time ‘vritti’. It will generate a superimposed waveform in the mind. The time factor is now added to the sun. It is like a mathematical waveform with time as a variable. If you think about it, this superimposed waveform will now provide a history of the sun. Since Time has been superimposed on the sun waveform, the new waveform will have the ‘potential’ to show the sun in all it stages of growth from its birth 4.6 billion years to right now. All the different Suns in the historical time line is present in the Vritti in its ‘potential’ form. For example you are on earth and you want to see the sun. Your mind will have a superimposed vritti of (Sun and Time). When this waveform collapses in the presence of the Observer, you will see an 8 min old Sun. This 8 min old Sun is present in the potential form in the combined Sun + Time ‘Vritti’. Also when the subtle Time becomes gross, it would automatically mean that the position of the sun will be 8 min away from you. It will take light 8 min to reach you.

Let us suppose a person in a planet 1 million light years away is looking at our sun through a telescope. He will also have the same combined waveform of the Sun and Time in his mind as we do on the earth. However, when his waveform collapses, he will see a 1 million year old Sun. These two examples show that the combined Sun + Time waveform has the potential of all the historical Suns. Depending upon the Observers location in the universe, Suns of different ages will be observed. Depending upon the age, it will be placed that many light years away in space.

This logic is not only applicable to the Sun but to each and every object in the universe, both living and nonliving. The Time vritti will combine with the waveform for each and every object in the universe, and this combination will contain the ‘potential’ history in time for all the objects in the universe. It would seem that the Time vritti or waveform is extremely powerful and it has the ability to create objects of different ages. It is indeed very powerful and this power can only be derived from Maya Shakti, the creative power of Atma. Atma is all powerful and it gives its power to Maya Shakti and Maya Shakti passes it on to the Time Vritti. The Time waveform (or vritti) can create objects of all ages by superimposing itself on the vritti of different objects. What is most wonderful is that Atma is the underlying reality for all of us.

Just like Time is subtle and Space is gross, the same logic can be used for Energy and Mass. The famous Einstein equation E = mc2 is self-explanatory. Energy is subtle and Mass is gross, they are both interlinked. Mass is the gross version of Energy. Just like Time is a vritti, in the same way Energy also is a vritti and is present as a waveform in an individual mind and also in the cosmic mind. This Energy vritti when it superimposes with any object vritti, will provide the required energy to the object and when this object becomes gross, it will have the required mass. This is another intriguing power of Maya Shakti and Atma.

If you examine it closely, you’ll find that the Schrodinger Wave Equation applicable to any object has two variables – time and energy. We have just seen that any Vritti or waveform of any object in the mind also has two variables –time and energy.

‘Memory Objects’ vs. ‘Now Objects’

Let us study the external objects ‘out there’. If we can see a far away star, say 5 million light years away, it will take light from that star 5 million years to reach us. Now we see the sun, the light from the sun takes 8 min to reach us. We look at the moon; light will take 3 sec to reach us. We look at the plane flying in the sky, at 30,000 feet; light will take about 300 milliseconds to reach us. As the distance of the object being viewed is reduced, the time taken for light to reach us or for us to see it is much smaller. I now look at the tree outside the window; the time taken for light to reach me is 10 microseconds (10-6). I am looking at the computer screen 1 ft away typing this article, light will take about 1 nanosecond (10-9).

If you look closely at what we have just discussed, you would agree that whatever we see out there is all dated or past. That far away star is 5 million old, the sun is 8 min old, the moon is 3 sec old, the plane in the sky is 300 milliseconds old, the tree outside my window is 10 microseconds old, and the computer in front of me is 1 nanosecond old. We do not see any ‘now’ objects, we only see ‘memory objects’ (for lack of a better word), which are no longer current. The full universe is only made up of ‘memory objects’. This applies to both living and non living objects. Can anyone show me ‘now objects’? However hard you try, you won’t find any ‘now object’ in this universe, you will only find ‘memory objects’.

Nothing is current and neither is anything real. ‘Real’, ‘Live’ or ‘Now’ objects cannot be Memory objects. Just to give an example, if you go to a stadium and watch a sporting event, this event would be a ‘live’ event. Your friend is busy and records the event to watch it the next day. When he watches, his is a recorded event, and what he is watching are memory objects, they are not ‘live’ or ‘real’ objects. If you apply this to the universe, you know that everything you see is in the past, and a memory object, so it cannot be the real “live” event. Therefore, if you see any object, then you can conclude the following

  • Since it’s a memory object, it must be a “recorded” event.
  • If it is a recorded object, it must be stored somewhere in some type of storage or memory device.
  • To see a memory object, it must be played back from some type of memory or storage device.

All this indicates that there is some type of cosmic DVR, which is playing all the memory objects. Maya Shakti, the creative power of Brahman or Atma is this cosmic DVR, which is playing out the blueprint of your life and also the life of the entire universe. This Maya Shakti creates stores and plays back all the memory objects. The space time framework is the screen on which these memory objects are projected. Maya Shakti is the DVR, the space time frame work is the projection screen and the movie being played is the current cycle of creation and dissolution, with memory objects of the universe. Atma is the observer of this movie called Life.

You will never find the composition of the real object by looking at memory objects. Going back to the earlier example of the recording being viewed by your friend, he is looking at the memory or recorded objects being played back on the screen. If he starts zooming in the image to see what the objects are made of, the only things he will find on the screen are pixels! If he spends his entire life only watching recordings and he never sees any real objects, he will conclude that the all objects are made of pixels. What a wrong conclusion this would be! The only reason he reaches this conclusion is because of his ignorance of the real objects. We can apply the same logic and reasoning for the memory objects of the universe. We will never understand what is ‘real’ by looking at memory objects. Because of our ignorance we think the memory objects are real and therefore we are trying our best to find the reality of the universe in these memory objects. Science will never find the underlying reality in these memory objects.

‘Now’ Objects

The far away star is 5 million old, the sun is 8 min old, the moon is 3 sec old, the plane in the sky is 300 milliseconds old, the tree outside my window is 10 microseconds old, and the computer in front of me is 1 nanosecond old – we saw this earlier. We do not see any ‘now’ objects, we only see ‘memory objects’, which are no longer current. The question is, does there exist a ‘now’ version of memory objects? If yes, – where do they exist, how do they exist and what are they made of?

Science adds to the confusion. When it talks about memory objects, it seems to refer to ‘now’ objects. When scientists discover a planet 5 million light years away, they talk as if it is a ‘now’ object, but really it’s a memory object. They are talking about an object which is 5 million years old, no one knows where that object is ‘right now’. Does it even exist, has it been destroyed by meteor. No one can be certain. One certainty is that the ‘now’ object cannot be in the same location where the ‘memory’ object was 5 million years ago..

It almost feels like that there two different universes one is ‘now’ universe and the other is universe of memory objects. We know where the universe made up of memory objects is, it is right in front of us. The question where is the universe of ‘now’ objects. You will never find the ‘now’ universe by looking at memory objects. You cannot extrapolate the memory objects to the future to understand the ‘now’ objects or the ‘now’ universe. It the same as the earlier example of seeing recorded images on TV and trying to find out what the ‘real’ and ‘live’ objects in the live event in the sports stadium are made up. If you study the recorded images on TV, you will only find pixels. You will not find the reality of the live objects.

So where is the ‘now’ universe where everything is ‘now’, where there are no memory objects? This is just not possible in the space time framework. To be in the ‘now’ universe, every object in this universe must be at t=0. If it is not t=0, then it is not a ‘now’ object, it is a memory object. We have seen in previous post and articles that the Observer/Atma/Brahman is t=0, which is fixed and non-moving as compared to the moving universe. We have seen that the Brahman/Atma is the underlying reality of you, me and of everything in this universe which is observed. It is the only ‘now’ universe, where everything is t=0, both for the Observer and Observed. The Observer is the subject and the observed (object) is the universe. Both the subject and object are t=0 in Atma/Brahman. Atma/Brahman is complete (with both the subject and object) and is the only reality of the universe. Everything else is a memory object.

Let us look at this from another perspective. We know that the sun we see is 8 minutes old and it is a memory object. Let us play around with this. Now, for whatever reason, suppose the sun is only 3 minutes old; it would mean the sun has moved closer to the Observer (and much hotter). If the sun is 30 seconds old, the sun is extremely close to the Observer, but it is still a memory object. If you keep extrapolating this and finally if t=0 for the sun, it would only mean that the sun is within the Observer/Atma. We have seen in other articles that t=0 is the coordinate for the Atma/Brahman. For the sun to be a ‘now’ object, it must be within Atma/Brahman. At t=0, the sun is a ‘now’ object, and this ‘now’ object is beyond the space time framework and is within Brahman/Atma.

This reasoning and logic is applicable to every memory object in the universe. The only ‘now’ universe is Atma/Reality, this is the only place where everything is t=0. The ‘now’ universe is Atma, while memory objects universe is the universe we see around us.

So do we have two universes? Can there two universes? Vedanta says that the only universe is Atma/Brahman, but due to our ignorance we have forgotten our true nature of being Atma. This ignorance creates the mind and this mind manifests the photon and creates the physical universe with all the memory objects. Due to our ignorance we think the physical universe is real and we keep looking for the reality within this physical universe.

Where is the Center of the Universe?

Where is the center of the universe? Where is the x=0, y=0, z=0 and t=0 for the universe. Before Galileo, people thought the Earth was the center of the universe, and everything revolved around the earth. Galileo peered into the stars using his telescope; he found that the earth and all the other planets moved around the sun. He realized the sun was the center of the solar system we live in. Using more powerful telescopes, people found that there are billions of stars like the sun in the Milky Way; our solar system is part of this galaxy. All the stars in this galaxy are rotating around the center of the Milky Way. Cosmologists have now discovered there are millions of such galaxies in the universe and all these galaxies moving in relation to each other. There is continuous movement in this vast universe. To find the 0,0,0,0 coordinate for the entire universe, would mean this point should always be stationery or fixed, as compared to the continuously moving universe.

Science states that the big bang is the t=0 for the universe. This t=0 may have been correct at the time of the big bang, but right now the big bang is 13.7 billion old or the t= -13.7 billion years. It is definitely not t=0. Logically the position of ‘now’ can only be t=0. This ‘now’ is the fixed point and it is also the coordinate for x=0, y=0 and z=0. Where do you find this the ‘now’? Time flows continuously, what is ‘now’ becomes past in a millisecond.

Science is still looking but it will never find this immovable (0,0,0,0) in the space time framework, it has to be outside this framework. If you apply the teachings of Vedanta we can find this fixed, non moving coordinate.

  1. Let us study the external objects ‘out there’. If we can see a far away star, say 5 million light years away, it will take light from that star 5 million years to reach us. Now we see the sun, the light from the sun takes 8 min to reach us. We look at the moon; light will take 3 sec to reach us. We look at the plane flying in the sky, at 30,000 feet; light will take about 300 milliseconds to reach us. As the distance of the object being viewed is reduced, the time taken for light to reach us or for us to see it is much smaller. I now look at the tree outside the window; the time taken for light to reach me is 10 microseconds (10-6). I am looking at the computer screen 1 ft away typing this article, light will take about 1 nanosecond (10-9). You even watch your thoughts, this also takes some time to form, and they are not instantaneous. As the distance is reducing the time taken for the light is reducing. If you extrapolate this backward, the only logical place for t to be equal to 0 is the Observer, who is watching all these objects within your mind. We have said in other articles that Atma (your underlying reality) is the Observer, so it the Atma within you, where t becomes 0. This t=0 is, in a sense, beyond time, it is always ‘now’. If you think about it, the center of the universe is the Atma or the Observer, which is within you, me, or everyone. The earth, the sun, the center of the Milky Way is not the center of the universe. The center of the universe, which is your Atma/Observer, is right within you. Vedanta has always said in all its scriptures that Atma is the center of the universe. If the reasoning provided here is correct, it is only logical for science to agree and accept what Vedanta has been saying for centuries.

If you or anyone else looks around the universe, they will reach the same conclusion. Everyone has their own t=0, which is within themselves. This will apply to every living being in the universe. It would seem, therefore, I have my own t=0, you have your own t=0 and every living being in the universe has their own t=0. The only way to understand this, is that each and every living being creates their own universe and this universe starts with t=0. You cannot create your own universe and be separate from it. Science has to correct its thinking; the observer is non-separate from the universe.

As we have mentioned earlier space and time are inter-related. If Atma is t=0, than Atma is also the x=0, y=0, z=0 coordinate for the universe.

  1. If you look closely at what we have just discussed, you would agree that whatever we see out there is all dated or past. That far away star is 1 million old, the sun is 8 min old, the moon is 3 sec old, the plane in the sky is 300 milliseconds old, the tree outside my window is 10 microseconds old, and the computer in front of me is 1 nanosecond old. We do not see any ‘now’ objects, we only see ‘memory objects’ (for lack of a better word), which are no longer current. The full universe is only made up of ‘memory objects’. This applies to both living and non living objects. Can anyone show me ‘now objects’? However hard you try, you won’t find any ‘now object’ in this universe, you will only find ‘memory objects’. We are so used to this that we don’t realize what’s really happening. I am sure scientists are aware of this, but think of it, perhaps as trivial.

 

Mind Creates Space

This definitely seems counter intuitive, but it is true the mind creates space. Let us try and understand this.

Science tells us that the age of the universe is 13.7 billion years old. This event is called the Big Bang. Using powerful telescopes scientists are hoping to peer into the past to see the beginning 13.7 billion years back. In order to do so the photon will have to travel a long way to reach us. The size of the universe will be the distance traveled by the photon from the big bang. This is the outer limit, because there was no universe before the big bang.

So, the size of the universe: 13.7 billion light years or 12.9 x 1025 meters. One light year is the amount of distance light travels in one year, which is = 9.46 × 1015 meters

If you assume the universe is 13.7 billion years old ‘right now’. After one second, the age of the universe will be 13.7 billion years + 1 sec. The photon now has to travel an additional 186,000 miles to reach us, which means the size of the universe has grown by 186,000 miles. After 10 seconds, the size of the universe would increase by 186,000 x 10 = 1,860,000 miles. After one year from now, the size of the universe will increase by 1 light year. 1 light year is the distance light travels in one year.

From the above, we can conclude that the Rate of expansion of the Universe = 1 light year per year.

So, as long as time flows, the expansion of the universe will continue at the speed of light. The expansion of the universe is directly related to the amount of time which has elapsed. The expansion of the universe will come to an end only when time comes to an end. When will that happen? No one seems to know this. According to Vedanta, time will come to an end when the nominated karmas for this life cycle of the universe are exhausted.

One interesting and very important conclusion one can make from this discussion is that the space we see around us is created by time. We saw that as time moves forward, the size of the universe increases. We understand what space is, it is visible, and we can experience it. What about time? Time cannot be seen, it is not visible, but it can be experienced – it is subtle. Anything subtle must be a mental event created by the mind, because the mind is also subtle. Mind creates time, and time creates space, therefore it is only logical to conclude that the Mind creates Space. In other words, the space time fabric is created by the mind itself. Mind is the underlying reality of the space time fabric.

Who is the Observer?

‘I’ is a pronoun and it can stand by itself. This standalone ‘I’ does not need to be connected to anything internal (mind) or external (body), it is self sufficient and independent. This ‘I’ is your true Self. In Vedanta it is called Atma. The main role of the ‘I’ or Atma is to observe what happens in your mind and we know the mind is full of activity. This “I” is just a Observer and it never influences, neither it is affected by what is happening in the mind. It is like a witnessing a movie which is running in your mind. Though in real life a sad movie can make someone cry, but in this case the Atma is never affected by the movie running in the mind. The Atma is the Subject or Observer and everything which is happening in your mind is the Object or Observed.

According to the scriptures the nature of this Atma or ‘I’ is ‘Sat Chit Ananda’. In reality it is impossible to know the Atma. The Atma is not an object or thing to be known, it is the Subject which observes things or objects. If you think about it, it is only logical nothing can be known of the Observer. Therefore according to the scriptures ‘Sat Chit Ananda’ is not an adjective for Atma, but it only indicates or points towards the essential nature of the Atma. Let us now discuss what we mean by ‘Sat Chit Ananda’.

Sat: Sat means Real. If you look up any dictionary you will get a wide variety of meaning for ‘real’. This dictionary meaning is not good for understanding ‘Sat’. According to Vedanta, for anything to be Sat, it must exist and be present in all the 3 tenses – past, present and future. If you look into nature, you will not find anything which is Sat.

  • This universe was born 13.7 billion years ago and therefore it did not exist before that, so it cannot be Sat, also we know if anything is born it must die. So Sat must be unborn and anything which is unborn must be uncreated (to make it existent forever).
  • Everything which is born must have a cause. You were born because of your parents and they were born because of their parents. Since Sat is unborn it is also uncaused. No cause created it, it was, and it will be always present.
  • If anything changes in anyway small, e.g. (atoms have been displaced) or big, e.g. (planetary positions are different), it is not the same as what it was before. Therefore it cannot be Sat, because Sat is unchanging.

Atma or ‘I” is Sat and it is uncreated, uncaused and unchanging.

Chit: Chit means Awareness. Many books will also translate this as Consciousness, but I feel this is not very accurate. When the mind comes into contact with this Chit or Awareness that mind becomes Conscious. The essential nature of Atma is Awareness. This Awareness has no edge or boundary, it is limitless. Basically it is everywhere and everything in the universe is Awareness, or full of awareness. There cannot be a single spot or area where this Awareness is not present. To visualize this, look at the sun’s rays, which is everywhere in the solar system.

If you look at Awareness more closely, you will realize Awareness must always have two elements.

  1. If you are aware, then there should be someone who is aware. Awareness needs a subject
  2. To be aware, there must be some type of object of which you are aware of. Awareness needs an object

Subject and object are needed to complete the Awareness process. Usually Subject and Object are separate, but in Chit there is no separate subject and object, Chit is always Self Aware, it is aware of its awareness (it is witnessing its awareness). It is both the subject and object rolled in one. Chit is therefore self sufficient and complete. Due to ignorance, the subject and object become separate. This is what it seems for an ignorant person.

Here is an appropriate quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj, an Indian sage who explains the difference between Awareness and Consciousness

“Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, and unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful; awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.” (from “I Am That”, chapter 11)

Like the sun which glows, the Chit also glows with Awareness and is present everywhere. Anything which comes in touch with Chit becomes Conscious. Because the objects become conscious, only then Atma or ‘I’ can witness these objects. Anything you witness in this world is because those objects become “conscious” – because of the light of Atma or your true nature.

Ananda: Your essential nature is Ananda or Bliss. This term can be confusing because we do get momentary bliss in our day to day lives and this is not the Ananda we are talking about. Basically there are two types of Ananda or bliss

  • Vishesha Ananda This is the bliss or happiness we get from objects. We know and experience this bliss, it is momentary and it comes and goes. Vedanta has a complete explanation how this process works, but this is not the place to discuss this.
  • Swarupa Ananda: Swarupa Ananda means your essential nature is Ananda or Bliss. We saw earlier that the Chit is both the Subject and Object. This means ‘I’ is complete and full; it is self sufficient and does not need anything else. This condition of completeness and fullness gives ‘I’ continuous and unbroken Ananda or Bliss. The reason we do not experience this type of bliss on a continuous basis is because we have forgotten who we are, due to our ignorance. This ignorance creates a separation between subject and object. This duality is source of our unhappiness.

Summary

The ‘I’ is the Observer to what is going on in our minds. This ‘I’ is our essential nature and it is Uncreated, Uncaused and Unchanging. It is also Self Aware, it is Limitless and Blissful.

For a complete analysis, please read the article ‘I Am ……..’

Who Creates the Universe?

The observer is the one who creates the universe. This seems to be a radical idea. Actually it is not. Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity completely supports the idea that every observer creates their own space/time framework.

The Theory of Special Relativity deals with Space and Time. It is based on the fact that the speed of light is fixed at 186,000 miles per second irrespective of the frame of reference. We all experience relative speed. Going in a car at 60mph, we look into another car traveling in the same direction at 55mph, and we see things inside the other car because the relative speed is only 5mph. We don’t have this experience with reference to the speed of light. Light is travelling at 186,000 miles per sec and suppose you are traveling in a car at 60% of the speed of light. Sitting in the car, you would logically expect the light to travel at only 40% of its usual speed, but if you take measurements you will find to your amazement that light is still travelling at 186k miles per sec. What has happened is that space has contracted and has shrunk so that light still covers 186K miles in one second. If you increase the speed of the car to 80% of speed of light, space will further contract. If you now slow down to 30% of the speed of light, space will now expand. All this done to done to ensure that the speed of light is a constant at 186,000 miles per sec.

This expansion and contraction of space also happens even when walking or running. However, the speed at which you walk or run is so slow when compared to the speed of light that you are unable to notice, but the changes to the space time framework are definitely occurring.

The important take away point from this discussion is that any observer (a person) creates their own space/time framework. Person A is sitting in a chair, Person B is walking, Person C is running, Person D is cycling and Person E is driving a car; all of them are moving at different speeds; this would mean that each of them will have their own separate and independent space/time framework. This has been scientifically proven.

SpaceTime

If there are 7billion human beings on Earth, each of them have their own time/space framework and will create their own universe within this frame work. There is not one universe out there but 7 billion universes; though any observer can see only their own self created universe.

This entire universe is based on relative motion, as we just cannot find anything which is fixed. We are walking on earth; the earth is moving around the sun, the sun is moving in the Milky Way. The Milky Way is moving further away from other galaxies. Where are the fixed (0,0) coordinates to make an absolute measurement of space?

Since each human being creates their own time/space framework, the (x=0, y=0, z=0, t=0) definitely has to within the person itself. This is usually the real Observer within each person. Who is this Observer? You will find details in the articles published in this web sites

The theory of special relativity clearly shows that each observer has their own time/space framework and since this true it is only logical to extend this by saying that the universe with its content is also created by the observer. Therefore the observer within you creates the universe ‘out there’.

 

Are Photons Overrated?

Science has taught us that the light is reflected from any object in this universe that we observe, and travels to the retina in our eye. There are 120 millions rods which are sensitive to black and white and there are about 7 millions cones which are sensitive to color. These rod and cones convert the incoming light into an optical signal. This optical signal is transmitted to the visual cortex in the human brain. This is the end of the journey of the perception process. There is no explanation as to what happens to the optical signal and how the brain decodes the optical signal and reconstructs our visual world. Science also never tells who is at home within the brain who finally sees the reconstructed visual image. Who is final observer of this image? I guess this idea of the final observer has always been outside the bounds of science because there is no way to empirically record the observer’s existence. Anything “subjective” is discarded in the scientific world.

Besides the lack of understanding of the observer and what happens in the mind/brain in the reconstruction of the outside world, there is this unanswered question – does the incoming light reflected from objects have the capacity to generate the awareness of those objects? It would seem this reflected light is our only connection with the outside word. We are aware of all the objects both far and near only because of this reflected light. I think this asking too much from reflected light (photons) alone. Here are some reasons:

  1. If you look at a far away star, the light traveling from there can take a long time. For Star A which is 10 light years away, the photon has to start traveling 10 years back so that it can hit the retina in our eye now to make Star A visible. Now we turn around and try and see Star B, which is 1 million light years away, that photon would need to start its journey 1 million years back so it is available to our eyes. This is a long journey for the photon passing through space containing dark matter, galaxies, and planets. The photon has to keep its purity of wavelength and energy level. Now if you can imagine millions of people spread over many different galaxies looking at the same stars at the same time, different photons from Star A and B should also travel from the past to the present to reach these millions of viewers. It would seem these photons from anywhere in the universe are available to viewers everywhere on demand and that too instantaneously. This makes you wonder- is there is a limit on the number of photons the reflected light can generate from the object which has to be viewed?
  2. We know light is made up of different colors and each of the colors has a different wavelength. When we pass light with these colors through a prism (basically from one medium to another), the wavelengths for each color bend differently and we see the rainbow effect on the other side of the prism. Light breaks up and moves in scattered directions. It is more than likely the light coming from distant objects will pass through different media which only means the photons of different colors will scatter and move in different directions. The probability of scattering is much higher if the light has to travel from stars which are light years away. If this is really happening what is the accuracy of the photons reaching the human eye? Is it really representing the objects accurately? I do not think science really discusses this and it is taken for granted that the photons reaching us from distant objects are an accurate representation.
  3. Another critical question is – how can the photon accurately represent the distance and time it has travelled? The object could be close by or a distant star. Quantum physics tells us these particles are continuously destroyed to become other particles and then they combine once again to become a photon. Such a dance is going on continuously. Keeping this dance in mind, there is no way to know which photon has traveled how far to reach the human eye. As of now there is no indication that the photon has some sort of memory to know from which object it has come and the distance it has travelled. There are millions of photons hitting the rods and cones in the retina, but there is no way to know which photon comes from which object and how much distance it has traveled. If this critical information is lacking, it is impossible for the eye to reproduce the image we are trying to perceive.
  4. You could say that this is perhaps unknown to science – the photon does have memory to know the distance it has travelled. If so, how does it transfer this distance data to the retina? The retina in turn must add the data regarding distance into the optical signal being sent to the brain. Only this way, the brain can reconstruct the visual image accurately.

Science is completely silent about this and there is no evidence that all this is actually happening. All the above arguments show it’s just not very clear how we really perceive. What science tells us so far is full of problems and shortcomings.

For all the reasons mentions, I think photons are overrated for its importance to the perception process.

Read the article ‘Real Perception Process’  to undertand how the actual percption process works. This is based on the teaching of Vedanta.