Chapter 89 — Phenomena as Reproductions of Memories

Rama said, “Tell me sage. In your curiosity to observe the changes of earthly things and affairs, did you see them in their earthly shapes with your physical body or in their ideal forms in the imagination of your mind?”

Vasishta replied:—

It was in my mind that I thought I became the great earth. All the things that I saw were only the simple conceptions of the mind. They could not possibly have a material form. It is impossible for the surface of the earth to exist without its conception in the mind. Whatever you know as either real or unreal, know them all to be the work of your mind.

I am the pure empty consciousness which is the essence of my soul. The expansion of this intellectual soul is called its will. Will becomes the mind and the creative power Brahma, and it takes the form of the world and this earth also. This empty mind is composed of its desires and assumes to itself whatever form it likes. In this way my mind stretched itself at that time and put forth its desires in all those forms as it liked. From its habitual capacity of containing everything, it evolved itself into the shape of the wide-stretched earth. Hence the sphere of the earth is nothing other than the evolution of the mind. It is only an unintelligent counterpart of intelligent consciousness. Being empty itself, it remains forever as such in infinite emptiness. But by being considered as a solid substance by the ignorant, they have altogether forgotten its intellectual nature.

The knowledge that this globe of earth is stable, solid and extended is as false as the general impression of blueness in the clear and empty sky, and this is the effect of a deep-rooted bias in the minds of men. 10 It is clear from this argument that there is no such thing as the stable earth. It is of the same ideal form as it was conceived in the mind at the first creation of the world. 11 As a city in a dream and consciousness in emptiness, so the Divine Consciousness dwells in the form of the creation within emptiness.

12 Know the three worlds in their intellectual light. They are like the aerial palace of childish fancy and hobby. Know this earth and all visible appearances to be the creatures of imagination. 13 The world is a copy or reproduction of the intellectual Spirit of God. It is not a different kind of production of the Divine Will. In fact it has no real or positive existence at all, although it may appear as solid and substantial to the ignorant.

14 The unreal visible world is known only by the ignorant who are unacquainted with its real intellectual nature. Only he who is acquainted with its true nature knows well what I have been preaching to you all this time. 15 All this is the thinking of Divine Consciousness, the manifestation of the Supreme Self in itself. The visible world which appears as something other than the Supreme Soul is inherent in that same Soul.

16 As a sparkling stone exhibits the various colors of white, yellow and others without their being infused in the stone, so Divine Consciousness shows this creation in all its various aspects within its empty sphere. 17 The spirit does not do anything or change its nature. Therefore this earth is not a mental or a material production. 18 Empty Consciousness appears as the surface of the earth. But of itself it has no depth or breadth. It is transparent on its surface. 19 Its own nature shows itself as anything wherever it is situated. Though it is clear like the open air, yet it appears as the earth by its universal inherence and permeation in all things.

20 This globe of land and water appearing as something other than the Great Consciousness is in the very same form as it is pictured in the mind, like the shapes of things appearing in our dream. 21 The world exists in empty spirit, and the Divine Spirit also being empty, there is no difference in them. The ignorant soul makes the difference, but it immediately vanishes before the intelligent soul.

22 All material beings that have been or are to be in the past, present and future are mere errors of vision, like the false appearances in our dreams and the air-built cities of imagination. 23 The beings that now exist and are to come into existence and the earth itself are of the same nature of a universal fallacy, instead of the Divine Spirit pervading the whole.

24 I and all others who are included in this world have the visible perceptions of all things as they are preserved in our memory.

25 Rama, know only Divine Consciousness, as the Supreme Soul and essence of all existence without decay which sustains the whole in its person without forsaking its spirituality. Knowing the whole world is contained within you, which is not different from the Supreme Soul, you shall be exempt and liberated from all.