Chapter 179 — Phenomena Are Points of Consciousness; Dreams Evidence Things Exist without Cause; — Each Soul Is Conscious of Multitudes within
1 Vasishta continued:—
When the triple world is known to be a purely intellectual entity, then there is no possibility of the existence of any material substance, as it is believed by the ignorant majority of mankind. 2 Then how can there be a tangible body, or any material substance at all? All that appears to our sight is only an intangible extension of pure emptiness. 3 It is the emptiness of our intellectuality contained in the emptiness of the Divine Intellect. It is all an extension of calm and quiet intelligence existing in the serene intelligence of the Supreme One. 4 All this is only tranquil consciousness, like a dream of which we are conscious in our waking state. It is a pure spiritual extension, though appearing as a consolidated expanse of substantial forms.
5 What are these living bodies and their limbs and members? What are their inner parts and their bony frames? Are they not mere shadows of ghosts and spirits appearing as visible and tangible? 6 The hands, the head, and all the other parts of the body are seats of consciousness or perception. They are the seats of the imperceptible and intangible in the form of the brain or sense impressions.
7 The cosmos appears as a dream in the emptiness of the Divine Mind. The cosmos may be described as caused and uncaused owing to its repeated appearance and eternal inherence in the Eternal Mind. 8 It is true that nothing can come from nothing, nothing can exist without its cause. But what can be the cause of what is eternally destined or ordained in the Eternal Mind? 9 It is possible for a thing to come into existence without any assignable cause. Such is the presence of everything that we think of in our minds. 10 If it is possible for things to appear in their various forms in our dreams, and even in the unconscious state of our sleep, then why should it be impossible for them to appear in the daydream of our waking hours, the mind being equally watchful in both states of its being?
11 Things of various kinds are present at all times in the all comprehensive mind of the Universal Soul. These are uncaused entities of the Divine Mind. They are also described as caused when they are brought to appearance.
12 As each of the Aindavas thought he had become a hundred in his imagination, so every one of these imaginary worlds swarms with millions of beings. 13 Everybody is conscious of being many, either consecutively or simultaneously at the same time, just as we think of our diversity in the different parts and organs of our bodies. 14 As the one universal body of water diverges itself into a thousand beds and basins, branching into innumerable channels and creeks, and as one undivided duration is divided into all the divisions of time and seasons, so does the one and uniform soul become many.
15 All compact bodies are only ethereal phantoms of our dream rising in the empty space of our consciousness. They are as formless and subtle as a hollow mountain in a dream. 16 Our consciousness consists of only the concepts and ideas of things. Therefore the world must be considered to exist only as an idea. It appears as fleeting ideas of things glide over the emptiness of the intellect.
17 Our knowledge and ignorance of things resemble the dreaming and sleeping states of the soul. The world is same as the intellect, like the identity of air with its breeze. 18 Ideas and phenomena are the same state of the Intellect. Ideas are the subjectivity of its empty self, and phenomena are the objectivity of its own reasoning and dreams. Therefore this world appears as a protracted dream in the hollow cavity of the sleeping mind.
19 The world is a nonentity. The error of its entity is caused by our ignorance of the nature of God from the very beginning of creation. In our dream of the world, we see many terrific aspects of ghosts and the like, but our knowledge of its nonentity and of the vanity of worldliness dispel all our fears and cares. 20 As our single self-consciousness sees many things in itself, so it beholds an endless variety of forms appearing in the infinite emptiness of the Divine Mind. 21 As many lighted lamps in a room combine to emit one great blaze of light, so the appearance of this diverse creation displays the omnipotence of one almighty power. 22 Creation is like a bursting bubble, or foam and froth covering the ocean of omnipotence. It appears as a wood and wilderness in the clouded face of the firmament, but disappears in the clear empty atmosphere of the Divine Mind. There is no speck or spot of creation in the infinite ocean of Supreme Consciousness.