Chapter 204 — All Forms, Dream or Awake, Are Manifestations of Intellect

Vasishta resumed and said:—

O Rama, let me tell you a few words on transcendental knowledge. The mirror of the mind shines more brightly when it is cleaned and polished of external images, rather than when it is clouded by outer shadows. The significant words that describe what we know are as insignificant as the hissing murmurs of waters and waves. Phenomena are only an apparent resemblance of ideas, just as a dream is the reflection of the mind and the visible world is only a reflection of a visionary dream. The waking state is that of dreaming and its scenes are those of our dreams. These scenes present themselves before us in both waking and sleeping states from our memories of them. They are the inner concepts of our consciousness appearing to be situated outside our consciousness.

I am conscious of the clarity of my intellectual sphere in spite of seeing fairylands in its state of dreaming. In my waking, I find my mind to be equally clear of all its imaginary forms of the three worlds and their contents, which in reality are a formless emptiness only.

Rama asked:—

If all things are formless in the formless void of the universe as an empty emptiness of the intellect, then tell me sage. How do these endless shapes and forms arise, such as earth, water and fire, and those of these hills, rocks and pebbles? Tell me why the elements have different forms and qualities and why the empty air, space and time have no form or property. What makes the wind so very fleet and what causes the motions and actions of moving bodies? Why is space only a vacuum? Why is the mind also empty? These are all the various properties of things. I would like a good explanation for my own knowledge.

Vasishta replied:—

Rama, you have asked good questions as they naturally occur to everyone who seeks the truth. But tell me, why do you see varieties of earth and sky and all other things that you see in your dream? From where does the water you see in your sleep come? How are the pebbles scattered about you in your dream? Why do you see flaming fires and all sides of heaven appearing before your sight? 10 How do you have the idea of time in your dream? How do you perceive the actions and motions of people and things in dreams? From where do all those accidents proceed that you see occurring in your sleeping and dreaming moments? 11 What creates, produces and gives the formless dream its fascinating form, then dissolves it to nothing in the end? You find it produced and presented to your view, but you cannot say how it acts and of what stuff it is composed.

12 Rama said:—

The dream of the dreaming world has no form or position of its own. Its soul and substance are empty. The earth and rocks which dream presents to sight are a traceless nothing, as if in the clouds. 13 Only the empty soul is the cause of dream, which likewise is as formless and without support like the soul. The formless void is never in need of support.

14 Consciousness never produces anything or has any relationship with anything. All we perceive are only reflections of consciousness situated in the recess of the mind. 15 The mind is the evolution of the intellect which reflects images of things in the form of ideas upon the mind. Hence the ideas of time and space, and of air, water, hills and mountains are all reflections of the intellect upon the mind. 16 Our consciousness is also a void which receives the impressions of emptiness in the form of its emptiness, and the impressions of earth, air and water in the forms of their solidity, vibration and liquidity. 17 In reality there is nothing in existence such as the earth or any solid body or its form or sight. They all exist in their abstract states in the great void of consciousness, and are as equally void in their natures as consciousness itself. 18 In fact there is nothing in reality which is visible to sight. There is only the infinite emptiness of consciousness which represents all things in itself and is identical with all of them.

19 Conscious Intellect has the idea of solidity in its abstract notion of it. Thereby Intellect conceives itself in the forms of earth, rocks and hills. 20 So by its conception of vibration and fluidity, it perceives the form of air and water in itself. By its inner conception of heat, it feels the fire in itself without forsaking its intellectual form. 21 Such is the nature of this intellectual principle. It is an airy and empty form called spirit, soul or mind that develops itself in all these various qualities and schemes without any cause or incentive.

22 There is nothing anywhere in nature beside these intellectual attributes of intellect itself, just as there is no sky or vacuum without its emptiness, or any vast expanse of the ocean without water. 23 Know then there is nothing else anywhere, not even the sense of yourself or myself or anything else, except in the recess of intellectual emptiness. So commit yourself to that all filled void and remain quite calm in yourself.

24 As you see earth and heaven and all their contents in your dreams and creations of your fancy in the recess of your mind and in the midst of this house of yours, so should you see everything in their incorporeal forms to be contained in the vast space of the infinite vacuum of Divine Consciousness and its all-knowing intelligence. 25 The emptiness of Consciousness shines forth as the substratum of all bodies, but without a body of its own in the beginning of creation because there is no prior material cause for any material existence. It must be understood that only Consciousness, through our own ignorance, exhibits all material existence in its empty space. 26 Know that your immaterial mind, understanding and individual ego, together with the material existences of the elements, these hills, skies and all others, are situated as dull and dumb rocks in the quiet, calm and clear sphere of Infinite Intellect. 27 Nothing produced or destroyed. There is nothing which may be said to exist of itself. This world as it appears exists in the emptiness of Divine Intellect.

28 The sunshine of the Consciousness manifests the world in its visible shape and form, just as sunlight shows objects hidden in darkness, and as the fluidity of water gives rise to waves and bubbles. 29 This appearance of the world is no real appearance. In its true and proper sense and light, and as it is viewed by the wise, the world is only the representation of the intellectual void. The ignorant may view it in any light as they please.