I need to define some terms and concepts I will be using in this writing. I realize that I may not use these completely correctly per pundits so I will try to explain what they mean to me here. Most of these terms come from yoga, particularly the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, various concepts from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, and some from various esoteric writing. These terms have come into my lexicon over many years and are used to define my understanding of the universe—my cosmology, if you will. Even though I profess to be trying to avoid religions and beliefs in favor of observations and facts, much of this edges close to religion and belief. Again, I will try to delineate between facts and belief.
In no particular order of importance (I will add to this list as I use or think of relevant terms/concepts.):
Duality: In every concept there is inherently its opposite. Black-white, good-evil, up-down, right-left, in-out, light-dark, positive-negative, love-hate, etc. One always creates the other. The first step in resolving duality, as far as I know, is to recognize that together the two sides create a “one”. I encourage people to ponder this. There is much energy in the separation of anything into duality. That energy plus the opposite energy of the natural urge to resolve the duality fuels much of the activity, social, physical and otherwise, in our world. (Think electrons-protons, democrats-republicans, any two tribes , present-nonpresent (past/future).) And there is an energy release when duality is resolved—- from nuclear fusion and exothermic chemical reactions, to divided social groups finding common ground, calmness of becoming “one” in meditation, two becoming one when making love—anything that brings us into “one.” Duality is possibly my favorite concept for contemplation. There are even areas of mathematics devoted to it (beyond my abilities to follow.) Again, I encourage all to consider duality.
Atma, Purusha and Prakriti: These terms come from Hinduism and there are subtle variations of meaning in different writings and from different ages and sects of Hinduism. I expect many, maybe most, Hindu scholars may disagree with my use of these terms, but…. This is what they mean to me. Atma is our very core within our soul— the consciousness that is carried by our souls into our bodies. It is the awareness of our experience. It is not the instigator of our activities or even our thinking. It the bit of “God” that is us.
I consider Purusha to be congruent with Atma but used with more emphasis on awareness. Purusha is the awareness or consciousness of prakriti. Prakriti is everything that can be contemplated, that is, everything that is not purusha (consciousness cannot contemplate itself—it simply is.) Together the duality of Purusha and Prakriti make up the entire universe—ENTIRE!
Important in this understanding of Purusha and Prakriti is the idea that nothing exist if there is not some awareness of it. This is the basis of the koan, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Purusha exists only as consciousness of Prakriti. Prakriti exists only as object of Purusha’s consciousness. The ultimate duality! And it resolves scientific theory and religious theory. At the moment of the “big bang” matter in all it’s forms (Prikriti) and consciousness of that matter (Purusha) came into existence together. For me, it is Prakriti plus Purusha that is GOD. I refer to this combination of Prakriti and Purusha as The Brahman (not to be confused with the creative facet of God called Brahma) though in many branches of Hinduism The Brahman is considered equivalent to the Atman (see below.) Our physical bodies, brain, mind, mental activity, even our “soul bodies” are all Prakriti, as well as all the material universe and energy in all forms.
All consciousness of the universe together, the total of all Purusha/Atma, is the Atman—the consciousness of God. That is why God knows all. Our consciousnesses are part of God’s consciousness. (I like to think I am a tiny, tiny pixel in God’s image of the universe.) I believe (yes believe) this ultimate duality of Purusha and Prakriti resolves only at the, so called, end of the universe.
One last thought on this subject of atma, Purusha and Prakrita. There is a wonderful term to describe our atma: SatChitAnanda—-being, consciousness, bliss. We have being, and consciousness (whether or we use it much). May we all know bliss.
Yoga Sutra IV 3 : Written about 2500 years ago, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a string (suture thus “sutra”) of short aphorisms (sutras/pearls on the string) defining the basis, practice, and intended outcomes of the practice of yoga. There are four Padas or sections each containing from 34 to 56 sutras. There are many translations of this into English. (My favorite is titled “The Science of Yoga” by I.K.Taimni, copyright 1961.) One of the most important for my general understanding of the nature of Prakriti is Sutra IV3 that says, “Causes do not put Prakriti into motion but only remove the obstacles and coverings, like a farmer removing barriers to let water flow into the field.” That is, changes that happen in prakriti are already inherent in the prakriti and only come about by removing obstructions to the changes. Ice is inherent in water and is “caused” by removing the energy that keeps the water molecules from forming crystals. Sugar in water can become alcohol by ingestion-digestion-excretion by yeast. Adding acid to a sucrose solution will break it down into glucose and fructose. Strong acid will reduce it to carbon. The glucose, fructose and carbon are already in the sucrose. But neither sugar water or lead can be turned into gold because gold is not inherent in them. Water into wine is getting into belief for me and I will not deny the possibility of true miracles. My understanding of life incarnate and disincarnate follows scientific ideas and laws known and understood and yet to be known and understood. So I use this rather direct and simple “scientific” yoga sutra to, in part, support my approach and understanding of the events that are discussed in the attached book and in the following blogs. Basically, I think this sutra says we can look at the subjects of life, death and reincarnation scientifically.
Incarnation, Disincarnation, and Reincarnation: I expect any reader who found this blog understands these terms but I want to make clear and alert readers to the abbreviations I will use in most of this writing. Incarnation (incar) living in an alive physical body. Disincarnation (disincar) living outside a physical body after death of the physical body. Reincarnation (reincar) reborn into a living physical body.
The following blogs will pick up where the book, From Jeremy With Love/Beloved Being ends and continue through his return (yes, he did return) to the present.
Please add comments, agreements, disagreements. Our worlds constantly expand. Sharing our experiences and understandings advance us all on our journeys.