MIND AND MATTER
July 3, 2013 Comments Off on MIND AND MATTER
Mind is not a gross thing, visible and tangible; its existence is nowhere seen; its magnitude cannot be measured; it does not require space in which to exist. Mind and matter are two aspects, or subject and object of one and the same all-full Brahman – who is itself neither and yet includes both.
Mind precedes matter; this is the vedantic theory. Matter precedes mind; this is the scientific theory. Mind is immaterial only in the sense that it has not the characteristics of ponderable matter. It is not immaterial in the sense that Brahman – pure spirit – is.
Mind is the subtle form of matter. Hence it is the prompter of the body. Mind is made of subtle, pure (satvic), atomic matter. Mind is all electricity. It is formed of the subtlest portion of food.
The soul is the only source of intelligence; it is self-evident; it shines with its own light.
The organs or mind and senses derive their principle of activity and life from the soul. By themselves they are lifeless. Hence the soul is always the subject and never the object. Mind is the object of the soul.
It is a cardinal principle of vedanta that that which is an object for a subject is non-intelligent. Even the principle of self-consciousness is non-intelligence – it does not exist by its own light; it is the object of apperception to the soul.
Mind is composed of coarse or fine matter, according to the needs of the more or less unfolded consciousness connected with it. In the educated it is active and well-defined. In the undeveloped it is cloudy and ill-defined.
Absolute consciousness is common to all. It is one. All the workings of the mind are presented to the one common consciousness which is the witness of the mental vrttis. It is the mind that limits man, who is in reality, identical with Brahman.
This identity is realised when the veil of ignorance is removed. For Brahman, the mind is an object of perception. Atman directly cognises all the phenomena of the mind – desires, imagination, doubt, belief, shame, intellect, fear, etc., – and yet remains quite unattached and unaffected. – Swami Sivananda