In this dialogue, the questioner challenges the way the universe is described as consisting of matter, mind, and spirit. They express their confusion about which pattern is true and which is not and question the idea of impersonal consciousness. The answerer suggests that the questioner should enquire about the reality of the world and the person, and they engage in a discussion about what it means to be a person and the nature of consciousness.
The answerer, Maharaj, describes reality as consisting of three expanses: the expanse of matter-energy, the expanse of consciousness, and the expanse of pure spirit. He explains that matter has both movement and inertia and is perceived in space, while energy is always connected with change and measured by the rate of change. Consciousness, on the other hand, is perceived as being somehow here and now, in a single point of time and space, but Maharaj suggests that consciousness is universal, which makes it timeless, spaceless, and impersonal.
The questioner expresses their difficulty in understanding the idea of impersonal consciousness, as to them, consciousness is always focalized, centered, and individualized. They believe that consciousness implies a conscious being, an object of consciousness, and the fact of being conscious. They argue that the trinity of knowing, knower, and known can be seen in every movement of life and that a person lives in the world, is a part of it, affects it, and is affected by it.
Maharaj suggests that the questioner should enquire about the reality of the world and the person, and the questioner responds by stating that they believe the person is not less real than the world in which they exist. The questioner then asks whether persons are real and universals are conceptual or whether universals are real and persons are imaginary. Maharaj responds by saying that neither is real.
The questioner then argues that they are real enough to merit Maharaj’s reply, as they are a person. However, Maharaj challenges this by asking whether the questioner is self-conscious all the time, to which the questioner responds that they are not self-conscious when they sleep, are in a swoon, or are drugged.
Maharaj then asks whether the questioner is continually self-conscious during their waking hours, to which the questioner admits that they are sometimes absent-minded or just absorbed. Maharaj then asks whether the questioner is a person during the gaps in self-consciousness, to which the questioner responds that they are the same person throughout and remember themselves as they were yesterday and yesteryear.
Maharaj suggests that to be a person, one needs memory, and without memory, one cannot exist as a person. However, the questioner admits that they exist without memory in sleep, but not as a person. Maharaj then challenges the questioner by asking what they are in the intervals between experiencing themselves as a person, to which the questioner responds that they exist, but not as a person.
Maharaj suggests calling it impersonal existence, but the questioner disagrees, stating that they would call it unconscious existence. The questioner admits that they do not know what they are in the intervals between being a person, but they know that they do not know.
Overall, this dialogue explores the nature of reality, the nature of consciousness, and what it means to be a person. The questioner challenges the answerer’s description of reality and consciousness, and the answerer challenges the questioner’s understanding of what it means to be a person. The dialogue highlights the limitations of human understanding and knowledge and raises important philosophical questions about the nature of existence.
Meet Krishnaprasath Krishnamoorthy, a Yoga, Vedanta, and Hindu spiritual aspirant with a passion for sharing the ancient wisdom and practices of Sanatana Dharma. With 20 years of experience on the spiritual path, Krishnaprasath Krishnamoorthy has a deep understanding of the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of Yoga, Astrology, Vedanta, and Meditation.