Aether-like Brahman as Conciousness

Here are a few thought-provoking approaches about the Hindu version of the aether.

Though One, Brahman is the cause of the many.
Brahman is the unborn (aja) in whom all existing things abide. The One manifests as the many, the formless putting on forms. (Rig Veda)

The word Brahman means growth and is suggestive of life, motion, progress. (Radhakrishnan).

The Universe is Brahman, the One that underlies and make possible all the multiplicity; the universal consciousness that is the soul of all existence. It is the primordial no-thingness from which all things arise, the one reality whose oneness is all-inclusive; and includes all that is, or shall be. It is Brahman; the source of the entire cosmos and all cosmic activities relating to the emergence, existence and dissolution of the terrestrial phenomena that form the cosmic rhythm. And this ultimate reality is One- absolute and indeterminable. (Sudhakar S.D. I am All, 1998)

..the problem of the one and the many in metaphysics and theology is insoluble: ‘The history of philosophy in India as well as in Europe has been one long illustration of the inability of the human mind to solve the mystery of the relation of God to the world.’ We have the universe of individuals which is not self-sufficient and in some sense rests on Brahman, but the exact nature of the relation between them is a mystery. (Radhakrishnan)

 

(From the website ‘On Truth and Reality’; ‘Hinduism – Hindu religion’)

Souls bubbling into existence?

In the field or workplace of scientists, the concept of an aether, an amorphous ephemeral atmospheric all-pervasive essence has not been disproven; probably never will be. The Michelson-Morley experiment was apparently faulty. But it suited the supporters of the prevailing paradigm of cosmology to claim that there is no evidence of this aether.

Denying the existence of the aether will be akin to claiming that there is no God. How would anyone know that? Or prove it? Can anyone prove the non-existence of anything? Or that a fairy or leprechaun does not exist? My little granddaughter and her other grandpa were not able to prove that these entities were not there when I claimed that I could see them (at different times) in a particular clump of shrubs.

Proof is what we need. Faith cannot disprove belief. An agnostic tentative acceptance may, if based (perhaps) on probability (as well as mythology from probable, advanced civilisations from our past) enable further investigation of matters pertinent.

There seems to be a lot of scientific research on the aether. It is, however, easier to believe in an improbable Big Bang cosmogony than in the aether. A cynic may enjoy the thought that an all-enveloping aether which is also within all of us is being rejected as not having been proven.

Assuming (why not?) that the aether is real, why should not souls (as we conceive them) bubble up from it; sort of self-create? It is difficult to imagine; like bubbles forming within a thin cloud. Some of the bubbles may settle back into the Void from which they arose. A few may be projected to slide, through a multitude of progressive steps, into human babies. There would be no point in a soul attaching itself to a zygote, or to some un-differentiated clump of cells, is there?

New souls have a task ahead of them; they thereby need viable babies. However, power-hungry theologians may claim otherwise; or that their God ordained this or that! But to what positive end in relation to understanding the place of humanity in the Cosmos?

Way back in time, some Hindu thinkers (or their extraterrestrial teachers) came up with an aether-like Brahman; and held that Brahman is Consciousness, the ocean from which we humans arose. An extensive cosmology followed. This also placed mankind in the Cosmos. Like it or not, this cosmology is mighty impressive.

The mystery of soul-creation over-rides anthropomorphic theology. Regrettably, Man’s ego stands in the way of cosmic understanding. But the Ocean of Consciousness will, I suspect, bubble on for ever and ever.

The origin of souls

Does every human being have a soul? Why not? Are souls created to match the increasing number of humans being born? Presumably so. Are all human beings aware of the soul within? Perhaps not. Why not? Who knows?

How are human souls created? Do they originate by themselves? We do not know; possibly cannot know. Yet, … …

Many years ago, the spirit of a Native American (Red Indian to my generation), an advanced soul who was ‘channelled’ by an English woman, explained to her group that each soul is like a facet of an ‘entity’ sent to be ‘polished’ in the human realm (my words); and then to be returned. Announcing himself as White Feather, he did point out that explanations given by the spirit world had regard to the level of understanding available within the enquiring audience.

The concept of ‘entities’ (however amorphous) within an ethereal ocean (of consciousness) is worrisome. I envisage a structure-less , all-pervasive, plasma-like insubstantial, atmospheric ‘motherland,’ from which everything arose (the simplest concepts being best).

White Feathers’ explanation may be correct in terms of souls being embodied, but seems somewhat inconsistent otherwise. Is there an alternative possible creative path for human souls? The objective of improving souls by exposing them to the ‘jungle’ of human society is credible in terms of the reincarnation process.

Importantly, there is credible evidence for this process – through the memories of immediate past lives by a large number of young children in many parts of the world which have been proven to be correct.

Could human souls arise in a manner less structured as presented by White Feathers?

Cosmic justice

Justice on Earth for humans is relatively rare. People suffer injustice, without remedy, in all manner of forms, of varying intensities, all over the world.

I became deeply aware of injustice as a boy growing up in colonial times. Even today, some third-generation descendants of poor immigrants behave as if they were born to ‘lord it’ (a term I learned from Nehru) over the ‘lower orders’ (a term borrowed from the class-ridden English) in developing nations. ‘New money’ may not come with ‘manners.’

Having successfully ignored attitudes and utterances reflecting prejudice in my early years in Australia, near the end of my career, I experienced on-going discrimination; but there was little I could do to receive justice. Once, however, I was able to discourage a senior official by pointing to the sky (I do not know why I did that), saying ‘One day you will be judged.’

Recently, a neighbour cut down 3 of my trees, and fenced the land they had occupied. A policeman said that it was not a crime. A lawyer said that I could ‘take him to court.’ Privately, a court official warned about the financial cost of any recompense I might receive. The Mayor said that this is a common problem. My local member of parliament ignored my plaint. So much for my legal rights! Justice?

For a while, I enjoyed this thought: as a (future) resident of the Recycling Station, I would have my 3 (conifer) trees chase my neighbour down the street during repeated dreams by him. But my Buddhist friend dissuaded me from what should have been enjoyable.

I realise that it is not my prerogative to seek to impose justice or to judge someone’s behaviour. Since I do believe in cosmic justice, I will leave it to the Cosmos to offer appropriate lessons.

My belief is strengthened by the current plight of some of those small nations which caused hideous damage to so many people all over the world in the colonial era. Sadly, while the nations now suffer, it is the current populations which pay the price; that is not quite fair.

We do need cosmic justice – for individuals. Perhaps it operates through the reincarnation process.

Heavenly intervention is possible

My belief in :

  • An insubstantial, formless, ever-existing, all-pervasive Creator (mentioned as God) of all that is, at any time;
  • Human beings arising from an Ocean of Consciousness;
  • God being that Consciousness, which thereby is all-pervasive; and
  • The Creator also being within all that has been created, including humans;

Is a construct drawn from:

  • The core (as I see it) of Hinduism, there being subsidiary versions available; and
  • Recent researches and speculations in science relating to the creation of matter from an all-pervasive, ever-existing aether. These approaches may have drawn upon probable ancient pre-Deluge civilisations (who left their stories in myth), and Hinduism’s early writings.

Just like other beliefs which sustain us, my belief cannot be proven; nor can it be disproven! Accept or reject – it will make no difference. Who knows? Who can know?

This belief of mine does not allow for any direct intervention in human affairs by the Creator God. How could intervention occur, in what appears to be an autonomous process? Yet, if God is also within each of us, could we seek to influence matters affecting us from within (eg. our health) or from the outside (eg. pestilence or a cosmic catastrophe)? Could that be effective? I suspect so!

Should we also rely on the saints, higher beings, healers, etc. in the spirit world for appropriate interventions? I do believe that there is great scope for intervention, through our subconscious minds, by the spirit world.

Thus, in my case, (a) a yogi arrived from the Himalayas to have my widowed mother send me to my exile in Australia; (b) the spirit of my favourite uncle manifested himself to my clairvoyant, after my retirement, to offer me guidance from ‘higher beings.’

Obviously, we are not alone. Cosmic intervention, when needed, seems possible. There may be meaning in human existence.

Knowing God through the soul

Those who deny God, deny themselves. Those who affirm God, affirm themselves.

God said: ‘Let me multiply! Let me have offspring! ‘ So he heated himself up; and when he was hot, he emitted the entire world, and all that it contains. 

And after emitting the world, he entered it. He who has no body, assumed many bodies. He who is infinite, became finite. He who is everywhere, went to particular places. He who is totally wise, caused ignorance. He who sees all truth, caused delusion. God becomes every being, and gives reality to every being.

Before the world was created, God existed, but was invisible. By means of the soul all living beings can know God; and this knowledge fills them with joy. The soul is the source of abiding joy. When we discover the soul in the depths of our consciousness, we are overwhelmed with delight. If the soul did not live within us, then we should not breathe -we should not live.

The soul is one. The soul is changeless, nameless, and formless. Until we understand the soul, we live in fear. Scholars may study the soul through words; but unless they know the soul within themselves, their scholarship merely emphasizes their ignorance, and increases their fear.

Taittiriya Upanishad 2:6; 7

One can nit-pick about this or that statement above. Semantic arguments are commonplace; they often do not clarify. Learning, through deep contemplation, without any competitive urge, is surely the way to reach understanding of that which is one of the greatest mystery of all – the soul.

 

Humanity arising from the Ocean of Consciousness

Even an atheist has to deal with this difficult question: are humans like the insects which live for a very short time, while signifying no meaning in their existence? Or, as someone once asked, are we just vermin, who multiply prodigiously while destroying our habitat?

Or, is there some meaning in Earthly human existence? Could we also exist without an origin of the Cosmos; that is, denying the concept of a First Cause?

Those who deny, as a possibility, the existence of an insubstantial, formless, impersonal, causative influence, may yet need to consider that humans may originally have popped up, like bubbles from the foam of the ocean we observe. If so, is this ocean the Ocean of Consciousness?  In the event, each of us may, implicitly, inferentially, subsequently return to that inexplicable source, that Ocean.

Could this ephemeral source be termed, for want of a better name, the Creator? Could God then be an appropriate pseudonym?

If the physical realm that we know is a projection from an ephemeral reality; and were Maya to represent an impenetrable veil between the observer and the observed; how could we discover our origins, our nature, and the meaning of our existence (if there is one)?

Since brief finite Earthly human lives make no sense whatsoever, the continuity of existence requires a soul, which will travel though time in a wide range of human bodies. Would the soul then need to recognise its origin (and expected return); that is, to be cognisant of its Creator?

Judging by the reports of many a wise person (old souls?), complemented by the influence of higher beings in the spirit world, that is what an innate reaching for the Divine is all about! In all the major religions, there have been those manifesting this great dreaming.

God – Insubstantial and formless?

When I was a young boy, I looked up to the sky to see where God may be. I was then taught that God is unknowable; and so we pray to various deities. The deities are manifestations of God. Each deity represents one or more attributes of God or realms of human existence, eg. Pilleyar (Ganesha) as the God of Learning.

Each evening, before dinner, bathed and freshly dressed, we prayed to the deities hanging as pictures in a corner of a room curtained off as a prayer space. We went to the Ganesha temple regularly. We hoped for heavenly intervention with our studies, health, and survival in a foreign country. We accepted that there is only one God, the Creator of all that is. Our approach to God was through rituals performed by priests. Our priesthood does not control us.

From age 24, when I began to read about religion (and religions), I became aware of: religious belief as an innate human drive; the diversity of origins and the resulting religious institutions, some of which are unduly competitive and incomprehensively intolerant; but also of the two shared core beliefs of our great religious teachers (the rest of theology being dogma).

While hoping for a universal acceptance that we humans are co-created, and thereby bonded to one another morally (a vain hope, yet), I find that Hinduism, the only religion offering me an understanding of the place of humanity within a very complex cosmology, posits God as Consciousness – ever-existing and all –pervasive; and lacking both form and substance, while participating within all humans. All existence is also posited as cyclical (with cycles wrapping around smaller cycles), the largest cycle measuring 3.11trillion years!

Birth, growth and destruction apply to the Cosmos. (Sound familiar?) What is the meaning of all this? As I understand it, we arise from the Ocean of Consciousness (God?), and after many lifetimes of being polished morally, to return to that Ocean (God). This gives me meaning in existence, and an acceptance of the perturbations and sufferings that life on Earth inevitably entails – as we learn from significant experiences.

Life is indeed for learning, as said by Dr. Radhakrishnan, a former President of India.

The origin of the Cosmos

An ancient culture speculated a very long time ago about the origin of the Cosmos. What is impressive is that their approach is so agnostic. The reality is that we puny humans can never know how it all began.

Is the Cosmos ever-existing? Or, was it created? Or, did it somehow self-arise? Is a cyclical sequence of birth, growth and death, repeated and repeated for ever, the explanation?

In the beginning there was neither existence nor non- existence; there was no atmosphere, no sky, and no realm beyond the sky. What power was there? Where was that power? Who was that power? Was it finite or infinite?

There was neither death nor immortality. There was nothing to distinguish night from day. There was no wind or breath. God alone breathed by his own energy. Other than God there was nothing.
In the beginning darkness was swathed in darkness. All was liquid and formless. God was clothed in emptiness.

Then fire arose within God; and in the fire arose love. This was the seed of the soul. Sages have found this seed within their hearts; they have discovered that it is the bond between existence and non-existence.

Who really knows what happened? Who can describe it? How were things produced? Where was creation born? When the universe was created, the one became many. Who knows how this occurred? 


Did creation happen at God’s command, or did it happen without his command? He looks down upon creation from the highest heaven. Only he knows the answer – or perhaps he does not know.

Rig Veda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising children – ‘free range’ or ‘caged’?

Rights involve responsibilities. Morally. Since a woman has a right to produce a child, does she not have the responsibility to nurture the child, rather than to hand over the task to an institution?

Would not this mean being there, being available, to assuage pain, to offer bodily comfort, to answer the million questions which arise in the growing child’s mind? And to be home when the child is ill? Otherwise, why produce the child?

Do these questions challenge the right of a woman with a baby or pre-schooler to go to work? Not at all. However, reality requires a response to the modern-day dilemma: how balance the subconscious needs of such a young child with the right of the parent?

If the mother has a substantive need for sustenance, should not other arrangements be made which do not subjugate the young child’s needs? Even in a Western society based on individualism (not communalism), parents and politicians can surely give priority to the emotional and psychic needs of a little child?

Yet, in a modern capitalistic nation such as Australia, in which no one has to starve, some babies and little children seem to be brought up in institutional care for (reportedly) up to 5 days/week, and up to 8 hours/day. Is this situation comparable to laying hens being brought up in large closed sheds, in which they are allowed to wander and feed, but without access to sunlight, and the right to forage freely in nature?

What are the consequences of little children being cared for (even educated) for long hours? A 4-year old boy I knew spent 8 hours/day for 5 days/week in childcare. Each day, he ‘lost’ something – his jacket, bag, etc. I recognised what was happening; he was hurt. Right through primary school, he tended to be unco-operative, recalcitrant. I recognised subconscious anger.

From about age 13, when conceptual development begins to flower, he gradually changed (with guidance from grandpa). Recent research confirms this pattern of response to aggravated institutionalisation. Hurt feelings do last.

In my low-employment district, one sees young mothers and their little ones enjoying one another’s company – in the traditional way; the way my generation was prepared to live frugally in small houses while our children knew that mum or dad was always there; even to sort out problems at school.

I hasten to iterate that I accept that childcare workers and teachers are caring people, and qualified professionally. I was once responsible for childcare policy in Australia’s migrant hostels (and also qualified in psychology, with emphasis on child development).

Society is based on families. Families need children – the future of society, and its leaders – who are stable emotionally, and have an adequate sense of societal responsibility. Parents and politicians need to ensure such children. Childcare and schools cannot be expected to be surrogate parents. Unfortunately, that seems to be the modern trend. Read Fukuyama’s ‘The Great Deterioration,’ and observe what is happening in your society.

Has there been any mention in the media, ever, about the psychic needs of very young children in two-career-person families who are being brought up in childcare and in after-school care? What about their rights?

All that one reads about is how much more of Other Peoples’ money needs to be spent in subsidising working mothers. Why not pay them to stay home for the first five years of a child? Want to work, to have a career? Surely not at the expense of the psychic needs of a little child!

What of society are our politicians creating? Should not morality over-ride materiality? Let us learn from the animal kingdom, from which we are said to have evolved.