04/09/2017 at 6:26 am #5337
Dear Dr. Deepak Chopra,
I thank you so much for answering my question last week. I felt so honored and blessed to hear from you.
As I was reading the book, “You are the Universe,” I came across the dialogue between Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore. Einstein asks Tagore, “Do you believe in the divine as isolated from the world?” Tagore replies, “Not isolated. The infinite personality of man comprehends the universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the human personality…the truth of the Universe is human truth.” My question to you is: Who is right, Einstein or Tagore or both? Please explain the phenomenon of divine being in oneness with the world. Is there a divine figure that exists above humans and watches over us?
I thank you for taking the time to read my message and share your wisdom.
RichaThis post has received 1 vote up.
04/09/2017 at 9:02 am #5343
Aurora CarlsonKeymaster110 votes@aurorac
Dear Richa, thank you so much for your question. It reminded me of Dr. Chopra’s book How to Know God. Have you heard of it? He wrote it a long time ago and it has been tremendously impactful on my journey. I warmly recommend it.
@erik you appreciate the wisdom of Tagore, do you have any take on Richa’s question?
04/09/2017 at 2:29 pm #5352
I thank you so much for your response. Yes, I have heard of Dr. Chopra’s book, “How to Know God,” but have not read it yet. I will look into it.
I appreciate the wisdom of science and spirituality, both. I would love to hear more about your and Dr. Chopra’s perception of who is right…Tagore or Einstein or both, and how…
I thank you once again for taking the time to respond to me.
RichaThis post has received 1 vote up.
04/10/2017 at 8:21 am #5367
Aurora CarlsonKeymaster110 votes@aurorac
Dear Richa, I’m sure Deepak and Menas will soon give their wise answers, but in the meantime, here is mine:
I would say that the key is in Tagore’s words “infinite personality of man”. We are from birth conditioned to consider ourselves finite beings, in other words defined by a particular physical body and by the mental activities of a socially conditioned mind. But those who are on the spiritual path expand that definition by letting go of all kinds of conditioned assumptions. Step by step, we realize that our physical “boundaries” are to be found no where, that our being is infinite in both time and space, and ultimately, that it transcends timespace. We discover, in other words, that our personality, or mind, is in reality infinite, that it contains all physical expressions, and that we as humans inhabit a universe created by the human perspective. What we see as the universe is simply a projection, a manifestation, of the human mind, which is one of the infinite possibilities of perceiving/creating in the wholeness of consciousness.
The divine being IS the world. Unconditioned consciousness has a higher (more expanded) perspective than conditioned consciousness and can observe it “from above”. Step by step, we stop projecting divinity outside of our own consciousness and realize it is the deeper reality of our own consciousness. We stop projecting God as something outside of us and realize that God is what all physical and mental experiences are “made of” and in which they occur.
Does any of this make sense to you dear Richa?
04/11/2017 at 4:48 am #5416
Thank you for your reply. This makes sense.
When a child is born, he or she is infinite in his/her potential. The child is then given a name and is conditioned socially. The child receives a name for his/her physical body from the parents, and finite boundaries are set as the child grows up. Let us assume that the child’s name is Richa. When the child wants something like food and water, the child Richa says, “Richa is hungry/thirsty and wants food/water. Slowly, the child associates Richa as “I”! Then the child learns to understand “I”. Growing up, the child learns to substitute name for “I” and becomes socially conditioned to say, “I am hungry. I want food/water.” The word “I” is often linked to ego self. Soon, the child learns mannerisms and practicality of surviving in the material world. And the infinite personality of man becomes finite personality of man.
It is such a challenge to be infinite in our thinking at practical levels. We should be having a childlike heart, so that we don’t be egoistic and just be. Just be infinite in our essence.
As Dr. Chopra cites William Blake in “You Are The Universe,” “Hold infinity in the palm of your hand.”
Like you said, the divine is the world. Divinity vibrates in every particle of nature. God is inside of us and around us at all times. The essence of being in every moment is divine.
Thanks again for your message, Aurora. I hope to hear from you and Dr. Deepak Chopra soon.
RichaThis post has received 1 vote up.
04/26/2017 at 8:04 pm #5683
Menas KafatosModerator41 votes@menask
God is not isolated from the world. I am not sure this is what Einstein really advocated as he talked often about the God being experienced in rational understanding of the cosmos. But he believed in an external cosmos independent of the human mind. We know and the quantum paradigm states the same that our universe is participatory. We can say as the ancient sages that the world exists because of existence-awareness-completeness. This triunal nature is the divine and it manifests in all aspects of the world. The world is not a physical substance, it is conscious Awareness as a living and evolving Reality. Now Tagore is right that the infinite personality of a human being comprehends the universe. But I would emphasize, not the limited, finite human mind which understands itself as limited. The human mind has to expand and realize its true nature as infinite Mind.
04/28/2017 at 12:28 am #5688
Dear Dr. Menas,
Thank you so much for your response. It makes sense that God and the world are not separate. In essence, both, Einstein and Tagore, are right. Like you said, the world is conscious awareness and exists because of existence and awareness. The human mind is finite and one has to realize its infinite potential. Essentially, divinity vibrates in every particle of Mother Nature and it is not apart from the universe. Every human is divine and the divine is the world. The interpretations of Einstein and Tagore are unique, but they build on each other. The divine truth of the universe is human. Practically, we are limited in our finite mind, and it is a journey towards realizing infinite potential.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question.
04/28/2017 at 5:18 am #5690
Dear Dr. Deepak Chopra,
Thank you so very much for taking the time to answer my question.
As you explained in the video on Facebook, transcribed here…
“Einstein says that there are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe. The world as a unity dependent on humanity and the world as a reality independent of the human factor. Tagore renounced this either/or perception. Tagore responds by saying that when our universe is in harmony with man, the eternal, with human the eternal, we know it is truth, we feel its beauty. That is beautiful. When we are in harmony with that which is eternal, we know it as truth, we feel it as beauty. Einstein responds by saying that this is purely human conception of the universe. And Tagore says, there can be no other conception. Tagore also says this world is a human world, and the world apart from us does not exist. It is a relative world depending for its reality upon our consciousness. Here is the key, it is a relative world depending for its reality upon our consciousness. Einstein then says, truth then or beauty is not independent of us. Tagore says, no. Einstein then responds by saying if there were no human beings anymore… the famous statue in the Vatican…would no longer be beautiful. Tagore says, no, it would not. Einstein says, I agree with regards to conception of this beauty, but not with regard to truth. Tagore responds, why not? Truth is realized through us, through man, through humans. Einstein says, I cannot prove that my conception is right, but that is my religion. Very interesting choice of words…that is my religion…Basically, what Einstein is saying in the first chapter of the book, “You are the Universe: Discovering your cosmic self and why it matters,” reality, at least scientific reality is independent of our consciousness. The world exists whether it is being observed or not. He is okay. He is okay in saying that beauty is a human value, but ultimate truth of reality is independent of human values. Here is the thrust of this argument…Einstein, despite all his brilliance, was what today we might call a naive realist. A naive realist believes that the object exists regardless of anyone experiencing it. Your experience or a statue in a room exists independent of it. There are now many versions of naive realism…indirect realism…representative realism…common sense realism…but all of them are saying that the physical world is independent of our experience. The most obvious objection to that is how do you know…You can only talk about things that you can experience. If you cannot experience anything, then how can you describe it, how can you quantify it, how can you talk about it, without an observation…how can you theorize about it…so theories and observations and experiments are all designed first in that part of you that we call consciousness or reality. In real world, without an observer experiencing it, is one form or another of philosophers…what they call realism…The opposite of that is something that in Western philosophy is called idealism. Idealism goes back to Bishop Barkley and many other people, who said actually that the universe is a mind phenomenon…that we experience the universe in our mind, that the physical reality is an interpretation…Idealists from Bishop Barkley onwards have said, the universe exists in the mind alone…in the interpretation of sense perceptions. We have sense perceptions…like sound, touch, sound, taste, and smell…then our mind creates the idea of our physical world out of that. That is called idealism. In philosophy, there are two camps…idealism and realism…and so on…Tagore was neither an idealist, nor was he a realist in the philosophical sense. Tagore came from a worldview that is grounded deeply in the experiential knowledge of Yoga, in the experiential knowledge of knowing consciousness as a fundamental reality. This is called non-dualism and this also goes to great traditions like Vedanta…these traditions all say that the only way you can experience reality is by going to the source of experience. What is the source of experience? The source of experience is what we can call awareness or consciousness. If you read the yogic literature going back to the teachings of the great seer, Patanjali, he says, yoga is the progressive decrease in the excitations of mind until you get to the source of the mind. These are the different forms of Yoga: Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Gyana Yoga, and also Karma Yoga. Practicing yoga allows excitations of consciousness in the thought and sense perceptions and feelings to settle down to that source. That is consciousness. Consciousness is the source of experience. You experience as a result of the excitations of consciousness which are sense perceptions. Sound is a modified form of consciousness, as taste, smell, texture, color, form, etc…we can call these qualia…There is a lot of literature on qualia…Qualia is a quality of consciousness…a modified form of consciousness…that we can experience as a sense perception…and then if the sense perception is pleasant, we can say that is good…if it is unpleasant, we say that it is pain or suffering…now interpretations start…and then thought comes in…it says there is a material world, physical body, and there is mental body. Many of the traditions of yoga actually talk about these realms of experience…the physical world and the physical body…the mental world and the mental body…causal world which is consciousness and the causal body…what you really need to understand here is that if you are really understanding where Tagore is coming from…he is saying that the world is a species…Species specific experience…the world we describe as humans and what we play with as artists and musicians in a relationship is a human world…we live in the human world…human consciousness…we are a species of consciousness…that as human in a way conceives, constructs, and governs and operates through its own human biology. In that sense, the physical world that we experience actually corresponds to the human brain. They are complementarities. The human brain and the human universe go together. There are other species of consciousness, and they all have their own experiences which we cannot know, but they definitely move in the direction of life. A plant will move in the direction of light. Any animal will move in the direction of pleasure and move away from pain, move in the direction that allows it to survive, move away from the direction that threatens its survival. Who/what wants to survive? Life! Life is awareness…without awareness there is no experience, and what is life? It is a continuum of experiences. Here is where it goes even deeper. If you really understand non-dual reality, where Tagore comes from, then there is no mind, there is no body, and there is no universe. These are interpretations of modified forms of consciousness within consciousness. They are all interpretations of qualia. The “I” experience is a qualia experience. The “You” experience is a qualia experience. It is a modification of consciousness which is given a human construct that is called a body, statue, watch, bangle, hand, body, etc…. These are interpretations of intermittent streams of sense perceptions, which are modifications of consciousness itself. The interpretations are also in consciousness. There is only consciousness…or only the divine…And the divine is infinite…infinite being, infinite awareness, infinite consciousness…cosmic consciousness. You can use the word God as long as you understand that God is not something that you can observe as a form, because it is the formless that is actually giving rise to all form through its own self-interactions. It does so as it differentiates into modes of knowing and different kind of knowers, and objects known, all within itself. So cosmic consciousness or God or the infinite being is through its own self-interaction, differentiating into innumerable knowers, innumerable modes of knowing, and innumerable objects known, all within its own self. You and I what we call as a body, mind is a particular form of that which the infinite form or God has taken or the divine has taken. We are a little drop in the ocean of consciousness that is the divine or God. We are droplets in the ocean of consciousness. Everything we describe, doesn’t matter what we are describing, a watch, a bangle, an electron, a galaxy, a body, a rainbow, a statue…everything that we describe is a name we have given to a mode of human knowing and human experience in consciousness. Who we are is a human consciousness which is one branch of infinite consciousness and that consciousness being infinite expresses itself with infinite diversity. What exists apart from God? Nothing! There is only God. There is only the divine. There is only the infinite being. Infinite being is the best word we can use to describe the source of all that exists. Therefore, the infinite being is existence itself. The source of all that exists, the infinite being, is existence itself. Existence is synonymous with awareness and consciousness. You cannot know anything without being conscious or without having consciousness as the source. To know is to be aware through the act of observation or inquiry. All of that can only happen in consciousness. Whether we describe an electron or a human body or a galaxy or a book, these are names and constructs we have given to modes of knowing and experience in consciousness. We can only know experience. You can go only even beyond that and say we can only know our own knowing which is but one rivulet in the vast ocean of consciousness…all doubts are also in consciousness…Can anyone know anything without awareness? Knowing and knowledge are structured in consciousness. Therefore, reality is structured in consciousness. What we call everyday reality is structured in consciousness. Consciousness itself is that in which those constructs are born. To understand consciousness, you cannot do it through thought, because thought is an activity of consciousness. You have to transcend thought. You have to understand deep humility, deep reverence, that ultimate reality is inexplicable, in that it cannot be explained through thought…there is a domain of existence where all is one…all the experience we are having right now is in the formless being…Tagore says to take a little time to go back to the Self!”
That brings some clarity to my question. I appreciate you taking your time to answer my question. That makes sense.
RichaThis post has received 2 votes up.
04/28/2017 at 8:57 am #5698
04/28/2017 at 6:15 pm #5701
04/29/2017 at 5:00 am #5713
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