We all enjoy reading a good book. A book with a well-conceived plot, rounded characters that we can relate to and empathise with, an eventual triumph againts all odds of the protagonist, and so on. And with a good book we get to enjoy a huge range of emotions from the comfort and safety of our living room. And those emotions can seem every bit as instense and vital as their real-life counterparts. … read more
What I mean by ‘real life’ is our living in ways fully consistent with who we are at the most fundemental level.
Consider a life experienced in a dream: It seems very real while asleep, but upon waking we realise it is not our real life. Even though the range of emotions experienced while sleeping are tangible, perhaps just as tangible as those experienced in our waking life (for example, we may cry and feel sorrow intensely, or feel the ecstasy of being in love), still we readily step back from our dream … which, after all, is only a dream. … read more
In a theatre the stage is often decorated with props and screens. At least enough to create a context for the drama, a believable backdrop, so that the audience can easily enter into, and enjoy the performance.
I propose that this is exactly what the material world is to us. Something we can readily accept as real, so we can get on with exploring the variety of sensual and emotional enjoyments facilitated by our existence in this world. … read more
We human beings seem to have an extraordinary ability to suspend disbelief. Especially when it serves our enjoyment.
For example, whenever we watch a film we suspend our awareness that the film is not real … that we are in fact watching actors represented by coloured pixels on a screen. We suspend disbelief in order to enter into and identify with what’s going on. … read more
Who are you, and why?
Typical answers to this question might include:
- I am a human being
- I am a man/woman
- I am a « name of your profession here »
- I am a soul
- I am a soul in a human body
A Hare Krishna answer would probably be I am servant of the servant of the servant … I know because I was one! … read more
I propose that what is going on here is that God, albeit in the form of multiple spirit souls (i.e. us), is using the unique feature of the material world, namely ignorance in self-awareness … and everything that that facilitates (in terms of flavour of experience, emotion, enjoyment etc.) to increase the completeness of His/Her enjoyment.
But God cannot directly enjoy the pains/pleasures of material existence because ignorance of self, especially firm belief in ones mortality, is required in order to fully enter the arena. … read more
It’s easy to relate to some people. Not so to others. I am sure we all find this to be the case. When we particularly relate to someone, we might say something like “he/she’s one of us!”.
But I propose that everyone is actually one of us. Personally, I believe we are all equally part of God; little gods, if you will, going about our business of serving the completeness of God. … read more
I think I believe that in this world we are all little gods serving the completeness of the big God, and as such whatever we do must already be perfect …
quote from my ‘Material World Only Rasa‘ essay.
The Śrī Īśopaniṣad invocation states that everything that comes from God is perfect.
Let us try to face the challenge of seeing perfection in everything that is going on in this world. … read more
I am the first in line to say that each is entitled to their own point of view. After all, I believe am … so it would be inconsistent to deny others the same right. Point of view means you are seeing something from where you stand in relation to it. It is therefore, by definition, always a relative and partial appreciation of the complete view/whole picture. … read more
God is complete, and God being the supreme enjoyer is an essential part of the completeness of God. In the Hindu/Vedic tradition, one name for God is Rasaraja (Sanskrit: king [raja] of tastes [rasa]).
Completeness is not one-sided or partial. God’s knowledge and experience are not one-sided either. I propose that His completeness must span knowledge/experience and enjoyment of the full range of rasa, including those facilitated by ignorance. … read more