Physics had another earthquake in 1982 and this ‘Quantum Reality’ book was written in 1986. We’ll read this single sentence from it:
“Bell’s theorem shows that although the world’s phenomena seem strictly local, the reality beneath this phenomenal surface must be beyond the speed of light. The world’s deep reality is maintained by invisible quantum connection whose alternating interval is unmediated, unmitigated and immediate.”
It’s just worth noting – it proves nothing yogic. Scientists conduct their own experiments and it is they who should interpret these experiments, but they’re worth reading to show that the Yoga analysis is not ridiculous in modern terms. On the contrary it is seriously considered today by physicists, especially since 1982.
The world has a phenomenal reality which is not the deep reality and, in the same way, name and form appear to us and they’re based on something which is much deeper. Now the Yoga has its own experiments – it is not a philosophy that depends on the experiments of mental operations and material operations and then says, ‘Yes and furthermore…’, but the Yoga has its own experiments directly on consciousness. The only purpose of showing occasionally these things, is to show that there’s not necessarily this conflict. The main point of the Yoga experiments is that they find intelligence and reality behind the illusory changing and apparently meaningless phenomena of the world. They find purpose and intelligence.
The play is an example which was given by Shankara and very much by our teacher, that the world is like a play. When we go to a play we see a world which has its own history. When we go to Hamlet we see an ancient castle which must have been built centuries ago. It has its own history. It’s odd that some of the characters have Roman names, like Horatio, but the Romans never got to Denmark. And Polonius, he’s from Poland – it’s a Roman fort, a Latin fort. But some of the north European chiefs took Roman wives who to a large extent civilised them. So Roman names would have come and in that way the play produces its own history as we analyse it. When we look at plays we see that characters mostly have a mania for autobiography at the beginning which tells us the story so far. In the Tempest, Prospero says “Must I again recite how I saved you from…” and we in the audience think “Well yes you must if the audience are to know what has happened so far.” In that way a history is produced and the play is complete.
It has its own laws which are not self-contradictory. In the Midsummer Night’s Dream Puck can fly – they’re Indian divinities, though it’s a point not generally made in production. Titania and Oberon are Indian divinities, and they can fly – that’s one of the laws of the play. One of the laws of the play is the herb, the loving idleness, that put into the eyes produces love at first sight with the first thing they’ve seen – that is a law, and it works. But it’s a law within the play, within the scenario of the play. We don’t think, ‘How ridiculous’. If we go to Julius Caesar, now people can’t fly – flying would be ridiculous, but there are ghosts – Caesar’s ghost. There are no ghosts in Midsummer Night’s Dream. So the play is complete in its own scenario with its own laws, and we can see that the dramatist sets the play and sets the laws. Looked at from another point of view they are contradictory, but in their own right they stand and are not contradictory.
Our teacher used to stress this point that the maya of the Lord, the illusion, has an intelligent purpose and that purpose is to reveal the Lord not only externally controlling the world, but internally as presiding over the operations of the heart. The Yoga training is to discover the Lord not only externally, but internally. Specific and definite and clear experiments are given – it’s not a question of simply guesses or inferences or ideas or hopes or beliefs. There is an intelligence behind the operations of the universe. Materialism doesn’t think so; but materialism is based, as Eddington, a great scientist, pointed out, on selecting certain things to notice, on abstracting. It seems to be objective, but in actual fact, it’s only objective because it has ruled out so much of the universe. Einstein pointed out that a good deal of science is rather like accountancy, whether you’re making cheeses or blast furnaces, they become figures, figures in a profit and loss account. An accountant can run a steel mill without ever going near the place; he can simply run it on figures, noticing trends. It seems that he’s objective, but in fact he’s only objective because he never sees the place – he just sees the abstractions.
Our teacher said the test – one of the great experiments – the test of the intelligence behind the universe consists in inspiration. This is one of the manifestations, it’s not the only manifestation – inspiration. He used to point out how many of the central discoveries of science were produced not by logical invention of hypotheses to account for facts that can’t yet be explained. They come about in an extraordinary way, not chance, but in a strange way. But there is a resistance to this idea, especially among scientists who like to think that they’re specially logical and materialistic. There’s a famous remark which our teacher used to quote, that the idea of solving the world riddle by simply mental concepts and material experiment is like looking in a dark room for a black cat which is not there.
© Trevor Leggett
Titles in this series are:
Part 4: World as an illusion
Part 5: Powerful effects of the unreal