Spiritual Essays #4

Truths of Existence – The Second Universal Law

There is Nothing That We Can Create Anew

The Second law: This is the second law of existence. We may become aware of the information which is present or hidden in the universe and recreate it, but we do not create it anew. What we consider creativity is simply becoming aware of something which we do not know or which did not manifest in our minds or in our world until then.

Is there anything which we can create which does not already exist? Do we create any truths or laws which are not already present in the information soup of the universe as ideas or possibilities? What we consider new is what is new to us or to a large number of people or to the whole humanity. However, it does not mean that the idea did not exist until then in the universe in some form.

What we consider creativity is what our minds have not conceived before. When a new thought or invention or idea crosses our minds, we may presume that we created it, but it is not true. We may credit the first person who thought about it or was lucky enough to find it, but the truth is he or she connected to a truth which was already present.

No doubt, she must have struggled and worked hard to find it, for which society amply rewards her, but all her efforts go into exploring the truths and mysteries of the universe. In other words, all creation whether it flows from supreme consciousness or the universe or Nature or a Buddha or a human being is a just an unraveling of the preexisting knowledge hidden in the universe as an existential truth or possibility or potentiality. Did the Buddha create or invent the Four Noble Truths or the Eightfold Path? No, he just found it or discovered it in an enlightened state or supreme awareness as existential truths.

This is the truth. We can only express what is inherent. If we can somehow tune into the universal mind, we may find innumerable new ideas. Perhaps, the label, “universal mind” may not be correct to describe the information which is stored in the universal storehouse of knowledge in numerous forms. Further, our senses and minds may not be the only means by which it can be known. There may be several other methods to extract it about which we do not have adequate knowledge at this level of our development and technological progress.

Perhaps someday human beings or their evolved forms may possess enough knowledge and ability to extract all the information contained in a black hole or a galaxy. It may become possible if we manage to survive for at least for a few thousand years more or may be a hundred thousand years. In the universal calendar, our civilization is not even a day old. Hence, our progress is too insignificant even to fathom that idea.

The mind is an instrument of Nature. It is bound to its laws. It cannot operate other than what Nature intends it to do. In other words, however free we may think, we are not truly free. We are bound to the laws of Nature, and so is all the knowledge that we know, yet to know and may never know. Both existence and nonexistence of anything exists within the bounds of the universe only. Therefore, both are bound to it, just as we all are.

Nonexistence may simply be the absence of something, the ignorance of the existence of something or something that has not yet manifested in a definitive form in the known universe. Therefore, creation may be just a process of bringing into existence something which we believe was nonexistent but which in reality is nonexistent to our minds and in our individual or collective awareness only. If the nonexistence of something can be conceived or imagined, then it may not even qualify as nonexistence, but a possibility.

All creation arises from Nature (or the universe), depends upon Nature and subsides in Nature, just as a wave that rises and falls on the surface of an ocean. It may be a mere transformative process or a projection of one thing upon another or an admixture of multiple realities or phenomena or a superimposition of one thing upon another. In other words, we have been presented with the illusion of being in control, with the ability to make a difference to our lives and existence, whereas in truth we can only facilitate natural processes that are inherent to the working of the universe.

The idea that we are caught in the web of the universe and can never be free from it, as long as we are conscious and alive in it and serve whatever purpose it may have, is depressing enough. The more you think about it, the more depressed you will feel. Fortunately, the universe is large enough to give us the illusion of having the free- will and the freedom to make choices and pursue our goals. That illusion keeps us life oriented and helps us navigate through life, without feeling miserable, even though we are but bound to the universe and exist in it just as the fish in the ocean.

Knowledge is eternal and indestructible, or (if you are uncomfortable with the idea of eternity) exists at least as long as existence exists. It is known through intelligence. Hence, in some traditions and philosophical schools intelligence is considered superior to knowledge and equated with the Supreme Reality which pervades the whole universe and its innumerable formations as pure intelligence.

In truth knowledge and intelligence are the two faces of the same supreme and eternal reality, just as Prakriti and Purusha in Hinduism are. Knowledge is Prakriti which abides in forms, and intelligence (buddhi) is Purusha which makes sense of them through knowing and grasping. Together, in Hinduism they constitute the supreme reality of Brahman or existence itself. In Jainism it is represented by the all knowing pure soul (nitya suddha) with infinite knowledge, perception and power. In Buddhism. it is comparable to the supremely intelligent Buddha mind. Yet, these comparisons may not be adequate to convey the universal truth which is being explained here.

Knowledge and intelligence are always present in the universe in innumerable forms and dimensions. We are either conscious or unconscious of them, or we may have a wide range of ideas, notions and theories about them according to our own knowledge and intelligence. However, whether we know them or not, we do not make any difference to the sum of the knowledge or intelligence which exists in the universe. They are mutable in the limited context of a person or a group of people, but immutable in the larger context of the universe.

We can neither add to the sum of the oceanic knowledge and intelligence of the universe in its multiple dimensions and formations nor can we subtract from it. We cannot also alter it or destroy it. At the  most we may create little ripples in it which are but illusory just as the whirl that appears in water when we stir it. We can only draw from that perennial source of knowledge and benefit from it. Even ignorance and imperfect knowledge are types of knowledge only. They also exist eternally as possibilities.

Therefore, neither our knowledge nor our ignorance and neither our intelligence nor the lack of it can make any difference to the knowledge and intelligence that is already inherent in the universe. However, they can make a difference to our lives. We too do not add anything new to the universe through our lives and actions. We also do not truly know what purpose we serve in the universe or why do we even exist. We are probably a part of the process which was set in motion as a sum of possibilities when the universe came into existence, and became a materialized reality through innumerable causes and effects and random events.

We have thus ample reasons to believe that all creation is a manifestation or materialization into various forms and states of the of knowledge and intelligence which are hidden or preexisting in the universe. All the diversity in existence arises from the presence or absence of particular types of knowledge and intelligence only. A stone does not know that it is packed with information hidden in the structure and configuration of its atoms, in the energy component of its quantum particles and the qualities and properties which manifest from them. It may not possess the same intelligence as ours, but it may have an intelligence of its own, which is vastly different and which ensures its integrity, continuity, natural properties and functionality.

Yet, despite its apparent lack of life and intelligence, it is an integral part of the universe, and the information which is contained in it is an essential part of the information which is stored in the universe in various forms and states. Knowledge of the objective reality arises from observation. Knowledge of the subjective reality arises from experience. Both are already present in the universe and by knowing them we just become aware but do not create anything new.

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis


Spiritual Essays #3

Truths of Existence – The First Universal Law

All knowing is a Rediscovery

The First Law: All knowing is a kind of discovery. It is becoming aware of what is already present in the universe. Our knowing does not create it.

This is the truth. The universe is a store house of information. We can only know, grasp or sense or conceive what already exists in it. In knowing, we simply become aware of what is already present, which may happen through effort or by chance. All knowing is a kind of discovery of the knowledge which is already inherent in the universe either as a reality or a possibility or an idea, which may be known, unknown or yet to be known.

It is the same as in a journey where you may not yet know the destination, and you may not have yet reached it, but it has always been there whether you reach there or not. Perhaps, much of that knowledge will never be known to human beings as our minds are not made to grasp the immensity of the universe or its true dimensions. Unless we invent a superhuman mechanism to discern the knowledge contained in the universe, it will forever remain a mystery to us.

One of the questions that concerned me was this. Does knowledge arise from knowing or does knowing arise from knowledge? Most importantly, which one comes first? In the context of our minds and our lives, unless you go to the origin of your own life, it is very difficult to answer this question. For example, when did you start learning? Where, and exactly how, you got the knowledge which helped you survive in your mother’s womb?

Is some knowledge preprogrammed in you, which does not require any effort to know but is already integrated into your memory and awareness such as how to stay alive in the womb, not to breathe, keep moving your hands and limbs to facilitate growth or blood flow, or using your senses or breathe for the first time when you come out of your mother’s womb? Were you listening to the sounds that were coming from your mother’s body and from the world outside?

As you examine these issues, it becomes evident that a lot of knowledge is inherent in our minds and in the objects and beings of our existence. From that, it follows that knowledge must be inherent in the universe in various forms, and all that we can ever do is to find it or discover it in various ways to improve our lives or our chances of survival and happiness. An inanimate object may not be aware of the knowledge which is hidden in its form and structure, but it made up of that knowledge only

The Upanishads affirm this. They distinguish between manas (lower mind) and buddhi (intelligence or higher mind). The lower mind (manas) is the memorial and instinctual mind. It is a receptacle of information. It receives information from outside, but does not create anything new. (Hence, the rationale that we should not take credit for our knowledge but acknowledge God as the source of all). The higher mind is the thinking or the rational mind. It makes sense of the world by processing the memories and perceptions according to the algorithm built into it. Imagination is a part of it.

The Yogasutras point to the same. They suggest that the mind is a mirroring mechanism. The purer and quieter the mind, with the predominance of sattva, the greater will be its ability to mirror the truths of the universe. Our knowledge may arise from mirroring the information contained in the books or from others or by attuning our minds to the knowledge which is hidden in the universe. The knowledge of the srutis (the heard ones) arises from that only. So are the numerous inventions, which scientists stumble upon.

Perhaps a million lifetimes will not be sufficient to unearth even a fraction of the knowledge which the universe holds in its myriad formations, from the tiniest quantum particle to the largest nebulae. The universe is a vast information system, which contains countless other information systems, and which in turn contain innumerable others. No one can ever catalog all the systems or all the data, which the universe holds in its objects, and which goes into its structure and functions.

The universe is packed with information, or what we know in computer science as data. This data, the extent of which is enormous and unimaginable, is embedded in every aspect, formation and mechanism of the universe. It manifests objectively as forms, structures, patterns, words, sounds, energies, forces, laws, configurations, consciousness, intelligence, mathematical formulas, numbers, processes, systems, reactions, movements, atoms, quantum particles, events, phenomena, and so on. Whatever that you can perceive or conceive is filled with enormous amounts of information, some of which is useful, some not so useful, and some whose relevance we may yet to know.

Whatever that is here is knowledge in its numerous manifestations. Intelligence is the means by which it is known. It is never lost, nor it can ever be destroyed. As physicists are coming to realize that even when a whole galaxy or a star system turns into a black hole, all the matter becomes crushed into a soup of particles, but the information that formed the basis of it before its collapse survives and exists in the event horizon as a copy.

The thing may disappear into another form or state, but the information associated with that thing survives even the worst of destruction. We do not know whether that information becomes the basis for the new objects and systems that eventually emerge out of it in some other time and space, dimension or reality. The indestructibility of knowledge makes possible the idea of time travel or the idea that we can recreate past and future events by travelling back and forth in time.

How that knowledge arises or comes into existence we do not know. Perhaps it is eternal in the sense that it has always been and will always be there, even when the universe ceases to exist in a state of latency. Perhaps it is what it means when the Upanishads say, “Prajnanam Brahma”, which means Brahman (the universal Self) is pure intelligence. Existence is an aggregate of numerous knowledge systems. They can be known only through intelligence. The higher our intelligence, the greater the knowledge and awareness we possess.

For example, the idea of one plus one equals to two (1+1=2) can never be lost either functionally or conceptually. It will remain forever even if this universe comes to an end and whether the earth exists or not. It has always been a universal truth, whether we know it or not. The sum of the two numbers is always two in our universe. In some other universe it may be something else, depending upon how it is structured or what knowledge exist in it or what number systems will be used in computation. There, it may be 2 or 2.2 or 3 or 10, but in our world, it is always the same. Each universe is a sum of possibilities according to the information which is built into it.

As far as our universe is concerned it appears that whatever exists, shall always exist as an idea even if it is lost. Whatever is possible or probable, and whatever that is known, unknown and yet to be known is already inherent in the universe either actively or latently, and in some form or the other, as a reality, possibility or idea. All knowing is but an unraveling of the mysteries of the universe. We can know nothing, unless it is already present, nor can we create anything which does not exist in the universe as an object, idea, reality or possibility. Even imagination or creativity is a mechanism of the universe only, created and embedded in our minds on the basis of the information which is already available in the universe.

Thus, all knowing is but a kind of discovery. It is a journey from a state of not knowing to a state of knowing some aspect, function, mystery, law or truth of the universe. It is finding, stumbling into or becoming aware of the knowledge that is preexisting in the universe. When it is hidden, we are ignorant. When it is revealed, we become aware and knowledgeable. It is true with regard to self-realization or entering the state of Nirvana. It is true with every journey. We may or may not know the destination yet, but the destination already exists in some form as a reality or a possibility. This, no one can dispute.

The past is never lost. The future is never nonexistent. It is “an idea, whose time has yet to come.” The past is stored somewhere in some form of energy, impression or data. So is future. At this every moment, a part of the universe has been becoming known or becoming conscious or coming to life in our world and in our minds. It does not mean it never existed before. It has always been there, and it will always be there. We just happen to stumble into it and become aware of it through sensing, knowing, mirroring and experiencing.

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis