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The following is a response to a friend I sent today, describing progressively more detailed and varied ways to understand cosmic entities.

One-Line Version

The Moon we see is a reflection of the real Moon within the Earth, quite like a picture of an apple in the mind.

Short Paragraph Version

When someone stands next to you, your body becomes aware of their presence even if you are not looking at them. This is because the body has a cognitive capacity just like the mind. Similarly, the Moon is reflected in the Earth like a person standing next to us is reflected in our body. The reflection will also be perceived as separate from the body although it is within the body.

Long Paragraph Version

The object modeling of reality creates an unsolved mind-body paradox. The correct model of reality is mind and thought, in which what we call the body is like a thought produced from the mind. Each planet is a mind, which produces two kinds of thoughts: (1) about itself, (2) about others. The people living on a planet are a mind’s thoughts about itself, which constitute what most people call the Earth. Other planets we see as bodies distinct from the Earth are thoughts about other minds produced from the Earth-mind. The perceived distance between the self-thought and other-thought (e.g., between the Earth and the Moon) is loosely correlated to the actual distance between minds–i.e., neither identical to the distance between minds nor totally unrelated to them.

Two Paragraph Version

A planet is called a Graha in Vedic cosmology, which means a house. Therefore, we live in a planet in Vedic cosmology, like living in a house, rather than on a planet as in modern cosmology. The soul is locked in the house, but he can roam in the house. One part of this house, which we call the “Earth”, is the most habitable central place for the souls within the Earth-house. Further away from this habitable center of the house are portraits or models of other places called the Moon, Jupiter, and Mars. These portraits are within the house called Earth, but they are portraits of other houses. We can look at these portraits from the habitable parts or we can go closer to those portraits to look at them closely.

These portraits are not real planets. So as we look at them, we don’t see any living entities. But we cannot live on these planets because they are not habitable for us. Just as a house may have portraits of other houses, but those portraits are not the real houses, and yet, we can stand close to the portrait to see grains on its surface, similarly, we can leave the habitable center, go closer to the portrait, but that is not going to the real planet. It is just going closer to the portrait of other things, present within the house, with some similarities to the real thing, but it is ultimately not the real thing. Hence, by Graha or house, we mean a habitable center and non-habitable places which we can watch from the center, like a man sitting in his office looking at portraits on a wall.

Five Paragraph Version

Close your eyes and feel your body. You can feel your hands, legs, face, back, stomach, etc. Does it feel anything like the shapes you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? It doesn’t. We get one picture of our body with our eyes closed, and another picture of the same body while looking at ourselves in the mirror. We have learned to look at ourselves through the eyes of others, so we think that the vision of the body in the mirror—the external vision—is the only truth. It is not. There is another internal vision of the body.

Object thinking means looking at oneself in the mirror. Person thinking means looking at oneself with eyes closed. Our body feels like a space with our eyes closed. The same body feels like an object while looking in a mirror. If we experience the body as a space, then we can experience reflections in the space. We cannot experience the reflections in the object view. Hence, each object becomes a thing-in-itself. But in the space view, some of the things in the space are “my body” and other things are “other bodies”. That distinction between “self” and “other” is created by the ego which identifies with something as the self and does not identify with others.

The Graha vision is like the vision of our body with our eyes closed. We cannot look beyond the Graha. We can only see within the Graha. And yet, we can see within this Graha what is outside the Graha through the reflections. Some things in the Graha are “my planet” while other things are “other planets”. These are just like the self-image and the other-images in the mind-space, or like my body and other bodies in the body-space. The images are not the things being reflected. Hence, going closer to the image is not an entry into the said planetary space. Going to the said planet is like feeling the body with eyes closed while going to the image is like looking at the body in the mirror.

There is a famous philosophy problem called “What is it to be like a bat?” We can look at the bat from the outside. But we don’t know what the bat feels and how it looks at the world. There is a difference between looking at the bat and being a bat. We look at the bat as an object. But the bat’s being is a space with self-image and other-images. Likewise, we have to ask: “What is it like to be the Earth?” How will Earth be if the eyes were closed, and a space within the body was experienced? The answer is that the vision includes both the self and the others.

Therefore, subject-thinking was prescribed in the Vedic tradition through meditative practices. The problem is that even when we meditate, we think about objects. Even when we think about ourselves, we think in terms of a mirror reflection, or how others are looking at us. The others are seeing us as objects. When we look at ourselves through the eyes of others, we lose the capacity for self-knowledge.

Six Long Paragraph Version

We can compare the internal and external visions to the vision of a child within the womb and outside the womb. When the child is in the mother’s womb, it feels the mother from the inside. If the mother has twins, the mother and the twins feel each other from within. The twins also feel each other through the mother. However, when the child is born, then it stops feeling the mother from within and starts seeing her from the outside. Likewise, one twin stops feeling the other twin through the mother and starts seeing the other twin from the outside as a separate object. Thus, the moment the child is born, its vision is perverted into object-thinking.

There is also a deeper question: Why should we exclude the internal or external vision? The answer is that we don’t have to. When we do the external vision, we are not able to understand the mind, how things feel to others, what they mean when they say something, etc. Thus there is a distinction between mental reality and sense-perceived reality. But both can exist without excluding each other, although priority must be given to the mental reality so that we can understand what causes the sense-perceived reality. By internal vision, we mean that we can feel what the other mind feels, understand what they are thinking, and so on. By external vision, we mean that we can see sense perception qualities without the deeper reality. When the deeper reality is prioritized, a sense-perceivable form is assigned to a meaning experienced in the mind. Now, the meaning is the “object” and the sense-perception tells us its “properties”. The location of the object is based on meaning, not on sense perception. For example, how “far” we are from another person is based on how different our ideas and feelings are.

When our perception is limited to sense perception, then the world is called external energy. When it advances to all the deeper levels of reality, then it is called internal energy. The fact is that even if we have sense perception, we are looking at images in our mind, not the real thing outside. Our perception is colored by our biases, and many things are filtered. Thus, even though there is an external reality, what we experience is within our senses and minds. The issue is: (a) Our internal vision distorts the external reality, (b) our internal vision filters the external reality, and (c) we attribute our distortion and filtering to the external reality. The collection of these problems is called “external energy”. But, if (a) our internal vision is not distorting the external reality, (b) our internal vision is not filtering the external reality, and (c) if “my body” is not independent of the “other body” because both bodies are defined mutually, then the same thing is called “internal energy”.

Externality means that I am an object independent of the other objects, and space is a void containing objects. Under externality, we conjure an objective space and time. This externality is an illusion created due to the prominence of egotism, filtering, and corruption. By egotism, I become independent of you. By filtering, I don’t feel what you feel. By corruption, I misunderstand and misjudge you. Then due to egotism, I apply a corrupted and filtered view of you back to you, refusing to accept your version of yourself. The inverse is internality: I am not independent of you, I don’t distort you, I don’t filter you, and I don’t attribute my distortion and filtering to you. Instead, we are mutually defined, we understand each other perfectly, and we feel what the other person feels.

The earthly vision of the cosmos is dominated by egotism, although the earthly egotism is not so high compared to the lower planets which do not even see the other planets. This is just like some people don’t feel the presence of other people standing next to them. Or, some people make love in public places, by filtering out the presence of other people. Thus, the Sun and Moon do not shine in the lower planets. The Sun and Moon are external realities. But in the lower planets, that external reality is filtered out due to excessive egotism. In Earth, we see other planets, but most things are filtered and distorted, and seen to be independent objects. And yet, they are not independent which is why astrologers try to describe the influence of other planets on our mental and bodily state, and by changing our mental and bodily state we can change the planetary states and their influences. The appearance of independence is due to our egotism, filtering, and distortion.

Eleven Paragraph Version

According to Sāñkhya, the body we see is manifest from the senses, and the senses are manifest from the mind. When another body comes into interaction, then very minor changes to our body occur. They can be experienced by the senses and the mind, but are generally not visible to others. The senses are the space, and the body is an object in that space. Many things are in that space; some are called “mine” and others are called “other”. Likewise, thoughts and feelings are objects in the mind and the mind is a space. The thoughts and feelings are also space, and senses are objects in that space, and sense perceptions are objects in the space of senses. When objects appear and disappear in the space, then the change is called time by most people. But it is just a phenomenal time. The real time, or what is called “Causal Time”, is even subtler than space, and causes changes in this space by manifesting things out of this space. This time is discrete like a choice.

Due to time acting on space, an object is produced in that space. This phenomenon is known in quantum field theory as the popping out of particles from the field “randomly” and then popping back into the field. These popping particles are always paired and called “particles” and “antiparticles”. The “particle” is “self” and the antiparticle is “other”. Or it can be that “my skin is cold” and “the object sensed by the skin is hot”. There are infinite types of particle-antiparticle pairs. They are all produced from the “field” (mind and senses) due to the effect of time.

When this particle-antiparticle pair is produced, we call that a reflection of the other thing in me. When someone stands next to us, this particle-antiparticle pair is produced and we say: “I can feel your presence”. Then our behavior changes because have become “conscious” of the other person. The other person is not exerting a gravitational force on us to change our behavior. Mere consciousness of the other is enough to change behavior. This is because the particle-antiparticle pops out of the “field” (i.e., the sense or the mind).

You might have noticed that we become more aware of our flaws when we come in contact with an attractive person. Without the other person, we remain unaware of our flaws. But when the other person is present, then we not just know them, but we also know ourselves better than before. This is the particle-antiparticle pair. It is produced from a field called the mind and senses. The world is just this field. It exists within some minds and senses, and there are knowers of these fields. Modern science objectifies space when it is actually minds and senses. The minds and senses are called Kṣetra and the soul is called Kṣetrajña: The “field” and the “knower of the field”.

If we don’t like this complicated description, then the simple version is that a child is born from the mother due to a father. The child has the traits of both father and mother. The mind is the mother, the choice of the soul is the father, and the thought produced is the child.

  • Space = Mind = Mother
  • Time = Choice = Father
  • Object = Thought = Child

A bad mind will produce an aversion to a good thing and a good mind will produce an attraction to the good thing. Thus, there is always an entangled pair of “self” and “other” ideas. Even as time is the same for everyone, our good or bad minds, and good and bad choices produce varied children. Time changes personality with successive events. So, a bad mind will sometimes get good thoughts and a good mind sometimes gets bad thoughts. This is because thought is produced as the result of the combination of mother and father. A bad child is created due to (a) a good father and a bad mother, (b) a good mother and a bad father, and (c) a bad mother and a bad father.

Will or choice acts on the mind to select one among many possible thoughts. That choice is time. The mind on which the choice acts is the space of all thoughts. The thoughts are ideas about the self and others. The thoughts are in the mind, therefore, the mind or space is a Graha or house. Earth is one such Graha, the mother of all earthly thoughts, and hence called Mother Earth. Time or choice, the masculine persona, produces children from the mother. Therefore, the inhabitants of the Earth are children of Mother Earth. They are not eternally Earth’s children. They can be born of other mothers too due to reincarnation. But right now, they are the children of mother Earth.

Likewise, other planets seen by the children of Earth are also produced from the Earth. The Moon we see is Earth’s child and not the true mother who produces children living in the Moon. Of course, all the children presently born from the Earth can be subsequently born from the Mother Moon. But right now, they are children of Earth. The children of the Moon see Earth quite differently from how we see Earth. But it would be wise if we kept this corrupted vision of someone else to ourselves rather than egoistically forcing it back on the person we see.

The land, seas, mountains, rivers, and other living entities we see are all children of Mother Earth. Sometimes, the mother appears among the children, such as when Maharaja Prithu wanted to reestablish life on Earth in diverse forms. Then Mother Earth appeared as a cow. But most times, we never see the mother. Likewise, we never see the real father. We just see the children, namely, land, seas, mountains, rivers, and other living entities. By disregarding the mother and father, we imagine that the Moon we see is not a sibling produced from the same parent. Then we objectify all children, so there is no mother or father, and all children now become objects. Then cosmology is done without a mother and father, and all children become objectified, isolated, independent particles, forcing their corrupt views on others.

All these are the results of impersonalism and voidism. Space and time are void and objects are impersonal. Then a conflict between object and void is created, namely, how can so many objects come out of the void? But if we go back to personalism, then there are mothers, fathers, and children. One mother, father, and their children collectively form a household called Graha. They are all a family. Then, we can understand the Upanishadic statement of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means that the whole Earth is a family. This is not a euphemism. It is factually true because there is one mother, the Earth, and everyone inhabiting the Earth is a sibling produced from the same mother.

People doing Vedic cosmology at present have ignored the mother-father-child philosophy, to imagine many moving balls in a void called space and time. They have confined quantum phenomena to lab experiments rather than things happening in every sense and mind because physics is separate from psychology. These are not the truth. These are simply varied reflections of the impersonalism and voidism in their hearts. They select those things that match their ball-moving-in-the-void view and neglect everything else. Even if we tell them that these things are false, they cannot accept it, because impersonalism and voidism are so deep-rooted that it will take many lifetimes.