Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Experience of the World

The story so far - the Presence acting as Self has a universal Mind which has instances of individual minds that are interfaced via structures known as brains to vehicles known as bodies. The bodies find themselves among other structures that are less connected to individual minds. These are far less complex compared to the body or the brain and are governed by algorithmic rule sets. When interpreted via senses these appear in various shapes, sizes, textures, smells etc. localized in space. We will call them Objects and a collection of objects is a World [1].

Objects are experienced and so is world. And like everything else these are subjected to Experiencing - the changing attribute of the Presence. The Experiencing results in a dynamic world that is impermanent. Everything in this world changes, appears and disappears. Some objects change faster than others and some change slowly. Some are complex and some are simple. But all objects are merely forms created out of fundamental structures, that are very simple and do not change much. We see only the forms and label them with names. This creates the familiar representation of a world of names and forms in the Mind.

The world appears on the screen of the Self. The change appears as experiences. The Mind neatly organizes the change into experiences of objects and their interactions. This is all there is as far as direct experience of the world is concerned. It exists and the Self witnesses it, and that’s the full story. Its a game, a play, nothing more.

Listen on YouTube

It is not necessary to know more or say more about the world. It is like a show and you have a free ticket. Enjoy the show. A seeker needs to do nothing about this world, there is no necessity to indulge in it, or change it as per your likes and dislikes, fix it or improve it. But if these actions happen, they are not your actions and they are perfect. Just a part of the show, which is perfect as it is. However, the newbie seekers need to keep their guard up and avoid taking this world seriously and personally. It is easy to get lost into it, thinking that the world is all there is or by getting involved in it.

The rest of this article is just commentary on random stuff in the world. Some people would find it amusing and for some its just boring hair splitting. Anyhow, it is written with an intention that the reader will start questioning his beliefs about the world, if any.

Worldly things

The Mind is an extraordinary thing, it immediately starts noticing characteristics of the world it creates out of mere change. The first thing one notices is that the experiences coming out of senses, aka sense perceptions are more neatly organized and follow more rigid rules when compared to non-sensory perceptions. The Mind classifies them into objective and subjective. Classification is a job of the Mind and it is just another level of organization of experiences. Note that experiences do not "become" subjective or objective, but are merely tagged so. So there are no subjective or objective things, these are just labels. Things are. We can use a neutral word Entities for them, which should mean the stuff not yet classified by the Mind and has not yet gone through the grinding mill of mental analysis.

Another important thing the Mind discovers is that it is possible to manipulate objects and it can be done via the special object of the body. So it classifies stuff again and all that is outside the body becomes other things and the body becomes a part of the identity or personality. Me and not-me are born. Again note that the distinction is created by the Mind, there is no real difference between the body and other objects, all these are just mental structures. The Mind continues its “divide and understand” process, this is its primary occupation. This is how it creates the internal structures of knowledge. We have already discussed almost everything about the Mind and knowledge before, so I will directly jump to the main point, which is this world.


The Mind soon categorizes objects in various ways - different degrees of solidity, edible, non-edible, organic, inorganic, useful, useless, rare or precious and so on. We also notice that objects seem to be made of something, because they break into simpler stuff. Very soon we encounter the limitations of our senses and must employ instruments to enhance the sensory perception of objects. Thus we encounter crystals, molecules, atoms and particles. Any entities that are made out of particles are categorized as Matter. So matter is a concept, an idea, a category, and does not exist except as an idea, a belief. Note that even atoms or particles are also concepts.  We form these concepts to describe entities that we encounter when we dig deeper into objects. As soon as we leave the domain of senses, the usual objects cease to exist and all we see is data coming out of instruments. We form relations out of the data and produce mathematical models. Particles are just mathematical models.

Enquiry into the matter is a subject matter of Physics. Physics is a unification of all sciences that deal with matter, such as chemistry, biology, astronomy, neurology and so on. So we will stick with Physics and not venture too much into its specializations. The usual format of investigation in physics is - what are objects made of and what are the relations that exist among them. If the building blocks are found the enquiry is repeated and new concepts and relations are proposed. This continues until there are no more building blocks to be found and the relations describe all physical phenomena satisfactorily. Note that, as we have discussed earlier, Physics doesn’t deal with truths, only with theories. It does use logic and mathematics to arrive at logical Truths once the postulates are given. This is what makes it so powerful and useful, but from the point of view of knowledge, it is all a fantasy.

Where do we start the investigation? From everyday objects obviously. If you go down you will find crystals, molecules, atoms etc. and if you go up in scale you will find planets, suns, galaxies and so on. The matter is vast and the range of scale is mind boggling. Fortunately, the rules governing all the matter are simple and universal and all the matter can be reduced to a few building blocks. This is the success story of Physics and so it is the king of all sciences. Strangely, just when a physicist declares that he has reached the bottom-most building block, yet another layer of blocks is discovered lying below it. Similarly, just when an astronomer declares a big structure as the upper limit, such as a galaxy, another superstructure is found which contains the latest mega-structure as its tiny part. So far this has been the trend.

Usually as you go up in scale, the structures are just boring groups of rocks and gases moving around in the vastness of empty space, but something astonishing is found when you go down the scale. Firstly, the matter becomes less solid and more cloudy and foggy, less deterministic and more probabilistic. Secondly, all such particles are exact clones of each other in their species. Everyday objects, if you look closely, do not resemble each other, there are always differences, however tiny. Similarly, big objects such as planets and suns are all unique, there are no two identical macro objects in this universe. But at micro level, the particles are exact copies of each other, actually its more correct to say that they are instances of the same object. So for example, all the uncountable electrons in this universe are exactly the same.

Thirdly, the particles lose all signs of objectivity and turn into potentialities. Roughly, that means they are not really there unless someone bothers to measure/detect them. Fourthly, it becomes impossible to measure all of their characteristics as uncertainties creep into measurements. The distinction between the measured entity and measuring instrument begins to fade.

Last but not the least, when you try to break them further, they disappear into nothingness, leaving behind nothing but a large amount of energy.  The reverse is also observed, when a large amount of energy is present, the particles appear out of nothing.


We encounter a new animal here, the physical energy. This term is precisely defined in Physics, and for the purpose of this article we will define it as a quantification of Change. Change is an idea inferred from experiences. The Mind is capable of distinguishing two experiences (well, obviously) and the differences are seen as a change. One can say that there are only experiences, no change. But then one can also say that if there is no change then there cannot be any experience. So I see change as something fundamental, even if it is interpreted via the Mind, it is out there in some unknowable form. What it really is cannot be known directly, we know only its experience, which I called Experiencing in founding articles of this blog.

More change means more energy. Energy can be measured in arbitrary units and so it is possible to compare two experiences on the basis of amount of change that is experienced. The concept of energy applies nicely to the material world and is very useful, but remember that it is only a concept, there is no entity out there called energy. What is out there is change which manifests as Experiencing on the screen of the Self. So change is fundamental, an irreducible. Energy is a way of talking about change.

The most common form of energy is Motion. It is seen as a change in spatial location. Since the motion is perceived and experienced, the Mind can organize it. The Mind creates two structures or mental entities in order to make sense of motion - Space and Time. The comparison of impressed state of an object in motion with sensory state is encoded as time. In other words, the experience of object and the experience of memory of it, when compared, defines the time. The relative motion of an object with respect to an origin is coded as location and a set of locations becomes the mental structure of space. In other words, an object which is comparatively at rest, is taken as a reliable reference and the change in a moving object is coded as location. The new and old locations define the distance and hence space. No motion means no space, no time and no memory. Thus space and time are derivatives of motion, which is just change. More change translates into more energy, and we see more of the motion, i.e. the object in motion appears further in space as time passes.

If there is no space out there then where do I move and where is my stuff located? There is no "where". It is all here. There are no three dimensions, the Presence has exactly zero dimensions. It is easy to understand if you know a bit of computer programming. In a game, the space and stuff that appears on the screen is nothing but a long list of changing numbers that pass through the microprocessor. When fed to a suitable hardware, the numbers produce colours and shape on a grid of pixels. The changing numbers (non-dimensional, i.e. no length or shape just change) can be metaphorically seen as Presence, while the stuff on the screen is the experience of the objects and space.

So if there is no space, just change, then what is really there? It is unknowable. The Mind is attempting to know it via space, time, objects and qualities such as colours. If you want to know it in some other way, you will need another Mind. Perhaps a more advanced Mind, e.g. an ET alien Mind would see the underlying change in a more direct way, but still not as it actually exists. It must go through an interpretation, some kind of organization before the experience happens. It can be argued that the change does not actually exist unless the Self intends it into existence, which is too far fetched if you ask me, but an interesting idea.

The strange thing about the change is that once a change happens it cannot be stopped, it propagates forwards and assumes various forms. So nothing is at rest, change is all there is. In case of motion, if you try to stop it, like by placing a barrier in the path of the moving object (imagine billiard balls), the energy of motion gets transferred to the barrier and it starts moving too. It is all magical, but that is how change is experienced.

Another common form of change aka energy is heat. This is again nothing but motion of molecules at micro scale. It is easy to hit something and heat it up, the energy transfers from macro motion to micro easily. Other forms of energy are also motion of one or other kind, such as sound (vibrations of matter), light [electronic vibrations] and nuclear radiation [motion of free particles]. So all energetic phenomena are just motion, which is nothing but a change - the Experiencing.

An astonishing fact about the energy is that it gets quantized as you go to the micro scales, which means the change happens only in jumps, not continuously. And this is the foundation of Quantum Mechanics. As a result of quantization, the space and time also get quantized, as these are derivatives of motion. So we see strangeness such as a particle can disappear at one location and appear at another without moving through intermediate space, in fact there is no intermediate space. This is most commonly observed in electronic jumps of orbitals in an atom. The electrons appear and disappear at various orbits that lie at different distances from the centre of the atom.

Waves of change

What can be the reason for such odd behaviour of change? This can be explained in various ways, the simplest explanation is that the change happens in "waves of change" and the waves are constrained to harmonic modes out of necessity (a material system is needed). Just as guitar strings can vibrate only in specific modes because of constrains. If x is the allowed change, then the next change would be 2x, 3x and so on because the wave of change can exist only in multiples of the fundamental frequency of that wave. The particles that constitute matter are nothing but change, so the particles themselves behave as waves.

There are more sophisticated answers which involve math, the most dreaded subject, but most useful tool as far as the study of matter is concerned. If you do not like mathematics, your understanding of matter will be hugely limited. I guess that should not matter much, the only important thing to know is that the matter is a construct of Mind. There are no two, just one. This must be experienced directly, do not believe it just because you read it in a physics text book.

One can say that there are no particles, just waves of change, and moreover waves of change of potentialities. That actually amounts to nothing if you ask me. There is nothing out there. Still there is a world. How's that even possible? The only answer is - the world is created out of Presence which has this strange ability to create change. However this change is not real change as there is nothing there to change, so the change is dreamt up, made up. Change is not what it seems to be. It is at most an interpretation by the Mind of meta-change, which is unknowable. So the whole existence can be thought of as a dream of the Presence. The Self is witnessing this dream, but actually nothing happens. I think we are too deep into speculation here, so lets come back to the solid reality of the world, which is anything but solid, its just waves of change.

Scales and limits

Change is tiny, when we see a big change, it is made up of tiny changes. When change occurs, it gets constrained by the Fundamental Process and structures begin to form. There is no limit to this process and it forms hierarchies of structures one above the other. Higher we are in the hierarchy, bigger it gets in terms of size. It also gets more stable and statistical, somewhat deterministic and causal.

Why are particles so tiny? They are of correct size, and that is the only reasonable size. We are huge. And that is because our everyday world appears at a certain layer of hierarchy, which happens to be just right for formation of bodies. And not surprisingly, this layer is at a huge distance away from the first fundamental structure. Still we are just a spec of dirt when compared to astronomical structures.

What are the lower and upper limits of scales for matter? There are only theories and wild beliefs about it. Plank's limit [2] seems to be the smallest because there cannot be a change smaller than that, at least not in material systems (a collection of matter). And in order to observe matter it must interact with other matter, so all observational schemes are systems. The upper limit does not exist as far as theoretical limit is concerned. So how big is it all? In my opinion, since the physical world is a creation of the Mind, it can go on forever, there would be no boundary. The world, space and time do not exist as a given, they are created on the fly. So wherever you go, you create. The creation comes out of nothing and there is infinitely huge amount of nothing. Because its nothing, you can always have more of nothing. Well, it all sounds too crazy, even for a crazy blog like this one.

Latest model of the large scale universe. (Pl. ignore the purple colour ;).)

Forces and fields

We all know that nothing changes unless a force of some kind acts on something. This is the famous law, but not the most natural way to describe a change. A seeker would immediately ask - what is a force? And he would immediately find that it is also another belief. Change happens, it does not happen because of a force, the idea of force is abstracted out of it, once the change has taken place. It is also assumed that the force, whatever that is, exists as a field in space. There is no field as a given, it is another useful abstraction. The detectors of a force show only a change of some kind, they do not show a field.

So what causes strange things like motion etc. and how it gets transferred to stuff without a field? Motion, aka change happens, nothing causes it, there are no causes of experiences, change is just an experience. The causes etc. are abstracted out of the experience by the Mind as it struggles to organize it meaningfully and logically. Nothing gets transferred across the space, as there is no space, these things are created out of thin air by the Mind when it experiences a change. Change is mysterious, it cannot be understood with Mind. One can only break it down into abstractions and ideas and communicate the experience meaningfully.

One can make the idea of force very sophisticated and think of particles as carries of forces and makers of field. Although it makes everything very useful, it deviates even more from experiences. The trick here is not to confuse these mathematical entities with experiences of change. There is a risk that one would fall into a dogma if one takes the physical concepts literally. Once you see the change, you are free to use any description of it, including the scientific one. All such descriptions will be a faint approximation of the experience itself. The choice of a description depends on the utility of it, not on the truth of it. You have already left the domain of truth as soon as you started describing an experience.


Light is an example of a field. No points for guessing that it is also a concept and does not really exist as an object or experience. This can be a shocking statement for many, since light is our direct experience. Or is it? Think again. Do you see light or has anyone seen it? Obviously not. We see only objects, not light.

What is this bright warm glowy thing I experience, if not light? The brightness doesn’t exist without a bright object and the object exists in the Mind. The warmth is another quality, an experience, which is the sensation coming from the skin and again exists in the Mind. The abstraction of light comes out of such experiences. This is how a wise man sees the world, in his Mind, made up of experiences. An ignorant man sees objects located in space "illuminated by light". A scientist can use sophisticated ways to convey it using concepts such as electronic transitions in the matter out there and the retina of the eye, mediated by electromagnetic field of a certain frequency and strength.

Which is the preferred way to describe an experience? It depends on the situation. If you are with ordinary men, use the everyday description, lest they throw you into an asylum. If you are with a scientist, use exact scientific terminology. If you are with yourself, just experience it, no description is needed. Any description of any experiences is just mental chatter.

I took light as an example. You can do similar surgery on other physical things such as magnetic fields or gravity etc. and find out whether these exist or not.

Origin of world

How did it begin and how will it end? There are two assumptions here. We don't know if it had a beginning and we don't know if it will end. So the question makes no sense. It makes sense to ask a question about a beginning if one has directly experienced an end. And if one is unsure of an end, then he should not ask about a beginning, because only things that end have a beginning [3].

When did it begin? Again, nothing can be said about the beginning and its mechanisms or time of beginning. The time is not there if you are not there to create it. If you are already there to check your clock, then what is beginning has already begun long ago. So we see that we immediately face logical conundrum when we assume a beginning or an end of something which is beyond our understanding. This is how people fall into belief pits and tie themselves into knots.

There are surely some beliefs, people make up stuff to fill up answers for questions they make up. Every culture has a creation myth. Some people go ahead and declare their story as truth. So if all those stories are true, we have many beginnings of the world happening at different times, and you have a menu of worlds to choose from. The latest of them is big-bang theory, which some do take as nothing but truth. It can be labelled as the most ridiculous theory science has ever produced, because it beats even the most magical story ever told about the origin of the world.

Any such theory starts from a premise that there is some necessity for things to begin. Is there? Even a causal chain of events does not need a beginning because one can arbitrarily place the beginning at any event. Then one can immediately ask for the preceding cause. So what caused the beginning of the world and how did that cause begin? and so on. Science can only produce an answer when given a set of initial conditions. And this is the limit of scientific method of knowing. If there are initial conditions, things already exist. The question of beginning lies beyond the domain of science. So if you encounter someone advocating a certain scientific theory about the beginning of this universe, you will immediately know that whatever it is, it is hogwash.

From the point of view of the Self, there is no beginning and it doesn’t make any sense actually. Did the Presence began being present at some point? This means there was nothingness prior to that point and when or how did nothingness begin? How did nothingness changed into somethingness? If you are confused and are asking more such questions, that is a sign of presence of beliefs. Of course all these questions are nonsensical. When seen as it is, the question of beginning disappears. And so does the question of an ending. Presence is, it is not something nor is it nothing. It is non-dual, and concepts that explain duality are not applicable in this case. So not nothing, not something, no end and no beginning. Do not expect the Mind to be satisfied with such statements because the Mind knows only duality, nothing else.

The discussion on world continues in the next article.


[1] The term World means earth or human arena in common language, but I'm using the philosophical connotation here.


[3] There are some strange beliefs about the beginning of the world, but there are some reasonable ones too. Such as the idea that the manifested universe began with a vibration (Nada, Brahmanada or word). Since vibrations are nothing but change, one can take them as a metaphorical description of the direct experience of change. It is not very incorrect to say that the change is responsible for the manifestation, else there would be no manifestation, as there would be nothing to manifest. The point to remember is that it is a concept and the beginning does not hint towards a beginning in time or at a location. 

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