Awareness is neither good nor bad. It is neither male nor female. It is neither light nor dark. It is neither this nor that. It is here and now, and beyond, yet paradoxically, it is in the very heart of everything. This understanding is inaccessible to our conceptual mind but can be intuited in moments of stillness.
The festive season is upon us. For some it is a time of joy and celebration; for others it is a time of sadness or challenges. However it is for you, may it be a time of reflection on what we are doing, where we are going and what we are. May you be blessed and feel supported.
We should be passionate about life and do our best in every situation, but at the same time we should first of all know that ‘our’ life is not really our life but the play of Reality or Conscious Presence. Secondly, we should know that life is but a bubble in the ocean of Eternity.
Let us try to bring quality into our life:
- Health. For good health let us practise yoga, reduce junk food and whatever is necessary to maintain reasonable physical health.
- Inspiration. Find inspiration within. Again by practising yoga every day, even just a few minutes, to realise and identify with the Source of inspiration. This inspiration is available to all – we just have to turn our attention to It.
- Forgiveness. Forgive, as much as you are able, those who have hurt, cheated or abused you. Forgive yourself.
- Compassion. In your heart, be compassionate to all creatures, including humans.
In our common-sense daily life and from a materialistic perspective the law of cause and effect seem evident and not even worth questioning. However, modern science, western philosophy and Indian Advaita have all put into question its validity:
According to modern quantum physics: the law of cause and effect is not essentially true, because events depend on the participation of the observer or Consciousness, not essentially on the events themselves.
Leibnitz (German philosopher, mathematician, 1646-1716) stated: ‘It is true that, speaking with metaphysical rigor, there is no real influence of one created substance on another’. This would suggest that Leibnitz knew, on a fundamental level, that the law of cause and effect does not apply.
The ancient Hindu/ Yogic text ‘Yoga Vasishtha’ gives a story in which a crow alights on a coconut tree. At that very moment, a ripe coconut falls. Thus two unrelated events seem to be related in time and space, yet there is no causal relationship. This illustrates that the seemingly obvious relationship between cause and effect, which seems real from our mental-sensory perception, is fundamentally an illusion, a misperception or rather a limited perception.
How does this understanding impact on our lives? We continue to live our life with the assumption that effects have causes, which we can clearly see and experience. In the depths of our heart, however, let us appreciate that there is a far more mysterious background to the world of sticks and stones in which we live.
 From an article ‘The Reality Narrative: a Solution to the Central Mystery of Quantum Mechanics’ by Robert Solomon, p. 46 in Nexus magazine Dec 2018 –Jan 2019.
I am not oblivious to the horrors of the world and I don’t understand why there needs to be so much suffering. Yet my intimate experience of the Mystery is so strong that I just have to admit, though I don’t understand this suffering, that it is all part of the One. At the same time, I do my best to alleviate suffering in others and in myself.
Everyone and everything in the universe, known and unknown, is part of the network of Reality. We may love and hate, we may accept and not accept, but these attitudes are just expressions of our individual mental conditioning. Whether we are disagreeing or agreeing, liking and disliking, let us be Aware. But what is it to be Aware? It is to know conclusively that the Source of our consciousness is intimately and inseparably identified with the Conscious Presence that underlies everything.
Narada: I have wonderful experiences through the practice of Yoga, but when they are over, they are only a memory. I’m sure they have contributed to my overall spiritual development, but is there more to the fulfillment of human potential?
Swami Nishchalananda: What we are really interested in is not changing experiences, but That which is Unchanging.