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Of course the easy answer, after eliminating all the possibilities we can

imagine and that circulate in the media today, is that consciousness


doesn't exist at all, or at least not as something separate or different from
matter. Consciousness, if it exists, has evolved along with its material
structures and inheres in their elements and processes, as a principle of
intelligence or mind. THE INDIAN MEDICINAL HERBS The central fact of Indian Culture is its
conception of the spiritual Ideal. Its core and essence is the fundamental belief that the attainment of
perfection is the sole purpose of man's life. Thus the worth and value of all the other parts and aspects
of our life is estimated and equated in terms of their utility in serving this central Ideal. The value of
human birth and body was accepted because man's body was recognised as the supreme instrument
through which to strive for reaching life's great consummation. The ancient Seers, the Rishis of wisdom,
therefore, spared no pains in carefully evolving a great system of medicine tc help to keep this precious
instrument, i.e Liberation". The intuitive sages of India were in full awareness of this important fact for
notwithstanding their lofty idealism they had the admirable faculty to be intensely practical and
thorough. . The Indian Seers in the past have devoted special attention to the study of health, disease
and therapeutics. They have worked upon Ayurveda or the science of Life as another Veda. . Ayurveda
believes in treatment by hei'bs which form its mainstay. The greater part of the treatment of Ayurvedic
practitioner is by medicinal herbs. How very minute and how thoroughly scientific is their study of these
herbs and their characteristics is amply evidenced by the scholarly treatises of these ancient scientists in
which subjects they have given us the results of their admirable researches

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40 STUDIES ON THE TANTRAS ---
THE SPIRITUAL HERITAGE OF INDIA: THE TANTRAS 41 -----

Of course the easy answer, after eliminating all the possibilities we can
imagine and that circulate in the media today, is that consciousness
doesn't exist at all, or at l Of course the easy answer, after eliminating all the possibilities
we can
imagine and that circulate in the media today, is that consciousness
doesn't exist at all, or at least not as something separate or different from
matter. Consciousness, if it exists, has evolved along with its material
structures and inheres in their elements and processes, as a principle of
intelligence or mind.east not as something separate or different from
matter. Consciousness, if it exists, has evolved along with its material
structures and inheres in their elements and processes, as a principle of
intelligence or mind. The monistic materialists of the 19th century, along
with some idealists of the 17th and 18th, could therefore say, simply, that
the universe is made of intelligent substance. But at the same time, there
have always been the skeptics who have propelled themselves into the
waters of dualism, determined to discover or deny the relationship between
these spiritual and material modes of existence, the conscious and
unconscious, the mental and t Of course the easy answer, after eliminating all the
possibilities we can
imagine and that circulate in the media today, is that consciousness
doesn't exist at all, or at least not as something separate or different from
matter. Consciousness, if it exists, has evolved along with its material
structures and inheres in their elements and processes, as a principle of
intelligence or mind.he physical, the abstract and concrete aspects
of this enigmatic unity. Some have actually denied the existence of
consciousness itself, however absurd that may be, since the denial is a
product of consciousness.
Now, given that this apparent duality exists and the problem still has not
been solved, at least for human intelligence, and particularly for the
many schools of opposed thought systems that have tried to understand
it throughout history, we find ourselves today, right here at this moment,
the privileged inheritors of this most prestigious, profound, noble, immemorial,
and troublesome responsibility and the appointed or selected
caretakers of the mystery, the seekers of the secret, the magiresponsible
for preparing the future leaders of our species and the world to think
and to will on the basis of consciousness of the truth of things, for the
sake of our common good. They Of course the easy answer, after eliminating all the
possibilities we can
imagine and that circulate in the media today, is that consciousness
doesn't exist at all, or at least not as something separate or different from
matter. Consciousness, if it exists, has evolved along with its material
structures and inheres in their elements and processes, as a principle of
intelligence or mind. (and we) must at least strive to do the
right things for the right reasons. And perhaps that means going beyond

We know where we have to go, we know the reason why, and we know
how to get there. So is this evolutionary leap, then, inevitable? If so, is
the time frame predictable? Are there conditions that would be more or
less favorable and that are in our control? If not, do we know the probabilities
of success or failure under different circumstances and constraints?
Well, as has already been said, if the rational mind is to be displaced
by a higher power of consciousness, then we can work toward
this development by suspending our reliance on the former and invoking
the latter, by acts of will, discrimination, and sacrifice. And we know
very well that disciplines of this sort have been advocated by spiritual
teachers throughout history, with varying degrees of success on the scale
of individuals or small groups, but never with much success on a large
collective scale. And it is also well known that the materialistic bias
among scientists is likely to prevent most from accepting the propositions
of the intuitivist philosophers such as Bergson, Whitehead, Sri Aurobindo,
Nagel, and others who have followed them, however inspiring
the proposition might seem to those inclined toward philosophical idealism.
And so the former will try to convince the latter of an atomistic
view of the brain and mind, a view critically examined and dismissed by
Bergson, Whitehead, and Sri Aurobindo almost a century ago, for example.
And the intuitivists will try to convince the atomists that everyone
and everything is a part of all the others by virtue of the universal principles
that determine each, a view criticized and dismissed by materialists
such as E. O. Wilson, Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins today.
And so we end up back in the calculating rational mind that holds fast to
the principles of empirical knowledge on one hand and spiritual knowledge
on the other. These opposing orientations to knowledge, the material
and the spiritual, the empirical and the intuitional, are as much a reality
of the world in which we live as climate change and burger king.
The appeal we are making is to an alternative beyond both, to a mutual
recognition of the validity and limits of each, and to the willed emergence
of a higher power of consciousness that can erase the differences,
fill the explanatory gap with a direct perception of the integral truth of
things, and ignite the flame of creativity in us, the ever-living fire, that

In our course on the philosophy of evolution which has preceded this


one, I recall that the second lecture of the second part, was a lecture titled
'The Sankhya and Yoga View', where this was said, I have a goal
for this course. It is not just to review philosophical ideas. The goal is to
pursue an opening to a direct intuitive perception of the truth of evolution.
Of course the easy answer, after eliminating all the possibilities we can
imagine and that circulate in the media today, is that consciousness
doesn't exist at all, or at least not as something separate or different from
matter. Consciousness, if it exists, has evolved along with its material
structures and inheres in their elements and processes, as a principle of
intelligence or mind.
this statement. As Sri Aurobindo said to us, which I quoted there, In the
method of Jnana Yoga, the yoga of truth-consciousness, it helps to begin
with the idea and then to follow a path of knowledge that ends with the
direct perception of the thing itself. He says we should start with the
idea and pursue it to its absolute degree of knowledge. This is the
method of the yoga of knowledge.
If we believe what we have heard, and will be hearing, about the limited
nature of the rational mind, then we will have learned that in Sri Aurobindo's
philosophy, as well as in the philosophies of others, such as
Hegel, Bergson and Whitehead, the rational mind is a tool that evolution
has manifested in the human being in order to progress to another level
On the first page, he said, All of the perceptions of the human mind resolve
themselves into two distinct kinds, which I shall call IMPRESSIONS
and IDEAS. The difference betwixt these consists in the degree
of force and liveliness, with which they strike upon the mind, and make
their way into our thought or consciousness. Those perceptions, which
enter with most force and violence, we may name impressions: and under
this name I comprehend all our sensations, passions and emotions,
as they make their first appearance in the soul.10
So, he is clearly not focusing on the neuro-biology of awareness, because
he couldn't have done so at that period of technological development.
He is focusing on the processes of consciousness that consciousness
knows by reflecting on itself. All of our perceptions, and feelings
about our perceptions, he believes enter the soul with a certain force and
vivacity from outside us, creating one category of consciousness that he
calls impressions. He says, then, By ideas I mean the faint images of
these in thinking and reasoning; such as, for instance, are all the perceptions
excited by the present discourse ... Our consciousness receives
impressions, and becomes aware of the images of those impressions that
first enter the soul from somewhere outside us. Everything you are
imagining and thinking right now, as a result of hearing or reading these
words, comes first into your awareness with some force, vivacity of
And we may also ask the question of veracity. Do our ideas accurately
reflect our impressions? He says yes. In fact, they are virtually the same.
However, one of the problems with which we might meet his challenge,
is with something like the idea of justice, (which I hope we have in our
awareness). We have a kind of innate sense of right and wrong. And to
some extent we are even horrified by some acts of injustice, sometimes
by even very small ones, because of the utter ignorance and carelessness
that motivates them, and the pain they cause, even though there is no
way to prosecute them, because they happen in the family or among
friends and colleagues. In any case, somehow we have a sense of injustice.
But how many instances of justice or injustice have we experienced
that can explain our sense of 'justice' based upon previous impressions?
Can our experience explain our understanding of justice? The root of
this problem goes back to the question asked by Plato: what impressions
can the senses give us of something as complex and non-material in nature
as the idea of justice? The idea of justice is surely not conveyed to
our awareness by light, sound, touch, taste, and smell, through our
senses. In fact, we may have never had an experience that qualify us to
know what justice is.
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