Introduction on the book
and interview with Dr. Vijai Shankar
about the book ‘Evolution of Mind’.
24 October 2009 in Amsterdam
Published in India Herald
25th November 2009
Introduction on the book
“There has never been an objective being.” Upanishads
In the book “Evolution of Mind” Dr Vijai S Shankar presents some kind of Weltanschauung or world-view or philosophy of life. Yes, he does. But this Weltanschauung is different than usual ones, because it reveals: There could be no place in this world for an ego to exist, no place for a doer, a speaker or a thinker.
This world of which Dr Shankar explains its evolution is entirely illusory: The whole evolution and sophistication of conciousness, space and time, the five elements, vegetation, animal kingdom and man is totally illusory, because everything is only contained in the mind of man in form of thoughts. And this mind is also illusory, because the thoughts out of which it consists are just sound. And this sound is also illusory, because sound is a manifestation of light. And this light is reflected light and therefore illusory. Only pure light is real. And this is life!
Because the world is illusory, existing only in form of thoughts in the mind, and not real, Dr Shankar’s book is not about the evolution of the world, or what could be contained in this world, but about the “Evolution of Mind”. Evolution and sophistication are only possible in the illusory world of reflected light. Everything wich appears in the illusory world therefore has to be an expression of the one source of life. In this sense even the illusory is one.
Where could there be a place for an ego to exist at all? This understanding wipes out the illusion of a separate existence of an individual. Nothing has ever been born - nothing will ever die. The real, nevertheless, will never be experienced - it is only the illusion, evolving and sophisticating itself spontanously, uncontrollably and unpredictably, which could be experienced and therefore enjoyed. This is the understanding which comes to awaken man out of his dream of thoughts which he takes to be real.
“There has never been an objective being.” - In the revolutionary book “Evolution of Mind” Dr Shankar explains, why. This book removes doubt after doubt and what remains is life - as it is.
Interview with dr. Shankar
Marcus: Hello Dr. Shankar, I’m very glad to meet you here in Amsterdam. You have invited me to make an interview with you, especially about your new book “Evolution of Mind” which will be launched in January 2010. My first question according this book is: “Evolution of Mind” - why do you think that this book is so important for humanity?
Dr. Shankar: Yes - it is important just on the same lines as how important it was when Charles Darwin, the naturalist, professed the evolution by natural selection though it was not accepted at the time of declaration and came to be accepted. So too it is necessary for this book to read and to release it to humanity so that man may know the roots of his mind. Through Charles Darwin’s book “The Evolution of the human species” man has come to understand how he has come to be - his own roots. Man needs to understand the roots of his mind. So that is why it is important that this book has to be in life.
Marcus: What is mind?
Dr. Shankar: That to me is a very good question again. The mind as how man takes it to be is an instrument by which he controls not only his daily life but life per se: life with its science, with its sophistication, with its control with everything is attributed to the mind - meaning man takes mind as an entity which controls life, to be make it short. If that were the case, then Charles Darwin’s evolution of the human species also should be controlled by the mind, but it isn’t. Therefore, the same natural selection, the force of natural selection, also has a role or underlines how the mind functions: It is not mind which functions life; mind is functioned by the natural selection of life. Mind is not the one, which thinks, speaks or does which man takes it to be so. To man, no matter how sophisticated he may be at this present moment, as by the understanding of Charles Darwin is the evolution has come evolved so much that he believes and is convinced to believe that man is the speaker, the thinker and the doer. If he were so, the theory of evolution of Charles Darwin would fall flat to the ground. Man needs to understand that thinking happens to him, speaking happens to him and doing too happens to him and this doing which is actions to man is not a reality, it is just an optical illusion of an action.
Is that clear?
Dr. Shankar: O.k. Shoot.
Marcus: What is the difference between reality and illusion?
Dr. Shankar: Aha, that’s a good question, again. You seem to be asking me very good questions. Reality means “that which does not change, that which is eternal, that which is everywhere” - that is reality meaning that is real. Even in the relative terms of the mind “real” must fit into those categories. Otherwise it is not real. The mind takes an appearance to be real. That is how it is meant it to be to the mind so far. It is life by natural selection that has impregnated the mind to believe and be convinced that the mind is the doer – but it isn’t, o.k?
Dr. Shankar: There you go.
Marcus: Can you explain what difference it makes to understand this for a human being? If a human being understands what you say then he understands, he is not the doer, he is not the speaker and he is not the thinker. So normally man believes, he is doing, speaking and thinking. And what is the difference between somebody who has understood what you say - in daily life?
Dr. Shankar: O.k. First and foremost man should understand, which means, he cannot bring about the understanding; understanding too happens to man in the process of natural selection. Now, you ask me, why it is important. It is important so that man may realize that it is wise to trust life, which brings about a natural selection of evolution and sophistication and it is not man who brings it about. Man cannot bring about evolution or sophistication for the simple reason: the moment, in which he is alive, he does not bring about that moment. Man is alive in the moment in which he is alive; therefore it is life which makes the moment in which he is alive and so too is mind; mind is alive in life as an auditory illusion of sound and not as a physical entity, as is time - time too is not a physical entity in life, it is a thought in the mind. Therefore, the moment you understand or the understanding happens to man, that he neither talks nor speaks nor does - and all three happen to him as an optical and auditory illusion of light and sound - he will be relaxed in life, he will be alive in life, he will not have to worry about what will happen in life, because life happens to him whether he likes it or not. He simply enjoys the life as a witnesser - witnesser means “he who witnesses life happening”, “he who witnesses and understands that life makes life happen and it is not man who makes life happen, least of all through his mind.
Marcus: Sometimes there are happenings in life which man doesn’t like. If I understand you right, this understanding of the illusion of the world leads to being happy even when something happens which I don’t like.
Dr. Shankar: Yes. Whatever man believes happens in life, he beliefs it, it is just a belief to him, but not an understanding. If he understands life, he will realize, nothing happens in life. Life is just a movement of color, light and sound, forms and shapes. An action is an optical illusion, and an auditory illusion in the mind. But man is convinced of an action as a reality. Man needs to understand, that in life neither is time existent nor is anything physically real. There is not anything such as substance in life. Everything, which is known, is not of any substance or reality in life. It is just existent as a thought in his mind. Such is the intelligence of life.
Marcus: If time does not exist, how can the mind evolve?
Dr. Shankar: O.k. - because time does not exist, the mind can evolve or anything else can ever evolve. If time were real - real I have explained to you, real is “that which does not change is eternal and is constant”, which means, nothing can evolve in time, anything can evolve only in illusory time. Only because time is illusion, evolution can happen, too. Evolution that happens is not as a reality, evolution too happens as an illusion. That is why evolution happens in time, that is why mind is in time, because time is a thought in the mind. Evolution can happen only because there is no time. If there were time, the evolution will never happen. Life will not progress it will become static. O.k.?
Dr. Shankar: Are you clear?
Marcus: Yes. What role does science have in this book “Evolution of Mind”? You yourself have worked as a scientist as I know and normally science uses some scientific methods to prove their statements. How do you prove your statements in your the book “Evolution of Mind”?
Dr. Shankar: Very good. See: Science is also a projection of life. It is not man who makes science. Any proof, which is in science, too is illusory and not real. Proof per se is illusory and cannot be real at all. That is the first thing man needs to understand. Therefore even science, which is nothing but facts and data given in time and space and since time does not involve or exist in life, even science per se is illusory. That is the intelligence of life: to convince man, that his life is based on science, which he has brought about. Not at all! Science too is a manifestation of life as a process of light and sound. That is why science too has to be understood as to be illusory too, which means, even facts is an illusion in life. Facts and data are illusory, because neither there is time nor any word exists in life. That is the importance of understanding what science is. Science is nothing but sound in the mind, it is an auditory illusion of facts an data.
Marcus: (Nods his head.)
Dr. Shankar: There you go.
Marcus: So - how do you know what is written in the book?
Dr. Shankar: O.k., now - this is a good question. How do I know? The question will arise if man could bring about something, which he could know. If man happens to know, he happens to know by natural selection. That is the intelligence of life. Now, for example: If you ask an ordinary man what happened yesterday he would know. Now, some people would know what happened last week, some people would know what happened last year and some people may go back to childhood and know that what happened in childhood. To ask them “How do you know?” would be a ridiculous question, because they just know; they can’t do anything about it. Similarly it is about a degree of intelligence which has appeared within man’s mind which can recollect what happens, o.k.?, to some the intelligence has peaked and they are known as the enlightened ones. And you can remember what happens last week; similarly they can remember what has happened to them right to the very beginning of life. And it always happens in the “now”. It is not prehistoric times or past or future – it is always in the “now”. Therefore it’s an amount of... it’s an amount of revelation which happens to you in the “now”. That is all. Not that you have brought that about or that you can take credit for it. It can only be credited to life. It is life, which throws about its explanations that the world is illusory. You must understand, it was life, which has made the world to be real to man as of now, in this century life is proclaiming that the life, which the mind thinks about is illusory and not real – that is why I know. I know it not as an act by Dr. Shankar, I know it, because I came to know it – full stop. And I can’t do anything about it.. (laughs) there you go. Anything else? No? Are you sure? Check your list, if you want to. Give him some more time.
Dr. Shankar: Advaita means “not two”. Dvaita means “two”. The world appears as two, but is actually one. That is why it is called Advaita. Advaita means not two, not two means: not even one as a number - it is just oneness. That is why it is called Advaita Publications. That’s all. It is just a name. Nothing more than that. Just to indicate to man, that in life everything is one, there is no separation in life. And science has made it easier for us to understand that, too. That is why life has given science to man. Science has proved that everything what you see, the known, is nothing but energy. Energy is just the same everywhere. And energy is nothing but light, light is just one. So Advaita means “just light”.
Marcus: Can you explain a little bit deeper how it happens that for a normal man it does not seem to be oneness...
Dr. Shankar: (laughs)
Marcus: ...there are always two.
Dr. Shankar: That question would take me at least one month to explain as to how man has been convinced about. It is the entire evolution and sophistication. You read the book and you will come to know.
Dr. Shankar: That’s the intelligence of life, to convince the mind.
Marcus: I will read the book.
Dr. Shankar: Yes, Sir, then that will be an appropriate question, not otherwise. It is important for you to understand, since you have come to interview me, that in life there is no time, in life there is no word, in life there is no individual, in life there is no mind. Mind is off life. Mind is a reflection of life. Time is a reflection of life existing, as a thought in the mind and a thought is nothing but sound. All there is in life light and sound. And this light and sound projects an optical illusion through your visual acuity and an auditory illusion in the mind. Therefore mind is nothing but sound, not a physical entity in life.
Marcus: So there is no point in listening to the mind in daily life, is it?
Dr. Shankar: Yes. There is no point to listen to it in daily life, because life will happen whether you like it or not. Life is not dependent on the mind to conduct it or to unfold it. Understand it is not the mind, which makes the first moment in which you are alive. Mind never makes the moment or anything else, which follows the moment. Mind is just an entertainment to keep the illusory individual to be involved in life... thinking to be involved in life. It just keeps him entertained till his time comes for man to pass away from life. It is a show Marcus it is a nice show of light and sound. Enjoy the show. Thank you for coming for this interview. That will be all, ladies and gentlemen.