Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD. PhD
Published on www.acadun.com
16th February 2010
“Interview by Iain McNay“
Iain McNay: Hello, and welcome to conscious.tv again. My name is Iain McNay and our guest today is Dr. Vijai Shankar. Hello Vijai.
Dr. Shankar: Good morning.
Iain McNay: And you‘ve written lots of books, I‘m very impressed. I‘ve been reading one myself which is “Absolute Understanding“ and here you have “The Power of Illusion“, “Illusions of Life“, the latest one: “Evolution of Mind“. So you are very active in writing, I think, you have written nine books and this “Absolute Understanding“- series is gonna be 60 books.
Dr. Shankar: That‘s correct.
Iain McNay: There‘s a lot to say, it seems.
Dr. Shankar: There is, there is, because man has known a lot. So there is lot to say to inform man, that what he has known is not validaded, whether it is real or illusory. Man keeps a lip service that the world is illusory, but he doesn‘t understand. If it is so, the known too should be illusory. And I reckon, it requires more than these 60 volumes to make him understand: the known, no matter how intelligent or revered it may be, nevertheless it is illusory.
Iain McNay: Are you saying that all known is illusory?
Dr. Shankar: All known, no matter how revered, how scientific, or daily talk - anything that is known in the mind is illusory. Man has to understand: What is “illusory“? What‘s the meaning of “illusory“? What‘s the definition of “illusory“?
Iain McNay: Well, let‘s start there.
Dr. Shankar: “Illusory” does not mean that it doesn‘t exist. It exists, of course, but it doesn‘t exist in the way the mind says it does.
Iain McNay: O.k. So explain that more.
Dr. Shankar: “Illusory” means: The known, or what man perceives or recognizes, is an illusion, a reflection of light, not of substance or an actuality; be it an action, be it anything which is known.
Iain McNay: So, when you look at me, what do you see?
Dr. Shankar: Now, when I look at you, man is convinced, not only at you, when he looks at anything, he believes he sees it. For example, I don‘t believe that I see you, because the function of the eye is not to see, the function of the eye is to receive reflected light-rays. Only light-rays enter our eyeball, that‘s our pupil. So, light which enters our eyes somehow travels to the optic nerve and reaches the occipital lobe and it get‘s converted into words. So man thinks what he sees not sees what he sees. Man should understand: He experiences a world of thoughts, not a world of actuality. The world of actuality is an illusion, an optical illusion. And the known is an auditory illusion of sound. You may have questions, of course you will have questions. Man has questions, because his mind has evolved to a certain degree, is sophisticated. A lot of known has been lost in the mind and it will question, of course, and there is no end of our questioning. The questions will go on sophisticating and so too, the answers will go on sophisticating, but no matter how sophisticated an answer will be or no matter how intelligent an answer could be, nevertheless man will not be contented or happy or at ease with life, you see? So man needs to understand how life has convinced him to believe that man is the doer, man is the speaker and man is the thinker. Man should realize that his ego or individuality does nothing to see; it does nothing to hear sounds; it does nothing to smell; the ego does nothing to taste; it does nothing to bring about a sensation of touch. So man should ponder, or rather, man should enquire rather than question. If man questions, an answer will come to him, either from externally or from internally. And whatever answers his mind gives him is the answers he likes. So question-and-answer-phenomena limits man, it cocoons him, it limits him, it stagnates him within his own answers, within his own beliefs. While on the other hand, if man begins to enquire...
Iain McNay: What does “enquire” mean?
Dr. Shankar: Good. “Enquire” is not synonymous with “questioning”. When you enquire... an enquiry happens to you, you can‘t do it. And when it happens you leave behind your believes, your known; you ponder over an area to listen. Enquiry brings about listening, in such a way that listening is not included in a parameter of time or space or beliefs. It keeps on deepening itself, whereas an answer doesn‘t deepen itself, it keeps man superficial in his mind - an enquiry brings forth an understanding, whereas questioning brings forth an answer which limits man within his mind. An enquiry invites man into life.
Iain McNay: When you say “pondering” you are talking about more time in looking why you see something or hear something in a certain way?
Dr. Shankar: I‘m not indicating that pondering requires time or enquiry requires time. Enquiry and pondering happens and brings man in a no-time-state. Man has to realise that life is timeless. And the scientist and science have come forward to that point to realise, time does not exist in life. If you have heard or logged on to internet, a gentleman called Julian Barbour - have you heard about him?
Iain McNay: I haven‘t, no.
Dr. Shankar: He’s a scientist himself, he is an astrophysicist. I just met him last week and I have happened to come across a wonderful YouTube-clip of him. The YouTube-clip was done in Holland by a Dutch group wherein he declared - a scientist I‘m talking about - “Time is illusory, it does not exist in life.” Man needs to understand that.
Iain McNay: How did you get to this point. I know that you were originally a medical doctor and then you were doing some scientific work. How did you actually come to this realisation?
Dr. Shankar: I understand this question “how”. Man always likes to know “how”, “How he did it?”, “How did he get it?”
Iain McNay: Of course!
Dr. Shankar: I will tell you: I don‘t know, because I was like any other man, too: engrossed in medicine. And medicine took me to a point where I knew I was not curing people, they used to get cured. I was so certain, it is not medicine which cures man, because medicines do not bring about illness. Man thinks he cured it by taking medicine. He did not take it, the medicine did, so medicine must be the doer, but medicine hasn‘t got any mind. And medicine (profession) brought me to a state to realise: No no no, man just can‘t be doing this. So I switched on to science and life took me to a very depths of science, at a nano-level: I used to work in a single cell using concentrations of liquids at nano-molar, so I saw life at a very minute scale in the microscope and there is no mind there. I was interpreting what‘s happening there with my mind, whereas multifaceted process was going on in single cell. It has no mind of its own.
Iain McNay: Right.
Dr. Shankar: And that made me realise: Hey, our hole bodies are made up of billions of cells which have no individual minds of its own. So I knew: It‘s much far greater than that. So I reflected upon and it came to me just as it did to Descrartes and Isaac Newton was trying to figure out in the 16th century about light, how they are engrossed with light. Then I came to realise - and not “How?”, it just happened to me - that the whole world is nothing but an optical illusion and an auditory illusion of light and sound. And when I flipped back on all the scriptures, that‘s exactly what the enlightened beings were saying - that “life is a play of light and sound and not of actuality”. And everything fell into place; I didn‘t do anything, it just happened, like everything else in life just happens. It’s just a gestalt, a shift of consciousness: from the mind into life.
Iain McNay: And how did that change your human side.
Dr. Shankar: The way it changed my human side is: Life was the same; it never changed. The change that happened was: Everything is perfect. And no matter what man believes, it‘s all perfect. No matter what man says about his mind, it‘s perfect; that‘s the degree of understanding which has happened to each one. Do you follow me? I have any compassion; I don‘t blame anybody nor like or dislike. What can he do, or what can anybody do? That‘s how he is. A plant doesn‘t complain to the next plant: “Hey, I don‘t like you, get away!” An animal does not say to another animal through language “I don‘t like you, get away!”. No, it‘s only man who uses words and languages. And he separates himself from life. He has to realise: He is life. Just how a plant has evolved, just how animals have evolved, man too evolves. Evolution is just singular. It all happens, very intelligent: a play of light and sound.
Iain McNay: But doesn‘t it also come up the fundamental point is where man sees as his reference point and it‘s true, I know from my experience, if I’m stuck in my mind, that I‘m a separate individual, “I want to get this” and “I don’t want to experience or feel that” - then I‘m gonna have ongoing battles in my mind, but then, if I‘m willing to just relax - this is my own words - and allow something bigger to be there, the little “Me” will get smaller and there’s a more interconnectedness somehow. And as I say that, I‘m also thinking that it’s just we’ve had this terrible earthquake in Haiti and it’s very difficult there, people are in a situation where they have no home, their relatives are dead or they are injured and have no food, so it’s very difficult to see that life is perfect then.
Dr. Shankar: O.k. I’ll take the last part of the question and come back to the first part. Oh, let me take the first part. Are you sure that your experience is not an actuality but just a thought in the mind? - number one. Number two: Are you very certain or do you have any adequate proof that you instigate the process of thinking, that you can think, or does thoughts just happen to you? I’ll come on to that point. The last part of the question about Haiti: That “they are suffering and that they are this and that” - o.k. I want to ask you another question: Do you mean to tell me that any man in the western world, surrounded by every comfort and security you can imagine that money can buy - is he, in every moment, contented, peaceful without any thought of worry, anxiety, fear.
Iain McNay: They are the most desperate. The people who have anything are the most desperate, because they see they have everything and it doesn‘t work.
Dr. Shankar: So what’s the point in talking about Haiti, “Oh, they are suffering”, they are happy.
Iain McNay: No.
Dr. Shankar: Do you notice that people who are under the rubble for two weeks and they come out laughing?
Iain McNay: Well, there was one guy and he wasn‘t exactly starving, because he had food down and he had water.
Dr. Shankar: No, there are many people, too. Keep a man who is well endowed with knowledge two days under a rubble and look at his state of mind. So, even in Haiti, it is a process of evolution, it‘s what‘s meant to be. Now look at it, let’s not conclude very quickly. Man concludes in his mind, he is not patient enough to watch. Now watch carefully how many countries will come to Haiti, develop that country: hospitals will be built, schools will be built, banks will come, industries will come, everything happens for the better. For the construction to happen, there has to be a destruction. Even we have come out in this developed world because much disaster too has happened much before. Reflect upon prehistoric times: It is a process of life.
Iain McNay: I understand that.
Dr. Shankar: There you go, it’s not any mind which brings about Haiti earthquake, it’s not mind which brings about an earthquake. If it’s man who is the doer, he should stop an earthquake happening. He can’t, it’ll happen; in many ways an earthquake will happen. Earthquake can be by a natural cause, earthquake can also be because of bombardment: You can bomb a place and create an earthquake, can’t you?
Iain McNay: But what happens with you, when you see people suffering? Does it bring up feelings at all?
Dr. Shankar: When people suffer, I have any compassion for them because they have not understood: they suffer in their mind, not in life. That‘s the understanding that has just happened to them. There is no suffering in life at all. Suffering is just a thought in the mind.
Iain McNay: But if you have pain, physical pain, this could be quite challenging.
Dr. Shankar: O.k., now you can be surprised to find out: In wars, people are shooting bullets at each other, they may face bombs, there are soldiers whose legs get blown up and they don‘t have pain at that moment at all, unless somebody points out “Hey, you‘ve lost your foot”. And then pain grasps him. He may be even shot by the bullet, he won‘t feel the pain
Iain McNay: Now, this is in shock to start with. After they feel the pain.
Dr. Shankar: After, but not instantly.
Iain McNay: No, because you‘re in shock.
Dr. Shankar: That pain, too, is a thought in mind. I will tell you something: I have seen ladies coming and giving birth to babies in villages, removed part of Africa and removed part of India, with no pain at all; at all! And I go a few miles away into the city or township where there a thought is there in the head “Oh, a child‘s birth is very painful”, she is in screaming of pain. So, pain too is a thought in the mind. Of course, those questions will be there “What to do about pain, physical pain, mental pain?” Man doesn‘t understand that physical and mental both are mental. You should go to the roots and to find out, where this all started: How did this auditory illusion of sound as pain came into man’s mind? First and foremost - I will give you an opportunity, I will tell you a question. First and foremost, man has to be clear in his mind, if there is an action in life or not. If you allow me to explain to me to you, how an action is not there in life, an action is merely an optical illusion, then I think, an understanding will begin to happen to mankind, because man is convinced, life is filled with actions, man is convinced that he has plenty to do every day and yet he wants trust. That is not gonna happen at all, unless man is clear that an action is an optical illusion and how it came about. An optical illusion has convinced man of a reality. If you are prepared to listen to me, I will explain it, if you are not, we will go for the next question. The choice is yours.
Iain McNay: No, the choice is yours. You do the explanation.
Dr. Shankar: Wonderful O.k., this may take some time in inverted commas. Now listen! Man has done many lip service: In scriptural places, in places of so called spiritual settings, he accepts and he preaches that life is illusory or rather the world is illusory. And I‘m sure you have heard that, too, undoubtedly.
Iain McNay: I‘ve heard it many times.
Dr. Shankar: There you go. And you also must have observed: No one has explained to you: Why is it illusory? They‘ve just accepted that it is an illusion, but they go outside and say “I‘ve got to drive my car. I got to go here.“ Hey, come on, everything is real to you. Everything is not an illusion to you. O.k.? Now let‘s listen carefully. Science has proved and you know it, too, and every man knows it, too, that the fundamental building blocks of life is energy. Be it at the micro-level or the macro-end-of-life - there is only energy. You breake down a table, a flower, an animal, a human being - no matter what - go down to the minimal building blocks of each: You‘ll end up in energy. And that energy - you must have learnt it too as being atoms, electrons, neutrons and protons. And further down if you divide, you go to quarks, super quarks, bosons and now man is trying to find out what‘s called Higgs particles. That’s in Switzerland a place called CERN a great degree of research is going on. So basically either the micro-end-of-life or the macro-end-of-life which is outer space is nothing but energy.
Iain McNay: Yes.
Dr. Shankar: There you go. But what is energy? Can you break energy further down... even as Higgs particles Brake it down further. You will eventually end up into light, pure light; that‘s what it is. Therefore, the light which we see is reflected light, not pure light. Therefore life is nothing but pure light. This pure light you can call intelligence, you can call it god, you can call it whatever you want - the word doesn‘t matter - all that man needs to understand is: Everything has originated from light, because: If it‘s an illusion, what could be an illusion? It has to be a reflection, nothing of substance. And light‘s property is to reflect. Therefore light initially reflected an optical illusion of five elements - I won‘t go into detail of it, but everything is in the book “Evolution of Mind” - the next what life reflected was the five elements. The five elements sophisticated and evolved as vegetation - all as optical illusion, don‘t forget! - are you following, Iain?
Iain McNay: I‘m following perfectly.
Dr. Shankar: Excellent. So after a vegetation came, next came an optical illusion of animals; how animals came from vegetation too is explained - I go into detail of it, but I won‘t go into it now, I want to drive home the point of “action”. After an optical illusion of animal came, an optical illusion of man came too. Within man had a mind. Mind was present even in animals, even in the vegetation, even in the five elements, even in reflected light: in a rudimentary form. Mind started to come to man‘s stature and here the mind has to be sophisticated to convince man that he is a doer, speaker and a thinker. O.k.? Now, a stage was set, as an optical illusion of a human being. Now within this human being there was a mind too, but his mind needed to be activated. So, how was his mind activated? There was an optical illusion external to him, an optical illusion of vegetation as well as mountains, the sea or whatever it was there in the rudimentary states. O.k.? Now, one by one, that which was external to man was an optical illusion, meaning the basic nature of the illusion was light. Light-rays from what is external entered man‘s eyes. Once it entered man‘s eyes, it formed an image within his mind. You follow me?
Iain McNay: (nods)
Dr. Shankar: O.k. And the image which was an external illusion formed an image in man‘s mind; one by one by one over evolutionary time; it was a very meticulous process of life. I can go into it meticulously but it would take a long time, so I will cut it short. First the external world formed into man‘s mind as images, images, images o.k.? Next, after the external world he came close to his body: slowly an image of hand, his feet, his hair started forming images in his mind, very meticulously. I just take the example of a hand, because man is concerned of action because his hand is involved in it; so he is concerned about hand. When the hand was formed as an image within man‘s mind - it happened to him suddenly, just as a flash, he did not recognize it, because he didn‘t have any mind to recognize it; just an image was formed, that‘s all: once, and then after some time, another flash of a hand. So the image of hand kept on appearing in his mind until he recognized, visually, “Ha, image of hand”. And then, these images started coming to him in very regular intervals, so for he was familiar with hand. And when the other hand also happened to him, he could see two images now. So, when the both hands met, like this (claps with his hands) that too was an image, so he started walking like this (puts his hands together) so he saw his two hands and recognises this, and so man was sure that he could touch both his hands. You follow what I‘m saying to you?
Iain McNay: Well, I understand what you are saying.
Dr. Shankar: Man needs to understand how the illusion was formed in his mind which he recognises outside as a reality. Otherwise there is no chance, Iain, no chance for man; he will be stuck in his mind. Therefore: Slowly and meticulously man began to understand: All his movements started to form as images in his mind; the images started to gather speed and the speed made an action out of a movement - not that man was not moving without his mind, man was moving, because he was after all an optical illusion governed by light. Therefore over evolutionary time, man became convinced of an action, because his hand is to move and pick up water that was there in front of him and bring it about. And then these images further transformed as sound - sound is nothing but light-waves themselves, because sound-waves exist as waves; light exists as waves; sound is nothing but light at a lower speed. Man knows the speed of reflected light, but there are many forms of light the speed of man has not measured as yet, like for example ultraviolet-waves and infrared-waves are also light, but it’s not measured in speed. Therefore there are many speeds of light; even our speech is nothing but speed of light which appears as sound. So eventually these images in man‘s mind evolved and transformed as sound and the sound evolved and transformed as words. What I’m speaking to you is not English language, it’s just sounds which in his mind transforms as an English language. If the English language was real, even a Chinese man will understand it; he doesn‘t. When an Indian man speaks it’ll just be a sound to you. To an African man this will not be an English language it’ll just be sound. So man makes sound which appears to a sophisticated mind as a language.
Iain McNay: Yes... I just want to ask you something.
Dr. Shankar: Go ahead.
Iain McNay: How is life, if you are not stuck in the mind, if you are not governed by the mind, how is life, how is that for you?
Dr. Shankar: Just as it is to anybody. It’s just as it is to my intelligent mind, too. I watch my body moving, I watch my mind thinking and everything which is happening.
Iain McNay: O.k. I start to get it - quite fascinating that - so you watch your mind; you watch your body moving, so who is watching the body moving and watching the mind?
Dr. Shankar: I knew this question will come; I will tell you. Now, man is not alert and awake of his body; he is not alert and awake of his mind. There are numerous movements a body makes in a day; in fact, it always moves; there is no moment when the body is still. And mind that the body is never still. It was never still from the moment when it came out from the mothers maternal tract until it goes to his grave; even in his grave he will be moving, even before he was conceived he was moving, he was moving as a sperm or as mother‘s ova and the sperm and the ova were moving as the food which they ate - man is in constant movement. So, when man becomes alert and aware he begins to just be fascinated that his body is always moving and also his thoughts keep on moving. So he becomes a witness to his body; he becomes a witness to his mind moving; thoughts coming into him, he doesn‘t do anything about it at all. Now, it (thoughts) comes to a very sophisticated man too, he is very scientific, he is very revered, but he must observe, though the body moves every moment, words do not happen every moment. Words happen in man‘s mind intermittently. This point, man should understand, why? He just believes that he speaks, but he has not observed “Hey, speaking happens to me intermittently and I don‘t know what the next word will be or when I will speak any word for that matter, nor can I detect precisely when my body will move or not move.” And about these man is at a loss, but he takes credit that he can move...
Iain McNay: My question is still there.
Dr. Shankar: Ah, your question is still there. I’ll come to it; not finished it. Did you understand so far?
Iain McNay: I understand perfectly.
Dr. Shankar: Very good. Now I’ll give you a question: Why doesn’t words or thoughts happen to man every moment? Why not? Our body moves every moment, but thoughts don‘t happen to you every moment. Sometimes man is quiet, sometimes he is talking, sometimes thoughts are there. Thoughts are nothing but internal speaking and speaking is nothing but external thoughts – that’s all. But why doesn’t it happen every moment? I will tell you, why? Only certain wavelengths of sound waves have evolved and sophisticated as words; there are wavelengths of sound which does not transform as words. And those are the instances where thoughts and words are absent; not that sound is absent when words don‘t happen; sound waves are there, but they have not sophisticated and evolved as words. Therefore that creates a deception to man that he can speak, he can think when he wants to think and he does not know that he cannot think. Man has not enquired “Hey, speaking suddenly happens and no speaking also suddenly happens and I have no choice over it.” That’s why I watch life; “watch” means, I simply witness everybody engrossed in their minds thinking that they are doing, but totally oblivious that the body keeps on moving. The mind makes vague statements and considers that vague statements as an actuality. For example, I‘ll tell you: Can you shake my hand?
Iain McNay: Shake your hand?
Dr. Shankar: Yeah, can you?
Iain McNay: Of course. (Shakes his hand.)
Dr. Shankar: Thank you, Sir. But what does your mind tell you? Your mind says “Ha, I heard “Shake my hand” and I shook Dr. Shankar‘s hand and of course I‘m the doer and I‘m the thinker...”
Iain McNay: No, it was as spontaneous action. There wasn‘t much of a thought present in this.
Dr. Shankar: And how would you conclude this was a spontaneous action? This is how you conclude it: If you observe it, you will notice, your mind never knew, when that hand should move forward nor does it direct a hand at every state...
Iain McNay: I know, the hand almost moves itself.
Dr. Shankar: Exactly. And it never tells you when to release the grip and how to come back.
Iain McNay: That’s right, it happens.
Dr. Shankar: Yeah, if you are sure that happened, likewise everything too happens. What happens? Not actions - a singular, spontaneous movement which is uncontrollable, unpredictable...
Iain McNay: Yes.
Dr. Shankar: Ah, that’s what life is.
Iain McNay: But research on the brain – I’m sure, you know - shows that actions happen before the thought-process happens. It’s a tiny, just millipart of a second.
Dr. Shankar: Exactly. What science must understand is: Even “brain” is a thought and not a physical entity.
Iain McNay: I still wanna get back to my question: Who is the one that is watching, and hearing and seeing and has no mind, who is that?
Dr. Shankar: He is not an individual, an individual who thinks he is a speaker, a doer and a thinker - he sees, if he claims that, it‘s only the ego that is convinced that it can speak, it can think and it can act. He is the one who watches. And he is very clear...
Iain McNay: And this is where you’re living?
Dr. Shankar: That‘s where everyone is living, not only me.
Iain McNay: But your are conscious of that, or, there is a consciousness of that.
Dr. Shankar: Not consciousness – I’m aware.
Iain McNay: Awareness.
Dr. Shankar: I‘m alert and aware. If you think “I am” is an individual...
Iain McNay: O.k., I wanted just pursue my question. Is that something - allow me using my own language; this is the best I can do - is that something that was spontaneous when it happened and then grew, or was it something that happened and suddenly everything was different in some way?
Dr. Shankar: That’s a good question. Under recollection - if you can use that word “recollection” - I simply realise, everything was happening even when I thought, I was doing. That just deepened.
Iain McNay: It’s an incredible realisation.
Dr. Shankar: It just cemented and it will happen to everyone. Nobody can do anything about it to bring it about for the mere fact, I did not do anything at all. If anybody claims that he has done, he is a doer and that‘s false; it is still a deception.
Iain McNay: And did you notice your human side changing from that point, or did your wife or the people around you noticed you were changing?
Dr. Shankar: That was my human change that was my humanity. I never had a recollection “Oh, I did not do before, now I’m doing now.” No what was my change was that and I can‘t do anything about it. If I was something before, it was before, whatever it was.
Iain McNay: Yes, now I understand. What is the change in your human persona?
Dr. Shankar: I don’t feel any change; I‘m just living. If at all any change is there, it is for the observer, not for me, not to me. I’m just living.
Iain McNay: What happens with emotions like anger and sadness and compassion. As you said earlier, you will feel compassion sometimes if you see somebody in a difficult situation.
Dr. Shankar: (laughs) Compassion is just an understanding. Compassion is “He has not understood and he will; understanding will happen to him.” Anger: I just see it as a movement; that‘s all. When a raging river flows by, why doesn’t man say “It’s a very angry river”? And just like an angry river man moves around and screams and shouts - what a wonderful phenomena it is...
Iain McNay: But do you scream and shout sometimes?
Dr. Shankar: If I do, people know about it.
Iain McNay: (laughs) Do you scream and shout sometimes?
Dr. Shankar: How could I know? I’m not doing it now.
Iain McNay: Does screaming and shouting happen in your body sometimes?
Dr. Shankar: If it happens, people will tell me.
Iain McNay: (laughs)
Dr. Shankar: Regi, do I scream and shout?
Iain McNay: (laughs) She can’t hear you now.
Dr. Shankar: If you see me now and you hear me screaming and shouting, you can say “Yes, Dr. Shankar, you scream, you shout - wonderful!” Now, you can‘t hypothesize “Do I, do you do this, do I, do you do that...” If I would do it, I can’t help it; that’s what it is; that‘s how life is. That’s how expressive life is: Life is a small river, a raging river, a thunderstorm, a lightning, an avalanche... Everything will happen to man, too. Man is nothing but made up of the entire elements of cosmos. Man is nothing but a mini cosmos. Let me put it that way. Man is not separate from animals or vegetation. He is everything included now. He is a man, he is an animal, he is a vegetation - all transformed: A vegetation and an animal looks like a man now. Are you clear about that?... If man thinks, he is just a man, he is deluded. He is how five element, vegetation and animal looks now. Everything is here. If animal was separate from man, man could not be present. He just cannot, just cannot, just cannot. Everything is within him. This is how he looks now. This is how an animal and a tree and the five elements look now; that is life’s brilliance.
Iain McNay: (nods) Do you feel that consciousness is evolving?
Dr. Shankar: Of course it is evolving. It is so simple. Look back, look back, man was primitive, he was in ice-age, he was in cave-age. He has evolved so far and life will evolve further, too. The future is right here. Man should understand: The past, the present and the future is in the “Now”; not separate from each other. The past, future or present, realm of time do not exist, what exists is a timeless, thoughtless “Now”. This timeless, thoughtless “Now” projects an auditory illusion of past, present and future. If you are alert enough, which I’m sure you are, I’m sure you have understood quite a bit - man can only say about an event after it has happened, not before that and not during that, too.
Iain McNay: I can feel something as it happens, now I can feel an energy, an aliveness, or the opposite, I can fell a contraction. I can feel something!
Dr. Shankar: O.k. Every word of that, examine every word you have used: You can only get that word from your mind.
Iain McNay: (excited) No, I can feel something! I know it. It’s not just my mind. An interpretation is my mind. But I still have the feeling of something.
Dr. Shankar: O.k. Even the feeling is a thought in the mind.
Iain McNay: No, there is an energy. You know what: energy!
Dr. Shankar: (both are laughing) You can’t feel energy, because you are energy. Energy cannot feel energy, Mr Iain. That’s the deception which life’s intelligence has given to man to think that he can feel energy - he can‘t when he himself...
Iain McNay: But there’s an awareness of it...
Dr. Shankar: That’s a way of communication... an awareness, too... when you are energy, how can you be aware? We use the word “to be aware” and “to know” very erroneously. Man is not aware, he just knows. If you are aware, you will realise, there‘s a singular movement in life: Everything simply moves and the mind too simply moves - that‘s awareness, that‘s “You are aware.” But you just know, periodically some words. That is not awareness.
Iain McNay: No, I’m talking about feeling something.
Dr. Shankar: Do you feel the same thing every moment of your life?
Iain McNay: Of course not.
Dr. Shankar: Therefore you’re not aware, no. You know it. That’s all. If you are aware, that awareness will be constant every moment, because that awareness is real. And now I‘ll show you the definition of “real”: What do you think, the definition of “real” is? “Real” is something which does not change, is everywhere and eternal, meaning, it is not in time and space. That is real. Everything which changes - that is not real. Therefore: If you are aware intermittently and not at other times, that awareness was not real, it was just knowledge. Once you become aware and if this aware is real, it’ll be, that every moment I’m aware how this body moves, I’m amazed that it moves and I’m grateful that it moves. When it doesn’t move, people tell me, I am dead, not knowing what death is. Even in death life is present. If life was not present in death, death would not be present as death. Even in death there is life. There is no death at all in life. If death was a reality in life, life will end in one point in time. Life is endless and beginless. Therefore even death is illusory, Mr. Iain. Death will happen to every man as an evolutionary process as a transformation process of energy. Death is not an actuality; death is just a transformation, he goes back into five elements and he’ll appear again. Every day in the night when you go to bed - when you wake up the next day, you’re one day older. You follow what I‘m saying to you? You‘re not the same Iain who wakes up the next day. In fact you‘re not the same Iain any moment. Every moment you‘re changing. Your hair grows shorter or longer, your nails growing somewhere; you’re not the same physical identical. Man is never identical in any moment. Every moment man is unique. Unique! His thoughts are unique; his understanding is unique; his stature is unique; his appearance is unique. But in the mind of the observer - he says “Oh, that is Iain.” He goes back into believes, his concepts, his conclusions, his opinions of Iain; he looks at his opinions, but not at the real Iain which is in front of him. Therefore death means: One day you don’t move, you don’t speak. That‘s all what is death. And then you wake up somewhere in a smaller body – that’s all. Nobody can say where. Death to me is just a change of postal adress. Man has to be patient. He goes in his journey, but once he has completed this process of thinking, then he comes no more. Once he has realised his true nature, he becomes eternal. You follow me?
Iain McNay: (nods)
Dr. Shankar: There you go. But until then, this drama of dialogue, of stories and the known will go on: this drama of man being the doer, the thinker and the speaker. And every conversation man has in every moment of the day convinces him of a doer, speaker and a thinker. Observe your conversations every day. How much you are convinced that you‘re doing it. For example your own TV-studio: How much you are convinced that you have done many things for example all those arrangements that we did: colour, this, that. How much man is convinced, but he is not aware that it is all a singular movement. He is lost in his thoughts; he is lost in his knowledge; he is lost in his auditory illusion of sound. Are you following me?
Iain McNay: I am following you. We have about five minutes left. I want to ask you something else.
Dr. Shankar: Was it interesting to you?
Iain McNay: It was interesting and it still is interesting to me.
Dr. Shankar: Wonderful.
Iain McNay: I want to ask you about silence.
Dr. Shankar: O.k.
Iain McNay: How is silence for you?
Dr. Shankar: Silence - you can never say how it is to anybody, because silence is silence. Nobody can say anything in silence. When you silent, you are silence, you become silence and if you think how silence is, you are not silence, you are just lesser noise, that’s all. Less quietness - man mistakes it for silence. You are silent every moment, Iain, it’s just that you have not realised it.
Iain McNay: How is that silence in your life? Do you feel silent most of the time?
Dr. Shankar: See, if you become silence, there is not anybody else apart from that silence. There is only silence and you can‘t say “Oh, I was in that silence”. You just realise that you are silence; you can’t bring it about in words. You are silence, full stop. You can’t express silence.
Iain McNay: Do you feel silence often?
Dr. Shankar: See: Every feeling is a thought. I don’t feel it. I am silence.
Iain McNay: And you’re aware of it.
Dr. Shankar: There you go.
Iain McNay: There is awareness of silence.
Dr. Shankar: There you go and from this silence – you’re aware - sound comes up...
Iain McNay: So this is a reference point: That you‘re aware of and things, sound and light emerge from that reference point?
Dr. Shankar: There is silence and from this silence you just listen, hear the sound coming out; sound get’s transformed into words and goes out... I‘ll tell you one example, maybe then you will understand. Whenever there are talks arranged for me to address people, I normally tell them “If anybody has a question, please raise your hand, and then I will address you.” Why I say this, is: People normally ask questions together; everybody starts talking together, talking, talking, talking. And when everybody starts talking, it’s nothing but a jumble of sound for me. I cannot convert those sounds into... it doesn’t appear as words to me, it‘s just sound. For example: When you walk into a room where there‘s a party going on, when you enter that room, do you listen to that conversation or is it just sound: “Rrrrrrrrrrrr...”? It‘s just sound when you enter that room filled with people. And when you confront another man and speak to him then his sound becomes audible to you and meaningful to you, otherwise not. It‘s just a plethora of sound - that‘s exactly what I feel when people talk together, I just watch it and admire the sound. And if somebody addresses me and talks to me singularly his wavelengths of sound come into me forms a meaning, forms a word and then I respond to him and I forget... that‘s the end of story for me: I don‘t carry it forward or backward, nothing at all. I hear the sound, “Ah, comes to me as I see” and I watch the response happening - end of story - whatever he concludes about me is his problem not mine.
Iain McNay: O.k. thank you. We need to finish now.
Dr. Shankar: Thank you very much.
Iain McNay: I want to thank you for coming along and talking to us here. And I remind people of all these words of wisdom you have here in these books here. I mean “Evolution of Mind“ was your latest
Dr. Shankar: And it will be very difficult for people to understand the book, if they go through their believes - then you will never get it. That‘s how it’s meant to be!
Iain McNay: Thank you for coming and to see us here.
Dr. Shankar: You’re welcome!
Iain McNay: And thanks to everyone for watching conscious.tv and I hope we see you again soon.
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