Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
The Netherlands

16th September 2016


“Is doing possible?”


Man believes that doing is possible and that doing results in the thing that gets done. The fact that modern man has a name further strengthens his belief that because his doing results in the done, he is the doer that gets the doing done. 

The enlightened have indicated that man is not the doer. The enlightened, however, affirm that the doing is present, albeit illusory. How could this understanding bring clarity to the conditioned mind?

The point to begin this understanding is the name. Man is known by his name.

Man, however, is not born with a name. Man is given a name after his birth. Therefore, the doing is done by a man or woman who has been given a name.

A name has profound implications. It signifies that since name is given to man and woman and they do not know their own names by themselves, it only implies that even the first man on earth needs to be given a name and cannot have a name by himself. So who could give name to the first man on earth? No one could have, is the obvious answer by logic and reason. 

Deep logic and reason indicate that a name for the first man or woman has evolved and so too memory of his or her name. Therefore, memory of names has evolved in memory of the modern mind and the modern man and woman, as well, get their names as a process of evolution. It appears to the mind, though, that a name has been chosen by parents for their child.

Although primitive man did not have a name, he was nevertheless doing. He would not otherwise have survived and neither would modern man have been procreated.

This understanding signifies that doing was happening to primitive man as a process in evolution, whether he had a name or not. Doing still continues to happen to modern man as a process of sophisticated evolution and the doing is neither dependent on his name nor is it dependent on him being a doer.

Man has no control over evolution and he, therefore, cannot control his intellect, which is dependent on evolution. The intellect evolves his physical ability to move and man does not control his physical ability to move. If a name or man is able to control his physical ability, he would be able to do any doing he wants, wishes or desires, but he cannot. This is evident because all cannot do what some can do. This implies that doing happens to man and man cannot do the doing.

Therefore, the enlightened affirmation that doing is present indicates that doing is a movement in the moment. The enlightened have also proclaimed that what is meant to happen will happen and anything that happens is albeit illusory and not real.

Thus, doing is not possible by man because a movement is not possible by man. A movement happens for man by life due to evolution and man does not make a movement in life by himself for himself. A movement in life happens to him as a process in evolution.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2016

Editor’s Note:
In a tale from classical literature, after Odysseus had put out the single eye of the giant Cyclops, he told him that his name was No-one. When Cyclops called his fellow Cyclopes for help they came rushing to his cave and asked: ‘Who is harming you?’  He answered ‘No-one is harming me.’ They went away annoyed at having been woken from their sleep. Man in his turn is conditioned to believe that a named doer is an integral part of an action performed. The enlightened awaken us to the remarkable process of evolution in life, whether we like or not.
Julian Capper, U,K   

German Translator’s Note:
Parents think that their child is a doer and its actions are under the child’s control. The name given is certainly a significant part of this belief. If the child had no personal name like objects, the belief that a child or a grown up is a doer, would be less strong. The same applies to animals. Wild animals without a name are less imagined to fulfill intentional actions compared to a dog for example bearing a name given by the owner. This wise article by Dr. Shankar helps us to ponder this phenomenon deeply and to understand the nameless, spontaneous, uncontrollable flow of life better and better. Gratitude is what remains.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany

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