Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
03th August 2010
Every man and woman becomes harnessed in their life-time to driving questions such as ‘why?’, ‘how?’, ‘when?’. Such questions acquire urgency and are powered by determination and ambition – classic hallmarks of ego – determination to know and ambition to succeed.
Life becomes a competition in which time becomes a major determinant – a race against time, one might say. Few would deny that this is so.
In order to relieve himself or herself from the stress of such a way of life, man, not surprisingly, searches for remedies. There is no shortage of those on offer, most respected among them being knowledge.
Knowledge is the hallmark of a sophisticated human mind, with conditioned, driving questions such as ‘why?’, ‘how?’, ‘when?’. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the hallmark of an enlightened being. What is the principle difference that sets these two entities apart?
A knowledgeable mind is not contented every moment of life because the mind thinks it makes life happen. A wise man is contented every moment, because he realises that man is not the doer and that life happens timelessly in the moment without the help of the mind.
Man believes that wisdom is many gears higher than knowledge. If so, could man determine the amount of knowledge required to become wise? He could not, for knowledge can never visualise the limit that should be surpassed to attain wisdom.
Wisdom, though, will not attempt to measure the limits of knowledge that could reveal wisdom, for the simple reason that limits do not exist for the wise.
Limits are boundaries created by logic. Duality is the boundary of knowledge. The wise are mystical for logic is illogical to them and hence boundaries do not exist for them.
Man, however, has come to respect boundaries as the measure of his life. A Greek philosopher once declared that ‘man is the measure of all things’. Almost everything in a man or woman’s life is measured logically by the mind.
Knowledge of the measure or the limit provides a relative level of reassurance or comfort.
Knowledge is made up of many words, while words are illusory to the wise, for he realises that words are an auditory illusion of sound. The word ‘happening’ is one of them.
The word ‘happening’ is used by every man and woman, religious men and women, and spiritualists too.
So what does the word ‘happening’ mean to them?
The word ‘happening’ means an action or an event done by man in time. It covers every aspect of man’s life. It is logical, having a definitive cause and a predictable effect in time.
Man needs to understand that time is a thought and an auditory illusion of sound. Life is timeless and thoughtless and, therefore, is beginningless and endless.
Does wisdom convey the same meaning to happening?
It does not, for logic does not operate in wisdom. So what does happening mean to a wise one?
To a wise one happening means a flow and not an action or an event in time. It is a process that is spontaneous, unpredictable and uncontrollable within a moment. In simple terms it means evolution, which sophisticates timelessly.
Man cannot create patterns of behaviour to cover the moment, for life happens in the moment, and time is absent within a moment. Time would be needed to create any behaviour, but life is timeless – so man just cannot be the doer.
Man’s knowledge-based society has set down rules of conduct for its citizens, imposing sanctions for behaviour that is adjudged to be offensive. The rules change over time and vary from culture to culture, but they are essential for any society that values harmonious co-existence.
‘Happening’ is not brought about by man, nor is life a sum of events. Life is a flow, a manifestation by the force and intelligence which life is.
Happening is a singular flow. It is spontaneous, for it happens in the moment, which is timeless. It is uncontrollable, for the moment lacks time and cannot accommodate an individual within it to control. It is unpredictable, for opinions, conclusions or judgments are absent within a moment.
Life is a happening, a process in the moment and not an event in time, because a cut-off point between one moment and the next in the present is absent. Man and mind can neither make the moment nor control it. Life, therefore, is a play of light and sound that projects a process of optical and auditory illusions of happenings in illusory time.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright 2010 V. S. Shankar