2. Evolution of Mind
3. Evolution of Words
4. Evolution of Meaning
5. Evolution of Duality
6. Evolution of Languages
7. Evolution of Beliefs
8. Evolution of Feelings
9. Evolution of Emotion
10. Evolution of Memory
The chapter ‘Evolution’ shines light on the influence the mind has on a man’s quality of life. The first and overriding effect on reading the chapter is the removal of any interest in what could be called ‘my mind’ and its realities. Personality no longer features and in its place there is dispassionate awareness without comment of any kind. No thinking accompanies this process; just watching, which is perfectly natural.
The chapter reveals just how significant an inquiry into mind is for every man and it has been at every stage in man’s evolution. He is ready to move on after generations of thought on the nature and influence of mind to a deeper and more mature exposition. This maturing process has been happening gradually from the earliest thinkers and philosophers, some unheard of and some household names. It is not clear that the religious and spiritual have done anything except to bring dogma and controlled belief-systems into the equation, but they too have helped to highlight the illusory nature of man’s inquiring mind.
Chapter ‘The Evolution of Mind’
In his search for answers, often desperate, man has thrown himself at whatever has been offered in the market-place of liberation and, gradually, in this way too, he has been travelling the road towards maturity of understanding. The mind flows either like brackish water leaking from a blocked plug, or fresh water from a clear and vibrant fountain.
Dr Shankar's chapter on ‘The Evolution of Mind’ penetrates the hitherto unpenetrated, revealing that there can be nothing that is not an expression of the beauty and perfection of life, however it may appear to the mind. There is nothing in life that is separate from life; there is nothing in life that has an independent existence from life; there is nothing in life that has an individual rationale or cause that is independent of life.
Whatever is separate or independent or individual is an expression of life; it is an expression of the illusory nature of separation, independence and individuality - a beautiful and perfect expression. The chapter also reveals so tellingly that life will never be understood - it is mysterious. So, join it!
Chapter ‘Evolution of Words’
The chapter ‘Evolution of Words’ takes a significant step forward in man's understanding of life. What Dr Shankar shares is a revelation through the observation of life, and it is not the product of thought, conjecture or deduction. This is of major significance.
On the first reading of this chapter, it is the mind, of course, that assesses and attempts to penetrate the meaning of what is written, and it will have problems with much of what is presented by the author. On the second or subsequent readings, a new and unexpected understanding happens that is not the product of thought, nor could it be.
The chapter highlights the stature that 'word' has attained in the world. It has been sanctioned as that which legitimises an activity between men and women and guarantees its outcome: 'I give my word'; 'my word is my bond'. It also conveys that trust between individuals or between organisations has been dishonoured: 'You have broken your word'. 'Word' has also been sanctified with a creative or godlike power on a universal, religious scale: 'In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.'
In this chapter, however, Dr Shankar reveals that word of itself has no creative power or magic. A word may be perceived through sound, touch and sight, but of itself it has no meaning: it is just a sound. Nevertheless, what is conveyed in this chapter is through word and cannot be otherwise. In the same way, the gradual appearance of knowledge has taken place by means of words, spoken, written and seen.
This chapter reveals the illusory nature of word and awakens the reader to life that cannot be described by any word. What is realised suddenly is that everything, the whole of the 'past' and the 'future', as designated by the mind, is actually and really in the 'present', the 'now'. Everything, every outcome, every cause, every discovery and every 'disaster' is in its proper place, albeit illusory. This the mind cannot and will not ever accept or understand, because it is meant to accept only what is in it and a revelation it can neither understand nor accept. Dr Shankar does not stand in the mind; he lives in life that flows - the real and not the illusory.
Chapter ‘Evolution of Meaning’
Meaning is universally taken for granted - it comes freely with the words or word spoken and goes straight into action, creating an effect. Sometimes the effect is positive, sometimes negative; sometimes large, sometimes small or even unnoticed. Meaning imparts reality to unreality and validity to imagination, often giving rise to harm or injury, such as is experienced on a daily basis with rumour or gossip. Meaning has the power to send quite different messages to different audiences, though employing precisely the same words.
Dr Shankar's chapter on ‘Evolution of Meaning’ beautifully reveals the relevance and the rise of 'meaning' in the evolutionary and sophisticating process of life. He shows that meanings can only lead a man to unreality, for Life itself has no meaning. Yet, this very chapter is pregnant with meaning conveyed through illusory words - no other way is possible. Dr Shankar’s deep understanding of life and the evolution of meaning, however, is being gifted to man here through words that are illusory and meanings which are illusory too. What a wonder.
Chapter ‘Evolution of Duality’
It is every man and woman's dearest hope and conviction that the eternal will emerge as the only reality and that the world and all that is experienced will come to an end. The curtain will finally fall and we will enter eternity, bliss, nirvana or heaven. Alternatively, it is hoped that there will be no end to the life we know for that would mean extinction. Thus mankind is suspended between the pull of experience and the allurement of non-experience.
Step by penetrating step Dr Shankar reveals the emergence of duality as a reflection of pure light that has evolved as the world man has come to live in and to accept as his reality. This world of man is a wonderful kaleidoscope of the play of light and colour, all illusory though as is the kaleidoscope itself. We have all come to believe that this kaleidoscope is real, different though it is for each one of us. We scarcely even question the validity of this belief. Dr Shankar shares with each one of us his deep understanding of the reflection of the pure light of eternity as duality and the world we live in – all illusory though.
Chapter ‘Evolution of Languages’
This chapter reveals the nature of language so that man may come to the supreme realisation of his life - life itself. In no way does Dr Shankar's deep understanding of mind, the habitat of language, undermine the significance of language. An illusory tool is needed for an illusory world and its illusory inhabitants; an illusory tool is needed to maintain this illusory world and enable it to function; an illusory tool is needed to create relationships between man and man, man and nature, animate and inanimate - that illusory tool is language. The understanding of the illusoriness of language, not the language itself, reveals real happiness.
This chapter is a precious gift to those whose intelligence is devoted to the study and teaching of language at whatever level - academic, religious, spiritual, scientific or daily life. The perfection of a flawless diamond sparkles here.
Chapter ‘Evolution of Beliefs’
Man believes that he is the thinker, the speaker and the doer. Dr Shankar investigates this central belief that colours man’s entire waking world, like an indelible dye, with the most astonishing clarity and detail in the chapter ‘Evolution of Beliefs’.
The emergence of belief in man - significantly absent in the rest of the living world - is graphically described here. Man's functions are determined by his beliefs, which are the obfuscating stuff of mind, giving him a purpose and putting him in control of everyday life - all illusory though. Such is the revelation of this chapter. Perhaps the most telling belief revealed here is the power to control with the words 'yes' and 'no'. Understanding this brings freedom.
Chapter ‘Evolution of Feelings’
Careful study of this chapter ‘Evolution of Feelings’ shows that we all live with our feelings, we live on our feelings, we live in spite of our feelings, we live regardless of our feelings and that we almost believe that we are our feelings. Feelings have evolved to the extent that they have achieved the status of social conscience.
Yet, the author shows that feelings are simply thoughts; nothing wrong with them, just thoughts. Thoughts are in illusory mind - not in life. Though we are convinced that there are feelings in life, and that there should be feelings in life, this is not so in reality. While we are susceptible to our feelings, we are unable to trust life as it evolves in every moment. If we cannot trust life, we cannot live - not for a moment. The gift to each of us from the wisdom of the author, Dr Shankar, is of living life, not thinking life.
The evolution of each man’s life and the profession with which he is entrusted is a wonder to behold. On the side of beliefs and feelings it will be seen at times as the unfolding of a potential calamity; on the side of increasing understanding of life, it is indeed only evolvement. Thank you to the author for the gift of understanding, however immature it is at present as this is being written.
Chapter ‘Evolution of Emotion’
In the chapter ‘Evolution of Emotion’, the statement that ‘life has enough intelligence to handle its illusions and it does not need the mind or an individual to help it along’ is a remarkable declaration from life. So what for man and mind? They seem then just to clarify the illusion, thus revealing real understanding of what is. On the other hand, mind and man are totally missing life most of the time leaving the individual in misery.
Emotion and feelings are regularly experienced on a daily basis, but they are not understood. In this chapter, Dr Shankar presents such a clear examination and explanation of one of the most powerful influences governing man: the influence of
'mine' - the attribute assigned to everything and everyone that comes into his possession, including children.
Dr Shankar shows how light and sound maintain the deception of the reality of emotion, which is simply energy. Reality is the moment in which a man lives, beyond thought and emotion and feelings. There is no longevity here, for which we all strive, for there is no time in this eternal, unemotional moment.
Chapter ‘Evolution of Memory’
The power in this chapter ‘Evolution of Memory’ is remarkable. The power of the light emanating from Dr Shankar reveals the most extraordinary understanding of memory and its influence in every human being's life - though illusory.
We will find that memory equals life for us and that our involvement with life is not spontaneous, but charted every millimetre of the way by memory. We walk down stairs by memory; we meet whom we meet by memory; we taste the flavours of life by memory; we calculate the balance of life's experiences by memory. Memory though recalls only the past.
What is more, we applaud memory in those we educate and thus consign them to a conviction in the supremacy of what the mind recalls. Such is the leaning-stick we have adopted. But memory is as mysterious as life itself. Understand memory, if you will, and explode into life. Live a moment in life - the singular moment that never begins or ends.
Thank you so much for this gift ‘Evolution of Mind’ – a remarkable book.
Not since the publication of The Origin of the Species in 1859 has a book of such importance been published. The Evolution of Mind, printed in January 2010, charts with meticulous precision and unparalleled clarity man’s inner journey in life’s evolutionary path.
This is the work of a living Indian sage, Dr Vijai Shankar, who, uniquely, speaks and writes in English. It is the realisation of a man who, trained as a medical doctor and scientist, has devoted his career to sharing his deep understanding of the evolution of mind across the world.
Man, he reveals, rests his entire human case and places his total dependence on the subtle processes of his mind: beliefs, feelings, emotions, memory, language, meanings. He has taken the world of opposites - the duality of right and wrong, black and white, good and bad, moral and immoral, spiritual and materialistic - to be the benchmark of life itself, in short, to be his reality.
In this evolutionary process, however, man is yet to awaken to the wisdom and intelligence of life. Dr Shankar explains that man’s utter conviction in the belief that he is the doer, thinker and speaker holds him in bondage and robs him of the miracle of living life.
When it happens that man crosses beyond the confines of illusory mind, he will discover freedom that surpasses all imagination and expectation – a freedom, which once found, can never be lost.
Peter Julian Capper
MA (Cantab) UK
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