It is interesting to consider some of the consequences of recent articles on the way our reality becomes. In Qualities and Quantities of Being, I outlined how Samkhya suggests the senses of perception and elements are formed. Similarly, in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Understanding your Energy System series, I touched on how Prana is the energy that drives our physiology and those senses and elements. Drives them into being and drives their function.
Something I touched on in both articles is the dynamics of perception. In duality, we have an observer observing an object. When the Self is seen deeply enough, the subject and object are seen to be one and as if “collapse” together, leaving only the process of perception, the observing, within itself.
This flow of observation is perceived differently in different states of consciousness but the fundamental mechanics remain the same. Consciousness moves within itself, creating a liveliness in nature or Prakriti. This flowing liveliness is called prana.
Another word for prana is life. Our life is the movement of attention through us.
Curiously, the senses of perception are formed by the process of perception as counterparts to the expressing elements. The perception of consciousness creates the perception of the physical (and more subtle) and the physical world itself concurrently when there is a sense of other. Remember – the subject and object are one. They are simply means of consciousness to experience itself more finely. Put another way, only the flow of life is real. The senses and objects are just an effect of how we’re perceiving.
This also illustrates the experience that everything is a surrender to itself. The process of perception is a collapsing of Self within Itself.
Someone mentioned the old adage – if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, will it make a sound? First, note that “sound” is perception. The tree falling will make pressure waves in the air. Will it be heard? Of course. A forest is full of life.
We could also observe from Samkhya that if there is space, there is sound and the means to hear it. But it’s useful to observe we’re talking about the essence of space, more like the concept of ether than a vacuum. For example, light travels in a vacuum but according to Samkhya, light requires the preexistence of space and air for fire/light. In other words, it does not see outer space as a vacuum except perhaps of physical matter. The potential for matter remains. A little different perspective than “dark matter”.
Electricity could be said to be another form of prana. It flows from one pole to another, for example. It creates field effects like magnetism. I’m sure someone has correlated this with prana but I’ve not run into that yet.
We can also note how much our language is dominated by perceptual terms. “I see”, “we can view”, “I’ve heard you”, “I touched on”,
Did you notice that most of the purusha sheaths end with the term “Maya” meaning illusion or dream? When the dream ends, it’s expression does too. The Chaitya or soul body does not however and it retains the seeds of mind and senses. Depending on how invested the soul is in it’s experiences, some of the more gross sheaths may even hold some expression for a time.
We can thus view death as a change in perception. When the soul stops perceiving through a body, the prana or life force stops flowing. The physical body quickly starts to disintegrate, although because it’s formed from inertia, it takes some time. Less physical aspects like the vital body usually dissipate much more quickly.
Psychics suggest that some people resist even dying so retain the lower sheaths for a time until they are willing to let go. This is a little different from ghosts. I’ve heard ghosts described as sheaths that were so invested in an experience that they left impressions behind for a time. Kind of like disembodied dreams or afterimages that eventually dissipate.
We can explore all sorts of subjects from this framework. Sometimes, it can resolve odd experiences we’ve had. In other ways, it can seem to conflict with our “scientific” understanding. But it is very interesting to see how something as apparently abstract (until it’s your experience) as consciousness moving within itself can cause the apparently very solid world of our experience. Plus our very real feelings and sense of me.
“Am I Not Real?” you may ask. Certainly you are real. But that “I” you think of as real will change. You discover who you really are, underneath the mask 😉