Nothing is gained by thinking only of your self.                     (false self)

 Everything is gained by thinking only of your Self.                   (true Self)


A Theory Of Everything (Or Is It Nothing?)


1. Introduction

     a. Stephen Hawking  -  Earlier this year, my wife Yaani and I went to see a remarkable movie, as had many of you, “The Theory of Everything”. The movie chronicled the life of the brilliant professor of theoretical physics and mathematics at Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking, who is still very much alive some 50 years after he was supposed to die from his debilitating illness. He's now in his seventies, has three kids and some grand kids and two marriages. All these past 50 years or so, he has been without any control of his extrinsic musculature anywhere in his body, has been totally wheel-chair ridden and able to communicate only, although quite magically, through a synthesized electronic device. And, amazingly, with a great sense of humor, he is able to keep doing original cutting-edge physics, on a blackboard, which, I take it, is wholly within his head.

     b. Unified Force Field  -  Hawking and an international band of cosmologists now believe that they have come up with the holy grail that evaded Einstein for over thirty years, which was to mathematically combine the four basic forces shaping the universe, the gravitational, the electro-magnetic, the nuclear strong force, and the nuclear weak force. Einstein never succeeded in coming up with a ‘unified field theory'. But using a combined quantum/relativistic formulation of gravity, including 'inflation', super-symmetry, and string theory, a group of world-wide theoretical physicists including Hawking, believe they have managed the job decades later, and they now call their brilliant achievement the ‘Theory of Everything'; hence the name of the popular movie mentioned above. (Their physics formulation is called ‘M Theory’ and descriptions of it can be found on Wikipedia and various YouTube postings.) Before I express my opinions on this, I would like to say a few words here about myself that relates to the subject. I have a background in engineering and physics, having at different times been a ballistic missile designer and a university science professor. But I’ve also been deeply immersed for nearly fifty years in the eastern teachings of the non-dual Advaita Vedanta, with its unambiguous view of ultimate Reality.

     c. The Neglected Field  -  What I will show in what follows, is that theoretical physicists, in their careful avoidance of spiritual and religious themes, have totally ignored to account for the single most important factor, which is the eternally-unchanging, energizing field in which everything is embedded, and on which any concept of the universe must be based. They have ignored what in Sanskrit is called the SatChitAnanda, which makes up the basis of all that is. (SatChitAnanda is also known as Brahman or Atma, as well as other terms such as the ‘Supreme Ultimate’. These all speak of the same one true Reality, seen from different perspectives.) In the absence of the empowering factor of SatChitAnanda, the observed universe with its complex structure and history could not exist. The SatChitAnanda field is present and active now, whether we know it or not; but when we consciously take it into account, the world as we know it and our place in the greater scheme of things, appears very different and much more cheery. For then a true theory of everything emerges, in which the mind and heart of man plays a much more important role than the physics of inchoate matter.


2. SatChitAnanda – A Totally Different View of Reality

     a. What is SatChitAnanda?  -  To begin with, I want to point out that SatChitAnanda is not the Creator-God of the Judeo/Christian belief, nor is it the Allah of the Muslim belief, nor is it some aspect of the Buddhist belief. SatChitAnanda is not related to any religious belief. It is not an objective entity that we can study or exalt to super-human status and pray to. Nor is it something arcane, abstruse, esoteric, unreachable. Quite to the contrary. It is totally ubiquitous and common. It is the underlying basis of whatever is, because it is the fundamental essence of what you yourself are. Since SatChitAnanda is the inherent, intrinsic foundation of who you are, then whatever you touch, whatever you see, whatever you think, will necessarily be painted by either the unseen brush of SatChitAnanda within you or by what has been imposed by maya (illusion) to cover, supplant and suppress the knowledge of SatChitAnanda in your mind. So, although SatChitAnanda is always natively present in you as your true immortal Self and can never be expunged from you, it can be hidden and overriden with a false reality which takes the form of the illusory world we all believe ourselves to be in as separate individual beings, with no hint of the SatChitAnanda's presence within us. But parenthetically, it is SatChitAnanda, our true Reality, whether known or not, that provides all the energy for the illusion of world and separate selves to appear in our deluded minds. Much more will be said on this subject further on in this discussion, but for now I want to point out that SatChitAnanda is the one Reality and absolutely nothing can exist without it. Because it is present in you as you, SatChitAnanda will be present everywhere that you believe yourself to be. This is the radical discovery being presented here: Nothing can appear to be anywhere outside of you that isn't first already within you. Therefore whatever is being perceived by you had to have been projected there by you, or have otherwise come from you. And from that it follows that to properly study the universe you need to study the man. Being one with the SatChitAnanda, it is you, the immortal, eternal 'real you', that determines the ground of all being, the very isness of all that is, the one incomparable, indivisible, background field that provides sentience to all beings and energizes all apparent activity. As such you are wholly beyond time, space and situation, and yet you are inclusive of everything in time and space that can be perceived, and without exception everything that can be thought of. SatChitAnanda cannot be directly perceived by your gross senses; but, nevertheless, it can be known, not in the usual way of perception or analysis, but intuitively, as we’ll see further on.

     b. Take Everything Away And Still It Is There  -  When we remove whatever is divisible, changeable, time-dependent or position-dependent, anything that appears or disappears, anything that is individually identifiable, anything that is remembered from the past or expected in the future, anything that can be thought of or has not yet been thought of… when all this is removed, then what is left is the SatChitAnanda. In other words, when there is nothing left, when everything inside and outside perceivable or conceivable by you is gone, your world, your body, your mind, your knowledge, your history, your identity, your self-awareness... all totally gone... in that apparent emptiness and absence there still remains a permanent, subjective, subtle, undisturbable and incorruptible awareness, the eternally existing 'I' beingness, which is you; and although it can be covered and hidden from your awareness, in Reality it can never be reduced. That is the unchanging field of SatChitAnanda.

     c. Subject Not Object  -  The key factor about SatChitAnada is that it is purely subjective. It is the ‘I am’ of being (Sat). It is the ‘I’ that is aware (Chit). It is the ‘I’ that delights in itself, independent of anything in its field of awareness (Ananda). Being the subject it is never an object. In other words, it is not an entity to be studied and known, nor is it something that can be lost, like your keys or your smart phone or your health or your memory, and then be searched for and perhaps newly found or acquired. It is just ‘I’, the true ‘I’, without any reference to anything else or another. It is not a something that is aware of itself, it just is itself being itself. As subject it is always center stage and the source of all awareness. It cannot be destroyed or blown away, or changed. However, it can be hidden deep within layers of occluding superstructure of make-belief, covered by a seemingly impenetrable fog bank, somewhat like a nuclear winter that seems to have permanently extinguished the sun. Yet, even then, the sun of SatChitAnada is not in any way affected. It is always present and ready to shine forth and reveal itself. At that moment of revelation its powerful presence is realized along with the realization that it has always been there.

     d. Equivalence of Brahman, SatchitAnanda, Atma  -  From the relative viewpoint of the worldly perspective, Brahman, the eternal macrocosm, is spoken of as SatChitAnanda. Just as surely, Brahman is also the microcosm, the one eternal Self. As such it is known as Atma. As has already been indicated, the Sat of SatChitAnanda refers to pure being, Chit refers to pure consciousness or awareness, and Ananda refers to pure joy, love, delight. The terms ‘Brahman’, ‘Sat’, ‘Chit’, ‘Ananda’, ‘Atma’, ‘Self, 'real you', all mean exactly the same. They are eternal, unchanging, subtle, subjective and independent of time or space. They are one, the one Reality. Behind your worldly identity of name and form, and the many characteristics, physical, mental, emotional, subtle and biographical, by which you define the ‘I’ that you use (and unknowingly misuse) to represent yourself… right behind that personal ‘I’, empowering it, is the true ‘I’, the Atma, which is one with SatChitAnanda, and which we've also referred to here as the 'real you'. The whole world and everything in it may totally disappear, along with the familiar ‘I’ character that you believe you are, but the true ‘I' (or the 'real you') will remain untouched. It cannot disappear. It may have been hidden and then newly revealed in your awareness, but it will always have already been present there, wholly unaffected by anything else that might have previously appeared to have been there, and have come and gone. But that which always is, never comes or goes. To repeat what has been mentioned above, when you apply the process of detachment to everything that is in any way connected with yourself, by removing all that is time-bound or space-bound and all that is special or different, then what is left is the immortal Self, the Atma, the true Self, always one with SatChitAnada. It is this Self that energizes, motivates, and underlies all manifestation, sentience, beingness, and consciousness. That is the ‘real you’, the one who alone is who you truly are, have been, and will always be. But being subject and not object, we will probably never be able to study it and scientifically prove its existence or non-exisence.

     e. Reality and the Mind  -  These ideas set out above are very difficult to comprehend from the point of view of a time-bound, space-bound individual, trying to make sense of it all. It is near impossible to describe the indescribable and attempt to make it comprehensible. It is no wonder that so few have any notion of its presence here and everywhere at all times. It may be strange to hear of it, and yet it is closer to you than even you yourself, while you still believe this individual which you call ‘I’, ‘me’, with its body, mind and name, to be who you are. For, who you really are is the Atma, the SatChitAnanda, the Brahman, call it what you will. It is the nearest of the near, even when it seems to be the farthest of the far, hidden as it is and unreachable by our most trusted tool for understanding, namely, the human mind. Unfortunately, minds are trained to see differences but not to see what is always the same, never changing, always equally-present everywhere. Consequently, the mind is totally inadequate for apprehending the SatChitAnanda, the true Reality. But I’m sure that by the time you make it through this article you will have a pretty good intuitive sense of that one eternal Reality, which we’re speaking of here.


3. The Hypothesized Evolution of the Universe

     a. The Two Conundrums  -  Physics tends to avoid the supernatural, that which is not readily describable or understandable through established physical principles. So, it is only because it could not otherwise be accounted for, that physicists had to acknowledge that something unexplainable and far beyond their equations appears to be happening in the Cosmos. Two conundrums immediately come to mind, namely, one, the need to make the universal laws of physics and the history of the universe comply with the requirements for the existence of human life on this planet, and two, the need to account in the physicists’ ‘Theory of Everything’ for dark mass and dark energy, which together account for over 95% of the as yet unkown matter and energy of the universe. Dark matter and dark energy are a total enigma about which little or nothing is known, but which are totally unlike any of the known atomic matter that conforms to the ‘standard model’ of physical particles and which applies to all the known physical, atomic-based matter in the universe. Dark matter and dark energy, which are not directly visible but have been detected by their gravitational effects, appear to be totally outside of physics as we know it. There is almost universal consensus based on a wide variety of measurements of accelerating universe expansion, and observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation, infra-red observations of satellite and ground-based telescopes, that dark matter and energy exist. But unfortunately for physicists, our known physics is of little value in understanding them or knowing their origin. It turns out that our known physics applies only to less than one-twentieth of the visible observed or inferred universe.

     b. DarkMatter and Dark Energy  -  I will take up the second of these conundrums first and hopefully dispatch it quickly here, since so little can be said about dark matter and dark energy, considering how little is known about them. In respect to dark matter and dark energy, there are many quandaries that need to be dealt with, but have not yet been adequately understood: As has already been mentioned, the laws of physics that we use and believe to exist, including the ‘standard model’ of particle physics recently completed by the discovery of the Higgs field and boson, which describe the organization of atomic matter in the known universe (called ‘ordinary matter’), applies to less than 5% of matter or energy subject to the gravitational force in the universe. As for the rest, a little over 25% of the total mass of the universe is in the form of dark matter, which is subject to gravitational attraction, but is invisible to us since it doesn’t exhibit any of the other familiar properties of atomic matter, such as being subject to the electromagnetic force or the nuclear forces, which permit us to view them and hypothesize their makeup. Fortuitously, in the evolution of the universe, dark matter played a vital role, in that early inhomogeneities in the distribution of newly formed dark matter resulted in the clumping of that matter together; later on these concentration of dark matter gravitationally attracted ordinary matter, and as the nascent universe cooled and expanded, together these clumps of dark and ordinary matter formed the proto-galaxies and stars on which our present existence depends. In addition to the visible ordinary matter and as-yet invisible dark matter, overriding both forms of matter, about 70% of the total gravitationally-subject energy in the universe is in the form of dark energy, which inhabits all the previously believed empty vacuum of space. (Remember, dark energy is subject to gravity because of Einstein’s special relativity (E=mc2) energy-mass equivalence).

     c. Mysteries  - The gravitation force is everywhere attractive, bringing dispersed matter back together. But the attractive force of gravity acting on both ordinary and dark matter, was superseded by the dispersal effect of the radiation pressure from the original explosion of the 'Big Bang', causing a net expansion of the universe. However, as the gravitational force continues to attract all cosmic matter towards each other, the expansion of the universe could be expected to slow down with time; instead what is observed is that for the past 5 billion years, or so, the expansion of all space in the universe is actually increasing and constantly accelerating in time. So, instead of proceeding to the ultimate 'Big Crunch' as had been believed by most cosmologists, the expansion of the universe is actually speeding up to a final dispersal of all its matter contents, to leave nothing behind but empty space. This is the work of the newly discovered dark energy which mysteriously accelerates the expansion of the universe by applying a pressure in the opposite direction to the attractive force of gravity. This dark energy continues to accelerate the expansion of the universe even when the density of matter has become vanishingly small. In other words, when the density of ordinary matter and dark matter in any fixed volume of the expanding universe was decreasing, and therefore getting more and more diluted with time, the dark energy appeared to be unaffected by the expansion and remain undiluted and constant with time, i.e., dark energy appears to be independent of both time and the density of ordinary matter. So, in time, ordinary and dark matter will get further and further apart, our nearest stars will retreat increasingly from our view, and even the planets and the Sun in our solar system will move increasingly further and further apart from each other. But as the gravitational attraction between all these various bodies decreases more and more with exponentially increasing distances between them, the density of the dark energy is unaffected and continues to accelerate the expansion of space. As we will see further on in this discussion, the only field I know of that acts independent of time, position, and density of matter, and is ever unchanging, is SatChitAnanda. So, there are a host of questions left unanswered by the modern physics canon, and the principal one, as I see it, is the presence of the SatChitAnanda back-ground field, which will not even be found on physicists’ list of questions that need to be further studied.

     d. Totally Improbable Synchonicities  -  We will leave the curious subject of dark matter and dark energy behind now, and go back to the first and principal conundrum facing theoretical physicists mentioned above, which was involved with coming up with a unified understanding of the universe. The first thing theoretical physics had to deal with was the inescapable need to come up with a universe that permits the existence of intelligent human life. Specifically, physicists recognize that there is a totally improbable and unbelievably vast number of synchronous events (ranging literally into many of orders of magnitude) that all had to somehow come together, in order to select this particular universe with its particular physical laws and dimensions, out of a megaverse of innumerable other like universes. This is necessary and supported by their formulations, because it is this particular universe that alone has the favorable parameters for the existence of intelligent human life on this particular planet, revolving around our mid-sized star at just the right distance and in just the right elliptical orbit, to permit the formation of life.

     e. Planetary Evolution  -  Our star, the Sun, being a later-generation star, has just the right mass and range of internal temperatures, and, fortuitously, is in a part of the galaxy that escapes the disruptive field effects of other nearby stars and the galaxy’s massive central black hole. Furthermore, it is in a region where it can initially arise from the gaseous ejecta of much more massive, much hotter, shorter-lived stars of an earlier period of the universe, which finished their existence by exploding as supernova. In their super-hot explosive fireball, which was an order of magnitude hotter than the interior of our Sun, the conditions were ripe for nuclear fusion to produce the higher elements beyond the primordial hydrogen and helium and traces of lithium that were the first elements to form after the big-bang. Also, the physical organizing forces and parameters of this universe were such, that the Solar system, as we know it today, could be forged from previous generations of exploding stars, that would then support the eventual emergence of life on this perfectly positioned planet.

     f. Evolution of Life  -  After billions of years of volcanic activity forming the intersecting plates of oceans and land-masses on the surface of our planet, these finally cooled and stabilized into something close to the topographic formation of the earth we have today, which provides conditions to appear in which single-celled prokaryote bacteria could emerge. Then after a further millions upon millions of years of primitive one-celled life, sufficient O2 appeared in the air to provide about thirty times more energy than was previously available to primitive life forms, and could now support more advanced single celled eukaryote, DNA-containing life forms; these, in turn, had suffient available energy to mutate into multi-celled plant and animal life. In this way, life progressed on the evolutionary tree to ever-more massive life forms, and as their empowerment rose and waned through cosmically-caused earth-wide extinction events, other types of higher life forms appeared, leading eventually to this relatively momentary pinprick of time, which culminated in intelligent human life. And that intelligence was capable of hypothesizing the progression of vastly improbable synchronicities and conditions that brought us to this point in time. All this is an absolutely marvelous story. But it ain’t true!

     g. Creator-Designer?  -  Before I go much further, I want to point out that this article is not intended as an argument for ‘intelligent design’. An intelligent designer would certainly be an obvious conclusion from this story, looking at the totally unfathomable number of factors which all had to come together for us to appear here and give meaning to what we seem to be discovering here. Surely there must have been a super-super intelligent architect (do I dare call him God? Or perhaps a genius alien from a super-advanced ‘other’ world?) who would tie all this together and make out of all these improbable parts, a home for us to be in. A designer or creator might provide some answers that satisfy, but eventually that would raise many more questions than it answers. And no, that is not the direction this article will take us. ‘Intelligent design’ or a creation story with a divine creator is not the argument I will advance here.

     h. Time Space Unreality  -  The principal argument that this article will advance is the recognition of the illusory nature of the world and questioning the universally unchallenged beliefs in the reality of time, the reality of space, the reality of evolution, the possibility of individual separative life, the reality of birth and death, and a few others. In other words I challenge you, or more correctly I invite you, to be open to question just about every firmly-ensconced belief you’ve held about yourself, about everyone else, and about the world around you… beliefs you may never before have opened to doubt. I will show that we believe ourselves to be creatures locked into time and space. And as such, it seems quite natural to come up with an evolutionary time story involving the cosmos and biological evolution which starts with the dramatic beginnings of the big-bang, and through a succession of evolutionary happenings, ascents to ever greater levels of order and organization, leading from the ancient birth of the universe through successive exploding stars to synthesize the higher elements such as carbon, oxygen, phosphorous, sodium, potassium, iron, etc., all necessary for life, then forming our solar system and our particular planet, and step by step providing the favorable conditions for organic molecules to come together and for life to evolve, despite all the pitfalls along the way. This then would lead to the present expression of intellectual human life. But this story is a work of fiction that is made up. It is not the true history of life.

     i. Maya and the Multiverse  -  Using their sharp mental acumen, theoretical physicists have come up with some of the most brilliant mental constructions, not realizing that maya, illusion, and its ego thought system, which they (humans) themselves originally installed, are orders of magnitude even more brilliant than they. Unknown to them, maya continues to have them completely flummoxed while it continues to spin out illusions that are universally believed to be real. These then raise questions, which only tortuously yield to analytical understanding. And these scientific understandings are then seen as great victories, when, in truth, both the questions and solutions are devoid of meaning and have little or no relation to Reality. For example, physicists now hypothesize that as a result of applying quantum mechanical and relativistic principles to a vacuum, the universe, as we know it, got going with a stupendous explosion of incredibly hot, incredibly dense space. This ‘big bang’ explosion was not unique to our universe but occurred, and is presumably still occurring, over and over again millions upon millions of times in hyper-space, with each primeval explosion creating a separate universe with its own laws of physics and space-time characteristics. One of the countless universes that resulted from all this activity is ours, which had the right parameters and force fields for just the right size star and the rightly positioned planet, to create molecules of water, a blanket of oxygenated air, stable chemical conditions and all the other myriad details, including a mild range of temperatures, food, and air, for molecules of life to appear, and eventually morph into human life, as we know it. As already mentioned, this evolutionary history starting with the beginning of the universe which evolved all the way to advanced human life, makes an awesome, incredible story. But, nothing could be further from the truth!

     j. You Are Not in the Universe. The Universe is in You  -  What the cosmologists do not realize is that pure being, expressing itself here and now in human existence, is not the end product of the universe's long evolutionary history. What that story does not account for is that pure being is eternal, ever unchanging and independent of time, space, physical laws and universes. This particular universe which happens to conform in its history and characteristics to the particular evolutionary story being currently entertained in 21st century cosmology, is contained within being, and not vice versa. In other words, it is not that there developed a favorable universe from scratch that set the stage in a linear evolutionary progression over 13.8 billion years for humans to be here, but that you, not as body but as pure Self, are already here and were always already here. And this universe is merely a grand story concocted by maya and its ego henchman, along with space and time, to give meaning to a phony world and false entities that have insinuated themselves into awareness, much as dream does in sleep. As the product of maya and its ego thought system, this hypothesized universe manages to totally hide the unchanging Reality, replacing It with a world of untruth, characterized by subterfuge and false creation, that is posing as truth. This chimera is empowered and given sentience by the very Reality whose existence it ignores or denies. But there’s nothing really happening here. The world we know, with its complex and exquisite history appears to arise, but it is just an illusion of truth. It has no real existence by itself. The only presence that exists here and everywhere, is you, the one eternal Consciousness, i.e., the Atma, the SatChitAnanda, the one Reality, in which time, space and universe play at the game of reality. More on this, below.


4. The Three Illegitimate Pursuits

     a. Theory of Everything or Nothing?  -  Getting back to my experience of the Hawking movie, after watching it I realized that having spent the last thirty years on other pursuits (primarily spiritual and teaching alternative healing), I haven't kept up with the latest theories of physics. In the intervening years following the early 1980's, when I was teaching astro-physics subjects at the SSS Institute of Higher Learning, a new university in India, I have not had much interest in cosmology. But this movie stimulated my interest again, because intuitively I could feel something was awry with the explanation. So, to get myself going again I read Hawking's brilliant books, 'A Short History of Time' and 'The Grand Design', as well as a couple of more theoretical technical books by a leading physicist, and spent a month devouring those books. What I came away with was a huge 'Wow!' at the brilliant physics that has been happening these past few decades. But at the same time, reflecting on my total conviction in the non-dual Advaita Vedanta that my teacher in India taught, I realized that from an advaitic perspective, all this celebratory physics talk of having achieved the culmination of the greatest human intellectual achievement of all time, was specious. Beautiful as it was from an intellectual perspective, in my non-dual advaitic eyes it represented more a 'theory of nothing', instead of the much lauded 'Theory of Everything'.   (I realize this is a pretty brazen assessment, coming from this 87-year-old, challenging some of the greatest intellects on the planet! But I feel undeterred. Based on my own spiritual experiences, I have absolute faith in the correctness of the Advaita Vedanta and its Upanishadic teachings, and so will continue by digging in further.)

     b. Three Common Human Ideals  -  The first thing that came to mind as I was reading about the 11 dimensional 'M Theory', (which is the quantum/string version of the unified field theory now believed to be the successful formulation), is that here was another opportunity to remind ourselves of the three illegitimate human pursuits spoken of in the Mahabharata, the great ancient Indian classic. As we get further into these we'll see that they are really the only proper starting point for coming up with a 'Theory of Everything'. The three illegitimate pursuits are: 1) Nobody wants to die; ideally, most everyone wants to live forever. 2) Nobody wants to be ignorant; ideally, most everybody wants to know everything and have all knowledge. And 3) Nobody wants to be suffering and be miserable; ideally, most everybody wants to be ever happy, eternally immersed in joy and delight. These three are paramount in what most humans ideally want, but all three of these are totally illegitimate. They're never reachable. Why? The reason for this may surprise you.

     c. You Cannot Lose It or Find It. You Can Only Be It.  -  Let's look at an example. If you are already wearing glasses, and using these glasses to search for those very glasses which you think you lost, mistakenly believing them to be missing somewhere outside of you, you will never be able to find them. Unknown to you, the glasses you are looking for are already sitting on your nose and are fully in use by you. Unaware, you continue to pursue a useless search for them, coming up with ever more clever and more brilliant search strategies for finding them, but to no avail. You have to give up looking outside for them (and to strain this example a little further and continue using it as a metaphor here) you have to instead look in the mirror to see yourself, where you'll spot the missing glasses already part of you and fully in use by you. Of course what all this means is that you have to look not at the objective world outside to look for what you believe you lost, but look within to discover that what you believe you lost, was never lost, and was always part of you. So, the three pursuits are illegitimate because you already are all that you are wishing for. You cannot be anything else. They already are what you are, and, what's more, they are all there ever is. You cannot find them outside because they are not something outside that can be lost or found. They are your very own intrinsic nature. In truth, the real you already is the eternal being, you already are all consciousness and therefore you are all knowledge contained in that consciousness, and you already are all joy, all love, all beauty, all dharma. This is the SatChitAnanda, which you already always are. I will say more about this as we go on, below.

     d. SatChitAnanda Is Who You Truly Are  -  Your greatest task and your greatest adventure should be to seriously explore that which truly is everything. And once you decide that you really want that for yourself, more than anything else, then you need to discover whether you first need to gain that, or if, previously unknown to you, you already are that, and have always been that, and only that? Here we are not referring to the physical or even the mental.... not your body, not you as an individual person, not the particular name you bear, not the particular form you seem to inhabit, not the egoic "I" you believe yourself to be, not your analytical mind, not the higher intellect, not the you who was born and will some day die, not the you who seems to be leading a separate life in a world of multiplicity, and not you as a member of a family or a tribe or a people or a country or a region or a planet or a universe. Netti! Netti! Not this. Not this. Not any of these. And not even you as a human being, but just you as pure being. In other words, you the true you, the one; not one of many, but always only the one, the immortal, ever-unchanging, eternal SatChitAnanda. Whatever story may be running in your mind, hold this one thought and do not let it go: You, the 'true you', are the One! You are the one who is real, who is the Reality itself. (Matrix didn't have it right... it's not Neo... it was always you and only you!) At least for now, hold that thought. If you are thinking, "This is absurd. What about everyone else?" If so, please suspend your judgment for a little longer and read on through the next few sections.   To wind up this section, as has already been covered a number of times, SatChitAnanda is what is. It is all there is. Nothing else can ever be. It has neither beginning nor end. It alone is real. It alone is true. But it is also a mystery. For it cannot ever be known by the you that you think you are in this world, but nor can It ever be not known by you. For, despite the obfuscation of the true Reality, an occasional ray of light will sneak through the chinks, and the Reality will make itself known like a haunting surprising whiff of fragrance that suddenly comes into your awareness. And for a moment, like an unexpected miracle, it will light you up with a smile. And you will have been touched by a wonderful, unfamiliar part of you, not known in your mind and yet unmistakably there within you.


5. Dream As A Metaphor For Realizing The Truth

     a. The Dream World, The Dream 'I', and The Dreamer  -  Let us take a moment out and interrupt our discussion to look at the nature of dreams  -  the ordinary dreams you have during sleep. This will be very useful in discovering the nature of Reality and unreality. A dream comes on suddenly in your resting consciousness, appearing as a perceivable world being experienced by a central character that you identify as yourself, and that you call ‘I’ in your dream. But, this ‘I’ is not the same as the familiar ‘I’ that you call yourself in your waking state. It is the dream ‘I’, which is only loosely patterned after the waking ‘I’. So, in the dream, we have a dream world, which is the objective, and we have a dream ‘I’, which is the subjective. And then there is also a third part to the dream which is hidden from both the objective dream characters in that world and hidden also from the central character who is the subjective ‘I’ character. That third principal is the dreamer of the dream, the behind-the-curtains creator-god of the dream. This dreamer of the dream is the one who is orchestrating all the dream happenings, including choosing all the dream characters and their characteristics, as well as the parts they play. All three of these, the dream world, the dream ‘I’, and the dreamer who is the god of the dream, will have arisen together spontaneously when the dream begins, and will disappear together when the dream ends. When the dream is over it leaves behind only the pure unchanged consciousness and the subjective ‘you’, which you’ve known most of your life and called ‘I’. This latter subjective ‘I’, which even now you identify with in the world, was momentarily hidden behind the ‘dream I’ that took its place, and then reappeared again when the dream was over.

     b. Context vs. Content  -  It would not be unreasonable to assume that the content of the dream, that is, the story that is playing out, although it may hold our fascination, cannot be very important if all of it quite unceremoniously disappears without a whimper when the dream is done. What is important, however, is the context of the dream. Whatever the story, whatever the characters and their parts, whatever their version of time and space, and whatever setting they are in when playing out their parts in the dream, the moment the dream ends, all of this dream activity dissolves and disappears for good, except for a fleeting memory that holds on for a moment and permits us to remember some of the dream story after we awaken. Later we will again meet up with this sequence just discussed, that of looking at the process of waking up, but at that time we will not be interested in waking from the night-time dream, but waking up to Reality and our immortal Self.

     c. Behind the False 'I' Is the True 'I', Permanent and Unchanging  -  It must be stressed again, that going from waking to dream and back to waking, the only thing that doesn’t change is the consciousness in which the dream plays and the continuing presence of the subjective ‘I’, which remains throughout, although it takes on different forms and roles in the process. So, even as all the objective parts are changing, appearing and disappearing, there is a subjective ‘am-ness’ or ‘isness’ that travels through all the different parts and stories, unaffected. That ‘I’ is the true ‘I’ which never disappears, but whose eternally unchanging nature can for a time remain hidden from view behind various disguises, hiding its truth. But when the dream ends, it is always there, waiting. As we’ve already covered, both the consciousness being spoken of here and the ‘I’, both of which endure, are really the ‘Chit’ and ‘Sat’ of the one SatChitAnanda that never changes.

     d. Dream as Metaphor  -  Next we will see how the dynamics of dream are a very useful metaphor for waking up from the illusion that we (and, sadly, Hawking and the other brilliant physicists) have all been caught up in, namely, believing in the false reality of this made-up perceived world, and undervaluing the importance of the ubiquitously-present subjective, the ‘I’ of the one eternal Self, on which all this apparent multiplicity rests. In the Vedantic understanding, maya is said to have two very powerful shaktis or powers. One shakti is a cloud of obscuration that hides the true Reality. The other shakti is the projection, which thrusts forth a fictional world of illusion super-imposed onto that veiling cloud, and which, thereby, replaces the hidden true Reality with a false reality, which it now claims to be the only reality. We see that the dream works in precisely the same way. In the cloudiness of sleep the dream world arises spontaneously. Through its projection power it spins out a made-up world of things and happenings. This replaces the previously prevailing world, which through the action of the veiling power of sleep has become hidden. So in dream both powers of maya are active, and through dream we can see the out-picturing of the very woof and warp of maya in action.

      e. The End of Maya  -  When maya is finally conquered and truth is again realized and the ego thought system with its illusory world and separation have been transcended, the SatChitAnanda re-emerges and shines forth. Then the ‘real you’ takes over the manifested equipment (your body, mind and affairs, etc.) which previously were under the direction of ego, the false you. And you wake up. At that point a long charade will have come to an end, and the previously-playing life story, although it may continue for a while, loses all its self-importance. The particular time when you wake up, doesn't matter very much. What does matter and is important is that your awakening be assured, in other words, that you will for sure return from sleep and dream. And of that we have the assurance of all the thousands of great beings who have gone before all the way back to antiquity, assuring us that all who are asleep in a world dream will in time wake up to their true Self, whether that awakening happens in this physical incarnation or another one. Living in the world dream as separate incarnated beings is a lie. That lie takes up all our energy, and keeps us asleep and locked into our dreams. But sleep does not last forever; nor does dream. When we remember who we are and the ignorance of our true Self dissolves, we wake up from our dream and everything changes. This may involve giving up the body. To the ignorant that symbolizes death, a terrifying finale; but to the awakened it is a non-event, much like waking from a night dream, wherein everything changes and nothing changes, but none of which is regarded as a big deal.

     f. One Awakens. What About All the Others?  -  You may wonder, “Does that assurance apply to all the beings in my world? Do they also all awaken?” Well, I suggest you forget about 'others'! Why? Because in the presence of the real you, the one immortal Self, there are no 'others'! That is a grand mystery. From your perspective, wherein you are the observer, and wherein you alone have the ability to look inside to your true Self, there you are alone. To get a sense of this, think of your experience in a dream. The dream you dream is yours, not someone else's, and not shared with another. But in this private dream of yours, there may appear to be many, many 'others', and they seem to have their separate autonomous lives and their own separate wills. You don't question the reality of the dream world, because for the 'you' in the dream, the dream world is the world you appear to be in and is playing out all around you. In the same vein, you tend not to question the existence of all the diverse characters appearing in your dream. But after you awaken, none of the 'others' who were in the dream with you, will still be around. They and the whole dream world and the dreamer who is the god of the dream, will be totally gone. Just the familiar waking 'you' and the consciousness in which it is perceived, will be all that remains when the dream has disappeared.

     g. Removing the False, the Unreal You  -  Dream is a metaphor for Reality. It can be used to help point you to the actual Reality by noting the disappearance of the false reality of the dream world and everything that's in it, once the dream ceases. But, it does this while still leaving an aspect of 'you' intact. When the superimposed covering of maya, the ego-thought system, with its illusory world of separation and false 'I' of individual life, have been removed, (much as happens, as we just covered, in awakening from a dream, in which the projected dream world and the dream 'I' have been removed), then what remains is the real you, the SatChitAnanda, the true Self, the eternal Atma, that shines forth in the same subjective place within where the false ‘I’ (what Ramana Maharshi has called the 'I thought') had previously been, and had subsequently disappeared. So, spiritual practice, which intends to expose and realize the true Reality, consists primarily of removing the false reality that has covered the truth, and which has falsely posed, quite convincingly, as being the one reality, when in fact it is nothing.... just an illusion made-up by the ego to hide the truth. The best practice for experiencing the Self is to engage in inner inquiry into the true Reality, which, in turn leads to the exposure and then removal of the false reality. So, spiritual practice is mostly a matter of taking away, rather than adding to. But this may go against your natural inclination when you first hear about enlightenment.

     h. You Are Always Complete  -  When you hear of that ultimate path and realize that this is the direction you need to go, but you also realize how very far you are from that awareness, you experience yourself feeling a deep lack and a hole in your personal development. So, you fervently go about acquiring and learning whatever new 'spiritual' teachings and experiences would fill that empty hole and deal with your perceived spiritual lack. Unfortunately, you may continue with this pursuit for many months or even years, until you realize the truth that there is no lack and there never was a lack. You have always already been at that final goal which you have been searching for, and believe you must continue to search for. The truth is you are, and always have been the one SatChitAnanda, but you simply are unaware of it because of the mischievous maya/ego obfuscation, which covers, hides, and corrupts the true immortal Reality, which you are and always have been. (But this corruption cannot really happen except in your mind, deluded as it is by maya and its ego cohort.)

     i. You Will Never Find Reality in the Objective World  -  Having gotten this far in the discussion we can come to some general conclusions. One important one is that the objective world is the province of maya, illusion. It is here that we find variability, multiplicity, separation, the many, the ‘others’, all the inhabitants of a world of time and space and history, the realm of unreality. Unchanging eternal Reality is not to be found here. We see from the example of dreams, that even as the objective world comes and goes, the subjective remains unaffected by the comings and goings. It does, however, change its outer names and outer forms with each new dream and every new situation, but without its basis being affected by the situation. Even if there were never another dream, the subjective waking self would carry on unconcerned. The dreams with their objective worlds can change and even totally disappear, but the total disappearance of the subjective Self, on the other hand, is impossible. The subjective can seem to disappear, but only in illusion, i.e., in a fictional story, because behind the subjective waking self, underpinning it and providing its basis, is the true immortal Self, which is eternally unchanging, and therefore, can never be extinguished. When I say “I am Al Drucker”, two thirds of this statement, namely, ‘I am’, is eternal and can never change, whereas ‘Al Drucker’ is a temporal name, associated with a temporal form that relates to the particular dream story playing. To be truthful I should call myself by the response of the biblical voice in the burning bush, when questioned by Moses, “Who are you?” The voice responded, “Ehyeh asher ehyeh  -  I am that am.” which is the universal response of the one Self. But Moses, deeply enmeshed in his maya-fabricated world, could make no sense of that. So, upon further questioning, the voice said that it was ‘the God of his forefathers’, upon which the ongoing Moses story took off, and went on from that. Similarly if my response is “I am Al Drucker”, the ongoing Al Drucker story follows and takes off from that. But if instead the response had just been ‘I am’ that would have been it. Then there would have been no further story to follow, no change, no elaboration, no opening for made-up unreality to take over.

     j. Love All Aspects of Yourself  -  Notice that when you consider ‘others’, it is a concept that speaks of those, other than ‘I’, who seem to occupy the world of the particular dream-story that is playing. So, the ‘others’ come and go as the story changes. They are part of the projecting power of maya, appearing to exist outside of ‘me’. They are illusory; they are never real. But they seem to be so real. Then where did they come from? They arose from your mind (with your full previously-given consent). They come along with your dream, and are a consequence of maya having taken up long-term residence in your mind. Whatever you appear to see outside is always only yourself, seemingly and convincingly projected to appear to be outside by the power of maya, that you have tolerated to occupy your mind and run your show. So whatever you appear to be looking at ‘outside’, you’re always looking only at yourself. Since in Reality, without the obfuscations of maya, you are Ananda, pure undiminishable bliss and unbounded all-inclusive love, you can get closer to this true Self that you really are, by unconstrainedly loving your Self. And as long as you still find yourself in the world, you can best love your Self by fully loving all your projections, all the many aspects of yourself. In other words, by unconditionally loving all the ‘others’ you still believe are ‘out there’, you are knowingly or unknowingly loving your Self, for it was you who through maya, projected them out there and gave them their seeming individual reality.


6. The Two Domains, Reality and World

     a. The True and The Untrue  -  So now let us look at how the real (the true), and the unreal (the untrue, the illusory), interface in your experience. There are always two domains: Reality is one, and the world of maya is the other. These two domains, much like light and darkness, can border each other, but they do not normally interact with each other, except for one to swallow the other. Let me explain. Light and darkness cannot separately exist in the same space, for in the presence of light the dark is absorbed and disappears. Similarly, Reality and illusion cannot separately exist in the same domain; for in the presence of Reality, illusion is absorbed and disappears. And yet, somehow, in different compartments of the mind of man, the two domains seem to be able to coexist. The human mind can come to know that Reality exists. Furthermore, that it is nothing at all like the world of things, objects, beings, ideas and thoughts that the mind is so familiar with. Although the mind cannot really ever know what Reality really is, it can quite definitely know what unreality is, and hence, what is not Reality. Reality is eternal, totally independent of time and space, and so it is always that which never changes. The mind can readily conclude what in its perceptive field changes with time and position. Knowing that, the mind can engage in the spiritual practice of discrimination, wherein it reject all that is not Reality with the mental discernment of ‘netti’ ‘netti’, (not this, not that), as was previously mentioned. 

     b. Denial of the Denial  -  Note that although ‘netti’ seems to be a negative process, identifying what something is not, it nevertheless is a positive process. The whole point of the ‘netti’, the ‘not this!’, is to deny reality to the illusion of separation. But that illusion, which has given rise to the world in which we appear, is itself a denial of what is true. And thus, the mind denies the denial, a double negative, which, therefore, is positive. As already stated above, although the mind does not directly know with certainty what isReality, it can assert with certainty what is not Reality, and therefore, what is unreal. This is a declaration the mind has the authority to make because it can directly ascertain what is time or space dependent (which is so for just about everything that it knows of, in the world in which it functions). So, although Reality is beyond the mind’s capacity to comprehend and it cannot directly affirm what is true, the mind can be very useful in spiritual practice by marking everything that it encounters that is untrue, and then removing its support and belief from it.

     c. The Origin of Maya and the Ego Thought System  -  Now you might wonder why is there illusion or maya in the first place?  Where did the maya (which literally means ‘ma-ya - that which is not’) and its henchman, the ego, come from? Did God make it? Or are you in some way responsible for it? These are not just innocent questions that arise to satisfy your curiosity; they touch on the deep inquiry that is necessary to get at the very foundation of the illusion. To gain some insight into this process, reflect on an old parable which you may have heard many times before, and which is one of the most effective traditional teaching tools used to expose the ego thought system. Here you will again meet the two shaktis of maya, wherein the truth is hidden by a cloud of darkness, and a false projection appears to replace the prevailing peaceful situation, causing fright and disturbance. Here is that familiar story:

     d. The Rope and the Snake  -  Suppose you are walking on a path at dusk and the light is rapidly failing. There happens to be a short length of rope lying on the path, but it is very difficult to clearly make it out in the diminishing light. Based on the wiggly shape that you dimly see, you believe you are about to step on a frightful snake lying there, just a few steps ahead on your path, which may threaten you. Of course there really is no snake there, but unfortunately you don’t know that. You believe you see a snake, but it’s just the rope. The rope did not suddenly change into a snake. It is still a rope; it’s just that in the twilight, you mistook the rope to be a snake. Now, if instead of just responding with fear and running away, or getting a big stick, or shouting for help, you choose not to panic, but calmly, cautiously approach closer to find out what kind of snake it is…. ‘Is it poisonous?’, ‘Is it alive?’, ‘Can it harm me'. So, you shine your flashlight on the snake to get a better look. What then follows is a complete surprise. Remember, you shone your light on the snake to illuminate it more clearly, but what happened instead, and totally unexpectedly, is that suddenly the snake disappeared, and all you saw was a harmless piece of rope lying there. Remember, you expected to better see the snake and get more information about it, but totally to your surprise what happened instead, is that you inadvertently uncovered the hidden truth that there was no snake there at all. There was only the rope, which alone had been there all the time. So, the false vision of a snake could not survive the light of focused inquiry.

     e. Ignorance and Non-inquiry Is the Source of Maya and Ego  -  Applying the example of the snake and the rope to the question about the origin of the ego or maya which started this discussion, when you shine the bright light of inquiry on the ego it slinks away, and the unchanging truth that it covered then reveals itself. So, as with the false vision of the snake, in its falsely projected vision of a world and its concealment of the true Reality, the ego cannot survive the light of focused inquiry. When you ask, ‘Who is this ego?’, ‘Where did it come from?’, ‘Who gave it authority over me?’ these very questions will themselves provide the answers. For, they will result in the unmasking and unmaking of the ego illusion. The important thing to know is that maya and ego are inherently false. They are not real. They do not exist. From the standpoint of Reality, they are meaningless; they are nothing. They have no effect at all. They are only supported by your false belief in their reality, and the energy you provide them through your belief. Remove your belief in their credence and they collapse and vanish. They are mere ghosts which need your fascination in them to work their subterfuge. And this applies to all the subtle aspects of them as well, such as, for example, the dogged attachment to the body and the outsized fear of the death of the body, believing this to be the ultimate catastrophic event that heralds your permanent end. You have to remind yourself that this is a monstrous lie propagated by the ego, by which, through the medium of fear, it holds you in its thrall. No! Your existential nature is not in peril! It can never be. You are eternal. The body which is really not you, can die, but you are not the body and you can never die. In this way, firmly holding on to these truths, you have to dig out and expose all the countless subtle ways you have been holding on to maya, even while professing to want to be rid of it.

     f. Maya Is Like A Stray Dog You Befriend  -  But how did you get entangled with maya, in the first place? Sai Baba says that maya is like a stray dog. You start off by encountering the dog in the street and showing some interest in it. It seems very friendly, so you feed it, you pet it and you talk warmly to it. Then the next day there it is again to greet you. And again you feed it and stroke it, and perhaps repeat that on even a third day. At that point the dog will surely follow you home and become yours. You may think you adopted it, but more correctly it will have adopted you. Now it expects to be fed, to be paid attention to and to consciously be made part of your family. But soon you find the dog to be obnoxious, to be constantly demanding, to bark and viciously snap at your children and friends, and have become totally unwelcome. Now you clearly don’t want it around any longer and you decide to get rid of it. Then what you do is reverse the process by which you acquired it and it acquired you. From that point on you totally shut it out, stop feeding it, ignore it and pay it no mind, no matter how much it wails and cries for attention. When there is no more food set out and absolutely no attention paid to it, it will see no value in remaining there, and it will on its own give up and go away.

     g. Freeing Yourself of Maya  -  Similarly, to finally rid yourself of the maya-world, you must forget it, give separation consciousness and specialness no further consideration. Instead, at that point turn your focus only on the one eternal Reality. Sai Baba has said, “Dust if you think, dust you are. God if you think, God you are! Think God! Be God! You are God!” When you think like that, when you focus on God, which in this context really means the one Reality and not the world, when you shift your fidelity from the small personal self to the grand immortal eternal Self, maya will feel itself abandoned and give you a hard time. But when you persist, knowing you are invulnerable to both its blandishments and its vitriol, maya will soon abandon you and you’ll be free of it. Then you’ll forget even what it was and how it troubled you, and you’ll care very little about knowing more about its shenanigans and where it came from. What’s important is that it will have given up on you and unceremoniously departed.


7. The Fourteen Dimensions of Reality and World

     a. Can There Be A World Without SatChitAnanda?  -  It is maya that leads you to believe that the world with its multiplicity can exist by itself without the vitalizing presence of SatChitAnanda. This is like believing that you can have steam, ice, rain, storms, waves, currents, rivers, oceans, humidity, etc., and that they are all unique and different from each other, without once referring to their common basis, namely water, the simple H2O molecule that they are all made of. They may appear very different, but in their core they are all totally the same. Comparable to that, most of us go through life conditioned by parents, schooling, and life experiences to believe that the world of maya can stand and function on its own. We believe that all of maya’s myriad of individual parts that inhabit its projected world, and that appear so unique and different from each other, can independently exist without any reference to the world’s common basis, namely, SatChitAnanda. But, everything in that illusory world is non-existent except for the one common core, the only thing that ever exists, SatChitAnanda, in which they all are exactly the same. We see that steam, ice, rain, etc. without water is totally meaningless and illusory. Similarly, a world, absent SatChitAnanda, is totally meaningless and illusory. It is nothing. But such an illusory world is what Hawking and company's 11-dimensional M theory, describes. Their theory claims to know everything about the make-up of the universe, without recognizing its subtle, all-powerful, subjective, empowering principle contained in SatChitAnanda that is its wellspring. Unfortunately, no matter how exquisitely profound their conceptual understanding, their version of the world or universe is nothing until they include SatChitAnanda and the subjective human experience, as the fundamental ingredients of their world view. When they do, they will realize that Reality resides not in the objective understanding of the universe but in the subjective discovery of what alone is real.

     b. Two Domains, 14 Dimensions  -  As long as you continue to entertain maya (illusion), welcoming it in and feeding it coffee and croissants when it knocks on your door, then you will find yourself simultaneously, knowingly or unknowingly, trying to juggle two domains, both with a firm toehold on you. One will be falsely claiming to be all there is, but which by itself is nothing, and the other, whether recognized or not, will remain subtly hidden behind the scenes, ready to reveal itself as the one, unchanging, immortal subjective identity, independent of time, space, world and manifestations. For you then, to describe anything in the universe totally, you need not only the 11 dimensions of Hawking's objective world description in the maya-world domain, but also the three dimensions of Sat Chit Ananda's subjective presence in the Reality domain, which is a measure of your subjective recognition of your own true nature as eternal Reality, in contrast to your world view as an individual body personality with a unique temporal and spatial history. So, granting that Hawking’s 11 dimensional worldview describes every aspect of the maya-world, then you really need a total of 14 dimensions to be complete. Sat, Chit, and Ananda making up SatChitAnanda or Brahman, will be seen to be the three Reality dimensions, whereas x, y, z, and t will be the four classical Newtonian space-time dimensions. In addition, from the M Theory formulation there will be the 7 quantum dimensions. In almost all cases, according to Hawking, these 7 are totally rolled up and vanishingly small; they are so tiny that for all intents and purposes they can be totally ignored dimensionally But theoretically they must remain as 7 of the 11 worldly dimensions, for they are very important as determiners of the values of the all-important constants (such as the value of the speed of light or the charge of the electron or the mass of the electron, or the wavelength of different frequency waves, etc.), values that are determined in the origins of the fireball in the very early moments after the big-bang, when the temperature and the spatial density are coming down from infinity, and at which point these quantum dimensions rule. Under these conditions they determine how the resulting universe, as we know it, will develop and how it will be limited by the specific force fields needed to make up a world that will support life on this fortuitous planet and associated with this particular star system of our galaxy.

     c. Foreground and Background  -  As has been emphasized many times before, SatChitAnanda is the Reality Itself. It is eternal, ever unchanging. It speaks not of worlds or objects or compilations of things physical or subtle, but it speaks of the Self, the real ‘I’, always alone (i.e., one, non-dual), always present everywhere in all time. If any numerical values were to be assigned to it, it would always be infinity for each of its three aspects Sat, Chit and Ananda. Notice that anything that is eternal is infinite, and therefore, is always infinitely bigger than anything that is intrinsically finite, no matter how large its value. The infinities of the SatChitAnanda would, therefore, totally dominate the finite dimensions of the maya-world, to the point where the finite would have no effect or meaning. So, a maya-world of finite content would have no effect at all on the Reality domain, but, conversely, the Reality (ie., the SatChitAnanda) representing the infinite, will have an enormous effect on the situations and happenings in the maya-world domain. It gives rise to a dramatic reversal. Previously the maya worldly domain will have been in the foreground of consciousness, and the SatChitAnanda presence and the Reality domain will have been in the background; but as the SatChitAnanda takes greater presence in the mind and influences the worldly domain, the situation reverses, with the SatChitAnanda coming into foreground and the maya worldly awareness shifting to the background. These ideas will come up again below.

     d. Awaking the Buddhi, the Intuition  -  In assigning dimensional values in the 14 dimension system we’ve just described, the infinity values for the SatChitAnanda domain would occur only in very rare situations. Remember that SatChitAnanda represents the subjective, the ‘isness’ or ‘amness’ of the ‘I’ identity. And being eternally unchanging, ever-present, and totally free of time and space (since SatChitAnanda is not subject to these illusory maya-world parameters), SatChitAnanda is present everywhere, so that Its influence is unmistakable in all situations. But subjectively this is true for an individual only if his/her buddhi, the intuitive perceptive sense, has been developed and has become fully active. In such an individual’s mind the intuitive faculty, ie., the intuition, becomes more powerful than the reasoning faculty, and takes precedence over it and governs it. My spiritual teacher, Sai Baba, has spoken of the buddhi as the higher intellect, which is deeper and more subtle than the mind. Baba said that in most people, particularly in the West, the buddhi is like a little trickling spring, when, instead, it needs to flow fully and fast like the headwaters of the Ganges cascading through the mountains. It is the buddhi which provides the constant integrated awareness (CIA), that not only involves an ongoing alertness and focus in the mind, but also the subtle perception of the unchanging, underlying SatChitAnanda, making its presence known in all situations. The seat of the buddhi is frequently spoken of as ‘the heart’, a deep inner sense that is subtle and intimate, and whose preferred directions for action is not the product of deliberation mediated by diverse thoughts and conditions, but is immediate and unmistakable. Its preferences are usually spoken of as being felt, particularly in the heart, rather than known or pondered. It is sometimes characterized as the inner director, heard as an inner voice of wisdom, sometimes thought to be the holy spirit or one’s guru or a higher presence. It is perceived to be nearer to the inner core of one’s self than the mind. It may sometime appear as an emotional preference, but it is far more subtle and deeper than the emotional body. It is where the moral sense of the conscience resides, the native seat of dharma (righteousness) present, either weakly or strongly, in every being.

     e. Recognizing the Presence of Self Or Remaining Stuck In small self  -  A Spirit-awakened heart in which the buddhi awareness is well established, will recognize the SatChitAnanda to be pure auspiciousness itself, discernible in every situation. The degree to which this is comprehended in relation to the objective field in which the individual appears to be embedded, establishes a qualitative difference between a mind that is focused on Reality versus one focused on the world. This probably cannot be accurately quantified and assigned values, but it provides a relative measure of the effect of the Reality domain prevailing in a mind aware of the SatChitAnanda presence, but which also still believes itself to be in the illusion. (If this is a bit confusing, read on and hopefully it will clarify for you.) When SatChitAnanda is consciously present It can be described by such words as ‘Self-confidence’, ‘Self-knowledge’. ‘Self-realization’. The Self referred to here is the immortal Self, the true Self, the Atma, not the little self by which we identify ourselves as individual persons in this world. (Hence the use of the capital ‘S’ Self to distinguish It from the small ‘s’ self of our mistaken worldly self-identity.) In such a mind the SatChitAnanda would have a significant effect. However, when SatChitAnanda is not consciously present, or very little present in the awareness, and the buddhi is just a little trickling spring, then denial of the Self, ignorance of the Self, lack of Self-worth, Self-delusion, possibly even derision of the Self, would apply and little or no effect of the Reality domain would characterize that mind. Such a person would be wholly defined by the temporal worldly self of the individual, that most human beings believe themselves to be. But this is totally illusory, unreal, and non-existent, except as an ego-made-up construct in the mind, subject to all the vicissitudes and meaningless uncertainties of worldly life.

     f. The Reality Domain's Effect On the World Domain  -  So, the values assigned to the three individual Sat Chit Ananda dimensions are the extent to which there is a qualitative difference between the observer who knows his true Self but still navigates in the illusory objective world in which he seems to function. It gives a relative measure of the true Self to the phenomenal self that he may still identify himself with in the maya-world. Therefore, the relative values assignable to the Sat Chit Ananda dimensions reflects the extent to which you operate in the two domains. A spiritual seeker who has been exposed to the spiritual reality spoken of in this discussion, who will have directly experienced some sense of the unchanging pure ‘being’ represented by Sat, rather than just what he appears to be as a body which defines him in the maya world, or who has experienced the unchanging ever-present awareness of the pure consciousness of Chit rather than the multi-faceted, multi-tasking awareness required for playing out the story of life in the maya world, or who has experienced the totally unbounded bliss and all-inclusive love of Ananda… such a one, even while still in the world, would have much greater values for Sat Chit and Ananda, for he will be more aware of Reality then one with no knowledge at all of the spiritual dimensions. We see that this is a qualitative discussion rather than a quantitative one. The point is that it can give a measure of the effect of the Reality domain on that being’s worldly life, which would show up as acts of love and service and diminution of body-consciousness, and experience of miracles (discussed next). As mentioned before, Reality can influence the worldly aspect, but the opposite is never true.

     g. Disappearance of the World  -  A saint (or sage or spiritual master) who lives primarily in Spirit in his or her consciousness, will have very high Sat Chit Ananda values. Such a one when practicing samadhi (nirvikalpa samadhi) in which he/she is totally absorbed in the Self to the exclusion of anything else, will, in his or her profound absorption in the eternal Reality, totally transcend all body and worldly consciousness and his/her three SatChitAnanda values will go to infinity. Although these world teachers may still appear to be in a body, and manifest physical worldly activities and dimensions, the three infinities of their Reality dimensions will merge into a single infinity, representing the oneness of the full SatChitAnanda. This infinity will so totally overwhelm any finite physical dimensions, that the latter effectively disappear, and all that remains will only be the one infinity. That is the eternal Atma, which represents the Self-realized consciousness of the fully awake Saint. This is illustrated in the drawing below that I used for a talk given to a Buddhist meditation group in Florida earlier this year.

We’ll discuss the Avatar, the Boundary Bridge, and Miracles shown in the drawing, in the next section.


8. The Avatar and Miracles

     a. The Avatar's Presence Leads to Miracles Causing the Maya World to Dissolve  -  If the two domains, the Reality and the maya world, meet and border each other, but never overlap, how does the knowledge of the SatChitAnanda ever reach into the maya illusory world of the ego thought system? We can speak of the existence of a virtual bridge that emerges in the mind of a seeker, and that crosses the boundary between the two domains. It represents the powerful current of the SatChitAnanda infinity influencing the maya world, making the illusion of that world more patent to those bound in that domain. This current is best represented by the work of the Yuga Avatar, the avatar of this particular Age of Humanity. Whenever SatChitAnanda enters the relative world by taking on a form, it is known as the Avatar, one who demonstrates the qualities of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. He is a direct manifestation of the infinitely high vibrational frequency of SatChitAnanda in the Reality domain but who crosses over into the relative maya-world of low vibrational frequency, to be the world-teacher, the satguru of truth. His advent in the maya-world has the effect of raising the vibrational frequency in the maya domain, which, in turn, inspires miracles to be experienced. Miracles are unique experiences that are still of the lower vibrational frequency maya-world, but which are exceptional in that they do not observe the known laws of physics or the scientific understanding of biological function. They cannot be explained by any known worldly principles, but transport the seeming 'individual' across the bridge from the worldly domain into an ephemeral experience of the SatChitAnanda Reality domain. Such a transcendent experience can be profoundly mind-altering and incomparable. It may only last for a moment, but the new vision it provides won’t be forgotten, for it provides an insight into the truth that was always present but unrecognized. Once miracles have been experienced they become ever more frequent, and the Reality presence becomes ever more unconcealed and manifest. Then the illusory maya world begins its inevitable trek towards dissolution, like a bad dream of the night.

    b. Personal Experiences with Miracles  -  I have experienced dozens upon dozens of miraculous happenings, that have thinned out the heavy baggage of egoic life for me and clarified the realization of Truth. These miracles range from a miraculous airplane experience in which my life was saved while piloting a small plane in a massive storm, to countless other miraculous happenings over the years of journeying to India, as well as more recent happenings. Initially it takes a sharp attention (what Sai Baba has called the CIA, the constant integrated awareness, previously mentioned) and a willingness to allow 'the extraordinary' to be integrated and accepted into the normal happenings of daily life, without giving them too much distinction for their ‘specialness’. Initially, miracles are more likely experienced in one’s personal life, but then they can even be discerned in large-scale geopolitical happenings such as, for example, the 1940 rescue of the 350,000 member British Expeditionary Force off the beaches of Dunkirk, the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis with its near-planetary-wide-human-life extinction event, and the sudden withdrawal of Chinese forces from India, also in 1962. Undoubtedly there are millions upon millions more. Miracles usually have sensational stories associated with them. They may appear to be totally extraordinary, but to one who has directly experienced them and has a keen eye to recognize them when they occur, they can, after awhile, be seen to be happening all the time, to the point where life itself becomes a constant sequence of miracles. Miracles reflect the three special qualities of the SatChitAnanda appearance in the world, which can be experienced in the maya domain, namely omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. These frequently take the form of totally improbable synchronicities, time warps, unusual manifestations, knowledge of past and future events, simultaneous appearance in diverse places, improbable control of natural forces, etc. I recount a number of such miraculous happenings that I directly experienced in the 'Articles' section of my web-site,, and in the Souljourns videos on, as well as on YouTube.

     c. The True Theory of Everything  -  Miracles can be totally spectacular, but yet, of themselves, they are not all-important. They are still of maya, the illusory world. Sai Baba calls them his 'calling cards'. They are the messengers from beyond, which graciously appear in your ordinary (illusory) world. They point the direction to the true Reality, leading out of the karmic bog that seems to have ensnared us in time-bound superficial life, with no final redeeming promise but an inglorious death. The miracle shows you the non-reality of this dream you seem to be caught up in, and points you in the direction of the one truth. Therein lies the real ‘Theory of Everything’. It is not a dreary (even if brilliantly understood) account of a cold, hard, finite, dying world, and of a momentary blip of mortal life competing for place in that degenerate world. But it is the SatChitAnanda, the glorious direct experience of the one, the true Reality, which is eternal life, unlimited consciousness, and the infinite, unbounded love, joy and beauty of the true Reality. There, where you are free of your worldly situation, you will have and are everything.

     d. Some closing words  -  I hope this has helped you to recognize the unreality of that which is nothing and to defang it and dissolve it. Then the cloud of obscuration will disappear and the true Reality will reveal Itself. This would be a great victory of Self worth celebrating. But make sure this is what you really want. For you, the individual person you for so long have believed yourself to be, will in all likelihood be completely expunged in the process.

                                                             Al Drucker, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin,


9. Postscript

      a. Still More Closing Words And A Summary  -  Please forgive me, but I find that I have something else to say, namely this: The Non-Dual Advaita Vedanta, for most people on first acquaintance, is a prohibitively radical departure from their view of themselves and the world, but a view they share with 99% of the rest of humanity. Whatever they believe, however, the Vedanta asserts that they are not independent individuals separated from each other; in fact, that in Reality there are no ‘others’, but that everything perceived to be outside is merely a projection contrived by the ego thought system and maya (Illusion), which have taken up residence in your mind. Furthermore, that, in truth, you were never born and will never die, that you are in no way different from God, that the world and the universe in which it is embedded is an illusion and does not really exist; that, in truth, you are the one immortal Self, and as such you are everything that is eternally unchanging, and that you have been taken on a deceptive ride of subterfuge and fraudulence propagated from within your own mind. To believe all that is a very tall order, that more likely than not will land you into deep trouble with your family, your acquaintances, your co-workers, and perhaps the authorities. And, even if it were all true, then what would happen to the world as you now know it? What is to be done? Is there any hope for it? Must it all disappear, since it never ever really existed, and must we all become monks practicing samadhi? Well, no. It is not that drastic. It is true that the individual as a separate person in a body with its own independent mind, cannot exist, and ascribing individual existence to it is totally illusory. And a separate world that has ebbs and flows is also not real. But if you consciously link them to SatChitAnanda, which is real and ever-present, then whatever has been attached to the SatChitAnanda will be totally eclipsed by the Reality-presence that will have newly surfaced in that mind. Then the illusory attachments can remain, for they will have no effect on the Reality. Instead they act like a variegated outer garb of the SatChitAnanda, which would appear in the vestments of those particular names and forms, seemingly playing in the sandbox of worldly life.

     b. Love All the Projections of Your Self, But Do Not Become Attached  -  There is a story of the young Krishna coming into a house of mirrors and playing with the different images of himself produced by the variously-distorted mirrors in the room. Using some crayons he draws the characteristics of an old man on one of the horizontally inflated images of himself, and he draws a sari and feminine facial features on a particularly thin image of himself. Like that every mirror in the place holds a different image of himself in a different disguise. Krishna so much enjoys this game and he plays with and admires all his images. But then when he gets tired of the game he walks out and all the images disappear. Such is the perception from the atmic viewpoint when seeing all that is visible in your field of perception as images of yourself, that you delight in, but in which you have no attachment, knowing that the ‘you’ which is the basis of all the images, can never be touched or harmed.


10. Conclusion

     a. The World Is Never Just Name and Form. It Is Ever Sat, Chit, Ananda, Name, and Form  -  SatChitAnanda is a given. It is always present everywhere. 'Name’ and ‘form’ are the two terms used to represent time-bound and space-bound objects that make up the multiplicity of things, both physical and subtle (such as thoughts, ideas, emotions and memories) that inhabit the world as we know it. These are the countless things that can be named, differentiated and compared. These are the manifestations of maya. So, everything we perceive or think of, is made up of five factors, Sat, Chit, Ananda, nama, and rupa, (beingness, consciousness, love/bliss/truth, name, and form). The first three of these, Sat, Chit and Ananda, are the permanent, unchanging, ever-present, aspects of the eternal Reality, which we previously covered. It is all there ever is. The last two, the nama and rupa, the names and forms of the world, subject to time and space, can be seen as the visible outer appearance in which the first three appear to be clothed. The world of names and forms taken by themselves cannot exist on their own. Absent their basis, SatChitAnanda, they merely make up the delusionary ego-created world that is unreal and has no effect on Reality. However when nama and rupa are consciously linked with SatChitAnanda, then together they represent Reality in all its many guises, all trillions of them, in which all are exactly the same SatChitAnanda, but visible in the maya world by maya-bound characters as the particular outer dress of the names and forms their eyes and minds light upon.

      b. Spiritually-Aware Life  -  Suppose you as a physicist were to experience yourself as SatChitAnanda, what would change in you? If this process of awakening to truth were to take a number of life-times, as was generally true in earlier times, and as the Bhagavad Gita itself speaks of the process, then nobody could say for sure, since no one has reliably come back to report. But time is not real, and time can be collapsed and shortened immeasurably, so that today, in the time of the Yuga Avatar, the most remarkable changes in consciousness can be effected even in very short periods within a single life-time. In terms of what would change, the Avatar has given us some pointers. Initially, an unexpected unlimited freedom of new possibilities would make itself known in you, and a much more sanguine view of your place in the great order of things will manifest in your awareness. If physics was your previous interest, initially you may well continue your theoretical pursuits, but now it would be strictly for the love of it and the sport of it, with no particular investment in the outcome. Imagine what it would be like to know, not only in your mind but also in your gut and in your heart that you cannot die, that you were never born, and that nothing can ever threaten you, and that nothing unreal, (in other words, almost all the beliefs you previously thought were real) can ever actually exist, and, therefore, have any real meaning. Then the buddhi will guide you through a satori-filled life of infinite possibilities. Most importantly you will realize that now you are truly free, totally free of all bonds. In your awareness, nature or man will no longer govern, instead universal love will govern and hold everything in its care. Then you are permanently home in you atmic Self, in SatChitAnanda, and you are one with God.

       c. SatChitAnanda or Maya? Make Your Choice  -  So, it is either the SatChitAnanda (which being subtle is hidden from sight, but is known), masquerading in different names and forms, but playing out a story that is meaningful, aligned with the eternal dharma (righteousness). Or it is ego/maya (also subtle and hidden from sight, which has veiled the truth of SatChitAnanda and made it unknown) utilizing names and forms to play out a story that is meaningless, conjured up like a dream but representing nothing. We see that neither SatChitAnanda nor ego or maya are visible to human eyes, and that names and forms can be used by either to tell their stories, one leading to the expression of unconditional love, beauty and oneness, the other leading to the separative world view of the ego thought system, ‘the miserable little prison mentality’, as Sai Baba called it. The two may be confused at first flush, each hidden and revealing themselves by their use of possibly the same names and forms. But the difference in the stories playing out would not be very subtle. You wouldn’t need to be a monk to tell them apart. One would be Self-serving, the other self-serving, one selfless, the other selfish; an infinite mountain of difference between them, but also a huge opportunity for deception, unless you pay careful attention.

      d. Remember Reality Forget the World  -  As long as you still think you have a choice, you need to make the right choice. The easiest choice, Baba tells us, is to forget the world and remember your immortal Self. In other words, let go thinking of what is only ‘dust’. When you focus fully on the Reality the world falls into step and takes care of itself without your intercession. It need have nothing more to do with you. You effectively go on autopilot; your body and mind get used as they should and everything happens and gets done, with your body and mind now in the service of universal love.  “The world is not your business, Sir. Know the Atma, who you truly are. That is your business!” Baba chided me when I first came to him over 40 years ago. I know there is nothing more important than to hold that in your heart, with CIA, your constant integrated awareness, filling every breath. Any time is a good time to start that. How about now?


-  Om Tat Sat -