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The Logic of Objects – Effect and Cause – Gross to Subtle
1. The elements precede the organs, and maya, the creator, precedes the elements.
When we say, “I see a tree,” or any other object, we do not see the material object. Analysis of experience shows us that the sense organs arise from the sense objects: space, air, fire, water and earth. The senses are the transactional components of Isvara, the Creator; they “read” the properties of objects. The ears, for example, pick up sounds generated in space. The skin records touch, the property of air. The eyes experience color and form, the properties of fire. You do not experience material objects; you experience the organ’s experience of the properties of the object. You can never experience the property on its own; it is always connected to the object. The organs cannot be seen, they can only be inferred.The organs are the cause and what we experience is the effect.
2. The mind is the “eleventh sense organ.”
It seemingly decides which organ will function consciously and which will function unconsciously. For example, if you are eating and then turn on the TV, the mind will make the eyes the predominant organs of experience and the tongue and taste will become secondary organs – or even non-existent, depending on the degree of concentration the mind invests in the sounds and sights. Not only will you not enjoy the taste of the food as much, you will probably overeat because the mind will not be available to override the food vasana when the stomach is full. If the mind is obsessed with a particular thought, for example, there may be no experience of the world of objects at all. The mind is subtler than the sense organs; it is the cause and the organs are its effect.
3. The causal body, vasanas and karma program the mind.
It tells the mind which organ should predominate and which should be expressed for a particular experience. The experience the causal body generates is caused by the jiva’s karma. However, you cannot say categorically that karma is the cause of the vasanas, because the vasanas cause the karma. Cause and effect is a closed loop. Neither comes first, like the chicken and the egg. How can you have an egg without a chicken? How can you have a chicken without an egg? They are in the same order of reality. This shows that the creation is a projection; there is no cause and effect and no time. However, within the apparent reality, where cause and effect applies, the causal body is the cause and the mind is the effect; when the fructifying karma for a particular day is exhausted, the mind dissolves into the causal body and sleep ensues. It emerges when the fructifying karma for the succeeding day begins to sprout. You cannot directly experience the causal body as a jiva. Knowledge of it is inferential.
Existence and Objects
4. It is a matter of experience that existence is independent of objects.
You cannot transfer the existence that belongs to a tree, for example, to a dog, because the dog already exists.
5. The object is appreciated by the senses and the is-ness of the object is appreciated by the intellect.
You cannot say the intellect experiences existence directly like the senses experience the properties of the sense objects, because existence is subtler than the intellect; all instruments and objects enjoy existence before they become objects.
The senses cannot experience existence, because existence is subtler than the senses. So how is existence experienced? It is “experienced” by the intellect as knowledge. In this case knowledge is as good as experience because the intellect infers based on previous experience. The previous experience of existence on which it can reason is the ever-present direct experience of the self because the self is existence. So, reasoning from self-experience, the intellect concludes that objects are existence and that existence is not an object. Existence is the same as consciousness; you can’t be conscious unless you exist and you can’t exist unless you know you exist. You know you exist because existence is consciousness. Therefore the self, consciousness/existence, can use the intellect to reason.
The knowledge from perception and inference (the senses, mind, intellect and vasanas) is not in conflict with Vedanta – the knowledge that you are existence – because they are in different orders of reality.
What Are Objects?
6. Objects are a combination of existence plus a name and a form.
Seen from the jiva’s point of view, they are a mixture of experienciable and non-experienciable consciousness/existence.
7. The existence of an object is awareness, but awareness is not an object.
Objects are existence appearing as objects owing to the power of maya.
8. Maya reverses the relationship between objects and existence.
Maya makes it seem as if the existence of an object is a property of the object. If you say the tree exists, it seems as if you are ascribing the quality of existence to the tree. If you say the cat exists, it seems as if there is a special existence called cat-existence. But there is only one existence out of which cats and trees are fashioned by maya. Perception and inference will not reverse the reversal, because both are born of maya. So the jiva cannot hope to perceive existence, other than by knowledge gained from scripture, because objects are inert and inert things do not have the power to act, i.e. reverse the relationship between the jiva and the self. It cannot experience or become the self. Only knowledge reverses the reversal.
How Do Objects Appear?
9. Objects appear all at once and they evolve.
They appear all at once if you look at them from the self’s point of view. They evolve if you look at them from the jiva’s point of view.
What Is Freedom?
10. Objects and the substance/existence of objects are experienced as one, but discrimination is appreciating the object as the dependent factor and existence as the independent factor.
Steady discrimination is moksa, freedom from dependence on objects.