Updated: Jul 30
Part 1 : Summary of the Theme of Creation as explained by Avatar Meher Baba
God Speaks explains that the “ Theme of Creation “ starts with the
“Initial Urge“ or the “ Lahar “ which arose in the Unconscious Ocean of the Beyond Beyond state of God to become conscious of itself. The “ Lahar “ was summarised by the phrase “ Koham? “ or “ WHO AM I ?” . The theme concludes with the final correct answer summarized by the phrase “ Soham “ ( I am that ) or “ Aham Brahmasmi “ or “ I am God “ . In between are the innumerable false answers which are in the domain of Maya - the principle of Ignorance.
In God Speaks and also in Discourses, Beloved Baba has explained that the illusory Universe is made up of 3 layers - gross, subtle and mental. Then there are layers within layers, with a total of 6 planes of illusion ( with lanes and bylanes in between ) . He has also explained that there is an inherent hierarchy of these layers - with finer impressions ( having a lesser amount of attachment ) corresponding to higher level of planes of consciousness and control. Appropriate higher layers only become apparent or accessible only with the appropriate quality of Sanskars or impressions with lesser binding characteristic.
In God Speaks Beloved Baba describes the processes of Evolution
[ with the individual soul increasing it's consciousness but also increasing it's Sanskaric ( Impressional ) load ], reincarnation ( process of stabilising into the highest level of consciousness and gathering the resolve for further involution ) and Involution [ with the individual decreasing the Sanskarik ( impressional ) load while retaining its consciousness ].
In Nothing and Everything, Beloved Baba while describing the opposite processes, has used the words “ eating more and more of imagination during Evolution and eating less and less imagination during Involution.”
Upasani Maharaj, while describing these processes, has compared the gathering of consciousness to drawing water from a well. Consciousness is available to the individual soul, but, at a lower level, in a well. To draw this water( consciousness ) to his level, the individual soul has to allow his bucket to lower level of water ( Evolution - a process of descent ) and then fill the water in the bucket by manoeuvring the bucket a few times in water ( Reincarnation ) and then applying effort to raise the bucket to a higher level ( Involution - a process of ascent ). After the water is at his level, the individual soul can drink it ( He achieves God Realization. ) The two processes of evolution and involution are of opposite in nature : descent is automatic and aided by nature, whereas ascent requires effort and needs individual motivation and the Grace of a Master for success.
In summary, Theme of Creation revolves around the question of self awareness, Illusory answers in the domain of duality, opposing processes of ascent and descent, the multi-layered illusion of the Universe, and the ultimate awareness gained by the individual soul that Illusion is really Nothing at all whereas the Self is Everything, and gets the final answer “ I am God “. This stage is the only reality and is called the 7 th plane of consciousness.
Thus, God Speaks and the Nothing and Everything both revolve around the questions regarding - the Initial Urge for Self Awareness, Duality of Ascent and Descent, multi layered universe and the final Answer.
Part 2 : How does Modern science deal with these very subjects of - Self Awareness, Duality, hierarchy and the Multiple layers of the Universe ?
I) Self Awareness and multiple layers of the Universe as in Modern Science :
Whenever physical sciences have studied questions regarding “ self awareness “ - it received answers which are variously described as divergent, and absurd because the answers are riddled by quantities which are infinitely large . Before 20th century, sciences did not have adequate mathematical tools to overcome these infinities and side-step these divergences.
As an example, questions like - whether an electrical charge or a particle gets affected by it’s own electrical or gravitational field ( own sphere of influence ) have never got clear answers. Repelling force of an electric charge exponentially increases with decreasing distance due to the famous law of inverse square relation of distance ; and at zero distance, if a point charge were to experience it's own field ( self awareness ) its force will increase to infinitely large magnitude and should make it explode. This does not actually happen. Counter forces were then invented and charge distribution over a tiny region ( and not a point ) was assumed to exist which balanced these infinities. This gave a hint that as we approach the particle at small distances of the atomic and nuclear scales, the laws of physics may change.
Similarly, if a piece of matter experiences it's own gravitational field ( self awareness ) it should implode/ collapse with infinite gravitational attraction . Again this does not happen. Classical physics of 18 th and 19 th century could not explain these divergences adequately.
in 20th century, with The advent of the Avatar of the age, Relativity, Quantum mechanics ; and respective Quantum and gravitational field theories became possible with more powerful mathematical approaches [ like non Euclidean geometries ( 1905-16 ), Hamiltonian Mechanics ( 1830s ) , Perturbative Renormalization ( 1950s ) and Renormalization group flow ( 1965 - 80 ) ] . These revolutionary developments made modern science better able to grapple with the questions of “ Self awareness “ or “ Self Activation “. Even these approaches could not, however, eliminate and resolve the divergences, but were at least successful in managing and rationalizing them.
General Relativity could explain that Gravitational collapse does occur for stars which have spent their nuclear fuel. This does not happen , however for all dying stars, but only massive ones ( with mass greater than 1.4 times mass of our sun ), and this led to the understanding of black holes. This gravitational collapse implied that there would be a break in the structure of space and time itself around the blackhole ( it is called a singularity ); creating an event horizon around such black holes.
The quantum field theories and Re-normalization techniques dealt with the infinities which arose with ‘ self activation ‘, using a clever trick of suppressing them and by resorting to “ effective field theories “ valid for only limited distances and energies.
At atomic and nuclear scales the physical laws seem to be entirely different than at larger scales which we can see with the naked eye. Particle mass and charge values seem to change depending on the scale of momentum or energy at which we probe them. The reason, roughly, is that every particle is surrounded by a cloud of virtual particles ( virtual particles are just a way of representing ‘ self activation ‘ at these level of distances and momentum ) — and the harder we slam two particles into each other, the deeper into this cloud we see.
Re-normalization is a technique that, in the absence of the knowledge of exact relationship between forces and charges/ masses ( physical laws ) ; back -calculates the “ bare mass/ charge “ - ie mass/charge of the particle if it were free from any interacting fields. ( Hypothetically, If there were no interacting quantum fields, the value that mass or charge of a particle assumes is called the
“ bare “ mass or charge.)
Re-normalization is then done with a perturbative correction approach ( with each term adding approximate corrections ) in a power series relation between bare mass/charge and physical mass/charge actually measured at some distance. After arriving at the “ bare mass “ with increasing accuracy after iterations, the method then has a refinement which makes the theory an ‘ effective’ one. It assumes that the unknown laws ( whatever they may be ) apply over only a range of distances and energies and the power series iterations are done within this bound range. If we are able to get meaningful effects of the field within these limitations ( due to the happy chance that the power series expressions can be ignored after a few terms - later terms become so less, as to be irrelevant ) our effective field theory is said to be re-normalizable . This method proved extremely successful (even if the Re-normalizability feature was initially thought to be a lucky break ).
It was later found that the effective theories exist in a group, with each theory holding it's own within the limits set forth and a new theory emerges, at subsequently closer or farther limits. Re-normalization group then acts as a
“ trade-off “ of knowledge ( for a limited range of distances/ energies ) for ignorance of values outside the range. ( that is for for agreeing to not inquire into what occurs outside the range. )
Later it was observed that, what was thought of as a lucky break ( or a lucky bargain ) was in fact a more general feature of a series or a group of “ effective theories “ having a common feature of “ re-normalizability “. It was, as if nature, in it's inscrutable ways, was revealing only a mixed picture, accessible in some respect and hidden ( inaccessible ) in others. ( in the words of the Discourses - the manifold and evolving universe is created out of nothing with Reality at the background - or it can be said to emerge out of the mixture of Nothing and Reality - Beloved Baba then gave the substitutes of number 1 for Reality and 0 for Nothing, a combination of which giving the many-ness of the Universe.)
Effective Field theories of the Quantum Field Theory have as a group proved to be very successful in understanding and integrating 3 out of the 4 fundamental forces observed in this physical gross world - viz - strong force between nuclear particles, electromagnetic force between charged particles and weak force found in radioactive decay of unstable particles. Force of gravity interaction, however has eluded any integration with the rest of the three fundamental interactions/ forces of nature
We thus see that modern science has come a long way in understanding the multi-layered nature of the physical world, with access to each limited at each stage - depending on the energies and distances with which we probe these fundamental forces of nature.
( Mathematics, which is said to be language of science has also dealt with self awareness - examples are liars paradox, set theory with sets as members of of itself, incompleteness theorem by Kurt Godel etc. These will be discussed separately.)
2) Understanding of duality in physical sciences
As stated above the closer we get to an atomic particle of matter or charge, stranger it becomes. So strange in fact, that the very particle of an atom or an electron gets morphed into something entirely different. It gets converted into a alternating reality of particle and a wave! A particle has a definite location, whereas a wave has diffused location, having different probability amplitudes at different locations. This was the shocking discovery of quantum mechanics which came to light in 1920s. Light behaves like a wave when we observe it in a particular experimental set up ( and this was known from early 1900s ) and behaves like a particle ( photon )when we observe it with a different set up. Same is true of matter particles - they behave like waves or particles depending on how the experiment is set up. ( this was suggested in 1920s just when the Avatar of the Age started His Mission and this discovery laid the foundations of quantum mechanics.) It was further discovered that the Universal laws are not exact. There is a fixed proportion of certainty and uncertainty mixed in the physical laws which is determined by the famous “ Uncertainty Principle “ . Thus there are a pair of properties ( like position vs momentum or energy vs time ) which can not be both precisely measured - if one is measured precisely, the other becomes uncertain - and this has nothing to do with the precision of the experimental setup, but an inherent property of nature. This uncertainty is “ wired “ in nature in the world of molecules, atoms and nuclei. However the amount of uncertainty and certainty that is mixed in nature obeys statistical laws very accurately. If we want to probe an atomic particle with a test particle via collision, the properties change depending on the energy with which we probe as we saw previously. Higher energies ( with higher uncertainties in in energy and momentum values ) correspond to shorter time scales and positions ( short duration and localized phenomenon having smaller uncertainties )
Thus; in early 20th century, science discovered that duality ( with a pair of opposite attributes ) is the very fabric of the physical universe ; which also has multiple layers.
3 ) “Science has not yet scratched the surface of Reality.”
While modern science has made tremendous progress in understanding the layered nature of the physical universe which is made up of dual and opposite aspects, it has not even scratched the surface of the fundamental Unity of life. It has satisfied itself with effective theories and not yet understood the all important question about self awareness.
It has determined that the questions like - why there is “ consciousness “ , “ why the world came into being “ , “ what is the ultimate goal “ etc are beyond it's scope.
This is because, science explores the outside world “ Objectively “ ; whereas “ Spiritual Science needs an exhaustive search within ( which is necessarily
a “subjective“ search). These two statements by Meher Baba will make it clear:
i ) “Philosophers, atheists and others may affirm or refute the existence of God, but as long as they do not deny the very existence of their own being they continue to testify their belief in God - for I tell you with divine authority, that God is existence , eternal and infinite. He is Everything.”
ii ) “When mind sours in pursuit of things conceived in space , it pursues emptiness; but when man dives deep within himself he experiences the fullness of existence. “