The Miracle Is You: [04.01] A Philosophy For Life - Soul and Matter

Published: 01.08.2006
Updated: 06.10.2008

Is this world only matter? Or is there more than matter? The seers perceive this world as a combination of both soul and matter. They are together from time immemorial. There was no time when you can say that there was no world or there will be no world. Yes, there will be change, but that does not mean there will be no existence or there will be zero, no substance. This the seer knows that there is always change. Every minute the form changes, and what we call destruction is nothing but a change.

Change is not annihilation. The idea of annihilation is not cherished in Jainism. The world is going to remain and it will go on changing. New York will never be the same as it was 300 years ago. It was different then, something else was here. And in 1,000 years this city will be different. The matter may remain but its form will change.

The question arises: How do we distinguish the soul from the matter or the life from non-life? What are the criteria? The criterion of life is consciousness, and the criterion of matter is non-consciousness. Wherever you see consciousness, you see growth. There the life is pulsating, but wherever there is stagnation or no growth, it is non-consciousness or matter. The fulfillment of life is enlightenment through evolution. There is that in you which is ever-growing. That evolves and reaches a point, which we call perfection. In this ultimate state of perfection there is no interference of matter. You have shed all the matter, emotions and desires, conflict between likes and dislikes, from your consciousness. Duality ends and unity is experienced. What remains is pure consciousness, the pure state of perfection. Now we see that this state of perfection is the aim of the evolution; it is enlightenment or the path for enlightened beings.

There is an example, which the teachers give about the raw diamond. If you put a piece of raw diamond beside a piece of stone, you would not be able to distinguish between the two. If a jeweler comes and breaks the piece of diamond precisely, then from the broken piece you could see some sparks of light. If he removes all the coverings and polishes the diamond, then the radiance of the diamond shines out. A diamond in a raw state is the same substance as the piece of shining stone. The same thing is true of our consciousness. Our consciousness is like a raw diamond: by polishing we are bringing out its hidden radiance. The radiance is already in you.

Sources
  • The Miracle Is You by Chitrabhanu © 1980
  • Published by Devine Knowledge Society, Bombay
  • 3rd Edition 1996 Jain Meditation International Center, New York
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  1. Consciousness
  2. Jainism
  3. Soul
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