Published On: Tue, Aug 2nd, 2016

Fossilism vs Subjective Evolution

The following chapter is an excerpt from a conversation between Srila Sridhar Maharaj and neurophysiologist Dr. Daniel Murphey, Ph.D.

Darwin has given the theory of evolution— Fossilism. Vedanta has given subjective evolution. In Darwin’s theory of objective evolution, matter evolves consciousness. The object exists first, and by its development, life is coming, consciousness is coming— from stone. That is objective evolution. But an object is a relative term; without the subject, an object cannot stand. The subject is the primary substance. Whatever is to be felt is only an idea in the subjective ocean.

darwin-150x150Charles Darwin presented his theory of objective evolution, wherein matter evolves consciousness

So, the subject, consciousness is first. The object, the gross, proceeds from the subtle. When a particular potency is handled by Krishna, in His form as Maha-Visnu, then the material energy begins to move and produce something (mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram).

The first product is a general ego. Then, gradually so many plural individual egos emanate from the general ego. The experience of this world develops from ego. When ego contacts the mode of ignorance, form is produced. When it contacts the mode of goodness, the sun and light are produced. When false ego comes in connection with these three modes of nature, a division takes place, and the objects of the senses, the material senses, and the power of sense perception are generated. So, from the subtle, the gross is coming.

Fossil Fathers

The material scientists think that the subtle proceeds from the gross. This is upside-down. It is just the opposite. Not “fossil-fatherism,” but “God-fatherism.” Their theory is “fossil-fatherism”: the fossil is the father of everyone. The scientists believe that everything moves upward. This is incorrect. It is coming down.

This is described in the Bhagavad-gita (15.1):

urdhva-mulam adha-sakham
asvattham prahur avyayam
chandamsi yasya parnani
yas tam veda sa deva-vit

“The tree of this material world has its roots upward,
while its branches extend downward. The leaves of
this tree are the Vedic hymns. One who understands
this tree, and its origin, is a true knower of the Vedas.”

So, according to Vedic knowledge, everything moves from up to down, not from down to up. Matter does not produce the soul; rather the soul contains in its one negligible portion the conception of matter. Like an eczema, it is a disease. The world exists like an eczema in a wholesome body. This is the Vedantic understanding. It would certainly be a wonderful miracle if stone could produce the soul, but it is easier and more reasonable for us to think that the soul has produced the conception of stone. In the soul, there are many conceptions, and one conception is that of stone. It is all in the plane of consciousness. But that stone can produce soul, or consciousness, is difficult, ridiculous, inconceivable, and unreasonable. Rather, it is the opposite, something like the Berkeley theory that the world is in the mind, and not that the mind is in the world. It is only our deviation from the truth that brings us into this mundane world. How and where that deviation begins is to be thought out. But deviation from the truth has brought us to this false area.

guru-maharaj-speaks1-150x150Srila Sridhar Maharaj explains the Vedantic principle of subjective evolution wherein consciousness is producing everything

So, consciousness is producing everything. Consciousness is eternal; this world is not eternal. This is a temporary production, and the temporary stone cannot produce eternal consciousness. Pure consciousness is an eternal subject (nitya sanatana). It is not a product; it is productive. Ether can produce fire, and earth, but the earth cannot produce ether. The subtle is more efficient than the gross. The gross is of secondary importance. The soul, Atma, is of principle importance. The origin of everything must be conscious; the starting point must begin with the interested party. The soul is endowed with interest, but a stone has no interest, plan, or project, nothing of the kind. But there is a plan and a purpose pervading everything, and that is the important thing. According to that consideration, the characteristic of the Absolute, the original substance should be calculated. An object of limited attributes and capacity cannot be the ultimate cause. Only a thing of unlimited quality and capacity should be taken as the cause of the whole. That is a more reasonable idea. Science should realize this. So, there are some who think that science is gradually trying to meet philosophy.

Karmic boomerang

Material science is only increasing the circumference of the mortal world. But increasing the tendency of exploitation cannot help us. Science is only borrowing, extorting power from nature. According to Newton: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” We must be conscious of this fact. All our acquisition here is nothing: like a boomerang, it will come back to zero again. So scientific progress is no progress. It is “progress” in the wrong direction.

Actually, the first principle of any living body is to save himself. That is the first principle, and that should be our starting point.

In the Upanisads it is said:

asato ma sad gamaya
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya

“I am mortal; make me eternal. I am ignorant, filled
with nescience; take me to science, knowledge. And I
am threatened with misery; guide me towards bliss”.

We should begin our research work in these three phases: how to save one’s own self and save the world; how to remove darkness and attain light; and how to remove misery and taste nectar, the sweet life of eternity, knowledge, and bliss (sac-cid-anandam, satyam sivam sundaram).

Science devours itself

This should be the line of our search; all other inquiries are false. This so-called scientific research is a wild goose chase. It is suicidal. The atomic researchers remove darkness and bring light, remove misery and establish eternal peace.

Science means not to extend the jurisdiction of exploitation, knowing full well there will be a reaction. By extending the space of exploitation, we will also surely be exploited. If one knowingly commits an offense, then he is charged with more punishment. So, so-called scientific advancement is suicidal. And it is clearly proven: presently the leading countries of the world are threatening each other with atomic weapons, the highest product of the scientists.

Neutron bomb: death ray

What is the difference between the atomic bomb and the neutron bomb? The neutron bomb is something like a death-ray that will kill the people, but will not destroy the buildings. The neutron bomb: man will be killed, the houses, the buildings and everything else will be left behind. The bed will be there, the furniture, everything else will be there, but only the life will be gone, and the bodies will become rotten. That is the effect of the neutron bomb.

So, this is a suicidal civilization. The whole civilization is rotten to the bottom. They are exploiting nature for the apparent good of human society, but it is incurring a loan from nature that must be paid to the farthing with interest. Because they do not believe this, they will have no relief. They will be forced to clear the debt; nature won’t forgive them. Nature is there like a computer, calculating. So, this civilization is anticivilization. The whole thing is rotten, a camouflage, a treachery to the soul-world. But our policy is different; plain living and high thinking.

Our policy should be to make the best use of a bad bargain. Somehow or other, we have already come here, so now we have to utilize our time and energy in such a way that with the least exploitation we can get out of this world.

—Editor’s note: shortly after this meeting, Dr. Murphey became an initiated disciple of Srila Sridhar Maharaj