Flawed vision

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People often ask, “If the soul and God are real, why can’t we see them?”

But the question begs itself: “Do we really see things as they actually are?”

Consider our computer, where we may see an icon that represents a file. Though the icon appears on a particular location within the computer’s folder structure, that is not where the file is actually situated. In fact, if we get down to the physical memory disk, the data contained in the file is distributed at various locations as patterns of zeroes and ones. Yet for our functional purposes, the notion of a file as represented by an icon is valuable – it enables us to move, copy, delete, open and edit the file.

Similarly, for us as spiritual beings, we have been given the body as a machine for functioning in this material world. The Bhagavad-gita (18.61) refers to the body as a machine and indicates that it works under the direction of the indwelling Supreme. With this body, we have been given a vision that is functional, but not fully factual. Our vision doesn’t enable us to see all of reality; it enables us to see the part of reality that we need to see for functioning. To reject the spiritual because we don’t see it with our functional vision is to conflate the functional with the factual.

If we wish to understand how data is really stored in a disk, we need special education and training. Similarly, if we wish to understand the actual nature of reality and see the spiritual, Gita wisdom stands ready to train and equip us for expanding our vision. Through philosophical education and spiritual purification, we gradually realise that the spiritual is as real as the physical, an in fact, is the foundational reality for physical reality.

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy – Bhagavad Gita 18.61

Chaitanya Charan is a monk and spiritual author. Seeing the prevalent problems of stress, depression, addiction and overall misdirection – all caused by a lack of spirituality – he felt inspired to dedicate his life to the cause of sharing the spiritual wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita. He has authored over 16 books on spiritual wisdom and writes regularly for magazines and newspapers in India.

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