Consciousness and matter – two seemingly separate entities, yet inseparably intertwined in the grand scheme of things. According to Vedanta, the ancient Indian philosophy that explores the nature of reality and consciousness, “consciousness is the very essence of all things, just as gold is the essence of all ornaments.”
But what came first – consciousness or matter? Did consciousness arise from matter, or did matter arise from consciousness?
Some may argue that matter came first, as it is the fundamental building block of the universe. But Vedanta asserts that consciousness is the ultimate reality, the ground of all being. As the ancient sage Patanjali states in the Yoga Sutras, “Consciousness is the witness of all states.”
So perhaps it is more accurate to say that consciousness and matter are co-eternal, two sides of the same coin. As the famous Vedantic guru Ramana Maharshi once said, “Consciousness is not an attribute of matter. It is the very essence of the Self. Matter is a mere shadow, a projection of consciousness.”
In other words, consciousness and matter are not separate, but rather two expressions of the same ultimate reality. As the Bhagavad Gita, another ancient Indian scripture, states, “The material world is but a manifestation of consciousness.”
So the next time you find yourself wondering about the relationship between consciousness and matter, remember that they are ultimately inseparable, like yin and yang, or peanut butter and jelly (if you’re into that sort of thing). As the great Vedantic sage Adi Shankara puts it, “Consciousness is the thread that runs through the pearls of creation, binding all things together in unity.”
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