The complete system of knowledge that underlies all yoga, known as Samkhya philosophy, has understood the deep mysteries of existence for millennia. Only in the last couple of decades has Western science begun to catch up to the intimate knowledge once possessed by the seers and yogis of ancient India. The assimilation of these insights and discoveries hold nothing less than the key to revolutionizing our world.
Samkhya tells us that creation is the result of two forces or principles engaged in an endless co-creative dance. One of these principles is called Prakriti: the primordial energy substrate out of which all matter and energy in our material universe comes from and are modifications of. Prakrit is the “unconscious,” objective, outer material realm studied by our physical sciences.
At its most fundamental level, physicists call Prakriti zero-point energy or vacuum energy, and in agreement with the ancient yogis see it as the most fundamental force out of which space-time is derived. The vacuum is saturated by frothing fluctuations that are almost infinite in energy and density and are at the base of all universal forces, space, time, and matter.
The other principle defined by Samkhya Yoga–and completely omitted by the equations of physics– is Purusa. This is defined as pure intelligence, consciousness, spirit, sentience, or the indwelling self within all forms. It is the inner conscious awareness that is housed by the developing and evolving structures of Prakriti.
In the more poetic Tantras, these two principles are personified as the God Shiva or pure consciousness, and the Goddess Shakti of pure energy. It is the dance and lovemaking of the two that gives birth to our sentient material universe. Both God and Goddess expressed throughout and within all forms of creation. Yin and Yang engaged in a never ending love affair, with the manifest cosmos as their most cherished offspring.
Materialism believes only in the existence of Prakriti, collapsing the entire cosmos into what integral philosopher Ken Wilber calls flatland. The entire interior dimension of subjectivity is conveniently dismissed due to the fact that it is not measurable by the empirical senses. If it can’t be measured then it must not be real the materialist tell us, as a world designed on this premise collapses due to the lack of inherent meaning.
The data captured by the five sense is the only evidence of the materialist paradigm, reinforcing the ego’s need to get everything it can before its unavoidable nihilistic death. Consciousness is a mere epiphenomena of neuronal fireworks, soon to perish after its lucky moment in space and time.
Idealism collapses the universe in the opposite direction as it sees Purusa as the only reality of existence. A paradigm that sees the world as essentially made of mind-stuff fails to account for the predictable laws, patterns, and insights derived by the five senses. There is clearly an “outer” dimension to our lives, seemingly unfolding under its own set of laws and parameters. Even though there is an intimate and profound relationship between observer and observed, the material universe appears to evolve independently of what we individually think about it.
Panpsychism integrates Purusa and Prakriti, seeing all objective structures and forms as having interior subjective mindedness; from quarks to rocks to galactic clusters. This philosophical perspective views the world as possessing two distinct dimensions; an interior subjective sentience, and an exterior material manifestation.
Even though it approaches the understanding of Samkhya Yoga, panpsychism remains a dualistic philosophy. By simply dividing the world into interior mind and exterior matter, no matter how far back in time it goes, the major philosophical questions remain unanswered. What then is the world made of, mind or matter?
And of course the “hard problem” of science remains untouched: namely, what is the relationship between this mind and brain, consciousness and matter?
Objective energy and subjective mind are both creative emanations of a single, transcendent Source that lies outside of the space-time matrix. Brahma is the eternal dimensionless point where Shiva and Shakti are merged in ecstatic, loving, orgasmic Unity as the Creator-Source of all that is.
It is the transcendent Source where the intellectual distinctions of spirit/ matter, inner/outer, subject/object, conscious/ unconscious break down and dissolve into a non-dual, Unified Field of pure consciousness. Not to be confused with human consciousness, which is merely a highly evolved form of Purusa, but the very foundation and ground of all that is.
Non-duality, or Advaita, integrates and reconciles all of the above philosophies, stating that both subject and object, inner and outer, mind and matter are aspects and modifications of a unitary ground of pure being.
Matter, even though it is governed by inherent natural laws, is seen to exist only as it arises within the space of consciousness. Matter is what we call the sensory impressions that appear within our limited subjective awareness.
When that awareness is identified with thoughts, feelings, or emotions, we call it subjective mind, creating all forms of ego self-referencing to express its underlying sentience. When awareness is identified with sensory impressions, we call it our body and the material world it lives in. Yet both subject and object, mind-stuff and sensory-impression, appear within the empty embrace of an underlying awareness that exists as the non-dual ground for all that arises.
The understanding and realization that consciousness is the very ground of being was discovered by techniques that conformed to the scientific method, but aimed in a different direction. The science of mysticism explores the deep levels of consciousness accessible to the individual.
When the surface mind is stilled and the egoic identification transcended, the mystic discovers a Unified Field of Consciousness where all dualities are transcended. Time ends, space disappears, and all that remains is an ocean of pure luminous awareness.
The Nature of Prakriti
Physicists are discovering that matter itself does not really exist at fundamental levels. If we zoom into the atom of a rock, for example, we would find 99.99% empty space. And the .001% that is not empty has been discovered to be a mere probabilistic cloud of possibilities awaiting a measurement to localize.
However, physicists are finding that this space between the nucleus of the atom and the whirling electron, which they are calling quantum vacuum, is not empty but actually full. A plenum rather than a true vacuum.
As understood through the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, there are countless probabilistic fluctuations undulating in and out of existence in what physicist are also calling the zero-point field. These probabilistic fluctuations, now called zero-point energy, appear to contain unimaginable amounts of power. This unfathomable density is generated by the dance of countless virtual particles and anti-particles popping in and out of existence, creating almost infinite energy when added all together.
Maverick physicist Nassim Haramein has gone even further, stating that the quantum fluctuation is actually a mini-spherical vortex, what is called a dual torus, which is spinning at the most fundamental level of creation. It is this inward moving spin that generates the outward radiating field, thus giving form to the whirling structures seen across our cosmos: from sub-atomic particles, to planets, to solar systems, to galaxies, to galactic clusters.
Nassim claims that the spin unifies all universal forces, as its attractive nature is expressed in the strong nuclear force and gravity, and its radiant nature in the electromagnetic spectrum and the weak atomic force of radioactivity. The energy is pulled into the vacuum while simultaneously emanating out through its own centrifugal forces in an endless feedback loop of self-creation.
A proton, Haramein tells us, is composed of these quantum fluctuations, which are little vortices in the quantum field measured as Planks lengths, the smallest possible unit of measurement. They are so small that if one PSU (Plank Spherical Units) was the size of a grain of sand, the proton diameter would be the distance from the sun to Alpha Centauri – forty trillion kilometers to be exact. Therefore, the proton is the product of countless spinning PSUs, whirling the entire fractal universe into existence like the opening of a flower.
Yogis knew that Shakti was a spiral, that Prakriti moved in endless cycles across all levels of manifestation. It is the serpentine energy that is spinning our entire cosmos into existence, as all forms and patterns of nature reveal the cyclical and fractal nature of Prakriti. Tai chi masters move with Chi; yogis work with Prana, as careful observation reveals the vibratory nature of all existence.
Prakriti-shakti is the dancing feminine principle of creation, the Mater, weaving creation into being through the endless cycles of Her spiral dance.
Nature of Purusa
What is causing the spiral? What is Prakriti moving toward? Nassim Haramein states that at the center of the whirling fluctuation is a singularity, a point of infinite energy, curvature, and density. In effect, the proton is a mini-black hole, as is the PSU.
In fact, the whole universe can be described as a black hole/white hole phenomena, as it allegedly sprang forth from an infinite point of compressed potentiality – the singularity – and to it it shall return. What we see then at all fractal levels is a toroidal energy field, Prakriti, spinning around an empty center that itself transcends the known laws of physics. A singularity appears to be at the center of all known structures of creation, from the quantum fluctuation to the cosmos as a whole.
In physics, a singularity is a region where space contracts, time ends, and all known physical laws break down due to an almost unimaginable gravitational pull. It is dimensionless, as space-time is annihilated; formless, as anything larger than a photon is compressed into an infinite point of stillness.
Yet, it is the mysterious power source that spins atoms into being, lights up the stars at night, orbits the planets around the sun, networks stars into galaxies, weaves galaxies into clusters, and gives birth to the cosmos we so happily inhabit. In effect, it is a dimensionless and timeless core out of which and into which all manifesting energies flow.
What else do we know to be dimensionless, timeless, formless? Awareness, spirit, the inner being, sentience, life! In effect, Purusa is the singularity, radiating within the whirling electromagnetic and physiological field that is our body. Life is the singularity of biology, orchestrating the fractal fields of organic nature to create endless forms in the web of life.
In humans we call Purusa soul, or Atman, and feel it as the animating force spinning molecules off the genetic assembly line to sustain our physical organism.
From the atom’s inner mini-singularity to the spark of life in the heart of all living cells, to the self-aware human mind, the inner Purusa is in constant dialogue with his partner Prakriti. The internal sentient spark of radiant Shiva illuminates and in-forms the dancing creativity of Shakti as they create worlds from their endless love affair. Prakriti loses herself in cyclical time, yearning for her beloved Purusa as she spirals back toward her dear One.
Unification in Brahma
When Shiva and Shakti unite in sacred Love, when Prakriti and Purusa dissolve into each other, when subject and object merge in Samadhi, Brahma awakens as the enlightened being it has always been, the very Source of all existence.
The quantum unified field of physics Prakriti and the sentience within us all, Purusa, reunite as the true Unified Field of creation: pure Consciousness. What we call the universe is consciousness, expressing itself as stars, planets, and galaxies on the outer surface, and as inner realms of consciousness within. Both the inner and the outer expressions of the One.
And as Samkhaya reminds us, Atman and Brahma are identical, as there is only one Singularity, one Source, and you are It!
Eugene A. Alliende has been practicing meditation and yoga for twenty years and facilitates weekly meditation groups and classes at his healing center. His passion is the exploration of consciousness, and how a deeper understanding of our true nature can help heal the individual and the world. Read his book Dimensions of Being here