Buddhism has one central and fundamental teaching, which, at first, may sound startling and incredible: “This world is our mental creation.”
Nothing in the entire universe exists without its having been conceived first by either the mind of God, or the mind of man. There is no exception to this. This is so obvious, yet we fail to see it.
If we come right down to it, the only reason any material thing exists is, somebody has thought of it. Before a chair or table exists physically, it must have existed first in the mind of the carpenter. Before a painting appears on canvas, it must have appeared first in the mind of an artist or painter.
And before the sun, the moon and stars appeared, they must have appeared first in the mind of God.
We think of a wooden or iron chair to be so palpable, so material and so concrete that we fail to realize it could have originated from a purely non-physical cause.
Materiality then appears to be just the after-affect of a mental (and therefore non-physical) process, ending up as matter due to the lowering of its vibrations. What if it is proven later on that matter is simply condensed spirit, just like ice is simply condensed steam?
Modern quantum physics seems to agree with this eastern mystic’s view that this world is our mental creation.
The great British physicist James Jeans said, “This world is becoming more like a great thought than a great machine.”
Another physicist, Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, said, “The stuff of the Universe is mind-stuff.”
The great American psychic and prophet, Edgar Cayce (who died in 1945), said, “Mind is the builder, the physical is the result.”
If this is so, if everything has a mental and, therefore, nonmaterial origin, then it is not very difficult to conceive of matter being a creation of the spirit. It is not difficult to realize our spiritual origin.
However, there is a world of difference between spirit and matter. Their nature and their properties are not all the same or similar. Man is a far cry from an angel, which is pure spirit.
This is true. One belongs to the spirit plane of existence, the other to the material plane. Yet, in a human being, the two principles of matter and spirit merge beautifully, forming a single being.
If the level of vibration of any material object is raised to a high degree, it will cease to be matter but energy. The great scientist Albert Einstein formulated the principle that if one multiplies any given mass with the square of the speed of light (which is 186,000 miles per second), that mass turns into pure energy.
If we further raise the vibration of energy, to an even higher frequency, then it will theoretically cease to be energy but something else. It will move to the level of the spiritual world.
In like manner, when quantum physicists tried to explore matter down to its subatomic levels, the material element completely disappeared. It consisted of empty space, which is unthinkable!
At the subatomic levels, particles behave in a weird or peculiar manner. They do not follow any more the principles or laws of classical Newtonian Physics. Nothing is certain or predictable. Everything becomes mere probabilities.
That’s why quantum physicists were forced to invent new concepts to explain what was happening. They formulated the “Principle of Uncertainty.”
One German molecular physicist told me many years ago that the subatomic particles being studied by physicists, using very strong microscopic instrument, behave very strangely. Sometimes they behave like particles, at other times like waves, depending on the presence of the observer.
The wave collapses into particles once observed, and they can find no rational explanation for this.
In other words, the observer determines how a subatomic particle will behave or exist. The Buddhists are, after all, correct. This world is “maya,” or illusion. It is the result of our own mental creation. And modern quantum physics appears to support this view.
“If you are not profoundly shocked by quantum physics,” said Danish physicist Niel Bohr, “then you have not understood it.”
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