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Sentiency

When we consider the origin of what we see in time and space as this Universe, the first question that arises is this: Did the Universe come out of existence or could it have come out of non-existence? Shall we, like the mystics, take existence for granted, or shall we, like the Big Bang cosmologists, take non-existence for granted? The mystics take existence for granted and want to get from here to there, and that will wash. But the Big Bang cosmologists take non-existence for granted and want to get from there to here, and that will not wash. There is no laundry that will take it. So let us, on observational grounds, take existence for granted, and ask what might exist in the absence of the Universe, and in the absence of time and space.


If what exists in the absence of time and space is not zero, then it must be changeless, not in time, and infinite and undivided, not in space. But the question still remains: Why do we see it in time and space? And what is the origin of our concepts of time and space?
 
Einstein was much concerned with this problem and concluded,  “..that the formation of the concept of the material object must precede our concepts of time and space.” It would seem, then, that it is the genetic programming that imposes on us the concept of the material object through our identification with a material organism. Only a material object can perceive a material object. If your body didn’t have a gravitational field, you wouldn’t have noticed that the Earth has. Only gravity reads gravity. Only electricity reads electricity.

So then it must be the genetic programming that veils the changeless, the infinite, the undivided and projects the changing, the finite, the divided in its place, in which we nevertheless see the changeless as inertia, the infinite as electricity, and the undivided as gravity. But if it's the genetic programming that pulls the wool over our eyes, we shouldn't complain. After all, the eyes themselves are genetic, and the eye invented the brain.
  
In the long history of genetic evolution, our brain was invented by our eyes. Among the protists (the single celled organisms with a nucleus, which the bacteria lacked), the Euglena had a little orange eye spot to tell it where the light is, and flagella to get it there. And long later, when the eyes became more complicated, they needed an organ to interpret what they saw, and they made it out of flagella. That's the brain, and that's why flagella protein occurs in the brain. So cheer up! The genes that pull the wool over our eyes made the eyes themselves, and then the brain.

Now the European physicists and philosophers seem to have taken for granted that matter is both insentient and inert. The Sankhyans, in India, took for granted that matter is insentient but “ert” (active). The Vedantins, in India, took for granted that matter is both sentient and ert. How could anyone who lives in an earthquake zone take for granted that matter is inert? We don't push those mountains around; they push each other around. And if the stone didn't know where the Earth is, it would certainly not fall toward it. And if the electron didn’t know where the proton is we would not have a Universe of hydrogen.

Now the Vedantins say that in order to mistake a rope for a snake, you must fail to see the rope rightly through the veiling power of tamas, you must jump to the wrong conclusion through the projecting power of rajas, and finally, you must have seen the rope in the first place through the revealing power of sattwa, or the mistake might have taken some other form.
 
Now the interesting thing is this, that the genetic programming appears to have veiled the changeless, the infinite, the undivided, and projected the changing, the finite, the divided in its place. So we see that the veiling and projecting powers are native to the genetic programming. But the revealing power is native to sentiency itself. It is the sentiency inherent in matter and ourselves that allows us to see the changeless showing through as inertia in matter and as the search for peace and security in ourselves. It is that sentiency that allows us to see the infinite showing through as the electrical charge on the minuscule particles of matter and as the search for freedom in ourselves. And it is that sentiency that allows us to see the undivided showing through as gravity in matter and as love in ourselves. And sentiency is native to existence itself.

Bravo, the genes! But keep your eyes open! That which is beyond the genes is what you are.