Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation homepage > Notebooks of Paul Brunton > Category 27: World-Mind > Chapter 2: Nature of World-Mind
Nature of World-Mind
Attributes, characteristics, powers
He who made the world still upholds it. He rules the entire universe, this great Being, and regulates the karmic destinies of men.
The World-Mind brings our universe into being and governs it, too. The enormous number of objects and creatures which appear through Its agency, through Its power and wisdom, cannot be limited to what is visible alone, and must fill a thinking person with wonder at all the possibilities--a wonder which Plato said must be the beginning of philosophy.
The Infinite Intelligence knows and controls all things, all situations.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shalt not fall on the ground without your Father" (Matthew 10:29) puts simply that an infinite intelligence controls this entire universe, and that it is as present in the smallest event as in the greatest.
This is the Power that carries everything along, every entity, and which provides the universe with its continuity.
In the sense that the World-Mind is the active agent behind and within the universe, it is carrying the whole burden of creation; it is the real doer, carrying us and our actions too.
There is a Mind which keeps the planets in their allotted orbit and the lives of men in their largely self-earned destinies.
The World-Mind is God as universal intelligence and creative power.
The World-Mind is called Adi-buddhi in the Nepalese-Tibetan esotericism: meaning Divine Ideation, the First Intelligence, the Universal Wisdom.
We are frequently informed by religious and mystical sources that God is Love. It would be needful for those who accept this statement to balance and complete it by the affirmation that God is Pure Intelligence.
Love is not the ultimate but only an attribute of the ultimate.
The intelligence which works so untiringly in the world around us knows what to do without having to prepare a plan. It does not need to think in the way human beings think. Being infinite, its wisdom is infinite.
The Intelligence which formulated the World-Idea is living and creative--in short, Divine. The so-called laws of nature merely show its workings.
If the divine did not have real being, with all its attributes of consciousness, intelligence, power, and love, we ourselves would not exist.
Those who cannot comprehend the infinity of intelligence behind the world around them can hardly be expected to comprehend that is has an independent existence as an attribute of pure Spirit.
The World-Mind holds in one eternal thought the entire World-Idea.
The World-Mind knows and experiences everything and everyone. It also knows the Supreme non-thing, the Real, while knowing the illusoriness of the cosmos.
The World-Mind knows all because it is eternally in all.
The mental activity of the World-Mind is not, and cannot be, an unconscious process. In the elemental, the mineral, and even the plant kingdom this may seem to us to be so; but if the first act of mentation which began the evolutionary process was not done unawares, then the entire projection of the entire cosmos, at all the different stages of this process, also cannot be unknown, at any moment and in any point, to the World-Mind.
In its own mysterious way, the World-Mind is all-embracing, aware of everything, every entity and every activity.
The World-Mind is not only Lord and Governor of the world but also Lord and Governor of the illusion which makes the world so vivid to the ignorant; that is, It is itself the All-Knowing, the All-Seeing, Conscious of the Real.
That One Mind could possibly comprehend all could only be possible if that one Mind were behind all.
The World-Mind is common to all human minds and is the field of their interaction, and the notion that A and B are independent and isolated minds is superficially correct but fundamentally fallacious. There is a common ground of mind, a hidden linkage, and the ideas of one can be transmitted to the other, albeit often unconsciously.
No event could be outside the knowledge of God, no entity could be beyond the power of God.
Were the World-Mind beyond, because outside, the finite universe, then it would be limited by that universe and thus lose its own infinitude. But because it includes the universe completely within itself while remaining completely unlimited, it is genuinely infinite. World-Mind is neither limited nor dissipated by its self-projection in the universe. If World-Mind is immanent in the universe, it is not confined to the universe; if it is present in every particle of the All, its expression is not exhausted by the All.
Inexplicable and incomprehensible though the fact must be to the human intellect, the One infinite Mind never loses its own character even though it is seemingly incarnated into the myriad forms of an evolving universe, never loses itself in them.
It is a wisdom expressed through the World-Idea, but not confined to it.
Amid all this apparent self-division into innumerable selves, the World-Mind remains as intact and inviolate as ever it was.
The World-Mind alone has come into the limitations of physical existence without being held down by them, without being other than itself.
The infinite power is without a history but the ideas in its consciousness do have one. Nothing ever happens to That which is out of every kind of time and space, which transcends every kind of shape and change. But its ideas pass through experience after experience because they appear in timed succession and pictured form.
World-Mind is omnipresent.
The divine Mind is implicit in every universe, the divine Power is implicated in every cosmic activity.
This is the reality that is hidden in me and you, in the whole universe itself. It acts everywhere and exists eternally.
It is the unseen divinity that is responsible for the seen productions of Nature and Time, and hence the divine is present in every atom of so-called matter and in every individual human being.
The farewell greeting "God be with you!" is really a reminder which means "God will be with you wherever you go for He is everywhere."
Thus make it. Unseen itself, its presence is seen in every earthly form; unthinkable though it be, its existence is self-manifested in every thought.
The universe comes forth from the World-Mind, from its own being and its own substance. Therefore the universe is divine, therefore God is present in every atom and likewise in every one of us. Whoever denies the existence of God denies the very essence of his own self.
Whether the divine power is looked upon as being inside or outside oneself--and both views will be true and complementary--in the end it must be thought of without any reference to body and ego at all.
In no part of space does the World-Mind exist, and at no point in time is it to be met.
Why is God so hidden, the Overself so elusive, the Spirit of the World as if it never were? Because the eternal and infinite Being is forever seeking to express itself in the universe in which these attributes can appear only under time and in space, that is, never in their full and real nature. This means that God is not in this world (as he really is) and that his elusiveness could not be otherwise if he is to be the true God.
Reality is everywhere and nowhere. The world is impregnated with it. Mind and flesh dwell within it.
The World-Mind is in us all, reflected as "I." This is why ever-deeper pondering and penetration are needed to remove the veil of individuality and perceive BEING.
Swami Narayananda said, "God is the Subject of all subjects. In one sense He can never be known. It being the very Subject of all subjects how can we know it? To know means to objectify a thing, and the Supreme Subject can never become an object. In another sense, God is more than known to us. For it is our very Self. What proof do we want for our very existence?"
Television brings simultaneously to millions the same picture, the same personalities, and the same voices. Just so is God present simultaneously to every individual in the whole world.
The World-Mind enters into the consciousness of all beings at one and the same time.
We describe this mysterious life-power as infinite because so far as we know, so far as reason can guide us or intuition tell us, so far as the great seers and prophets teach us, it is boundless in time and space; we can trace no beginning to it and see no ending for it.
There is an ancient recension of the Bhagavad Gita in Kashmir which contains a number of verses missing from the one hitherto translated into English. In chapter XI, between stanzas 44 and 45, it has the following: "Thy divine deeds, the former miracles, the sages of yore remember. There is no other creator of the world; thou alone art, both founder and disposer and omnipresent Being. Could any miracle be impracticable for thee? Or could I mention one possible for thee through someone else only? Since thou art thyself the Creator of everything therefore all this is but thee. The most wonderful deed is not difficult for thee."
As source of all
The point which appears in space is a point of light. It spreads and spreads and spreads and becomes the World-Mind. God has emerged out of Godhead. And out of the World-Mind the world itself emerges--not all at once, but in various stages. From that great light come all other and lesser lights, come the suns and the planets, the galaxies, the universes, and all the mighty hosts of creatures small and great, of beings just beginning to sense and others fully conscious, aware, wise. And with the world appear the opposites, the dual principle which can be detected everywhere in Nature, the yin and yang of Chinese thought.
The Godhead is a great Void and has no direct connection with the cosmos. When the hour ripens for the latter to appear, there first emanates from the Godhead a mediator which is the active creative agent. This is the World-Mind, the Logos, Brahma.
From the Void emerges the Central Point. The Point spreads the All. So the World-Mind and the Grand Universe appear in existence together. No thing is exactly like any other nor is any individual history the same as any other. No entity or circumstance is perpetuated: each passes away and the entity reappears later in another form.
If the divine activity ceases in one universe it continues at the same time in another. If our World-Mind returns to its source in the end, there are other World-Minds and other worlds which continue. Creation is a thing without beginning and without end, but there are interludes and periods of rest just as there are in the individual's own life in and outside the body.
Logos in Greek means not only the word through which mind communicates or expresses itself but also the thought behind the word. So the Biblical phrase "In the beginning was the Logos" means that first of all there was the MIND, here divine mind.
Men need and speak numerous words to express themselves, but God needed and uttered only the one creative silent Word to bring this infinitely varied cosmos into being.
However far we trace back the line of cause and effects it must come to an end in the lone cause, the great mystery which is the unseen power.
The sign for infinity is a circle. The sign for unity is a vertical dash. Hence 9, the figure nine, combines both and the figure six also, but reversed. Unity is the creative beginning of all things and infinity is that wherein they dissolve.
The World-Mind is the conscious Power sustaining all life, the intelligent energy sustaining all atoms, the divine being behind and within the universe.
Just as the echo can have no reality, no existence even, without the sound which originally produced it, so this entire universe can have none without the Infinite Power from which it originated and on which it is still dependent.
Call it God or Allah, the Creator or Tao, it is the First, the Source, the Origin from which all energies and things come into being.
The World-Mind is the creative principle of the universe.
The World-Mind eternally thinks this universe into being in a pulsating rhythm of thought and rest. The process is as eternal as the World-Mind itself. The energies which accompany this thinking are electrical. The scientists note and tap the energies, and ignore the Idea and the Mind they are expressing.
There is a double alternating movement within Mind: the first spreading out from itself towards multiplicity, the second withdrawing inwards to its own primal unity.
Hidden behind the so-called material universe is the Power which emanated it, which is present in all atoms. Hidden behind the Power is the eternal Mind.
There is no power in the material universe itself. All its forces and energies derive from a single source--the World-Mind--whose thinking is expressed by that universe.
There is an aspect of the World-Mind which, manifesting as protons and electrons, expresses its energies, forces, and powers. The atom is made from divine stuff. The world, which is made from atoms, is divine.
The same energy which is behind the universe is converted into the "matter" of the universe. But it remains unexhausted and unconsumed. God is its source, and is inexhaustible.
MIND is the Real, Energy is its appearance. Matter is the form taken by radiation or energy. It is not that the truth lies between two extremes but that it lies above both.
Is it not a miracle that physical objects, minerals like coal and oil, can be turned into heat and light and power, that is, into energies, as men are doing today?--that matter can be transmuted into electrical energy, which can be turned into sounds, pictures, songs, and words as it is thrown across the world? But what is the essence of this energy, whence does it come ultimately? Where else but from the Great Mind which activates the universe?
Physics derives the world of continents and creatures from energies; these in turn derive from a mysterious No-thing. There is no room here for materialism. For if nothing material can be found at that deep level, mathematical evidence points to Mind.
The substance of matter has shifted from the visible world to an invisible one but precise, if difficult, mathematical formulas tell us that it is there, while exploding atomic bombs demonstrate its power. At this point matter disappears; its substance becomes its source. All things and all energies come from this source. It is the ONE, unique. It is life for us all and death for us all.
Mind has its own energy, which mysteriously constructs forms in space and time, forms of planets, suns, galaxies, the cosmos.
Energy is expression in movement of the unseen substance. Matter is its apparent form. All things are made from it. We are a part of it.
At the very end of all their explorations of the atom, what do the scientists find? Empty space, no thing-in-itself, a gap out of which pour flashes of energy.
The World-Mind acts by its own power, underived from any other source.
This entire universe is a tremendous manifestation--the One turned into the Many--of a single Energy, which in its turn is an aspect of a single Mind. Whatever its nature, every other force derives from this Energy, as every other form of consciousness derives from this Mind.
The statement "Light is God" is meant in two senses: first, as the poetical and a psychical fact that, in the present condition of the human being, his spiritual ignorance is equivalent to darkness and his discovery of God is equivalent to light; second, as the scientific fact that has verified in its findings that all physical matter ultimately reduces itself to waves of light, and since God has made the universe out of His own substance, the light-waves are ultimately divine.
The Light is World-Mind's active and creative force.
The Light of the World-Mind is the Source of the physical universe; the Love of the World-Mind is its structural basis.
All the forces of the physical world are derived from a single source--the solar energy.
This energy which is within the cosmos, from which it is drawn by man, this Life-Force, may be called "bio-electric" for it shows itself on one level as light, on another as the whole spectrum of colours.
Biology does not know or explain Life-Power, only its manifestations.
What the scientist formerly called "radiant light" became the stuff of which worlds are made; what the mystic visionary called "the body of God" and actually saw as a mysterious light, is still present in the world and hence in man.
If we seek an origin for the consciousness, however small finite and limited it may be, that a man possesses, none other can be found except the universal consciousness which informs the entire universe and guides its development.
All the different kinds of consciousness come from this Universal Mind. All the highest ideals and virtues of human consciousness come from it too. Even simple religious faith indirectly has its rise there.
It is the mysterious essence of all things and of nothing, the infinite presence that is everywhere and yet nowhere. Above all, it is at the very root of man's inward being.
Our roots are in the World-Mind. In that sense, our whole life is born and grows from it--physical and non-physical alike. There is our true Parent.
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