The Brain As Holodeck by Tamohara dasa


The spiritual or eternal self is not the sensations which the soul experiences within and from the body. “yantra rudrani mayaya”. What we directly experience is not actually the external hard physical material world, but a REPRESENTATION built by the mind, within the networks of the body’s brain, nervous and glandular systems, life air, etc., but primarily the brain, of the occupied body, exactly like a person experiencing the holo-deck from Star Trek fame. Subject, also, to defects.

By Tamohara dasa (ACBSP)

“.. the soul … sits as if on a machine built of material energy.” Lord Sri Krsna, Bhagavad Gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada Thakura.

We are, indeed ghosts within the machine. But, as aspirants for spiritual emancipation, we are actively working to fix that.

When we meditate, if we are inclined to remember, we may wish to occasionally remember that we are the ability to sense, not exactly the sensations themselves, which are but the mere elements of the representative holodeck of the human brain.

There is some variety, which adds to the difficulty and bewilderment of the soul in the human holodeck. as Srila Prabhupada said in Rome, “We are desiring of some (material) varieties”, as conditioned souls. Sometimes there are some sounds, (hopefully the maha-mantra!), sometimes the sensation of the tongue moving, sometimes some sense of breathing, etc. I am not this, but the experiencer, the seer of this. Supersoul is there also. Only Lord Visnu is omniscient, and we acquire our knowledge from Him. He is the doer and the activity of sensation, the seer, the experience and the object of sensation. We float within His Being.

We are not the doers, we are the desirers; the Lord actually carries out the activity, and even our foolishness is allowed, if we insist. Love means, among other things, not forced. If we go the route of seperatism and inevitable shrinkage of the self, we gradually become puppets trapped in identification with the non-pure Krsna consciousness, and instead of extending our love out to Godhead, we extend our consciousness outwards the sensory apparatus of the temporary forms allowed to us by Godhead to fulfill our every relatively wretched desire.

The self, in another life placed in another body, naturally extends its consciousness to the external limits of the current sensation-capsule and experience-delivering system, or the body / form. Like a well-fitted glove, the fit is nice. It is always nice. The adopted forms which our consciousness extends into determines the wavelengths and spectrums of energies which we shall experience, just like a TV provides pictures, and radios provide sound, so each body has its ranges and specialties.

Neither are we the controllers of the ‘field of activities’ which creates the diverse sensations, delivered up to us like platters, as we sit within the human body. The external world is controlled and enjoyed by the Lord. those cars rumbling by have nothing to do with us, so no need to extend out the senses to inquire whether some sense gratifacatory opportunities are there, whether we may need to try to control the situation. Our presence is not actually even required! We can let go our attachments and anxieties of loss and acquisition. We own none of it. It is all temporary, for us. Just surrender unto Him, and do not fear. Relax the false ego and the four needs; feed fear fight and procreate.

As devotees, ‘We have a right to perform devotional service’, so sayeth Sri Krsna, the Supreme Lord. So, let us choose to exercise that right, and when we remember the Lord, it should be with an intent to serve !, not an intent to enjoy the pastimes only, but to serve the pastimes. Same with chanting japa. The Holy Names are for service; for example, to be spread to the many innocents, to be listened to and said clearly, with full respect for the Divine Personshood of the Names, with respectful and loving surrendered concentration, aware that this is our eternal shelter. Ultimately, with attachment and growing wonder and joy and thankfulness.

In this way, by analyzing and understanding sastric knowledge, our eternal nature as soul and servant, we prepare to become endowed, by His mercy and will, ( the merciful will of Lord Balarama-Sri Gurudeva and Sri Radhe ), with direct sensations of spiritual nature, delivered by yogamaya within a delightful form of rasa and bliss, without having any material ego-bound filtering or mere holodeck representations, but actual reality, as enjoyed and envisioned by the Supreme Personality of Godhead !

He is unimaginably attractive. As infinite Godhead, He has no limits to His qualities and abilities, and can totally captivate the mind and heart of the tiny jiva if He wishes. And thank goodness for all of us, He is so magnanimous, that He does indeed wish.


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