Eight Fundamental Truths of Existence

Mindful Awareness

by Jayaram V

Here are the eight fundamental truths of existence regarding the universe, knowledge, life, etc., for the discerning minds. Each of them will be explained in more details in due course.

1. All knowing is a rediscovery

All knowing is a kind of discovery. It is becoming aware of what is already present in the universe. Our knowing does not create it. We simply become aware of what is already present, which may happen through effort or by chance. It is the same as in a journey where you may not yet know the destination, and you may not have yet reached it, but it has always been there whether you reach there or not.

2. All creation is a mere repetition

All creation is a mere repetition, reproduction or imitation of what already exists or what can possibly exist within the framework of the universe. There is nothing that you can create anew, which is not already present in the universe in some state. Just because you chanced upon it, created it or invented it does not mean that it was not existing before. You cannot think, conceive, create, change or manipulate anything which is not already present in the universe in some form as reality, a potentiality or possibility.

3. All knowledge is self-existing

Knowledge does not arise because of the mind or the senses. Knowledge exists independent of the mind. The mind may know it, not know it or know it imprecisely. That knowing does not alter the universal reality. It is the same with the world. The world did not come into existence when you were born or opened your eyes. It was there before and it will also be there after you are gone.

4. Free will is an illusion

Just because you have the freedom to make decisions and choices, it does not mean that you have a free will. Your free will arises from your mind which in turn is bound to the laws of Nature. Even the choices which are available to you are preexisting. Then, where is the true freedom to think or choose beyond those limitations, without the constraints imposed upon you?

5. Infinity is just a number

Infinity is just a number or a condition which we cannot count, measure or ascertain its beginning or end in our present circumstances. It is infinity for us due to the limitations in our scientific advancement, but not necessarily for the universe or some other intelligence which is superior to ours. Perhaps someday we will find the limits of infinity, just as we can measure the distance between the earth and the sun today, which was inconceivable a few centuries ago.

6. The universe represents order in chaos

Life can be driven neither by chaos nor by a rigid framework of rules and constraints. The universe offers the finest example of balance between the two. It is a fluidly stable system, built in a fluidly unstable environment whereby it can effectively and efficiently harness the power of order as well as chaos. We are afraid of chaos and uncertainty. However, just as the universe, we can keep our minds open and flexible to take advantage of the possibilities and opportunities life offers to us.

7. Knowledge is known through intelligence

Knowledge is known or put to use by intelligence. In us, the mind (manas) and the body constitute the repository of knowledge. We use it with the help of intelligence (buddhi). Hence, the wise ones say that intelligence is superior to knowledge. Just as our bodies, the universe also possesses supreme intelligence with which it puts to use all this knowledge and gives shape to things. Its presence is evident in the intelligent order, structure and function of the universe. The Upanishads validate it saying that God or Brahman is pure intelligence (prajnanam brahma).

8. Suffering is inevitable and unavoidable

Knowledge without intelligence represents the state of ignorance and delusion. Not being able to discern right knowledge, causes, solutions, methods and approaches or the right way to deal with problems and situations, this is the state of ignorance which according to many philosophers and enlightened masters leads to suffering. Ignorance can never fully be resolved with our limited faculties. Therefore, our suffering can never fully be resolved. However, we can purify and brighten our intelligence to cultivate right awareness and discernment (prajna).

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