The PROUT Companion: Philosophy

Consciousness is the Supreme subjectivity and all other mundane subjectivities or objectivities are mere blendings of the absolute subjectivity. P.R. Sarkar1

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.
Max Plank2

The nucleus of this Cosmic cycle is indeed the characteristic bearing of the Consciousness. The material cause of the entire Cosmic cycle is the Consciousness. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti3

The problem of a durable and satisfactory social order can only be solved by combining the solidity of the Roman Empire with the idealism of St. Augustine’s City of God. To achieve this a new philosophy will be needed. Bertrand Russell4

Q. What is the specific characteristic of the philosophy of Prout?

According to Prout, consciousness is the fundamental material, and matter is the result of its metamorphosis. Matter is crudified consciousness.

Q. How does consciousness manifest itself as matter?

Pure consciousness is the substantiating, witnessing entity while the operative principle (the force of creation) manifests the act of creation. These two are inalienable concomitant entities just like the two sides of a piece of paper. None of them can exist without the other. Consciousness is the witnessing entity of whatever the operative principle creates, just like we are able to reflect on our world and its activities.

The operative principle creates by applying three binding principles: sentient, mutative and static. That which gives a pure I-feeling is the sentient, while that which instills a sense of doership is the mutative principle. In the Cosmic mind such sentient consciousness expresses itself in pure “I”-feeling or intuitional mind: “I exist in all this!” Mutative consciousness is experienced as ego, the “I” that relates to action, feelings, properties, etc., such as in “me” and “mine”. “I did it!”, is one expression of such ego; “Without me it could not have happened!”, is another cruder.

A still greater impact of the static principle causes the manifestation of crude or complete objectivization of consciousness. “This is the crudest objective counterpart of the subjective Cosmos.”5 This condition of consciousness is called mind-stuff. It has a form, and that which causes it to take form is the static principle of the force of creation. An expression of this state of consciousness would be: “The stuff I continue to generate gives value to my existence.” Here crude objects have become more important than both the subtler ego-feeling or the still much subtler pure “I”-feeling.

The continued impact of the static principle on Cosmic mind-stuff causes it to undergo further crudification. As a result ethereal (spatial), aerial, luminous, liquid and solid factors – the five states of matter – are created as a result of the gradual crudification of the Cosmic mind. To conclude, matter is a crudified form of consciousness under the impact of the binding principles of the operative principle (the force of creation).

Q. How do unit minds (microcosms) emerge?

As the impact of the binding principles grows stronger and still stronger on the solid factor (such as in the case of a piece of stone) the internal friction within that crude structure approaches its maximum. The clash or play of these forces is known as power or energy. Every solid object contains potential vital force in the form of their primal energies. These energies may be latent or manifest to various degrees. They are there, in perpetual creative existence, as a result of the interplay between the sentient, mutative and static principles. “Vital force is the eternal game between the cosmic cause and its crudest effect.”6

In primal energy two determinate forces are active – one centripetal and one centrifugal. Between them there is a constant clash where either of those two active forces may win. If the inward-oriented, interial force wins, i.e. if the resultant force happens to be introvert in character, a nucleus is formed within the solid factor. Thereby a solid structure is created. This interial resultant is known as vital energy or vital force. If the centripetal force succeeds however the structure will disintegrate or explode, as in the case of numerous celestial bodies.

The manifestation of vital force depends on two essential conditions. Firstly, the resultant of vital energy must be an interial force. Secondly, there must be a congenial environment for the living structure to emerge. In its environment the five fundamental factors of space, air, light, liquid and solid matter must be found in requisite proportions and conditions in order for the structure to come alive.

Vital energy is the resultant interial force. Wherever and whenever portions of a physical body, such as a piece of stone, gets powdered down as a result of clash into subtler factors, subtler than all the five fundamental factors, the result is a unit mind, or microcosm. Within a unit structure, its “mind is a chemical reaction of physical clash but that physical object is a creation of Cosmic mind.”7

Under the impact of physical clash, psychic clash and attraction of the Great, microcosms evolve and gradually become subtler and subtler. In evolutionary terms physical bodies – unicellular and multicellular structures – evolve because the minds in them require a body for their expression and such unit minds always require new and more evolved bodies for their continuous evolution. The state of evolution of microcosms reaches a stage when the intuitional state – the pure “I”-feeling – of microcosms surpasses the ego which has already surpassed the cruder objective portion, i.e. crude matter. Thus intuition gets fully developed and becomes at this stage the human mind. Both philosophically and linguistically8 human being implies a being that expresses a clearly reflected consciousness. As such human beings form a species qualitatively different from any preceding species on the ladder of evolution. The pre-human species are guided by nature or instinctive impulses whereas human beings have the capacity to guide their instinctive impulses.

Thus we see that the existence of physical objects are the result of evolutionary processes in the Cosmic mind, from the subtlest of the subtle towards the crudest of the crude. Furthermore, living organisms come into being as a result of internalization of primal energy in crude objects so that unit mind-stuff emerges within elementary organisms. In the great Cosmic chain created matter comes from Cosmic consciousness and living beings come from matter as their minds – the essence of their being – emerges out of solid objects as a result of the play of creative energies there. Things that are alive are therefore not first and foremost physical beings but mind beings. They are in existence because they have a mind, however crude or subtle that mind may be. In fact, the there is mind in everything. In the case of living beings this fact is reflected in he respective crudeness or subtlety of their physical structure. Dead matter, such as a stone or a piece of metal, are manifestations of Cosmic mind, too. However, their lack of nervous system makes them unable to express themselves directly as living things do. Still they are manifestations of the same Supreme Being, as are all other things in creation be they dead or living.

Q. How about the biological evolution of species from amoeba to human being?

As already discussed, microcosms evolve under certain conditions. Mind, according to its stage of development, needs a physical medium for its proper expression of the psychic momenta inherent in it. The more the mind is evolved, the more evolved and complex a medium it needs. Therefore the cellular composition of physical bodies including the nervous system evolves in tandem with the evolution of mind. The “struggle for existence” becomes one of the essential factors causing physical and psychic clash for the very development and evolution of the microcosm. Through such clash and cohesion, or stress and strain the microcosm evolves from the state of an amoeba to the complex state of a human being. The subtler the psychic momentum of microcosm, the more complex the cellular composition of its physical body.

Q. Why can’t it be said that the cell or the physical body is predominant in evolution and not the mind?

Common experience is the best judge. The development of medical science has brought us to conclude that many diseases are psychosomatic. The disease emerges in the mind first. We also find that subtler thoughts evolve brain cells, cause secretions from higher glands, and change the luster of facial expressions, so evident in saintly personalities.

Suppose a discussion takes place. Which is predominant – mental or physical faculties? Who will judge? Then, who is the authority? It is the mind that dominates and the mind which is the authority.

The dominant factor, mind, affects evolution predominantly. The secondary factor, the physical, plays a minor role, irrespective of how much that physical body may seem to be a prime reality to living beings in moments of hunger, eating, tension, relaxation, etc.

Q. What are the other qualitative differences between a human microcosm and other microcosms?

As already indicated human mind can guide its own instinctive impulses which are psychic momenta carried forward from the past. The lower species on the other hand are guided by their instincts and not by a further developed and subtler mind. In human beings the fuller expression of intuitional mind produces subtler consciousness. They possess a free will that liberate them to either pursue higher and sublime pursuits of life like spiritual practices, keeping themselves engaged in the thought of the Supreme, or to degenerate into vice, the satisfaction of baser propensities, and the thinking of mean ideas.

Human mind can realize the reality that all external objectivities manifested in the “space-time-continuum” are only the manifestation of Supreme Consciousness. This absolute reality is a subject of realization only for human beings. It remains no just an intellectual myth or extravaganza for the true seeker. Having attained the highest evolutionary state in the Cosmic phenomenon, human beings do have a spiritual duty and responsibility to progressively utilize the mundane, supramundane, physical and metaphysical potentialities of the unit and collective bodies and also to bring about the rational distribution of all potentialities for the welfare of all.


1 From “Kosa”, Idea and Ideology (1959), Ananda Marga Publications.
2 Interviewed in The Observer, January 25th, 1931.
3 Ananda Sutram, 1-4, Ananda Marga Publications 1964.
4 History of Western Philosophy, 1946. George Allen and Unwin. p.515.
5 Ananda Sutram, 1-5.
6 From Idea and Ideology (1959), “Saincara and Pratisaincara”, Ananda Marga Publications.
7 Ibid, “Pratisaincara and Manah”.
8 Manas (Sanskrit) = mind, manus = man or human being; for instance mensch (German)

Copyright Proutist Universal 2011

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