Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Herbert Warren's Jainism

THE UNIVERSE
CONSIDERATION OF ASPECTS, OR WAYS OF KNOWING THINGS
MAN AS HE ACTUALLY IS
Karmas
  CAUSES of Karmas
  MAN AS HE MAY BECOME
  MEANS TO THE END
  STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT (GUNASTHANA)
  FIRST STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT
  SECOND STAGE of development
  THIRD STAGE of development
  FOURTH STAGE of development: part-1
  FOURTH STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT: Part-2
  FIFTH STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT
  SIXTH TO FOURTEENTH STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
  THE SPIRITUAL TEACHER
  LOVE (DAYA)
  SOILINGS OF THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
  SCALE OF LIVING BEINGS
  MEANS WHEREBY THE RIGHT ATTITUDE MAY BE OBTAINED
  TIME
  THIRTY-FIVE RULES OF CONDUCT
  SYNTHESIS OR RECAPITULATION
  BIBLIOGRAPHY

Universe

 

Reality

The Universe is the only reality. The word "reality" has many meanings, but as meant here that which is real is called substance (Dravya). The universe is a universe of substance; and by universe we mean every thing and being that there is, visible or invisible, tangible or intangible, sentient or insentient.

If the universe is regarded as one whole, in the past, present and future then there is but one example of it, there is no other reality. That which is other than real is not real, but is false or fanciful, and impossible of existence except as a false idea.

The following paragraph is of interest only to the logical mind:

Now, as the universe is all that is, it becomes necessary to understand what is meant by nothing or all that is not. Given a universe of real substance, the absolute non-existence of any part of it, large or small, is impossible, as is the absolute non-existence of the whole of it, to leave an empty nothing. Outside away beyond all the worlds, heavens, hells, or other abode of living beings, there is empty space, but space is real and something. Empty nothing is a false idea or ignorance of what is. Nothing is not real when it means absence of all reality. Regarding the universe as one whole, we must include ourselves in it. In thinking of ourselves we exclude the remainder; and in the remainder we ourselves are excluded. Thus, immediately, the universe, regarded as one whole, consists of two mutually exclusive parts, - oneself, and the rest. Directly we get two mutually exclusive things, there is non-existence of one in the other beyond it! Knowledge is final ground, and no one can know or truly feel, believe or maintain that the rest of the universe is himself, or that he is the rest of the universe. He knows and can truly believe and maintain that he is related to the rest of the universe, also that the rest is related to him. Thus, to think of one's own non-existence is simply to think of the part of the universe which lies beyond oneself; there, non-existence of oneself is to be found, while he himself exists where he is. Hence non-existence of oneself is a false idea if it is thought to mean absolute non-existence anywhere, complete annihilation or ceasing to be. So, in a universe of inter-related but mutually exclusive units, regarded as one whole, (though not as one individual whole), while it is universe of everything that is (itself), it is also a universe of everything that is not (something else). The universe is always the one universe with its same contents of mutually exclusive units. Thus the words `existence' and `non-existence' of the universe produce in the mind the self-same mental picture of the actual positive omnipresent universe. "Hegel's Logic" is said to show that existence and non-existence are the same if the universe is regarded as one whole. The idea which prevents us from conceiving this is the fixed false idea that non-existence of the universe means absolute non-existence or empty nothing.

KINDS OF SUBSTANCE

The universe is one reality but it is not one homogeneous substance. In that part of the universe which is not ourselves we find insentient matter as well as other beings sentient like ourselves; also space, time and something to account for movement and for stationariness.

As religious doctrine concerns only living beings, we may make the simple division of the universe into: Substance (Dravya):- 1) Alive (Jiva), 2) Not alive (Ajiva)

Substance not alive may for the moment be left without sub-division.

SUBSTANCE - JIVA (ALIVE)

The particular substance in organized beings which makes them alive, in the sense of having feeling, awareness, and self-conscious activity is not generally acknowledged by science to exist, and some proof of its existence is, therefore, necessary.

All proof starts from some known fact which does not itself need to be proved. The fact upon which the proof of the existence of conscious substance is built is the fact that motion of matter (pudgala) is not consciousness, whether the motion is in the shape of nerve tremor or in the shape of brain molecules vibrating. Consciousness is different in kind and not only in degree from vibration of matter or any other activity of matter.

If this fact is not known it can be learned by comparing in thought an example of consciousness with an example of movement of physical mater. Take, for instance, the consciousness of the swinging of a pendulum, as an example of awareness; and the swinging of the pendulum as an example of physical matter. If these two example are compared in thought it will be seen or learned that the one is a different kind of fact from the other. Or, if we had sufficient insight to see the molecules in the brain vibrating as they are said to be, the perception would be a different kind of event from the vibration of the molecules. The vibration is one kind of kind of activity. The swinging and the vibrating are the behavior of the pendulum and of the molecules respectively; our consciousness or knowledge of these events is not in the pendulum or in the molecules.

Consciousness is a quality. Qualities do not exist apart from substance. Thus some substance different from the matter which moves is proved to exist. This conscious substance, which also feels, and is self-active, is invisible and intangible; but the signs of its existence are seen in others, and each being experiences his own feeling, consciousness, and self-activity.

Visibility, tangibility, and movement; self-activity, feeling, and consciousness are found or are conceivable in men, animals, cells, devils, and angels, all of which are living beings. Here are two different sets of qualities :

  1. Visibility, tangibility, movement;

  2. Self-activity, feeling, consciousness.

The last set is never manifested by pure physical matter; the first set is manifested by physical matter. These livings beings are thus provided to be compounds of two different kinds of substance namely, soul and body.

The body is only temporarily a unit, being a vast multitude of cells which come and go; while the soul is one homogeneous irresolvable substance not composed of separable factors; its qualities (guna) do not come and go; it is also permanently itself, never becoming or merging into another soul. Each set of feeling, self-activity, and consciousness with all their changing modifications (paryaya) forms a separate, different, individual soul from every other changing set. These qualities (guna) are an irresolvable complexity; they (guna) never part company, become scattered, or float away from or change their point of attachment; though in their modifications (paryaya) they are ceaselessly changing.