Chapter 16: Beyond All - the Witness
The sun when it rises in the morning makes no effort to open each bud individually. Perhaps it is not even aware of how many flowers have bloomed because of it, how many birds have started singing their songs. It is not the creator of all this, still it could not have happened without the sun. If the sun doesn’t rise tomorrow morning the birds will not be able to sing, the flowers will not bloom and the lotuses will remain closed. Yet the sun is not the doer because there is no question of doing. Its rays don’t come and open each bud, one by one. Its rays don’t reach out to create songs in the throat of each bird. There is no effort, only its presence works.
Science accepts one fact which is called a “catalytic agent.” Science says that there are times when just the presence of a catalytic agent creates an effect. For example, water is comprised of hydrogen and oxygen together, but if you mix hydrogen and oxygen the result will not be water. You can go on mixing them, but they will not make water as the catalytic agent is not present. Everything else is present.because water contains nothing other than hydrogen and oxygen.
This phenomenon of the catalytic agent should be properly understood because it will be very helpful in understanding the witness. When we analyze water we find nothing except hydrogen and oxygen - only these two things. Then why don’t we get water when we mix hydrogen and oxygen? These two should become water, but it doesn’t happen unless electricity is present. That is why when lightning is flashing in the sky during the rainy season it is a sign of rain, otherwise the clouds would just continue wandering and there would be no rain. Science has remained puzzled as to what part electricity plays, but it has been found not to have any direct contribution in the creation of water. That is why when we analyze water we don’t find any electricity. Then what does the electricity do? It does nothing, but its presence is essential; water would not happen without its presence. So electricity has worked as a catalytic agent.
A catalytic agent means that the phenomenon cannot happen without it being present, and yet it is not doing anything. So breathing is not possible without the presence of consciousness, the heart will not beat without the presence of the consciousness, the intellect will not work without the presence of the consciousness. And yet the consciousness is not the doer.
But this creates within us the illusion of being a doer - “If something could not happen without me, then I am the doer” - because we can understand only two concepts in our minds: firstly, “If I am the doer, then things happen,” and secondly, “If I am not, then they don’t happen.” So the natural conclusion is that “I am the doer.”
We don’t know the third dimension at all, when only the presence of the consciousness works. When we assume the role of the doer because of this presence, then this becomes our bondage. If this presence remains an unidentified presence, then that is the witness. We only need to know that we are the witness, that things certainly happen in our presence, but we are not the doer. When this is understood a distance is then created between ourselves and our mechanisms.