Chapter 15: To Melt Is to Know
Now think of a situation that is opposite to this. If there is life somewhere else, on some other planet - scientists say that there is a possibility of life on some fifty thousand other planets - and the people there have six senses, then you will not even be able to imagine what the experience of their sixth sense might be like, what they might know through it. If there can be three senses and four senses, then there can also be six senses, seven senses or ten senses. If you came across a creature with ten senses, you would not conceive even in your wildest dreams what he might be perceiving. And even if he told you, you would not understand it. His statements would look absurd and nonsensical to us. We have five senses, so we think that the creation has come to an end with five senses. Those who have four senses, for them this creation comes to an end with those four senses; those who have three think that this creation is complete with three.
The amoebas, the single-celled animals, are the smallest of creatures - they have only a body and no sense organs; or we can say that they are “organed” with a single sense because they only have a body. The amoeba is the most elementary of the animals because it only has a body - no eyes, no ears; nothing else. It lives only through its body. It breathes through the body, gets food through the body, moves through the body - it has no legs - and its body is the only thing that goes on growing. At a certain point its body divides in two, that is how it reproduces. It has no senses, but it too must be having some experience of the world; its experience of the world must be through touch. It must bump into things, things must be coming into contact with it, so its experience would be only of touch. The amoeba’s world must be very simple because in it only one single phenomenon takes place, and that is touch. There is no way to explain to the amoeba that there are also other things to experience.
The sage has said:
I am the inconceivable ultimate reality.
You can only think about what the senses can experience. And the senses can never know the ultimate reality. Neither can the eyes see it nor can the ears hear it nor can the hands touch it - it remains beyond the perception of the senses. And whatsoever is beyond the perception of the senses cannot be thought about by the mind. To contemplate it is impossible, to reflect on it is impossible.
I am the inconceivable ultimate reality, without hands and without feet.
It is I who is inconceivable, indefinable, beyond reflection and beyond the senses.
It will be helpful if you can understand this from the inside. You feel yourself. This much is certain - that you are aware of your existence. Have you ever thought about it, that when you become aware of outer things it is through your senses? But through which sense do you become aware of your own existence? You know light through the eyes, you know sound through the ears - but through which sense do you experience yourself? Through which sense do you experience that you are? After all, everyone experiences their own existence. Even atheists and materialists experience this. And even if someone were to say, “I do not exist,” he would have to be there even to make the denial. “I” cannot be denied, because even in the denial there is the intrinsic inescapability of being.