Monday, August 4th, 2003
Big question from a little girl
My last night in Turkey. Many devotees and guests have come with last-minute questions, and I try to answer as many of them as I can.
But it is after the class, in the corridor, that the most profound question of the entire Turkey tour is asked — by Azra, Parama Bhakti Devi Dasi's fourteen-year old daughter.
Azra is a quiet, unassuming, shy, very intelligent girl. She wants to be a writer or an actress when she grows up, so obviously she has a creative bent. Her question is a deeply philosophical one, about the evolution of consciousness:
"You were talking earlier about the kingdom of God — describing the pastimes of Krishna in Vrindavan — but what if that is all imaginary? What if God is a product of our imagination?"
"Oh, so you think like Voltaire: that, 'If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him?' That is objective evolution. We believe in subjective evolution."
In Darwin's theory of objective evolution, matter evolves consciousness. The object exists first, and by its development, life is produced: consciousness comes from the chance interactions of chemicals in some sort of primordial soup, and that consciousness produces a "Super-Consciousness," or God.
But just the opposite is true. I explain Srila Guru Maharaj's assertion of the subjective evolution of consciousness at length, and Azra readily recants, agreeing that it is easier to accept that matter can exist as a concept within consciousness than to believe that matter can produce consciousness.
"But who has put this atheistic point of view in your head?" I ask.
"Nobody. I heard you talking and I just wondered. I don't like to believe in anything without examining it first, without asking questions."
And she just turned fourteen last Friday, folks!
Layout by imonk — August 4th, 2003.