We see this causeless and ecstatic play of Existence through our own individual perception! Our very perception collapses the beautiful happening into a localized reality. Each individual ‘boils down’ the beautiful happening into his own individual reality.
Someone asked me, ‘I see this table here. All the people in this room see this same table. Then how can you say that this table is not a reality?’
Please understand that what you see as this table here is not the same as what the other person sees! Each person in this room sees this table differently! That is the truth. That is what I am trying to explain here. As long as the mind tries to perceive, what is perceived is not the ultimate reality. Only an infinite being can perceive reality exactly as it is happening. Also he cannot explain it in words, because words cannot describe what is beyond space and time. He can only tell you to wait for it to become your own experience! That is why Shiva answers not with philosophy but with techniques. He directly gives techniques for Devi to experience the reality, the nature of the universe.
Let me explain this concept based on the energy-matter idea. We saw that matter is actually energy. Classical physics said that the electron is a particle. However, quantum physics says that it is a wave. Actually, the electron exhibits the properties of both a particle and a wave in different situations. Physicists have now concluded that the electron has a dual nature as a ‘particle-wave’!
Since the electron is a particle, what is the location of the electron? Since it is a wave, what is the momentum of the wave?
The answers to these questions lead to a very startling discovery that the particle-wave can be either a particle or a wave or even both at the same time. But you cannot determine both the location and the momentum of the electron at the same time, because the very act of observing the location of the electron will change its momentum, and the very act of determining the momentum of the electron will change its location! This is what is known in science as the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle.
The particle-wave is both a particle and wave at the same time until the act of observation comes into play. This act of observation can now be connected with our act of observing the causeless happenings of Existence. When we observe, we observe through our own set of conditioning, what we call engrams or preconceived and deeply engraved memories and conclusions. Each individual’s act of observation is colored by his own conditioning or engrams. Based upon that, he boils down the happening to suit his own experience of reality! In the case of the particle-wave, the very act of observation ‘collapses’ the wave particle to a particle or wave.
This is what the physicist Erwin Schrödinger showed in his hypothetical cat experiment.
Suppose you put a cat and a vial of poisonous acid in a chamber and seal it. There is no way the observer outside can determine whether the cat is alive or dead. Since we cannot know, the cat is both dead as well as alive. It is a distribution of probabilities which includes the probability of dead as well as alive states. When you break open the chamber to see the condition of the cat, the very act of breaking open the chamber could potentially change the state of the cat. The cat could be killed by the acid vial being broken due to breaking the chamber. So, it can never be known what the outcome would have been if it were not observed in its true happening. This leads us to a deep understanding that both possibilities exist simultaneously, and it is the very act of observation that changes the possibility into a particular reality.
Let me give another scientific experiment that highlights how the very act of measuring distorts the beautiful reality. You may have heard of the double-slit experiment with light.
In this experiment, a beam of light is aimed at a barrier with two vertical slits. On the other side of the barrier is a photographic plate that is used to record the light as it falls on it after passing through the barrier. If only one slit is open, the pattern on the photographic plate is as expected, a single line of light aligned with the slit. If both the slits are open, we would expect two lines of light on the plate aligned with the slits, but what is observed are multiple lines of light and darkness in varying degrees. This is the principle of interference where light beams behave as waves that interfere with each other. Now, if the light beam is slowed down enough so that instead of a stream of light particles or photons hitting the plate, each photon individually hits the plate, then there should be no interference and the plate should show a light pattern aligned with the slit. But the resulting pattern still showed interference! How is this possible? There is only this one photon, what can it be interfering with… other than itself? It was concluded that each photon not only goes through both the slits, but also simultaneously takes every possible path on the way to the target! To see how this can occur, experiments were done to track the individual photon paths. But what happened was that the measurement in some way disrupted the paths of the photons. Whenever an attempt was made to observe, only two bright lines on the photographic plate aligned with the slits! If they didn’t attempt to measure, again the pattern became the multiple lines of light and darkness! Each photon moves simultaneously in a number of paths. But an effort to measure the paths causes it to collapse to a single path!
In the same way, our very effort to perceive the infinite risings of the ocean of Existence causes it to appear as what our limited mind perceives!
source: Living Enlightenment