There is an ant in a kitchen in my apartment, and he may want to map the city I live in.
Poor little ant! I like him, I gave him a grain of sugar to eat too. He might not live long enough to map out the cupboard he is moving around in, much less get out and map out the kitchen, the living room, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, much less the yard, the driveway, the street I live on, the sub-division. Dangers exist at every step, and the average ant might live for a few weeks or a few months, if he doesn’t get in the way of something bigger than him.
As we continually expand the scale of reference, the probability that an ant might pull it off decreases dramatically. The scale and complexity of our world far outstrip the faculties of an ant, or generations of ants, for millions and billions of years. Remember, change is constant.
Fortunately there is no ant foolish enough. But there are others…
Atheists are trying to map out all of reality based on the meager faculties they possess, a puny little mind, a short lifespan, the work of others similarly puny in their faculties. We do applaud them for their valiant effort, but there’s another way to learn about the complete reality, and that is to turn inwards.
Just like a small insect, he takes birth in the evening, and from evening to morning, his birth, his marriage, his begetting children, everything is done, and in the morning he dies. There are many insects. They are called diwali pokali. At night they will throng together, in India. So for this insect, it is very difficult to understand that there is another animal which is called man, who has got this duration of his lifetime period in only twelve hours of his life. But the insect cannot go beyond that. Just like when we hear from Bhagavad-gītā that Brahmā lives such-and-such, we disbelieve sometimes. But everything is relative. With your relative body, your duration of life, your knowledge, your perception, everything is relative. So you are teeny human being. What is impossible for you is not impossible for others.A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
I should know. I was an atheist once. Well-educated at the altar of atheistic assumptions right from my childhood, I know these really well.
असत्यमप्रतिष्ठं ते जगदाहुरनीश्वरम् ।
अपरस्परसंभूतं किमन्यत्कामहैतुकम् ॥ १६.८ ॥
asatyam apratiṣṭhaṁ te
jagad āhur anīśvaram
kim anyat kāma-haitukam
Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 16.8 (The Divine and Demoniac Natures) https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/16/8/
They say that this world is unreal, with no foundation, no God in control. They say it is produced of sex desire and has no cause other than lust.
- There was nothing, and then suddenly the singularity / big bang happened and then the Universe came into being
- Basic building blocks coalesced into elements, elements combined to form compounds, and basic compounds combined to form organic chemicals, which then somehow combined to form single-celled organisms, which gradually evolved into life as we know it
- There’s no creator, no reason for anything at all except it is the way it is
- All of the world’s spirituality is basically superstition, created by aboriginal tribal lore to explain phenomena that were beyond their understanding
But as I grew and studied more, I began to discover more about what we didn’t know – we don’t understand much about the Universe at all. Most of what passes for explanations is merely theory, unproven, couched in clever language that implies certainty.
I also learned that just because we can’t see something or prove its existence doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Feelings, emotions, thoughts, and the clear sense of consciousness cannot be proven to exist except to take someone’s testimony for them.
“I am feeling sad” said one. “What do you mean you are feeling sad, I can’t see your sadness, so your sadness is imaginary!” said the other.
Just because something is not observable by everyone is not proof for its nonexistence. And so is the reality of God.
God is not so cheap that He can be fully understood by just anyone!
नाहं प्रकाशः सर्वस्य योगमायासमावृतः ।
मूढोऽयं नाभिजानाति लोको मामजमव्ययम् ॥ ७.२५ ॥
nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya
mūḍho ’yaṁ nābhijānāti
loko mām ajam avyayam
I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My internal potency, and therefore they do not know that I am unborn and infallible.Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 7.25 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/25/
It’s a laudable effort for someone to try and understand the world and its mysteries on their own. But the effort is doomed to failure, because Reality far outstrips anyone’s meager faculties. Reality is not so trivial that one can agitate one’s mind and conquer it – one cannot conquer something greater than oneself, and that which can be conquered cannot be said to be greater than oneself.
It’s much better to get a guided tour from The Creator.
The instrument with which we can perceive the spiritual side of reality is a finely honed instrument called “consciousness”. Presently, our consciousness may be covered, like a dust-encrusted mirror, or like that of a consciousness of someone who is drugged, drunk, or just asleep.
But when that consciousness is awake and purified, then such consciousness perceives a vast spectrum of reality untarnished by material crud.
प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान्
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्टः स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते ॥ २.५५ ॥
prajahāti yadā kāmān
sarvān pārtha mano-gatān
ātmany evātmanā tuṣṭaḥ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Pārtha, when a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness.Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 2.55 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/55/
That complete reality is my journey, destination, and experience, so stand aside all you (well-meaning or otherwise) ants!