In this section we try to decipher how Gita defines the broader construct and interactions of physical mainfested world with the unmanifested. We take a quick look at how science and popular religions take a point on the same topic and how Gita puts foreward a totally different perspective. In a way, this is a continuation of the last section "Hypothesis" becasue we didn't cover the last point of hypothesis - the cyclic nature of our reality.
In last section we skimmed over the idea that the physical universe is perpetual. There is no beginning or an end. However, we find that in both, science as well as popular religions, there appears to be a distinct start of the universe. In fact , over last few decades, the debate about science v/s religion has reduced to "Evolution v/s Intelligent Design". The primary evolutionary argument is that things didn't begin with a pre-decided grand design but over millions of years , the natural selection forced the survival of the "fittest", that led to the world we have. On the other hand religion has become synonymous to the idea that someone external - say God, created this entire walled garden . The argument on this side is normally that the beauty and complexity of this magnitude can't just be a mere accident.
The idea that someone superior runs this show , whether we call it God or say that we are in a simulation created by some more intelligent beings; means that there is an agency that pulls or holds everything together. If something holds and pulls everything around in a system , it is easy to imagine that this entity is at the center. Such a system with established central governance is what we refer to as a "top down model". In a way, the top down approach is essentially like a circle or a sphere. A powerful center that pulls everyone and everything towards it. God can be a super super massive blackhole at the center of this universe and who knows we might just be a holographic projection on this super massive blackhole super central one.
Opposite to this is a system that has no central control. Such a system is where things evolve and they come together to form a governing center. Bottom up systems such as these are what we call evolutionary. For example we can say that that the nations of Europe were fairly independent and they came together to form the European Union. The constituents of this system were moving in their own ziggy zaggy motion in absence of a controlling force - preexisting or self governing. Every participant had their own identity. But in real life, this swag runs out fairly quickly and we always end up creating a self governing structure. Or else the system falls apart. Even our own body is a self governing system of immense complexity.
If we see closely, all the systems are actually in the second category. Rise of an identity and immediate formation of a central governing control. The notion of "self identity" converts into an opposite outwards pull. In essence the central force is always balanced by a radially outwards force. The inwards force is what makes the "system" ; the outwards is what gives us our own identities. This is the basis of what we call "Duality" in Hindu Scriptures commonly referred to as
In a way a strange outwards force seeks freedom as soon as we come in contact with a central or governing force. Heraclitus , long before Socrates, called it "unity in opposites" The dialectic , also known as "coincidentia oppositorum", defines that the existence or identity of a thing or situation depends on coexistence of at least two conditions that are opposite to each other, yet dependent on each other and presupposing each other with in a field of tension. The very fact that we can perceive something means there exists a sum total of two opposite forces.
Which means all the manifested things are necessarily centrally governed as well self governing at the same time. In a magnet, it literally manifests into dipoles. There is nothing here in this manifested world that exists without at least two opposing forces. Now such a central pull and push out , along the radius ; is a construct what we know as circular motion.
The existence of two such forces - inwards ; what we call centripetal force and outwards what we know as centrifugal force is a hallmark of every physical system. There is nothing in this universe that is not circling around itself and around something else - be it planets, stars , solar systems or even galaxies. We know for sure now there are massive black holes at the center of galaxies that make them go round and round. Now in physical systems, we might see some particles or say some meteorites, that don't obey this rule but we know sooner or later they will merge into a planet or a star. Even the photons (light) shall bend around if the gravity is strong enough - say a black hole.
Even in the meta physical systems - say a class room. A teacher is the central force . In a family mom holds the strings together. In a nation there are governments as the central force and in business there is always a nasty boss looking over our shoulders :-) In a way , the meta physical systems are not that different from the physical systems.
In essence we can say everything is circular or spherical, and if everything is circular - there is obviously no beginning or end. Because the only thing true about a perpetual circular motion is the motion itself and of course that we can't pin point a true start or true end. And if that is the case, no one - either God or evolution need to create this universe. All we need is a force that holds it together and another that tries to expand it. Thus we can conclude both God and evolution work hand in hand in manifested but perpetual universe. We need both of them to keep this motion going - at both physical and meta-physical levels.
Now you may say how this all started ? What was there before these physical or meta physical systems came into being. There must be something else ? Physicists are trying to answer this for ever. I guess we are settled that in our manifested world, both God and Evolution coexist but the real question is what was before God or evolution . How did we become One from Zero? One universe held together by a strange force and still evolving at every single level of physical as well as meta-physical. The problem is our scientific models break down at the stage. We can't foresee or perceive what was there before the beginning of time .. I guess it will help if we understand the notion of time itself before we delve more on this fundamental question ..
In fact the very idea of time is generated out of this circular motion. A day is completion of a circle around the axis of earth. An year is a completion of circle around the sun. The predictable repeatability of events means existence of circle. The very tic tic of the watch symbolizes a circular motion. In essence we can say that the notion of the future is about expansion of the sphere ; And that of contraction is that of the past. The notion that time is linear is generated out of our myopic view. As briefly mentioned in previous section - Stephen Hawking in is best seller "Universe in a Nut Shell" , argues and asks everyone to devote more time to understand the concept of "Imaginary Time" . Wick's rotation to an imaginary frame of reference , is a well established mathematical concept that when applied to real time, depicts that the time is actually spherical and for our type of universe it needs to be flat on the poles just like the north and south poles of earth. In essence time and space are pretty similar in a four dimensional space-time model what we call Mikownski Space. The details of imaginary time are obviously beyond the scope of this article but I highly recommend (as recommended by Mr Hawking himself) to explore the nature of time.
The fact that we live in a four dimensional space time is a foregone conclusion but what is interesting is even with this addition, science can't really explain what was there before time. Stephen Hawkings rightly says that this an invalid question because our notion of manifested fails when we get to the notion of something before time. In fact , quantum field theory suggests that the sub atomic particles manifest out of a quantum field. Of course we can't perceive that quantum field. And then mathematics delves into a multi dimensional meta verse that is obviously beyond our extend observatories. On last count we have have eight tiny curled up dimensions and three that extend spatially to almost infinity . At this stage science appears even more mysterious than the wildest claims on the religious side. In fact on religious side the definition appears much more elegant. The principals of non-duality says that this thing that is before and beyond the manifested , is just one "un-manifested". Thus the idea of non dual. In Hindu scriptures we call this concept
Advaita - One undivided. Non-dual.
The important thing is to keep in mind that Duality and non-duality are NOT opposite to each other as they may appear in the name. Duality is about our manifested world. The opposite forces in both physical and meta-physical world. The day and the night. The life and death. The happiness and the pain. The God and the evolution. In fact the duality is in the foundations of modern science. On the other hand non-duality is about the oneness of un-manifested. It deems that un-manifested as our only true nature and all that we see around is a mere shadow. It says that time as we perceive is a mere reflection of our thoughts and space is a creation of our senses. And the actions we perceive we are taking.
Gita says this is a perpetual continuum between manifested and un-manifested has no beginning or end. It is in fact a circle. To symbolize this Krishna bears a circular
Chakra on his little finger as the only weapon that he needs. In Hindu mythology
Chakra is the most potent of weapons. Nothing can withstand it. Nothing can destroy it. That is what our reality is. Its a circle that has no beginning ; no end.
If everything is circling about itself and rotating around something central in the physical world, and there is a perpetual cycle from un-manifested to physical and vice versa; then how do we define freedom or peace? Before we know the path to exit , we need to know what is the meaning of exit,
Nirvana. We know for sure that natural impulse to manifest is as strong as the impulse to be one with the cosmic if not more. Gita says that the exit from this cycle is in the knowledge of this perpetual cycle. We don't need to destroy our beautiful physical reality in pursuit of one-ness with the un-manifested. Nor do we need to accelerate the process of manifestation. All we need to do is find the perfect balance. And attaining such a balance is possible only when we truly feel the knowledge inbuilt to us. Krishna says ..
Evam [thus] Pravartitam  Chakram [ cycle] Na [ no] Anuvartaytih [ adopts and practices; follows] Iha [ in this life] Yah [ one who];
Agha-Aayuh [ whose life is full of misconduct] Indriya-aaramo [ satisfied and seeker of sense gratification] Mogham [ uselessly] Parth [ Arjuna] Sah [ that person] Jeevati [ lives].
Thus , one who doesn't follow or adopts and practices this cycle the way it is meant to be ; such a person , full of misconduct and seeker of sensory gratification, lives uselessly.
At the same time the knowledge allows us to know that our physical reality is temporary. In essence the knowledge makes us play this circle like a game, without getting attached to it . Thus we can enjoy the motion and attain the lasting peace while performing righteous actions. Krishna says ..
Yah [ one ] Tu [ but ] Atma-ratih [ busy in self ] Eva [ certainly ] Syat [ stays, remains ] Atma-triptah [ satiated ] Cha [ and ] Manvah [ human ];
Aatmni [ In herself ] Eva [ only ] Santushtah [ satisfied ] Tasya [ for her ] Karyam [ work,, duty ] Na [ does not ] Vidyte [ exists ] .
But one who is busy in herself and stays satiated ; satisfied in herself , for her there is no duty.
Karm Yoga is the way to attain this self satiated and satisfied state.
Coming back to our conversation on the beginning of universe. Intelligent design or Evolution. Or a continuum between manifested and beyond manifested. The more important point is "Do we believe in something?" . If yes, we are in the same camp. The other camp is who do not believe in anything. If we "believe" we are saying there is a question, and there is "a" or "many" answers out there that need to be found. We can believe in "Evolution" or we can start with "Intelligent Design" ; if we conduct our experiments carefully, and assuming there is only one definition of "Truth" , all believers will reach the same conclusion. Non believers- well they won't even start on the quest till they start believing in something. Thus "faith" is a pre-requisite for the journey. Krishna says that fastest way exit from the cycles is to believe in ourselves. Our own protected and immutable knowledge because we are what we believe in.
Krishna puts this idea very eloquently in chapter seventeen of Gita. He says
Sattvanurupa Sarvasya, Shradha Bhavati Barata;
Shrddha-mayo yam Purusho, yo yat shraddha sa eva sah.
Means the humans evolve their faith according to their nature and nurture. We are believers and we are what we believe in. This also means that we are seekers and we always seek the truth. Which also means that any debate on "my faith being right and yours not" is pretty useless.
We know for sure that things work in unison in this perpetual universe. And most of it[universe] is well automated. The car runs: We only turn the ignition and press the paddle. This is not to say that we do nothing. We continuously expand the decrypted knowledge. Our purpose is to decrypt the knowledge. And the best way to do that is to first understand what we are extending. What is our current immediate reality.
The simple question that every rational being must ask, how and why all this is made available to us ? Who did it? We can name it an "accident". We can attribute all this to a chance. Or even call it "evolution". Those all are convenient terms to "black box" what we don't know. We can hide the unknown under evolutionary rug, but we just can't deny that we are very lucky to be here. Millions of cards must have fallen in right places. Thus we need to perform our set of actions to help push the boundaries in whatever field we are. The knowledge is not limited to the scientists on the bleeding edge. In fact every single skill is equally important.
Long before modern science took current shape, humans asked this question. They asked why the sun shows up ? Why weathers change? We now have better explanations but as Richard Feynman once put it "why" can only be explained to a certain degree subject to the knowledge of asker and the explainer. At some point, after peeling few layers, we find there are infinitely many more layers and any attempt to further explain is counter productive. At some stage, we must accept there is more to it than we can fathom. The spirituals named it "God". The biologists call it evolution, the physicists and mathematicians have yet better name - they call it "probability".
The point here is we can't find the true answer ..Yet. There is a journey we must complete before we get down to writing the answers. Gita says that journey is