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A Mind to Embrace the Universe - by E. L. Gardner

E. L. Gardner

In view of the obvious fact that the " lesser" can never contain the greater," the statement in the Stanzas that the Breath (Man) needs a Mind that can embrace the Universe demands some analysis to be understood. A familiar optical experiment, in physical terms, may assist. A concave mirror, accurately curved, will reflect and reduce a widespread landscape to the scale of a small garden: every vista and detail is reproduced—but is presented to the eye as a beautiful miniature of the whole scene. Another analogy„ and a still closer one, is that of a crystal ball, for such a transparent sphere will reproduce, within itself, every object around. With the crystal sphere, however, one should be, apparently, inside the crystal to see all that is reflected. So closely does the human mind resemble such a sphere in its reproductive ability that Patanjali actually used this very illustration:

The mind may be compared to a lens in the form of a sphere, so constructed as to be capable of giving a three-dimensional image inside itself of every external object. S I, 41. (Stephen's translation)

       . . . it [the mind] is as colorless as a piece of pure rock-crystal   (Divedi's translation)

We can take a step further if we couple these descriptions of the human mind with a precept from The Voice of the Silence (T. P. H., London, 1900; p. 32):

      But Breath needs a Mind to embrace the Universe: The Stanzas of Doan, Il. IV. 17.

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