The senses may be windows to the world, but they are mere portholes to reality
A window gives us the sensation that we are looking at a large part of the outside world through it. In contrast, a porthole, being a small window in a ship, reminds us that we are getting a bare peek at the large reality out there.
Our senses seem like windows to the world around us. Information from the world streams in to us through the senses, making us feel that we know or can know a lot about that world. This feeling of increased access to the world is further boosted by science, which starts with the information provided by the senses and theorizes to make sense of that information. Yet that very science suggests that there’s much more to reality than what is visible. For example, astrophysics holds that more than 95% of the universe is composed of invisible stuff called dark matter. Thus, even according to science, our senses give us only a tiny glimpse of reality.
Acknowledging that the senses are mere portholes to reality opens us to Gita wisdom. The Bhagavad-gita (15.10) stresses that the soul can be seen only with the eyes of knowledge. This principle that the senses can’t perceive the spiritual applies all the more so to the supreme soul, Krishna, who is infinite.
Nonetheless, the Gita (10.41) indicates that everything attractive reflects a spark of Krishna’s all-attractiveness. If we see the world’s attractive objects as independent sources of pleasure, our senses will act as doorways to illusion. But if we see those objects’ attractiveness as pointers to Krishna’s all-attractiveness – as we learn to see by the Gita’s eyes of knowledge – then our senses will serve as portholes to the highest spiritual reality. We will feel inspired to practice bhakti-yoga intensely to increasingly relish Krishna’s eternal all-attractiveness.
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