Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

There are two aspects of human experience — the subjective and objective. On the one hand there are mental processes which constitute essential ingredients of human experience, and on the other hand there are things and objects to which they refer. The mental processes are partly dependent upon the immediately given objective situation, and partly dependent upon the functioning of accumulated sanskaras or impressions of previous experience.

The human mind thus finds itself between a sea of past sanskaras on the one side and the whole extensive objective world on the other.

From the psychogenetic point of view, human actions are based upon the operation of the impressions stored in the mind through previous experience. Every thought, emotion and act is grounded in groups of impressions which, when considered objectively, are seen to be modifications of the mind-stuff of man. These impressions are deposits of previous experience and become the most important factors in determining the course of present and future experience.

The mind is constantly creating and gathering such impressions in the course of its experience. When occupied with the physical objects of this world such as the body, nature and other things, the mind is, so to say, externalised, and creates gross impressions. When it is busy with its own subjective mental processes it creates subtle and mental impressions.

The question whether sanskaras come first or experience comes first is like the question whether the hen or the egg comes first. Both are conditions of each other and develop side by side. The problem of understanding the significance of human experience, therefore, turns round the problem of understanding the formation and function of sanskaras.


DISCOURSES, 6th ed, vol 1, pp. 55-56
1967 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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