Bhagavagd Gita - Session 23- Track 2306

Now, this is distinguishable from buddhi. Now, what is the distinction between manas, and buddhi? The distinction is that manas is the instrument of experience; buddhi is the instrument of concepts. So, there is a difference between experience and concept. Whenever there is experience, you will have the following characteristics: directness, intimacy, contact, immediacy and even identity. These are different levels of experience.

Directness: when you directly know something, in which nothing else is involved; when you know that you are happy inwardly, nobody tells you from outside, you don’t touch anything, you don’t smell anything, it is a direct experience of you that you are happy: it is a direct knowledge, because you experience happiness in you. Intimacy: whenever there is an intimate touch, whether it is a physical touch or other touch, there is this intimacy involved; some experience of contact, some experience of identity, you become one. In the ordinary experience of love, the lover and the beloved feel they are one: it is and experience. And the lovers say that unless you have experience you can never understand. The madness of love cannot be understood because that sense of identity is something to be experienced, it cannot be even explained, even if hundred lectures are given, you won’t understand it. That is identity, which gives you that knowledge.

Now, in all this, there is the absence of what may be called “concept”. There is a distinction between ‘concept’ and ‘experience’. A concept is an abstraction, not concreteness. Experience is concreteness: you can hold, you can touch, you can penetrate; you can feel intimacy; you can feel identity. But in a concept, there is abstraction. You move away from concreteness. The more you move away from concreteness, the more abstract it becomes. All words that we use in our language are abstractions: words we say are not ‘things’; there is a difference between ‘things’ and ‘words’. Things are basically known directly, by direct touch: a blind man can never understand what is “blue”; there is a word “blue”, the word is used, but he can never understand what is blue, because the blue is actually understood by experience: the word ‘blue’ is an abstraction.

Now, along with the word blue, there is what we may call a concept of blue, which is based upon experience of blue, the image of which arises when the word blue is pronounced, in the eyes, in the minds of those who are able to see, not in the mind of those who have never seen at all. In other words, there is what is called image: there is the direct thing itself, thing known directly by direct experience, by manas, but then there is a movement of what is called image; now, image is not direct experience.

If you say ‘I don’t like a person’, that is an experience and when you say that you ‘dislike’, that is a concept?

No, both are experiences: like and dislike, “I dislike somebody” is also an experience.

But what form that concept? Identity?

The first step of concept is ‘image’. The thing itself is different from the image of it. You have seen a piece of this chessboard; now, you close your eyes, there is no more direct experience of it, but you have an image of it: visualisation, it is a visual image, but it is not direct vision. When I see this directly and when I visualise it in my eyes by closing the eyes, there is a difference between the two, this is a beginning of concept, beginning, because even image is still something similar to the outside object. Then, you go further, from the image. One way of going further is to give a word to it, attach a word: ‘chess-piece’ is a word, and when the word is pronounced, the image of it arises in your mind, and then that image can be correspondent with your own eyes and you see by direct experience and you say that ‘this’ is that of which ‘this’ word means ‘this’. But word by itself is not the image. The word pronounced creates an image in your mind, but word itself is abstract. In the beginning words were themselves images, as you see in Egyptian hieroglyphs, the words, the letters themselves were so designed that there were almost images of the actual things: that language was nearer to experience. Then, language became more abstract. In fact today’s language is very abstract. There are many words than when you pronounce they express immediately the experience: “oh!” is a word, the experience of surprise, the experience of wonder is in the very sound itself. even when you don’t know the language, the very expression, the very sound creates an image in your mind, and image gives you the experience immediately, it is very near. But as the language develops the word “surprise” does not…is not like “oh!”: “oh!” mere minds surprise, but the word “surprise” does not give you that experience of “oh-ness”. So, surprise is a more abstract word. Now, the meaning of ‘surprise’ is a concept; what do you mean by ‘surprise’. When you want to explain to somebody, what is the meaning of ‘surprise’ then you have to explain that ‘something unexpected’, ‘something that’s strikes you’, ‘makes you active, alert’, ‘suddenly pushes into your life’, ‘gives you the kick of some kind’…you go on explaining; but all this is in one concept of surprise.