16.09 – A talk that no one walks
Fanatical materialists claim that matter is all that exists and that consciousness doesn’t exist as an independent causal agent. Whatever consciousness seems to exist, they argue, simply emerges from the matter that comprises brain cells.
Of course, they conveniently forget that they need consciousness to say that consciousness doesn’t exist. Matter can’t say that – or say anything for that matter. Matter being unconscious is not self-aware; it exists without knowing that it exists.
The claim that consciousness is not a causal agent, not a doer in the idiom of the Bhagavad-gita, is as absurd as the claim, “I am dead.” (The speaker has to be alive to say anything, even “I am dead.”).
Adding to the absurdity of this superstitious idea is the fact that its proponents – right-wing atheists – ask us to accept it in principle by rejecting it in practice. If consciousness is not causal but is caused by the way our brain is wired, then some of us are wired for belief and some, for disbelief. And as ‘I’ am simply my wiring, I can’t change the wiring – for the sense of ‘I’ and the concept of ‘change’ are determined by the wiring, not by ‘me.’ Yet atheists proselytize to convert us to their religion of disbelief. They ask us to surrender to the belief that we are unchangeably wired by changing our wiring.
So the belief that consciousness is not a causal agent is a talk that no one walks. Not just because those who talk it don’t walk it. But also because if it were true, there would be no one to talk and no one to walk.
No wonder the Bhagavad-gita declares (16.09) that proponents of such fanatically materialistic views are so pathetically short of intelligence (alpa-buddhayah) that they destroy their own souls (nashta-atmano).