P. 3

The Fourth Dimension

        In the material world we live in three dimensions: length, width and height. These are limited by material time,
        space and thought (CC Antya 3.92). Theoretically something can be postulated to be infinitely great or infinitely
        small. But, due to material time, space and thought, one cannot extend or retract something infinitely great or
        small in the material world.  The material body of all living entities precludes the possibility to experience infinity.
        The body goes through six phases: birth, growth, maintenance or staying, giving off by-products, dwindling and

        Humans can conceive of infinity with intelligence, but they cannot experience it. The consciousness of the soul,
        consisting of the mind, intelligence and false ego  entrapped in a temporary body, is subjected to material
        limitations and laws of material nature by ignorance.

        The fact that one can conceive of something infinite is possible because the consciousness in the body is a
        symptom of the eternal soul. But, presently, the eternal soul misidentifies with the temporary body and its
        consciousness becomes corrupted and limited. Although the soul is eternal and not affected by the changes of
        the body, it becomes entangled by attachment to temporary material pleasures and becomes artificially limited
        by material time, space and thought. Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita confirms:

                                              avināśi tu tad viddhi / yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
                                              vināśam avyayasyāsya / na kaścit kartum arhati

        “That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that
        imperishable soul.”  (Bg 2.17)

        The soul can experience eternity and infinity, but the material body, which includes the contaminated mind and
        intelligence covering the soul, cannot. The perplexing duality between the body and the soul is a major obstacle
        for  self-realization.  For  those  persons  who  strongly  identify  themselves  with  the  temporary  body,  all
        descriptions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual world and its eternal inhabitants is considered
        a fantasy of delusional people. The atheists are limited to the confines of a mortal body and adamantly rebuff
        spiritual knowledge propounded by Lord Krishna and other mentors of spirituality.

        The identification with the material body constrains one’s potential for self-realization and the entrance back
        to the realm of immortality. The destiny of every living entity is to leave behind the specter of death and enter
        again into the eternal spiritual world. Why would anyone misidentify themselves with the material body and
        then in a delusional state pamper the body and ignore the immortal soul and its eternal destiny? It is a willful
        misstep that embroils one in an unending cycle of misery.

        Entrapment in the material world

        A precise description is given in the Srimad Bhagavatam of the entrapment the living entity experiences in the
        material world.

                                             yayā sammohito jīva / ātmānaṁ tri-guṇātmakam
                                            paro ’pi manute ’narthaṁ / tat-kṛtaṁ cābhipadyate

        “Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature,
        thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries.”  (SB 1.7.5)

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