Is matter real, and of what is it composed?


To the human consciousness matter is both real and perceptible, but man has discovered that behind the transitory forms of material creation there is an invisible permanent creative force.

All matter is composed of vibration. The ninety-two elements of matter, which enter into the composition of the whole universe from stars to human beings, are nothing but different forms of vibrations. For example, in ice we find coldness, weight, form. It is visible. Melt the ice and it becomes water. Pass electricity through it and it becomes invisible H20 which, analyzed further, is a form of electronic vibration.

Hence, scientifically one may say that ice does not exist even though it is perceptible to our senses of sight, taste, feeling, and touch. In reality, its essence is invisible electrons and protons or forms of energy. In other words, that which can be dissolved into invisibility cannot be said to have valid existence. In this sense but only in this sense can matter be said not to exist, because matter does have relative existence. Matter exists in relation to our mind and as an expression of the unchangeable invisible electronic forces which do exist.

Although these concepts can be grasped intellectually, they cannot be realized until one has learned how to convert matter into conscious energy, and conscious energy into cosmic consciousness, as the great masters are able to do. To such enlightened ones, who are able to see the unchangeable ocean of Spirit beneath the rippling waves of creation, matter does not exist.

Just as the child cannot be born without the parents, so also is matter is dependent upon mind for its existence. It is born out of Divine Mind and is perceptible to mortal mind; in and of itself, it has no reality and no existence.

Hindu philosophy says that the missing link between matter and mind is energy, just as the missing link between invisible steam and ice is water. Water and ice are both formal, outward manifestations of the invisible H20 gas.  Similarly, both conscious mortal mind and matter are the formal manifestations of Divine Consciousness.  Essentially, however, only Divine Mind exists.

From Inner Culture, July 1939.