Awareness and Motion

Reference: Universe and Awareness

If you are alone out in interstellar space, you shall be hard put to decide if you are totally still or moving at the speed of light. Your awareness shall arise only with relative motion.

In this thought experiment, awareness cannot be separated from relative motion. We may, therefore, postulate that relative motion is the outward form of awareness.

POSTULATE: Relative motion is the outward form of awareness.


The relative motion can be very simple, such as, a ripple in water. This is simple awareness. Or, relative motion can be very complex, such as, the motion inside a watch. This is complex awareness. Thus, complexity of awareness is related to complexity of motion.

Awareness may be assessed objectively in terms of motion present.


When one is completely free of thoughts, there is still the perception of the present. So there is some motion. But when one is in deep sleep, in which hours pass by in a blink of an eye, there is no perception. There is no motion either. Thus, any perception, including the perception of space and time, relates to motion.

All perception, including the perception of space and time, relates to motion.


According to Buddha (India, c. 563 BCE or c. 480 BCE), the Absolute Truth is that there is nothing absolute in the world, that everything is relative, conditioned and impermanent, and that there is no unchanging, everlasting, absolute substance like Self, Soul, or Ātman within or without.

In other words, the principle of the unity of Universe is awareness in the form of relative motion. Absolute stillness would be non-awareness.

This is a universe of awareness and motion. There is no absolute stillness in it.


Awareness represents the spiritual aspect of this universe, whereas motion represents the material aspect of this universe. The material aspect is the visible form of this universe. The spiritual aspect is the inherent nature of this universe.

The material aspect of this universe is its visible form . The spiritual aspect of this universe is its inherent nature.


According to Heraclitus (Greece, c. 535 – c. 475 BCE) there is only perpetual change and eternal ‘Becoming.’ This condition is created from a dynamic and cyclic interplay of opposites. These opposites are dichotomies that may be represented as the two directions in which a continuum may extend. This continuum may be expressed as a scale with infinite gradient of values. This makes each value to be relative and none that is absolute.

All values in this universe are relative (determined by other values). There is no absolute value.


The Eleatic school first identified a Divine Principle with the unity of the universe. This basic principle may be stated as “awareness – motion”. Parmenides (Greece, c. 515 – c. 460 BCE), however, identified this principle with a unique and invariable Being that stood above all gods and men. This Being was later seen as an intelligent and personal God who stands above the world and directs it.

Anything that stands above the universe shall remain behind the “curtain” of non-awareness from which the Universe emerges into awareness. We may only speculate what is behind this “curtain” of non-awareness. The Being of Parmenides, therefore, has to be a human-centric speculation. This speculation leads to the separation of spirit and matter, which contradicts the principle of “awareness that has the outward form of motion.”

The idea that an absolute Being stands above this universe comes from a human-centric speculation.


Awareness develops into self and motion develops into body. The two are one and same. Body is the outward form of self. Self is the inherent nature of the body. If there is a universal Self, then its body is the Universe. Awareness and motion, or Self and body, are not really separate.

A universal Self shall have the Universe as its outward form. There is no absolute Being separate from the Universe.


The self of a stone shall be its inherent nature. We are not saying that the self of a stone is similar to the human self. Human self is characterized by the inherent nature of humans. We cannot use human self as the criterion to define the self of other things.

Awareness shall be the inherent nature of visible forms. It shall be determined by the motion within that form, the most fundamental motion shall be that at atomic level. We have been using a “human-centric” view of awareness as the criterion to declare material objects to be unaware. That is a very narrow view.

In humans, awareness is much more complex because of the complexity of motion in the human form. It is expressed as the subjectivity of the human mind. In material objects, awareness is much simpler because of much simpler motion in their form. It is expressed as the physical, electrical and chemical properties.

In Vedas, the word “dharma” is used to describe the inherent nature of things. This is same as the concept of awareness described here.

Awareness is truly represented by the inherent nature of things. Thus all things are aware in their own way.


Next: Motion and Space-Time
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