ISKCON Helsinki, Finland
14 September, 2003

Ether Or

"Akasa (ether) means the Supreme Lord"
--Vedanta-sutra 1.1.22.

"Either it's ether or..."

It's a walk through the Green Lake Park.
In Seattle on 8 October 1968, Srila Prabhupada told
Of this park where the ducks go "quack quack quack."
(Or do they go "quark quark quark"?)
In either case it means a walk
Through mental speculation,

Speculation, the quack quark quack quark of the mind,
Floats in ether.
SB 3.26.34p: "Mental activities,
Or psychological functions
Of thinking, feeling and willing,
Are also activities on the platform of ethereal existence."

Speculation floats in ether
Together with matter in its potential (quantum? quarkum? quackum?) state.
SB 3.26.34p: "That subtle forms exist in the ether has been proven
By modern science by transmission of television,
By which forms or photographs of one place are transmitted to another place
By the action of the ethereal element."

And speculations of X-Ray Spex
Floating side by side
Like ducks upon a green lake.

A Russian heaven.

And if that's not enough, within ether
Ethereal theories of ether float:
Like, for example,
The idea of a subtle cosmic architecture
Without which we could not perceive matter
Nor even think about it.

The things we see and touch in dimensions of length, width and height.
All that is manifest within ether.
But our thoughts race beyond such gross limitiations,
And even beyond axiomatic limitations
Like "two plus two is four."
There are theoretical algebras in which "two plus two"
May equal two or one or zero.
All such realms of perception and conception
Are manifest within ether
Or akasa
Or spacetime
Or the quintessence.

Negatively curved space, in which
The angles of a triangle are always less than 180 degrees,
And the ten-dimensional space of superstring theory--
Even if they are "just speculations, Prabhu"--
These really do exist...
Within the ether.

Or do they?

"Either it's ether or..."

But that's just the point, Prabhu
How can you talk about "either or" in the ether?
The ether is generated from the pores of Maha-Visnu
And is known as adhara-sakti (Sri Brahma-samhita 5.47),
Which means "the energy of accommodation."
Ether accommodates the subtle and gross dimensions
Of all the universes and
every possible and even impossible thought!

Were you thinking of Dead Reckoning?
Lizbeth Scott singing to Humphrey Bogart:
"Either It's Real or It Isn't,
There's No Compromise"?

That song floats in the ether too, Prabhu
Along with the Hare Krsna Mahamantra.
Aham...sabdha khe: "I am the sound in ether."

"So then: you're saying there's no difference
Between a cinema song and the Mahamantra?"

Accha! No, that's not what I'm saying.
From these two types of sounds in ether
We must see what differences develop.

Out of spiritual sound develops the consciousness
Of the Name, Form, Qualities, Pastimes and Relationships
Of the Supreme Lord;
Out of material sound develops the consciousness
Of the name, form, qualities, pastimes and relationships
Of the mundane world.

"As this creation begins from the sky--
Ether, then air, then fire, and then water, then land,
Ksitir ap teja marud vyoma--
Similarly, the spiritual world also begins from the spiritual sky.
After this sky ends, then the spiritual sky begins."
(SB lecture 22 January 1975)

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