In Hindu philosophy Brahman is considered to be the universal force that pervades the universe. The Brahman or the Atman is considered to indestructible, ineffable, colorless, beyond descriptio. The Brahman can be attained only in deep states of mysticism and the experience is one of total bliss. As is mentioned in Christian philosophy it is a state of peace that “passeth all understanding”. Further according to Hindu philosophy the world is an illusion or “maya” and we view the world through our “gunas” or nature. To be able to pierce this illusoriness of the phenomenal world requires a calm meditative approach to the world. We are required to transcend the illusion of the world and go to that universal consciousness or the Atman.
According to Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, 1875. man has an ego behind which is the personal conscious, in some ways similar to the jiva atman. Jung also describes that the lowest strata of consciousness is the collective unconscious almost akin to the Brahman concept of Hinduism. Also man is made of several archetypes. An archetype is an unlearned tendency to experience things in a certain way. Jung describes that the collective unconscious is made of several archetypes like the mother, the shadow, the anima, the animus and the self.. According to Jungian philosophy the goal of life is to realize the self. According to this the “self: archetype represents the transcendence of all opposites, when one is neither male nor female, neither ego nor shadow, neither good nor bad, neither conscious nor unconscious. This almost rings of the Upanishads which describes the Atman or Brahman through complete exclusion and negation as “not this, not this.. or na iti, na iti”. This is a striking parallel to the discovery of the self by the ancient Indian sages.
The reality as perceived by the sages is supposed to be beyond verbal description. The ancient Indian mystics state that behind the multitude of images that we see is the same and universal reality. Similarly, according to quantum mechanics, reality is a superposition of a number of possible states. The observed phenomenon is not independent of the observer. According to Heisenberg the atoms and elementary particles form a world of possibilities and potentialities, and not things and facts. What we observe, according to Heisenberg is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our mode of questioning. The famous thought experiment of Erwin Schrödinger illustrates a paradoxical situation in which a cat will be both alive and dead. This experiment just goes to show that reality is a superposition of several possibilities
This is analogous to the thinking of the ancients that there exists a reality behind the images of forms and things of this world. The underlying principle of the Brahman is universal and pervades the entire universe. . According the Hindu thought the reality that we observe are based on our senses. The reality of the Brahman is beyond all words and modes of expression.
It is amazing that the concepts of the ancient Indian ascetics about the phenomenal world and ultimate Reality still holds true after centuries of advancement in human thought.