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Readings: Fruit

This morning, [he says], I had a fresh mango for breakfast: a large, beautiful fragrant one which had been allowed to ripen until just the right moment, when the skin was luminous with reds and oranges. You can see from this kind of description that I like mangoes. I must have eaten thousands of them when I was growing up and I probrably know most varieties intimately by their colour, shape, fragrance and feel.

[The Hindu doctrine of] Sankhya would say that this mango I appreciated so much does not exist in the world outside - at least not in with the qualities I ascribed to it. The mango-in-itself, for example, is not red and orange; these are categories of an eye and a nervous system that can only deal with a narrow range of radiant energy. My dog, Bogart, would not see a lucious red and orange mango. He would see some grey mass with no distinguishing features, much less interesting to him than a piece of buttered toast. But my mind takes in messages from five senses and fits them in to a precise mango-form in consciousness, and that form - nothing outside - is what I experience. Not that there is no °real» mango! But what I experience, the objects of my sense perception and my 'knowing', are in consciousness, nowhere else.

(Eknath Easwaran (1985), Bhagavad Gita, 24)