Mystics and scientists

Mystics and scientists


As I take a backseat from political activity, my mind advices “C’mon, your innings in politics is finished for now. You had taken a sabbatical from your spiritual search in 2011 for a few years. Now that sabbatical is over, come back and focus on the real purpose of life – the self-discovery of the Truth. Your involvement and participation, in an objective and detached manner, has been fruitful during a crucial part of this country’s history. You can go back rest assured, that India’s political churning has begun. One phase of Leela (the game of life) is over.”  
Before I quit my job for the India against Corruption movement, I was exploring the four crucial questions to seek the Ultimate Reality.  Now these existential questions, which I had falsely imagined to have suppressed, have again become vehement, demanding attention.

  1. What is existence?
  2. Who am I?
  3. What is my role in this Leela – the game of life?
  4. And, finally, how best can I play this role?

So, in this new series of writings – I intend to share the journey of self-discovery in a much deeper manner than my earlier blog series. This journey will take us into the realms of quantum physics and spirituality. There will be many original theories; also we shall borrow ideas and sometimes language from various scientists, physicists, philosophers and philosophies, wherever needed. It will be my attempt to simplify, even over-simplify complex matters so that the lay person can understand.
Come; buckle your seatbelts as we begin this wonderful and exciting voyage. I, on my part, will abandon Rajas (the action, excitement and passion) of political activities for sattva (purity, peace and love) and meditate, reflect and ponder.
The theory of everything has a common theory to explain everything

The first question that I ask myself is about existence. What exactly is Reality? 

What is its building block of the Universe? Is there some particle or cell or atom that is the smallest part of reality which can be multiplied again and again to make the Universe? What is this TOE – the Theory of Everything? 
Around five centuries back, the scientists told the mystics “Guys, you are using faith, prayers and meditation to explain the TOE. That’s not done. It is so unscientific and unverifiable. We, the intellectuals of the scientific fraternity will give you the true picture of Reality.”
The mystic and scientist resides within each of us
The mystics were upset. They said, “Instead of the objective knowledge that you use, in which you find out things through experiments, we SEE knowledge. We are “seers”. We go into deep meditation and quite our minds and the Truth starts flowing into us. In this state, we understand the characteristics of the forces of nature.”The scientists laughed “What a load of rubbish! Give us some time and we will give you the True Reality based on scientific principles of enquiry. You have just imagined some stuff and peddle it as your Truth.  All your understanding is just based on faith and belief.”

“That is neither fair nor true. We have extremely rigid methods of investigation and our philosophies have to pass various examinations and tests before they are even considered.” the seers protested “These means of knowledge are reasoning or logic, Perception, Inference, Comparison, Postulation, written scriptures by meditating saints and Verbal Testimony. All our books and scriptures are not mumbo-jumbo, but based on subjective knowledge. A searchlight of reason and logic permeates all our knowledge.”
The scientists smiled with amusement “You mystics correlate mind and matter. Actually, these two (mind and matter) are two independent realms. Matter is dead and completely separate from living beings. The world is to be exploited for development of mankind. This exploitation will lead to huge advances in the field of science, technology, organizing of cities, political structures, medicines, agriculture, economy and similar.”
A condescending smile escaped the mystics, “Go ahead and search for answers. I am sure that science will lead to lots of inventions and understandings, but eventually, you will realize that what we are proposing is not far from what you might discover. Wish you all the best.”

So, the mystics went back to their study and meditation. The scientists intensified their works in all branches. Philosopher Rene Descartes’ materialistic theory (1644 AD) called Cartesian principles considered the world as a machine to be used for mankind, dominated the thought process of the world. New elements were found, technological development became predominant, fertilizers were created, new strains of cattle and animals were created, modern medicine and diagnostic machines were developed, new stars and constellations were found, economy prospered in many parts of the world and human life expectancy increased.
But due to the Cartesian worldview, individuals started identifying themselves as separate mind and separate body parts with the futile expectation of the mind trying to control the various compartments of talent, feeling, beliefs, and individuality. This led to endless inner conflicts generating confusions, stress and frustrations. This inner fragmentation alienated us from nature and from our fellow beings. This view was further extended to society which got split into different nations, races, religions, groups and political entities leading to the present ecological, political, social and cultural crises.
But, what happened in medicine and physics in the past few centuries was interesting.
Modern medicine made outstanding progress, creating high technology tools and equipments for diagnosis. Breakthrough in medicines to treat diseases including TB, leprosy and cancer were made. Surgeries were fine-tuned and improved. Life expectancy increased every decade. But, there were some illnesses that modern allopathic medicine could not treat. New life-style diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, asthma were consuming people and modern medicine was finding it tough to counter these. Most of these diseases were stress and mind related. The mind was affecting the body and vice versa.
“Could the theory of those mystics that we left behind, of interconnectivity between mind and matter, be correct?” the doctors started wondering. Soon, further study and research led them to questioning the earlier concepts and they realized that over 80% of all diseases are psychosomatic (caused or aggravated by mental factors). Maybe the seers were right after all!
The developments in physics were still more exciting.
Physics was developing rapidly and major discoveries and inventions were being made. A smug satisfaction was visible in physicists who felt that they had understood the laws of nature based on physics. Lord Kelvin in the 1880s even said that “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”

But they were soon to be surprised. In 1927, German physicist Werner Heisenberg published the “uncertainty principle” that showed that the outcome of an experiment depended on the experimenter. Thus from an observer, we became a participant in every activity of the world. Matter was not separate from consciousness. There was connection between each and every being and what was considered as inert matter. The Cartesian principle of materialism was collapsing. Could the mystics who talked about synthesis and connectivity between mind and matter be right? New experiments and theories in this new physics or quantum physics was turning classical physics on its head and proving this connectivity, absolutely. 
The probability of the cat being dead or alive is equal.  Only when the box is opened and an observation performed does the wave function collapse into one of the two states.

The scientists huddled together – is the mystic’s worldview right? The debate rages.

In these wonderful and exciting times, let us join the debate. It is time for us mystics to speak the language of science and develop a bridge between science and spirituality.

Article by deepak

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