Sense out of nonsense (1) – Understanding existence


Every time there is a major natural disaster – Tsunami, Earthquake, Cyclone, drought, flood – I am bewildered. The Corona virus and other pandemics has multiplied my puzzlement.
Image result for CORONA VIRUS 
Nothing on earth is random. Mankind has not been able to prepone or postpone the rising and the setting of the sun by a millionth of a second. On the orange tree grows oranges and not mangoes. Within a tiny seed is embedded the software and future of every plant. We can all give millions of these examples. So, it is obvious that every single major event that happens is part of a design or a plan.
So, if it is not random and whimsical and there is a rationale and logic to these events, how does one understand the same?  So, let us look at glimpses of the three major paths to understand the world and its workings – Materialism, religion and spirituality
1. Materialism – understands everything in terms of material terms. Believes that the universe is a complex machine with only physical parts, subject to certain laws, therefore everything is based on the theory of Evolution. It has some drawbacks but is the genesis of great scientific progress.

2. Religion – a dualistic viewpoint of existence with a physical benevolent God being the creator and existence being the creation. Some have messengers and books as go-between Creator and creation. Has some amazing advantages in the devotion tradition but historically has been the source of immense violence, separation, competition and exploitation.

3. Spiritualism – a non – dualistic thought process which looks at each and every element of existence as being part of creator. Which deals with the energy / spirit of every being and works for inner clarity to discover the relationship between all forms of existence. Quantum physics has validated many of its worldview.

The pre-dominant world- view of Greek, Indian and Chinese philosophers till the sixth century BC was of non-dualism (advaita –we are all one). They professed that science, culture, philosophy and religion were not separated but an indivisible one. Then the Eleatic worldview of the west started prevailing with assumption of a Divine Principle standing above all Gods and men. This principle eventually led to an intelligent, personal and benevolent God standing above the world and directing it. Thus began the separation of matter and spirit and led to the dualism in western thought.

The dualistic religious movements in the west along with the Eastern religiosity consisting of various Gods, their messengers and their books created a worldview where humans were only connected directly one-to-one with the creator and sent to the world for various purposes – leading to claims and counter claims of superiority, proselytising (religious conversion) and competition leading to violence, strife, wars and tremendous unrest and indescribable horror and misery.

In the seventeenth century, a French philosopher, scientist and philosopher Rene Descartes proposed the ‘Cartesian’ division of nature as two independent realms (dualism or dwaita) – the mind and matter. Modern scientists started seeing matter as dead and completely segregated from themselves and the world as materialistic, working on principles of a Monarchical God. This view has led to huge advances in the field of science, technology, organizing of cities, political structures, medicines, agriculture, economy and similar. But due to this worldview, individuals started identifying themselves as separate mind and separate body parts with the futile expectation of the mind trying to control the separate compartments of talent, feeling, beliefs, individuality leading to endless inner conflicts generating confusions, stress and frustrations.

The inner fragmentation mirrors our alienation from nature and from our fellow beings treating natural environment as separate from us and therefore to be exploited by different interest groups. This fragmented view is further extended to society which is split into different nations, races, religions, groups and political entities leading to the present ecological, political, social and cultural crises.

Is it time to get to the original worldview of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbikam” (all are one?). Or will we end up as Sant Kabir said
माटी कहे कुम्हार से,
तू क्या रोंदे मोहे।
एक दिन ऐसा आएगा,
मैं रोंदूगी तोहे
The clay tells the pot maker, you think you are kicking me and kneading me with your feet. There will be a day when you will be below me (after death) , I will knead you. 
Article by deepak

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