God Is Made To Encroach Upon the Field of Science

          man in black jacket and blue denim jeans walking on brown sand during daytime                                             Photo by Darran Shen on Unsplash                                

 Mystery

Let us not say, ’God only knows’; let us say, ‘we do not know now.’
‘What is there after death?
Is it a spirit? Is it a ghost?
Is it the other world?
Is it the rebirth? What is it?
None returned after death.
None brought a report after death.
Does this matter for life on this Earth?’-Dr. D.V.Gundappa, a well-known Indian poet.
What happens after death is nothing more than the memory of the death itself. There is no evidence for the afterlife. Human life ends with death. This is the well-known monistic view of the rationalist.
But for the religious apologist, there is life after death; the human soul survives his death.
For some, what happens after the human’s death is a mystery.
I hold the view of the twelfth –century Indian rational mystic, Basavanna that there is no afterlife. Man has only one life. There is no duality in him: With his death, his brain dies and with his brain’s death, his mind or soul dies. His mind or soul is inseparable from his body. A disembodied soul does not exist.
Carl Sagan, the astronomer recollects:
‘Probably a dozen times since their deaths, I have heard my mother or father, in a conversational tone of voice, call my name. Of course they called to me often during my life with them-to do a chore, to remind me of a responsibility, to come to dinner, to engage in conversation, to hear about an event of the day. I still miss them so much that it does not seem at all strange that my brain will occasionally retrieve a lucid recollection of their voices.’(quoted by Michael Shermer in Heavens On Earth).
It is an admitted hallucination. Some may, however, treat it as an unexplained experience, a mystery.
The pandemic, Covid-19 is not a divine punishment meted out to the people, as such other pandemics as plague, and so on were believed to be so in the past. It is not a mystery now. It is known exactly as what it is: It is a highly contagious infectious disease for which medical science is still to manufacture a remedy.
Human consciousness and the origin of life have been still mysteries to science. These two mysteries have been unresolved by science. This epistemological situation is called a gap in the scientific explanation of natural phenomena.
The theist grabs such an absence of scientific explanations of things(gaps) as God’s field. He is sure(how?) that only God knows these gaps and the gap is God!

                          Pantheism

A mystic’s poem quoted below appears apposite here: 

‘You say you know.

Tell me how you came to know?

Those who truly know, do they say they know?

Those who know the unknowable supreme

live like those who do not know…’ 

These are the deeply meaningful words of southern India’s Allama Prabhu, another towering rational mystic of the twelfth century. The words, ‘the unknowable supreme’ is the cosmic energy (which the mystics call as Creation or God (not a supernatural God who performs miracles, answers prayers, rewards his followers and punishes sinners, and so on)) of which the human being and all sentient beings are parts. This concept of God is pantheistic.

                      ‘We do not know it now’

Science explains the facts of nature, animate, or inanimate. Scientists do not simply ‘say they know.’ They prove what they know.

To believe in a mystery of nature to be a god is superstitious. 

What science does not know we must admit that ‘we do not know now.’

You have to be humble in awe of the limitless mysteries of nature to snatch her secrets with sustained research.

 

Rational Is the Yogic Path to Mental Peace, Happiness and Fulfilment

woman in red and gold sariPhoto by Shudipto Sarker on Unsplash

The panacea for human misery and suffering

Most of the people in the world suffer from misery, stress, anger, frustration, fear, tension, jealousy, hate, inferiority or superiority complex, and so on. They seek the solution of these afflictions. They may find temporary relief from them through medical treatment or rare self-effort. They fail to relieve themselves of them from moment to moment of life permanently. An enduring solution to human problems has been elusive for them.

They are the prisoners of their past thoughts, emotions, images, and so on.. Every day, they associate themselves with the thoughts, emotions, images, and memories of their past. They are bound by external impressions on their bodies and minds. They seek joy and try to avoid pain. Their mental peace and happiness are short-lived and pain follows the momentary mental peace and happiness. Their life is a cycle of momentary peace and pleasure and then unavoidable pain.

Is there a way out of this repetitive cycle of momentary peace and joy followed by unavoidable pain?

Sam Harris, the American thinker and yoga practitioner-cum-guru raises these questions:
‘Is there a form of happiness beyond the mere repetition of pleasure and avoidance of pain?’
‘Is it possible to be happy even before anything happens, before one’s desires are gratified, in spite of life’s difficulties, in the very midst of physical pain, old age, disease, and death?’

Yes.

Sam Harris continues:
‘Here is its logic: If there is a source of psychological well-being that does not depend upon merely gratifying one’s desires, then it should be present even when all the usual sources of pleasure are removed.’

The famous Indian yoga practitioner-cum- teacher, Sadhguru stresses: ‘If you really want to know spirituality, do not look for anything. People think that spirituality is about looking for God or truth or the ultimate.’
‘Do not look for a way out of misery. Do not look for a way out of suffering.’ There is only one way-and that is in.’                                                                                    ‘The human predicament is just this: the very seat of your experience is within you, but your perception is entirely outward-bound.’

In a similar vein, Sam Harris writes: ‘ But our habitual identification with thought-that is, our failure to recognize thoughts as thoughts, as appearances in consciousness -is a primary source of human suffering.
‘The practice of meditation is a method of breaking the spell of thought.’
‘Meditation is a technique for waking up.’

There are two aspects of the activities of human life: the instinctual urge for survival and the natural urge for a search for breaking the limits of his physical life. The yearning for the expansion of his life is for breaking the barriers of human’s five senses and for going and being beyond their boundaries. Spirituality begins when he passes beyond the limits of his five sensory perceptions. Spirituality has roots in the human mind. It is not outside of his mind or related to an external Deity in any way.

Man is born borderless but is in disharmony and disunity with the universe in his life.

He has lost his way in the midst of the overcrowded noise and distraction of his unconscious sensory reactions to the stimuli of the external world.
Sense perceptions are essential for survival. When you do not identify yourself with them, you will be ready for the yogic journey.

Rationality in our life maintains and guides our survival; yogic mystical meditation provides the key to unlocking the world of peace and psychological well-being and bliss and ecstasy in life and ultimately spiritual union with the cosmos.

He should consciously restore his freedom of disassociation with his unconscious evolutionary burden self-imposed on his body and mind. This restoration begins with his conscious response to the impact of the external world on his mind and body. He should not be a slave to or a toy in the hands of the outside world. He should look within himself for his salvation, the salvation from the misery and suffering or unsatisfactoriness of his life. He should claim his birthright of bliss by the practice of the ancient and tested yogic practice of meditation under a good yoga guru.

The science of yoga is India’s unique gift to the world. It is religion-free, that is, free from a supernatural God governing the universe. It is time-tested, proven to be effective, and easily understandable and practiced everywhere in the world now. Yoga is a science of experience and experiment. Its practice is possible for and available to everybody. Mystics practice yogic meditations.

Yoga is a science and its practice is experimental and empirical. It can be tested in the laboratory of your mind. There is no esoteric or supernatural element in it. No God’s grace is needed for peace and happiness or bliss and ecstasy in human life. Man can attain them through the yogic meditation with the guidance of a yoga guru.

The only way out of his misery and sorrow is the practice of yogic meditation. The correct and consistent practice of yogic meditation under a good yoga mentor enables us to attain peace, happiness, and bliss even in the midst of human misery and suffering. Its immediate benefits are peace and happiness in all situations of life and its long-term goal is the highest achievement of human life itself: the bliss of moksha or liberation arising out of his spiritual union with the universal consciousness or energy or cosmos of which he is an inseparable part. This is the way to envision and experience the mystic’s uninterrupted joy of moksha. This perennial joy of liberation is possible for and available to everybody- yes, everybody if the person willingly and consciously practices, every day, the yogic method of meditation learned under a guru.

The practice of these exercises brings about harmony and alignment with the human being’s body, mind, and energy, and finally human being’s union with the cosmic consciousness or existence.

Mystics as yogis are adepts in the yogic path to bliss and ecstasy.
When a yoga practitioner reaches a stage of freedom from human misery and sorrow, he is in a positive emotional position to love all human beings and the universe. The barriers of race, class, caste (in case of India), gender, hate, jealousy, conflict, and so on are broken and eliminated. He is transformed into a universal man. Let everyone become a universal man!

Some of the yogic meditative practices are listed in the books, Inner Engineering by Sadhguru and the Waking Up by Sam Harris. Both say that any one or more of the yogic meditative exercises listed in their books found suitable for an individual may be adopted and put into practice. These ways of the meditative practice are simple, practicable, and effective. Sam Harris has a popular Waking Up application also offering daily guided practice of ten or twenty minutes.

Yogic mysticism is both a direct way of knowing the world and a way of accomplishing the highest goal of human life, that is, spiritual union with the universal consciousness or enlightenment through the tool of yogic practice of meditation. 

                         Two examples of yogic meditation                                                                    One simple example of daily yogic exercise about the limitless scope of love offered by Sadhguru is:

‘Love is never between two people. It is what happens within you, and your interiority need not be enslaved to someone or something. Try this fifteen minutes or so; go sit with something that means nothing to you right now- maybe a tree, a pebble, a worm, or an insect. Do it for a few days in a row. After a while, you will find you can look upon it with as much love as you do your wife or husband or mother or child. Maybe the worm does not know this. That does not matter. If you can look at everything lovingly, the whole world becomes beautiful in your experience.’

An example of a daily yogic meditation technique to eliminate negative emotions given by Sam Harris is:

‘The truth, however, is that you need not wait for some pleasant distraction to shift your mood. You can simply pay close attention to negative feelings themselves, without judgment or resistance. What is anger? Where do you feel it in your body? How is it arising in each moment? And what is it that is aware of the feeling itself? Investigating in this way, with mindfulness, you can discover that negative states of mind vanish all by themselves.’

The practice of yogic meditation is the unfailing tool to surmount the turmoil and grief in one’s life and live a life of peace, happiness, and well-being in their midst with his family. Life experiences. I must transcend the boundaries of the senses by consciously throwing the sack of the impressions of the external world off my mind and consciously and by rationally responding to the external stimuli from moment to moment of my life. In this state of pure consciousness, I can live as part of the universal consciousness cosmos or life itself and enjoy peace, happiness, and well-being.
As an unknown mystic has said: Live life as if you do not live in this world of grief.

Our aim: mental peace, happiness, and fulfillment

We as ordinary people may aim at mental peace, happiness, well-being, or equanimity in our lives through the practice of yogic meditation. We may or may not attain our highest spiritual union with the cosmos or universal consciousness!

I have been daily practicing some of the meditative exercises suggested by both the Sadhguru and Sam Harris and enjoying mental peace, happiness, and well-being in my individual and family life.

You may practice the exercises you like every day and live a life of peace, happiness, and well-being. One may reach the peak of the mountain of yogic meditative practice and turn out to be a real mystic!