Thursday, March 27, 2008

To Be

I recently came upon a very interesting book by Fritjof Capra. Yes, I have not stumbled upon a discovery, I know, but for me "The Tao of Physics" has been more of an intrigue for a long time since I was a teenager.
My grandfather is one of the most well-read important men in my life. I thank him for introducing me to various kinds of schools of spirituality. I learnt bits and pieces of astrology from him. He also gave me a respectable background in the teachings of Hinduism by giving me all the volumes of "The alpha and Omega of Yoga"- a series of books by Bhagwan Rajneesh on the Patanjali Yogasutras of the ancient Hindu school of thought. Eventually, I was led to the Zen stories and a bit of Buddhist philosophy too.
I always heard my dad and granddad talk about " The Tao of Physics" so recently when I was a bit bored with too much fun, I picked it up from the library.

In one of the chapters of this book, the author quotes
"Science does not need spirituality and spirituality does not need science; but man needs both"
He has drawn analogies to the evolution of Physics from the religious evolution of Spirituality in the far East that happened thousands of years ago.
It talks about simple things that scientists like Einstein had great difficulties in putting into words. Like the dual nature of light for example, when it behaves like a particle in the photoelectric effect and like a wave in interference. I always accepted it when it was given to me in plain English ( mostly because I knew it was worth five marks in a hundred marks paper) but he writes about the helplessness that scientists like Bohr faced when they realized that the Universe was not a big machine like they thought it was and that there were concepts that could not be expressed within the limitations of human language.
Similarly in the Eastern culture, monks have tried to make "Enlightenment" more palpable but it remains a matter of first hand experience that cannot be translated into words in any language. Osho presents several (rather controversial) analogies for the feeling but no one can really put it into words.

I have always been fascinated by the simplicity of Buddhist teachings and the Bhagwad Geeta.
Everything is simple, it is the mind that does the complications. The world is a function of our vision. Sometimes, just changing the way you look at something makes a big difference to how you feel about it. I find this flexibility of vision extremely refreshing.
It seems like the Universe is a big trivia left for us by God. That has little junctures and turns where He wants us to come and take lessons of Life. We send satellites into the space to study Mars. We put a Cassini around Saturn and a Ulysses around the Sun. We send Voyagers into deep space and sit back and write down the nature of Universe in Mathematical poems. Then we dig up the scriptures and realize that this has been done before without telescopes and satellites. People have arrived at the same truth, gone through the same helplessness and come to the same profound faith in God in various other ways. That in itself is their life mission. They write it down and leave millions others to "Analyze" in the West and "Assimilate" in the East.

It is remarkable how when Newton could not explain the aberrations in his laws, he very innocently assumed that God controlled these other unexplained forces. Almost all of the greatest scientific minds have humbly accepted the power of God and stressed it well before they took a graceful exit from this world. It brings us to what the Geeta says about the "doer"- everything that happens is a result of interdependence of natural forces and only a deluded person can think that he is the only reason for the occurrence.
Same is with our everyday life. An atom can be studied in great details with gamma radiations but if we don't want to we can't even see it. We are all however, given our share of gamma radiations. We can use them to study anything we want to. Unfortunately most of us apply all of it to study unnecessary things at an atomic level. :)
Life is full of paradoxes and each Life has a different lesson.
Like the Zen Satori says

"How wondrous this, how mysterious!
I carry fuel, I draw water."


intendo said...

Hey.. guess what. Even i'm currently reading the Tao of Physics... started a few days ago...




Raj said...

Interesting post. I think when Einstein referred to God, he meant that part of physics which we still do not understand. I am a little bit skeptical about combining religion and science because they contradict each other so often. The opposition to theory of evolution is just one example.
I am also curious about Buddhist philosophy.

Shruti said...

hey Saee! I like this post of yours...I believe that spirituality is a quest for knowledge, science is often the method for this madness. What we seek is mostly was we individually need to learn most - so spirituality differs from one man to the next. Perhaps also it is not a unique quest - someone, somewhere separated by lifetimes and worlds may have sought answers to the very same questions - and hence the repetitive nature of findings! To draw an analogy to lifetimes - we enter a room in a house to seek the wonders and knowledge in that room, having satisfied our curiosity, it is time to move to the next room!
Phew! this one was like a mini post! Sorry! ;-)

Saee said...

@ Intendo
With this book it is definitely not a coincidence. :)
It was "meant to be" and both of us maybe have a karmic connection from our past lives. hehehe. :) Thanks for the comment!
@ Raj
I don't agree. If you read Buddhist philosophies, you will realize that Buddhism is as scientific as science can get. Most of the religions that we see around us are diluted and accessorized with rituals for the average man.
Yes, it is a cycle. One cycle leads to another and that is what we are here for. :)
Thanks guys for the comments
Keep rocking

Endevourme said...

about traditional concept of god i am still confused hehe
i truly madly deeply believe in science. nature and science amaze me to the core! , maybe this is another kind of religion :D

शिरीष said...

Hi Sai!
I am little late to comment on your post as I was at Kolhapur for last two days.

Sai I was just thinking of Fritjof Capra,s Tao of Physics when I read your "Chemistry".In fact I was to mention something about it in my comments. That is a wonderful book I ever have read.

"Science does not need spirituality and spirituality does not need science; but man needs both"

Sai Osho in one of his books has given a beautiful example about Science and Philosophy.He says that truth is absolute.Science and philosophy are two ways to aproch this truth. Assuming that you are walking through a dark cave with a torch in your hand,you see a particular shape but as you advance you realise that the shape what you imagined is no more the same .It has chnged. This continues for ever. Osho says this is science.You go deeper and deeper and the hypothesis is shattered. Smallest part is no more atom.It is also divisible.You realise realative truths which ultimately one day should lead to absolute truth.
Whereas you are in the middle of the cave and there is a dtrong flash of lightening and suddnly you see everything very clear. This is enlightenment! Realisation of Absolute truth.Philosphy tries to put it into words.

Tao of physics brings forth the similarities in modern physics and eastern philosophy.

Your post revived my memories of Tao. Thanks

*Shall* said...

"The world is the function of our vision"..well said. I do believe 'Its all in d mind' in its how we perceive things. The perception alone can make a tremendous difference. You can make urself miserable over smtg that u have no control off or you can learn smtg from the same experience with a positive attitude. Like perception, spirituality is individualistic too.
Believe in wa u wana believe; science, sprituality, god, tao, zen, buddism...wa'eve works for u.
Live d learn...d keep postin wa u learn! =)

Saee said...

@ baba
Thanks for this long comment. Yes, in the past few days I have become really curious about all of these things. The book is a good read. Kind of a brief summary of everything. M friends here like it too.
Yes, I really believe that the more flexible we are with our perceptions the better we do as human beings. Too much analysis never helps. :)
Thanks for the comment. :)

Endevourme said...

i m going to stop commenting here completely hmph :-/

Saee said...

@ endevourme
Sorry..I missed you out. :(
I was in a bit of a hurry.
Infact I was going to say that I agree with you more than the others. Most of our religious principles are inspired by nature. And following your "nature" is the most authentic religion I guess.
Thanks a lot for the comments. I am sorry to have missed you out.
I am currently taking care of a really bad tonsilitis. So most of my brain is in my throar. :D

pareshv22 said...

AWESOME dear ... totally

" Everything is simple, it is the mind that does the complications " ... this is the most simplest answer to any complex question , impeccable n truly multifaceted.
AS it is congenitally trustworthy to amalgamate any periodic order of thots , a human brain can process at one time, n yet it is as similar to fish brain , only a zillion time more complex! but basic plan remains the same ...

"How wondrous this, how mysterious!
I carry fuel, I draw water." ...aah wht !! .... its smthing like DEFINITELY MAYBE ... hehehe :) !!

would like to be you friend ! ... keep going this gud job ...


Saee said...

Thanks for the comments.
See you around. :)