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."