Yoga and Science V - Conclusion
by Swami Nitya
It seems to me that research into Yoga, through all manner of institutes and individuals, mainly attempts to prove that Yoga has a place, and is useful, for all manner of things in the world of today. And that means within a world whose basic orientation is one of materialism.
Also, there has been and still is, much research going on of brain wave activity by way of measuring and interpreting. Few consider, that even when measuring the activity of brainwaves in various stages of meditation, the many institutes that do, still stay - in the mode of third person research; i.e. the manifest.
Although useful, for me, that’s not it, because it still separates the physical from the subtle; it still measures simply subtler physical reactions…energetic waves… it’s still staying in the “box of the physical…”. But how else can “objective research” be conducted?
Yes it’s a start but it’s not the “real thing”…the real thing happens when people or scientists explore the mind field, the cosmic mind-field and its vibration of which, each of us, is part. There are attempts through people like David Rose, Valerie Hunt, Steven W. Smith and others.
In terms of the most common, basic understanding of Yoga, to study what happens through Yoga practice - means to study what happens in the field of the manifest. Within that, yes we have to use the tools of 3rd. person research, the so called objective research /science ------------- but to be truthful, it has to include the awareness, that that is not all; it has to take account too of the subjectivity of it all, and expand into the spiritual dimension.
Spiritual dimension means what? Spirit, the word means breath, hence it refers to the shared life-force within. How can that be part of objective research?
If I remember right, in Swami Veda’s book: “Yogi in the lab…” there is mention of research being rejected, because the researcher meditated! To the “jury”, the researcher seemed biased. “Come on,”- that’s completely ignoring, that any research.. is biased by the researcher…! And we know it since 60 years at least, indeed since the beginning of New Science!
There is no researcher- that we now know of, that is not biased/ not influenced by his own mental patterns, his culture and perception or indeed what he has studied before
And that - consciously or subconsciously!
To exclude a researcher because he is biased, would mean no research on sleep is possible -for example -, because every researcher also sleeps. It is just crazy logic, or rather- “thinking in a box”, which is limited by the laws of an un-reasonable concept of science.
New Science knows better than this. In fact it is through the new scientific thinking - that everything is a vibrating field of intelligent energy… that the boundaries have shifted. As said earlier:
Today, there are scientists who are Philosophers! There are Philosophers that are or have become - Scientists! Mystics become Scientists; Scientists become Mystics.
This means the boxes that separate Science and its various disciplines – and Yoga ---- or better even - any metaphysical (or spiritual ) understanding of our self and the Cosmos - are breaking up. When the edges between all limiting forms soften, and blurr and separation is recognized as an illusion as the Vedantins have said all along, that is where science and real Yoga meet, they become one field, one Truth (or as Swami Veda says: the highest form of poetry) !
It does not matter how we reach that Truth, from inside out --- or outside in!
What stops us, what stops this merger…is Ignorance!
This would be the answer of the yogic scriptures – and dare I say, this might be the answer of the New Sciences too:
Ignorance of the true essence of the universe, of existence, of our own original nature is the root. Well, will we ever know who we are? What existence ultimately is?
The Yogis are not the only Ones who say: Yes!!!
But what stops us is a strange thing, we call ignorance, which is almost in-build in human existence, just as the desire for higher knowing is in-build.
The Ignorance that is meant in this context, has nothing to do with an IQ or with not knowing what a pineapple is. Ignorance, is the umbrella term with subcategories of Egoism and attachment etc.
The root of wrong understanding are in the perception of separateness - not knowing ONE-NESS. Not being clear about the world, the cosmos, ourselves.
Through our five sense organs, we have a limited perception, yet- we identify with it.
We identify with the limited input, which tells us this is our body…this is a matt, this my papers.
When the new sciences talk about the unified field… they re-confirm what the Yogic scientists said: there is no separate body, indeed there is no me and mine…. If you are not separate from anything, nothing can belong to you, everything is a field of ever interactive intelligent energy… Hm, I feel tempted to call it Shakti.
If anything, everything belongs to, or is Her… or if you like - is His i.e. Shiva. separating the world into: my wife, my car, my job, my religion, my cast, my nation, my tradition , my culture etc. etc……and yours, i.e. an “other”, is a statement of “not-knowing” the real nature of things! Hence ignorance.
This separation is what is addressed in yoga as Egoism/ Asmita, it lets us forget that the universe is one ocean of consciousness.
As we heard in the beginning, - if I may summerise:
Ocean has currents which flow in different directions and with different temperatures…. We could talk of a multi-layered ocean of energies... which however is none other than WATER.
Some of these currents, are the energies the traditional scientists dealt with, some of these currents the new, more mystically aware scientist deals with, and ----some currents are so subtle they escape ordinary awareness – and only the mystic or “spiritual scientist” can understand. These energy currents are so subtle, so fine, they not only escape our gross senses but also our “un-tuned awareness”.
In our ignorance we think we act…Yet it’s the flow of the ocean,
the energy of life, of Prana, of Shakti which acts through us.
Whether we work in unison with this flow, or against it ---causes either peace or aggravation.
So yes, our actions have an effect, our thoughts have an effect, our emotions have an effect, our words, our behaviour, our every gesture have an effect within the flow of the ocean of consciousness. We influence the currents…. We influence not just our lives (or “our next life”) but all existence by what we do.
This originally yogic insight of the ancient Rsi’s, seems now mirrored in the awareness of the worldly 1st person scientist, and it makes them see differently.
Outer orientated scientists and inner orientated scientists both swim in the same current.
Together we are a mixture of these currents, and we influence the mixture of the currents. There is no separate existence!
Everything affects everything else; every action, how I eat, what I eat, how I speak, what I speak, how I behave, flow with life… everything, everything…!
We cannot be, we are not - separate! Not knowing this, or not wanting, not admitting - this is not science – but : ignorance.
Believing in this wrong perception of reality is Asmita –is Ego-ness, egoism.
Ego – understood not as in the Western influenced psychology, as a “well working unit that fits into society”, but Ego understood in the Yogic perception, as “the accumulation of individual patterns and habits that distort our perception of reality as it is”.
But there is one other ingredient that stops us from knowing and acting according to yogic insight and the insights of New Science. That is ACEDIA. It is a Latin word which stems original from St. Benedict, a Christian Monk. He describes it as the biggest problem for spiritual people: its “Not wanting to know!” It’s turning away from part of existence.
If Yoga is ..Oneness”
If Yogic research is investigating that one-ness from within…
If Science is investigating it from without in many different ways….
If science applied to Yoga, investigates how yogic living effects the being who practices, be it through medicine, social science or what have you…
Then how come…Yoga research pays absolutely no attention to how we live as ONE HUMANITY ?
Pretending, or thinking Yoga has nothing to do with the State of our Earth, with Humanity, with the present condition of existence on earth is ACEDIA
Why has no one ever (as far as I know) scientifically, in our contemporary world investigated how to actually live by the insights of Yoga - i.e. actually living ONENESS???
You see many quotes of Swami Rama are completely ignored. …
Repeatedly he talks about: Humanity is one family, one brotherhood. HM, would we let children starve.. if they were part of our family, our brothers?
Would we let people go hungry, or not care for the sick, poor or violated ones – if we really believed they were part of our family???
We talk about practicing a dharmic life, but ‘ living it?’
Swami Rama talks about practicing dharma in the collective life of all of mankind! (Not just our little isolated lifes!)
“Loving all and excluding none” was one of hiz buzz-words!
Many practitioners of Yoga, even spiritual more aware Yoga… still live in the past:
Swami Rama writes:
“Long ago, personal enlightenment was considered to be the highest goal of life. In those days, it was the proper goal because people could accomplish their daily tasks with a minimum of support from others. Because there was no modern communication media, the news related to the problems of a person or community did not spread very fast (or far). Thus people remained unaffected by circumstances of others who lived at a distance, But with the advances in communication technology, the situation has changed. Today’s news about particular people and their cultures spread rapidly. (Just think of how quickly you knew of the typhoon in the Philippines).
Furthermore , the present day economy has made everyone interdependent. (So how quick did you help?)
The affliction of any part of the world-society affects the entire human race. At this stage of our evolution we must think of the welfare of the whole world”.
Well, just think, everything you do effects the whole environment, all of existence…how you live, what tea you drink, what cloth you were, how much petrol you use, how much plastic you throw away…
Do you know that, there are mines in some countries were the average life-expectancy is 17 years. Children work in appalling conditions….so we can buy the stuff we call necessary for our life!
If all existence is ONE; if all of humanity is our Family, if all of existence including the animal, plants, insects etc. are all ONE. Then how come we use pesticides that kill Bees at an alarming rate…So that in some countries 80% of bees have already died.
How can we live like that …only because we ignore.. we don’t want to know…
Because if we knew, and if we really wanted to live according to yogic principles ... we would have to do something about things. So better “not know” Acedia!
Knowledge and awareness… are the principals of Yoga, yet we behave and live with ignorance and acedia.
Swami Rama writes: In the world of today, one can only be at peace with oneself, if one’s neighbour is also at peace. The continents have come closer to each other. With modern means of communication this vast world of ours has contracted. We must learn to co-exist and cultivate peace, harmony, love and universal brotherhood.
The whole world has to live like one family. The welfare of the entire world is every human being’s concern.”
But we , don’t care, not even on the Yogic path!
Swami Rama writes: Selfishness is the root of all evil”; we don’t act… because we suffer from Acedia.
Swami Rama’s book: Call to Humanity, is a call towards spiritual activism!
How can we live Yoga and not become activist, but …. from the motivation of spiritual insight.
Now we talk about Yoga and Science.
Very few, in either Old Science, New Science, of Yogic science…whether from inside out… or outside in…seem to take this serious.
If we did, we would bring Yogic science, understanding the interconnectedness into the outer ….and from there – from the Awareness of the sacredness of all -- to work …to heal the environment, to heal the ills of economics, to heal the ills of humanity, to heal the crying hearts of the voiceless suffering Beings.
One of the few books I found which helps to make this real is: George and Brenda Feuerstein’s book: Green Yoga. They write:
“Contemporary Yoga practitioners are now called to expand their circle of responsibility by including in their daily practice sound attitudes toward the environment, Mother Nature. To be truly valid today, contemporary Yoga must become as green as the meadows of Ireland or the dense, if rapidly vanishing, rainforests of Borneo.”
Why? Because Yoga science, and the NEW science tells us… as inside so out… there is only ONE.
With Swami Rama’s, “Call to Humanity” to love and care for every human being on this earth, without exception, and Georg Feuerstein’s call to care for the environment…
and with New Scientists such as Bruce Lipton’s call towards co-operative life – it’s hard to understand that today’s Yogic world still largely is passive, just tending their own little egos, organisations, groups and what have you.
It seems to me that both Yoga… and Yogic research, as it is practiced today is done so -to get support from the materialistic orientated society, and its sciences… most seem to fail humanity in the present society. With – of course some exceptions.
May those exceptions gain momentum!
What do we personally learn from all this? Be aware at all times that you are connected to the shared Reality, that we call the Absolute, Shiva, Brahman, God, the unified field…
Take with you, the awareness that there is only ONE, one cosmic reality—
in all dimensions, in all parts/bits of the Hologram of existence, past, present and future. Every minute, every action – we need to try to see this, to keep this in our mind.
There is no separate existence, there is no separation.
Means... there are ultimately no objects separate from us, which also means there are no opposites!
That we perceive opposites (be as things or ideas) is part of our limited ability to perceive and our tendency to separate out.
Try to live as if there were no opposites, no duality... try to see beyond the limited perceptions that come from the limitations of our senses and the interpretive organ we call manas-mind, which is conditioned by the society and culture we live in. Even the global culture of today.
Try to rise above, expand and see the harmony of opposites.
This is not possible with the blinkers of ego-orientation, it’s not possible as long as we rely on our senses to determine what is ”truth”!
We need a much wider view, and expanded awareness to see the harmony of opposites.
Which exists in One, as One.
See your hand ; two sides of your hand, yet the palm is not possible without the back of your hand… see the hand…. Not the opposite side!
We have to widen our understanding duality and unity exist as One;
Oneness includes diversity, like ocean includes currents.
Dare I say it: - relative Truth and absolute Truth are the same; just as Consciousness and Being are the same. M. Dyczkowski when talking about the ‘Doctrin of Vibration’ has it, that :
‘Oneness is better understood as the coextensive unity of both duality and unity. They are equal expressions of the Absolute. The world is a manifestation of the Absolute.’
A long time ago, the image came to me, that when standing at rail-ways tracks…
If we look one way, the distant environment looks like this…looking the other way…. It looks like that!
YET - It’s one track! One Absolute Reality, but if we focus on the world as our senses belie- we see diversity, we see different forms, we see matter, which need particular instruments of science to investigate and play with..
If we look the other way we see only Oneness… harmony, peace…to discover that, within ourselves- we need different instruments of scientific inquiry.
What to do?
START right now, to live and act from the perception… that there is only ONE.
Let go of the limited perception… of exclusion. Inside is outside, outside is inside… no matter where you put the focus of your science.
Include all, exclude NONE!
For that we need to do work:
First : become your own scientist, do like the ancient wise ones, become aware of the conditioning, and patterns in your own being and let them go, in order to see the bigger picture, the wide open ocean of existence.
This means undoing the attachment, to all the bits of thought, memory, energy patterns, behaviour etc. which we consider “ME” or “mine”- because that, is separation.
It means whether animate or inanimate possessions – whatever you consider yours and identify with, whether on physical, emotional, mental - and yes, even spiritual level - ultimately has to be let go off!
Once you become truly aware of the world as your family, love and compassion will grow, the will to support, to create harmony, peace and wellbeing for all of existence will arise naturally. This is called universal Love.
Love will grow.
Then start acting, living in awareness of total interconnectedness and acting from the point of Love.
From there, there is only one path and that is to act self-lessly for the GOOD OF ALL!
You become an instrument…or expression of Life-force/God/Consciousness/Prana… (you choose what label you want to put on it).
Use the scalpel of the Yogic scientist, to get beyond the illusion , to get beyond the limited perception of separateness. Remember:
What was this scalpel: Dharana, Concentration.
What was the microscope? Contemplation and meditation.
What was the result? Kaivalya; Liberation from limitations – i.e. experience of the One-ness.
May I conclude, with quoting Swami Rama: “Science must be guided by the power of spirituality, (let me use in this context the word YOGA)…which reminds us of the highest purpose of life”… In our contemporary world, …
“We have become familiar with science, but spirituality is still foreign to us. First we should study its ethical aspect and integrate this with science. (Do I hear him refer to the Jamas and Nijamas!).
“Spiritually-based morality can lead modern science ( in all its aspects, Physics, Sociology, Medicine, Economics..etc) in a constructive direction. In the next stage, we must practice the higher aspects of spirituality, including the discipline of body, mind and senses. Science combined with that state of spirituality becomes metaphysics; then there is no difference between science and spirituality. These two modes of knowledge, one relating to the external world and the other to the inner world, together they can help human beings to attain perfection here and now.”
Inner and outer science, like two sides of one hand. Spiritually motivated science in all fields… and acting upon that knowledge - that calls for ‘spiritual activism, right now’!
Hari OM, Tat Sat