SPIRITUALITY 4 – CONVERSATIONS
Last week has been very satisfying for I have been having continuous conversations with my friends regarding my earlier posts on the subject. I could gain further insight into how each individual looks at the concept of God and religion. Each one charts out a philosophy of life to guide him through his living. What would matter ultimately is whether one has found happiness and fulfilment on this chosen path. More often than not one finds himself under a compulsion to change paths as he finds the goal receding further and further and as he understands more and more about the world he lives in from the experiences he has undergone. After all I guess the ultimate goal in life is to find peace. When you find it, there would be no more need for a God or religion.
To maintain continuity I am listing down some of the comments my friends have made on ‘Spirituality’. I wish to share it with a wider audience so that it rings a bell in their own thought processes. I know a discussion on this subject can be expected to go on and on and there will be as many opinions as there are individuals:
“Most people need the name of God, as it gives rise to hope. Hope is what makes all of us move on from one day to another”.
“God is everything that is pure and infinite. Self realization is just removing the cobwebs of Maya and dig deeper into that pure self”.
Further there are two comments which I shall reproduce in full below because they look at it from the standpoint of scientists. It is interesting because belonging to the same fraternity of rational thinkers (I would like to believe all scientists are rationalists) they have expressed contrarian views on the subject. One is a biologist and the other a physicist,
Interesting isn’t it? Though I know both of them, I am in a position to talk more about the second person who I term as a physicist. He is a very close friend of mine, a fellow banker who quit his job years ago to pursue his passion for physics. At present he has submitted his papers for a Phd in the field of quantum field theory. He has also done work in the field of Relativity.
Very significant discoveries have been made by human kind over the last few centuries, very true. As stated by me earlier the more one finds the more there is to discover whether at the macro level or at the micro level, whether it is the Big Bang or the Boson.
Years ago I read ‘The Tao of Physics” by Fritzof Capra, where he tries to reconcile the parallels between theoretical physics and eastern mysticism. Though science has advanced tremendously over the last few years, the book has still retained the interest of the readers. When one delves into the quantum world it is always an uncertainty and a probability. Fritzof Capra’s book has come in for criticism from a portion of the scientific community while there has also been appreciation. But there is one telling statement of Capra that is worth a mention here “Science does not need mysticism nor does mysticism require science, but man needs both”.
Carl Jung who is considered as one of the greatest explorers of the human mind, while he was writing of his personal experience of his youthful rebellion against the church said “At that time I realised that God - for me, at least – was one of the most immediate experiences”. In his scientific works Jung seldom speaks of God; there he is at pains to use “the God image in the human psyche.” This is no contradiction. In the one case his language is subjective, based upon inner experience; in the other it is the objective language of scientific inquiry. In the first case he is speaking as an individual, whose thoughts are influenced by passionate powerful feelings, intuitions, and experiences of a long and unusually rich life; in the second, he is speaking as the scientist who consciously restricts himself to what may be demonstrated and supported by evidence. His subjective statement will be acceptable only to those who have had similar experiences – or, to put it another way, to those in whose psyche the God-image bears the same or similar features. – This is reproduced from the introduction to Jung’s autobiography ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’.
I repeat what I said about hope that it is never false or true. So there is no question of “ a false hope that is unlikely to help in a tangible way”. Next is the question of whether we would prefer a person suffering from a disease to look to God and prayer for a cure or go to a doctor. The answer is – of course he will go to a doctor. But that does not stop him from seeking solace from God and prayer. What happens when the doctor throws up his hands and says it is not possible to do anything further?
I guess this discussion can go on and on but contrarian views are essential for us to have a more complete understanding of the world we live in and the world within us. Science makes us understand the world we live in, what about the world inside? I agree with my physicist friend when he says “The problem can be solved only if mankind can evolve emotionally in tune with his intellectual advancement”.