Thursday, June 10, 2010

What happens after death?

Have you ever thought or been curious that what happens when we die? Following text I read in “Vasistha’s Yoga”. I do not know if you believe in this or not, does not matter but it was very interesting to me so thought to put it here. May be you will like, surprise or think otherwise. Here it goes….

There are three types of human beings: the fool, one who is practicing concentration and mediation, and the yogi (or intelligent one). The last two type of human beings abandon the body by the practice of yoga of concentration and mediation and depart at their sweet will and pleasure. But, the fool who has not practiced concentration and meditation, being at the mercy of forces outside himself, experiences great anguish at the approach of death.

The fool experiences a terrible burning sensation within himself. His breathing becomes hard and labored. His body becomes discolored. He enters into dense darkness and sees the stars during day. He gets dizzy. He is confused in his vision; he sees the earth as space and the sky as the solid earth. He experiences all sorts of delirious sensations - that he is falling into a well, entering into a stone, riding a fast vehicle, melting away like snow, being dragged with rope, floating away like a blade of grass, etc. He wishes to express suffering but unable to do so. Gradually, his senses lose their power and he is unable to even think. Therefore he sinks in un-wisdom and ignorance.

Such is the order established in the beginning of the creation by the infinite consciousness. When life-breath does not flow freely, the person ceases to live. But all this is imaginary. How can infinite consciousness cease to be? The person is nothing but infinite consciousness. Who dies and when, to whom does this infinite consciousness belong and how? Even when millions of bodies die, this consciousness exists undiminished.

When there is cessation of the flow of the life-breath, the consciousness of the individual becomes utterly passive. Please remember that consciousness is pure, eternal and infinite: it does not arise nor cease to be. It is ever there in the moving and unmoving creatures, in sky, on mountain and in fire and air. When life-breath ceases, the body is said to be “dead” or “inert”. The life breath returns to its source- air and the consciousness freed from memory and tendencies remains as the self.

The atomic eternal particle which is possessed of these memories and tendencies is known as the Jiva, and it remains there itself, in the space where the dead body is. And they refer to it as “Preta” (departed soul). That Jiva now abandons its ideas and what it had been seeing till then, and perceives other things as in dreaming or day-dreaming. After a momentary lapse of consciousness, the Jiva begins to fancy that it sees another body, another world and another life-span.

There are six categories of such “departed souls”: bad, worse, worst sinners; good, better and best of virtuous ones. Of course, there are sub-divisions among these too. In the case of some of the worst sinners, the momentary lapse of consciousness may last a considerable time. The middle among sinners undergo terrible sufferings in hell and then are born in countless living species before they see the end of their agony. They might even exist as trees for a long time. The middling among sinners also suffer for a considerable time; and then born as worms and animals. The light sinners are soon reborn as human beings.

The best among the righteous ascend to heaven and enjoy life there. Later they are born in good and affluent families on earth. The middling among the righteous go to region of the celestials and return to the earth as children of priests, etc. Even righteous among the departed ones, after enjoying such heavenly pleasures, have to pass through the realms of the demi-gods to suffer the consequences of the iniquities they might have committed.

All these departed souls experience within themselves the fruits of their own past actions. At first there is the notion “I am dead”, and then “I am being carried away by the messengers of the God of death”. The righteous among them fancy that they are taken to the heaven and the ordinary sinners fancy that they are standing in the court of God of death where with the help of Citragupta (the hidden record of one’s deeds), they are being tried and judged for their past life.

Whatever the Jiva sees, that the Jiva experiences. For in this empty space of infinite consciousness there is nothing known as time, action etc. Then Jiva fancies. “The God of death has sent me to heaven(or hell)” and “I have enjoyed (of suffered) the pleasures ( or tortures) of the heaven (or hell)”, and “I am born as animal, etc., as ordained by God of death”.

At that moment, the Jiva enters into the body of the male through the food eaten; it is then transferred to the female and delivered into this world, where it undergoes life again in accordance with the fruitarian of past actions. There it grows and wanes like moon. Once again it undergoes senility and death. This goes on again and again till the Jiva is enlightened by self-knowledge.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Did science banished superstition?

Science has not completely banished superstition from society because not all of society is scientifically educated, but science has removed a lot of superstition and will continue to do so.

What do we mean by 'superstition'? I guess we mean 'false beliefs' or belief in things that aren't real. For example belief in bad luck, or lucky charms or goblins or fortune tellers etc. Very few people believe in Goblins now, but plenty of people still believe in ghosts and fortune tellers, which is folkish, superstitious belief.

Basically science can destroy superstition thanks to Sceintific Method. SM is the rulebook for science. If you said 'Ghosts are scientifically provable' you would need to write a scientific report with details of your experiments and your measurable, repeatable evidence to support your claim of ghosts. Then other scientists can read and test your report and the entire scientific community can check your claims. They would use 'scientific method' to see if your report is right or not.

All the current 'proof' for ghosts (blurry photos, people who say they've seen them etc) fail to meet the strict requirements of Scientific Method and so cannot be considered scientific evidence. Nobody has ever produced a satisfactory science report on Ghosts because ghosts are a superstitious fantasy with no real, firm evidence.

An example of a currently held superstition that science can banish: Horoscopes - the belief that the stars can reveal your destiny.

Horoscopes are as old as history. Ancient people believed they were the centre of the universe and the stars went round the Earth. They had no idea how incredibly big or old the universe is and they thought that Earth and Humans were the most important things in it. They had no idea what stars are so they decided they were codes and messages, God's secrets etc. and they created a system of predictions called Astrology.

Modern Astronomy rips Astrological beliefs apart, making them look extremely childish. We now know the universe is not our 'backyard' with the Earth at the centre. Very very far from it. The Stars do not know you exist nor are do they describe each person's future. To believe they do is palpable superstitious nonsense.

So, to answer your question, Nikolai Copernicus's astronomical discoveries were first published in 1543. His work began a series of scientific advances that increased our understanding of the universe and radically reduced humanity's belief in superstition, not least, the pseudo-scientific superstition of Astrology. "Why the answer is No." Unfortunately scienctists and the concept of "science" itself falls prey to superstition as often as anyone (or anything) else. The scientific method is a great concept- observation leads to hypothosis, which leads to experimentation, which leads to theory. This is usually as far as it takes us, but theories which hold up fairly well are often referred to as "facts" while they are actually still only theories. If all works well, theory leads to more experimentation and observation and deduction, which leads to more of the same and (hopefully) eventually to knowledge of fact.

So, ideally, the scientific method leads us from observation to knowledge of fact. An example of this would be the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, which we know to be facts because in 100% of experimental instances in which these can be measured they are found to be correct. There are, however, comparatively few things so thoroughly known. We tend to stop when we have theories which can be usually but not always relied upon, because that is most often as far as the scientific method can take us, for a variety of reasons.

Even if everyone were completely indoctrinated with "modern science" we would still have superstitions, because superstitious behavior is human behavior, and scientists are human. For instance, today we tend to think of the 17th century as the beginnings of modern thought- Bacon invents the scientific method, Boyle redefines the elements which leads to modern chemistry, and Newton discovers gravity and writes the Calculus. We forget that these three men spent most of their time studying the occult. Modern scientists are no less conditioned by the society they live in. Scientists are as subject to ideas like "These are my lucky socks" as anyone else. All you have to do is be around scientists a lot to understand that their ideas differ from one another about almost everything, and they have opinions as strong as facts, pet theories, etc. For instance, I believe science has proven that we cannot depend on anything as foolish as astrology, and yet I personally know a number of scientists (including a couple of physicists, a mathematician and several engineers in the space program) who firmly believe in astrology. I grew up around many of the foremost scientists of the last half of the 20th century, largely involved in NASA and the defense industry, and they agreed about very little as far as I could see. They all understood clearly that species change, but what "evolution" meant or if it was actually the true process of that change never seemed to be agreed on by any three of them at a time. They clearly saw that genetics, mutation and "natural selection" in genetic breeding caused species to change, but also that all of that put together did not equal the "theory of evolution", and still doesn't today. There are hundreds of mainstream scientists (the vast majority of whom are not "creationists" and a great many of whom are not Christians) who have written hundreds of books using pure science to disprove "evolution" as we usually understand the term, but this does not keep scientists from arguing about this theory any more than boxing fans might argue over who was the greatest heavyweight champion, Ali or Dempsey or Marciano or Louis. Opinions and emotional attachment to our favorite ideas and superstitions are as rampant in science as in any other field of human endeavor.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What is Spirit?

Spirit is the experience of attraction to transpersonal experience. The focus is moved away from the personal towards insights about consciousness or life itself. The mythical movement is up and away. It is movement towards divinity or the cosmos, freedom from the hold of our emotions, history, persons, places, objects, and processes which bind us to the everyday world. It is also dramatic movement away from that which holds us physically-our bodies.

All throughout the world in almost every tradition that had a taste of Spirit, Body and Soul are seen as forms of corruption, if not down right evil. Spirit is all, says these traditions. Anything that is not Spirit is worthless and harmful. Hear the figure of philosophy in Boethius's The
Consolation of Philosophy speaking of Soul:

So sinks the mind in deep despair and sight grows dim; when storms of life blow surging up the weight of care (the Soul),It banishes its inward light (the Spirit) and turns in trust to the dark without (our everyday world which is laden with Soul stuff). This was the man who once was free to climb the sky with zeal devout to contemplate the crimson sun, the frozen fairness of the moon--Astronomer once used in joy to comprehend and to commune with planets on their wandering ways. This man, this man sought out the source of storms that roar and rouse the seas; the spirit that rotates the world, the cause that translocates the world, the cause that translocates the sun. From shining East to watery West, he sought the reason why spring hours are mild with flowers manifest, and who enriched with swelling grapes ripe autumn at the full of year. Now see that mind that searched and made all nature's hidden secrets clear lie prostrate prisoner of night. His neck bends low in shackles thrust, and he is forced beneath the weight to contemplate---the lowly dust (a Soul filled life).

The appropriate approach, at this point in history, given our understanding of reality, psychology, and comparative mythology and religion, is to explore Spirit as fully as we can but not to be overly possessed by it. Spirit is both a very rewarding experience AND a force that can strip you of your basic humanness. The dark side of Spirit which is spoken of all too infrequently is like the sirens in Ulysses, pulling us to the rocky shore line. While we may not physically hit the rocky shore and go down to our destruction, but Soulfully, and some times Body wise, we do suffer. To have Spirit is to be the unique human. But to be the full unique human, we too must have Soul and Body.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What is Soul?

Soul is the experience of personal depth, of personal experience, of personal power and limitations, of personal imagination, feelings, thoughts, sensations, and intuitions. The mythical movement is in and down. It is connection with history, persons, places, objects and life enhancing processes (i.e. work, play). We have connection to our bodies but they are seen mainly as expressions of inner selves (i.e. we smile, we wear certain clothes). We may be "spiritual" but that is done because it involves a community and has a feeling of inwardness.

Contrasting Soul and Spirit
Spirit is the experience of attraction to transpersonal experience. The focus is moved away from the personal towards insights about consciousness or life itself. The mythical movement is up and away. It is movement towards divinity or the cosmos, freedom from the hold of our emotions, history, persons, places, objects, and processes which bind us to the everyday world. It is also dramatic movement away from that which holds us physically---our bodies.

Differs From Most Religious and Philosophic Views
The above definition includes no comment on the existence of the Soul as something that precedes the body or survives the body. It says nothing about whether the Soul is eternal or mortal. Nor does it comment on its origin. Instead, it stays close to how we can experience the Soul. As Thomas Moore says: "Soul is not a thing, but a quality or a dimension of experiencing life and ourselves."

Definitions that give Soul transpersonal existence or divine origins are really definitions under the influence of Spirit. Following this Spirit laden approach moves us away from experiencing the Soul here and now, through our heart and guts. Instead, Soul is explained in terms of the past (i.e. reincarnation of the soul) and future (e.g. transmigration of the soul). That approach teaches more about Spirit than it does about Soul and moves us to a life berift of Soul.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What is Body?

Body is the experience of the senses, our relationship to space and other objects, awareness of the inner sensations within us, and a recovery of the sense of Now.
Edward Albee in his book, Desert Soliatire speaks directly to the objective Body awareness:

"For my own part I am pleased enough with surfaces. In fact they alone seem to me of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child's hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of friend or lover, the silk of a girl's thigh, the sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind---what else is there? What else do we need."

To confront, immediately and directly if its possible, the bare bones of existence, the elemental and fundamental, the bedrock which sustains us. I want to be able to look at and into a juniper tree, a piece of quartz, a vulture, a spider, and see it as it is in itself, devoid of all humanly ascribed qualities. Hard work, that's for see the world this way requires a disciplined approach."The disciplined approach begins with learning the difference between Body and Soul. For us, these two are closely mingled. We think we know our bodies but we actually use our bodies to represent Soul. The clothes we choose, the way we walk, our mannerisms are there to express us, not so much to express the body. We use dance to show our feelings, we make a fist to show our anger, we wear blue rather than brown because it makes us look slimmer so that we can be "attractive." Body is there, but it is so enmeshed with Soul it is hard to give it room to be.
Room to be comes with quieting the Soul and simplfying awareness to the Now. The Now of inner sensations. What do we sense in every area of our body? What do we sense on the skin? How do we move? How much space do we take up? Focusing inward teaches us about the Body's world of matter and energy. Do we really know the world's matter? Its hardness? Its ability to take up space? Its ability to have borders? One object's features versus another's? How well do we know our energy, the energy that arises when are emotions heat up? When our instincts become arroused? Perhaps, the largely unknown force called by some "Chi"?

For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living incarnate cosmos. I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the Earth, my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race; my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my very own self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself; it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the water.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Scientology A New slant on Life

The Scientology religion contains workable answers to the problems people face in their lives. The subject matter of Scientology is all life. It contains practical means through which predictable improvement can be obtained in any area to which it is applied.

Scientology recognizes that man is not just so many vials of chemicals fortuitously combined into a remarkable stimulus-response machine. Scientology views man as a spiritual being with native capabilities which can be improved far beyond what is generally believed possible. In fact, it has been demonstrated that man deteriorates to the degree that he denies his spiritual nature and ceases to live with moral values, such as trust, honesty, integrity and other sometimes intangible characteristics.

By seeing man as essentially spiritual, Scientology follows in the traditional view of man and his relationship to the universe. Scientology, however, is unique in that it contains practical means of enabling man to resolve his material concerns and so come to achieve his spiritual aspirations. In this regard Scientology is an improvement over any earlier practice in terms of what it can actually do to help man.

The problems of drugs, education, morals, relationships, trust and others contain solutions in Scientology which do not beget further problems.The situations to which Scientology can be applied are as varied as human activity itself. If a child cannot read well and is falling behind the rest of the class, Scientology study technology can help dispense with a liability that would otherwise affect the rest of his or her life.

The emphasis in Scientology is on the application of exact methodologies in order to bring about change in the conditions of an individual’s life. The aim of Scientology is to put a person into a condition where he can be more self-determined about living a happier, more fulfilling life.

Millions of people all over the world have used Scientology to improve their lives and help their fellows. Scientology does not require that one change his or her beliefs or convictions to use it successfully. All you have to do is apply the data and observe for yourself whether or not it works. You as you are now, can do more good for yourself and for those around you than you ever imagined, and gain enormous personal satisfaction doing it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Maharishi Effect

The Maharishi Effect is the phenomenon of the rise of coherence in the collective consciousness of any community. Scientific research has clearly demonstrated that when one per cent of the population of a city or town practices Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Programme, the crime rate significantly decreases. Similarly, when groups of individuals practicing Maharishi’s TM-Sidhi programme with Yogic Flying equal at least the square root of one per cent of a population, there is a significant reduction of crime and accidents, as well as an increase in stock prices, decreased pollution, decreased unemployment, and decreased hostilities between nations.

The basis of the Maharishi Effect is the rise of collective consciousness. Collective consciousness is the wholeness of consciousness of any specific group. For example, when we talk of community consciousness, we merely put together the consciousness of all the individuals who make up the community; for national consciousness we put together the consciousness of all the citizens of a nation.

There are innumerable divisions and organizations of collective consciousness, but among these there are seven principal levels: family consciousness, community consciousness, city consciousness, state or provincial consciousness, national consciousness, world consciousness, and universal consciousness, each created by the individuals within the group.

The phenomenon of collective consciousness can best be understood by examining the concept of a field, as described by modern science. Physicists delineate a variety of infinite, unbounded, and all-pervasive fields that operate invisibly throughout creation, governing the activities of innumerable Laws of Nature. For example, the electromagnetic field—one of the four principal force fields—permeates the entire universe, and enables radio and television transmitters to send signals by creating waves within the field. While the waves are unseen, they nonetheless create effects with which we are all familiar—the sounds and images of radio and television.
Likewise, the other three fundamental force fields—gravitation, weak interaction, and strong interaction—also pervade everything and behave invisibly throughout Nature. Self-referral consciousness is also a field, though on an even more fundamental level, for it is the omnipresent, invisible, and unbounded field from which all force and matter fields emerge.

Just as a radio transmitter can create waves in the electromagnetic field, individuals constantly create influences on all parts of creation simply because consciousness permeates every aspect of the material universe. To illustrate, if a stone is thrown into a pond, waves are produced that travel throughout the pond. Each wave produces some effect in every part of the pond. Similarly, the wave of individual life, through its activity, produces an influence in all parts of the cosmos.

On the basis of this same principle, the direct experience of self-referral consciousness influences every aspect of the universe, enlivening it with the perfect order and harmony inherent within self-referral consciousness. For this reason, groups of individuals can create very powerful effects in the environment through their collective practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program—through their self-referral practice, they enliven every aspect of the universe by stimulating its most fundamental constituent, consciousness, and they especially enliven the collective consciousness of the city or province or nation in which they are located.
Since collective consciousness is created by the individuals within it, as individual consciousness grows collective consciousness rises; and as collective consciousness rises individual consciousness grows. In other words, as an individual regularly experiences self-referral consciousness and enlivens it in his own awareness, the levels of collective consciousness in which he participates—family, city, province, nation, etc.—are simultaneously improved. This higher value of collective consciousness in turn effects, in a positive way, every one of the individual members of that level of collective consciousness.