3.6 SOME QUESTIONS ON SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY
Key points of Lecture on
Science and Spirituality
(Given on vairous occasions to different audiences)
1. Standard Questions: Is there a God? What is God? What is the origin of life? Of mankind? Of the universe? What is man's place in the universe? Is the universe finite or infinite? Why is it so? Did God create it so? Was there a creation? From what? When? What was there before? Who created Him? Why did He create ? What was the objective?
Why is there human suffering? Is there not a contradiction between scientific truths and spiritualistic assertions?
2. We cannot depend on Reason alone; because we may be only rationalizing our own wishes. We cannot be depending on Scriptures alone; because we may tend to become dogmatic. We cannot be depending on Experience alone; because we may be visualizing our own dreams. All three are necessary.
3. The Perceived is 'pratyaksha'. The inferred is 'paroksha' The intuited is 'aparoksha'. The first two constitute Science. The third is to be pursued for spiritual enlightenment.
4. Spiritual intuition is not born out of fear, not a flash of impulsiveness, nor a stroke of fantasy, nor a burst of emotion, nor a breakthrough of the intellect. It is something like a sudden perception of color by the color-blind. You know when you have got it. And you know it only then.
5. Spiritual perceptions described by the scriptures sound impossible. But marvels of fundamental matter described by science are equally mysterious. Superstring theory. World of Ten dimensions. Science and Spiritual Reality require different instruments of knowledge. Basic positive attitude to the unknown dimension of Reality is sraddhA. That which is beyond reason is not necessarily unreasonable.
6. The complexity of the Quantum Mechanical world is stranger than fiction.
7. Transcendence and Immanence of the Absolute Spiritual Reality. God is the only thing everywhere. Ocean and Wave. nAma and rUpa. One cause. Everything else is effect. Consciousness fundamental. Matter is derivative. It is the other way in Science.
8. Science promises to explain only a part of the universe and of human experience. What do we know of God? Has Science talked about God? What rationale makes us believe that God has to be rational in His behaviour? Are we not delimiting the very nature of the Almighty? Who are we to set rules to His behaviour?
9. The knower gets the knowledge of the knowlable object with the help of the instrument of knowledge. The seer gets the sight of the visual object with the help of the eye, the instrument of vision. Here, the ear is of no help. And vice versa. No comparison. Gavaskar and M.S. The instrument of knowledge that you need depends on the nature of the knowlable object. The instrument of knowledge that you need for knowing the Absolute Reality is none of the senses nor the mind.
10. What is the proof of spirituality? We have to accept on faith what is incapable of proof except through personal experience? True faith is the appropriation of reasoned experience of people whom we believe to have lived a life purified by prayer and penance.
11. Spiritual scientists. Two-hole experiment of Wave-particle duality. How can I believe it? Village Astrologer. Ramakrishna the Scientist.