Friday, April 19, 2013
I am you, and you are me
Science and religion both attempt to answer similar questions innate to the human experience, and both claim to have the correct answer. However, they both have their limitations. Science can only go so far based on what it considers as proof cannot always be measurable or observable. Religion is also limited in the fact that those who chose to subscribe to religious beliefs close off their minds to new and alternative concepts of the world. Since the beginning of time, mankind has always been in search of knowledge and the truth. Nevertheless, there have been those who are so indoctrinated into their belief system that their minds do not possess the capability to grasp new possibilities. On one hand we have science, which enables us to explain and comprehend new concepts of the universe, and on the other hand, we have religion, which uses faith as an external source for information about the truth, without the chance for change and adaptation.
It is my personal belief that all of the great spiritual leaders of the past would not endorse religion. I feel they would have no clue as to what it is. Our concept of religion is a man made concept used to control the masses, conceal knowledge, and generate massive profits. The spiritual leaders written about in our holy books preached about love, compassion, and spirituality; not centralized religion and going to church every Sunday.
For ages, religious prophets, philosophical thinkers, ancient writings, and psychedelic drugs have been saying that the entire universe is “One” (One as in one single consciousness) and that our entire concept of “reality” is just an illusion. In The End of Faith by Sam Harris, the author argues that science will one day be able to answer spiritual questions and explain mystical experiences. On page 43 of his book, Sam Harris states that:
“Science will not remain mute on spiritual and ethical questions for long. Even now, we can see the first stirrings among psychologists and neuroscientists of what may one day become a genuinely rational approach to these matters—one that will bring even the most rarefied mystical experience within the purview of open, scientific inquiry. It is time we realized that we need not be unreasonable to suffuse our lives with love, compassion, ecstasy, and awe; nor must we renounce all forms of spirituality or mysticism to be on good terms with reason”
Recent developments in quantum physics are doing just that. These discoveries are opening the door that connects science and spirituality that once remained closed and guarded by religious leaders and scientists alike.
Quantum physics is a particular domain of science that, unlike regular Newtonian physics, studies and attempts to understand how everything in the physical, perceivable world comes into existence
It is basically the study of reality starting with the subatomic level of the
world. Quantum physics is profoundly complex and take time to comprehend and
wrap one’s mind around. The famous Danish physicist and philosopher, Niels
Bohr, who made some of the foundational discoveries to understanding quantum
physics and atomic structure and later received the Nobel Prize in Physics in
1922 for these discoveries, once said, "If quantum [physics] hasn't
profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet” (Pais, 1991).
Scientists haven’t been able to completely explain everything that’s going on
in the subatomic world of particles, but they have figured out where all
physical things in the entire universe stem from. Quantum physics attempts to break down
physical things into their simplest and untainted for in order to discover the
source from which they are made (Anonymous, 2012).
If one takes just a quick look at intellectual nature of what quantum physics is and what quantum physicists do, it seems to be extremely complex and monotonous. However, when the fundamental conclusions of quantum physics are combined with what the ancient sages, mystics, philosophers, and religious prophets have been saying for millennia, not only is it profoundly shocking like Niels Bohr’s stated, but it can become at catalyst to change human thinking and their view of reality and the world around them.
We are One
Our culture has programmed people so that individual differences stand out. When someone looks at another person, they immediately make judgments about them. One may see the other person as smarter, dumber, richer, poorer, older, or younger; but the fact of the matter is that people immediately place others into categories and treat them accordingly based on the category they’ve been placed in. Humans innately see others as separate from themselves and focus on the ways in which they are separate. However, a dramatic part of human experience is being with another person, and suddenly realizing the ways in which they are similar to one’s self. After having an experience like this, people begin to realize that which is inside of one person is the same as that which is inside of another person. They begin to realize that which is within themselves and that which is within others is indeed One, and that there truly is no “other”. Quantum physics has done nothing but prove this fact. If one tries to break down their consciousness (in the way a quantum physicist would break down a particle) in order to understand what it is that makes up their consciousness, they will come to the conclusion that it is their thoughts that make up their consciousness. This leads to the question “Who is it that is aware that [I] am thinking?” One may think that the simple answer to that question is that “I am aware that I am thinking,” however, it isn’t that simple. If it is ourselves that is aware that we are thinking, then that must mean we are separate from ourselves in order to make that observation, which obviously isn’t that case. This leaves only one other option, our consciousness must be a part of something greater than itself, or as famous write and speak David Icke would say:
“We are droplets in an infinite ocean of consciousness and when you place a droplet back in the ocean where does the ocean start and the droplet end? They don't. They are all One. Everything is One and was always One. I am you, you are me, I am everything and everything is me. We have just forgotten and been manipulated to forget”
I believe that Sam Harris would agree that all human conflict stems from the fact that humans see themselves as separate from one another. The only things people ever talk about anymore are our differences. The mainstream media, politicians, and religious institutions seem to only focus on the things that make us different from on another instead of focusing on that which brings us together and reveals our true nature as the loving and compassionate creatures we are. Almost all, if not every great religious or spiritual prophet knew this and perhaps this is where they drew their conclusions about The Golden Rule – treat others as you would treat yourself. What would happen to the arms industry if every human being on Earth realized that we’re all One? How could anyone justify bombing and killing something that they see as themselves instead separate from themselves?
Quantum Physics and Buddhist Philosophy
H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyato, explains in his book The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality, that there is a distinct connection between science and spirituality, and that they have a distinct ability to unite the human race. In traditional Buddhist teachings, the Theory of Emptiness states that all things and events are dependent upon one another and are in some way interconnected. Both Buddhism and quantum physics demonstrate that the world we know is not what we perceive it to be with our 5 senses, and that us and everything that exists is connected in some way, somehow. In the book, His Holiness cites one of David Bohm’s observations:
“…if we examine the various ideologies that tend to divide humanity such as racism, extremely nationalism, and the Marxist class struggle, one of the key factors of their origin is the tendency to perceive things that inherently divided and disconnected. From this misconception springs the belief that each of these divisions is essentially independent and self-existent.”
Bohm’s statement is an extraordinary one. He is able to understand the relation between quantum physics and science as a whole, and he is also able to expand his analogy to the entire world. Perhaps if human’s were not so quick to judge, segregate, and isolate each other, we would be able to come to gather and have a much greater respect for the human race a whole, but conquering the ego is no simple task. This comparison of Buddhism and quantum physics is very interesting because it has the capability to motivate those who find solidarity in faith, and those who find the truth through facts. Both schools of thought recognize the extreme importance of perception.
Most people often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of their own lives to the point that they fail to realize the fact that their entire existence transcends both space and time. The horrors and evil of this world are not independent of ourselves and depend completely upon misunderstandings tracing from the innate human need to separate itself from the world around it. Whether you belong to spirituality or science, both ideologies call for an immediate re-examination of The Self.
The ego is what holds people back from realizing their Oneness with the universe.
Anonymous. (2012, December 8). Quantum Physics. Retrieved from Abundance and Happiness: http://www.abundance-and-happiness.com/quantum-physics.html
Harris, S. (2005). The End of Faith. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Icke, D. (2011, December 31). It's Time To Wake Up. Retrieved from DavidIcke.com: http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/58493-its-time-to-wake-up-we-are-all-one
Malin, S. (2012). Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality, a Western Perspective. World Scientific.
Pais, A. (1991). Neils Bohr's Times, In Physics, Philosophy, and Polity. Oxford: Clarendon Press.