Monday, November 27, 2006

The Spirituality and Chemistry of Fear

I spent most of last week in this consciousness of fear of God. Consequently, somehow I was drawn to listening to one song from Matisyahu where the last weekend contemplation came from. ( Yes I love intersections like a Hasidic Jew singing Reggae)

But today the questions trouble me, what causes fear of God.

I believe that it is that base human emotion of fear of the unknown. Its common knowledge that humans are scared of anything they cannot understand. It is why we are scared of the dark as kids, scared of aliens as adults, scared of the supernatural as boring people. Fear is the creation of the Ego and meant to overpower the work of the divine.

Follow me carefully, because this is a bit of a winding path.

The sole purpose of the Ego is to make one think that they are perfect without God. They are faultless in their current state. Even while wading in guilt, the ego makes them feel that this is perfect.

In the process of learning something, the ego flourishes. For example, lets say today you learn how a planetary transmission works. ( Its one of those things that are pretty simple but looks complicated. ) So why does the ego flourish when you learn something? Because at that posint of understanding, the mind says, "I know this. I am its ruler. PWNED!!1!!1. Veni Vidi Vici" The Ego lays claim to have conquered a process, a skill, a thoery, a concept or even an idea. Thus bolstering the idea of the false monarchy of the Ego. That is why, the true spiritual masters don't focus on guiding their students on learning some specific skill, but rather unlearning all the concepts that the Ego thrives on.

Where does fear come in? Fear is not just a creation of the Ego. Actually is the finest work of the Ego. It is the shining diamond on the crown of the Ego. So His False Highness, the Ego is sitting there up on his throne, and like any false king he knows his days are numbered. Nevertheless, he will still fight to the bitter end. So to delay that end, he wears this diamond called Fear on his crown.

Fear is what will keep a person away from anything that it does not understand. It shuts down reasoning, completely blankets all divine intuition, redirects full power from engines to shields and initiates fight/flight mode. This way the moment the mind encounters something that it is incapable of enveloping or even reducing into its own understanding is met with fight/flight. Either you run away from it or attack it. ( Atheists: I am not picking on you again. I am serious, this was unintentional. )

So in the grand battlefield for the soul, when the ego is confronted by that which its trusty mind cannot envelope, it casts fear in a desperate attempt to get away. Taking that one step forward; when the divine is at work, and the ego is cornered and resorts to fear. Here the mind signals its faithful black ops unit, the Amygdala to release the necessary barrage of chemicals to engage fear. This is the most common form of bio-warfare in existence. The entire situation where the Divine has an opportunity to make a breakthrough, is then fled from, and Ego slinks back to its throne, alive to fight another day.

That is the mechanics of the fear machine, however in the middle we stepped on a controversial point.

So Science - the work of understanding the processes of the universe - is evil and just the work of the Ego? Well, I am not completely sure, I highly doubt it. The work of science contests fear when it is used by the ego in a Pavlovian manner. Also, in the hands of those that care, Science promotes values for a more divine life. So it cannot necessarily be categorized completely as work of the Ego.

As such, I find that those with a intuitive scientific mind can be those most accepting to a start on the spiritual path. The reason is as follows. Due to their lifetime search for meanings and understandings, analytical people will have definitely realized that the sum knowledge of the universe will never be able to encapsulated by the human mind. Well at least by the age of four. Before that you are allowed to think that you know it all, because you do.

Despite being the most beautiful and powerful computer known to man, the brain is not infinite and those who have pursued anything scientifically and empirically will know so. They may not admit so, but at their very being they will be aware of the incapability of the human mind to fully comprehend any topic.

This leads to but one realization. The full truth of the universe cannot be understood by the minds of man, and as such, its sovereign, the Ego, is false. This full and complete concession of perfection, to a Higher power is the first and deadliest blow to the Ego in the timeless battlefield of the individual soul.

Update: Added link to Arstechnica that posted proof of my propsal today

Friday, November 24, 2006

Weekend Contemplation: #3

Fear nobody but His Majesty,
My spirit, you retrieved,
For you I wait silently,
It seems that you belive in me.

-- Matisyahu

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Heresy: Not always a bad thing.

My last weekend contemplation pulled some quotes from Galileo Galilei, a famous mathematician, astronomer and catholic. The Galileo Affair quite possibly is the greatest, most publicized and popular conflict between Science and Religion. In a nutshell: Galileo Galilei was condemned as a heretic for his theories in physics and astronomy. These theories were accurate, however they contested the notions of the church of the day. Not only contested, they completely undermined many foundations the church held authority on. He was proclaimed a heretic in 1633 and many trials ensued before the Spanish Inquisition.

Nothing is wrong with Religion providing answers for that which cannot be understood. It is in fact the very basis of a religion (remember religion is different from spirituality). If a belief system is based on absolute values that cannot be changed or questioned that is the defining characteristic of religion. Even if the belief is atheism, if athesim holds as an absolute without reason then it becomes religion. (Comically ilustrated in the second image here)

The important point is that religion must know when to bend to accomodate that which it couldn't manage to begin with. A truly poor example of this was the Galileo Affair. Not until 1979 was some effort made by the Vaitcan to reconcile this affair by the late Pope John Paul II. Even then it took the Pontifical Academy of Sciences until 1992 to present its case to the Pope that Galileo Galilei should be exonerated.

So where should one stand? If Religion is unreliable, and Science cannot give you all the answers for your questions? That is where trust in intuition comes. Karma is unbending. Your position in the world and understanding of concepts are critically hinged on her work. Thus there is nothing more you can do than trust your intuition and follow Galileo's advice: I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. Use sense, reason and intellect to as much as you can in deciphering the verity of anything before you

Friday, October 27, 2006

Weekend Contemplation: #2

Mathematics is the language with
which God has written the universe.

I do not feel obliged to believe that
the same God who has endowed us
with sense, reason, and intellect has
intended us to forgo their use.

-- Galileo Galilei

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hate is only a word

I just stumbled upon the works of Hugh Macleod today. Some works are hilarious, but this one is downright spiritual. Here is another mischievous piece:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Swami Yukteshwar

This is possibly the only video of Swami Yukteswar in existence. He was the guru of Sri Parmahamsa Yogananda. A guru of immeasurable scientific knowledge. I will be posting about him in the future. Swami Yogananda said once that if Sri Yukteswarji's words had not been so sincere, he would have been the most followed Guru of all India.

This is one aspect of all Gurus that we must come to accept, their words will be sincere and sometimes searing, but completely necessary for our own spiritual development. If they were not so, then there would be crowds always assembled to hear sweet words, and never progress spiritually.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Swami Sivananda

Swami Sivananda, is possibly one of the most straightforward spiritual gurus of our time. One only needs a cursory study of his extensive yet freely available wealth of knowledge published on the internet to recognize Swami as a true guru.

I hope you enjoy this YouTube find.