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commented on April 1, 2012
I’m posting this as a separate topic because it appears that the website will not accept lengthy comments.
You have voiced what lies at the root of the conflict in the world and what is often viewed as conflict in these discussions…..the illusion of separateness.
How can we overcome this apparent dilemma? If we look toward a perhaps unstated goal of IONS i.e. create unity between science and spirituality, we can move in an appropriate direction. Of course, even in this noble cause, we could meet resistance from what could be referred to as egocentric spirituality.
Overlooking possible resistance, let us move in the direction of finding one example of diametrically opposed worldviews coming together; Eastern spirituality and Western science.
In the beginning, it would be reasonable to expect to encounter a possibly mind boggling paradigm that unites these two previously existing diametrically opposed worldviews. I say previously existing opposing worldviews because; in my opinion the conflict between these two opposing worldviews no longer exists.
Looking at what could be considered fundamental principals in Eastern traditions, [Buddhism and Hinduism] we find that the material world is illusion, in Hinduism the term “Maya” is often used to designate this illusion. How deep does this illusion go? In the work of Jack Kornfield, one of the leading teachers of Buddhism in the West, he teaches that the experience of thought is a sensory experience i.e. there are not five human sensory experiences, but six.
For the sake of brevity, we will not go beyond the previous paragraph in describing the fundamental principles of Eastern traditions.
Now for what may be a mind boggling paradigm shift for some, at the cutting edge of western science we find that the emerging paradigm is that materialism or the material world is an illusion, a mirage. I find this no better illustrated than the video addressed in the topic “An Interesting Overview”.
So then, the question arises what are we to do with this mind boggling paradigm shift in Western science. How are we to cope with a worldview that instructs that not only is the material world an illusion, but the human sense self that is entrenched in that illusion is an aspect of the illusion.
Perhaps the new worldview will never be completely incorporated into Western Society because it conflicts with many of the foundational principals of our culture such as personal responsibility and the justice system. What follows is an excerpt entitled “The planet of Advanti” taken from a Hindu site.
I must state that I am not an expert in Advanti. This is intended only as an example of what could be the result of the marriage between western science and eastern traditions being incorporated into our culture. Of course, this assumes that our species will survive long enough to be a part of the wedding ceremony.
THE PLANET OF ADVANTI
Imagine if you will, that you awaken one morning in another world. As you rub your eyes to get accustomed to the bright sunshine, you see that it is in many respects a world not unlike this one. All around you there are creatures that, to your eyes, look identical to the human beings with whom you are used to sharing the world. You observe them going about their daily activities, living their lives, engaging in conversation with others, making the myriad choices and decisions that life inherently demands. The picture looks reassuringly familiar and normal.
But in this world, you soon discover that things are not necessarily as they seem. For these are not human beings. No, these are "body/mind organisms" which, unlike their human counterparts, do not have the ability to choose between options or to make decisions. In fact, these organisms do not have anything even resembling what we would call free will. The scripts of their entire lives were written in stone long before they were born, leaving them only to go mechanically through the motions of acting out their programming.
These seemingly human creatures, it would appear, are not unlike machines. While to all appearances they seem to behave like ordinary freethinking individuals, busily engaged in daily activities, strangely, when asked, they maintain that they are not doing anything at all. In fact, in this peculiar world, they say that there are "no doers."
Furthermore, no one in this world is ever held accountable for anything. Even when one of these beings appears to harm another, there is no remorse felt and no blame attributed. If you were to ask one of these body/mind organisms about it, the response would be that there was no one who had done anything. Ethics is an unknown concept here. The laws of nature do not seem to apply in this brave new world. Or maybe they have been rewritten here, since the beings do seem to observe some strange laws. You wonder where on Earth you could be. But you are not on Earth. You have landed on Planet Advaita.
Back to our discussion, someone once said something to the effect that a sign of high intelligence is to hold a core belief in something, but act and converse as though you do not believe it. Perhaps this is our immediate destiny, if we choose to accept the emerging reality paradigm shift from science…..Jim