And so we come to the last of
the scientific revolutions, one that has made its appearance in this century,
and which is every bit as radical as the previous ones in changing man's
outlook and inlook. We can call it the Einsteinian revolution, although
Einstein himself would have taken issue with some of the conclusions that
can be drawn from it.
For example, he never agreed with many of the ramifications of the Quantum
Theory. Nevertheless, he more than any other, is responsible for the wide-ranging
philosophical implications of the revolution in thought that was brought
about by the New Physics. What is this new view? It is this: That everything
we perceive with our senses and attempt to analyze and classify into relationships
and laws, has to do with a relative world...a kind of phantom play of
names and forms, all flowing along in a stream of Space-Time.
Everything is in flux; everything is caught up in the great flow. In this
relative world there are no absolutes. Time and change govern every phenomenon.
There are no fixed reference frames to be found anywhere. There are no
objects that can be considered independent of the observing subjects.
There are no events that can be perceived in exactly the same way by all
observers. Each has his own world view. And there is an irreducible uncertainty
which precludes the possibility of our ever knowing all the fundamental
properties of the various phenomena that we experience and investigate.
This uncertainty is built into the very fabric of the Universe itself.
Nothing can be considered as absolutely certain. The whole cannot be ultimately
reduced to a set of basic building blocks. On a Cosmic scale, matter can
lose form and become pure energy, and then can again manifest itself into
new form. Nothing is substantial; everything is a dance.
We find that our every attempt to fixate Nature and codify it at its finest
levels, ultimately fails. It is as if Nature sifts through our hands like
sand, and we are left with no substance, holding on to nothing. Nevertheless,
there is a basic Truth of Existence that cannot be denied. But apparently,
it is not to be found in the analysis and descriptions of phenomena and
the collection of facts. It is only in the clarified intellect of the
scientist himself, when his intuitive faculty is awakened and he becomes
inspired, that the greatest progress of understanding is made. Then he
seems to tap in to sources of knowledge beyond his normal mental powers.
Such a time occurred for Einstein in 1905, when from his fertile mind,
without resort to experimentation, a series of epoch-making discoveries
of the profoundest consequence emerged. It seemed that he tuned in to
vast mental worlds which are the repositories of all knowledge...databanks,
we might say, for the Wisdom of the Ages.
It is in the awakened intuition of man that the underlying Consciousness
begins to make itself known in curious and sometimes surprising ways.
If we turn our mind towards the World and its problems, this faculty withdraws
and problems remain intractable. But if we concentrate on pure Awareness,
to the exclusion of everything else, this Consciousness reveals itself,
and problems begin to dissolve. We come to the realization that it is
our thinking process and the will that governs it, which shapes the Reality
that we perceive and comprehend.
There is a principle in Quantum Mechanics which deals with complementary
phenomena, where the occurrence of one state excludes the occurrence of
the other state. For instance, one of the curious properties of Atomic
Physics is that when an experiment is set up to measure the position of
an electron, it manifests itself as a particle; if the experiment is set
up to measure the electron’s velocity, it manifests itself as a
wave. In other words, the state of the particle is determined by the observer's
Similarly, the Principle of Complimentarity seems to apply in a much broader
sense to our attempts at understanding the Universe. If we try to understand
the Universe by analyzing it and taking it to pieces, then it will only
slowly and tortuously yield up a few of its secrets. But if we concentrate
on the source of our thinking and open ourselves to inspiration coming
through inner channels, then the Consciousness that we have been directing
outside in trying to understand Nature, will now itself become the focus
of our attention and investigations.
When we turn inside, all the knots that have eluded us for so long, suddenly
begin to dissolve, and Nature reveals to us its greatest mysteries. Soon
we realize that Consciousness pervades this whole manifested World as
beauty, as order, as universal truth, as power and as love and delight...
but also as darkness, as pain, as confusion, as chaos and disorder. Every
phenomenal or noumenal experience or idea, is just the One Consciousness,
in one of its myriads of cloaks. In a world of endless change and variation,
the one unchanging Absolute, which we have been seeking outside in Nature
through our Science and our search for original causes, we now discover
inside as the unchanging Consciousness, on which the whole Universe plays
itself as in a dream.
And, just as the electron seems to know the experimenter's mind and transforms
itself accordingly, to suit his experiment, so also the Consciousness
seems to know the esthetic sensitivities of the investigator and responds
in a way that brings to him the experience of great insight into the workings
of Nature, which fills him with wonder and delight.
Consciousness proves itself to be whole, singular and inseparable. It
inexplicably connects even separated particles of matter into unified
coordinated responses, but without any conventional communication having
occurred between them. For example, in an atomic accelerator, a particle
can be split in two subparticles and these separated parts sent off in
opposite directions. Yet if one of the subparticles is subjected to a
powerful magnetic field that flips its spin vector, the other particle,
although totally free of any comparable field, will at the same time also
flip into its opposite spin state, although there in no field acting on
it at all, forcing it to respond. Nor is there the possibility that the
one subparticle could have sent a message to the other, because the synchronous
response of the one to the other occured faster than a message could have
been sent and received because of speed of light constraints. We can say
that what indivisibly tied them together into a shared destiny was their
shared inseparable consciousness, which they also share with their observer
and with all the seemingly separate bodies and things and individuals
in the Universe.
We associate this level of organization, which, as we previously pointed
out, is higher and more powerful than information and energy, with the
intuitive awareness of the observer or the Buddhi or the Consciousness,
an even more subtle and higher mental aspect of the Universe. Here there
occurs a natural flowering of Knowledge, as the Consciousness focuses
and concentrates itself in the clarified intellect of the receptive observer.
This involves no pre-defined forms or dogma. It is simply a totally fresh
step of creative insight, going to a whole new level of organization,
way beyond what has been understood before. In other words, it is a major
revolution of new insight, just like the others before it in their time,
moving to an ever higher level of awareness. And as we have seen, this
follows naturally along the direction of the arrow that has been pointed
out by the historical development of Science itself.
In this discussion we have now reached the present state of development
of scientific thought, which, for the most part, is still known only to
a few theoretical thinkers in the field. This is as far as Science can
take us, but clearly there is much more to this journey that continues
on even after we part company with the methods of Science.
Before we go on into those regions beyond the scope of Science, let us
review what we have learned so far from this exploration of the scientific
epochs which we have been discussing here as major revolutions in consciousness
associated with the West, but seen through the mystical framework of the
Matter: First we found that Man, who identified himself primarily with
his physical body, got lost, as he became aware of his insignificance
in a cold, uncaring Universe of infinite dimensions, in which this Solar
System and the Earth that is part of it, occupy only a most minor place.
Energy: Next Man discovered the universal laws that bind all matter and
energy together, and he realized that he was part of a greater family
that includes the whole Cosmos.
Information: Then Man discovered the progression of order in which a long
evolutionary saga had led from the simplest matter to complex forms everywhere
in the Universe, and then on to life here on Earth, and then to the development
of mind, and finally, on to the crown jewel of the creation, the awakened
Awareness and purified Heart of the Self-realized Man.
Consciousness: In the fourth epoch Man realized that the world of objective
reality was an illusion and that the profoundest insights into its makeup
come not from without but from within, as flashes of inspiration awaken
Man's intuitive faculty, and an underlying order and unity reveals itself
in numerous subjective ways as wonder, beauty and joy.
If we can accept these four revolutionary phases as Western Man's progress
towards his ultimate destiny, that of the highest reaches of Spirit, we
see that through the development of Science, Western thinking has come
onto a converging path of agreement with the revelations of the Vedic
Seers of India. In these developments we see the orchestration of a grand
drama, in which Man has gotten himself into a self-defeating cul-de-sac
with his Science and Technology. But, at the same time, Man has also readied
himself with that same Science to receive the guiding Light of Spirit,
a level beyond consciousness, which is no longer associated with the human
mind but that of the Divinity. This Divinity now manifests itself on center-stage,
and helps Man to realize his own Truth, and thereby fulfil himself and
lead himself home, letting go of his human consciousness and coming into