A Unified Picture Of The World. 1

Information Or Knowledge

We live in the era of the information boom, when people are literally drowning in a sea of information. Psychiatrists have even documented a new mental disorder called the informational neurosis. But, despite the availability and abundance of information, we are seeing a lot of ignorance in the world, which manifests itself in violence and self-destruction.

And even the most informed people – scientists are also often attached to bad habits and do not have a holistic view of the world.

Why? Perhaps because the information and knowledge are not the same thing.

Information may be sketchy and messy. Therefore, a person can be informed, but unprincipled, since the information is not always framed in a positive concept. However, real knowledge is based on eternal principles of harmony, which, like the rigidity in the leaf structure, maintains the integrity of life.

Real knowledge, unlike information, is always holistic, orderly, and positive and has a humane life-affirming purpose. This knowledge does not exclude the spiritual side of reality from the picture of the world under the guise of unprovability.

Indeed, many scientific theories are unprovable either, but it does not confuse a real scientist. Only brave scientists who work on the verge of possible and impossible make the greatest discoveries.

With regard to science, it does not necessarily have to be one-sided and devoid of spirituality. Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin did not exclude God from the picture of the world, and Albert Einstein said directly that intelligence far superior to human permeates through the entire universe.

It is impossible to make up a complete picture of the world out of a disordered flow of information just as fragments of the puzzle can not recreate the original picture if we do not have the original one in front of our eyes.

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The children make models out of building kit, looking for the complete picture in the fragments. They already know in advance what picture should come out, and therefore their endeavours have a clear goal. If they have not seen the picture that they have to create, their task would have been immeasurably more difficult.

The modern scientists and thinkers are in a similar situation who are trying to create a unified picture of the world out of the variety of elements and events. But since they do not know the original design of reality, their theories of the origins and meaning of life cannot withstand the test of time and are regularly replaced with new concepts.

It happens because modern people use an empirical method of understanding the world, relying only on their limited senses and logic. But there is another way of cognition: a top-down one (descending), where we immediately get the bigger picture through revelation, and then we perceive all the details through the prism of the overall picture.

This is the Vedic path of acquiring knowledge, but not everyone trusts it for some reason.

 Ways of Understanding the Vedas

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In the Middle Ages in Europe, the human thought was split into three main directions: science, religion and philosophy.

This happened because the authority of the Church has fallen dramatically in the eyes of people since the era of Inquisition. Also, the church with its dogmatic approach could not satisfy the demands of seeking intellectuals of those times.

In those circumstances, there was a need for a new approach to the study of reality.

So in this way a purely materialistic science and relativistic philosophy proclaiming the relativity of all views and truths came about.

Now there is a Cold War going on between religion and science, and the philosophy plays the role of a referee, trying to determine who is right.

For example, scientists study stem cells, trying to find a cure for cancer but  Church condemns these attempts, regarding them as interference in the affairs of God.

Science tries to conquer the cosmos, and religion views it as a challenge to God. But is it normal that the outlook of a modern man is devoid of unity and he has to be either religious dogmatic, practice dry science, or embark on speculative philosophy?

Is it not possible to have a coherent belief system that brings together science, religion and philosophy?

Fortunately, there is such a system; it is the ancient Vedas, which are not just knowledge but the holistic unified knowledge with a clear connection between cause and effect.

The ancient treatise “Bhagavad Gita” defines knowledge as an ability to understand the distinction between spirit and matter. Anything that does not lead to an understanding of this fundamental difference is considered to be a kind of ignorance, although it may take the form of a scientific outlook.

Most modern people won’t accept such a definition of knowledge as nowadays knowledge refers to just a bunch of information that helps us to live in this world. Thus it is obvious that we are dealing with two kinds of knowledge. How do they differ fundamentally from each other?

We receive the usual mundane knowledge through the imperfect senses of our body and frame it as a theory with the help of logic. The peculiarity of this knowledge lies in the fact that it is aging and losing its relevance over time. Therefore today we’re not really interested in scientific discoveries made 200-300 years ago, and students use new textbooks based on the latest scientific discoveries.

But if you look into the future, it is not difficult to guess that in 300 years, scientists will consider current scientific theories to be hopelessly outdated.

The second feature of a mundane knowledge is that it is fragmentary, since the material world is only partially understood empirically, and therefore on the basis of incomplete information one cannot fully compose a unified picture of the world with confidence, as new discoveries in the future may completely change our outlook of reality.

The second type of knowledge is the one that we do not get through discoveries but a revelation from above through an unbroken chain of spiritual teachers who pass this knowledge intact from time immemorial.

The source of this knowledge is the Absolute Himself in his personal aspect. And a true scientist is someone who has a deep understanding of reality, which unites spirit and matter. The advantage of such knowledge is that it never gets outdated, and it immediately gives us a complete picture of the world.

The scriptures such as the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Bhagavad-Gita and others do not lose their relevance over time as they speak of eternal truths. The most complete form of this knowledge is contained in ancient texts of the Vedas.

Naturally, the modern man has a question of how such knowledge can be trusted. But the question of trust is also relevant with respect to scientific knowledge. After all, nobody but scientists can verify the validity of scientific theories and discoveries.

Therefore, in science there is a method of expert valuation, where a group of experts confirm the validity of scientific statements, and others simply believe them. Similarly, in the field of spiritual knowledge there are experts who practically check the correctness of the postulates of spiritual science, and transmit this spiritual experience to their followers.

The difference between these two types of knowledge is that modern science studies only material reality by itself, but the ancient knowledge of the Vedas gives a description of the world in connection with the spiritual reality, giving us a complete picture of the world.

For a holistic understanding of reality one must also understand the hierarchy of laws governing our lives. There are four groups of laws in total.

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The laws that govern the relationship at the level of inert matter are called the Laws of the Nonorganic World. These include the laws of physics and chemistry.

 

 

 

 

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But when living organisms act according to the higher laws – these are the Laws of the Organic World.

 

 

 

 

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When the consciousness of living beings manifest so that they come together in social relations, these are even higher laws – the Laws of Morality and Social Development.

 

 

 

 

Meditation_and_SunWhen people start thinking about higher meaning of life, their spiritual destiny, then they become aware of the Transcendental or Spiritual Laws, which constitute the highest group of laws.

 

 

Ironically, in our enlightened age this group of the supreme laws is not considered to be a science, but the sphere of belief, because it operates with such metaphysical concepts as the soul, God, karma and reincarnation.

Thus science in its attempts to create a unified picture of the world ignores this group of the highest laws, and with them – the thinnest slice of reality.

That is why a holistic picture does not work, and life still seems a meaningless coincidence or a quirk of blind nature.

In this article we will try to give a general scheme of life, based on these highest spiritual laws.

It has not only philosophical but also practical value because it allows us to improve our quality of life. It is impossible to improve life, without understanding its subtle laws.

So, where do you begin your comprehension of the world?

By studying the consequences or finding the cause of all causes? And what is this cause? What is the source of all?

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In the West, this basic question of philosophy, or the question of the root cause continues to be a dilemma: what is primary – matter or spirit? Or in other words, the chicken or the egg? The egg can only come from the chicken and the chicken can only come from the egg.

Being in this logical trap, philosophers still do not know the solution to this puzzle. But the ancient sources of metaphysical knowledge ” the Vedas” very easily resolve this problem.

 

According to the Vedanta-sutra the Absolute is primary. It is defined as the original and inexhaustible source of energy, which is called Brahman. It is the original cause of all causes, which in itself has no cause. Thus, there’s no question of the origin of the Absolute, since, by definition, it is eternal and beginningless. The Absolute is the source of Spirit and Matter, which interacts with each other.

 

 

To be continued…

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