[Interview] Evolution, Consciousness, Science and Yoga
It’s time to share a wonderful interview with you that I did with Sraddhalu Ranade, on evolution, consciousness, science and yoga.
Sraddhalu Ranade a leading scholar of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
He is not just an excellent scholar on Sri Aurobindo and his philosophy, she is also a scientist, educationist and a software developer.
It was an interesting interview – touching on subjects like science and consciousness, yoga, quantum physics, Tesla, GMO, Indian spirituality, Auroville, Mayan calendar and the advent of a new human race.
I think he is a very inspiring and dynamic speaker. The way he speaks and the energy he emits is very mentally and spiritually uplifting.
I hope you will enjoy reading about him.
Interview with Sraddhalu Ranade
Done on January 2010
In one of your talks about the technology of consciousness, you said that the future of science will be the science of consciousness. Could you elaborate that?
Modern science is a journey to study nature and to understand the processes of nature.
But as we go deeper we realise that nature is not just machinery; it’s a conscious nature and there is a whole dimension of nature which is an absolutely free consciousness, choosing to do things in a certain way and developing processes which become habits of nature, which become laws of physics and science.
So the deeper we go the more we find a freedom of a conscious power.
When science sees that all matter is pure energy, it has been the first step. The second step is to realise that all energy is a conscious energy and increasingly therefore, as you enter the domain of relating to energy, the aspect of consciousness becomes more and more important. This is appearing in our present problems of science, where we see that after the first few layers there is a whole reality where things are paranormal or supra-normal, where the laws of physics are no more so tight, then there is a whole play of what we may call “chance” or something where mind effects matter, where the expectation of the observer or the experimenter changes the experiment.
So all of these are dimensions of science which are already indicating that we have begun to touch consciousness behind the processes of physics.
You also mentioned that to master the technology of consciousness we have to become Yogis. This statement puzzles me, as in Yoga of Sri Aurobindo almost no yoga techniques are taught. What do you think about it, what would you say?
(Laughs) There are two sides to it.
First, in order to be able to understand or apply or relate to consciousness in nature, we must be able to understand and relate to the processes of consciousness within us. And our mastery of external nature will only go as far as our mastery of internal nature will develop, which is why the future scientists, operating at the level of consciousness, will have to develop themselves.
I’ll give an example; if in physics we find that the outcome of certain subatomic experiments depends on the state of mind of the experimenter, and then to do the experiment the scientist must be able to control his state of mind. If his state of mind is disturbed or has a bias, it will change the experiment.
So that kind of a self-mastery of consciousness will become simultaneous with the mastery of consciousness in nature. Even there will be technologies where our mind will be, it is already there, the mind is able to affect certain electronical instruments and you need a certain state of concentration or centeredness of the mind to be able to direct the electronical instrument this way or that way.
For example, we are having a lot of video games where they wire the video game to the EEG; the brain waves and with your mind you can modify how the car moves, without any physical movement but they’re already requiring a certain control over your mental state and maybe even your thought process as you continue
Awareness to become conscious
As you do this you realise that the control of your mind for example, is nothing but a willing of your awareness to become conscious and to direct the direction of consciousness.
There’s no real technique; it’s just becoming conscious and willing it, that’s your starting point.
But to help becoming conscious, you may use certain techniques like visualisation or like use of mantras and things like that. They may help you to become conscious and to direct your mind but the becoming conscious and directing mind fundamentally is just a shift of your awareness by free choice.
So in this way, if you look at all the Yogic techniques or techniques of self-development. Or even techniques of NLP and other forms of Raja Yoga, put in modern packaging. In all of them you’ll find there’s the aspect of a process, a technique and behind that there is an intention.
If you do the process without the intention, you get really little result or no result. If you do the intention without the process, you still get a result, where the process helps the intention to focus
And if you observe then, any technique in the world by any system, you realise that ultimately the power of the technique is behind in the intention of consciousness. In the will and something deeper which we call, a part inside which knows already. We call it ‘faith’ which is different from belief.
In the Yogic sense of the word, faith is different, it’s not blind belief, it’s something which knows inside, already. For example, if I ask you “do you know that your life has a purpose?
And how do you know that?
I feel it.
Yes. There’s something inside you which feels it with such a conviction that even if I show you a hundred proves that your life is by chance as science tells us, you’d still say “but I know I can feel it”.
That knowing where you know by identification with the truth of what you know, that we call ‘faith’. In the Yogic tradition, in Sanskrit ‘shadha’. This is different from what the religions teach you. When they say ‘faith in God’ they mean ‘belief’ – belief in the church, belief in the priest, belief in God. That’s different. Faith is the part inside you where you know and maybe there you also know that there is a Divine presence. That there is a purpose to the whole Universe, that there is a source; that’s faith.
Now, the will directing your consciousness and behind that the support of the faith which knows that you can do it, which knows what you can do. These two together are the most profound tools by which all change within us takes place.
Practice of the Integral Yoga
So in Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Practice of the Integral Yoga’, he points out to this central principle; inner will or aspiration and the faith, the part where you know already. It’s these two which when they enter into any technique, they give you the result.
Now this is how you can understand why in different traditions there are different techniques to achieve the same thing. And sometimes the same techniques to achieve different things. You then realise that it’s not the technique but the intention which you put into the technique which gives you the result and there are experiments which show this.
For example, there’s an interesting thing I came across in modern psychological experiments:
They had three groups of people.
The first group was asked to do exercises, the second group was asked to sit and do nothing and the third group was asked to sit and imagine they are doing exercises.
After one month of this, the first group had developed a certain muscle mass. The second group which did nothing remained absolutely the same. And the third group which imagined themselves doing exercises, they developed thirty percent of the muscle mass of the first exercising group.
Now, you can see here it’s not the picturing in your mind; it’s the intention which is resonating in your body consciousness, which is developing it.
So we know Yogis for example, even in the ashram, Sri Aurobindo himself refers to some experiments like this. Where without doing any extra exercise, just by willing it, they have changed the body shape or muscle mass or fat mass or whatever it is
Just by willing, steadily, pressuring will on the body consciousness and we can do the same result.
But when a person does asanas or exercises doing these muscle mass, behind that is an intention. By doing exercise every day in the gym, I’ll make my body strong. That intention is working much more powerfully than the actual exercise which you do.
That’s why people who do exercises mechanically don’t get much results. Whereas those who do exercises consciously get much more results.
Yeah, that’s also true for me because I’ve been exercising and getting not so much results. Maybe I’ll take these as a recommendation…
Ok, another question:
Do you think the practice of the Integral Yoga among ashramites, Aurovillians or other people around the world brought solid results in the direction we mentioned above?
The way Sri Aurobindo formulated the Integral Yoga; he describes three outstanding features of the Yoga.
First that there is no fixed matter or process; there are many matters, many processes. They are not fixed in sequence or in priority. According to your nature, you may adapt according to the need.
The second outstanding feature is that it takes up human nature as it is, there are no preconditions. This is unlike many Yogic systems that say you must be like this then only you can join this Yoga. He says the goal here is to take up the whole nature and transform it. So wherever you are, you start from there. It doesn’t matter where you are, so it makes it accessible to everybody.
The third outstanding feature is that every activity and every part of the being is involvd. Anything you do can be made a means for the Yoga and every part of the being is taken up into the process.
Now, with this background it’s possible for anybody in any circumstance, living any kind of life to begin the process.
Of course, as they go along there’ll be sufficient changes within them that they may even need to change their lifestyles to make it more meaningful for their present stage of development, which will happen automatically.
So keeping this in mind, I’ll say everybody who has persuaded this line of progress has made significant progress.
The question is if you compare people you may say so and so has made more progress or less in one side or the other. It depends where you started from, it depends how deeply you’re committed to the process of transformation.
And then there’s one more point by which often the progress is not visible to someone outside, that is in this Yoga there’s a tremendous insistence on the complete change of nature, the outer nature as much as the inner experience. The result of this is to make the Yoga appear more difficult because the moment you start trying to change human nature, you find how sticky and resistant it is. And it feels much easier to separate from human nature and have inner experiences and abandon nature and not worry about it. It feels easy but in fact what happens to most Yogis who do this, they find their nature pulls them back and they collapse at some point.
So there’s a necessity to deal with nature and those who do take it up, they in fact make more rapid progress over time and although on the surface it might not be obvious to people because of this very side of nature. The nature may not appear to have changed much to someone looking from outside but inside there may be a huge shift which the person inside can feel.
So often the experiences on this Yoga that every few years you look back and you say “I don’t even recognize the person that I was a few years ago and I’m like a new person”.
Sri Aurobindo didn’t use the term ‘new age‘ but he explicitly described the advent of a higher human race.
Could you elaborate on this vision of Sri Aurobindo?
One of the most important statements of Sri Aurobindo is that the human being is the highest peak of evolution but not the end of evolution.
So although we’re so much more advanced than the chimpanzee or ape, we’re still not where we are supposed to go and the evolution continues through the human being to levels of consciousness, much higher than the intellect and the human mind.
That process is presently going through a certain tremendous acceleration.
In fact the present crisis of humanity is really a crisis of evolution, where we are being pushed beyond the human mind to a supra-mental consciousness which is as high to the human mind as the human mind is high to the animal consciousness. And it is here that we’re facing a crisis because everything that mind had organised so far in the form of human life, governments, society etc., standards, values, morals, ethics, everything is breaking up. Religions are breaking up, legal systems are breaking up, everything is breaking up.
Because we realise that mind is not able to solve the problem and we are forced to access something higher than mind.
But if we don’t access that higher something, then we struggle with mind to try to do something which mind cannot do and we just find a greater and greater chaos with this.
So this is the present transition and the more quickly we realise that we must turn to higher consciousness than mind and make that our base, the easier the transition will be.
Sri Aurobindo also insists that this higher consciousness is already upon us. It has already descended on the human and it’s pressing to raise humanity to its level but there is a resistance from the habit of human consciousness and this resistance and the pull from above is creating this friction and tension which we feel.
A part of us feels as if we belong to the future and another part of us has bonded in the past and it’s as if we are between these two extremes. This is the nature of the present crisis.
In one of your lectures, you’ve talked about “one hundred monkey effect” as a way the new evolutionary processes are happening.
In another talk of yours, you mentioned the appearance of the super-mind through an intermediary race and similar to an intermediary race that was between apes and human-beings.
So which one is correct or both are correct?
(Laughs.) Both are correct.
The thing is to realise that any change is not a sudden jump in evolution.
Evolution always takes the old material and pulls up something new out of the old material, so the new thing was already there in the old, sleeping. It’s awakened and pulled up but once it wakes up, it’s so different than the old that you feel a huge gap.
The process of awakening is a continuous process, so just as out of the chimpanzee the human-being emerges, the mind is already there sleeping in the monkey and you can see that the monkey has an intelligence but it works in brief bursts, it cannot sustain. But as it emerges and wakes up, there is a transition point where you have a monkey which is almost human in mental capacity but still of habits which are still of the monkey values. And then it breaks out and suddenly mind becomes free and has new values.
So this intermediate race is a temporary transition and then it fades out because it doesn’t have any stability of its own.
It’s neither monkey nor human, it can’t stay half way done, so it vanishes.
A similar passage through the human to the supra-human consciousness is therefore inevitable. But that awakening of emerging out of human involves a collective awakening even if a small group, but a collective awakening where enough people make a transition, it impacts a larger group. But what we can see is, the larger group that is impacted will be those who are already aspiring, who are already sensitive or who choose to participate in this evolution.
The key difference between the present evolutionary change and the previous, billions of years of evolution is that the present evolution is conscious while all the previous evolutionary changes were instinctive, subconscious, pushed by nature so they took millions of years.
But because this transition is conscious, we are self-aware, we are choosing to participate; we can speed up and accelerate the evolution so it may take place within a few hundred or thousand years what would normally take a million years.
So a thousand years is nothing in evolutionary terms but since that change will happen by conscious participation. There will equally be a part of humanity that will choose not to participate and it will, so to say, fall back to an ordinary humanness. While another core of humanity moves forward to a supra-human status.
So yes, the hundred monkey principle is very valid, we’re all helping each other each time we make a personal growth. But also it’s a point of choice; do we want to participate or do we choose not to.
Then there is a split in humanity.
Ok, thank you.
So what do you think about the Mayan Calendar and its end date that is coming pretty soon?
Do you think that could have a signification about the manifestation of the super man or at least the over man?
You see the ancient cultures were very interested in these larger cycles of human evolution and just as the Mayan Calendar has an important end point somewhere in the coming years.
Similarly, the Indian Calendar also has the cycle of ‘Yugas’ and describes an important end-point somewhere in the present time.
Now, in the Indian tradition they often say that the transition from one Yuga to the next. One age to the next age is not overnight, but there is a confluence, a joining point which can be almost a hundred years in length but in which there is a tremendous push and pressure from within to create that change.
And keeping in mind that evolution is always a continuous change, we must remember and remind ourselves that all these dates are indicative of a passage.
It’s not an exact date after which suddenly things will happen but it’s around this time that there’s a huge pressure for seeing us to change.
And then we have a choice.
If we made the choice we can use that pressure like a wave on the sea, the surf-board rider leans on the wave, he rests on the wave and the wave carries him far. But he can just as well oppose the wave and the wave will break him or he can go under water and the wave will just pass away him.
So similarly there is this pressure in nature from a divine consciousness pressing us and we can choose to ride the wave and then we can make very rapid progress in this period and we can of course choose to oppose the wave and we get shattered or we can ignore the wave and we just fall back.
So I’d look at these indications of the Mayan Calendar or the Indian Yuga System and maybe there are others in other traditions. I’d look upon them as indications that remind us that every day of this present transition is precious. And if we concentrate and make a conscious effort or at least hold an aspiration within us, then we can make the growth of many years within a few days.
So what was your opinion about the Copenhagen Climate Conference?
What do you think about the ecological future of the earth?
And also another question would come related with that; when asked about the manifestation of the supra-mental consciousness and how this will transform the matter?
Mother gave the example of earth climates coming to a balance state where the poles are warm and tropics are cooler. And it seems like global warming is causing that, but many people think that this is something bad…
What would you think about it, related with the Copenhagen?
(Laughs) The climate change is a fact.
Global warming is half the story; there is also global cooling at the same time but the common truth is climate change.
It’s partly caused by human actions, which is more destructive. But also partly caused by a more subtle process of a shift in the balance in nature, which Mother referred to when she said the coldest parts will become warmer and the hottest parts will become cooler. Cooler in relative terms, warmer in relative terms. Poles will still be full of ice but they’ll be slightly warmer and again the tropics will still be warm but cooler than they’ve been. The extremes will become less, she said and that’s where we find the melting of lashes, melting of ice but also we find in deserts sometimes snow, as in Dubai there was snow.
I don’t know if you’ve heard about that?
A couple of years ago, the snow fell on the hills of the bay and it had never been recorded before. It has appeared in newspapers you can look.
In the desert the snow falls. (Laughs) And as far as Pondicherry is concerned, the Mother said that one day there will be snow here in Pondicherry. She connected it with the Matrimandir being completed…
So we’re seeing a certain shift.
Scientists are confused about what to make out of the shift because in some places it’s getting cold and in some places it’s getting warm. And even the models which we’re making show conflicting results.
The future of climate has two sides again.
There is a side which will happen with or without us. But the side that is happening because of us is the damaging side. We are polluting the climate, we’re breaking the natural harmony of nature by destroying forests, by throwing out chemicals, by doing all the things which we know we shouldn’t be doing. Carbon dioxide is a very small part of it.
The Copenhagen Summit actually was shifting attention away from the real problem which is pollution. And it was focusing more on carbon dioxide only, you see. Well, that is important and it’s a big problem but the bigger problem is the destruction by the poisons which we throw at the nature. Because of which the trees will die anyway and human-beings will die and all animals are already dying.
That’s even more dangerous but they don’t want to talk about it so at least I will say that it’s great that they talked about carbon dioxide and warming because the two are connected.
Once you start talking about this, eventually you’ll come to pollution also.
It’s also a framework of evolution of consciousness…
Yes, so how soon we’ll take responsibility as a collectivity, I can’t see because the failure of this summit itself is a sign that there’s a very strong resistance from governments and industries but on the other hand the common man had such a strong support for the climate summit.
That’s the aspect of hope that perhaps the collective consciousness is changing enough. But will it change enough that we stop buying products which we don’t need and try to reduce the demand and so put pressure on the industries to start changing?
It’s a trap that is still to be seen.
That’s sustainable living…
Will we make sacrifices on our personal lives for sustainable living?
When you see signs of that then you know you’re going on the right track. But until that happens, we’re still in the balance. We may tilt either way and we can’t see… But all we can say is the pollution and the destruction of the planet will take a long time to recover but nature is strong and she will recover.
If the supra-mental consciousness is at work and the climate change is at work, why don’t we feel – because according to the Mother this is a proof that it’s working on the material level – why don’t we feel a solid transformation at the mental level of the humanity? Or is there such a transformation?
Yes. In fact, there has been a massive shift in the mental level of humanity and you see this after 1956.
Until then, with the Cold War you see that the mentality of human-beings was “my country, my interests, my locality”.
Today everybody thinks of one globe, one world and a structure like the internet is not possible unless everybody agrees to work as one family. The structure is such that you have to be a part of it voluntarily but when you be a part of it voluntarily then you submit and give up your personal freedom for the collective freedom in some sense.
You’re always free personally but you submit to the collective freedom also and participate in it.
That’s a very clear sign that somewhere that shift has become concrete enough, especially the younger generations they don’t think in terms of just their nationality. There’s equally a mix of cultures and a spread of influence of cultures all over the world. And we’re open to cultures, we don’t laugh at them, we don’t ridicule them.
If you see the movies before 1956 even before 1960s, you’ll find they’ve always pointed to some other cultures and made fun of them. Today you not only respect, you admire and you try to learn from other cultures.
Although on the other side, many people are also clinging to their cultures…
Yes, there may be resistance because that’s a part of a shift.
You’re afraid of a certain shift, that’s human. But on the other hand you’re fascinated and you’re trying to learn and it’s happening all over the world.
And finally there is a huge shift in the way we live so that the artificial barriers of separation have become meaningless. Political separation, economic separation, legal separation, media separation. All of them have broken and there is a continuous inter-mingling around the world.
All of these are the result of the supra-mental consciousness working to unite.
Whenever I talk like this, I also give speeches like this, people count me with saying “Oh, this is the new world order according to the Bible, this is the work of the Devil managed from one centre…”
Would you comment on this?
Well, I’ll first put one comment that the reason we can say these things are not the result of human intention. Nobody wanted this, nobody thought of this, nobody has made efforts to unite the world like this; it has happened.
It has happened without us realizing it. That’s a sign that there’s a force which is a secret force working to unite.
But then there are these stories which say a new world order which is a kind of attempt to control the human mind. But if you think about it you’ll not find any one place from which such a shift has taken place, no one intelligence or one interest shall make this shift; it has happened everywhere spontaneously, first. Second, those interests which want to control the world and make it like a big machine, what they call the false new world order, they actually aim to reduce freedom; they don’t want this kind of integration.
They want to cut up the world into their personal territories; make it like a fief-stone, you know what a fief is? A man rules the whole territory and he owns everybody, everything as in the middle ages…
Feudal times, yes. They would like a feudal world and with the economics they’re trying to do that, to create monopolies… But all the things we’ve discussed, which is the awakening to a deeper sense of oneness, is breaking those monopolies; is criticising those monopolies, you see?
And it’s looking at a larger sense of oneness on a grass-root level without the organisation of anybody.
And this is really what the future represents for the human unity and very different from the other type of the darker, what they call dark new world orders and we are actually breaking that in the process of this awakening.
My initial feeling was in this direction but you somehow mentalized it…
How about the manifestation of the supra-mind in the physical level?
Are there any solid signs of it today on the physical plane? Does the genetic science show any positive signs in this direction?
Mother spoke of two changes indicating the action of the supra-mind on the physical plane.
One was the weather factor, which we’ve spoken of and the other was the human biology changing so then the difference between man and woman becomes less, biologically, in appearance. She said it will be most obvious in those who train the body consciousness; gymnasts and athletes. You see this in the Olympics; all of the gymnasts and athletes, it’s very difficult to make out if they’re men or women. And when you can make out, there’s a certain close similarity although there’s a difference and an elegance.
This is one sign. We have records in the ashram, the medical records of all the members of the ashram from the beginning, of the last 50 years. These were recently put into computer; height, weight and all kinds of things… and we sorted out the height and plotted the height. On the average the boys are taller than the girls but over the last forty years, the average height is rising of both. The boys are becoming taller and the girls are becoming taller but the gap between the boys and the girls is becoming narrower.
And there’s no difference in nutrition. We’re eating the same food which we’ve been eating 40 years ago.
Nutritionally nothing has changed. Maybe the quality has gone down because of the new hybrid seeds, but the height is increasing and it’s not the nutrition.
So whether they can detect it in the genes, I don’t know because the genetics is still a very young science. But in terms of result or form, the evidence is clear. There’s something taking place in the human biology.
I’ll give you one more indication; 30 or 40 years ago babies were used to born with eyes closed, hands closed and without hair, most babies. Today, most babies are born with eyes open, with a little bit of hair, and their hands are already moving, they connect; they look at you and they connect.
This is such a common experience. So it is as if a lot of the evolution after birth is pushed back to the womb.
Something is speeding up biologically.
In another talk of yours, you underline artificial intelligence as a means of the evolution of consciousness. So my question is; why do we need artificial intelligence when we have the power of the mind and more importantly the supra-mental descend?
Artificial intelligence is a field of human exploration to imitate human intelligence with machines.
Now, it has two sides.
One is, it represents an attempt by the human mind to master the processes of nature. And that is what the whole of modern technology is about. We study nature. We capture some process and then we apply that process to something new which nature did not do.
For example, when we make the light bulb, the way we have made the light bulb, nature has not made a shape exactly like that but the principle is already there in nature.
Whenever a rock is heated or a metal is heated it becomes red out and gives out light. That principle is there and it’s being used all the time.
Similarly, if you use the mobile phone and the radio waves, it’s a principle nature is always using. Wherever there is a variation of high voltage of electricity or magnetism, it gives people the radio waves. We observe that and we master that process to do something which nature has not done. Which is to transmit-wise across distances. So this is the urge in the human mind to master nature.
From that perspective, artificial intelligence represents an attempt to capture a higher status of consciousness than mechanical nature. To capture consciousness itself as an expression of nature.
But that is where the scientists’ find they are blocked because the starting point of artificial intelligence was that intelligence comes out of the brain as a mechanical process.
They saw consciousness as a phenomenon of machinery and now they realise it’s not.
You cannot recreate consciousness by process of nature.
That consciousness is something superior which uses nature’s processes but is not a product of nature’s process.
So this is the crisis in artificial intelligence today. But still the quest of trying to master nature is a very important part of artificial intelligence and it represents the turn of the human mind and the potential to enter the domain of consciousness.
The present approach of artificial intelligence has failed. You cannot create intelligence by process but the reverse approach is possible. You can invoke consciousness into a machine and so make the machine behave with the superior intelligence. That is perhaps possible.
I believe it is possible and maybe something like that will happen as we proceed. When computers become more and more complex and more and more sensitive. We’ll enter a point where we will find they actually respond to our thought pressure.
When that happens we’ll find the bridge between the consciousness and machine. And then we can even put a strong mental will on the machine to work in a certain way. And it will respond to that will and that will be the beginning of imitating artificially the human intelligence. But by invoking intelligence, not by creating by machines.
These scenarios reminded me of the movies like Ghost in the Shell, Matrix. Where the machines have lots of intelligence but they are somehow acting against humankind. So it’s like threatening or scary in a way.
How would you be sure that this is going to be a safe process for humanity? Do we really need that? I’m kind of like, a little bit dogmatic in a way…
(Laughing) You see there are many things which are perhaps not needed. But because they are possible, the human spirit is pushed to explore them.
And here we must understand that the human being carries deep inside the potential of the divine creative consciousness. And we are meant to awaken to our full divine potential and express that full creative potential.
So the moment a possibility exists in the Universe, we’ll be attracted to realise that possibility.
The question is; will we do it from a higher wisdom or self-interested, petty, egoistic consciousness. And that is a very fine line with the technology. With the atom bomb, for example, we can use it for good or for bad.
Yes, the same with GM.
And there, it is a question of human consciousness; have we caught up with our technological capacity?
And we must always be ahead in consciousness, otherwise we will destroy ourselves.
So even realising that we might destroy ourselves, there is a journey in the human consciousness on the collective level, see with GMO. There is a whole mass that says “No, this is dangerous.” And others say “But it serves my interest and I’ll do it.”
And there is the struggle.
Hopefully through this struggle the larger group consciousness will wake up to a higher responsibility and maybe even a higher wisdom. My point is that you cannot avoid it, because the human spirit will chase any possibility.
So we cannot apply oppressive, fascist strategy over there…
Yes, we cannot suppress growth of technology and knowledge.
Frankly, deep inside of me I’m feeling two forces that are in opposition. On one hand, there’s that beautiful Indian devotional aspect of spirituality and it has incredible value from a Westerner point of view, like I myself I’m Turkish, I feel like I’m not far from the Indian way…
But at the same time this has an impact like being a little bit fanatical to some extent. Because you are not fanatical but there are people who are practicing Integral Yoga in a kind of a worship and even Mother says that “instead of worshipping try to become”.
But many people, for many Indians I believe, I have some Indian friends whom we were discussing with, for them trying to become is a kind of a “no, no, no”; it’s like a sin or something, instead they should worship. But that worshipping, if that actually blocks the transformation then I think there needs to be a kind of a re-adjustment to this approach.
And maybe there are Asuras (Dark Forces) behind this course.
I might agree with this but at the same time some of the arguments I found are very, how to say… coming from a European Enlightenment standpoint, they are not having an open mind…
You see the problem was because they are applying European standards of worship and the Church worship is just a mechanical ritual. You go there on a Sunday, you stay there get used to listen to a lecture, come away.
But the Indian worship is very different; you’d see that among your friends and maybe in Turkey you have something similar. Where in the devotion you lose yourself. You forget who you are and you merge and identify, that’s how you become. So worship becomes a passage to experiencing and becoming in a self-giving of surrender. This is the more natural approach of what we call ‘bhakti’; devotion and it is natural to the East.
But in the West, it was so flattened out and became so mechanical. It just became a mechanical ritual.
So when they criticise it from the enlightenment perspective, they are right for Europe. That does not apply here because nobody is doing that. And if there are people doing that, maybe there are a few also who do it mechanically. Well, they are few, because it’s not the normal group consciousness.
You go for example to the temple Ganesh Temple. Here, you’ll see people in such concentration of devotion, you’ll feel yourself uplifted when you’re in that group.
For me it’s also kind of a worshipping in the mental level, you just need to read Sri Aurobindo, nothing else.
You don’t need to read permaculture or other sciences, you just need Sri Aurobindo.
Believe me, for some people it is like this…
(Laughing) Some people feel that, for some people that’s their priority.
For some people, what is reading philosophy or spirituality if you don’t survive? So your food, and your permaculture or your economics is first, for some people. So there is a priority of interests. But for Auroville and the ashram, the basis of permaculture or solar energy or whatever else is the spiritual.
Then there is a deeper uniting consciousness so unless you get some touch with that, whatever you may do outside is good but it is not good enough.
Why is it being done in Auroville unless it’s being done with a new consciousness? New consciousness which is on that deeper experience. So for Auroville and the ashram I’d agree to say that; experience a deeper truth from which you organize all the outer activities.
I personally for example, pursue a whole journey in scientific study even with artificial intelligence, computers, whatever else I do. But it’s on the basis of that approach, on that consciousness, I’m trying to bridge that with the work that I do. Then it’s meaningful to do here.
As well as there are many scientists doing things outside who’d do it better than me. But none of them would do it the way I’d do it, that’s why it’s relevant here.
Yeah, I really appreciate the way your approach to Integral Yoga. But not everybody is a open-minded as you are, and everybody is unique… (Both laughing…)
Ok, I’ll continue with my questions. Two quotes from you:
Time is moving always towards complexity but not simplicity. Time is the fourth dimension’ argument is wrong.
These two arguments… Can you talk a little bit on these? I’m also surprised with these…
Time, in our experience, is very different from space.
But in modern physics, particularly beginning with Einstein’s special relativity, time was treated as a fourth dimension of space. But it was treated as a fourth dimension as a mathematical device to describe an event which is a combination of space and time.
Now, as a result in popular consciousness, time is described almost like a fourth dimension of space. Sri Aurobindo says clearly it’s not; its properties are very different.
The experience of time is very different from the experience of space. There’s a relation. Those two are together somehow to create an event, but time is fundamentally different and is not a dimension of space.
This is the point, they mix.
But in Universe, there is time…
Yes, there’s time and it’s a different experience from the experience of space. And the two together, space and time, create the sense of unfolding experiences.
Ok. The other question was: Time is moving always towards complexity but not simplicity.
If you see the way the Universe unfolds, in physics we describe it in the second law of thermodynamics. That everything moves towards the chaos, but this is the negative view of it.
It looks like everything is breaking up but from a spiritual point of view, the truth of is that everything is growing to greater self-expression. And more complex and rich and multi-faceted expression, which may appear in a lower level as chaotic because it’s spreading out.
But in fact, can often be organizing and self-organizing like in the plant, which takes the chaotic sand and produces a beautiful flower out of it. But the flower has a level of complexity far higher than the sand, out of which it draws the molecules.
So the very nature of the Universe is evolution, is to grow to express more and more and higher grades of consciousness and greater complexity of consciousness because that is the nature of the highest reality, which is infinite complexity and infinite possibility, but always held in oneness of consciousness… (Laughs)
So actually we come to the same point…
Yes, we come the same point.
I would like to ask you about this CERN experiment. What do you think about it and what is this place called the evolution of humankind or the evolution of the world?
As such the experiments in CERN and the other particle physics will only help us to understand the nature of physical reality more deeply and there are two sides to it.
When we discover a particle, we learn something new but what is even more interesting is when we discover that the particle is not there, when we fail to find the particle then we realize that the reality behind physics is of a higher level; consciousness is before matter. So through all those explorations, it’s helping the human intelligence or the intellectual quest of mind to come in touch with the deeper nature of reality, that’s all. In terms of personal evolution, it makes no difference.
How about the amount of knowledge that would come out from that?
For example, some scientists are puzzled there like trying to find the God particle and if they could find it there would lead consciousness to some direction and if they wouldn’t find it, there would be other outcome…
In my experience and understanding of quantum physics and all these experiments, with every new experiment we discover more questions and more problems, and all the past theories fall apart.
So this shows us that the nature of the reality is not material, the source of our existence is not matter and laws of physics. That’s why we are not able to explain the fundamental processes in terms of mechanical laws and it’s a question of time before the scientist says well, just points to the fact that consciousness creates matter and not matter creates consciousness. It’s happening already, many scientists are saying it but…
How about being able to play with the mechanics of the Universe in such big scales? Because there are some views about catastrophic results of the experiment.
What would you think?
As far as the CERN experiments is a concern, I don’t think that they would lead to catastrophy. They are actually very controlled, very limited experiments.
They can create local damage at best but even then the physics of it is reasonably well-understood that the machines are quite stable. In any case, even if I thought it’d create catastrophy it’s just the machine that will break apart, it won’t effect it.
Like no time holes, dark holes…?
Then what do you think about Tesla and his theoretical work about free energy and radionics?
It is a fact that there is a massive ocean of energy of which the physical universe is just a tiny superficial part. And more than quantum physics, particularly quantum electrodynamics has come to pretty much the same conclusion which was the realization of the Vedantic rishis and the Vedic rishis who said the same thing. It is a massive energy but conscious energy, which consciously creates the strength of the Universe so it is a question of time before scientists learned to enter in relation with that larger ocean of energy and draw a tiny bit from it and that will be seen as free energy.
Of course the energy is always there but we’re tapping it and using it in a certain way. There were many scientists who came to that kind of a discovery, including Nikola Tesla and many others…
And since in many ways that discovery was ahead of each time, the larger I would even say cosmic energies prevent that knowledge from spreading into humanity and even hold it back by whatever method.
Well, sometimes it can be Asuric forces, sometimes they are also Divine forces.
Like in Tesla’s case, first there was an Asuric resistance because people who are funding him pulled out the findings and tried to destroy his work. But at some point he himself realized that he was ahead of his time and while he developed his explorations he stopped sharing it with the world. He gave hints and he gave demonstrations. But he didn’t reveal the science and technology behind it so there was a certain balance that he chose about how much to reveal because he himself realized that it was too far ahead.
Similar with the GMO and the other things we’ve been talking about… The consciousness is needed otherwise it is dangerous.
Ok, the final question.
How about integral education? What are the possible impacts of integral education on humanity at large?
When we realize that education is the main style in which we prepare a young child for life and the purpose of life is conscious evolution and awakening of our divine potential, then automatically we’ll work backwards and in the classroom offer the kind of support needed for that later development in life, that would be the integral education.
Somebody sits down anywhere in the world and tries to formulate an approach which will help to develop the whole personality around the inner truth of the person that will automatically develop the lines of integral education. So integral education is not the system which has to be enforced but rather the natural outcome of realising the deeper truth of human purpose and the psychology of human development.
Yes, Sri Aurobindo has already articulated this in such a rich, detailed way but it’s true not because he said it but rather he said it because it’s something which is true that everybody can verify for themselves.
So really it does not matter what people call it but as people realise the sense of purpose of life and help children to awaken to it, it will spread and become the natural direction of education all over the world.
And this is an important motivator in the evolution of consciousness towards…
Absolutely, because you start by making the child aware of this inner truth. And then all of the personality development is constantly connected with the inner truth so the child grows up to be naturally aware of his divine potential and aligned to expressing that.
As things are, we blocked at first and then we hope that it will awaken one day (laughs…)
(Laughs) Yes, unfortunately… Anyway, thank you very much for spending your time with me.
Another article you may enjoy is Nisargadatta Maharaj on Oneness Conscioussness. It shares Maharaj’s intellectual understanding on what the “Oneness Consciousness” means, using some text from the book “I Am That”.