Lawrence Krauss: Atheism and the Spirit of Science The Agenda with Steve Paikin


Conceptual, Abstract, Dis-associative

Third Stage Mind

Strengths, Weakness and Limitations

Lawrence Krauss and Steve Paikin


ABSTRACT, Latin – “pulled (drawn) away, detached”


“Beezone would like to point out subtle errors of the scientific point of view. In the following video Lawrence Krauss is compelling, even ecstatic–to a point, to the scientific mind. Beezone’s point in doing this excercise is to highlight, using Lawrence as an example, the limitations Adi Da addresses in the scientific method. The first and foremost limitation that Lawrence exhibits is the absolute certainty with which he speaks. In addition, the dismissive attitude toward other forms of real knowledge; the combative stance toward conventional religion (rather than a true investigation of esoteric wisdom), and also the lack of acknowledgement of the detrimental impact that the scientific stance has had on human culture. And then also it might be worth pointing to the deeper consideration that Adi Da is drawing his listeners into–about point of view and ego–that science, and Krauss in this instance, does not address at all. (cosmos).”

Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House (SPEGWSBAWH), p 154., by Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj), 1980.


The Premise of Lawrence Krauss

Trying to Get to Infinity


Copyrighted by TVOntaria, The Agenda w/ Steve Paikin

ho could be more representative of the ‘mind of science’ than Lawrence Krauss? A theoretical physics and cosmologist (putting his recent retirement in response to sexual allegations aside) his influential voice as an ‘anti-theist’ and advocate of the methods of science have been shaping the mind of thousands of people for many years. Lawrence is a prime example of physicists who explore the possibilities of the molecular dimensions of manifest being with the cutting edge tools of science. Measured up against the teachings of Adi Da Samraj he represents an uncommon developed intellect with a limited understanding of the ‘flip-side’ of the ‘mindset’ he is using.

Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris, and many others are leading voices that shape the understanding of thousands of people today. They represent a style of thinking that Adi Da calls the “limited mind’, representing the development in the “Third Stage of Life“. A view that permeates, and dominates, our modern conventional view reality today.

For a full description of the all the Seven Stages of Life, in the teachings of Adi Da Samraj click – The Seven Stages of Life.

The following exercise is a Beezone study, using an interview Lawrence did with Steve Paikin on TVOntaria, The Agenda to see the limitations and errors the scientific mind set. Beezone is under no illusion that this is a convincing study. What Beezone is confident of is sooner or later this elegant method of discovery will soon be found out to have a ‘devils edge’, power and egoity. (See ‘Knowledge and Power‘ below)


 


Copyrighted by TVOntaria, The Agenda w/ Steve Paikin

 

Lawrence Krauss: YEAH, SCIENCE CAN BECAUSE WE CAN SEE THE FLOWER IN LOTS MORE COLOURS THAN WE CAN WITH OUR EYES. WE CAN SEE IT IN X-RAYS. WE CAN SEE IT IN GAMMA RAYS. WHAT SCIENCE HAS DONE IS OPENED NEW WINDOWS ON THE UNIVERSE. AND HOW CAN THAT BE A BAD THING? OPENING NEW WINDOWS ALLOWS THE ARTISTIC SPIRIT IN EVERYONE TO THRIVE MORE. SCIENCE, I MAINTAIN, IS LIKE ART AND LITERATURE AND MUSIC. IT GIVES US A NEW PERSPECTIVE OF OUR PLACE IN THE COSMOS, AND ALLOWS NEW, FERTILE SOIL FOR OUR IMAGINATIONS TO GROW.

Steve Paikin: CAN YOU GIVE ME A PERSONAL EXAMPLE OF THAT WHEN YOU SAW SOMETHING IN SCIENCE AND YOU HAD, WHAT THE REST OF US MIGHT CALL A KIND OF AN EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, ARTISTIC REACTION?

Lawrence: AS I SAY, EVERY TIME I LOOK AT A HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE PICTURE AND I SEE HUNDREDS OF GALAXIES TEN BILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY, AND I THINK THE LIGHT TOOK TEN BILLION YEARS TO GET TO ME, SO THAT MEANS THAT THE STARS THAT ARE IN THAT PICTURE PROBABLY DON’T EVEN EXIST ANYMORE, AND THE CIVILIZATIONS AROUND THOSE STARS, IF THERE WERE ANY, DON’T EXIST ANYMORE.

I FIND THAT GROUND FOR MY IMAGINATION. PROBABLY FOR ME, THE FACT THAT EMPTY SPACE HAS ENERGY, WHICH I’M PLEASED TO SAY WAS SOMETHING ACTUALLY PROPOSED BEFORE IT WAS OBSERVED, WAS SO WILD AND CRAZY – EVEN WHEN I PROPOSED IT, I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT WAS TRUE. THEN I DISCOVERED IT ACTUALLY WAS. THAT’S WHEN THE UNIVERSE SURPRISES YOU. AND I JUST FIND THAT’S WHAT MAKES WORTH GETTING UP EVERY DAY. WORTH GETTING UP FOR.

Steve: : OKAY. I’M GOING TO READ A COUPLE OF QUOTES NOW. HERE’S THE FIRST. CARL SAGAN. YOU’VE HEARD OF HIM.

Lawrence: : YES, I HAVE. I KNEW HIM.

Steve: : Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.

Steve: : AND THEN I’M GOING TO BUTTRESS THAT WITH BRITISH PHILOSOPHER ALAN WATTS, WHO ONCE SAID…

You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself. We do not come into this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean waves, the universe peoples. Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.

Steve: : DOES THAT SPEAK TO YOU?

Lawrence: : THE FIRST ONE SPEAKS TO ME MORE THAN THE SECOND, TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH.

Steve: : OKAY.

Lawrence: OBVIOUSLY, I AGREE WITH WHAT CARL SAGAN SAID. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL BOOK IT CAME FROM. THE SECOND, LOOK, IT’S A NICE IDEA. I FIND IT IS LITTLE NEW AGEY FOR ME. IT GIVES A SENSE SOMEHOW – WE ARE CONNECTED TO THE UNIVERSE, BUT NOT IN SUCH AN ABSTRACT SENSE. WE’RE CONNECTED TO THE UNIVERSE BY OUR ATOMS. EVERY ATOM IN OUR BODY WAS ONCE INSIDE AN EXPLODING STAR. WE TALKED ABOUT EXPLODING STARS BEFORE. EVERY ATOM IN OUR BODY WAS INSIDE A STAR THAT EXPLODED. THE ATOMS IN YOUR LEFT HAND MIGHT HAVE BEEN INSIDE A DIFFERENT STAR THAN YOUR RIGHT HAND BECAUSE THE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE YOU UP – THE CARBON, THE NITROGEN, THE OXYGEN – THEY WEREN’T MADE IN THE BIG BANG. THE ONLY ELEMENTS THAT WERE MADE IN THE BIG BANG WERE HYDROGEN, HELIUM, AND A LITTLE BIT OF LITHIUM. AND I’M ASSUMING LITHIUM ISN’T IMPORTANT TO YOU, BUT CARBON, NITROGEN AND OXYGEN ARE, AND THE ONLY PLACES THOSE ARE MADE ARE IN THE CORES OF STARS. SO WE ARE LITERALLY STARDUST. WE ARE STARS, AND THEY ARE US. AND THAT, OF COURSE, SPEAKS TO WHAT THAT QUOTE WAS ABOUT BUT IN A REAL, DEFINITE WAY. THAT’S WHAT I MEAN BY THE FACT THE SCIENCE ADDS TO THOSE VAGUE PHILOSOPHICAL MEANDERINGS. IT TELLS US THINGS THAT ARE WORTH SITTING BACK AND REFLECTING ABOUT.

More of interview below


“The material realm is only one in a whole series of frequency bands of finite states of being. The universe is fields within fields within fields of being-consciousness, arising in its totality in the Ultimate Field of Being-Consciousness.”

Mysticism and the New Physics, M. Talbot


Why is there something rather than nothing?

 

Adi Da Samraj: Why is there something rather than nothing? How could there be anything at all? Not just how does a flower appear the way it does-how is there anything? Why is there anything? How can anything be? I mean, how could something come to be by chance if there is nothing to begin with? How can there be anything like chance to begin with? Why is there anything? How can there be something rather than nothing? Why should there be something if all there is is mechanical chance in Nature? Why should there be Nature to begin with?

You cannot have nothing to begin with and then have the existence of something be based on chance. The existence of something rather than nothing is the expression of a Mystery that goes far beyond mechanical probability. Mechanical probability is only a concept that arises after many, many other things have appeared. And it is really just an argument that very mortal, poor, suffering little characters create, not only to account for everything but to feel that they have power over things through knowledge.

The motive of materialism is the motive of power, the motive of knowledge. The motive behind the motive to know is the motive toward power or control over what one can get to know. The materialist model is an expression of the lowest kind of orientation toward knowledge of which human beings are capable, which is to get something named and to achieve control over it. You cannot have control over everything if there is a big God out there or some sort of sublime Wisdom pervading everything. You cannot acquire control over That. The only way you acquire control, then, is to say that this is just inert stuff moving mechanically and by chance. Then when you find out its mechanics, you can get power over it and you can control it, you see. You do not have to yield yourself. You do not have to give yourself up.

The Transmission of Doubt, Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj), 1984


 

Remaining Interview


Copyrighted by TVOntaria, The Agenda w/ Steve Paikin

 


Audio Recording
Adi Da Samraj and The Asana of Science


Adi Da Samraj

and

THE ASANA OF SCIENCE

Adi Da Samraj in the following clarifying talk, examines from a seventh stage point of view the raison d’etre of the whole scientific enterprise. Science, he explains, postulates an objective world of “things” extraneous to the observer and then presumes to acquire information about that supposedly independent universe. It confines its definition of “the world” to the sensate, physical dimension of existence. In other words, science reinterprets the nonphysical dimension in terms of its own reductionistic materialistic program. It does not entertain any concern for transcendental Reality. –

Master Da poignantly observes that the “activity of science may not be natural at all.” He characterizes science as a “pose” (hence the Sanskrit word “asana” in the title of his talk) or as a “gesture” or “mood” more precisely, it is a third stage preoccupation, As Master Da affirms, this is not anything detrimental in itself, but when science becomes a totalitarian ideology-as it has become in recent history – it forgoes any positive influence it might otherwise have.

Master Da continues that, those looking for an antidote to modern. hypertrophied science will not find it in any oriental flight from-the-world tradition or cult, which is merely another-the contrasting – “pose,” To redress the balance, we must transcend these historical alternative, of both the Western scientistic-extroverted approach and the Eastern mystical-introvertive disposition.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Science is commonly described as a way of observing the natural world, a method of excluding or abstracting the viewer from the process of observation, so that what is observed is a “reality” untainted by the presence of the viewer. This process of acquiring knowledge is concerned not with transforming the viewer but with learning about the so-called objective or natural world independent of the viewer,

Now this is an interesting notion of human activity. We are so used to the presence of science and technology in our culture that we accept science as a natural. activity, a sort of professionalization or technical elaboration of something that everybody is already doing. But the activity of science may not be natural at all. It is something’ we are already doing when’ we conceive of the objective world’ or the natural world apart from, ourselves; yet, if we become sensitive to the real Condition of our existence, can we truly say that we ever experience or have anything whatsoever to do with an objective world? Do we ever contact anything objective or independent of ourselves?

The common presumption of our daily lives is that there is an objective world, but this presumption is simply a convention of egoic life and of the society wherein we live.

Science bases its sophisticated activity upon this conventional view of life. It seems natural enough to say that we live in the physical world. We are all sitting around here in this, physical world, right? But to speak of a physical or objective world is simply a convention of our existence, whereas in fact we do not have any actual experience of an objective or independent world. Our actual experience is much more complex or undefined than that convention suggests.

You refer to yourself as “me” or but if you were asked what “I” is, how could you ever come to the end of the description? Obviously you have not entered into an exhaustive self analysis or observation of yourself before using the term “me” or “I” as a self-reference. If you understand how you presume the reality of a so-called objective world, you will not find an “I” that could possibly have so much as a foot inside a physical world or that can be so defined and confined. This “I” which is ultimately only conscious awareness, this being that is aware of phenomena, has no direct connection to an independently objective world.

The conscious being is related to a so-called objective world through the process of conception and perception. We conceive and we perceive and therefore we presume an objective world, but we do not in fact have any actual contact with the world itself. We are associated with perceptions but not with the world. Thus, we never directly experience a “world” as an independent reality. Yet as we experience this ‘whole affair of perception and conception, we make certain conventional judgments. We establish certain conventions of thought, communication, and action whereby we say things like, “There is this external world here,” and, “I am me, and you are you.” We say these things, but they are purely, conventional statements with no ultimate philosophical stability. The notion of a physical world in which we exist is a conventional notion, an idea, a presumption on which we can act, but a presumption we need not even share. It is not universally accepted that there is an independent gross physical world. Many other cultures have had totally different views of reality, and they have used other conventions to determine their behaviors, relations, and ideas.

Science presumes to seek direct knowledge about a world that is independent of Man. In doing so it has created other effects that have cultural, psychological, and even spiritual significance. Science has become the dominant point of view of our society and thus has established a way of life wherein human beings universally presume that the “real world” is the physical world and that the world of the self, the so-called internal realm, is unreal or merely caused by the external world. Thus, science abandons the primary feature of our condition as human beings. In fact, you could even say that science is not a truly human activity because in its pursuit what is specifically human in us-the inherence of our consciousness in the Divine Reality-is fundamentally suppressed, abstracted, and separated out.

According to the philosophy of science, we are supposed to pursue knowledge about the external world, rather than participate in a total world wherein Reality includes not only the objects of perception and conception but the process of perception and conception and the being or consciousness in which perception and conception are experienced or recognized. Science does not presume Reality as the total human condition. It presumes reality to be external to the human condition and in its study of that reality it suppresses the human condition as a medium of association with phenomena. The mood of science, therefore, has chosen the so-called external world as the real world and presumes that all the other dimensions of existence with which human beings are directly associated are unreal or simply caused by the “real” world, which is the gross, physical, material, external universe.

In Truth our Condition of existence includes more than the so-called external world. We are always simply existing, simply conscious. Every other feature of our existence is an object to the conscious being. If a thought arises, it is witnessed in consciousness. If a sensation arises, it is witnessed. If a room is perceived, it is witnessed. The fundamental aspect of our Condition, therefore, is spontaneously existing consciousness, which has no features of its own. Everything arises as an object to consciousness through a spontaneous process of perception and conception.

That process of conceiving and perceiving notices and experiences various forms, some of which are related to what we call the external, gross world and others of which cannot be found there at all. For instance, you cannot always find the environments of your dreams in the gross world. At least according to the conventions of our thinking you could say that you cannot find them there. We associate different levels of conceived and perceived objects with different dimensions of experience. Therefore, there is this existing being or existing consciousness, and there are the processes of conception and perception, and then there are various forms, gross and subtle, that we interpret and evaluate according to various conventions. But our actual situation includes all three of these fundamental conditions existing consciousness, conception and perception, and forms-in dynamic association with one another.

Science is an invention of Man and a development of one specific convention of interpreting reality exclusive of other possible conventions. Thus, in the scientific convention, existing consciousness in association with the process of the conception and perception of forms becomes a single conventional presumption at the level of human relations in space and time. The conception of “me” or “I” is basically the process of conception and perception referring to itself. This body-mind, or the process of conception/perception, calls itself “I.” It refers to itself as if it has thoroughly investigated itself and thus knows exactly what it is meaning when it says “me” or “I.” But the “I” is just a convention of reference, not necessarily the product of a thorough analysis of its true nature. “I” is a rather intuitive gesture, but it is also just a convention that permits ordinary communication and activity.

Therefore, if the process of conception and perception is uninspected, it conceives of itself as an independent self over against all possible forms that arise. Once this presumption is made (and it is made for very ordinary reasons) it is possible to say things like, “There is the external universe.” But to call the realm of conceived and perceived forms an “external universe” does not signify that we understand anything profound or that we have understood the true nature of that realm, any more than to say “I” or “me” means that we have thoroughly analyzed and understood the self. It is simply a convention of reference.

Scientific activity is not inherently evil, but it does become an evil or destructive force if it is permitted to dominate our world view and to remain unaccountable to our total realization of existence. In our time science has been permitted to take a convention absolutely seriously, as if such conventions had ultimate philosophical force, and it has been permitted to do great psychological harm to humanity. By divorcing reality from the realm of our actual existence, science has attributed reality to that which is apparently outside our existence. It has made the so-called physical universe the realm of reality and it regards everything else to be an effect of the material world.

But science itself tacitly admits that we have no direct connection to an objective universe. If we had a direct connection to an objective universe, we would not have to go to such lengths to find out about it scientifically. We must create tools that abstract Man either mentally or technologically just to find out about the external world. In order to do science, you must “machine” Man, you must define and discipline Man in a particular way, because Man is not naturally habituated to knowing about things in the way that science requires. This discipline can be useful in acquiring certain kinds of knowledge, but if that discipline is permitted to become an absolute point of view to the exclusion of the total reality of Man, then human existence becomes an alienated aberration within the physical universe.

The reality of the external world to which science points has no psychic depth, no depth of being. It is a plastic mass of events. When scientists study Man, they want to prove that the mind, the psyche, the being of Man ‘ the effect of bodily existence and thus an effect of matter. They conclude that if the mind is caused by matter, then it is basically unreal, secondary, not a primary reality. From that point of view, however, to pursue knowledge about reality one must dissociate from one’s own being and find a way to become involved with a so-called external, objective world. Science as such a discipline of knowledge can be of value, but as a point of view about existence it is destructive and psychotic.

We do not exist merely in a physical universe, you see. We exist in a multidimensional condition, every aspect of which is totally real and mutually related to all other aspects. These many dimensions condition one another and bring one another into existence. As a matter of fact, we never observe anything’s ever being brought into existence. Existence is an inherent Condition of Transcendental Being. All these appearances are just transformations or changes. Nothing ever comes into existence. Nothing ever passes out of existence. Things only change. They become apparent and unapparent, identifiable in one moment and unidentifiable in the next. This truth is demonstrated in the law of the conservation of energy conceived by modern physics, which states that energy is never destroyed but is, rather, ceaselessly transformed.

In the ancient world essential human existence, as well as social and cultural existence, was not created and defined by the point of view of science or anything science. Even though some science-like enterprises may have developed in those times and places, the fundamental conceptions or presumptions that created the model of human existence and established the circumstances and processes of daily life were often based on a total and fully human presumption about the conditions of existence.

Science is a dehumanizing adventure when made into an absolute philosophical point of view, because it chooses a reality independent of Man as the subject of its investigation and makes that reality the force that defines Man and makes the physical universe senior to, superior to, or more real than the being of Man and the subtler dimensions in which Man participates constantly. Science excludes the subtle dimensions of energy, the dimensions of psyche, and the dimension of being or consciousness. But all these conditions are our true Condition. The mere external or objective physical world, which is only a conventional notion anyway, is a fraction of the total Condition of which we are directly aware in every moment. The physical universe, which science wants to investigate, itself represents only a portion, one dimension, of a much wider, broader scale of dimensions in which we participate.

We exist simultaneously in many dimensions. We fluidly move attention through these dimensions. Our attention can pass from gross physical phenomena into thinking, into visions, into every, into a state transcending all gross consciousness, into psychic awareness of what appear to be environments or worlds that have nothing whatever to do with this one, into existent being or consciousness that has no references whatsoever, and then back again through all of these dimensions one by one. We can, therefore, presume a Condition of existence wherein all these dimensions are simultaneously existing, simultaneously real. But since science is not founded upon the observer but upon the observed, it does not have this flexibility of movement through many dimensions, and it is not possessed by the paradoxes of our actual human existence.

Many scientists and people sympathetic with the scientific world view do not seem capable of thinking about what they are doing. They have no more insight into their presumptions and motives than enthusiastic religionists or “creationists” possess in their domain. Scientists do not rigorously understand that science itself is a chosen, specific development of a single aspect of conventional human understanding. In the enterprise of science the mind and body are used to do a specific kind of work. But apart from that, all the dogma about the total universe and about reality and existence itself, and science’s anti-spiritual, anti-religious, anti-psychic point of view, and its Victorian, archaic materialism, and its prejudices against other kinds of knowing, all of this is insidious, not merely nonsensical, because it has such a profoundly negative effect on human beings.

Meanwhile, many scientists who adopt this dogmatic approach act as if they were superintelligent people with their tweedy, pipesmoking, slow-talking, complicated linguistic minds. This is the archetype of intelligence, right? This is the way you are supposed to be if you are intelligent. Well, this archetype does not necessarily represent intelligence. It is just a pose. Real intelligence must be fiercely capable of investigating every aspect of existence, including the very process’ of knowledge that we call science.

Science has now become so legitimized, and we have become so serious about it, that we are beginning to forget that, on a very basic level, we feel there is something ridiculous and even threatening about science. When it first appeared, science was considered heresy by the Church. Then it became thought of as just craziness, and scientists were always depicted as mad. Madness and science were considered the same thing in those days. When science first began to become prominent, before it became really official-at that crossover point from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the so-called Age of Enlightenment and Romanticism of the nineteenth century-science was considered to be possibly aberrated. Many stories, such as the tale of Frankenstein, appeared during that time. Science was considered to be a kind of balminess or madness.

In some level we are still very humorous about science. We know that the left-brained, tweedy character is a poseur and we know that science is a pose, an “asana.” Apart from the specific enterprise for which this asana or pose of science was invented, it does not represent the disposition wherein we are Enlightened, free, happy, totally associated with all of the factors of our existence.

To do science one must take on a pose that is not the disposition of Man contemplating Infinity. When science begins to propose that this asana is the disposition we must assume relative to everything, then it becomes mad. We must be able to reconnect with our humor, our primitive sense of the poseur that we can be and of the ridiculousness of our postures. To live all of life in the pose of science, to make the asana of science a style of living, is like trying to eat dinner while standing on your head! There are certain things you cannot do in the posture of science, and when you are seen trying to do them in that pose, you must be laughed at. We must recover our humor by regaining a more complete understanding, appreciation, and awareness of our existence as a whole and understand science as an aspect of existence, a tool, that we can develop as a conventional exercise with ordinary importance but which, if it is developed otherwise, could be very destructive to our human existence.

The true alternative to the extreme pose of science, however, is not the traditional option of orientalism. The pose and activity of science that we are criticizing is an enterprise of Western man. And it is necessary to begin to see the limitations of that essentially Western exercise and begin to feel the threats to human life that are created by the absolutism of that pose. Yet, if you only react to the presumptions of science, you start looking to the opposite pose as a solution.

We can clearly see, particularly in recent decades, a developing interest in the oriental approach to life. That interest really represents a nostalgia for the oriental disposition, but we must understand that the oriental asana is also a partial development of Man, an exploitation of only one aspect of our total Condition. If you take the oriental asana too seriously, you deny reality to the conventional relations of human existence. You deny positive value, therefore, to being born and to the conventional responsibilities-of being alive as a human being. The oriental disposition of inwardness and withdrawal from life ‘promises infinite regression into security from all the limiting effects of the perceived and conceived universe.

Both the oriental and the occidental views, in their extremes, are reductive. They reduce reality to only one of its features. The oriental disposition attributes reality exclusively to the fundamental self-nature, and the occidental disposition attributes reality exclusively to the objective relations of the self. But when you become dogmatically inclined to attribute reality exclusively to one or another primary feature of our total Condition, you are engineering your consciousness into an illusion, a fault, a dilemma.

The oriental disposition is regressive toward self, but the occidental disposition is progressive to the exclusion of the self. It makes Man into a moral robot whose only significance is the accomplishment attributed to the few individuals who have made scientific discoveries at critical moments. From the point of view of scientific dogma, those are the only human beings who have really done anything other than be confined to illusions. Everybody else is sort of babbling along in fear, believing all kinds -of nonsense. Here and -there we find some character in a tweed coat with a pipe who is able to break free of all that and see how objects move in space!

In terms of the ability to observe and comprehend, there is something remarkable about such individuals. But likewise other people have accomplished just as many remarkable things in relation to a totally different way of knowing, a more comprehensive or total way of knowing or realizing our existence. Even so, _there are many babbling, frightened people, but you can babble and be frightened as a scientist just as much as you can babble and be :frightened as a conventionally religious person.

The oriental enterprise-which not only developed in the East but which has been a feature of humanity all along, East and West has provided the domain for religion; spirituality, mysticism, magic, and all the elaborations of the psyche. Because oriental enterprises attribute reality only to the fundamental depth of the subject and not to the world of forms, they tend to be ineffectively related to the world of forms. Therefore, if the domains of religion, spirituality, mysticism, and magic are not held accountable to real processes, they can develop all kinds of illusions and create views that are purely imaginary, suggestive, or archetypal. Those views may be unified, but the. phenomena they ate- unifying can. be totally imaginary, merely psychic and subtle, and only partially objective in,: relation to the material world-Thus, the mind of Man and the culture of Man, when-permitted to develop exclusively along oriental ‘lines, tend t6 create a culture of illusions.

Science as we know it appeared historically at a time, when religious enterprises (particularly Christianity), dominated by orientalism, had; become so filled with illusions that early scientific observations. were arbitrarily condemned and anathematized, just as science now arbitrarily condemns and anathematizes non illusory, real features of psychic and Spiritual realization. Scientific discoveries were declared heretical because they did not square with the assumed imaginary cosmic picture that had been created by religionists. Then, as science itself began to achieve more and more dominance because it was discovering some real facts, the Church, the religious point of view, the. oriental disposition itself, began to be viewed as wrong. Not only some of its presumptions or ideas were presumed wrong, but religion itself was presumed wrong.

Now we are at the opposite end of this historical pendulum. At one time even the Western world was profoundly associated with the religious consciousness of orientalism (in the form of Christianity, specifically), but now that whole enterprise is presumed to be false. And another world view, another way of knowledge, another kind of cult has achieved power and has become associated with the State and the machinery of worldly power, and it is using that position to dominate its. opposite.

DEVOTEE: Now even some meditation groups try to prove their effectiveness scientifically.

MASTER DA FREE JOHN: Yes. In order for religion to remain legitimate in our time when it is so much out of favor, it has to associate with what is in favor – the dominant persuasion and mass of information on that, has been generated in the cult of scientific’ materialism. Thus, what in another, setting , would be called a religious, mystical, of spiritual practice is now called scientific yoga and the like. But science itself is just a conventional expression of the current stage of humanity. The cure for all of this is not to be found in the disposition or enterprise of science itself, nor is it to be found in the disposition and orientation of the oriental asana” or point of view. Neither of these two represents the fullness of human realization. They both have, in their extreme and exclusive form, been dominant in one or another time.’

To transcend the limitations that are obvious at the present time, we must transcend all of the historical alternatives. We must transcend the limited disposition of science that now dominates as well as the limited disposition of the oriental view that seems to be its primary alternative. In order to transcend all these limited features we must simply and directly observe and consider our condition as a whole prior to making any of these limited presumptions, prior to assuming or engineering our existence as a choice between the occidental and the oriental dispositions. We must conceive of our condition, our existence, as it is altogether. We must witness it and see that it is altogether existing and real in every dimension, not just in one dimension or feature. And our real existence, our free and happy existence, is to be realized only in the asana, the attitude, of our total Condition rather than in our choice of a single aspect of that Condition.


Knowledge and Power

Chapter 4 – God as the Creator, the Good, and the Real

Atheism proposes a myth and a method for ego-fulfillment that is based on phenomenal realism, rather than spiritual idealism (or the culture of the conventional God-idea). Therefore, atheism is traditionally associated with the philosophy of materialism, just as theism is associated with spiritualism, animism, and Emanationism. And the realistic or atheistic view tends to be the foundation for all kinds of political, social, and technological movements, since its orientation is toward the investigation and manipulation of material Nature. Atheism is realism and materialism. It is about the acquisition of knowledge about Nature and the exploitation of that knowledge to command (or gain power over) Nature. And it is this scheme of knowledge and power (expressed as political and technological means of all kinds) that is the basis of the mythology and quasi-religion of atheism. The atheistic (or non-theistic) view of life is ego-based, organized relative to Nature as an elemental or perceived process, and committed to knowledge and power as the means of salvation (or material fulfillment of egoity).

In our time, this materialistic, realistic, and non-theistic philosophy of ego-fulfillment is represented by the world-culture of scientific, technological, and political materialism. The entire race of mankind is now being organized by the cultural movement of scientific materialism, while the alternative cultures of theism, mystical esotericism, sixth stage Transcendentalism, and the ultimate or truly radical philosophy of the seventh stage of life are tending to be systematically suppressed and propagandized out of existence. Scientism (or the culture of realistic or materialistic knowledge) and its two arms of power (technology and political order) are the primary forces in world-culture at the present time. And humanity at large is thus tending to be reduced to the robot acculturations of orderly egoism in the limited terms represented by our functional development in the first three stages of life.

Conventional and popular human culture has historically been limited to the conflicts and alternatives represented by theism and atheism, or egoic idealism and egoic realism. And the large-scale ordering of mankind has always tended to be dominated by the politics of materialistic knowledge and power. It is simply that in the twentieth century we are seeing that materialistic culture approach the achievement of a world-wide mass culture in which all individuals will be controlled by a powerful and materialistically oriented system of political and technological restriction.

The usual or most commonly remarked criticism of theism is based on the evidence of suffering and material limitation. Therefore, the common arguments against religion and theism are generally those proposed by the point of view of atheism. Likewise, the common arguments against atheism are generally those proposed by theism (or an appeal to egoic acceptance of the evidence of religious history, cultic revelation, mystical psychology, and psychic experience). For this reason, there may seem to be only two basic cultural alternatives: atheism and theism.

But theism and religion are, at base, the expressions of egoity in the first three stages of life, just as is the case with atheism and conventional materialism. Therefore, whenever theism or religion becomes the base for political and social order, it inevitably becomes the base for knowledge and power in the material world. And theistic regimes have historically been equally as aggressive in the manipulation and suppression of humanity as have atheistic regimes. Theism is, at its base, egoic and fitted to worldly concerns. Therefore, when it achieves worldly power, it simply adopts the same general materialistic means that are adopted by atheism. Knowledge and power are the common tools of egoity, not merely the tools of atheism. It is simply that theism and religion can, via the exercises and attainments of saints and mystics, apply knowledge and power to purposes that extend beyond the first three stages of life. But in the terms of the first three stages of life (or the common and practical social order), theism and religion are inclined to make the same demands for social consciousness and to apply fundamentally the same kind of political and authoritarian techniques for achieving obedience and order as are applied by atheism and scientism.

This is evident in the popular theistic (and now almost exclusively exoteric) cultures that have come out of the Semitic tradition of the Middle East. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the principal theistic religions (in terms of worldly power and numbers), and they are all based on similar idealistic conceptions of God and creature and salvation, but each of these cults has also historically sought and achieved the general power to command the social order. And, in the process, each of these cults became a political State, controlling the forms of knowledge and power. As a result, over time these religions developed more and more of a secular, materialistic, and worldly character. Each of the three cults claims absolute, independent, and exclusive religious and worldly authority, and the historical conflict among these three (and between their claims and the equally absolutist and absurd claims of other and atheistic or non-religious systems, such as communism, democratic capitalism, and technological scientism) has now become the basis for idealistic State politics and political conflicts all over the world. And the seemingly more important or esoteric matters of spiritual wisdom, mystical knowledge, and the magical power of sainthood or Adeptship are as much in doubt and disrepute in the common religious circles of theism as they are in scientific and atheistic circles.


The Illusion and Danger of Knowledge


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