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Yoga, Science, and Intelligent Design

{written by : Charles B. Crenshaw, Jr.}

Article word count : 773 -- Article Id : 2508
Article active date : 2009-09-08 -- Article views : 7494

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Article is about :
Brief discussion of some possible wisdom yoga and tantra might submit to calm the heated controversy between scientists and intelligent design adherents.

Reincarnation The Neverending Journey
In Reincarnation The Neverending Journey an attempt is made to explore the conundrum of our existence. An existence that spans yesterday, today and even tomorrow. Questions surrounding the existence of the soul and our connections to the physical world, the fundamental mechanisms and the processes by which reincarnation operates through time, are carefully examined. Plausible revelations on memories and karma and their intrinsic connections to our lives today and tomorrow are explored. It is a Neverending Journey.. Your Neverending Journey....

by Pieter Heydenrych

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Yoga, Science and Intelligent Design

The controversy rages between the scientific community and religion over their positions on evolution and creationism (what is now termed, intelligent design). What does the science of yoga have to say about this fray? Need this controversy exist? Is this controversy just the same as the debate between theist and atheist, where both positions, at their extremes, leave us wondering at the sanity of their adherents? These are interesting questions, and at least one sage in the tradition of yoga has an answer for them.

Looking at religion and science, we notice that they share some interesting concepts. Two of these are Light and Sound. If we glance through the writings of both we can find examples. For instance, in Islam the Koran says boldly, “Light unto Light, Allah (the reality) draws to his Light, those whom he chooses.” David Bohm, a noted quantum physicist, declares that all matter is just congealed light. Sri Vidya, the knowledge of ‘Sri’, the ultimate reality, part of whose philosophical base is Kashmiri Shaivism (tantra), says that the reality is light. Its manifestation, what we see and we experience, is the light manifesting, witnessing itself. Ultimately, there is another attribute associated with this Sri, that emanates from it and that is Spanda or Sound, vibration.

The Gospel of John posits that, “In the beginning was the Word (sound)”. In harmony with the idea of sound or vibration from the yogis, Quantum physics has concluded that the finer layers of reality are composed of vibratory strings – string theory.

Granted, yoga and related philosophies are not religions to compare with science, so why do we bring them up in the context of this controversy? Both sides of the controversy might take points from some of the conclusions drawn in the overall yoga/ tantra tradition. Yoga for instance admits a theistic and a non-theistic take on things by virtue of its philosophical base being Samkhya philosophy. Samkhya is one of the seven systems of Indian philosophy. Yes, right in the midst of yoga there is a debate over the efficacy of a deity. The Buddha, who I will posit was a yogi of the grandest order, was an adherent of the non-theistic strain of Samkhya and thought that discussions about God were an unnecessary waste of time. What good is theological debate when we are suffering here and now? The Buddha’s position says much about the uselessness of the controversy we are discussing, but no one pays heed.

Attempts at proving the theist or the atheist position about deity are futile, especially when the ultimate aspect of deity is said to be beyond the mind. Science doubts there can be anything beyond the mind, and if it didn’t it wouldn’t be engaged in trying to prove so vehemently its position about evolution with its obvious holes. I am sure I will be taken to task on this opinion. Religion, and here is a startling observation, also doubts there can be anything beyond the mind. If it didn’t would it still be trying to defend a person sitting on a throne in the clouds, or to be more mundane, trying to defend something the mind cannot grasp? Yoga science, which might be considered a synthesis of science and spirituality, has an interesting point of view.

What’s in us that wants to win this controversy at all costs, or is disgraced by losing, is the ego. The egos of religionists and scientists alike are waging war in the controversy. Ramana Maharshi offers as viable an answer as any for this debate, although; he never took part in such controversy. Ramana said that the Big Bang and the Genesis creation stories are at the same level of the mind. This, Ramana considered the lowest level of thinking about the idea of creation.

The next higher level of thinking about this is the paradigm that crosses cultural boundaries and states that the universe, the world, all that we see is the creation of our minds. It does not exist when we are in deep dreamless sleep, and only emerges or re-emerges when we open our eyes, our senses to the world. This one might stir the hearts and minds of some readers to disquiet, but no less than Ramana’s last perspective. Nothing ever happened. Everything is as it has always been. The substratum of our reality is ever-abiding sameness – existence, consciousness, and bliss.

I wonder. What would happen to the controversy if all the principles started their discussion from such a core understanding? I don’t believe there would be room for controversy.

Author Bio :
Charles Crenshaw. M.S. Eastern Studies/Comparative Psychology. Author of many articles on yoga, yoga philosophy and tantra. Directly trained by Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Co-founder and co-director of the 501 (c)3 non-profit educational organization - Inner Peace Yoga Center Inc. An ordained interfaith minister. Facilitator in Western Philosophy, Eastern & Western Religions, Intercultural Communications, & Cultural Diversity in the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Phoenix. Available for seminars and lectures. The Blog -

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