Friday, August 26, 2005
Recently, I mentioned the book titled "The Field," which contains some fascinating information about new disocoveries in frontier physics. Lately I have been having some interesting discussions with some friends about seeming parallels with ancient lore contained in certain early Kashmir Shaivite texts. The latter seem, to me, to predict the discoveries coming along at present about the makeup of our "material" world.
Here is some of my reply to earlier responses on this topic:
Many thanks to you both for your responses--especially to Dick for forwarding his friend's comments. I very much appreciate all that was said on this topic,which, despite all warnings, I continue to find a fascinating subject.
I won't pursue this too long, but I do want to add that when I mentioned the apparent similarities in recent discoveries in quantum physics and ancient Eastern wisdom literature, I was thinking more or less specifically of the text named the "Spanda Karikas" (with its commentary the "Spanda Nirnaya"--the English title is "The Yoga of Vibration and Divine Inspiration" in case anyone wants to locate it. Dick, you mentioned earlier you were reading this in the Daniel Odier version, which I do not know.)
My translation is the Jaideva Singh (from the State U. of N. Y. Press) with an intro by Paul E. Muller-Ortega. And I realize that much of my grasp (however limited) of this work is based on his (to me) most masterful introductory comments.
Here are some that stand out, and seem to me to be associated with several of the concepts presented in "The Field" (which, along with other books written for the lay audience, I must rely on for my scattered knowledge of what may be coming up in current theory).
"Long before the discoveries of modern physics, the Shaivite concept of spanda intimates a view of reality as composed of a vibratory web of infinite complexity."
(Muller-Ortega continues going into the metaphysical implications....most physics hasn't reached this point yet):
"Moreover, the Shaivite tradition suggests to us a unifying continuity between our physical reality, the activities of sense perception, and all forms of interior awareness. All of these are seen as phenomenal manifestations of the ultimate consciousness, enmeshed in a complex vibratory matrix/"
Muller once more summarizes the text:
"Employing a variety of metaphors, the tradition often glosses the spanda by the term sphurra, the scintillating pulse of the supreme light which continuously trembles with its own incandescence. In sonic terms the spanda is glossed as the nada, the subtle but powerful resonance that echoes through the supreme silence...."
(Now, more extension into metaphysics): "The supreme spanda releases a vibrating spectrum of energies that originate within the supreme (anuttara). As the infinitely fast vibration of the supreme systematically coalesces and condenses into progressively slower and thicker vibrations, tnagible perceptible forms emerge from the void and formlessness of the ultimate consciousness. These apparently solid appearances are called "cognitions" (puramasa) and they are complex and sustained interference patterns which arise in the intermerging cross-swirl of energies created by the interaction of the vibratory consciousness with itself."
Well, I won't continue, but I do think these excerpts offer material for interesting reflection, in and of themselves, but also I sense echoes with some of the more modern material coming forth from some contemporary physicists. Many of the words and themes seem to resonate, one with the other, such as:
light and vibration ---(doesn't string theory posit a vast sea of infinitesimal dangles of light as the basis of all material reality? Aren't we now told that everything which seems to be material and solid is in fact a deception, since there is nothing, really, but dancing particles of charged energy--something akin to samsara or maya?
Resonance--Here again, resonance seems to be an underlying concept in both areas. McTaggart speaks of the universal resonance of virtually everything with everything else--a constant process of both resonance and exchange of energies.
Interference--spoken of by McTaggart as extremely important--a central concept.
Now, there is much more, and of course the Shaivite texts proceed to link their world view to a total, more metaphysical system. But there are indeed seeming parallels, and I would indeed welcome a review by someone versed in both areas.
I of course have no such knowledge, and hence am forced to rely on what bits and pieces I can pick up from those who write for a general audience. And, indeed, I would never think to try to convince "science" of anything--a futile task, indeed. I would merely like this mythical writer to inform and enlighten me (and kindred souls) beyond my present limits.
And--I would not "tie these investigations to an every shifting scientific world view." I would readily agree that all we could hope to do would be to get a firmer grasp of seeming parallels, not for all time, but for the present moment, which is, I think, a time of possible opening and discovery, not in terms of literal and total concurrence, but some very fascinating similarities.
And, as a final note, I would add that I, of course, tie such discussions to the experience of kundalini bliss, in which one becomes, in effect, a pulsating body of light, an infinitesimal particle dancing in the endless sea of divine consciousness.