True peace with inner depth cannot come through following some formulas, religious or otherwise. Applying oneself to understanding the esoteric facts of life builds stable peace. Here the convergence of modern science and mysticism can help a great deal.
In their effort to find mental peace, many human beings attach themselves to some belief systems or to some avenue such as hedonism, atheism, agnosticism and the like. They do succeed to some extent. However, such approaches soon end up with cracks in the structure of that peace because they are based on looking for the comfort of the ego and not on perceiving the hidden truths beyond and behind the palpable. People relying on belief systems are afraid to probe into the deeper aspects of life, body and mind because that may end up exposing the myth behind their beliefs. This fear itself denies any stable peace being generated in the mind. Those who sense this fact are the ones who boldly proceed to enter the esoteric regions of understanding. One of the profound sources of help in this direction is found in applying oneself to the overlapping areas of modern science and mysticism.
Science proceeds to discover the hidden truths through investigations and does not favor any beliefs. It does, no doubt, put forth hypotheses based on observation and intuition but does not take them for granted. Rigorous testing follows to find the truth. Mysticism too suggests things for the aspirant to test them through personal experience and, in the process, grow towards Divinity.
Quantum physics has brought up several facts to light that, at some stage, scientists are compelled to bring in the issue of consciousness into the picture. It has been known from the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that the observer influences what he observes, so much so, the observed is not independent of the observer. A simpler example here would be the phenomenon of the rainbow. The rainbow does not exist as an independent object in the sky. It exists only in the vision of the observer. Thus, the observer forms an integral part of the rainbow phenomenon. In other words, if the observer is not there, the rainbow is not there! Even though this is true of all of our experiences, it is very difficult for the merely rational mind to perceive this fact.
Shirley MacLaine, the Hollywood actress and singer, says the following in her book “Dancing in the Light”:
“Quantum physics was saying that what we perceive to be physical reality was actually our cognitive construction of it. Hence reality was only which each of us decided it was.
“Ancient Hindu wisdom claimed the same thing, that each individual was recognized as being the center of its own universe – which is not arrogant when it is understood that each individual is a manifestation of God and therefore personally involved with Divine energy.
“The new physicists were saying that the key to understanding the universe was in understanding ourselves, for we alter the objects we observe simply by observing. We are then not observers but participants.”
Fritjof Capra’s book “The Tao of Physics” deals with many issues of modern physics that come close to Eastern esoteric philosophies. This book, and the one of Shirley Maclaine mentioned above, can bring in a depth to the non-verbal understanding of ourselves. Couple these with the output of some paranormal phenomena such as the NDE, we have an expansive backdrop of non-verbal messages taking us into the realm of the ultimate. It is such perceptions as those that can usher in stable mental peace for the aspirants who would ‘discover’ rather than ‘be told’. Related topics can be found in http://spirituality.yolasite.com
The Author: T.C. Gopalakrishnan was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the Association on the theme "The Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences". Functions as a freelance counselor for mental relaxation. Lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.