Monday, January 13, 2014

Search for Meaning - Part 3 (of 7) - Consciousness, God & Intuition

Part 3 – Consciousness, God & Intuition

The “God” word is troublesome in these days of “spiritual but not religious,” of separation of church and state, and freedom to think what you want and be who you want to be. The word implies we are being watched, and, worse yet, judged. Or, that there are limits on what we can or cannot do. The strong implication is that our actions have consequences beyond the immediate.

Now don’t get too riled up. I can’t prove that God exists. Fact is, you can’t prove that God DOESN’T EXIST; you can’t even prove that YOU exist. For all you know, you live in the Matrix, or, at best, in your own mind. So forget that approach and fear not, for I have no intention of proving to anyone that God exists. (This doesn’t mean we won’t talk about it though!)

Indeed, even the scriptures of India admit that “God cannot be proved” (by the senses or by reason alone). But can science or reason prove that God does NOT exist? Surely no one expects to find Him in a test tube? God, if He exists, is not an object in His creation. He is THE SUBJECT, so to speak. That the creation appears to perpetuate itself is by no means proof of anything. Unless the painting is signed, who can know its artist? Does Shakespeare appear in his plays? Is not the father also present in the son? Science, indeed human life itself, would be untenable were it not for faith in the principle of cause and effect. How can science, of all human pursuits, dismiss a First Cause simply because they haven’t or mightn’t ever find it?

What, then is the First Cause of creation? The Big Bang? Well, they are still banging their heads around that one. No “matter” what “matter” they posit, it will only and always be a theory insofar as the beginning of creation was, ‘er, well, how do I say this: a long, long time ago? And, like, we weren’t there? But no matter what they come up with it can never answer “Why.” At most it will be the “how” but only from a starting point beyond which by definition is material or maybe abstract mathematics. Just as bad is the fact that scientists will reevaluate and change their theories with each generation!

Definitely no absolutes in nature and in creation. Nowadays they are just happy to find something that works; a formula in which Y finally finds X! (I read a joke the other day: “Y, stop trying. Your X is never coming back. Y even try?”) They will no more find God in His creation with their scientific instruments or formulae anymore than they will find “the missing link.” Consciousness cannot be proved but only identified second-hand, by its manifestations as electro-magnetic radiations, articulated thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Would the most sophisticated computer-robot ever become human? Logic does not a human make. Feeling, too, is inextricably linked, even with our logic. Feeling is the doorway to our sixth sense: intuition and is that which distinguishes us from robots. A robot could mimic emotions but cannot “feel” them. No robot will come up with ideas outside its logic circuits and programming. As my teacher, Swami Kriyananda, was fond of pointing out: even an earthworm has more consciousness than a computer, no matter how sophisticated the computer. Spike Jonze’s move, Her, notwithstanding, all the clever algorithms cannot produce consciousness: it can only mimic feeling. Feeling and perception are inextricable elements of consciousness.

Consciousness is self-aware, and self-awareness is its own proof. There is no other, for consciousness is not an object, but the observer. Intuition, our sixth sense, is the only means of arriving at that proof. Reason is inadequate to prove that we even exist. In this lies, in part, the fascination such plots as in the movie, the Matrix, challenge us to define: what is real? Who are we? Are we a part of something greater?

Intuition is the state of awareness in which “knowing” exists independent of reason or the senses. The human experience of “knowing” which appears spontaneously without being based on any material, sensory, memory-based, or intellectual rationation is personal “proof” of Mind as independent of matter. This knowing we call intuition. The existence of intuition is experienced by almost everyone at various times in life. Some draw upon it more frequently; some receive it unaware of its own nature, others, receive more consciously; others, yet, with great success.

Where do new ideas come from? It may be reasonable and acceptable for us to say “I had an idea” but it is more true and accurate to say, “An idea came to me.” And, from where did it come, may I ask? You don’t know. It’s that simple. Let me repeat it because you probably missed it: you don’t know where the idea came from. Are you willing to ponder the possibilities? Good, I thought you might. So, now, you’re still with me, then. Good.

Paramhansa Yogananda used the term superconsciousness to designate that realm of thought that might be called, in essence, the Universal Mind. From this unitive realm of pure consciousness, he taught, flow all forms and ideas. “Thoughts,” Paramhansa Yogananda wrote, “are universally, not individually, rooted.” It has been amply demonstrated that discoveries can take place more or less simultaneously by unrelated researchers.

With meditation practice we can learn to open our access to this level of Being and enhance our ability to find solutions to life’s challenges, even at will. Now, this, I admit, as stated herein, comes to you, the reader, as a theory, or even as a dogma, perhaps. But it is one that can be proven by actual experience by those willing to take the effort. Inspiration, solutions, answers can be received with greater and greater frequency, clarity and confidence with the intelligent and disciplined practice of established meditation techniques.

Paramhansa Yogananda was asked this question in his hotel room by a reporter once as he was preparing for a lecture that he was to give that evening. Yogananda turned to his secretary and said: “Write this down.” He then instantly dictated a poem. This poem subsequently appeared in a book of Yogananda’s poetry and this particular poem was singled out by a literary critic in a printed review as the best example of Yogananda’s collected works.

My teacher, and founder of Ananda, Swami Kriyananda, showed this ability to channel inspiration at will in his writing of some four hundred pieces of music and nearly 150 books. While most authors take years to a write a book, Kriyananda could write a book in days or weeks: at most a few months. Unfortunately, scientific funding for developing intuition has not yet materialized.

Yogananda described intuition as the “soul’s power to know God.” Through the sixth sense of intuition, we cognize supersensory realities. The unitive field of Mind is no less one of an infinity of possible definitions for Infinity itself, also sometimes called “God.”

 In areas of psychic abilities, however, intuition has been amply studied and proven even if given different names and even if scientists can give no rational explanation. It has been demonstrated repeatedly that telepathic communication can transcend both time and space. Material science, at a loss to explain these things, turns aside, choosing to ignore what they can neither explain nor control. This is their choice and a reasonable one at that, but few scientists have the courage and clarity to articulate the implications of both these phenomenon and their inability to explain them.

Repeated cases of reincarnation that have been critically examined around the world are so plentiful that, once again, science can only shake its head and turn elsewhere. 

Stay tuned for Part 4 - Inquiry into Consciousness