Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holistic Knowledge Acquisition

“ .....According to the Ancients, religion, philosophy, and science are the three parts of essential learning. Not one of these parts is capable if separated from the rest, of assuring the security of the human state. A government based upon one or even two of these parts must ultimately degenerate into a tyranny, either of men or of opinion ....” ………. Manly P. Hall

In his book “The Secret Destiny of America”, Manly Palmer Hall wrote these famous lines in the introduction to the twentieth chapter whose heading was “End of the Quest”.
The ideal and utopian approach to build lasting and sustainable governance is beautifully brought out in the opening words to this article.

Today, I would rather change the word ‘religion’ to ‘spirituality’. The three facets of essential learning are rooted in three levels of the human psyche. Spirituality is the deeper realm of the psyche, while philosophy and science are the two aspects of the mind which are used as tools in deploying the spiritual self in the process acquiring deeper wisdom which is so essential in harmonious living through an egalitarian approach and empowering knowledge sharing for the betterment of the species.

In the same chapter Hall states “The Platonic commonwealth had as its true foundation the unity of learning. In the midst of the philosophic empire stands the school of the three-fold truth. Religion is the quest of truth by means of the mystical powers latent in the consciousness of man. Philosophy is the quest for truth by the extension of the intellectual powers toward the substance of reality. Science is the quest for truth by the study of the anatomy and the physiology of the body of truth, as it is revealed in the material creation.”

In the Greek history the life of Alexander the Great is a clear example in how at a very young age he was ready to take on the governance of the mighty Greek empire. His name itself is an indication of the purpose of his kingly life. ‘Alex’ means ‘protector’ and ‘ander’ means ‘man’. He was born to be protector of man. Alexander was tutored by Aristotle whose masterly writings covered many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theatre, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology.

The king’s duty as protector of man is primary. In Arthashasthra of Kautalya, the great Indian treatise on state governance it is said “In the happiness of his subjects lies the king's happiness, in their welfare his welfare. He shall not consider as good only that which pleases him but treat as beneficial to him whatever pleases his subjects”

What ails the world of governance in politics or religion or any social initiative, is the lack of this holistic and integral knowledge which includes spirituality, philosophy and science. The other important factor that we need to consider is the merging of these three disciplines. In the twenty first century, metaphysics, science and spirituality are starting to talk the same language. It is the language centred around a single most important entity, namely, consciousness.

The ‘Entelechy’ of Aristotle, ‘Monads’ of Leibniz, ‘Quanta’ of Max Planck and ‘Memes’ of Richard Dawkins are all emerging from the grey clouds of the past timeline into a single entity which operates at the sub-Planck scale and can be universally named as a ‘consciousness filed’.

Operating from a deeper understanding of this field, which lies at the root of all knowledge disciplines, with a high state of awareness, provides each one of us, who are elements of Cosmic governance, a harmonious existence in unison with the process of evolution of the species.

Love to you all

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