Thursday, June 4, 2015

Realigning our Perception

I will start this short article on "World Environmental Day" with an episode from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, namely the story of Uddalaka and Svetaketu. Uddalaka Aruni, the great sage, sent his son for spiritual learning to a guru and on his return, knowing that his son's learning has only boosted his ego self, he teaches him the true nature of the Self through this following example.
Uddalaka then asked his son to bring a fig fruit. When he did so, Uddalaka asked him to break it. He broke it.
Uddalaka: "What do you see in it?"
Svetaketu "I see small seeds."
Uddalaka "Break one of the seeds and say what you see."
Svetaketu "Nothing Sir."
Uddalaka: "You are unable to see the minute particles of the seed after breaking it. Now, the big fig tree is born out of that essence of that particle. Like that, the True Being is the essence of all creation."

Jesus in his teachings says: "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." ...............Matthew 17:20

The meaning of "......... if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed" is the key to this saying of Jesus. The full potential of the mustard seed is not noticed or understood when we have only spatial perception. But if we delineate this momentary perception and extend it to a space-time domain, we can perceive the mammoth mustard tree in its full manifestation. It is not the objective perception of the smallness like that of the seed but unconditioned faith is like the full potential that resides within the smallness of the seed and this has the capacity to leverage our unlimited intuitive capacity and transform the natural to the super natural. This saying of Jesus would be better understood if we know the context of his saying and this was when the disciple complained that they were unable to drive out the devil while Jesus was accomplishing this with ease.

In his recent writing Ogyen Trinley Dorj, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, says: "The seed symbolises potential and to realise it, we need to awaken the mind. What is a seed? A seed is something that has the potential of growth inside of it. It offers limitless possibilities for life. In Buddhism, we often talk about the seed of Bodhicitta,  the potential for an awakened mind that resides in all sentient beings. All of us, no matter who we are, hold this seed within ourselves and as we are of the earth, earth itself is the very embodiment of Bodhicitta for she unconditionally provides the grounds for life and no matter who we are or what we have done, we equally receive compassion from her. It is quite amazing when one thinks about it — that every sustenance of human beings comes from nature. Aren’t these miracles that we should feel some awe towards? Instead, we are constantly exploiting these resources with a selfish motive and deprive others in the act."

Though these deeper understandings have so far been derived from sacred teachings and writings, recent findings in the field of science, points to the principle of "morphic fields and morphic resonance" as proposed by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Plant Biologist at Cambridge University, and that all the future of the plant is already encoded in the very microstructure of the seed and the environment wherein it grows. We are now moving towards a deeper understanding in knowing the world around us as well the universe we live in as a field of information which has emergent principles embedded within this field.
In the study of cell biology, the theory of gene switching at a specific stage in an organism's life, was not understood but today with morphic resonance and emergent information encoding, the role of "non-coding or junk DNA" is better understood.
Nothing in this universe is an accident and it is our limited perception that leads us to think in an extremely debilitating manner.

A realignment of our perceptions, in the light of the aberrations we have been subjected to in the past through evolutionary imprints and socio-religious compulsions and indoctrination, is urgently needed to heal the world.

In many forums we talk of "Planetary consciousness" and we need to understand that unless individual consciousness is addressed, talking of planetary consciousness would be founded on an understanding which is extremely weak and meaningless. It is the individual consciousness that gives rise to a resulting hierarchy of planetary consciousness, Solar consciousness and Galactic consciousness.

Hence in all our endeavours, whether it be education, social action, political activism or religious instruction and practice, the holistic and all encompassing nature of individual consciousness has to be understood through a realigned perception. To achieve this we need a open mindset and emptying of all the given belief system, both in science and spirituality, as the only Truth. (Read how some very fundamental principles in science are thoroughly wrong - "The Science Delusions" by Rupert Sheldrake)

At the beginning of this article, I have posted a picture a beautifully and perfectly aligned stone tower. You can imagine this to be the perfect embodiment of wisdom in a specific existence. But when we look at this structure we see that individual stones are not in the axis of alignment. The point of contact of the building blocks are at different spatial locations. This is because each stone has a different mass and density distribution.
This is exactly the same way that we need to understand the function of creation. To achieve perfect balance in our lives the value of all contributing elements both in ourselves as well as in the environment has be located at their assigned location and not in our own perception of a line of alignment that is derives from a set of subjective parameters.

This is a systemic approach and needs an intuitive access to inner wisdom which lies beyond the corruptive influence of a purely rational and objective mindset. Spiritual practices such as meditation, meaningful participation in rituals, deeper inquiry into all spiritual knowledge and an appreciation and assimilation of the wealth of scientific knowledge are the needs of the emergent individuals who would be the change makers and healers of this planet. 

Love to you all on this World Environmental Day

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