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Articles

by Swami B.V. Tripurari


Mysticism, Postmodernism, Faith and Reason
Science, and Consciousness

Mysticism: When Science and Religion Converge

Science has not replaced religion, nor does it have the potential to do so. The two amount to different ways of knowing: objective and subjective; ascending and descending. Science pursues knowledge of the objective realm in an effort to master it, while religion pursues knowledge of the subjective realm in an effort to serve therein. Science can tell us much about the objective world in great detail, and this in turn gives it credibility. Religion, on the other hand, can tell us much about the subjective world, which is naturally elusive in comparison to the objective realm.
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Yoga and Reason

Today there are a number of nuanced forms of the basic philosophy of materialism, all of which view the world as nothing more than physical forces interacting. Let me refer to them collectively as reductive materialism. Opposed to reductive materialism are the worldviews that acknowledge the causal influence of an immaterial mind and consciousness. I think that if reason is to prevail, the non-reductive worldviews that argue for the position that our thoughts influence our actions and thus have causal efficacy in the world and that the world itself is inherently meaningful win the day. Allow me to briefly reason why.
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The Nature of Consciousness

We might translate Gaudiya Vedanta’s acintya bhedabheda as “trans-rational monistic dualism.” It is a form of substance dualism, but one in which the natural world (maya-sakti) is also one with consciousness (jiva-sakti), despite their larger difference from one another. They are one with one another in that they are both saktis of Bhagavan. They are different from one another in that one is experiential and the other is non-experiential.
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The Resurrection of Sam Harris

Sam Harris, the best-selling atheist author, has done it again! In 2004, the American neuroscientist published End of Faith, securing his position as one of the “Four Horsemen of Atheism,” among the ranks of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. A few years ago, when I glanced at his best-selling End of Faith in the bookstore, I just happened to open to his section on mysticism. There, in a few paragraphs, he differentiated mysticism from religion, identifying religion as a belief or faith and mysticism as rational.
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Topics

"Modern science was born as a Christian. In its adolescence it became an agnostic. In its adult life we are now experiencing that it is becoming an atheist. But if science is to live into old age it must become a mystic."

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