I Believe

Poonam Dhoop Juneja, a long time regular on Svahaa, yesterday, asked me to read an article and comment on it. This post is an outgrowth of the small answer I wanted to give her. The articles she refers to, can be found in the footnote.

The article in summary talks about multiple dimensions existing in our universe and how can we connect to them.

To answer the points of the article let me start by stating my position first. I am a passionate rationalist who believes that reason is a great tool in human cognitive toolkit. However I also believe it is not the only tool by which you can know the world. There are other tools like intuition and imagination also which are great for exploration of the world. Also sometimes all of these tools have to be transcended for the ultimate knowledge.

Each of the tools that we use, draws a different picture of the world out there and each of us have a preferred tool of our choice. A scientist might use his reason as a mystic might leverage his intuition. To draw an analogy, we have multiple intelligences if we believe in them. If we keep believing and testing only our analytical IQ, Emotional. Social, Spatial and Kinesthetic IQs get diluted. Likewise we have different tools available to know the world and if we dont counter false propaganda of reason as the ultimate judge, we risk limiting our narratives of the ultimate reality.

Having said that now what can we say about the ultimate nature of reality that is out there. As complex as that subject is, in science( reason based narrative) string theory, multiple worlds interpretation, loop quantum gravity and all other attempts to unify quantum world with gravity are pointing towards existence of multiple dimensions. ( those interested in tech details can read more about the kaluza klein theory). Ultimately the quest for unified field theory of all natural forces ( theory of everything, TOE) seems to have many worlds and many dimensions interpretation.

Now mystics have all along posited this. They have cried themselves hoarse saying our 3D world is Maya or a mere holographic representation of far more complex reality underneath it. (in fact Susskind and some other Harvard physicts, theorizing about information loss in black holes, have proposed that all of the information of the reality is stored in 2d at the event horizon and our physical world gets created as a hologram from there). So whatever be its true nature, one thing seems certain that there is definitely more to reality than meets the human eye.

Now is this ultimate reality that is beyond here and now, knowable?

This is where we must choose what to believe. I think it is knowable, through a spiritual journey. However let me quickly add a few clarifications to this claim. If we want to be empirical about the ultimate reality (experience it ourselves) we cannot do it with the current human cognition that evolution has given us. Evolutions’ purpose was survival and our current senses are geared towards that objective. So if we want to know reality as it is we will have to rewire our cognition. We will have to expand our consciousness from its narrow survivalist constraints.

This is where the arduous spiritual journey as outlined in Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali, outlining the tri practice of :

1) behavioral dos and donts ( yama and niyams) ,
2) physical exercises of (asana and prayanama)
3) cognitive training of (pratihar, dharna, dhyana and samdhi)

give us the recipe for re-wiring of this cognitive toolkit which our evolutionary heritage has left us with. All saints and mystics ultimately are people whose cognition of the world gets rewired for them to have a peek at the Big Picture.

So in closing, out of body travel, connecting other dimensions through dreams as proposed in the article look a little facile however the path to make these connection exists if one is willing to let go of this worldly desires and undertake the hardships of a true spiritual ( re-cognition) journey

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