Sikh Cosmology. Every bird needs a sky to fly. Every flower needs a space to blossom. Every heart

Sikh Cosmology -Damanjit Singh Lecturer, Department of Physics, Baba Kuma Singh Engineering College, Amritsar, India Every bird needs a sky to fly. E...
Author: Antony Potter
3 downloads 0 Views 890KB Size
Sikh Cosmology -Damanjit Singh Lecturer, Department of Physics, Baba Kuma Singh Engineering College, Amritsar, India

Every bird needs a sky to fly. Every flower needs a space to blossom. Every heart needs a cosmos to beat. Modern science has made sincere efforts in understanding the cosmos. Various pictures of the universe came forth. Friedmann-solutions, based on the general theory of relativity, predicted that the universe emerged with a big bang from a singular point where the density and the curvature of the universe were infinite. All the theories of science based on "smooth" space-time broke down and predictability vanished. The space-time had a boundary and a beginning at the big bang. On the same basis, the existence of black holes was predicted by Roger Penrose. The difficulties of description of the early stages of the universe in the big bang model were removed by Alan Guth in his Inflationary model. On the contrary, the Quantum theory of gravity, which was based on Euclidean spacetime, predicted the possibility of space-time's finiteness in extent and yet having no singularities that form boundary or edge. Space-time would be like the surface of the earth but with two more dimensions. An important point to make here is that in the scientific description of universe, there is significant participation of the imaginative faculty of the mind in creating the picture of the universe. There have been numerous attempts by the great masters of science to merge the partial theories of physics to construct a complete ‘Unified theory of every thing.’ Einstein spent most of his later years in the same quest. The search is still

1 Copyright 2011 Naad Pargaas Amritsar. www.NaadPargaas.org

going on. Whether the partial theories are additive in their very nature is debatable. At this place, it becomes very important to share the critical comments of Ouspensky on science. He asserted that science never entertained Kant's ideas of visualizing categories of space and time as categories of perception and thought. Scientific thought proceeded apart from philosophical and psychological thought. According to him, the Scientific understanding of space and time had always an objective existence and there were no serious attempts at a psychological study of space and time. The acceptance of the propositions, that every mathematical formulation must have a physical equivalent and that every physical phenomenon can be expressed mathematically, arrested the progress of thought along the very lines where progress was most necessary. Ouspensky gave his New Model of the Universe, where time had three dimensions and with three dimensions of space forms a six dimensional "Euclidean Continuum". He insisted that "general time" does not exist and every separately existing system have its own time. Separate time is always a completed circle with eternity being the curvature of time. The six-dimensional universe is illogical in its very nature and its space can contract and expand. There is exact unity of space and time and the difference between them as well. The space can pass into time and time into space. Every point of space includes the whole of time and every moment of time includes the whole of space. i.e. Everything is everywhere and always. The French philosopher Henry Bergson in his work "The Creative Evolution" unfolded new visions of space-time and different dimensions of existence. According to him, the theory of knowledge and the theory of life are inseparable.

2 Copyright 2011 Naad Pargaas Amritsar. www.NaadPargaas.org

The two inquiries should join each other and push each other unceasingly. He insisted that the primary inner experience is the "flow" of life. The mechanism is the external form of inner spiritual activity. Condemning the mathematical conception of scientific time, he finds "pure time" or "real duration" as a representation of flowing irreversible succession of states melting into each other and forming indivisible process. He disposes the deterministic image of "spatial conception of time" as it is the choice already made and not the choice in making. Rejecting the materialistic view that the consciousness is either identical with brain activity or existentially dependent on brain activity, he claimed that there is vastly more in a given occasion of consciousness than that in the corresponding brain state. There is "pure" memory, which is wholly spiritual and much more than mechanical memory. It is where whole past resides. It retains all our conscious states "in the order in which they occur". Thus all the past psychological states have real, though unconscious, existence. Bergson considers it unjustified to consider perception as a kind of photographic process and as a cognitive function whose aim it is to provide knowledge. There is a "pure" perception free from any admixtures of memory images. That which has never been perceived, which at the same time is simple, and which is necessarily ‘unforeseeable’ forms "pure perception". It is an original moment and an original history. On the contrary, the perception whose evolution is regulated by the evolution of the nervous system, will be directed towards "action" and not true knowledge. Natural sciences form their conception of time and motion. Static abstraction is produced. There is negation of the nature of time by ignoring the crucial element of "becoming". So Bergson claimed that science can never provide a

3 Copyright 2011 Naad Pargaas Amritsar. www.NaadPargaas.org

complete and adequate account of the universe. It need to be supplemented by some other discipline. Criticizing Darwin's theory of evolution, he gives a vision of cosmos where evaluation of life is creative and not mechanistic. This doctrine of "vital impetus" sees a "supra-consciousness" penetrating matter, giving rise to living bodies and determining their course of evolution. The same "supraconsciousness" animates innumerable planets in the universe resulting in a creative cosmic evolution. The considerations doesn't end here. Muhammad Iqbal' views the vitalism of Bergson as ending in dualism of will and thought. To him, Bergson has a partial view of intelligence. Thought has a deeper movement also. Although it appears to divide reality into static fragments, its real function is to synthesize the elements of experience by employing categories suitable to the various levels that experience present. It is as organic as life. In conscious experience, life and thought permeate each other and form a unity. In an intense conscious state, whole cosmos converges at a single point. During the moment of blessing, whatever happens to consciousness, happens to the whole cosmos. The cosmos changes. The world remains no more the same. Every phenomenon takes new shape and blossoms in a new fragnance. The very sense of space-time, the basis of all phenomenal, perception, covers new dimensions. Such moments hold the supreme status in building the foundations of any civilized existence. Such moments are firmaments of the civilizations. Although we are in the initial stages of the process of discovering the foundations of Sikh cosmology, but some glimpses can be shared. Our sense of history is not based on a dead linear conception of time. It is a living entity. Khalil

4 Copyright 2011 Naad Pargaas Amritsar. www.NaadPargaas.org

Gibran says, "Every inspiration has a song." Our history is a living song. Conceptualization is necessarily an obstacle in our path of spiritual realization. Our institutions needs to put a check on this. The understanding of the relationship of our subjective self with matter will help us in bringing forth our political, social and economical systems. The understanding of Sikh space-time will bring forth the Sikh sense of Architecture. How does it happen that matter cuts the space in such a way that it crosses death? What should be the role of appreciation in criticism? What will be the centers of creativity? What is the cosmic truth of that civilization where air is divine, where breathing is a religion, where living is a blessing, where dreams are collective and lives are perfume. Where birds, trees, skies, oceans are not mere objects but are worshippers. Where life is not an imagined fear but realized love and devotion. The search for Sikh cosmology is on. Damanjit Singh is Lecturer in Department of Physics, Baba Kuma Singh Engineering College, Amritsar, India and can be reached at [email protected].

5 Copyright 2011 Naad Pargaas Amritsar. www.NaadPargaas.org