Friday, April 4, 2008

Spinoza, a great master for providing modernity to the religion


In eighteenth century real understanding of God diminished, Bible’s literary meaning remained prime source of understanding spiritualism. True sense of words became redundant. Eastern church‘s dogma (essence) died and domination of church of west got established. Dhayan (meditation) and mysticism were declared an illusion. A competition to prove God’s existence through proof and wisdom was set on His search on the strength of mind and reasoning got started. As a consequent, many intellectuals declined to recognize the very existence of God during nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Many mystics of Christianity expressed that we can’t have a vision of eternal form of Essence of God, it has got the nature of darkness. It has been called ‘Mool Prakriti’ (Basic nature) in Indian Sankhaya and yoga philosophies, which comprises of Sat, Raj and Tama. These three elements are in equal proportion in Mool Prakriti. Therefore, movement of all the constituents of nature comes to a halt, because, if there is no movement of energy it appears dark. This Mool Prakriti, when undertakes task of creation these three constituents start disturbing their proportions which causes tension and waves in it. When we meditate, its Sat element appears in the form of light at the place of third eye between the eyebrows. Therefore, we can see outer form of nature and not its Mool Prakriti because it is dark. When yogi (devotee) realizes this original form of nature, his spirit acquires knowledge of qualities (constituents) of nature and becomes free of all limitations as he does not fall prey to the weaknesses of lower nature. This experience has been termed as Asamprajyat (beyond all knowledge), Nirvikalp (without alternative) or Nirbeej (seedless) Samadhi (blissful state of spirit). Adwait philosophy also describes this state of consciousness as Nirgun Brahman (absolute God), a result of Vivek (discriminative power) and intuition.

Gregory of Nyssa called it a cloud of darkness and Hazrat Moses had also experienced this on the mountain of Sinai and Greece Christian Denys, in sixth century also called it dense cloud of darkness where nothing is visible. Afterwards, when Pope Gregory–the great came, he told that God has kept total knowledge concealed in the womb of large cloud of darkness and fog and He himself is also hiding in this inaccessible cloud. Maximus and Meister Eckhart, mystics of thirteenth and fourteenth century called God as an experience of darkness, such a darkness which can’t be termed as devoid of light; rather gives a reflection of strange light. Sri Aurobindo called experience of such darkness as Nirvikalp Samadhi where the intensity of light becomes so intense and dense that its movement comes to a halt and it gives impression of darkness. He called it luminosity of superconscient light. Buddha called it putting off a lamp. Other Christian saints called it dark night of soul. Bohme called it dark secret...

In 3rd century, mystic Plotinus also spoke of an experience resembling to Greece and Indian Rishis. Plotinus desired to come to India for having spiritual knowledge but due to certain reasons he could not do so. This Indian knowledge and experience traveled to Greece through Pythagoras which was later followed by Socrates, Plato and other stoic monks.

During 13th and 14th centuries, European mystic Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) made it amply clear that wisdom is not sufficient to know God ,this is an experience beyond senses and does not fit into any frame made by us .He also told that God is an experience of nothingness. Father along with Son (Jesus) takes birth in the soul of man and not from Virgin Mary’s Womb. Eckhart also says, calling God a ‘God’ is also a disrespect to Him, therefore, for God’s shake we shall have to think beyond God itself and other conceptions about him; only then we can enjoy the experience of being one with him and can share his Ananda (bliss) .He further said, “My own existence should coincide with God’s existence and I should feel Him with in myself, only then we can become inseparable spirit of God’s kingdom”. In Upanishads this experience has been dictated as aham-brahmasmi (I am God), ayam atma Brahman (This soul is God), Tatvamasi (You are God), Soham (I am like Him) etc. Eckhart’s this secret principle of gnosis became a cause for displeasure of priests of Germany and he was declared a culprit and was tortured.

In 17th century, Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-77) having scientific approach advanced even ahead. Like Anselm and Rene Descartes, he told that we can’t even think of non-being of God. This thinking itself confirms existence of God’s kingdom. Where there is a thought, how we can deny non-existence of its thinker. A great thinker can only be a father of small thoughts, who helps us in carving these thoughts and making appropriate decisions. Descartes of France says, “I think therefore I am”. Saint Anselm, who happened in 11th century, also said that this thinking of non-being of God itself proves the very existence of God. Spinoza found that truth can’t be divided in to two parts, God and devil; there is only one spirit, God and devil both. Spinoza represented the dawn of new age of theism of atheists. It was followed by an era when existence of such God was denied which can’t be acceptable to mind (intelligence) and is cruel and weak like Jesus and who is not capable of providing protection to self and his first son. Spinoza further explained that God is a rule or central principle, which is a sum total of all ruling systems at lower level. This central principle rules the total universe. His such thoughts sent tremors through whole Jewish religious section which resulted into his ousting from Synagogue (worship place of Jews) at an early age of twenty four. Religious people prayed in synagogue: May God keeps him in great agony in hell day and night, while awaking or sleeping, entering or exiting and at all places; and he may pass through wrath of God, God may never forgive him! God’s anger may always keep burning him. Every punishment scribed in rule book of God may shower upon him and his name may be scraped from this world for ever. Some people describe Spinoza a great master for providing modernity to the religion and his path of secular salvation is followed by them. In 19th century Germany’s Hegel gave a separate philosophy called Dialectic method (Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis).

This theory was adopted by Karl Marx also for describing socialism. According to Hegel, Jewish religion is a most degraded religion because it propagated false conception of God since its inception; it projected God as oppressor, aggressive and cruel before the People. Jesus made every effort to dispel this notion of people about God but after his departure Christian religion also nurtured the old path and they also projected same picture of God. Hegel’s view seems to be right because origin of all the three religions; Christian, Islam and Jewish is from the same source and all the three have less tolerance level. But in future, perhaps, this view of Hegel became a cause of slaughter of Jews when Hitler killed lakhs of Jews brutally to take revenge for their act to Jesus. They were thrown in the chambers of poisonous gas. They were slaughtered by searching one by one. All the religions or philosophies that followed soul-searching or revealed deep secrets took mankind to greater heights. They don’t see God in a particular man or within a limited sphere, rather they see him in each atom and in the ultimate experience they realize that man is also God’s integral part, he is part of His eternity. Some found God in the form of light, some experienced His ‘Ananda’ in deep after the stage of light ; which is a zone of tranquility, quietness, stability, and calmness of super consciousness, infinite soul and mental peace ; finding depth of which is impossible. Only a few of them have experienced even more deepness of divine force, where in the tranquility of super conscience there is a consistent echo of God’s silence. When this state of trance appears, our body and mind are filled with eternal music. Some call it Word, some Logos, Naad, Anahat, Udageet, Vaani, Akath Katha, Kalma, Awaje-mustkin etc.; Hazrat Muhammad says that some times Koran’s Ayaten (subject matter) descended in him through the sound of a large bell and that was the most difficult experience for him. This description of sound of bell is also given in Rabbis sect of Jew religion and Christianity. Sound of whistles resembling to that of fast blowing air are also heard. Many Christian and Islam sages and Indian Rishis and saints have also talked of many cosmic sounds. Some of them like Mahatma Buddha said that giving any name to God’s experience is not pertinent. This is an experience beyond both God and non-God and it can’t be bounded. Only danger of this experience is that it can lead a person to atheism...

Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980) in the twentieth century was of the view to negate the very existence of God because acceptance of his being diffuses human liberty. According to Morris Ponty (1908-61), if we admit God as a doer of every thing then nothing is left to be achieved by man. Camus (1913-60) went to the extent of saying that people should be bold enough to deny the being of God so that they could love human being .Acceptance of God’s existence reduces our creativity; even if He assists us in resolving our problems then also He decreases our share in our accomplishments and also our wonders. Logical positivists, linguistic philosophy and other related institutions’ intellectuals proclaimed that there is no entity like God. Whom we can’t see in our life, we can’t experience in our deeds, we can’t prove with our senses; what is the meaning of being such an entity (God) of false promises. Another section of the people advocated that Dharama (religion) is a necessity of life; without it every thing shall shatter, distinction of good and bad shall diminish, man will become selfish and it will give rise to individualism and disintegrate the society. Anarchy shall be created. Atheist rulers shall become more brutal. Individual’s liberty will get curtailed. Man, who lives in dreams, will lead a life of restraints. Today’s dreams are reality of tomorrow. What seems to be a dream and impossible to happen today is a reality tomorrow. Therefore, man’s wings shall be chopped. He dreams and flies high on the assumption that religion and God are limitless and never ending. If optimism and imagination die, life shall become devoid of joy. Human life finds its foundation on hopes; therefore, a super hope is also a necessity. Man carves a picture of superman in his mind and finding such a super-man in this world is difficult, so he always endeavors to progress and to attain perfection.

In this respect Marxist philosopher, Ernst Bloch (1884-1977) opines that thought of God to human being is natural; total humanity peeps into future. We feel imperfection and voidness in our life. Unlike animals we are never complacent and always demand for more and more. We always endeavour to improve upon ourselves and aspire for further progress to acquire capability to put a step forward. As a small child toddles and wants to grow into a bigger child, the same way life progresses. Our all dreams and desires remain always aiming at acquiring which we do not possess. Religion philosophy also follows this principle; whereas it is a path where all has to be shunned or forgotten; but here also the thought of not now, not now continues to elude. Socialism also takes this utopia along with on its path; however Karl Marx has negated faith in any Super power. But Dharma (religion) certainly exists where there is a ray of hope. Bloch has perceived existence of an ideal God who has his abode in man and not somewhere far away.

No comments:

Post a Comment