"The lines between science and spirituality have become inevitably blurred." (Gerald Penilla)
"If I were an Eastern mystic the last thing in the world that I would want would be a reconciliation with modern science." (Jeremy Bernstein)
In his video "Where Science and Buddhism Meet," Gerald Penilla argues that there are such strong parallels between how physics and Eastern spirituality, including Buddhism, understand reality that the boundaries between them are not as clear as many may suppose. That is, physics and Buddhism are simply two different methodologies that lead to pretty much the same understanding of reality and reinforce each other.
This idea became popular in some circles with the publication of Fritjof Capra's The Tao of Physics in 1975. Since then, many writers have echoed Capra's thesis that Eastern mysticism and modern physics share a similar worldview and corroborate one another. Gerald Penilla's video follows this tradition.
For instance, according to Penilla, both Eastern spirituality and modern physics agree that the foundation of all reality is a "field of potential from which everything arises." In Eastern spirituality, this field is called such names as 'Tao' and 'Brahman.' In physics, it's called the 'quantum field': An electromagnetic field from which all particles arise not, ultimately, as separate objects but as "different forms of the same system."
Penilla also asserts that the physics concept of quantum entanglement parallels the eastern spiritual concept of oneness or interconnectivity in which all particles and composite objects in the universe exist only in relation to each other and to the whole system that they comprise.
Finally, Penilla argues that both Eastern spirituality and modern physics agree that mind underlies matter. To make his point, he quotes Buddha as saying, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything," and Max Planck, one of the founders of quantum physics: "All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." He also quotes the great physicist Werner Heisenberg:, "Reality is defined by the mind that is observing it." Penilla concludes by stating, "Reality does not exist without the mind that is defining it. Without mind, reality exists only as infinite potential. Quantum physicists have now stumbled upon what mystics have been saying for over 2000 years--that reality is a projection of the mind."
Many would take issue with Penilla's assertions and argue against looking for mutually corroborating parallels between modern physics and Eastern spirituality. For instance, philosopher-mystic Ken Wilber argues that physics, by itself, won't lead one to the highest spiritual insights, because physics investigates only the lowest level of reality--the physical level--whereas the great spiritual mystics have achieved deep insights into the dynamic interrelatedness of all levels--the physical, biological, mental, and spiritual levels. So, for example, physicist talk of quantum entanglement in which two subatomic particles instantaneously interact over vast or "nonlocal" distances does not parallel the Buddhist concept of the interconnectivity of all physical, biological, mental, and spiritual reality. Furthermore, he argues that most physicists don't believe that human consciousness creates physical reality but only observes and alters it through its observations, as should be obvious when we consider that the physical universe existed before humans did. Finally, he asks rhetorically, If spiritual concepts are "hitched" to scientific ones, does this mean that the former should be "ditched" when the latter, with their propensity for change, no longer support or even contradict the former?
Although Gerald Penilla may oversimplify the parallels between modern physics and Eastern spirituality and make dubious assertions about the insights we can gain from them, it is nevertheless instructive to explore both science and spirituality so that we can understand better if and how they're related, and we shall do this in future articles.
By Steve Curless
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
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