Wednesday, March 20, 2019

International Yoga Day: Controversies, responses and Why Yoga?

Well being has nothing to do with your belief system.  If your cholesterol is in the right limit, it is so because your body is working fine.  Not because you believe if Climate Change is real or not, or if god is a woman or man.  Chemicals in your brain, the electrical circuitry of your nervous system and the hormonal cocktail of your organs works best when in harmony and does so irrespective whether you are Rightist, Leftist, Right-of-Center, Left-of-Center, Fringe Right or Fringe left.  Thankfully, organs in our body do not care for which scripture you pledge on.  In fact, they would work just as well, if a Tea party Rightist died and his organs were transplanted in a gay person with radically different views and ideology with no interest in any god “up there”.

To evaluate the nonsensical construct of ideological bearing on one’s well being, one needs to look at one’s ownself a bit deeper and see if anything besides one’s mental gymnastics gets impacted by your choice of religion, belief patterns and political hues.  The answer is no.  Try hitting your self with a Bible, Quran and a Torah and see if your body hurts any different?

This is at the physically experiential level.  Quantum physicists are today talking of Quantum entanglement – where two electrons at the opposite ends of this Universe may be functioning as one with full synchronicity and information sharing.  Sounds strange?  Well, even the great Einstein was “spooked” and refused to accept the truth of Quantum world’s complete departure from the classical mechanics’ central precept of “Local Realism”.  He termed this possibility of “oneness” well beyond the speed of light, as “spooky action at a distance”.   Notwithstanding Einstein’s ideological paradigm, nature doesn’t give two hoots for that belief of classical mechanics and the reality of Quantum Entanglement has been scientifically demonstrated with photons, electrons, large molecule and even small diamonds.

Quantum entanglement in the motion of macroscopic solid bodies has implications both for quantum technologies and foundational studies of the boundary between the quantum and classical worlds. Entanglement is usually fragile in room-temperature solids, owing to strong interactions both internally and with the noisy environment. We generated motional entanglement between vibrational states of two spatially separated, millimeter-sized diamonds at room temperature. By measuring strong nonclassical correlations between Raman-scattered photons, we showed that the quantum state of the diamonds has positive concurrence with 98% probability. Our results show that entanglement can persist in the classical context of moving macroscopic solids in ambient conditions.

If one were to understand and accept the constant and all pervasive “entanglement” of the Universal substratum – information and particles / energy that lends itself (rather manifests) to the physical structures, then we would also have to accept that any part can best function when in sync with the “rest”.  What is “entangled” at the sub-atomic level in me with “star dust” of the far away galaxy is best manifesting in my physical self, when I am in tune with it.  When I accept that I am no more a “creation” at a physical level, but a manifestation of the quantum information, then I feel the need to seek and experience the harmony that is obviously there.

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And, that seeking of harmony starts when belief in the classical structures of ideology ends.  Just as how science had to go beyond the total disbelief of someone like Einstein to finally get onto the road of seeking the reality of quantum entanglement.  Quest for seeking union of the existence began when certainty of mental ideologies ceased.

Yoga – meaning Union – is that quest from a different paradigm.  Yoga starts when your preoccupation with what is “classical and physical” ends.  Sadhguru describes the first Sutra of Patanjali thus.

This is why the first sutra is “and now yoga.” That means, you know nothing works and you do not have a clue about what the hell this is. The pain of ignorance is tearing you apart. Now, yoga. Now there is a way to know.

When the mind is beyond the make-believe and wants to “know” in the real sense.  Move away from characterizing something that it doesn’t understand as “spooky or godly”, then seeking starts.  That’s where Yoga begins.  And so does science.  There is nothing more “secular” than real seeking.  Both, Science (when not a prisoner of ideological strait-jackets) and Yoga are such seeking.

International Yoga Day: “… and now Yoga”

When International Yoga Day (June 21st) was announced with India mooting the idea at the UN last year, it was not just an acknowledgement of India’s heritage and contribution to the world, but also the acceptance that we now need to seek inwards.  We are all witness to the damage that this planet has seen thanks to our urge to live well.  We have made everything better, smarter, more efficient and more effective in its ways.  Yet, universal well-being eludes us.  In such a time, International Yoga Day is an idea which finally forces us to collectively cry out – “… and now Yoga”!

Yoga: Celebration of the Open Source

Yoga, the science of the inward experience of one-ness is predicated on many millennia of work by various beings who came and gave selflessly without the urge to patent their work or brand it.  They used the available work by others and created their own constructs, ways, methods and cocktails after years and decades of serious work.

Today, when one just sits in a certain posture with a certain “mudra” (way of holding your fingers and hands) and regulates breathing in a certain way to see almost miraculous and long term impact on blood-pressure or cholesterol or brain cells, it is because this whole package has been used and tested for many many millennia by millions!  It is not a product of one guy getting up in the morning and suddenly deciding that lets give this a “test ride” and see if it works?  The “packages” – of mudras, chanting, postures, breathing et al – are not random.  They are deliberate and worked upon by millions of very accomplished beings.  Just as a Dreamliner 787 is predicated on decades and centuries of research work in the field of aviation and all pervasive science.  To even imagine it to be a product of “random enlightenment” would be the height of absurdity.  Ditto for Yoga.

The reason why the science of Yoga has been perfected at such deep and subjective levels is because everything was open source, yet strongly managed.  Once a Guru perfected one method is every way, that was the only way he would impart it and make sure it was received that way by his disciples.  Idea was not to be fanatical but to make sure that something as subjective and prone to impu