Today’s Holistic Science and its new Paradigm

Apr 01, 2014

"Philosophy is empty if it is not based on science. Science discovers, philosophy interprets", said Einstein. Today, scientists are losing their faith in mere intellection and attach more importance and a higher validity to the power of realization of a holistic universe. "What we grasp intellectually may be overthrown by a new argument, but what you realize is yours forever. Newton and Galileo were the prophets of physical science, and Upanishad seers and Tirthankars were prophets of spirituality." In the ultimate analysis the whole universe, mental and material, will be fused into one. It’s the finding of unity towards which we are going.

The Boostrap theory of Geophrey Chew, the concept of the 'Implicit order' by David Bohm, the successful experiment of Bell's 'Theorem' by Clauser and Freedman, all these have arrived at the vision of holistic universe where every particle is connected with every other particle even at the farthest end of the universe. The new paradigm of modern science is the holistic paradigm. A paradigm is an entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques and so on shared by members of a given society. S. Kuhn, in one of his most influential books of modern times, shows how the scientific world is periodically overturned in a 'Paradigm shift'. The new paradigm of today’s science is based on the basic interconnectedness of the entire universe and an inseparable connection between mind and matter. This is the new holistic paradigm of science. The lopsided development of science with its sole emphasis on intellect, ignored the holistic vision bringing thereby a disaster of the two world wars. But shocks of human annihilation opened new visions to many scientists.The value of science must lie in the world of men as all roots lie there. These are the strongest bonds in the world, stronger than those even that bind the atomic scientists to one another. The scientists realized their moral duty to men and found the deepest bonds that bound them to their fellow-men.

“With the nuclear holocaust threatening us, what we need for survival is synthesis, the ecological perspective, the holistic view”, says physicist Fritjof Capra. Who like others, feels that the Darwinian concept of the struggle for existence, natural selection and adaptation, will never explain the phenomenon of higher human evolution.” Ile says, “The new paradigm is the holistic, ecological world view. And we need this shift of perception.”

Rene Weber, while interviewing physicists like Fritjof Capra and David Bohm felt that today’s Nobel Prize winning physicists must also become Buddha. The highest scientific mind must also be combined with the noblest Buddha heart. Capra thinks “that both Einstein and Bohr were primarily meditative and intuitive at the same time, they were the greatest of physicists.”

About Niel Bohr, Capra said. “Bohr’s science was his mysticism” and added that “in the eastern traditions, the most enlightened becomes the most ordinary. And so these great sages just went round cutting fire wood and drawing waters”, or constructed bridges to bring people together to live as a global family, “The whole universe is one mass, one ocean of matter, in which you and I, the sun and the moon, and everything else are but the names of different little whirlpools and nothing more. It is one unchangeable, unbroken, homogeneous Atman.” Capra wrote: “We have piled up tons of thousands of nuclear weapons; enough 10 destroy the entire world several times over. All this suggests, a profound imbalance in our culture. Further reflections show that the roots of this culture crisis lie in the imbalance between two modes of consciousness which have been recognized as characteristic aspects of human nature throughout the ages. They are usually called the rational and intuitive modes or the scientific and religious modes.” These two modes of human consciousness have been described by Chinese thinkers as the Yan or the active, rational, competitive, and the Yin or intuitive, co-operative, emotional and the mystical aspects of our mind. The time is ripe for a shift from a purely materialistic, to a holistic-intuitive-humanistic paradigm. The Yan having reached its climax retreats in favor of Yin.”

Astrophysics today proves that in the smallest particle there is the potency of the entire universe. Vivekananda gives a humanistic orientation interpreting this truth thus: “The world is homogeneous and modern science shows beyond doubt that each atom is composed of the same material as the whole universe... Man is the most representative being in the universe, the macrocosm, a small universe in himself.” Shankaracharya had tremendous intellectual power. He threw the scorching light of reason upon everything. We want today that bright sun of intellectually joined with the heart of Buddha, the wonderful infinite heart of love and mercy. The union will give us the highest philosophy: Science and religion, will meet and shake hands.” Romain Rolland wrote, “Europe and Asia are two halves of the soul. Man is not yet. He will be.”

“Art, Science and Religion are but three ways of expressing a single truth.

Michael Talbot wrote, “Most importantly the new physics is offering us a scientific basis for religion. This is something new in the history of western civilization, and its impact will certainly be felt in every aspect of our lives”. This is the echo of what Schopenhauer predicted in the last century on the epoch-making impact of Vedantic mysticism of the Upanishads on the thoughts of the coming ages. He said, “In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. The world is about to see a revolution in thought more extensive and more powerful than that which was witnessed by the Renaissance of Great Literature.”

The rational and intuitive modes or the scientific and religious modes must unite this new paradigm and philosophy of today’s Holistic Science. Our is a holistic universe where matter, energy and consciousness are connected together in one inseparable common background which is termed as Absolute Consciousness (Chit) and Absolute Bliss (Anand) in our Eastern Philosophy. 

- Vishnu Pathak