RE-INVENT LIFE : BEAT KARMA & GENES CONSCIOUSLY
It is so heartening to see that finally, Science and Spirituality are agreeing - well not in every detail, but increasingly in their final conclusions !
We humans are very resourceful and ingenious in misinterpreting and distorting what we learn, whether from science or from religion. The resultant misconceptions 'close' our minds and we become superstitious and dogmatic.
Both Science and Religion have their superstitions. Two of some great superstitions of science are breaking apart currently with the new research. The corrected observations are :
(1) Fat is no more the dietary villain, carbs are. More research will gradually prove that the real villains, not just dietary but overall which create the dietary issues too, are in our minds as negative thoughts and attitudes !
(2) The genes do NOT decide our life and destiny !
Let us take the second point in detail.
Genes are karmic fruits but not the final destiny :
The noted American Cell Biologist, Bruce Lipton, says in The Biology of Belief :"The character of our life is based upon how we perceive it".
Now, Buddha said this long ago : 'You are as you think'. Scriptures said it even before Buddha appeared : Yatha Drishti Tatha Srishti i.e. the creation is as you choose to perceive. 'Choose to' is the key. We always have a choice in how we respond, and that is the key. It gives us control !
In a recent interview, Bruce Lipton says : "Hereditary / genetic factors are not irrevocable. They are not the major influencers in your life."
On our cells' constant evolution, Bruce says, "Earlier we used to teach that genes cause everything, but that's false. The gene is like the blueprint of the building ; it does not make decisions. When we believe genes control life, then we have no power. We then think we are victims of heredity."
Narayani Ganesh who interviewed Bruce (ref TOI, Speaking Tree supplement, March 20, 2016), meaningfully asked : Are you now talking about free will and destiny ? Bruce answered : "Yes ! DNA is not your destiny. You can change your genes in a few hours by what you are doing. There is spontaneous remission in cancer - because control is in how you respond to your environment ; control is not in your genes.... You are a community of 50 trillion cells. When the community is in harmony, you are healthy ; when there is a conflict ... you fall ill."
"One percent" Bruce continues, "of disease is genetics, 99% is lifestyle and attitudes. Even that 1% can be changed"...
Coming to spirituality, Bruce thinks meditation can help genes to express positivity. He says : "Quantum Physics is giving what spiritual people knew - science says 'field', others say 'Spirit'. If energy is real, then Spirit is real. Much of Quantum Physics is from India."
Bruce's take on Karma & Meditation : "You can change your karma with positive action including meditation and good thoughts...."If you cannot love yourself, then how can another love you ? Telomerase (an enzyme from telomere, an extension of the DNA) activity increases life through service, self-love and gratitude, so let's action that."
Now let's take RELIGION. It is more easily blamed for dogma and superstition, and not without reason.
Think of the persecutions the early scientists Galileo, Copernicus and Bruno suffered because of their heliocentric theory that was eventually found correct.
The Theory of karma : You reap as you sow ! That's a fair law, isn't it ? The world must operate, and it indeed does, on some fair and simple cosmic laws - it is human ego and ignorance that complicate them and mess up with them. Consciously or unconsciously, we form habits of thinking, speaking and doing and they creates habits through neural wiring in the brain, and also good or bad karma. The spiritual laws say that you are a free soul until you choose to think/speak/act i.e. create karma.
Once you create it, you become accountable, unless you work without ego-consciousness ('I do it'). Then it becomes Akarma, or non-binding (Nishkam) karma, as the Gita explains, such as when you work selflessly or, if you are a believer, you work for God alone. In this world, that's rare, so most karma is binding.
Life is too short for the volume of good and bad karma that we create so we are born again. The theory of reincarnation is a corollary of the law of karma. While India's ancient spiritual wisdom always referred to immortality of the soul and the theory of rebirth, even the Bible has references to it (..."and he shall go no more out" : Revelation, 3: 12), although the Church authorities gradually decided against it in the centuries following Christ's physical departure. .
But the theory of karma makes many of us fatalistic. We tend to believe that our life is doomed by our past karma, and we must mutely suffer like vegetables- cut, chop, grind, boil them ! But that's not true.
Our past life, our past karma, does affect us. It brings forth events and people in our lives. According to our karma and the resultant state of consciousness, we attract parents, family environment and the events according to our karmic blueprint. But there is still an option every time which is never lost : How we respond to it. And that needs wisdom.
Religion has a set of practices, dogma, belief-systems etc. But spirituality is about right conduct. Yoga teaches right attitudes and right conduct with oneself and with others by realizing them as actually one's larger Self. Yoga takes one ahead in the inner journey from a limiting 'I' of 'me and mine' to the Universal Self of One Spirit and All Life. Conscious living, and not habit-enslaved or dogma-ridden conduct, can save this world; we need love and compassion to rule our lives.
Science-Spirituality Synergy : Findings in Quantum Physics on Consciousness, inPNI and Neuro-cardiology on the power of a positive mind and the power of love, scientific findings on Aura and Brain Waves etc. are the evolving bridges between Science and Religion. And Yoga is the Science Of Religion, my Master, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (author of 'Autobiography of a Yogi', www.yogananda-srf.org and www.yssofindia.org) aptly says.
In the quest of an answer to the eternal query 'Who Am I', is true education, true inner growth.
Yoga reveals to us gradually the dreamlike nature of the universe (uni + verse, one Divine Song of Aum, Hum, Amen or Ameen). and progressing on the path of Yoga, doing regular meditation, listening to the song of Aum (Shabda, the Holy Ghost) within, the advanced Yogi lives in the world, but is never of it, as my Master beautifully describes. His books 'God Talks With Arjuna' and 'The Second Coming of Christ',new commentaries in the light of Yogic wisdom respectively on the Gita and the Bible, are very sublime and uplifting for seekers of all faiths, everywhere.
Indeed, it is our mental attitudes that shape up our destiny. On the power of mind to configure the perceived realities, the Master writes -
"Avoid a negative approach to life. Why gaze down the sewers when there is loveliness all around us? One may find some fault in even the greatest masterpieces of art, music, and literature. But isn't it better to enjoy their charm and glory?
"Life has a bright side and a dark side, for the world of relativity is composed of light and shadows. If you permit your thoughts to dwell on evil, you yourself will become ugly. Look only for the good in everything, that you absorb the quality of beauty.
"Mind is the creator of everything. You should therefore guide it to create only good. If you cling to a certain thought with dynamic will power, it finally assumes a tangible outward form. When you are able to employ your will always for constructive purposes, you become the controller of your destiny".
So, let us take charge of our lives !
Let us meditate, let us take a conscious control of our lives, let us become masters of our destiny - and not blame our genes or past karma !
It is up to us to stop being slaves of habits, past karma and genes. Let us discover a leader right within ! When we transform ourselves, we would transform thousands with the living example of our lives.
Science and Spirituality have no inherent conflict ; the word 'Science' comes from the Latin root 'scio' which means to know, and Spirituality is about knowing the Self, which is the highest knowledge. A wise synergy between these two can have mind-boggling implications for Training & Development, OD and Leadership Coaching.
Hans Dholakia // www.hansyoga.com // Bridging New Science / Management with Ancient Spiritual Values / Meditation.