Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Annie Besant-Materialism Undermined by Science

In a lecture delivered in 1895 in Culcutta Annie Besant stated:

"A man who is a spiritual man--a religious teacher--regards the universe from the standpoint of the Spirit from which everything is seen as coming from the One. When he stands, as it were, in the centre, and he looks from the centre to the circumference, he stands at the point whence the force proceeds, and he judges of the force from that point of radiation and he sees it as one in its multitudinous workings, and knows the force is One; he sees it in its many divergencies, and he recognises it as one and the same thing throughout. Standing in the centre, in the Spirit, and looking outwards to the universe, he judges everything from the standpoint of the Divine Unity and sees every separate phenomenon, not as separate from the One but as the external expression of the one and the only Life. But science looks at the thing from the surface. It goes to the circumference of the universe and it sees a multiplicity of phenomena. It studies these separated things and studies them one by one. It takes up a manifestation and judges it; it judges it apart; it looks at the many, not at the One; it looks at the diversity, not at the Unity, and sees everything from outside and not from within: it sees the external difference and the superficial portion while it sees not the One from which every thing proceeds. You may imagine, to take a figure, that you stand where there is a white light--say an electric light sending out rays from a single point; imagine three tubes going out from this centre and rays of light traveling down each and passing through a glass of a different colour set in each tube; if you look from the point where the electric light is you would see the white light striking outward as a light which was one; but if you went to the far end of the tubes you would there see that the light was of three different colours, as red and blue and yellow, appearing as if the light was of three kinds not one, because in their separation unity would be entirely lost. See how that works in the Universe. You have your three great gunas or attributes through which, as it were, the light comes as through three different glasses, and the one Divine Spirit comes down into manifestation; and it is not only the three gunas that you have but these intermingling one with another, and breaking in a thousand different channels. Then how great must be the differences at the circumference! But how it would lessen the difficulty if men could only see the processes, and know how those results were brought about; if they went further, and if traveling onward they found the divergences greatly diminish, see then how thus going forward, they may come, as it were, near to the one, and reconciliation between Religion and Science may arise. Religion shows everything from the point of the Spirit and proclaims the unity. Scientists show everything from the point of view of diversity and proclaim that, as if in opposition, to the world. But Plato says of the man who can discern the one in the many, that that man he regards as a God; the work of the true spiritual teacher is to show the one under the multiplicity, to make man see the fact of unity underneath diversity, and as science goes forward she also may be used once more to help us, because in passing out of the physical into the super-physical and mental, she is going nearer to Unity."

Read more of Annie Besant's writings here

No comments: