Prof Ravi Ravindra – Science and the Sacred


 
What is the nature of reality according to scientific researchers and spiritual searchers?

 

The relationship between Science and the Sacred lies at the core of the Scientific and Medical Network’s concerns, and Prof Ravi Ravindra has devoted his life to a deep exploration of their relationship in the company of spiritual teachers such as Krishnamurti and Mme Jeanne de Salzmann. His studies have made him one of the pre-eminent global scholar-sages in this field. 

This Masterclass is a unique opportunity to deepen your own insights in a systematic and profound journey into the nature of reality as assumed by scientific researchers and spiritual searchers, including their practices, the aims of their undertakings, and the qualities of their being.

 

Introduction to the course

In this set of webinars we will explore not what gets dogmatically classified as ‘science’ or as ‘religion’. The emphasis will be more on the goals, intentions, attitudes and practices of the people engaged in scientific research or spiritual search. The purpose of spiritual search is a radical transformation of the searchers in order for them to be free of their egoistic self for discovering their essential unity with the Highest Reality variously called God, Brahman, Absolute or simply That. The assumption in the spiritual teachings is that the whole cosmos has been created or emanates from energies or forces at the highest level of consciousness. As a consequence, as spiritual searchers evolve, they naturally exude compassion, love, sense of service, and a feeling of unity with everyone. In the enterprise of scientific research, the effort is to get more and more accurate knowledge of the laws governing the external universe based on the assumption that everything in the cosmos has evolved from matter without consciousness. In scientific research the person needs to be out of the way and the quality of being of the scientist is irrelevant. Some highly regarded scientists have been wonderful human beings and some quite self-centered and fearful.  And for some great scientists, scientific research itself has been a spiritual path.

This set of webinars is intended for anybody interested in the two major needs of the human soul, namely meaning and knowledge. It is not necessary but it can be helpful if the participants can read the book ‘Science and the Sacred’ by Ravi Ravindra.

Four Sessions:

Session 1: Assumptions, Procedures and aims of Spiritual Search and Scientific Research

Physics has been the queen of the sciences since the 16th century and the underlying assumption in that field is that the whole of the cosmos and all beings in it emerge by evolution from matter without any consciousness. In the spiritual domain the underlying assumption is that the entire cosmos emerges by involution from the highest level of consciousness variously labeled as Brahman, God, Absolute or simply That.
The purpose of scientific research is to gather more and more knowledge about the universe, hoping ultimately to lead to a single unified theory of everything. The quality of being of the scientist is irrelevant to the value of their research. In spiritual search, the only relevant knowledge is that which transforms the quality of being of the searcher, ultimately hoping to experience oneness with That, something extremely rarely achieved in human history.

 

Session 2: Similarities and Differences between Scientific Knowledge and Spiritual Knowledge

It is a common understanding in spiritual teachings that there are many levels of reality subtler than the mind.  There is therefore always a call to quieten the mind. The first avenue to spiritual knowledge is purified feeling of receptivity, free of any wish to impose a mental construct on reality or to control it. Spiritual knowledge, unlike scientific knowledge, is based on insights coming from beyond thought and received through a silent mind, and is therefore free of the necessary restrictions imposed by the mind, such as of time sequence. A classic example is Christ’s remark in John 8.57, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”  The fundamental requirement for spiritual knowing is freedom from one’s egoistic self.  This requires a radical transformation of the whole being of the searcher.  The starting point for this transformation is impartial and steady self-awareness which is the main mechanism of self-transformation.  There is no such requirement of a scientific researcher. Also, spiritual knowledge, unlike scientific knowledge, is gained by an increased feeling of closeness between the knower and what is to be known.

 

Session 3:  Spirituality without Scientific Knowledge is Ineffective, but Science without Spiritual Perception is Insignificant.”

Spiritual work is necessary for finding the meaning of my life. Given the obvious fact that I did not create myself, each human being wonders why have the extremely large forces have created me with the extremely delicate laws running the universe, and only for a few decades? Scientific knowledge is wholly occupied with the external universe. But that knowledge is obviously necessary for our survival and for being able to communicate with other human beings and take care of the planet on which we live. But however much I may know about the external universe, unless I have some understanding of my raison d’être, I feel a deep dissatisfaction inside.  Scientists are occupied with experiments whereas spiritual searchers are concerned with experience which has a very different meaning Science would better serve the spiritual potential of the human race by acknowledging the inherent limits of its domain, as is acknowledged by some of the greatest scientists.

 

Session 4: Can Science be a Spiritual Path?

It is obvious that scientists are human beings before they are scientists. They also experience love and seeing a close friend die, they also wonder what happens when what I usually call myself will die. Many great scientists were and are very spiritually oriented. Precisely because of their large knowledge of the cosmos, they are able to appreciate the limitation of scientific knowledge and feel the call to be free of being excessively attached to our usual transient self. As Einstein said, “The scientists’ religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”

About the speaker:

Professor Ravi Ravindra is a native of India, he emigrated to Canada and is Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he served for many years as a professor in three Departments: Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Physics. He was a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Simla, and Founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge. He has been a member of the Board of Judges for the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He is an honorary member of the Scientific and Medical Network. Ravindra’s spiritual search has led him to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, G. Gurdjieff, Yoga, Zen, and a deep immersion in the mystical teachings of the Indian and Christian traditions. He is the author of many books on religion, science, and spiritual disciplines, including:

‘The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism (American edition of The Yoga of the Christ)’

‘Krishnamurti: Two Birds on One Tree Science and the Sacred’

‘Pilgrim Without Boundaries’

‘The Spiritual Roots of Yoga’

‘The Wisdom of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras’

‘The Pilgrim Soul: Path to the Sacred Transcending World Religions’

‘Heart Without Measure: Gurdjieff Work with Madame de Salzmann’

‘The Bhagavad Gita: Guide to Navigating the Battle of Life’

Ravi is the Series Editor of an eight-volume series dealing with The Inner Journey in the major spiritual traditions of the world.

 


TICKETS

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Date

Aug 07 2021
Expired!

Time

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Aug 07 2021
  • Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Category

Speaker

  • Ravi Ravindra
    Ravi Ravindra
    Teacher and Author

    Professor Ravi Ravindra is a native of India, he emigrated to Canada and is Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he served for many years as a professor in three Departments: Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Physics. He was a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Simla, and Founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge. He has been a member of the Board of Judges for the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He is an honorary member of the Scientific and Medical Network. Ravindra’s spiritual search has led him to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, G. Gurdjieff, Yoga, Zen, and a deep immersion in the mystical teachings of the Indian and Christian traditions. He is the author of many books on religion, science, and spiritual disciplines, including:

    ‘The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism (American edition of The Yoga of the Christ)’

    ‘Krishnamurti: Two Birds on One Tree Science and the Sacred’

    ‘Pilgrim Without Boundaries’

    ‘The Spiritual Roots of Yoga’

    ‘The Wisdom of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras’

    ‘The Pilgrim Soul: Path to the Sacred Transcending World Religions’

    ‘Heart Without Measure: Gurdjieff Work with Madame de Salzmann’

    ‘The Bhagavad Gita: Guide to Navigating the Battle of Life’

    Ravi is the Series Editor of an eight-volume series dealing with The Inner Journey in the major spiritual traditions of the world.

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