Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Out of Body, Out of Mind

Locked In An Empty Room

World views matter.  Ultimately, when world views become shared and part of the common culture, they shape society powerfully.  The consequences eventually reflect the fundamental principles and application of the dominant world view to life itself: its mores, its laws, its practices, and its produce.

The Christian world view, grounded upon the Living God and His Son, shaped Western civilisation for over a thousand years.  It produced many benefits and fruits which are taken for granted in the West.  Now, however, the West has been moving deliberately to cut the birth cord.  It wants to retain the fruits of Western civilization, without its Christian foundation.  However, without the Christian centre, the periphery cannot hold.

Vishal Mangalwadi has written a book on how the Bible created the soul and body of Western civilization.  In it he argues that the dominant world view of his home country, India is largely responsible for the historical backwardness of India.

Like Europe, my country [India] had religious communes and genius inventors.  Why, then, did we fail to develop clocks or an indigenous tradition of mechanical engineering?  What we lacked was the biblical worldview.  We did not see the universe as an intelligent creation.  We saw it either as divine or as a dream, but not as a real creative product of intellect, will, and work.  Because of this worldview, our monks did not spend intellectual energy to master and manage time.  They spent their years finding ways to escape the endless wheel of time (Samsara) through mind-emptying mediation.  Their goal was to escape work, not make it easier.  [Vishal Mangalwadi, The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (Nashville, Tn: Thomas Nelson, 2011),  p. 107]
When the regnant world view is to organize one's life to escape this world certain consequences are inevitable.
Our monks did not develop technical aids to improve their eyesight [as monks in the west had done].  They took pride in closing even perfectly good eyes in meditation.  Even today our yogis "fly" to distant galaxies in "out-of-body" experiences.  The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the promoter of Transcendental Meditation in the West, popularized one of the yogic techniques of levitation through mediation in corporate America.  Why would anyone invent airplanes if he can fly using daydreams? [Ibid., p.108]

Why, indeed?

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