Since childhood, I was baffled by the term, spirituality. During my childhood days, the short stories in children’s weeklies, magazines and even newspapers have an image of a spiritual yogi doing meditation or a sage keep on searching for the meaning of life. I always wondered what is their role in our society or their contribution to our world.
What struck me most is the appearance of an aura behind their head to symbolize that they are enlightened ones, those who possess some special kind of knowledge which ordinary people like me don’t possess or even can’t attain.
Spirituality was a realm of mystery to me. A realm filled with complexity which was very difficult to comprehend.
During college days, out of curiosity to know more about the realm of spirituality, I read a book of Osho. I liked his life philosophy. But when I went on reading, I got stunned when I read a chapter in which he described a meditation experience.
When Osho entered the deeper meditation state, he could pass through his current life and enter his previous life. He realized that he was an animal in his previous life. I forgot which animal he was.
It wasn’t over with that. His meditative state was getting deeper and deeper.
At the deepest point of his mediation, he could not only experience and observe his previous life but also he could enter the life preceding his previous birth. I forgot which creature or object he was in the life preceding his previous birth.
After reading the meditation experience of him, only question I asked myself was – which drug he was using while meditating?
Basically, this type of individualistic experiences don’t have any evidence other than the individual’s claim. Normally, subjective experiences without proper evidence or proof are dismissed by scientific community.
I stopped reading spiritual books in general, after reading that book.
Science books on other hand are simple, elegant and brilliant by authors like Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson or Christopher Hitchens. The books are on subjects those are based on facts, logical reasoning and more than anything else, evidence. Even though some scientific terms seem confusing, we can look over internet and clear away the confusion.
Few years ago, when I put a post related to Atheism on Facebook, one of the popular film critics in South India who is in my friends list sent few comments on the post defending religion and spirituality. He was also trying to prove that I was wrong.
His arguments were baseless. When I started giving proper answers to the comments he sent, he started losing his ground. He cleverly quit from the conversation by stating that the idea of god and spirituality is difficult of comprehend by human mind since it belongs to the realm of Metaphysics.
He was right. The concepts of god, religion and spirituality aptly belong to the realm of Metaphysics.
Metaphysics is just a branch of philosophy and not a branch of science like quantum physics or astrophysics.
So, what he conveyed was that concepts like god, religion and spirituality belongs to a branch of philosophy and by stating that, he was basically agreeing with me.
Science doesn’t state that it knows all the answers. Science keeps on searching for answers, finds it and states it with evidence. If any question doesn’t find any answer today, it will be found tomorrow. This is how science works.
Two months ago, I took a break for few weeks from my business and other activities for reading books on alcoholism. I have read few good books on alcoholism by authors like Allen Carr, Annie Grace, Cassandra Gaisford and Russel Brand.
All those books have brought a great impact on my addictive behavior and also the way I looked at life. While every authors took alcoholism in physical, psychological and biological aspects, Russel Brand was handling the menace of alcoholism in spiritual way based on 12 steps program of International Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group.
I was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous group in my hometown for just a month in 2014.
We take birth on this planet without a user’s manual for life in our hands. Human beings make mistakes. And it is normal. When we realize our mistake, we should correct it and move on with our life.
I don’t like to call myself as a sinner. We are not sinners. We are just human beings prone to making mistakes. I didn’t like AA because I couldn’t stand spirituality, prayers and public confessions. I quit the group as soon as I joined it.
Russel brand was an alcohol, drug and sex addict. His addictive behavior brought havoc to his personal as well as professional life. After all the damage he has brought to himself, he realized his mistakes, transformed himself and took back everything he has lost.
I appreciate that. Recovery is a very hard process which requires great commitment and willpower. Presently, I’m going through that phase in my life.
In his book named Recovery, Russel brand states that drugs and alcohol disconnects ourselves from our higher self or higher power. I don’t understand what is this higher power of higher self. Since he was explaining the solution to the problem of addiction through the 12 steps of AA, in reality, reading that book became a boring affair to me. Anyway, I completed reading the book.
After reading every books on alcoholism, I understood the scientific side of alcoholism and from Russel Brand, I got the spiritual perspective of addictions.
After comparing both perspectives, I realized that what Russel Brand stated in his book was right. When he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he was disconnected from his higher self or higher power.
The scientific explanation to that disconnection is this: alcohol is basically a depressant. When we consume alcohol, it depresses our central nervous system. So, when we are under the influence of alcohol, we get disconnected from ourselves. It is a biological process and it is true. The process has been proven with evidence as well. But, for the process of disconnection from the higher self or higher power doesn’t have any evidence other than individualistic claims.
So, I can either say I was frequently consuming an addictive depressant and it was depressing my central nervous system or I can say that alcohol was disconnecting myself from my higher self or higher power. Both the statements sound similar but only the former statement has evidence and the latter one is nothing other than human imagination.
Both religion and spirituality have their origin from Animism, a primitive human belief that everything on this earth like humans, animals, plants and even a piece of rock has a spiritual essence or a soul.
There is no scientific evidence for a soul or a spiritual essence residing inside us. Every complex living beings on earth are run by biochemical reactions inside their body and brain.
Neuroscience can beautifully explain with evidence how our moods, thoughts and even physical actions are triggered by biochemical reactions in our brain.
The quest for finding the purpose or meaning of life is one of the foolish pursuits ever taken by mankind. There is basically no purpose or meaning for human life as a whole on this planet.
When earth’s atmosphere favored situations for bearing and sustaining life, simple life forms like bacteria and fungus took birth on earth. Complex living organisms like humans are a result of billions of years of evolution.
Even today, we are at the mercy of catastrophic events on earth like the one which caused the extinction of dinosaurs 70 millions of years ago.
Today, religions are losing ground worldwide. Gradually, spirituality is taking the role of religion in modern world. It acts as the final crutch of religious people who loves to call themselves as spiritual people today. Soon, spirituality will also start losing its ground and humans come to the realization that it is reality, logical reasoning, facts and evidence matter more than fantasies, myths and subjective fabricated claims.
It is science that is taking humanity forward while spirituality and religion is taking us back to primitive beliefs of Paleolithic Age.