(Cover Image & Source: Krishna and Arjuna @ The Hindu FAQs)
…In the last ten years or so, when I was dealing with spiritual themes related to philosophy and the theory of traditional world religions and beliefs and their relationship to secular topics related to science and art; I came to some new insights that I would probably never thought about if I was tied exclusively to popular science, which I practiced my entire life and for which I sacrificed all my time and creativity.
And I don’t regret being so long only in scientific waters, not only as a chemist (which is my profession), but also for the great interest for all popular sciences through books, television and internet media. But all the time I had the impression that all the sciences of this world or any of the books I could read could not give me all the answers I was looking for. Of course, to make it clear, I knew you can’t get the answers to all the questions, and that behind each answer comes a new question. Once I had read in a book about the Kabbalah an interesting anecdote on the subject of asking questions and giving answers (Kabbalah is a Jewish esoteric philosophy, a Jewish way of seeing the mystic world, most closely related to their sacred books, like the famous Torah):
Someone once asked a Jew:
“Why do you Jews always answer the question with another question?”
“Why not?”, the Jew replied.
Sailing in these spiritual waters and reading books from various areas of esoteric or religious mysticism, more and more questions came to my mind, and despite the fact that I couldn’t always get a satisfying and simple answer, I was still more satisfied with those kind of answers in comparison to the days when I was concerned only with the things connected to the popular science.
I came to the conclusion that all that you are doing in your life has to be creative, in the presence of the spirit, the same one that is glorified by all the religions of the world, both institutionally and tribal organised, related to the ancient symbolism and which have for centuries idolised Mother Nature. This Spirit is written with the capital letter because it represents a whole, it is the spirit of the whole world and the universe, connected both to the material and the spiritual world. And also, we have the spirit that we write with the small letters, and by that, I mean of the spirit of each of us personally, or our soul (the spiritual and eternal part of our being).
In books of spirituality, I have learned a lot about this world, about the worlds that existed before and which will exist in the future. Of the worlds at a lower material level, and those at a higher spiritual level. And as many interpretations of various mystics, philosophers and prophets differentiated and changed through human history, essentially all of them talk about the same things but in different ways from their point of view. After all, how could it be so different, when there are no two human beings on this planet who are thinking in the same way. This is not the case even among identical twins. They may be identical on the physical, emotional, and mental level, but not on the spiritual one. Every man is special in his own way, he is a separate individual.
One of the big questions of which many religions are arguing today because they can’t find the right answer is whether there is one God or several gods. Monotheists are convinced that there is only one God, the creator of Heaven and Earth, and that there are no other gods around Him (although God can be a Goddess too, because the concept of God can not be related to a particular sex). God can be seen as the one who possesses both sexes or none of them, and the probable reason why God is spoken in a male form is due to the fact that the authors of the sacred books lived in a predominantly patriotic-dominating society (which is more or less the same case in the modern world).
Isn’t it, however, written in Torah, the Bible or the Qur’an that the first God’s commandment which God said to Moses:
“I am Yahweh your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.”(Jewish Torah)
“I am the Lord your God, do not have other gods beside me!” ( Christian Bible, and similar version is in the Muslim Qur’an)
This is what Monotheistic and Western-oriented religious institutions have to say.
But what about all the Eastern philosophies and esoteric?
What do they say about the existence of higher powers and divine (read spiritual) beings?
In the opinions of Hindu mystics and prophets, they believe in the existence of the whole group of gods, the entire Pantheon; which is not particularly strange as it is the oldest existing religion of the world, estimated six to seven thousand years old. And anyone who has ever read or learned about religions and beliefs should know that all ancient religions were polytheistic. People believed in many gods and displayed them as enlightened beings with human traits and supernatural powers.
The oldest and most divine Hindu books, the Vedas (which in old Sanskrit language means knowledge) speak of these beings (chief god Brahman and his assistants Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Hanuman, Surya etc.) and their supernatural powers. In their sacred writings and epics (like Ramayana and Mahabharata) are also mentioned great heroes (like Rama) and avatars (God’s messengers on Earth, the incarnation of God in man, like Krishna).
All in all, one whole great happy divine family.
When I think of the Hindu conceptions of the world, their Pantheon always reminds me of the Pantheon of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
And what about all those religions that don’t accept the existence of God or the gods, or they don’t have special opinion on that issue. Such atheistic, agnostic and anti-religious beliefs that are so many in this world. From the most popular Buddhism (spiritual teachings of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, the “Indian” prince), Taoism (philosophical and spiritual teachings of the Chinese philosopher and mystic Lao Tzu), Maniheism, Confucianism, Jainism, etc. Also, there are many so called primitive and pagan tribal beliefs in the world.
All in all, when I thought about all of this concerning the idea of spiritual beliefs and the (non)existence of God or gods, I came to one idea. My opinion is that the real truth is somewhere between the hypotheses of all these great mystics and prophets, which does not mean that you have to agree with me (I represent the theory that everyone has the right to their opinion and life, I believe in the free will of each individual). In essence, opinion of every mystic or religious human being is right (and in particular I mean the opposed monotheists and polytheists) because God is one and all.
The concept of God can be observed in two different ways. He is one, because He makes one whole. He is all that exists, on a material and spiritual level, He is all visible and invisible; what it was, what it is and what it will be (even do at the spiritual levels there is no concept of space and time).
But He is also every part of that entity, each of its components. He is every living being; every man, animal, and plant is one small god that lives as a part of that entity. Every stone, every river, sea and mountain, and all that we consider to be nonliving is part of Him, His unconscious part. It is as if you are talking about God as a great forest.
Each forest, as a whole, consists of its parts, living beings and nonliving things. And as the forest as a whole can not exist without its parts (each and every small flower, insect or stone is essential), so any of its components can not live without a forest as a whole. To each insect or flower, forest provides the food, water and shelter from wind and storm. I think that is the case with the God. He is one and all. That is why I think every mystic or religious person is right when they represent their basic hypothesis, but they are also wrong because they think that only their opinions are correct and that the other’s opinions are wrong. These are also one of the reasons for constant conflicts and wars, at least when religion is concerned.