yoga-link.se

yoga-link.se

About the blog

This blog is about both scientific, societal/political, and yoga-related issues - individually and considered as different aspects of the same problem/solution. A longer description is found in the first blog entry, and all old posts are found in a structured way here. The blog is an extension of my main home pages yoga-link.se and isbgroup.eu. Twitter: @gunnarcedersund

After 25 years of preparation, it is at last time to start outlining my worldview

towards an integral worldviewPosted by yoga-link.se Mar 03, 2013 21:02

This is a picture of one of my closest friends, Oskar Ganestål. He left his body yesterday evening, at the age of 46 (here is a facebook summary of our relationship). When sitting thinking about his life, and about what he probably is most proud of in terms of what he leaves behind, I realized that we only do some quite limited number of really important contributions in our lives. This made me realize that it is time at last to stop waiting, and that it at last is time to start on a project that I have prepared for for almost 25 years, both through my scientific and through my yoga careers. I will now, today, at last embark on the project that I think will be one of the most important things that I will do in my life. There is a time and a place for everything, and now it is time at last for this. Thank you Oskar for this inspiration! I look forward to many more inspirations to come as we move along in our ongoing dialogues and creations, in this new phase of our relationship.

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In my life, I have done many things, but I have only had a few long-term dreams and goals. In other words, many of the things I have done, even things that have lasted for several years, have typically just been partial sub-goals to one of these few overall ambitions. Today I have decided that the time has come at last to start to manifest one of these overall goals: to develop and describe, in detail, a leading-edge worldview that combines the state-of-the-art understanding within science with the deepest and most profound understandings within yoga, in a way that helps us evolve as persons and as a society. Now, as an introduction to this effort, I will just start with a blog post explaining why I think that this is so important, how I have prepared for this, and a little bit more details of what this actually will entail.


Picture from my first blog post, where I outlined the vision for this blog: to help stimulate the development of our societal triad: science, worldview and society.

Why is this so important?

So, what I want to do is to outline a worldview – how can that be important!? Well, to start with, our worldviews are important, because they are, almost by definition, the underlying processes that guides and determines all things that we do. In other words, if you want to change what you do in a certain situation – change how you think about that situation. And in the same way, if you want to help stimulate the evolution of a society, help stimulate the evolution of its worldview.

At this point, I also want to add that the particular worldview that I will develop is something that will integrate many things that currently are opposing each other. For instance, many of the troubles that we have in our society are due to religion, and this in itself is due to the fact that people within different faiths do not have the tools and concepts to understand and relate to each other in a compassionate fashion. In particular people with a materialistic worldview have a hard time understanding people who don’t, and especially for this latter situation, I think that I will bring some pieces to the table that will be helpful to some. Regarding this, I also have the feeling that many people somehow are trapped in a feeling that it is scientifically proven that materialism is the only available worldview, and who therefore are afraid of, or perhaps even attacking, their own or other peoples’ spiritual urges. This also leads to corresponding conflicts within different factions and goals within our society. I hope that some of the things I will outline here will bring peace to some of these conflicts, both within and between people. Ultimately, I think and hope that such a peace will help us to bring a more sensible agenda to our society – where goals having to do with economic growth will be considered secondary, and where things having to do with our psychological and spiritual growths will be considered primary. Such a change can only happen if we publically stop thinking that these latter goals are meaningless mumbo-jumbo, and that stopping can – I think – only happen if we make peace between science and spirituality. For all these reasons, I think that it is utterly important that we develop a worldview that encompasses science and spirituality in a harmoniously co-existing and co-evolving whole.

At home in the universe, a book by Stuart Kauffman, made me realize that I needed to explore the emerging field of systems biology, apart from theoretical physics, to produce a really credible and leading-edge worldview. Picture from Amazon.


How have I prepared for this, and how does this relate to other efforts?

As I mentioned above, this thing I am about to embark on now is one of the few long-term goals I have had in my life, and I have in a way prepared for it since I was 10 years old, when I first started to explore yoga (via a book that my father brought home by chance). That book led me to start a yoga practice, and it also led me to explore eastern philosophies, and to create the first bases for my current worldview. For some time, this eastern-inspired worldview co-existed with the purely materialistic worldview that I had gotten “by osmosis” from my surroundings, and during this time I tried to explain all things that happened to me in both worldviews. However, after a while, I realized that explanations became so much more awkward and extreme/unrealistic in the purely materialistic worldview that I gradually dropped this habit. This dropping was also caused by the fact that I after a while started to realize that the purely materialistic worldview is not the only one consistent with a state-of-the-art scientific understanding, but that there are many options of how to expand the partial insights and hardcore pieces to the puzzle that are produced within science into a complete worldview – and that several such worldviews can be constructed that are more or less identical with the one I had. (here, however, I must stress that there also are many worldviews and statements that are inconsistent with a scientific state-of-the-art understanding) I also realized that physics was at the heart of this, since therein our scientific understanding of the world has reached its highest level, and since it is from physics that many of the strangest and – for me – most important pieces to the puzzle originates. Therefore, I realized that I needed to study physics, to be able to understand these pieces fully, and to be able to explain these things – these different possible interpretations of the state-of-the-art understandings within physics – in a way that went beyond typical new age mumblings to statements made with the authority of somebody who has actually understood these things. Understood these things as good as anybody has understood them. Therefore, I took a master in theoretical physics, and now – in the last years – I have actually also started to go back to the research frontier within theoretical physics (more on this later). However, apart from this research in physics, I also realized that I needed to dive into a corresponding state-of-the-art understanding of systems theory, and its applications to biology: biology in general, but ultimately also to psychology. This latter task, systems biology, I have spent the last 10 years of my life to, and now I have also launched a Ph.D. student who is doing systems biology of human psychology. I have also realized that I have needed to first establish myself as a scientist, before I can start to embark on these more fringe and in some peoples’ eyes suspicious activities. Nevertheless, since all of these things now are starting to come together, I at last feel that I am ready to start writing putting all of them together, in a public place. The final push was, as I wrote above, the death of my friend yesterday.

Finally, some short comparisons of how the way I have tried to prepare myself goes beyond what other people have done before. First, there are quite a few medial people, who in various ways have reached a self-proclaimed level of enlightenment, and then simply explained how the world works. I am now thinking of people like Hicks/Abraham, Neale Donald Walsh, Martinus, Rudolph Steiner, Anandamurti, etc. Many of these people claim their frameworks as scientific, but neither of them they have used the scientific method, linked their insights with established scientific theories, or published their results in scientific journals. There are, however, another group of people who have gone much further in this scientific direction. The most important of these is, in my opinion, Ken Wilber, who have produced a rather comprehensive theoretical framework, and who also links a profound understanding of meditation and associated insights with a profound and up-to-date understanding of many of the branches within science. However, Wilber is not a scientist himself, and does not publish in scientific literature. He can therefore be ignored by the scientific community. Finally, there are of course a few scientists within science who also take a bigger perspective. Unfortunately, very few of those are active within the field of philosophy, which for some reason has abdicated from its search for the bigger over-arching quests and now only deals with nit-picky details (please enlighten me if you are aware of interesting exceptions!). There are, on the other hand a few theoreticians that are worth mentioning, e.g. physicists and mathematicians Roger Penrose, Stuart Kauffman, Norbert Wiener, etc. However, none of these have created frameworks that are particularly similar to what I intend to outline here, and this is because they typically are more less ignorant of psychological phenomena, meditation, and related issues.

Ken Wilber, one of the most important pre-cursors to what I will develop, since he is one of the few who both has a well-developed understanding for meditation and science, and since he is seeking to create, and argue for the importance of, a worldview that incorporates both these two things. Here he shows how one could do research on people that are advanced in meditation - a thing that I am very much planning for myself. I just need to train sufficiently many advanced students first!


So, what is it that I will do?

After this little introduction, I will now start to post various blog posts that will contain pieces to a puzzle that will become a more-or-less complete worldview. This will not be a final and non-evolving worldview, since that is not a feature of a scientific worldview. It will, however, be leading-edge (meaning that several of the things will not have been said before, elsewhere, and that several things will contain very recent understandings). Most importantly, the worldview here is being constructed to be internally consistent, and to cover the integration between all the main areas of life, which most notably includes both the inner and the outer worlds. Some of things I will say will be ordinary mainstream scientific results, and some will be outside. Some of the things that I describe here will be standard spiritual knowledge, some will be less widely known – and the latter certainly concerns ways to link these spiritual statements with a scientific framework. I will try to clearly specify what is what, and also to try to explain how the things that are not yet mainstream science, still does not imply a violation of the things that actually are said within science – how also these things lie within the allowed range of science-consistent worldviews.

Now in these early posts I will start by covering really basic things, but which will be necessary for all future developments. I will, e.g., deal with the question of how a combination of science and spirituality such as the one I propose here even can exist in principle, what a meaningful definition of the word God could be (and how the proposed definition still can be useful when reading spiritual texts). With these things in place, I will then use some 8-10 posts to step-by-step outline a mechanistic interpretation of the widely hyped principle called “the law of attraction”. This outlining will include several other important building-blocks, such as the relation between free will and physical laws, how the word vibration can be interpreted in a meaningful way, how thoughts relate to objects, how thoughts relate to each other, etc. With these things in place, there are many ways to move ahead, and this is decided a little bit less in detail.

Apart from these blog posts, I will probably also post short summaries as youtube-videos, and also collect all of these things in a more connected and detailed description in a book. The things that are possible to publish in scientific journals will of course also be published there. As time evolves, some of those publications will for sure also involve scientific studies on the effects of - and the mechanisms exploited by - yoga and meditation!

Are you excited? I know that I am!



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