Understanding Mysticism through Quantum Physics

Mysticism is an innate human capacity that manifests based on one’s inner spiritual growth. It is not describable in terms of intellectual knowledge. It is the experience of eternal Self within, conditioned by our dimensionally-limited mind, intelligence, and egoism. Psychology, being the science of mind, comes closer to mysticism than physics, which is closer to biology. Two persons’ mystical experiences cannot be identical.

Swami Vivekananda said that religion is the only science taught as a science of experience, which is termed as ‘mysticism’.1 The book from which this is learned is one’s own mind and heart. This is the real science of religion. But the mind is not an independent entity. Our body is the slave of our mind. The body and the mind, the controller of sense organs, together are tied to the law of causality, which in nature dictates with certainty. This mind, commonly identified as the ego, holds us captive in this world where time, space, and causation rule, thus depriving us of freedom.

Vedanta is a mighty investigation, a grand exploration into one’s own inner world of the Self. It is a scientific quest into the basis and nature of our daily experience, and from an analysis of our daily perceptions, we come upon the profound truth of our life and existence. The supreme goal of human life according to Vedanta is to free this mind from the clutches of nature in the form of space, time, and causality, and is commonly termed as moksha, meaning freedom.

In the words of Aldous Huxley in The Perennial Philosophy, ‘Man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground’.2 A gross illustration of moksha is the escape velocity of an object from earth, whereby the object is freed from earth’s gravitational pull for no-return. This occurs when the kinetic energy of the object—which is equal to half of its mass times square of the velocity— overcomes the earth’s gravitational pull. Similarly, the mind, when it is voluntarily freed from that thraldom to the sensory system becomes

purified, and this higher mind goes beyond the grip of space, time, and causality. So, by denying the senses one can enjoy the spiritual freedom.

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This article was first published in the March 2018 issue of the Prabuddha Bharata, monthly journal of The Ramakrishna Order started by Swami Vivekananda in 1896. This article is courtesy and copyright Prabuddha Bharata. I have been reading the Prabuddha Bharata for years and found it enlightening. Cost is Rs 180/ for one year, Rs 475/ for three years, Rs 2100/ for twenty years. To subscribe