With scientists as the modern-day priests, atheism has become the new fundamentalism. May God save us from such well-meaning people.
I was recently informed that one of my congregational members had abandoned her daily practices after reading a book which claimed that Krishna was a myth. Not only that, but the book claimed that the legend of Krishna was merely one of 16 similar myths throughout history. Not only that, but that Krishna was also crucified on a cross between two thieves!
I came across the book that puts forward this theory many years ago. It’s based on a Victorian, anti-Hindu essay, and I am very surprised that it is still in circulation. You would think that such ideas would have lost their currency as time has elapsed and further information has become available.
But I guess I’m biased. For the past 35 years I’ve been a member of an organisation here in Britain that has published and sold over 100 million books dealing with the subject of eastern metaphysics, Vedanta philosophy, yoga, meditation, – and Krishna. You’d think that such a lot of published information would serve to balance out some of the more creative speculations of particular authors.
But we live in a world where disbelief is the new belief. Cynicism is the way forward. And every idea must first be tested and approved by scientists. Only then can we consume such ideas and make them a part of our world view. In particular, the notion of a transcendent intelligence. To hold an idea of God to be reality without such approval is to be guilty of self-delusion, irrationality, and emotional dependence. And there’s a long list of scientific professionals that are lining up to inform you of your delusion.
First in the queue is the neuro-scientist, who will inform you that God is merely a short-circuit within part of the brain that is responsible for ‘religious’ experiences.
Second in line is the biochemist who will inform you that certain mental states, including certain ‘ecstatic moods’ – which you’ve experienced at times of emotional need in connection with religious atmospheres – can be reproduced, to order, by a few grams of a special psychotropic formula.
Then comes the psychologist, who will inform you that the very idea of God is the mental projection of a deep need for ultimate certainty in an otherwise uncertain world.
Next comes the psychotherapist, who will tell you that yes, for certain, your belief in God is because your mother always told you to say your prayers and that you imbibed her ideas in childhood and accepted them as your own.
Then comes the anthropologist who will explain that primitive people have always believed in God because it helped to form a social glue that kept them from all killing each other. As a useful idea it has been preserved within human society, but now that we have moved away from such primitive behaviour God should be relegated to distant history.
Next up is the archaeologist, who will explain that the ancient scriptures that are the basis of all the world’s religions are largely amalgamations of such myths that the anthropologist has just been explaining.
Third from last comes the best-selling author who comes to you with a copy of his ‘explosive new book’ that combines all the views of all the scientists into a book that rips apart everything held sacred since the beginning of recorded history. He will explain what we used to think, but what we now know.
Second from the end of the line comes the well-read secondary school chemistry teacher, who always wanted to be a proper scientist but didn’t quite get the grades, who naturally listens to all of the above and teaches your children.
Finally comes the well-meaning friend, the earnest guest at dinner parties, the constant voice of ‘reason’, who just wants you to be better informed so that you can think more logically and be ‘happier in yourself’, not ‘using religion as a crutch.’
With all these well-meaning people in the world, it’s a wonder that anyone, anywhere, even so much as dares to think that God might be real. And yet they do.
Not only that, but many westerners – who should know better – are taking to the path of bhakti-yoga, the tried and tested forms of sacred discipline that result in something known as Krishna consciousness. Not only that, but some of them are – gasp – scientists.
That’s right. Even physicists, astro-physicists, pharmacists, biochemists, neurologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists are taking up bhakti-yoga. How do I know? They write to me and tell me.
Strange as it may seem, each of them – who, supposedly, should also know better – practise their scientific disciplines in harmony with a sacred worldview. They do it because they don’t automatically presume, as many colleagues do, that they are mutually exclusive. Mutual harmony, not diametric opposition, is the rule of their intellectual lives, and they are much the better for it. And they tell me so.
So please, my dear readers, don’t waste time with those authors who have no other business than telling you their latest theory and pocketing your hard-earned money and time along with it. Theories come along like the number 42 bus – there’ll be another one along in a minute. Follow the practices of Krishna consciousness according to the guidelines and you will experience first-hand, scientific, confirmation of the reality of Krishna.