Gyan on religion (was Re: ca[r]rol and lou on religion)

TheRevWilliams at TheRevWilliams at
Wed Dec 27 01:52:38 MST 2000

Gyan wrote

> In socialist society of future, social conciousness
>  will control social production in contrast to
>  present anarchy. Human being will become master of
>  their own society unlike now. In same manner, on
>  individual level, yoga (religion) is attempt at
>  gaining concious control of mind and body. Mind
>  is like child, it run everywhere. So instead of
>  being slave of bodily desire/need and mind, a
>  yogi get complete control of them. And become
>  their master. And become free. This is real
>  meaning of religion.

    Yoga might be an attempt to gain control over mind and body, but that is
not the aim of all religions.  In fact, some (possibly most) religions don't
seem to have a direct aim.  Christianity for example.  The aim would be to
follow the teachings of Christ, which can be interpreted in many different
ways.  An example I enjoy is Charles Manson's belief that the four horsemen
mentioned in Revelations are the Beatles.
    What does a yogi use to control his mind and body, if not their very mind
and body?

>  For example, in Hatha Yoga (physical yoga exercise
>  popular in west), control is sought over bodily
>  organs. An expert can conciously control bodily
>  organ and function like lower breathing and heart
>  rate. Here, conciousness is controling matter
>  (reverse of being controlling conciousness). Modern
>  science has no explanation like western science cannot
>  explain acupuncture of China. But acupuncture is
>  practised in China quite sucessfuly.

    Why would one wish to have control over things like heart rate?  Except
in rare occasions, I don't see that as having any useful purpose.
    I don't know much about acupuncture, or scientific experiments concerning
it, but just cause modern science does not have an answer, it does not mean
that their isn't one.  If this was the case, science would claim to have
discovered the reason behind everything...this is far from the truth.  Could
acupuncture's success be attributed to the placebo affect?  If I remember
correctly, the placebo affect can create visible results around 40% of
people.  I have even heard of placebo operations being done that have led to
the individual not needing to have the real operation performed.

>  Ordinary human being with limited sense organs and
>  scientific intruments percive only very limited
>  area or range of reality. So with this limited
>  vision, cannot extrapolate to how reality functions
>  in other realms or overall. Also, it is mistake
>  to pass comment on what is materialism and what is
>  not using this simple minded, partial, limited
>  vision.

    Mankind can never know anything beyond our senses.  We may be able to
discover and study things not directly perceivable (such as the proton,
neutron, and electron that make up atoms) but we can do so through indirect
methods that utilize our senses.
    One may bring up the point that we can imagine things that we have never
experienced, but all these things are synthesized through things that we have
experienced.  Try to imagine a color that does not exist.  One probaly
encounters the essential 'parts' (sounds, colors, shapes, scents, etc.) that
will be seen over and over again for the rest of one's life, simply in
different arrangements.

>  According to Raja Yoga (whom anyone can try to
>  practise and test for themself), there are
>  gross vibrations which can be perceive ordinarily
>  and then there are subtle vibration in this
>  universe which can be perceive only in higher
>  state of conciousness. Actually, there is hiearchy
>  from gross to more and more subtle vibration. There
>  are different planes of perception and so existence.
>  Yogic practise can enable one to access this different
>  planes and experience other things not in realm of
>  ordinary existence.

    Couldn't one describe hallucinations as presiding upon a different plane
of existence?  When they are simply a result of things that occur within the
brain, not within another plane of existence, or outside of this very one.

>  One analogy is human ear cannot hear very high freq
>  sounds which animals hear. So Marxists have to be more
>  sophisticated and take open minded science attitude
>  when discusing religion.

    I agree, we must always keep an open mind, and not only concerning
religion.  But keeping an open mind does not mean a lack of criticism, simply
a lack of dogmatism.  This is the main reason why I enjoy engaging in
discussions with people who have viewpoints opposed to makes me
think, and question my present beliefs.


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