500 years of a West dominated world order has achieved much in terms of improved standards of living. But it has also created some existential threats to humanity such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, pandemic and terrorism. Unless a new paradigm and a new world order emerge, humanity may face a disaster in a not-so-distant future. Can India contribute to prevention of such a disaster?
In his impressive book entitled 'A Concise History of the Modern World' (Abacus 2005) William Woodruff gets to the core of the deficiency of the Enlightenment Era. In the words of the author, during this era, “Outside mathematical quantitative analysis and proof nothing should be believed…Qualitative things such as truth, virtue, courage, beauty or love—the things that could not be expressed in numbers—were largely ignored.” The historian then traces how the western civilisation has led to ‘The Threat of World Anarchy’ and concludes with the sentence, “For myself, I turn from this study of the past five hundred years strengthened in the belief that the human spirit will prevail.”
Once we look to ‘human spirit’ for the rescue, we have to go beyond the era of mathematics and measurement and awaken the divine and the subconscious within us. Here we find some amazing support from Dr. Joseph Murphy in his book ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ (FingerPrints Classics, New Delhi 2020.) As the opening blurb for the book states, “Combining time-honored spiritual wisdom with cutting edge scientific research, Dr. Murphy explains how subconscious mind influences every single thing we do and how, by understanding it and learning to control its incredible power, you can improve the quality of your daily life.”
Dr. Murphy’s approach is scientific as it relies on systematic logic and observations, although it goes beyond the conscious mind to the reality of subconscious mind. As Dr.Murphy notes, “Many scientists realize the true importance of the subconscious mind. Edison, Marconi, Kettering, Poincare, Einstein, and many others have used the subconscious mind. It has given them the insight and the “know-how” for all their great achievements in modern science and industry.” He goes on to say, “Your subconscious mind is in touch with infinite life and boundless wisdom, its impulses and ideas are always lifeward. The great aspirations, inspirations, and visions for a grander and nobler life spring from the subconscious. Your profoundest convictions are those you cannot argue about rationally because they do not come from the conscious mind; they come from your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind speaks to you in intuitions, impulses, hunches, intimations, urges and ideas, and it is always telling you to rise, transcend, grow advance, adventure, and move to greater heights.”
The Indian sages have for centuries talked about and practiced the art of connectivity with the inner self and this was done through Yoga. That has improved many lives and helped the survival of the Indian civilisation despite many vicissitudes. However, because of its economic and military weaknesses, India has been subjugated by external forces and its wisdom has remained ignored not only globally but also domestically. Now time has come to make new history by making the practice of Yoga a mass movement similar to what Gandhi did with the Charkha. All households should spend a few minutes every day practicing Yoga for connectivity with our inner self. This will generate noble thoughts in all sections of the Indian society - political leaders, civil servants, businessmen, teachers, workers, farmers - to do their duty so that India becomes blessed with panchamrita of prosperity, strength, inclusiveness, cleanliness and honesty leading to happiness of all. From its position of strength, India will transmit its practice of Yoga throughout the rest of the world (perhaps in co-operation with the scientific community of the US) so that noble thoughts emerge in all minds and the scourge of existential threats created as a byproduct of the so-called Enlightenment Era can be banished and a new equalitarian harmonious world order established. This combination of science and spirituality would constitute a quantum jump in human evolution and the 21st century could well be India’s.
The author is Chairman of Pahle India Foundation and a former Distinguished Fellow of NITI Aayog
— The opinion/s expressed in the article are that of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the policy or position of this magazine.