Whether meditation can be brought under the purview of physics has rattled many. But common belief holds that meditation has a lot of mumbo-jumbo. The book starts with several assertions of all-time compelling physicists like Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, Louis Broglie, Sir Arthur Eddington, Stephen Hawking and philosophers like Karl Popper. The book does not elaborate on meditation but instead dwells on four cardinal precepts of physics–the special theory of relativity, the general theory of relativity, the observer in quantum theory and non-locality in quantum theory to conform ‘oneness’–coalition of physics and meditation. ‘The technique of meditation is entirely scientific and is devoid of any mysticism, irrationality or hocus-pocus. It is scientific in the purest sense of the world’, establishes the author Dr Glen P Kezwer. The mind and the body of the meditator are the apparatus.
The author believes, ‘The description of reality which emerges through the practice of meditation matches a knowledge which many people have already understood at some deep, essential level of their being’–a déjà vu effect indeed. About what goaded and intrigued into writing this book, Glen says, ‘I somehow sensed that behind the multitude of phenomena which the physicist investigates there must be some essential underlying reality that is unchanging and all-encompassing…..I believed that an understanding of the deeper knowledge whose existence I sensed, would bring with it an end to the pain and suffering I perceived both within myself and all around me. Here I was not considering physical pain, but rather unhappiness brought about by the thinking process, which seemed to me to be the predominant type of pain from which people suffered’. The writer and his wife reeled under wanderlust –‘October of the following year found us in northern India where we happened upon the laboratory of meditation and its chief scientist, Swami Shyam’
The distinction between a physicist and a meditator is rather subtle and emphatic–the physicist puts his attention on the objective side of reality whereas the meditator puts his attention on the subject (that is, on that which is doing the observation). The author proves the various stages of meditation to be verily science. The author draws analogy between a scientific process and the so perceived rigmaroles of meditation. The author is particularly adoptive of Karl Popper’s scientific method that found support from Albert Einstein with a rebuttal. ‘It is the scientist him or himself, however who must decide what the ultimate goals of research are to be’.
Many readers initially would be misled to preconceive the purpose of the book. ‘My objective in writing this book is not to show that the findings of modern physics “prove” that the description of the world which comes thorough meditation is correct……In fact, I do not intend to touch upon at all the subject of religion or mysticism. Instead my objective is to demonstrate that the process of meditation and the worldview which emerges from its practice are scientific, and that meditation should therefore be recognised as a full-fledged rigorous discipline and granted its proper place in the world of science’. The author follows an astute catechism of the necessity to exhort to ‘oneness’. The book carries ample illustrations to etch the crisp essence of scientific experiments and concepts. One illustration reads, ‘Parallel evolution of knowledge in the laboratories of Physics and Oneness’. The author asserts, ‘Anyone who simply undertakes the practice of meditation has entered that laboratory’. Several accounts and anecdotes have a riveting effect upon the reader.
Though the book is primarily targeted at men of science with a holistic bent of mind, layperson with scientific fervour too can relish relinquishing some intriguing questions they would stumble upon. The book scythes through the entire genesis of the present day science – Michelson Morley experiment refuting the phenomenal ether, Fizeau effect, stellar aberration, Michael Faraday, Newtonian mechanics, Max Planck’s Quantum theory to the Special theory of relativity. All this to find a semblance between the agenda of science and meditation – to establish a unity, merging into ‘oneness’. This made the scientist-philosopher and erstwhile President of India APJ Abdul Kalam to read the chapter on ‘Quantum Theory: non-locality and interject upon its last paragraph – ‘That is me; That is you; That is all there is’.
(Sterling Paperbacks, A-59, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-II, New Delhi-11002)