Science and Mysticism: The Cosmic Wave

By Susmit Kumar, Ph. D

Although human civilization can be traced back thousands of years, our scientific and technological knowledge was very limited until two or three centuries ago. This limited knowledge caused us to mystify most physical phenomena and to attribute them to heavenly entities.

In some civilizations earthquakes were explained as being caused by the rumblings of the large snake which held the Earth on its head. And those performing so-called miracles (acts generally unknown or unfamiliar) gained popularity and admiration. Fakes, who defrauded people by performing tricks, also gained some influence. However, in general people followed the paths of those truly endowed with spiritual powers – Krishna, Jesus, and Mohammed.

While the recent advances in scientific and technological knowledge has led to an increase in worldly comforts, we have also witnessed increased skepticism among the scientific community about what we commonly call miracles, parapsychology, or extrasensory perception (ESP).

If we are unable to explain such phenomena by current scientific laws, we automatically assume they are fraudulent. But in making this assumption we disregard the limited nature of our scientific knowledge. In fact, science has discovered only a small fraction of the laws of nature, and our knowledge is always growing. The sun, for example, has generated energy through nuclear fission for billions of years, but our scientific knowledge of fission was developed only recently by Albert Einstein. About four hundred years ago, Galileo was able to see the Moon’s craters and Jupiter’s satellites through the telescope, which he invented. But his telescope is primitive compared to the Hubble telescope, which is able to see the birth of new galaxies billions of light years from the Earth. The Hubble telescope will in turn be primitive compared to the telescopes of the future. Similarly, more information can be stored on computer hard disks than ever before. At last count, we were able to store five billion bits of data per square inch. And the speed of data transmission has reached one billion bits of data per second.

Such scientific wonders were inconceivable only a few decades ago, and in the future scientific achievements are going to advance even further, both in speed and accuracy. How many and what kind of discoveries await us in the near future is unknown. Furthermore, what are termed miracles today may be explained by a new kind of science in the future.

Electromagnetic Waves

The similarity between physical and spiritual laws is found in the phenomenon of waves.

The electromagnetic spectrum was discovered this century. Visible light, radio and television waves, and X-rays can all be defined as electromagnetic waves. These waves are emitted, transmitted and absorbed in discrete energy packets called quanta, and they travel at the speed of light (300,000 kilometers per second). Max Planck, Nobel Prize winner in physics in 1918, introduced his quantum theory in 1900, which later led to the field of quantum physics.

The human eye can see only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The wavelengths of visible light lie within the range of approximately 400 to 700 nanometers (one meter = 1,000,000,000 nm). Different parts of the visible spectrum create different colors. The approximate ranges for different visible colors are as follows:

400 to 450 nm Violet
450 to 500 nm Blue
500 to 550 nm Green
550 to 600 nm Yellow
600 to 650 nm Orange
650 to 700 nm Red

The energy of a "quantum" depends on its frequency. The relationship between these two quantities can be written as follows:

energy of the quantum = h x (frequency of the wave),

Here h equals Planck’s Constant. Hence, the greater the frequency of an electromagnetic wave, the greater the energy of the quantum. For this very reason, ultraviolet rays, x-rays and gamma rays are harmful, and longer exposure to them can lead to skin cancer and other diseases.

The portion of the wave that repeats itself is equal to one wavelength. "Frequency" is defined as the number of times a second a wavelength is repeated. The speed of a wave is equal to the product of its wavelength and its frequency:

speed = (wavelength) x (frequency).

The speed of all electromagnetic waves is equal to the speed of light.

During a radio broadcast, sounds at the radio station are first converted into the electromagnetic waves of a particular frequency and then transmitted. At the receiving end, the radio captures the electromagnetic waves of a radio station by tuning into its particular frequency and then converting the electromagnetic waves into sound. TV stations use a similar principle; they convert both sound and pictures into electromagnetic waves.

Thus, in the minutest space around me, for example at my finger tip, millions of waves are passing every second. Consequently, all we need to do is to tune in and amplify a particular frequency in order to listen to or watch a subject of interest.

Thought Waves

In the U.S., people change the time on their clocks by one hour twice a year. This system is called "daylight savings time". Until today people have been accustomed to setting their clocks back or forward manually. However, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is planning to erect eight powerful transmitters across the U.S., and watches and clocks, including those in videocassette recorders and microwave ovens, will be installed with tiny receivers. This new system will do away with the old manual one, and automatically take care of daylight savings time and changes in time while traveling across different time zones.

Similarly, in April 1990, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) launched the Hubble Space Telescope in order to probe deeply into space in order to answer questions about the birth of the universe and its distant galaxies and stars. After launching the telescope, scientists found some problems in its large primary mirror.

Then three years ago, space walking astronauts aboard space shuttle Endeavor corrected the mirror’s reflection. Since then scientists have been able to detect several galaxies which are billions of years old.

Distance in astronomy is calculated in terms of light years. One light year is equal to the distance traveled by light in one year. For example, Jupiter is about 50 light minutes away from the Earth – the light from Jupiter takes about 50 minutes to reach Earth. Hence, if we watch Jupiter at this moment, we are watching events on Jupiter which took place 50 minutes ago. If by using the Hubble we can view the galaxies which are billions of light years distant from Earth, we would be witnessing events which happened billions of years ago. If there are people on a planet which is 65 million light years from Earth, they would be able to see the dinosaurs that existed here then. Recently, space-walking astronauts aboard shuttle Discovery replaced some of the earlier instruments in the Hubble telescope by state-of-the-art technical instruments in order to increase its deep space probing capabilities and to get more detailed images.

The Hubble telescope indicates that in any given space around us we are getting signals from every part of the universe. This telescope could theoretically have worked on Earth too, but light and signals from distant galaxies become blurred or weakened when they pass through the atmosphere. If somehow we could filter these waves, there would be no need to send Hubble into the outer atmosphere. Waves can be detected if only the proper instruments are attuned to receive them.

The same principle applies to thought. When we think, an electrical pulse is created in our brain, and this creates very minute electrical waves (alpha, beta, theta and delta waves). For example, I live in Cincinnati, U.S.A., and my mother lives in Patna, India. Whatever my mother says or thinks enters the space around me, and if I can somehow make my mind tune in to the waves of my mother’s thought or speech, I would be able to listen to her. Waves can be detected by the human mind if it is properly attuned to receive them.

Tuning into the past

Every action in the universe creates some kind of disturbance, and its intensity decreases with an increase in time and distance. In addition, despite the presence of over five billion people on the planet and countless more non-human organisms, none are alike. Everything in the universe has unique characteristics. Thus, the wavelength and amplitude of the waves created in my brain are different from all others. If someone can tune into my brain, he or she will be able to know what I am thinking about.

When a wave (electromagnetic or any other kind) comes in contact with an object, it is partially absorbed by the object and the rest is transmitted and reflected. Suppose two persons are talking. The intensity of the sound waves they create decreases as they leave them, and after some time the intensity of the waves becomes zero. Still, whatever they have said creates some kind of wave which is propagated in all directions. When it comes into contact with an object some part of the wave is reflected and some part transmitted through the object. Although the intensity of the reflected/transmitted waves is very small, when compared with the original wave, it can still be recognized.

Another example is found in the light waves from distant galaxies captured by the Hubble telescope. Some of these light waves come to the Earth, some are immediately reflected by the atmosphere, and some come to the Earth’s surface and are reflected into space again. Hence, this back-and-forth motion of a wave (the reflection and re-reflection of a wave created by numerous objects around the universe) can be tuned into in order to listen to or see into the past. Theoretically, we can tune into these reflected waves and listen to past conversations.

Now, it is a question how to tune into a particular wave which has its origin in either the past or the present. There are two paths for this purpose: (i) scientific instruments, and (ii) spirituality. At the moment science is rapidly making headway in tuning into the waves of the present. It will take time for science to tune into the waves of the past. For tuning into the past (and also the distant present), spirituality is the answer, and for that purpose, the mind is the laboratory.

A Spiritual Hypothesis

The wavelength and amplitude of a wave determines if it can pass through an object. Light is unable to pass through wood, but X-rays can. X-rays passing though the body create a picture on an X-ray plate showing the relative absorption of these rays by various organs, which in turn helps us detecting diseases such as tuberculosis. Radar works on the same principle.

The electromagnetic spectrum/wave was discovered during the last century. There may be other kinds of waves about which we have no knowledge. Some of these "unknown" waves may pass through all objects in the universe and their speed might be higher than that of light.

It is said that we use less than one percent of the capabilities of our minds. There are many unexplored mental potentials about which we have little knowledge. For an example, there is an Indian named Shakuntala Devi whose mind works faster than a computer. She calculates multiplications and square roots of numbers faster than a supercomputer.

So, how can we tap into the unexplored potentials of the human mind?

The basic approach of science is to develop a hypothesis and then test it. According to Newton light consists of the emission of material particles (the corpuscular theory of light). But when scientists could not explain one of light’s characteristics, they opted for the wave theory. And when the wave theory failed to explain other characteristics of light, they went for the duality theory and its uncertainty principle. If this theory also fails, they will have to search for another theory.

I do not see anything wrong in making a hypothesis if it does not divide society. My hypothesis is that there is a "Cosmic Wave" which is regular and has either infinite wavelength, infinite amplitude or a combination of the two, and that it pervades the universe. This Cosmic Wave has the capacity to penetrate into or pass through any object and this enables it to know about anything.

It has been scientifically proven that if a person’s mind is disturbed, the electrical waves generated by his or her mind are irregular. But, if a person is cool and calm, the waves are regular and systematic. Meditation and systematic chanting of mantras superimpose regularity and system upon the irregular mental waves a person may be experiencing and his or her waves become more like the Cosmic Wave.

Prolonged chanting of mantras and meditation enables someone to make his or her mental waves such that they either become the same as the Cosmic Wave or able to communicate with It at will. If a person is able to tap or tune into the Cosmic Wave, he or she will be able to know what a particular person is thinking or saying. It is just like a telephone wire running outside the house. If one knows how to connect to the wire, one can relay a message to someone or listen to two people talking.

This is similar to the state termed savikalpa samadhi. This altered state is achieved when an individual’s waves becomes one with the Cosmic Wave, or with God. Numerous saints from various traditions have experienced this state, and many others have come close to it. According to them our mind is in constant touch with the Cosmic Wave, and vice versa. It is therefore up to each one of us to realize our link to this Cosmic Wave, to realize our constant companionship with the Mind of God.

Copyright The author 2012

Dr. Susmit Kumar is an Indian-born writer presently residing in Canton, MI, USA.
His latest book is Karma, Mind and Quest for Happiness.


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