Toward a Unified Worldview: New Perspectives in Science & Spirituality 

Note: emphasis,  colored texts and [brackets] are mine...Dwayne

From: Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan 

Email: <> 

First, let me thank the organizers of the conference for having invited me to share with you. 

The present world crisis challenges us into upgrading and updating meanings in past world-views embodied in incompatible group identities, conflicting life styles, and religious dogmas that still divide us. If we live up to this challenge we can turn the tables on the human drama so that the crisis will have had the advantage of forging the emergence of a global worldview that unites us as a human family. 

In the advancing process of evolution, a shared world view, embracing and integrating the local ones, is sparking a globalization in ever vaster outreaches in the overall thinking of humanity; more so, our validations of the sense of sacredness which is shared in all religions. This will foster conflict resolution leading to peace. In this event the sense of wholeness supercedes and overarches the partisan beliefs which will eventually be updated. 

The only way to extrapolate and integrate diverse and disparate opinions in a meaningful, congruent and sustainable world view is to see how each contributes toward this global embrace without reducing their rich variety to their common ground. 

Here we enlist the impact exercised by the thinking of the universe as a whole upon its parts or sub-wholes, while respecting the rich diversity carried by the impact of the sub-wholes upon the whole. We need here to counter-balance personal or group world views with transpersonal thinking and vice-versa. Paraphrasing the Sufi, Ibn Arabi, substituting the term universe to the term God, we would have: 

"the universe discovers itself through our discovery of it as ourselves." 

Hence, to discover itself the universe discloses itself to us. 

For the Sufi Jili: 

"God is a potentiality that becomes a reality as us. We are the experience of God." 

Unwittingly, our thinking is emotionally charged. The world crisis is challenging us into undertaking an honest act of introspection to connoiter the emotions motivating our thinking. The criterion is a sensitivity for beauty. It is heartening to hear some physicists declare that, not only do they never cease to be amazed by the intelligence of the programming behind the cosmos, but by its elegance! 

The sensitivity to suffering sparks the awakening of conscience in addition to the awakening of consciousness. How can one account for violence? This way of thinking charged with the emotion of hatred and vindication disregarding the well-being of the world as a total being, escalates into vendettas, with its trail of miscommunication, brutal and cruel behavior, causing devastation and misery to millions of innocent people as in the wars of the past. Fortunately, we are beginning to discern that we are not targeting nations or religions. 

We need to distinguish here between belief and faith. Belief is based upon authority, whereas faith is an inherent proto-critic insight with which we are endowed, which supercedes personal opinion by overarching it with the thinking of the universe, which is trying to reveal itself to us, according to the Sufis. Here lies the difference between spirituality and religion. 

In my studies of comparative methods of meditation in the world religions, I have found quite a lot of concurrence between the experience of mystics; whereas the search for a common denominator in the dogmas or tenants of established religions is fraught with great obstacles. If the human motivation behind religion is, as Dr. David Bohm defines it "a yearning for wholeness" maybe we must concede that there are several approaches to the holistic paradigm and the explorations of the ubiquitous divine are manifold! 

Belief can trigger off action based on ideals; whereas my father, Hazrat Pir O Murshid Inayat Khan, embodies the Sufi view: 

"shatter your ideals on the rock of truth." [The Bible says to make full proof of your teachings, and to prove me i.e. his word, and see if you are not more enlightened].

Above all, there is unswerving commitment to the Truth, in physics or in mysticism. The truth must be told at any price, no matter what the price or consequences of being in conflict with the prevailing dogma. 

We are challenged into upgrading and updating our thinking. How can we reconcile apparent irreconcilables without reducing their rich diversity to their common ground so that the contribution of the quintessence of their particular legacy may be honored in an integrated embrace? 

"Unity is not uniformity" says Hazrat Inayat Khan. 

Science and indeed the perspectives for the spirituality of the future have been and are confronted with precisely this dilemma. Perhaps this is not so surprising: these are precisely what we encounter in meditation, i.e., the antinomy, (or is it dichotomy?) between the particle-like or wave-like behavior of light non-locality or ubiquity, the acausal, synchronicity, vacuity, the non-determined, dissipative structures. 

"One needs to surpass familiar concepts because one cannot account for the world or for our rapport with the world by relying upon them." (D'Espagnat, La physique Quantique, cf. L'homme face a la Science). 

Likewise in meditation. There is a parallel between the mystic and the physicist in that progress is made by uncovering modes of thinking that are not yet known. Both are challenged into exploring the nature of our thinking, and extend it beyond the commonplace in order to make sense of the observations thus acquired beyond what was considered acceptable in the past. While scientists are manipulating matter to answer specific questions, contemplatives are modifying their perspective of the environment and their self-image by modulating consciousness and altering some physiological functions. 

Perhaps what the scientist and the mystic have most in common is the importance they attach to experience. In fact, scientists and contemplatives share a common set of values in the sense that the ultimate test in both cases is that of experience; Science has learned through experience to eschew dogma, and it is this very principle that is at the heart of the distinction between religion and spirituality. 

In our experience, we observe that our thinking alters as we modulate the field of consciousness. We clearly distinguish what one might define as different modes of thinking. We also find that our notions of space, time, light, sound, identity, causality, and the nature of reality vary as we fluctuate our consciousness. By the same token, by providing us with a topography of the unchartered reaches of the psyche, these findings facilitate and encourage our meditative practices. 

Science provides invaluable models that may be called upon to make some sense of the unusual, sometimes paradoxical experiences of contemplatives practicing their meditations. 

As meditators, we are interested in understanding the phenomena that we encounter when modulating our consciousness in our contemplative practices. But this impression needs to be clarified critically by experts in the fields of meditation and science rather than being acquiesced glibly. On the other hand, could the perspectives reached by contemplatives alert scientists into stalking yet uncharted reaches of the human mind, which might yield clues to scientific dilemmas? 

However the contemplative experience stands on its own ground and need not be validated by science, just as scientists would not seek validation for their finding the utterances of mystics. The search of both the contemplative and the scientist is guided by a basic sense of the unity underlying experience, so we feel that there must be an underlying unity beyond the different ways of expressing it, and where there is even a slight measure of concurrence, one cannot fail to be heartened. 

We have reached a point where networking the know-how obtained in various fields of human endeavor has proven mutually enriching; however, since each of these particular fields involves a great deal of expertise, therefore it cannot be expected that one may prove equally proficient in adjacent fields. 

The exciting moment in meditation comes when our human mind stretches in an all-encompassing vision of the Universe envisioned as a 'global being' whose intelligence, emotion, resolve and programming extends as beings, whose body is the stuff of the galaxies and atoms endowed with these very faculties and which have in the course of eons of time evolved into humans. Imagine: the fabric of the galaxies has configured itself into incredibly sophisticated brains which are now vying to decode the cosmic code. 

In articulating this presentation, I have been assisted by Dr. Michael David Clarkson, a physicist with whom I have discussed parallels between meditation and science over a period of years. 

Reflections Later That Day At The Conference 

In contradistinction to our commonplace way of thinking, in categories according to Emmanuel Kant, Islam affirms unity in the adage "La illaha illa 'llah hu." In consequence, in Sufism the concept "of other" is superceded by envisioning the universe as a global being of which we are components or as Pir O Murshid Inayat Khan said, we are a condition of God that does not mean that we are God or that we are other than God. 

Ibn Arabi: 

"Know whereby you are God and whereby you are other than God." He calls man the created creator and the creating creature. 

Furthermore, if you think of the universe as what we mean by God, dynamic rather than static, then one can envision it, exploring possibilities implemented in the existential state rather than a pre-established order as according to Leibniz. This could be illustrated by an electron forging a new orbital instead of assuming that those orbitals are already designed. 

Yet, paradoxically, this orbital fits into what one might call the immutable laws which Pythagoras defines more adequately as the harmony of the spheres. 

In the course of evolution, new laws have emerged to deal with the increased sophistication arising out of the interconnections of the sub-wholes of the whole. These cannot have been planned before the need arose. Meister Ekhardt distinguishes between that dimension of God that becomes and un-becomes with that which he calls 'Godtheit' which is immutable. 

One could posit two levels in the software of the universe illustrated by the Rom and Ram of the computer software. We need to recognize immutable principles of cosmic harmony and the emergence of laws which arise of this exploration. As one might infer from Dr. Prigogine, such exploration is only based on trial and error, blind alleys and dead ends. Hence, the importance of chaos in offering the chance of prioritizing optimal solutions. 


Follow the above article with the one below by, Sheldrake. The "introduction" at the bottom of the page adds much spice to what has been said.

In the Presence of the Past Rupert Sheldrake is best known for his controversial theory of "formative causation " which implies a non-mechanistic universe, governed by laws which themselves are subject to change.

All things Think.
How Thoughts Shape Matter
Thoughts On Thinking Matter: James Barham. 

More here: On DNA Healing. PDF file

Also see Lynne McTaggart's "The Field" and FAQ page
Evolutionís Arrow

Global Consciousness

DNA Can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and

Is DNA hyper-communication a native internet?

Sparta and Baboonery - The Guesswork of Collective Mind (1,200 to 600 b.c.)



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