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REVOLUTIONS IN CONSCIOUSNESS

 

 

   

From Copernicus to Newton to Darwin to Einstein to Sai

   
   
A Festschrift, Commemorating the 75th Birth Anniversary of Professor V. K. Gokak, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) by Alvin Drucker, Visiting Lecturer, Prashanti Nilayam, August 25, 1986

 

   

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Introduction


A number of times Sai Baba has mentioned in his discourses some of the eminent scientists of the West, who by their dedication and genius had significantly affected the course of human progress. Prominent among these are Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein, who represent the central thrust of Western Science over the past four centuries. It is this very Science which has led mankind from the Dark Ages to the high technology of the 21st Century, but it is also this Science which has taken mankind to the brink of annihilation.


It is a mark of the high drama of these times, that the greatest opportunity that has come in many millenia for mankind to evolve into the highest reaches of the Spirit, happens to coincide with a widespread moral degeneration and a threat of total extinction of the human race. To a great extent, it is the world outlook spawned by Science that has brought on this crisis. But quite paradoxically, as we shall see from this article, historical developments in Science themselves point the way towards a transcendance of the present human condition, leading man from the dark depths of physical materialism into the profoundest Realms of Being.


The purpose of this article is to explore how some of the great historical figures in Science are connected in one long thread which ties together the great changes in world outlook that have occurred over the past four centuries. This thread leads right up to the present time of world crisis and momentous human transformation, heralded by the appearance on the world-scene of a divine incarnation who will lead the new generation into the Golden Age of the Spirit.


What we will be speaking of here is really a series of revolutions, revolutions in human consciousness, that have, and still are transforming men's minds.


God, World and Man


Before the blossoming forth of Science during the Renaissance in Europe, it was predominantly the ancient Greek philosophical tradition that prevailed in the West. This world outlook held that Man was the measure of all things. Although the Divinity, in the form of the Gods, was very much feared and propitiated, it was Man, not the Divinity, who held center-stage. It was man's body and mind which were idolized. Man was considered the zenith of the Creation, the specially chosen one, around whom the whole Creation revolved.


In its highest aspects this world-view fitted in remarkably well with the Judeo-Christian doctrines based on the Bible. Although Greek thought conflicted with the strict monotheistic beliefs of the Jews, yet it had such strong appeal to reason and to the proof of the senses, that it slowly infiltrated both Jewish and Christian thinking. By the time of Augustine, and later Aquinas, it had become well established in Church doctrine, clothed in the artifacts of the particular religion in which it was embraced. Nobody doubted that the Sun and Moon, and all the planets and stars in the heavens, which were seen rotating in their daily passage around the Earth, were heavenly luminaries that were there to provide the background for the mighty Drama of Life which was taking place on Earth.


With the rise of the Medieval Church, it was Man glorified in the form of the Saviour, the Risen Christ, on whom the whole world centered. Jerusalem was the epicenter of everything that was, and Christ was the epicenter of everything that was to be.

 
   

Man's existence had purpose, and the whole of Creation with Earth at its center was given to Man as a vast stage on which to work out his destiny. It was here under the central Eye of God that he must fight the battle of good and evil and triumph over his lower nature.


It would have been totally unthinkable that the Earth, on which the titanic events of the Creation had taken place, and on which the historic saga had unfolded leading to the advent of Christ....that this Mother Earth on which all the Biblical prophesies were being enacted...was just a microscopically insignificant pebble in the backwaters of a vast Universe. Such an outrageous idea could never have been entertained in the medieval mind. It would have destroyed the very basis of faith in the primacy of God.


According to the belief of the time, it was God in whose image Man was created, and in whose name Man ruled over the Creation, and with whose Grace Man retired to Heaven, after having honorably completed his stewardship on Earth. This, it was believed, is how it was and always will be.


But then came the first of five mind-transforming revolutions that rocked Man's view of himself in relation to the Universe and God. Even now the full implications of these revolutions in consciousness are still revealing themselves.

   
         
   

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