Yogic meditation is to go deeper
A professor of chemistry at Oxford has just written a book called ‘The Creation’ – it’s a few years, two or three years back – in which he said, “Well, nevertheless, these things could happen by chance. And if they could happen by chance, it’s unscientific to think of some intelligence or mind.” Well, such a man has never played cards. If you play cards with a man who, every time he deals, gets a marvellous hand, you begin to suspect something. It could happen by chance. Oh, it can. It can happen. Sets of wonderful hands keep coming up; it could happen. But it’s not unscientific to think, “This chap’s cheating.” It’s not unscientific. It’s not silly. There’s an intelligence there. It gets too unlikely to happen by chance, though theoretically it could. And he begins to find mind.
From a modern book on physics, you get the sentence, the physicist Schrödinger, 25 years ago, proposed a paradox, called Schrödinger’s cat. He wanted to expose the absurdity of quantum theory, as it was developing. It does expose the absurdity. And he thought that quantum theory would then be abandoned. But on the contrary, the physicists are adopting the absurdity. And the sentence that I quote is: “The consciousness of the cat is quite sufficient to collapse the wave function.” Well, the wave function is a function of probability of a particular outcome, which is life or death, in the case of the cat. Tibbles’ consciousness is quite sufficient to collapse the wave function.
Well, this is a statement that Schrödinger; he said, “You see, you’re driven to this? That an ant changes the universe by looking at it.” And Einstein said, “It’s absurd, but this is what’s now accepted. That the observer, however far down the scale, changes the universe.” Well, there again, this doesn’t prove anything Yogic. But it does show that the Yoga idea of mind, as the determining factor, is not absurd. The experiment has to be made.
Now, we can easily mistake this if our idea of mind is still on a basis of theory, and not actual experiment. Well, then we mistake [it] with curious parallels in east and west. In the Middle Ages in Europe, they got this idea that legal phrases and procedures which affected and terrified men so powerfully when they were applied, could also somehow affect nature. And there exist proclamations, official proclamations against rats. Rats were given two days to leave the city of Frankfurt; only two days, but they were given that time. It was realised that there will be, of course, problems, and they got a further extension of one day for those who are sick or lame. Well now, these proclamations exist, and they were made with the full sort of panoply and majesty of the law, and the people somehow felt that they would be effective.
The Chinese also, in the 19th century, have one that remains about a crocodile that was infesting a particular river. The magistrate came down, and he made this speech which still exists, pointing out that the sea is only a little way down the river really, not too far, and the crocodile should go down to the sea where it will have more space and be better off generally. That crocodile is given a week to make up its mind and collect its family, and that if it didn’t, well, then the full majesty of the Empire will be brought to bear on it.
Recently a doctor in a hospital; he thought that a piano would cheer up a large ward. So he applied for a piano costing £3000 and it was turned down. The expense was unjustified and turned down. So he left it for a couple of months, and then he applied for a polymorphous sound generator. This was approved, you see. The words somehow seemed to affect [the outcome]. But all this is illusory; this is playing, simply playing with words.
Now, the Yogic meditation is to go deeper. We say, “Well, what does it mean, to go deeper?” It says there are levels of consciousness, of which we’re only fractionally aware, and they can be touched. Just as throughout history, electricity and magnetism was existing cheek-by-jowl alongside us, but the scientists were unaware of it. Galileo wrote his two world systems, ignoring the magnetic and electric phenomena, which were just beginning to be known. They were peripheral, they were marginal; they were quite insignificant. But we now know these things are at the very heart of matter. In the same way, there are these levels of consciousness which we only know fractionally. They knew about the compass and so on; they just thought, “It’s just a little strangeness, then.” The Chinese called it the south-pointing needle. “Points to the south!” “Extraordinary, isn’t it? Chinese, strange people. We know it points to the north.” Well, that was just a marginal, little oddity.
Then he goes deeper. Intelligent. There is below mind, there is ‘vijñāna’. Intelligence. A cosmic intelligence. Now, he referred to the cosmic anthropic principle. We can say, “Well, where can you see this intelligence? Show me this intelligence manifesting.” The anatomist says, “I cut up the body; I don’t find this intelligence.” Well, there are several examples given. If you analyse the tape recording of a concert, Abbado, the London Symphony Orchestra, you can hear the London Symphony Orchestra playing, all of them. You can identify them, and you can follow along in the score. But you don’t hear Abbado, whose name is the prominent one; you never hear him. You can analyse those sounds, more and more and more precisely, to try to find the conductor, but you’re unable to find him. So there isn’t a conductor?
People who aren’t musicians think, “You could get on perfectly well without a conductor. Just play the music. Why not?” Well, if you’ve ever played in an orchestra, you’d know. You’ve got 34 bars’ rest, and you start counting them. One, two, three. Then the page slips, and you think, “Where was I, four or five?” And you don’t know, so you go on counting. Terrifying. You’ll come in a bar too soon, bar too late. You’re sitting there, and if you’re very young, you can start to sweat. “What’s going to happen?” The orchestra are playing, and then the conductor, suddenly, he’ll look at you, and he brings you in. If he didn’t do that, you might sometimes come in the wrong place, and others would come in from the wrong place. And gradually, the thing would disintegrate, as has happened when the conductor has lost control of the orchestra. The conductor nowhere appears on the tape, in the sound, but he integrates and supports.
© Trevor Leggett
Titles in this series are:
Part 1 : Progressive Meditation The 5 Sheaths
Part 3 : Yogic meditation is to go deeper
Part 5 : The universe is bliss and light