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Prague, Czech Republic
1 July 2004

I'm leaving Prague this morning for Preshov, Slovakia.


The Divine Couple, Sri-Sri Radha-Krsna.


No independence

A human being wants freedom from the laws of material nature because in essence he is not material. He is spirit soul. But there are two categories of soul--supreme and subordinate. We are in the subordinate category. For freedom from the laws of nature, we are ever-dependent upon Krsna, the Supreme Soul. As long we do not choose to take His shelter, our habit is to depend upon His external energy, matter. But dependence upon matter brings us under its control. Srila Prabhupada writes, "This material energy is also called Durga, which indicates that it is a force which is very difficult to surpass. No one can surpass the laws of Durga by any amount of childish plans. " In Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna declares that only when the subordinate person takes complete shelter of the Supreme can he cross beyond the difficulties of material existence.

It is wrong to think that higher knowledge is "secret, mysterious, cryptic and inaccessible. " Higher knowledge needs not at all to be mysterious. But our problem is that we confuse knowledge with speculation. For example, it is sheer speculation that mankind is destined to conquer the laws of nature; yet this is a guiding tenet of scientific progress. Old age, disease and death remain as problematic now as they were 2500 years ago when the Greeks began laying the foundations of Western science. So it is certainly secret, mysterious, cryptic and inaccessible how these problems will be one day solved by Western science. Mental models of a world perfected by scientific and technological progress Srila Prabhupada called "humbug with no clear explanation. "

The notion that the human mind can figure out a way to overcome the laws of nature is founded upon a notion that the mind is independent of the laws of nature. This is the so-called Cartesian assumption (named after Rene Descartes, "the father of modern philosophy," who believed the mind to be spirit, not matter; he argued that rational thought, when perfected, can make man master and possessor of material nature). This assumption is at the bottom of modern scientific and technical thought.

The problem of the human situation

Scientific and technical thinking "objectifies" problems. This simply means that all problems and their solutions are considered to be objects external to the mind. This is quite reasonable for problems in the commonplace (laukika) sphere of human life. For example, if one evening all the lights in my house go out, it is rational to assume that the problem and its solution are objectively electrical. It wouldn't be considered very rational to assume that the problem and solution are subjective--that is, within my mind: "The lights went off just after I had a nasty thought. I shall now think good thoughts to bring the lights back on. "

But when we think of solving the problem of the human situation, objectification won't work. I and my mind are part of the problem of the human situation, and so are you and your mind. Therefore the solution-- freedom--is not an object the mind will find "out there" in the external world. Nor can the mind model a theoretical solution that has any hope of success, since the mind itself is the problem. Our inner mental functions (thinking, feeling and willing), by which we try to solve objective problems, are the very cause of the bondage we human beings struggle to free ourselves from.

Underlying the workings of the mind is the Supeme Person. He dwells within the heart of every living being, observing their intention towards His material energy. Almost all living entities in this world desire to be independent lords over matter. The real Lord permits His material energy of three modes to delude the materialistic souls with the waves of thinking, feeling and willing. Willing creates karma, sensory actions that are recorded by the demigods who facilitate the souls' experience of sensory actions. The karmic record of the human lifetime is most significant. It is evidence judged by the Supreme Person at the time of a person's death. He weighs that soul's good, bad and mixed actions, determining from this the appropriate next birth. The demigods reconfigure that soul's matrix of experience accordingly.

The living entity, thus taking another gross body, obtains a certain type of ear, eye, tongue, nose and sense of touch, which are grouped about the mind. He thus enjoys a particular set of sense objects. (Bhagavad-gita 15. 9)

Human "knowledge" that does not heed the Supreme Person and His law of karma leads the soul deeper and deeper into the ocean of birth and death. It is a myth that modern science leads to progress. It is really a form of ignorance that makes human life ever more difficult.

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