A research and publishing mission, Integral Books is dedicated to present the rationale of India’s spiritual heritage with an updated perspective, contributing to evolve a harmonizing worldview for a superior human civilization.
Humanity is today facing the most challenging period in history, with the possibility even of self-annihilation looming like the Damocles’ sword. Globally the attention of sensible minds is focussed on seeking a philosophy that satisfies the demands of the intellect and provides a meaningful orientation to the evolutionary destiny of human life.
The material-based Science and the wealth-based social theories are taking humanity to a blind end. This calls for a life-transforming reassessment of India’s ancient spiritual treasures with a modern perspective. The very future of humankind depends on imbibing a scientific vision about the higher possibilities of life, as revealed by the Rishis of yore.
Sir Arnold Toynbee, the eminent historian, emphasizes its relevance in the modern world: “Today, we are still living in a traditional chapter of the world’s history, but it is already becoming clear that, a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race.”
For example, the Bhagavad-Gita, aeons ago, showed the line of evolution to the liberating dimensions of consciousness. The theme of the epic Mahabharata, in which this unique philosophy of human freedom is expounded, is based on a conflict among the kit and kin over land and wealth - the same conflict that grips the nations today with the possibility of inviting a nuclear holocaust, overlooking the potential to evolve to a superior civilization.
Dramatically, the Gita is placed at the verge of a bifurcation point, one path leading to destruction in war and the other, to evolution to the higher dimensions of existence. India’s spiritual vision is a super-biological science based on this evolutionary theme. The insight is ever modern, offering scope for reassessment for an updated understanding of human possibilities, harmoniously guided by a reassuring philosophy.
The Modern Dilemma
The crux of the impasse world is facing is pinpointed by Bertrand Russell thus: “Unless there is increase in wisdom as much as in knowledge, increase of knowledge will be an increase of sorrow.” Although largely materialistic in his worldview, Russell says in his book, ‘Impact of Science on Society’: “Whatever else may be mechanical, values are not, and this is something which no political philosopher must forget.”
Today’s Science needs to acquire a ‘heart’ by shedding its mechanical stance by heeding to the perennial d advice in the in the Shvetaashvatara Upanishad, “Humanity through technical skill may even roll up the sky like a piece of cloth; still there will be no end of sorrow without realizing the luminous Source within.”
This research mission contributes for a positive transformation in attitudes by highlighting the rationale of the ancient spiritual insights in the light of the modern scientific perspective to help the emergence of a new science of human possibilities, as anticipated by the thoughtful modern biologists like Sir Julian Huxley and others.
Sir Arnold Toynbee’s observation about the role of India’s ancient seekers of Truth for realizing this paradigm shift is emphasized by Professor Alexander Spirkin, an eminent scholar of dialectical materialism, who was the head of a section of the erstwhile USSR Academy of Sciences. About their discoveries he writes in his book, Dialectical Materialism (Progress Publishers Moscow -1983):
“The sages of ancient India discovered astonishingly subtle and profound psycho-biophysical connections between the human organism and cosmic and subterranean processes. They knew much that even today is beyond the ken of European scientific thought, or that it ignores, often trying to conceal its helplessness by asserting that oriental wisdom is mere mysticism and thus showing its inability to distinguish the rational but not yet fully understandable essence from various figments of imagination....” He concludes his two-page study thus: “Does this not go to show an astonishingly high level of culture that should arouse our admiration, gratitude and desire to study!”
The reassessment of the ancient wisdom can reform and enrich the modern scientific mind. As the renowned neuro-scientist V.S. Ramachandran points out that at the very inception of the human brain it seems to be structurally equipped for fundamental existential discoveries, a possibility which cannot be explained in the light of natural selection alone.
The Need for In-depth Research
Possibly that is why Sir John C. Eccles, the Nobel laureate for Medicine and Physiology reminds the modern scientists: : “If the value of research is to be measured in relation to the intrinsic value to man, the brain research must rank as incomparably more important than space research, which commands a very much greater financial support.”
Evidently, the scientist means by ‘brain research’ an in-depth study of the strategically structured nature of the human brain to realize the higher faculties of consciousness for evolution to greater stages of existence and a superior human civilization.
Integral Books’ mission is to function as a major research forum coordinating the like-minded efforts to integrate spirituality and Science to complement each other. The emergence of a Science of Culture will enable modern science to shed its mechanistic stance and neutralize religious extremism. It will help Science eschew its destructive character and be a pathfinder for evolutionary progress by getting access to the higher dimensions of consciousness to gain answers to the problems of existence humanity is seeking.
Promoting Scientific Awareness of Dharma
The basis of all the truth-seeking systems evolved in India is the highest concept of a value-programming in Nature - Dharma - as the very foundation of the cosmos, which is in expression in living beings according to their evolutionary stages. In the human context, having gained the freedom of choice, human being has the potential to evolve to a superior status by imbibing the in-built value system or degenerate by neglecting it.
The decline of the dharma concept in the mechanistic impact of materialism and the religious fundamentalism is the cause of the severest existential crisis humanity is facing today. As pointed out by the insightful historian, updated presentation of the rationale of India’s spiritual vision will inspire Science to shed its mechanistic stance and equip it with a ‘heart’ to utilize its liberating influence to help evolve a superior humanity. The effort of this mission is to contribute to the vital need of the emergence of a new Science of human possibilities that will help realize the perennial Vedic vision, Vasudhaiva kudumbakam – the world is One Family.