by Didi Ananda Mitra and Vishvanatha (Bob Kaplan)
Originally published in the PROUT Journal
It is a commonly accepted fact that we human beings normally utilize only a fraction of our mental potential. One scientist said, “Probably 99% of human ability has been wholly wasted; even today, those of us who consider ourselves cultured and educated operate for most of our time as automatic machines and glimpse the profounder resources of our minds only once or twice in a lifetime.”
It has taken evolution ten million years to equip us with an incredible brain with seemingly unlimited capacity, but we use only a minute part of it. We are like a family of squatters who have taken over a vast palace but prefer to live in a corner of the basement.
The emphasis of Western civilization on external life, on the domination and mastery of nature, has produced monumental technological achievements, but it has also exacted a price. It has almost totally ignored our inner experience, and the ‘shrunken psyche’ of human beings is now crying out for expansion. Thus we see all over the world today feverish interest in spiritual disciplines and psychic powers, mind-expanding drugs and mysticism, hypnosis and meditation, dreams and creativity. Humanity is becoming increasingly hungry for transcendence, and more and more people are embarking on an “inner odyssey” to realize their full potential and develop the tremendous powers hidden inside them. But as a contemporary biologist warned, “We must know where we are going, and how we are going to get there.”
Where are we going, and how are we going to get there? If we are to journey into our inner spaces, we need a map of the realms to be explored. And we must learn how to travel.
Fortunately, maps of these inner realms have been available to us for thousands of years. For example, meditation has its earliest known roots in the practices of ‘Tantra’. Tantra was first introduced 7000 years ago by the great teacher Shiva. It is an all round science of life, covering every aspect of personal and social development. The word ‘Tantra’ means ‘that which liberates from ignorance’. Hence, its practices comprise a systematic and scientific way to take individuals from a state of limited awareness to a state of expansive understanding. Tantra’s practices include not only meditation and yoga; but also medicine, dance, music, social service, literature and environmental awareness – indeed a truly holistic approach to life.
Tantra is a timeless science; it has no less relevance for today’s world than it had 7000 years ago. In the fields of science, medicine and psychology scientists are only beginning to understand and verify the ancient teachings laid down in Tantra. Its analysis of the human mind has opened up a whole new area of psychology. For example, many psychologists are now fascinated with meditation and are eagerly devising new ways of studying it in their laboratories.
Fortunately, any human being can study the Tantric science of meditation in the laboratory of their own mind. For it is the human mind that is the greatest source of searching and discovery, understanding through clash and cohesion, mystery and wisdom, creativity and factual analysis, synthesis, expansion and liberation. All that is needed for this study is proper instruction in Tantric meditation and the determination to practice it regularly until one attains the timeless and limitless wisdom within us all.
The journey of self understanding is the most important path we can follow in our lives. The sooner we start to follow the path within, the sooner we will discover our unlimited potential.
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