Physics, Karma, and Breath

The Shamcher Bulletin brings you snippets from Shamcher’s writings that might help frame and context our experience of the world we live in today.

Inside: A selection from the book, An Interview with Shamcher Bryn Beorse, in which Jelaluddin Boru and Shamcher discuss The Tao of Physics, a popular book in the late 1970s.

Image from Johann Zahn's Oculus Artificialis (1685) (Public Domain Review)

Discussing physics, karma and breath

Q: Fritjof Capra, in The Tao of Physics, says in one place that we are trapped in our own conceptual framework, and that when we transcend words and explanations we obtain liberation and break the bonds of karma.

S: The idea of karma is connected with the so-called dogma of cause and effect. In the West this has been developed in science through Isaac Newton, and for a long time scientists believed that everything contained the laws of cause and effect, but recently a small group of physicists have begun to realize that this is not so.

When you explain things you are bound to use language. And in language you are using something that is based partly on cause and effect and many other dogmas. When you realize this truth you become like some people of the East, and of the West too, who say, ‘It can’t be explained’. The best you can do is sort of run around it and speak of it in metaphors, and hope that people will get to it through that. Language uses the law of cause and effect, which is the same thing as karma. When you transcend it, other laws become applicable.

Physics hasn’t been able to tell us which laws these are yet, but it has discovered that all these concepts and dogmas and so called natural laws were never really laws at all, they were only our own ideas.

Q: And to break out of this trap is to go inward, the silence?

S: Silence yes, but especially a realization that your ideas of cause and effect and karma are nothing more than conceptual structures of your mind which have been used for the purpose of instruction but are not “final truths”. They have been used by your mind as instruments of attainment. And in using your mind it appears that it has become bound to your civilization’s concepts of how to understand life, but then you begin to see from the point of view of Tao that it really hasn’t been.

Which doesn’t mean that you are suddenly enlightened and can see everything. But it is the first step. To see that everything you’ve thought is not necessarily so.

It is interesting today that some physicists are seeing that, just as the ancient sages did. And in a sense just as clearly, but in another sense not as clearly. They are complaining, for example, that they don’t have the capacity to visualize in the fourth dimension as they believe the ancients did. And perhaps some of them did, but there certainly must have been great discrepancies also in the manner in which they realized this. We needn’t think that these people suddenly came into a complete understanding of everything. Some saints’ understanding was better than others, but there is no area in which everything is understood by someone.

Q: Does this fit in with the idea that some people have that there has to be a form to believe in God?

S: Yes, or rather they like to have a form. But some people are very simple and don’t need that ever. This is not a matter of intellectual achievement. Some highly intellectual people still live with forms, and not only don’t understand but actually have a contempt for the present no-form concepts.

Q: Another thing which Capra says: “The void gives birth to an infinite variety of form, which it sustains and then eventually re-absorbs.”

S: This is another way of expressing the ancient concept of Brahma coming into existence in the world and then withdrawing again so nothing exists. And then he comes into the world again and then withdraws again. A great rhythm, and each period, called in the ancient mythology a Kalpa.

Q: Is this contrary to the theory of relativity, or the “big-bang” theory of creation held by some scientists?

S: No, There are at least two possibilities connected with the theory of relativity. One is that the world is continually and forever expanding; the other is that it expands and then contracts, and then expands again. And this is the same as the ancient sages believe in, and let us say that it is the same as I believe in.

Q: It sounds like breathing!

S: Yes, breathing is exactly the same thing. You expand when you breathe out and things scatter, and then you breathe in and you contract. This is true on the other planes of existence, that is correct. And then with your last breath, it is only the last breath of the physical body, you continue to breathe with your subtler bodies.

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The Shamcher Bulletin is edited by Carol Sill, whose newsletter, Personal Papers, is HERE.

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