Archive | The Blog

Informative and inspiring blog posts on science and religion and related topics by Sanjay C. Patel

Atheists and religious leaders suffocate the discussion

 atheists and religious leaders suffocate the discussion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you feel suffocated when you see atheists constraining the science and religion discussion to ‘creationism’ and ‘intelligent design’?

Creationism is the belief that the earth is very young – about 6000 years old in contrast to science that says it is 4.5 billion years old. Intelligent design is the belief that there is demonstrable evidence that living organisms have been deliberately designed. They have not appeared through chance. They have a designer, a creator. Science – as far as evolutionary theory goes – insists that complex life forms could have emerged through random processes. Life forms are not predesigned. They are open-ended. They are works in progress.

But even evolutionists admit that they do not yet have a viable and demonstrable theory for how the very first life – the DNA molecule – appeared. There was simply not enough time for it to appear by chance on earth. The oldest evidence of DNA is about 3 to 4 billion years old. That means it should have appeared within about the first billion years of earth’s formation. This time frame is far too quick. As a result, some scientists postulate that DNA or RNA molecules might have arrived on earth on an asteroid. As such, these molecules would have had longer than one billion years to evolve.

Once they had evolved, however, and they were in the right environment on earth, complex life would follow.

Should the science and religion discussion be confined like this only to the age of the earth and the appearance of DNA?

Is that all there is to it?

No. The above discussion is just a speck in the entire spectrum. But the media, religious leaders, and skeptics prefer to keep it narrow. Even though there are some disadvantages, overall, it is in their own best interest.

Why? Because expanding the discussion would necessitate the inclusion of Eastern faiths and their possible connections with the Bible and science. This is a ‘disaster’ neither leaders of the Abrahamic faiths nor skeptics want.

Why? Because it would lead to the end of the polarizing controversy and herald a world of harmony, universal spirituality, or agnosticism. Atheism will be intellectually wiped out. Atheism will become the new blind faith, the new fundamentalism, the new ignorance.

These three powerful groups – the media, fundamentalist religious leaders, and militant atheists prefer things just as they are. 

They don’t appear to care about the greater good this dialogue would have for the world: Religious wars would end and millions of lives would be saved. Through connecting the world’s faiths and the wide-scale adoption of practices such as yoga, millions more lives will be saved or enhanced. Untreatable illnesses will be mitigated. Stress levels will be reduced. The list of benefits is huge.

But the benefits for the media, fundamentalist religious leaders, and militant atheists will be reduced. 

And right now, they’re the ones in power. They are the ones hogging the world stage. They are the ones mostly controlling what we see, hear, and learn.

 

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Is There Bias in Media, Scientists, and Religious Leaders?

media bias and censorship 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a practicing yogi and researcher of science and spirituality – in particular the cosmology, oceanography, and paleontology of ancient yoga – it makes me sorry to see over and over again scientists, religious leaders, and the media repeatedly present the science versus spirituality debate in exclusive terms of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Are these the only faiths in the world? Are these scientists, religious leaders, and media people so utterly ignorant of the existence of Taoism, Hinduism (yoga), Buddhism, Jainism and others? 

Is their map of the world just the United States and maybe west Europe?

Such narrow-mindedness is startling when it comes from the so-called intelligentsia of the Western world.

It seems the results of studies in social psychology are correct. Even liberal minded academia can be as entrenched in assumptions and prejudices as ignorant and uneducated people. 

Einstein was right, too: “it is easy to split an atom but hard to break a prejudice.” Maybe he was referring to anti-Semitism. Maybe he meant it more broadly.

It is unfortunate that billions of innocent people are paying for this bias and discrimination in terms of their health, lives, interfaith harmony, and world peace.

Big names, big brands, big religions, and big media are suffocating the truth: science and spirituality meet. They converge. Similarly, East and West were connected in ancient times. Mountains of evidence have emerged that indicate the Bible and yoga are connected. 

The good news: things are changing. The Internet is God’s gift to free speech and dissemination of knowledge. Yes, there is also a lot of propaganda and misinformation, too. But, the few gems that are also being passed on have the capacity to transform our world.

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Are There Side Effects of Yoga and Meditation?

Are there side effects of yoga and meditation

 

Millions of people in the west have begun to practice yoga. But like all physical exercises, there is some risk of injury. 

A joint study conducted by the University of Duisberg-Essen (Germany) and Duke University (USA) confirms this. The study is entitled ‘Adverse Events Associated with Yoga: A systematic review of published case reports and Case Series.’ It was published in the scientific journal Plos One. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24146758 

They found that the practice of yoga was sometimes followed by injury or certain side effects. Often this was due to practitioners who had medical preconditions – often glaucoma and osteopenia. Other times it would be due to practicing advanced postures such as the headstand, lotus position, and various extreme ‘pretzels’ without due practice and preparation. Their mistake: trying to do too much too quickly. 

Patients indicated that this was sometimes due to pressure from their teachers who encouraged them to stretch as far as they could. That is not advisable. Yoga is primarily about moderation.  

 

Pretzel yoga postures

 

Golden Rule of Yoga 

Always follow the rules of safety first. Better safe than sorry.  

Here they are: always consult your medical doctor before taking up any form of yoga, breathing exercises, or meditation. Never stop taking your medications without first consulting your doctor. Never take alternative medicines without consulting your doctor. 

Yoga is not a competition. You’re not even competing against yourself. So there’s no need to stretch yourself as far as you can go. As you practice your body will automatically allow you to do so and you will find yourself twisting and turning farther than you previously could without having to push yourself. It just takes time and patience. 

Do not set targets for yourself. It only creates tension and anxiety in your mind. Yoga is about the opposite. It is about letting go of absolutely everything – including the results of your yoga practice – and relaxing. 

Even if you have been practicing yoga techniques and alternative medicines for some time without having consulted your doctor or experiencing any side effects or injury, go and consult her as soon as you can. You might be doing yourself harm without knowing it.

~ Sanjay C Patel

 

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Why US Campuses Conduct Multi-Faith Services

ALL WORLDS RELIGIONS AND FAITHS

 

Many universities around the world – including the US – have official university sponsored efforts to create a multifaith-friendly environment.

The ultimate goal is to increase the awareness of other faiths and to remove misunderstandings whilst nurturing mutual respect and peace. 

It is being slowly being realized in the US media, public forums, and on university campuses that their so-called ‘world religions’ conferences and get-togethers are not truly world religions friendly until they also represent Eastern faiths.  

For far too long, these assemblies and seminars have been chaired and presented by people only from Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. People and representatives from other faiths were not even being invited. 

Fortunately, this situation is changing. Since campuses are becoming more and more multicultural, it is inevitable that organizers from the Abrahamic faiths can no longer ignore the presence of other faiths on the campus. 

Though many of these organizers are still rather orthodox in their outlook and in some way may begrudge the fact that they need to include members of Eastern faiths, they should be applauded for finally doing so. 

Not only will this effort help reduce misunderstandings between students on the campus, it will also be a profound education for the organizers who were almost always from the Abrahamic faiths. 

In my own experience as a (former) monk visiting many university campuses around the world and interacting with thousands of students, I have found that youths are almost always open-minded and unbiased. The prejudice and one-eyed, lopsided, dogmatic people are adults who have been deeply indoctrinated in their faith over many years. 

It is rightly said: when teachers teach, they learn twice over. Hopefully, in these multifaith programs they would hear themselves speaking and honestly try to appreciate the goodness and spiritual truths in other faiths. 

The problems, schisms, and frictions in the world are not created by the youth. They are usually created by adults who misinform youths and use them to achieve their own political or evangelical agendas.

~ Sanjay C Patel

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Yoga and Meditation Help Women After Cancer

Yoga and Meditation Help

 

Even after cancer has been successfully treated, many patients continue to suffer due to uncertainty and stress.

Will there be a recurrence? How could I go through a second treatment?  

There are also side effects and sleep difficulties. There are many things that continue to go wrong with the health of patients even after they have been treated for cancer. 

Luckily, yoga and meditation have proven to help many of these sufferers.

A study of 271 breast cancer survivors in Alberta and B.C., published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, indicates that yoga and mindfulness meditation are sometimes more effective than group therapy.  

Do you know someone who is being treated for cancer or is a survivor? Maybe yoga and meditation can help them. 

Remember, yoga and meditation should only be practiced after consultation with their medical doctors.

Here are some tips on various yoga practices. Click here.

 

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Child Kills Herself To Go To Heaven

Copyright: EuroPics [CEN]; Credit-Source DailyMail.co.uk

Copyright: EuroPics [CEN]; Credit-Source DailyMail.co.uk

In a tragic story, reports the dailymail.co.uk, Maria Kislo, a 12-year-old girl in Poland recently hanged herself in her bedroom. 

She left a note to her mother that read, “Dear mom. Please don’t be sad. I just miss daddy so much, I want to see him again.” 

Maria’s doting father died four years ago from a heart attack. Now the mother, Monica, is grieving the loss of both her husband and daughter. 

As usual, militant atheists are pouncing on this opportunity to degrade spiritual beliefs. They claim that we now have proof that belief in heaven is “toxic” and “deadly.” If Maria didn’t believe in the ‘fantasy’ of heaven she would still be alive. 

Little is known about how much Maria had been schooled in beliefs about the afterlife or heaven. It is also not known whether she had any obvious symptoms of depression.

Nevertheless, opportunists such as militant atheists rarely miss a chance to make a bad situation worse. 

For a moment, will they not stop to think of the effect of their insensitive words on the grieving mother? 

Of course their own breed of militant atheism does not seem to teach them sensitivity or compassion. Apparently, from their behavior, it seems that their beliefs teach them to be obnoxious and arrogant even in tragic situations. 

Let us pray for Maria and her family. Maria is surely in a better place, even though suicide was not the best way for her to get there.

~ Sanjay C Patel

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Why Did Texas High School Refuse Atheist Club?

Credit - Pew Forum, size of major religious groups 2010

Credit – Pew Forum, size of major religious groups 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the threat of a lawsuit, a Texas high school finally allowed the formation of a club for nonreligious students. 

Why was it refused in the first place? Was the decision maker employed to prevent atheistic clubs in high schools? Was that the person’s management responsibility or written in their job profile?

Students have every right not to believe in God and to commune with like-minded others – just as much as students of faith have the right to form their clubs.  

Some of the bigotry and ignorance amongst both militant atheists and religious fundamentalists is mind-boggling.  

I live in Texas. And I have also heard reports from many people including students from various schools that their schools did not recognize certain Hindu holidays. They were being marked as absent. 

I wonder why?  

Moslem, Christian, and Jewish holidays are all recognized. But not Hindu – who comprise 15% of the world’s faiths, reports the Pew Forum. Are we looking at racism here? Or discrimination? Or silly stupidity? 

The students even told their teachers that it was their Hindu New Year. Yet the teachers refused to listen. Some even said it wasn’t the new year! They didn’t even know the difference between the Hindu festival called Diwali and the New Year (Bestu Varsha) which is currently at 2070 – 57 years older than the western system. The teachers didn’t even feel the necessity to go online and verify what their students said. Instead, they snubbed their students and marked them absent. Bigotry. 

Many problems in society are caused by fundamentalists on both sides. Atheistic fundamentalists and religious fundamentalists. They just don’t want to do their homework to find out the facts.  

In their own minds it seems that they feel they are so superior to other people they have no need to respect them or their beliefs – religious or atheistic. They have a chauvinistic approach like ‘human over animal.’ This appears to be a major reason for the conflicts between faiths, and between faiths and scientific thought. 

Let us pray that efforts being made by moderates on both sides will eventually resolve this issue. Peace. 

~ Sanjay C Patel

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