“Nothing within this material world can be permanent, although scientists, philosophers, workers and everyone else are trying to make things permanent. One foolish scientist recently declared that eventually life will be made permanent through science. Some so-called scientists are also trying to manufacture living entities within the laboratory. Thus in one way or another everyone is busy denying the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and rejecting the supreme authority of the Lord.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.24.65 Purport)
The spiritual science says that there is a difference between matter and spirit. This is the fundamental truth, the point from which to move on. Without acknowledgment of this key distinction, the rest is a waste. Sort of how knowing that two plus two equals four is the foundation from which to understand higher topics in mathematics, so without a proper understanding of the spark which animates the otherwise dull and lifeless body higher levels of knowledge cannot be reached.
And yet the staunch atheists will raise objections. Their deity of the moment is science. Certainly, the discipline, which is more of an art, relies on observation and experiment. To date there is yet to be any experiment proving the eternal existence of any material object, but the attempt is made nonetheless.
The promise is that one day life will be made permanent. That is to say there will be no death. Eternal living, achieved through advancements in science. Of course there is the randomness issue with which to contend. Just because medicine finds a way to eradicate disease doesn’t mean that death cannot arrive in other ways. The Vedas describe three sources of misery, and science only tries to solve the adhyatmika variety, illnesses and instability arising from within.
Overlooked in the stated objective is that other factors must exist for an object to actually qualify as permanent. These properties exist within the spirit soul and also the origin of both spiritual and material energies.
1. Exist in the future
This is the whole objective. Reverse the trend. Invalidate the laws of nature, as have been established through millions of years of experience. What goes up must come down. That which has taken birth must die. The outcome is certain.
“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.27)
For life to become permanent, it must exist into the future. Death is warded off. Old age is not an issue at this point. Even if a person is relegated to a wheelchair for the rest of their time, if they cannot hear or see very well, if the body is on the verge of death but still not there, the potential to be permanent is still considered.
2. Existing today
If you are not alive today, you obviously cannot be considered permanent. The aim is for maintaining existing life. What is done is done. Science is not claiming to be able to one day bring back people from the dead.
3. Existed in the past
This is the glaring omission, one that dare not be mentioned. If something is permanent, it must always exist. It cannot come into being at some point, because then it lacks a steady existence. You can find some place within the timeline of events to show that there was no presence.
The spiritual science describes a force that meets each of these qualifications. The spirit soul, the individual within, existed in the past. We may not know where that soul was, exactly. We may not be able to measure the travels of that soul with blunt instruments. We take the information on faith at first, and then gradually gain more confidence through observation, understanding, study, and personal experience.
For instance, we know that life comes from life. Science promises to change this basic truth of existence as well, but so far no luck. Without first using ingredients of life it is impossible to bring a new life into this world. The birth of an individual is due to the presence of the spirit soul, and that soul was somewhere else before. In addition, that soul will travel somewhere else after death. In this way the individual is known to be permanent.
The empirical method is defective in another way. It is impossible to prove that anything is permanent, since the individual observing must pass on eventually. Others can resume the work, but they did not witness the previous observations personally. They must accept the testimony on faith, and from that point they are no different than those who accept the spiritual wisdom and historical evidence of the Vedas passed on through the descending process of knowledge gathering.
Not only is the individual soul permanent, but so is the origin of spirit. That is one way to define the entity commonly referred to as God. He is without a beginning, anadi. He is also without an end, ananta. He is not separate from His creation, advaita. He also never makes mistakes, achyuta. So many ways there are to understand Him, and just as the individual is permanent in their existence, so is the engagement used to connect with the Almighty. Known as sanatana-dharma, it can be practiced in any condition and in any time, and when reaching the highest levels, time itself has no influence in stopping.
If permanent really to be,
Then in three phases must see.
Like in the past existing,
And through future persisting.
Of course around also today,
From scientists promise of “one day.”
Spirit soul in that position already found,
Same with origin, to material never bound.
Categories: the three