Sri Prem Ramchand Daswani (73), born in Hyderabad Sind (now in Pakistan), is a multi-faceted personality—writer, lawyer and businessman. A post-graduate (M. Sc) in Pure Mathematics/Statistics and LL.B (first Class) from Pune University, he holds, in addition, a postgraduate diploma in Social Studies (Spical Merit) awarded by the London University.
A Daxina Fellow in Low of the Pune University (1958-59), Prem Daswani engaged in business abroad in the 1950s and associated himself with the National Association for Mental Health, London, in 1961-62. He undertook social work, research and writing assignments in Bombay (Mumbai) from 1964 and also practiced Law for over a decade in the Bombay High court.
Prem Daswani was Associate Edition of Tattvaloka, an international spiritual magazine, and then produced from Mumbai, from 1990 to 1995.
Publications to his credit are (English): 1. Issues of National Policy, Jaico, Bombay (1969) (Edited) 2. Democracy in Perspective, 1979 (journal of Intercultural Studies, Japan). 3. Sri Radhakrishna theme-Forms of Puire Bhakti (Special feature in Tattvalika magazine) and 4. Articles in Indian Journals-Quest (1962), Modern Review (1965-70) and Orient (1973).
At the core of mystical experience lies the claim to total union with and awareness of an absolute which cannot be defined--though some call it “God”: This experience of awareness may be conscious or subconscious. The mystic claims to a higher dimension of consciousness that supposedly cannot be defined. In general, religions point to the authority of revelation, calling others to accept faith. Mystics, on the other hand, look to direct realisation, arising internally from a journey each must undertake on one’s own. Naturally, such claims raise problems to those concerned with a scientific approach.
Mystics state as an axiom that the core of mystical experience is not accessible to the intellect, that those seeking it must first enter a meditative state in which the critical faculties are transcended. At this juncture the choice of the researchers seems simple: Either they should forfeit their profession as researchers and become mystics, or they should settle for analysis of those phenomenal aspects of mystical experience which are accessible to the intellect. The only apparent compromise, if it is possible, seems to lie in alternating between the two roles. But it is also possible that a fusion of the two roles takes place in certain altered states, yielding probably unpredictable and yet rational results about the mystical experience itself that is, about its “core.”
It is generally presumed that rational arguments may be
Safely applied to the phenomenal aspects of mystical experience, but the “core” lies invulnerable to reason. There is,
of course, no contradiction of reason implied by acknowledging its limits; there is contradiction only in building arguments on a priori grounds. If this is so, then it becomes clearer why we should approach the core of mystical experience both through reason and through an internally directed and experiential process. This suggests that the core presents us with the same difficulty psychologists in recent times have wrestled with: Maintaining an objective stance when we ourselves become the subject of study.
We must, of course, distinguish observation and explanation from experience itself. Knowledge or understanding, even understanding of experience in terms of physical phenomena, is not a substitute for the experience itself Experience involves nerve endings as well as the brain, whereas understanding engages the brain alone. This is certainly not adverse reflection on science, nor should it be shocking or disappointing. We can, for example, enjoy food even in the possession of knowledge of the chemistry of taste and digestion.
The brain we possess is very likely capable of achieving understanding of its own construction and function; this poses no threat to our humanness if we remind ourselves that such understanding is no substitute for experience itself. What the brain understands does not replace the sensations it receives. There is surely something in a mystical experience that lies outside science. But there is nothing about the experience itself that cannot be understood by science.
Mystical experience can then be studied in terms of three inter-related concepts: (1) Its relation to both the external and internal environment, in other words, space; (2) its relation to time; and (3) its relation to the causes leading to the experience. Considered logically, the concepts of space, time and causation are free creations of the human intelligence, tools of thought, which are to serve the I
Purpose of bringing experiences into relation with each
Other, so that in this way they can be better surveyed.
The conception of causality also varies with the
Conception of space-time; it may, therefore, be useful to
speak of a space-time-causality continuum.
It may be said that (a) the link between causes and effects need not always be “causal,” that is, unique, unsymmetrical, constant, external, and (b) nothing warrants the presumption that we shall ever attain more than hypothetical (but not provable) knowledge of causes, effects, and their links (whether causal or not). Therefore science as a catalogue of proximate causes must give way to a science in which even final causes are also searched and researched, and a science in which causality in the space-time continuum must be, on occasion, suspended, if not generally.
We shall now classify higher dimensions of
Consciousness into four groups:
(1) In dealing with extemporal dimensions of consciousness, there is recognition of the category of existence possessing the attributes of space-time and causation linking events in space-time in a causal manner.
(2) In dealing with in temporal dimensions of consciousness, there is recognition of a category of existence possessing the attributes of space-time and causation but also, recognition of another category of existence devoid of the attributes of space-time and causation.
(3) In dealing with temporal dimensions of consciousness, there is no recognition at all of any category of existence possessing the attributes of space-time and causation.
(4) A fourth group consists of inter-relationships between the extemporal, in temporal and a temporal
dimensions of consciousness.
The higher dimensions of consciousness described in the succeeding chapters are only typical examples of their group, they are not exhaustive. The thematic ideas of transcendence and transformation are not exhaustive either, in depicting all the higher dimensions of consciousness. The assumption that the themes and the typical examples are connected is implicit. No express attempt has been made to connect them.
A final word may be stated about the distinction between higher dimensions of consciousness and paranormal (psi) capacity. The careful research of parapsychologists over the last half-century has established the existence of several types of psi effects, namely, telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psycho kinesis. Telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition (and retro cognition) are generally referred to collectively as extra-sensory perception (ESP), while psycho kinesis (PK) is a sort of paranormal motor action. The term psi includes both sorts of processes.
In each case, no known physical energy can act as the carrier of the information or force. Many occult phenomena (such as materialization, dematerialization, possession, and communication with the dead) or those known as siddhis in Indianola systems, or the phenomena produced by so-called magic and witchcraft are possible as psi effects, but they have not been researched as much as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and PK.
Such psi effects may or may not form an ingredient of a higher dimension of consciousness. Mystics, for example, do not generally take credit or express pleasure in the exercise of psi capacity, if it becomes available to them. Therefore, no attempt has been made in this work to include p phenomena among the higher dimensions of consciousness. Nor has any attempt been made to deal with specific methods to bring about the higher dimensions of consciousness.
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