Our Spiritual Experiment
When we turn into the driveway of our regional seva site, we see a sign that reads, “Science of the Soul Study Center”, a name chosen by the Master. What does “science of the soul” mean?
Science seeks the truth through the scientific method of discovery and replication. Whether it is biology, psychology or spirituality, a scientific conclusion after experimentation is considered truth. What is the truth about the soul?
Science is our modern way of understanding truth, and the soul is a particle of divine love within each of us. The science of the soul is our way of understanding the truth about divine love. The Masters are teaching and living the truth about love, and we are their students in this scientific endeavour.
The scientific method may be understood as a method of investigation in which a problem is identified and an experiment used to test the hypothesis that intends to solve it. Our problem is suffering; our experiment is meditation; our hypothesis may be “God exists and realizing His existence ends our suffering.” We intend to prove that, while living, we can attain mastery over the passionate mind and experience divine love.
The Masters offer a scientific method of spiritual development with the ultimate goal of God-realization. We pursue the discipline of meditation and seek detachment from the processes of the mind and body through concentration at the third eye. There the soul resides, with its capacity to “see” and “hear” the divine sound current. That “seeing” and “hearing” are instruments of spiritual research within us; they are our inner “eye” and inner “ear”, and no external methods are necessary.
The natural sciences cannot verify the existence or power of the soul because there is no technology that can observe and analyze it. For instance, no brain scan can detect the soul; the soul is not physical.
A scientist of spirituality might then ask: if a student has not experienced the soul’s capacity for sight and hearing, how might those capacities be developed? The Masters suggest that purity of heart is an acheievement all by itself, and is essential to the development of the soul’s ability to see and hear. Our hearts can be purified, the Masters assert, and then we can experience the radiant divine reality.
The Masters teach that the way to purify our heart is to practise simran, repetition of the holy names given at the time of intiation by the Master, at the eye centre and to “let go” of all worldly thoughts, feelings, passions, ambitions, regrets and worries. By practising simran we develop an inner focus that enables us to contact the Shabd – only the Shabd truly purifies us. If we are to develop our soul’s capacities and thereby experience the reality of God within us, then we must empty our minds of all thought and emotion. Who can do that? Most of us believe no one can do that. How are we going to succeed in our experiment if we must let go of all that?
Knowing that we are unable to let go of all thought and emotion on our own, we seek guidance on this spiritual research from someone who has mastered his mind, purified his heart and experienced divinity. That someone is the Master.
The Master suggests we take an objective view of life and pursue our research of divinity through the experimental practice of meditation. He asks us to follow his directions, just as he follows the directions of his own Master. Like all true Masters, he communicates with his disciples through the Shabd.
Each Master is the kind of disciple who always follows the directions of his own Master. As far as we know, their obedience is implicit and complete; they follow the scientific method exactly as directed. Perhaps we still struggle with that kind of obedience. No doubt, it is a daunting challenge in our individualistic competitive world. However, every scientist knows the experimental method must be applied precisely.
After some effort to follow the directions of the Master in this spiritual experiment, do we find more mastery of our minds and behaviour? Do we feel more peace within ourselves and more compassion for others? Does the realization of divinity grow within us? While the science of the soul is objective, it is also personal and private, so the answers to those questions lie within each of us.
The moment I realized the oneness of God,
the flame of his love shone within, to lead me on.
Constantly it burns in my heart with intense heat,
revealing the mysteries along my path.