Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Trust the Lord or trust fellow humans

My five year old grandson Golu trusts and loves the Lord
When Man is mentioned here in the title what is meant is, man, his words, his beliefs, science etc. His here includes her and the mention of man is for both men and women. However a lack of trust does not in the least imply for me a lack of love for mankind. Rather my compassion and love for humans has increased because of it.

I do not reject science altogether because I am a scientist myself and to do that would be to reject a part of myself. What is implied is that not just the science and technology of man but also his philosophy is at all times accepted by me and I hope by every wise person with much reservation and fistfuls of salt. When it comes to human medical science, interfering with human, animal and plant biology such as GM foods this caution even turns to dread. For much that many would go to a human doctor for, I have turned to Almighty God as many of my posts may have revealed, and this too has been a paradoxically a result of the study of science.

First, the belief in God although inherent in self from childhood was thrown into doubt and debate soon after I began university level education in science and technology. However, as I went further and further in this field, to its highest levels, further enquiry returned my belief in the Lord and Almighty in full and firm force. I shall not go into the details of this here but one can find those arguments in perhaps the very first post of this blog long ago. What may be mentioned is that it is because of similar discoveries that many scientists themselves including Einstein were firm believers while many of their students who studied science up to lesser levels were not.

Now returning to dread of science as regards human biology, the dread emerged during doctoral research in phenomenon concerned with relatively simple engineering devices. It was realized that even in simple things like thermal power plants and the flow of a simple fluid like water in a pipe there is much that we as human scientists do not know yet, much is subject to revision and much that may still take centuries before it can be improved. This did not mean that I rejected science, because it does make many useful contributions despite all this, in easing human lives. I myself have made contributions in this direction that any reader can check out by searching for my name as a google scholar where scientific publications, citations and their use by others would be found listed. However the clear message was that when we do not even know enough about simple machines, it would be foolish to expect that we would know more about a far more complex one – human, plant and animal bodies – that God or mechanisms of the universe devised by Him and under His control made. Therefore to express blind faith in procedures based on this incomplete knowledge to the extent of allowing free play with even one’s body and even far more so with one’s mind as expressed in an earlier post borders on utter foolishness to my mind. Now in the evening of my life I feel well vindicated by such beliefs by observing instances from my own life and those of friends and relatives who believed and did otherwise.

I do not mean to suggest that one must reject all medical procedures. Very many of them are of great benefit. For example there is nothing like a nice plaster for a fracture of the limb or an antibiotic for a growing and painful infection. What is suggested is that before any serious intervention with one’s body, a careful deliberation, wide consultation and an evaluation of alternatives especially simple ones must be considered, especially if time permits. A simple cheap alternative, if available, although appearing leas attractive in the short run may prove to be the best choice in the long run. The cheaper the alternative, the less the taint of greed! It goes without saying that in doing so you are likely to save money for something pleasant like a holiday and the capacity of your body and mind to enjoy it as well as the beauty of your body to attract a pleasant companion for the holiday too.

Some decade and a half ago, when I suffered from Angina and had been advised to go for some by-pass surgery or risk sudden collapse, I shunned it completely. I reasoned that everyone goes one day anyway and when one does, it would be much better by a stoppage of a heart rather than with a slow failure of the liver, kidney or tumors that grew gradually with increasing pain in the body.  I wrote a post on it in this blog earlier that can be found by searching called – When heart disease is a blessing. This sentiment is expressed in the poetic prayer of a recent post too. When I explained that to one of the most competent doctors in the country who was also a family friend (General Harish Puri) he appeared to get annoyed and could not give a satisfactory rebuttal. Further, from belief in the Lord and soul came belief in future lives and I also realized that it is a blessing when people leave the world reasonably young in a fit state rather than a very aged ailing one. May as well get into a new fresh body clothing sooner rather than go tottering about in a worn out one! My reluctance to get my angina treated led to my near collapse and demise on some occasions in this period lasting over seven years, when I depended on nothing more than a soluble aspirin thrown in a glass of water and which I carried with me at all times, combined with mindful breathing and mantra jap described in earlier posts that can be found by using the search tool at the top of the left column.

However, it seems that the Lord has not decided to relocate me just yet. My angina has vanished on its own over the years while some friends who depended on doctors are into their third stent or bypasses and baloonings accompanied with a compromised depressed existence.

My distrust for some medical procedures is not entirely a result of scientific study but also because of a philosophical one that has enabled understanding human nature. The understanding has been that medical procedures do not arise only out of scientific advancement but also out of human commercial greed and a human ego that regards itself at times as superior to the Doctor of the universe Who created infinitely more complex life forms and the universe with far greater perfection and ease than any human can ever dream of.

A similar realisation has been a part of the understanding of many since ancient times and it is perhaps because of this that Solomon the wise said thousands of years ago.

“One who does not fear the Lord fears man”


Vinod Khurana said...

Dear Ashok ji, It is difficult to take a decision when serious medical conditions develop. I agree with you that one should consult more and more people including specialists in the field, and in the meantime make significant life changes as also bringing in lot of positivity into one's thought process.

ashok said...

Dear Vinod, it all depends on how much of an emergency the situation is. At times it is too grave to wait but the vast majority of conditions can wait further deliberation and consultations before grave decisions like surgical intervention are made, and as the post mentions much faith in the Lord also is required to be patient at the time.

In the earlier poem it was mentioned how good it is for a human to leave the world quickly and relatively peacefully but at times many go after much suffering because they hang on to dear life even if it is a compromised one. When one believes in an after-life firmly and has taken care of those who might be dependent on one this reluctance too vanishes.

Sudhir Goyal said...

Ashok, your trust in Lord is truly amazing. Every human being will like to leave the world peacefully, but one must learn Acceptance in case of suffering before death.
All spritual practices can not eliminate suffering, but these help protect the mind and make suffering acceptable.

ashok said...

Good to hear from you Sudhir.

Sudhir, there is no choice but to accept unavoidable suffering some that must be a part of life.

My view is that faith can open many doors to contentment, peace and happiness and also the ultimate one of escape from suffering.