Science has, of course, come a long way to explain almost everything that we experience in our every day lives. From the vibrating strings that make up our elementary particles, to the large newtonian motion of our heavenly bodies. Science asks all the right questions, and it even knows why you’re up late at night on a weekday when you should really try to get some sleep. Science knows all that is in the now, and will continue to do so in the future. But here’s the catch. Science thinks its answering the question of the why, when in fact it can only answer the question of the how. When we say “Why does it get dark at night?” – Well the obvious answer is that it is because of the rotation of the earth. So simple, really. But it did n’t answer the question. We asked “Why?”. We didn’t ask “How is it that it gets dark at night?”, We asked “Why does it get dark at night?”. “Why does evolution occur?”, “Why do we fear the end of our existence?”, “Why does my liver affect my brain, without me commanding it to do so?”
And so, all of our efforts go in defining rigorously – all the various definitions of what matter is – and the form that it takes. The melting point of water and the density of the sun are all great things to know, but we still don’t know why these things happen in the first place. Who is responsible for these things to happen? To which, ofcourse, religion says – “It is Him” and they wonder why is it that some people get it, and others just don’t? The priests believe that they’re the highest authority of information in the world, and the scientists believe that they’re the ones the world should look towards. Both have proven each other, and themselves wrong countless times.
I head a story of a Buddhist monk that wrote to a spiritual teacher and said, “I’m tired of all this Sattori (Japanese for Enlightenment) business. I can’t continue to live in spiritual solitude, and have decided to completely get lost in the pleasures of this living world”. He was tired of the tag of being enlightened – given to him by someone he thought was a wise man.
Who is wrong to begin with in this situation? Is it the monk for abandoning his teachings about the “why” ? Or is it his teacher who forgot to tell him the single most important thing in the path to free living. To never blindly accept what anyone says to anyone else. Its then that we can start asking the right questions.