Review / endorsement
"Microvita and Other Spaces: Deepening Research through Intuitional Practice"
Albert Einstein reportedly once said: "I'm not very intelligent, but I have the capacity to fully concentrate myself on one single problem for a long period of time". We may or may not agree with the first part, surely the second part must have been crucial in Einsteins struggle of arriving at certain fundamentally new insights which turned out to have revolutionized science and society as a whole. Nevertheless, such revolutions in society, whether cultural, scientific, political or otherwise often seem to come in waves, and these waves are spearheaded by the urge and desire to let go of old paradigms, old lines of thinking. With Shrii P.R. Sarkar's new microvita theory, we seem to be in the rather exceptional and in some way luxury circumstance of surfing ahead of that wave. In Sarkar's own words, normally scientists would discover microvita not within a few hundred years from now. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that Sarkar's new theory is not, or not as fully, preambled by "prior art", as with most scientific theory and discovery, but appears to come rather out of the blue.
Consequently, it is somewhat understandable that while grappling with these very new ideas, authors are easily tempted to resort to all sorts of all too convenient familiar concepts, contexts and traditions, whether tokenistic, psychological, metaphysical or otherwise. This is for example how microvita are being explained in terms of "Shiiva and Shakti", the "realm of imagination", the five elements (earth, water, fire, etc..) and so forth. Bussey: "Ideas and concepts, in short, bring coherence to the world by editing in or out what is conceivable and perceivable to those who function within it". Therefore, while being infatuated with ones' own favorite doctrines, true clues and evidence which could be out there lying on the street in bright daylight, may be impossible to see. Indeed: "Microvita is an invitation to introduce intuitional practice and spiritual rationality back into mainstream discourse not via a metaphysical turn but by an expansion of what is inherent within the physical".
To make sure that we don't end up gazing at a new dawn of flat Earth theories, Sarkar anticipated this pitfall in a variety of ways. Firstly, in his very introduction of microvita theory, he addressed the typical human tendency to denounce that which we do not know as "non-existent" or "abstract". Further, he himself never used any terms which could lead to confusion, and moreover, he unambiguously distanced himself from certain traditional terms and explicitly introduced new ones, with a different meaning and context. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, he emphasized the need to develop our conceptual powers (specifically through "sadhana" i.e. spiritual practice), in order to be able to understand the secrets of microvita.
The latter is strikingly reminiscent of Einsteins approach to tackling new ideas, and as the title says, this is also the main thread of Dr. Busseys article. This way, Bussey likewise avoids the pitfall of convenient explanatorism, by emphasizing and exploring a crucial context actually given by Sarkar: how scientific research may be deepened through intuitional practice beyond the circumstantial, and how this could help open up yet unknown spaces of knowing which might otherwise remain inaccessible.
Bussey: "In this way [microvitum] moves us into the domain between relative and absolute and elicits a subjective approach with objective adjustment. This move demands an engagement with ontology – the inner story of a thing – so that we can introduce the story, an emergent meme, into our cultural and intellectual data base". Bussey might have noted here, that this is exactly what P.R. Sarkar did while introducing (quote) "A new line of thinking, other than philosophy", and then introducing actual new terms, in what appears to be an entirely new context [Sarkar, 1989]. Bussey: "It is Tantra that supplies the context for understanding microvita". Here we might add a critical note though. Tantra as a process of sense-making of the "whole real" of physical, mental and spiritual, this way distinguishes itself from our "dualistic European culture". However, Tantra still does this through the "metaphysical turn", and not through "an expansion of what is inherent within the physical", and is thus not automatically the context for microvita. In other words, the Tantric context by itself does not necessarily produce or facilitate the "emergent meme" of microvita science. Hence, microvita is not necessarily a "Tantric tool". In fact, with the same logic one might argue that microvita science forms the context, and provides the (occult) toolbox for Tantra, or at least its propounders. The most obvious difference is that Tantra has a long tradition, whereas microvita as a general science is still very new. Maybe the preferred approach is far more a matter of culture than of technicality. Bussey ends with proposing a new level of the sense-making process, in addition to the 8 steps of Brenda Dervin: "Information is a product of consciousness: expand our consciousness and we expand the information available to us".