Reviewing

"THE FIRST PHASE OF EVOLUTION - COSMOLOGY AND MICROVITA" by H.J. de Weijer
http://www.microvita.com/reviews/the-first-phase-of-evolution/

By: Frank van den Bovenkamp (Pankaj)
Date: 15-02-2015


Namaskar

"Microvita cosmology does not run on philosophical steam power".

In an open letter to the publisher of Crimson Dawn, which I shared end of last year (2014), I stressed the importance of at least some reasonable level of article review, anticipating the editing and publication of a special edition on microvita.

Of course, Crimson Dawn is not a scientific journal - it is for a general audience, and the intention of the editor was to create more public awareness of microvita science. This is of course an admirable cause, however articles based on not well-founded or confused ideas in one way or another, don't really contribute to public awareness. As a matter of fact, they contribute to public confusion or a false sense of "understanding". This is something which should be avoided.

The "officially" published version (Feb. 2015) contained a couple of articles taken from a peer-reviewed journal, as well as a few which appeared to be specially written for this occasion. At least one of the latter articles raises some concerns on whether it has received any form of review at all. This is the article, by Henk de Weijer, which I selected to succinctly review myself for microvita.com.

The purpose is not to get into too much technical detail, but to show the importance and very concept of straightforwardly representing Shrii P.R. Sarkar's original idea, anyway, but especially if it is targeted at a typically somewhat gullible general audience.

In the section below I've added comments to a few key statements and / or concepts of the author 's personal reading of microvita science which can quite easily be understood and verified by the reader.

Additional note: the final Crimson Dawn version contains one reprinted scholarly article against the express wish of its author. Further, one specially written article was censored by the publisher for no known reason, let alone a substantial review. In addition to concerns about the quality of some of the articles to begin with, this further contributes to setting a certain tone of the whole Crimson Dawn Microvita Edition, which was supposed to be good PR for Ananda Marga as well, and which now has gone public.

The open letter to the publisher can be read here.

 

Brief review of Henk de Weijer's article: "The First Phase of Evolution - Cosmology and Microvita".

Page 32 (in the Crimson Dawn edition):
"An ontological discussion that not yet has been discussed and developed is bipolarity: the equivalence of consciousness and energy, the two fundamental principles that underly all phenomena of this universe. The Indian philosophers Abhinavagupta (950-1020) and Gyaneshvar (1271-1296) lived this priniple and described it in beautiful wordings. P.R. Sarkar also described it, but did this in a way that could accomodate a new ontology, as well as a new approach to evolution. It is the principle that underlies this essay".



Comments:

The above phrase summarizes the main thesis of the author. From further reading and the schematics, it becomes evident that the "new ontology" mentioned by the author essentially refers to Shrii P.R. Sarkar's microvita cosmology [Microvita and Cosmology, MvC]. First of all, the author here reframes P.R. Sarkar's "new line of thinking" [MvC] as a mere "new line of describing", i.e. of readily existing ideas which were basically already establised back in the 10th. century, by some not dramatically famous philosophers / mystics. If that is correct, then Sarkar might not have meant his "new line of thinking" too literally, but only as a metaphor, while nevertheless forgetting to refer to those philosophers who already had "lived" the very foundation of his obviously "not-so-new line of thinking" long ago. Allthough this seems highly unlikely, let's give the author the benefit of doubt and check out what Abhinavagupta and Gyaneshvar's idea about the "equivalence of consciousness and energy" is all about.

Abhinavagupta:
"This system involves ritual union between Purusha as (Shiva) and Shakti, yet this union is essentially non-physical and universal, and thus for a master such as Abhinavagupta, he was always in communion with Shiva-Shakti". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhinavagupta

Gyaneshvar or Dnyaneshvar:
He composed "Amritanubhav" (The Nectar of Mystical Experience). Excerpts from Chapter One: The Union of Shiva and Shakti: "In fact, the duality of Shiva and Shakti cannot exist in that primal unitive state from which AUM emanates", "It is in this manner I bow to the inseparable Shiva and Shakti", "I became one with Shiva and Shakti".
http://www.nonduality.com/jnan.htm

And so forth.. Beautiful and deeply inspirational. We may assume that "Shiva" and "Shakti" are the resp. "consciousness" and "energy" these philosophers, according to the author, speak about. This is the common idea in philosophy. As for their fundamental unity, which the author refers to as "bipolarity", P.R. Sarkar (Shrii Shrii Anandamurtii) himself says: "Shivashaktyamakam Brahma" [Ananda Sutram, Chapter I]. It might be good to note that this was a few decades before Sarkar introduced microvita theory.

Hence the question is, in what way, according to the author, Sarkar "described" the unity of Shiva and Shakti in order to "accomodate" microvita cosmology. The immediate question arises then, why Sarkar barely used the terms Shiva and Shakti in 41 lectures related to microvita, and certainly not in an explanatory sense? Not only that, Sarkar explicitly distanced himself from other crucial terms stemming from the same philosophical framework, while introducing his "new line of thinking". In other words, it seems that the author, through the use of certain very familiar, age old terms, attempts to explain a new line of thinking (a new ontology?) introduced by Sarkar, for which Sarkar himself never used those terms, and even explicitly distanced himself from other, closely affiliated terms. Does the author maybe see connections which Sarkar himself failed to realize? Or, did Sarkar try to make things difficult to generate a rush of excitement for his new theory? This, of course, prompts for further reading of the author's line of thinking.

Logically, the subsequent explanations concern the concept of "Energy". Without ado, in P.R. Sarkar's microvita cosmology, "Energy" is Jina Purusa, or the "Knowing Principle". In philosophy, Shakti is the very counterpart of the witnessing Purusa. By all means, these are two totally different, if not rightout opposite concepts, having two completely different contexts.

Then, obviously it goes on with "Consciousness". As actual term it was only rarely used by Sarkar in relation to microvita theory, and only in a circumstantial fashion. With respect to microvita cosmology, the author uses this term where Sarkar uses "Purusa". Also the author uses his own, somewhat more tangible terms for the two rather abstract internal faculties of "Purusa" in microvita cosmology, indicated by Sarkar. In some way it is funny, because Sarkar says, "we have to introduce new terms", which he then does, and so now the author comes and introduces yet new terms for what are supposed to be the same principles. It seems that this way, through making it a bit more tangible, the author justifies to replace the rather abstract "Purusa" faculties with the more familiar term "Consciousness", and from there of course it's a short leap to the Shiva / Shakti universe of Abhinavagupta and Gyaneshvar.

Ok, and then we have it. "Bipolarity". A nice way to linguistically draw one line between philosophical unity and bifurcation in microvita science and conveniently wrap it all up. Unfortunately "unity etc.. of A and B", and "unity etc.. of C and D" is a nice coincident but does not yield any information about how A and B relate to C and D, or if and why they should be related in the first place. It only makes one suspect a lack of original understanding of A and B, or C and D, or all of them. "Bipolarity" is also a term in psychiatry, indicating that one is flipping back and forth between two extreme takes on life, without obvious cause or relation. Clearly this is not likely to help solve problems in society.

Putting it all together - the point of P.R. Sarkar is not to try to relate his new theory to the philosophy of Shiva and Shakti, which might not even be totally impossible, but to come to a clear and innovative approach in a few concise, effective strokes, and that is microvita cosmology in its own right. Sarkar by all means has delivered precisely that. If only for a legacy sake of argument, Sarkar would himself have sought those kind of peripheral explanations. But there is not even the slightest hint in that direction. On the contrary. In other words, the very purpose of microvita cosmology is to come to a "new ontology", or simply, a new approach, without the need of an intellectualistic tour the force to match that for which there exists not a shred of evidence that it needs to be matched, if you adopt the actually proposed line of thinking.

Another argument is, that microvita theory was introduced to "solve a few problems in society in a nice way" [Microvitum, a Mysterious Emanation of Cosmic Faculty]. If these "few problems" would refer to the same category of "problems" addressed by 40 years of Dharshan Shastra, social and economic theory and Prabhat Samgiita, then why waste time on another series of 41 discourses on such a trivial and yet "not very easy" [MvC] subject as microvita? Everyone should ask themselves the question: what is the purpose and benefit of microvita science, what can you do with it, which can obviously not be delivered by spiritual philosophy?

On a more technical note, a somewhat meaningful cross-over between microvita theory and philosophy might be found, not in the non-descript idea of "unity", but in the concept of differentiating beween nucleus state and universal state, obviously applying to the primordial entity of science and philosophy alike. This could be taken as a central creation axiom, and from there it either develops in a Shiva / Shakti etc. style, or in a scientific way. How educative this comparison is, is another issue. Sure enough, drawing parallels based on "unity" is totally non-educative.

So, conclusively at this point, the author has in no way proven that with microvita theory, Sarkar in fact described the Shiva / Shakti philosophy of Abhinavagupta and Gyaneshvar. And if Sarkar had done so, it would have fallen into the category of spiritual philosophy. That's where it belongs, where it undoubtedly would have been heard, and its beauty appreciated. Now, as the author is ending his introduction by saying, "It is the principle that underlies this essay", there seems no real point in reading further. Yet, let's look a bit into how the author elaborates on his main thesis.

Well, he doesn't actually seem to do so. In fact, in the final conclusion, there is not the slightest hint of reference to the original thesis. The series of issues discussed in between are of some interest though. Here and there it appears to breathe something of the initial ideas, that is, that of "bipolarity" and making (other) philosophical and tangible associations to clarify the core concepts of microvita theory, however rather circumstantially and certainly not explanatory. Clearly, besides the technical issues, the purpose and usefulness of attempting to analyze and reframe microvita science in terms of Shiva / Shakti philosophy is not demonstrated.

More importantly, it is nowhere clear or well explained how all this rigorously relates to original P.R. Sarkar microvita theory and -cosmology. It seems that the author's main thesis mostly serves as a "raison d'être" - to innocently and gracefully muse over all these interesting and important cosmological etc. issues, without the need of deep concerns about accuracy, innovation and practical applicability.

Conclusion
The tales and writings of Abhinavagupta and Gyaneshvar are truly enchanting and captivating. The author 's receptiveness for it can only be appreciated and I'm grateful that through his thesis I've been alerted to it. However it does not justify the "Shiva-Shaktification" of microvita cosmology, and its subsequent use, in this pacified, washed out form, to address the great questions of life, the universe and everything else. The romantic smell of hot steel and oil of the steam era does not justify explaining electricity in terms of steam-power, even though steam is still used today to power turbines. If it would merely put off or confuse the reader or listener, that's one thing. But if people had complacently believed they had "understood" it, the first light bulb would never have been conceived, for light does not run on steam power, and the problem of lighting in society would not have been solved in a nice way. Similarly, microvita cosmology does not run on philosophical steam power, but on P.R. Sarkar's electrifying "new line of thinking" which could one day help illuminate yet unexplored alleys of civilisation.

When I have time, I'll check out more about Abhinavagupta and Gyaneshvar.


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