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Date Posted: 11:57
Author: Mike Drake - 13 Jun 2001
Subject: Re: Is Yoga Scientific
In reply to: Waqidi - 11 Jun 2001 's message, "Re: Is Yoga Scientific" on 11:57

What you say is reasonable and entirely plausible, Waqidi, and I don't at all question the notion that certain habits of attention (spiritual or otherwise) are effective in many domains of thought and action; or that the subrational mind can (and maybe always will) be the source of a solution to any given problem.

My quibble is with what I see as the use of the term 'science' to characterize a body of techniques. 'Practice', 'technique', even 'technology', okay - but not 'science'.

The issue is more than merely semantic. I think it is pretty clear that in gearing his teachings to Westerners, Yogananda wanted his "science" to seem very much like "real" science (i.e., that stuff that Einstein, Heisenberg, Feynman, et al do - only with a spiritualist component conserved rather than "bracketed out"). Hence the frequent reference to modern scientists, modern scientific findings, and modern scientific theories.

Yet Yogananda's "science" lacks many of the key features of "real" science, as I'm sure you are well aware. The going apology for this is that Yogananda meant something "less narrow" than "real" science. The problem here is that Yogananda (as far as I can tell) never marks any such distinction between his "science" and "real" science, and often intersperces remarks about his "science" in with discussions of ostensibly "real" science. (I hope the scare quotes aren't too cumbersome here.) This sullies any clear distinction that might otherwise have been colorably discernible from his writings.

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