Saturday, July 26, 2008

Science Exposes ...

Photo Credits :

I read this recent MSNBC article stating that the mystery of the Aurora Borealis had finally been solved. Which had me thinking about a beautiful knowledge by Guruji .

Beauty has three levels: indication, expression and exposure. Spirituality indicates, art expresses, and science exposes.

Sri Sri Ravishankar

I remembered back when my dad gave me a beautiful book as a kid - don't remember the name - but it was about nature's mysteries. I vividly remember seeing a picture of the Northern Lights as the Aurora Borealis are also called and going Aah Wow ! I did not digest any more information about the lights but something within me certainly lit up.

Somehow when I recently read the above mentioned article, the same WOW did not emerge. An excerpt :

Angelopoulos and his team used the THEMIS probes to monitor the energy levels in Earth's magnetic field. In February of this year, the spacecraft spotted substorms originating in the tail of the magnetosphere that streams out away from the sun. As energy levels in the magnetic field lines built up, they drew ever closer to one another until they reconnected, setting off a storm, researchers said.

For the last three decades, researchers were undecided on whether the substorms stemmed from magnetic field lines reconnecting, or originated much closer to Earth where they were triggered by explosive instability.

"Our data show clearly and for the first time that magnetic reconnection is the trigger," said Angelopoulos.

The research is detailed in the July 24 online edition of the journal Science.

First discovered in the 19th century, magnetic substorms are recurring energy bursts stemming from the release of charged particles — collected from the sun's solar wind — in the Earth's magnetic field. The high-energy particles zoom down the Earth's magnetic field lines until they collide with the planet's upper atmosphere to create dazzling, shifting colors in the aurora borealis.

Despite being scientifically trained, somehow the above explanation left me cold and not in the same state of wonder that I experienced as a child .

I wonder - is it really necessary to rip apart every phenomenon and lay bare its inner workings ? Its the same feeling one gets when one opens the hood of a car or a computer and peeks at the inner parts. Somehow the handsome Merc / Macbook Pro do not feel the same again - at least to me !

Certainly that is the purpose of science but then what larger purpose does it really serve ? I believe something beautiful such as the borealis should serve as a way for someone to go "Wow - just look at that" , wonder about the beautiful hand that created it or simply take them to silence .

I guess it has to do with one's state of seeking at a point in life. When intensely intellectual, a scientific explanation serves the purpose. As the seeking deepens, such explanations cease to satisfy . An acknowledgment arises that all (or anything ?) cannot be explained. The more we seek to explain, the more the mystery deepens.

What the Bleep Do We Know ! :)

Jai Guru Dev,

References :


  1. well JAi gurudev..what else can I say!

    when I saw that 'angel' in the Rudrapooja pic, I thought " kab pata chalega, yeh camera, lights, angels ka chakkar kya hai" "If I'll ask my photography teacher, he won't even reply"

    And then, as I scroll down I finally get the explaination.
    I agree so right, even if we know everything , what will we gain.
    Maybe we already know everything, high time we clebrate it. Easier said than done!

  2. yeah, like anandji said in a course bout the angels " those that know, know". everyone will - just a matter of time.
    just need to inspire them to do Part I , Ashtavakra.

    Jai Guru Dev,