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To Believe or Not to Believe - 2
|by Arya Bhushan|
Even in recent times, Dr. S. Chandrasekhar, it is understood faced rejection and humiliation, when he propounded his theory of white dwarf stars that ' stars that are upto 1.4 times the mass of the Sun would continue to shrink in size because of gravitational forces within them. Eventually when they exhausted their fuel, these stars would collapse and disappear from the cosmos.
This paper was at that time rejected as being scientifically unsound, and now after fifty years has been applauded and considered worthy of being awarded Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983. (5:1)
This, perhaps, shows that whether it is the religion or the science, whenever any new thought is presented beyond the accepted theories, or confirmed beliefs, it tends to be resisted, ridiculed, and put down. Today it is science, that has become the established religion and everything is tested on the basis of scientific inquiry, which can be demonstrated in the laboratory. This, however, creates a problem in the areas, where scientific knowledge has not reached the stage, at which a particular phenomenon can be comprehended and explained on the basis of known theories. It is only in these grey areas that the question of belief and non-belief gains importance. It is here that the charlatans, the fakes, and the imposters flourish. The common man gets puzzled due to the diverse and varied information that he receives from different sources, each of them professing to be an expert. Everyday he hears incredible stories, sometimes true, sometimes half true, and sometimes the fabrication of the wildest of imagination. When falsehood is clothed and presented as scientific truth, one starts doubting truth itself, till one is personally able to see the results himself by personal verification. But how much can one see and verify personally. Some times and somewhere one has to depend on others. He, therefore, continues to be a doubting Thomas.
It is very much so in the field of Parapsychology, where full potential and power of the human mind has not yet been fully explored, nor have all the laws of nature and universe been deciphered. Doubts continue to linger on the reality of UFOs, ESP, OBEs (Out of body experiences), Reincarnation, Psych-kinesis, Ghosts and Poltergeists, Astrology, Faith-healing, and other allied subjects.
During early part of my life, almost fifty years ago, I had read somewhere that man-eating plants were found in some of the dense forests in Africa, and I had believed it till recently when I read that these stories were not true. There are no such plants. All carnivorous plants are small and the largest animal, which they could devour, would be a tiny reptile or amphibian. (1.15)
Again in 1966, in a newspaper article in India, I had read about a young boy in Seoul, who was three years old but a freak. He cut 19 teeth on the hundredth day, was walking and talking when six month old, had learnt German and English, and was solving complicated problems in differential and integral calculus. The article, further, said that the I.Q. of the boy was over 200 and he was going to the United States to study Physics under Professor Allen D. Schneid at the University Of Michigan. Complete details, including the boy's name, the names of his parents, and where they worked, were mentioned. There could, thus, be no doubt about the authenticity of the news item.
Being unusual news, I kept a copy. Six years later, in October 1972, I wrote to Professor Schneid wanting to know about the further progress the boy had made. The reply I received from the University of Michigan completely baffled me as it said that there was no Professor Schneid in any college in the U.S. and no one had been able to substantiate the existence of either the "genius child" or of Prof. Schneid. The matter becomes all the more intriguing to note that the information had found place in the Guinness Book of World Records with a photograph of the boy and his parents. If what the University of Michigan wrote to me, which I believe to be true, then obviously someone has misguided the Guinness Book people.
Such news might provide some excitement and sensation to the reading public, but it does great harm and destroys the faith in what is being printed as facts by the media. It also creates doubts in the truth about scientifically established facts.
A series of books were published in the late fifties, authored by T. Lobsang Rampa. In "The Third Eye", the author claimed that a Tibetan Lama was writing his life "through" him and had, in fact, fully occupied his body following a slight concussive accident. The publishers were reputed and reliable and the book was categorized as 'non-fiction'. In the forward, the author emphatically stated that his books, "The Third Eye" and "Medical Lama" were true, and the statement was supported by his wife. A heated controversy arose after the publication of these books, and to clear her doubts, my wife wrote to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to throw light on the truth of the story. In reply, a letter was received from the Personal Secretary to His Holiness, that Mr. T. Lobsang Rampa is neither a Tibetan, nor had he ever been to Tibet and they did not place any credence in his works.
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