I’m intrigued by how you’re connecting yoga with physics and string theory and veganism and spiritual energy. You must have a very exciting life filled with lots of curiosity and learning!
Well there is obviously no reallllllllll short answer to this, but to give an idea the link between them all is energy. Ommmmm… LOL j/k. Well, not really just kidding, but you get the point.
So to begin with yoga: We have all heard of spiritual energy, chakras, oneness, zen, etc. etc. etc. I wont give a lecture on this subject in this post, but would be glad to elaborate if I am probed. (I have two degrees in Ashtanga yoga from the Gov’t of India.) And behind all this is energy. A very quick answer to why veganism is important in yoga is that “ahimsa” (meaning non-violence) is one of the 8 moral/social codes in yoga. I elaborate a bit on this below, but for now I would like to make the connection between spirituality and physics. This is no easy task:
We are all made of energy in its many different forms, both from a spiritual and a physics perspective. And this energy manifests itself in the form of particles. Electrons, neutrons, protons, quarks, etc. But what physics doesn’t really know right now is what exactly is the nature of these “fundamental” particles (in quotes, because they may actually have smaller constituents that we are not able to probe with current technology). And the most daring question is, “Why do they behave the way they do?” or put more bluntly (and obviously from my own perspective), “What is conciousness?”. (I am of the opinion that the “random” behavior of fundamental particles is actually consciousness.)
Now there are a handful of mathematical theories that have not yet been ruled out on this subject, and the one in which I am particularly interested at the moment is string theory.
I don’t know if you know anything about string theory (even I have not yet taken a class on the subject, but I managed to score my masters thesis project with the string theorist at my university, so hopefully by the end of summer 2012 I will know a lot more), but the basic concept is that particles are made up of vibrating strings, and their properties (mass, spin, etc.) are resonances of their vibrational modes. When I try to relate this concept to my intimate knowledge of Yoga (“Yog” means One in sanscrit, the “a” is added at the end to make the word a noun), the vibration itself is consciousness.
So, to now try to make the connection with veganism: Ok, first I will begin by mentioning the “Kardashev scale” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale ) and “Kohlberg’s stages of moral development” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development ). (These two models have been introduced under different aliases and by different people, but for the sake of easy discussion, I will use these.) I am interested in the advancement of our civilization along the Kardashev scale. I believe that if we can become more efficient, we will be able to manipulate our dimensional reality in wondrous ways, even ways that might seem like science fiction. I also believe that there is a very direct connection between a civilization’s position on the Kardashev scale and its moral/ethical status (along the Kohlberg scale), which is one place where veganism comes in.
Veganism becomes much more important in my “hypothesis” when I look at the actual detection of the existence of string theory. Current physics tends to be of the opinion that we would need a particle accelerator the size of, like, the earth or the solar system or something crazy like that to be able to detect strings. I believe that the answer is much less difficult than this. I believe that the answer is actually in “metaphysics” and not in physics. That each isolated physical vessel that is attributed to each quantum manifestation of the universal consciousness (for example the human body) can actually be used as a tool to probe the most fundamental constituents of existence. But in order to be able to do this one has to be highly aware of his own being, able to manipulate his own consciousness, and be able to reach what is termed “samadhi” in yoga. This state is better known as zen, or nirvana. (BTW there are many different forms of these states, these terms are actually umbrellas of different subcategories.)
To gain control over one’s consciousness, it is much easier if there is a lack of stimuli. I am of the belief that eating animal products comes with the vibrations associated. “We are what we eat.” There is just so much pain and suffering that goes along with the killing of an animal. Seeing that it has been scientifically demonstrated that brain waves reflect emotional states, I don’t see why pain and suffering from animal cruelty would be exempt.
To elaborate on this subject, science is now studying the memory of fundamental particles. Even at my university there is an experiment designed around photon memory. And what are brain waves but variations in the electromagnetic field? And any electron changes its state when placed in an EM field (It can change energy, spin, etc.). This is basic quantum mechanics. So if an electron (for example… the argument would be just as strong for protons, neutrons, quarks, etc. too) is actually a vibrating string and its vibrational modes are really its quantum states, then, if we want to be able to clean up our quantum consciousness to be able to use our bodies as vessels to explore the fundamentality of the universe, it probably isn’t a good idea to pollute it with “negative vibrations”.
I know I am sounding reallllllllly new agey at this point. HAHA. But seriously, this is why I decided to take the high road and study physics instead of just teach yoga in a studio. I made these connections when I was 18, way before I had ever even been introduced to yoga. When I actually did stumble upon it, I realized there is a completely ancient philosophy describing what I was already formulating. BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO BE A MYSTIC!! I want to be taken seriously. I want to try to describe existence as it is proposed in yogic philosophy, but with physics. There are so many people out there that think yoga is hogwash; a big majority of physicists, and therefore some of the most influential brains in our society, is one significant example.
Way back in the day, like 1000 years ago, there was no scientific method. There was only deductive reasoning as a means for acquiring new information. Considering that most of the information that was already known was in religious texts, this is how such ideas as “the world is flat” and “the stars are holes in the divide between heaven and earth” came into existence. Then an information revolution came to pass, and Là voilà! we have the experimental method. I think that we are at the brink of yet another revolution in how we acquire new information which will lead us to metaphyiscs.
There is certainly an argument on this point that metaphysics and everything that I have just described (namely using the human “body” as an (organic) machine for probing the universes mysteries) will only yield subjective results. However, what if everything is in essence One? Then (oh no, here comes the sci-fi again) phenomena like telepathy should be able to take place. One day when my (not yet conceived) children are out of the house and I am comfortable enough to have enough time to write books, I would like to produce a sci-fi book in which the whole of mankind becomes so “in-tuned” that they are able to make one of these metaphysical probes that I propose on a very large scale. Then, the knowledge that is obtained from this probe will be a part of the collective consciousness and not just of one individual.
Whoooof. This is quite an exhaustive subject and hard to pinpoint everything as a quick response. I hope that sheds a bit of light on my intentions though and clears things up a bit rather than cause more confusion. More questions is always good though!