A scientist in search of 'One Source'

Mani Bhaumik is an Indian American physicist who asserts that science and spirituality, in effect, are two sides of the same coin. Born in a village in West Bengal's Midnapur district, Bhaumik has written two books Code Name: God and The Cosmic Detective, the former arguing forcefully that the discoveries of modern physics can be reconciled with the great truths of world religions. He was in Bangalore recently to launch the Kannada translations of his books. In an interview, he tells Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui of Deccan Herald that it's time attempts were made to find 'a common ground' between eastern spirituality and western science.

Q: Why do you think science and spirituality should patch up?

A: Advanced physics and cosmology strongly support the Neo-Platonic notion of 'the One Source' at the hub of all spiritual traditions. This source, I infer, may be residing in what is known as the quantum vacuum state and be in some manner equal to human consciousness. That is to say, mind and matter are not dissimilar but are an undividable whole. My intensive research of over a decade led me to the conclusion that the One Source is not merely a creation of blind faith, but firmly grounded in scientific reality.

Q: How can the big divide between the two be bridged?

A: The trick is to see things in an entirely new light - that of recent findings in cosmology and quantum physics. The latter is a very important benchmark as it is considered one of the pillars of all that exists.

Q: How did this inconsistency between science and spirituality arise in the first place? 

A: When Europe was waking up to renaissance, religion was badly mired in superstition and fallacy. The Church only aggravated the matter with its staunch opposition to reasoning and logical thinking. But as religion began losing the ground and science received wide acceptance, the situation changed. So, as a radical response to this, religion was declared a 'sullied baby' one should get rid of. Instead of only clearing the dirt and throwing the bath-water, the baby was also thrown out.

Q: Given these recent discoveries, do you think the general perception of the people in the west about religion is changing?

A: Certainly, people have begun to see things in the new light. But this phenomenon is rather slow. When it comes to religion, we choose to say only bad things such as how it has been a major factor in stoking enmity between different communities. No one talks about the good things. A new phase is about to unveil but it'll take time. May be in the next 100-200 hundreds, spirituality will reclaim the lost ground.
Q: What made you to carry out this research?

A: I had made good money by developing excimer laser at the Northrop Corporation Research and Technology Centre in Los Angeles in 1973. The technology was extensively used in the popular Lasik corrective eye surgery which almost eliminates the need for glasses and contact lenses.  Despite this success, I always felt a hole in my life. Something was badly missing and I could find it nowhere. Meanwhile, I took up work in quantum physics which eventually led me to see life in a completely new perspective.

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