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Man's Fate and God's Choice: An Agenda for Human Transformation

By Challa, Bhimeswara

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Book Id: WPLBN0100302532
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 3.09 MB.
Reproduction Date: 02/04/2011

Title: Man's Fate and God's Choice: An Agenda for Human Transformation  
Author: Challa, Bhimeswara
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Social Sciences, Scholarly non-fiction, Non-fiction, Sociology, Religion, Humanities, Social science,
Collections: Philosophy, Authors Community
Historic
Publication Date:
2011
Publisher: Various
Member Page: Bhimeswara Challa

Citation

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Challa, B. (2011). Man's Fate and God's Choice: An Agenda for Human Transformation. Retrieved from http://cn.worldlibrary.net/


Description
Stagnate as a 'creepy caterpillar' or transform into a 'beauteous butterfly'-this path-breaking book of a rare genre suggests-is the seminal choice before mankind, and every one of us. In this setting, the book raises some fundamental questions: What is man's rightful place in the cosmos and his manifest destiny on earth? Why are we so self-righteously self-destructive? Are we a doomed species? Or 'divine' beings struggling to overcome the hubris of the human intellect? Is God getting weary of mankind? How should we synergize human effort and Divine Grace? The book posits that any betterment in human behavior needs a cathartic change at the deepest levels. That requires diluting the dominance of the mind and reawakening the long-dormant intelligence of the human heart. To meet that challenge, we need minimum numbers, a 'critical mass' to create self-sustained momentum for transformation through consciousness change. And every single human of this generation should behave in such a way that he or she is that single person whose transformation could make the decisive species-scale difference. The book offers a menu of ideas and an agenda of action. This book could be itself become an input to mobilize that very 'critical mass' it advocates for human transformation. Well-planned and cohesively written, the book is noteworthy for its delightful blend of information and arguments, and reveals the depth of the author’s understanding of the human predicament... This is a closely argued and thought-provoking book... The Hindu, 13 Sept 2011 [This book] is a gripping exposition on human nature and self-transformation without preference to religion... Challa has critically provided a foundational argument for a deeper discussion of philosophical and practical ideals concerning self-transformation... harmonizing the head and the heart is the way for humans to function as spiritual beings. Recommended by the USR. The US Review of Books [The author] reflects upon the crisis of contemporary civilizations and outlines a blueprint for a new world order based on progressive spiritual values and change of human consciousness. The strength of this treatise is the sweep of Challa’s reach and his treatment of a vastly complex set of issues that bedevil humankind today... India International Center Quarterly, Summer 2012 As a thinker and erudite scholar, [the author] has made a profound study of the world situation and the moral decadence of man... [This book] deserves to be on the shelves of university, college and public libraries... Triveni Magazine, July–Sept 2011 It is difficult to pigeon-hole this book as... a ‘prophetic discourse’, a ‘journey into the human mind’, a ‘guide for human survival’, a ‘spiritual treatise’. It is an amalgam of all these and more... the volume reaches out to those who are already uneasy about the way we on this earth are progressing. The Book Review, India, June 2013

Summary
What is new is that for the first time in the history of the earth, a single species, the human, has acquired the awesome power to chart the course of its own evolution and alter the course of practically all other species. And also to quicken what Jonathan Schell (The Fate of the Earth, 1982) calls ‘the death of the earth’. The irony and tragedy is that with that kind of power man is perhaps the most miserable creature on earth; to borrow the words from the song Epitaph by the rock band King Crimson, ‘every man is torn apart with nightmares and dreams’ and no one cares ‘as silence drowns the screams’. Many things have gone awry in our long march from the life of a hunter-gatherer to the post-modern man or posthumous man, and we can only speculate if it is all in tune with divine will or if it is purely a product of human will. Perhaps our greatest failing is that, despite our obvious interdependence, we have failed to imbibe a strong sense of species-hood, of solidarity, of respect for each other, of a shared destiny. Indeed, take away the capacity for interbreeding and reproduction, and we would hardly qualify as a ‘species’ in the way we relate to each other. But instead, what unites us all is a ‘sense of victim-hood’, the entrenched conviction that we are being wronged by our fellow-men, by our fate, and by the gods.

Excerpt
Chapter 1 Man in Context God gotten weary of Man! The turn of any millennium is always a time for thoughtfulness, a rugged moment for intrepid introspection, a hinge of history for an honest audit of human conduct, for a moral inventory of our presence on earth, a juncture for a steadfast look at a nebulous — and numinous — stage in the life of our blessed (and baffling) species. Although it is but a twinkle in the cosmic calendar and a trifling stretch in the geological calculus, a thousand years is a huge hiatus in human history and deserves a moment to pause and ponder. In the long, tempestuous tale of man’s search for the substratum, his endeavors to understand the nature of the basic ‘reality’, the ‘meaning of his being’ and to bend fate, as it were, to his wanton whim and will, this is a period of pregnant profundity, the twilight of a dusky dawn. We are stranded between the crumbling past and a convulsive future, the ground underneath giving way, in our attempt to know why things are as they are. Whether we are simply the secular and stray descendants of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm, or an arbitrary product guided by no objective value, or the special creation of an All-Wise and All-Merciful God and with a manifest mission that has somehow gone terribly awry, what the human presence has wrought on earth has come to a boil. We do not know what the future holds. Is it likely that a new species could evolve from Homo sapiens with improved or additional senses, with the ability to perceive and experience new dimensions, and with the capacity to develop a higher or different intelligence? Could it be that new species would manifest in a completely different form and shape with an entirely new life pattern? In the ‘magical’ drama of the origin and evolution of life on earth, spread over a span of nearly four billion years, the present period is indeed a pivot without parallel when, as astronomer Martin Rees tells us, a lone species — the human, for now — has grasped the earth’s future in its hands, casting on it a responsibility never before borne by any other species. In his book, Our Final Century (2004), Rees argues that humankind, with the devices it has on hand, is potentially the maker of its own demise and the demise of the cosmos. He says that “what happens here on Earth, in this century, could conceivably make the difference between a near eternity filled with ever more complex and subtle forms of life, and one filled with nothing but base matter.” He adds that the odds are fewer than 50:50 that humans will survive till the end of this century; and brings the matter closer home — and heart — by reminding us that the decisions that man makes in the next few decades are possibly the most important that man has ever made. Even if the time-frame is debatable, clearly we are poised at a pivotal point, and by the time this millennium passes and the year 3,000 CE arrives the human race would have either perished or would have become a radically different form of life on earth. Some astrobiologists calculate that the planet has already has begun the long process of devolving into a burned-out cinder, eventually to be swallowed by the sun. Whatever is the course of the future, it is becoming unmistakably obvious that we are in the middle of much more than a mere quantitative change in rates of growth, pace of application of technology, information explosion, or declining moral standards. While we talk of post-human as the next, perhaps the final, phase in evolution, the fact is that the base itself is eroded: we humans have already become other than only human for at least half a century, both in terms of our creative and 24 destructive potential. With the result, we need new tools to govern our own behavior and new yardsticks on what or who a ‘moral man’ is or ought to be. We must bring into clearer focus what Scottish historian Adam Ferguson called in his essay History of Civil Society (1767) ‘a principle for affection for mankind’ and the conviction that “an individual is no more than a part of the whole that demands his regard”1. The Socratic axiom that “an unexamined life is not worth living” is even more germane to the life and loves of a species that prides itself as the most ‘intelligent’ on this planet and that now has turned to be the most menacing mammal. Man, having largely succeeded in his labor to extricate himself from the rigors and limits inherent in the laws of Nature, has now shifted his greedy gaze towards the natural (or divine) determinants of earthly life — disability, decay, disease, and finally death. The other ‘D’of human life is a congenital delusionary disorder. Deluded by his visions of anthropocentric grandeur, man is audaciously aiming at individual immortality, space colonization, and species-scale eternity, and has summoned science to his aid. For science, the defining driving force now on earth, has the primeval power to make things indistinguishably different from what they originally were, to transform their basic features, make them vanish and reappear as an altogether different substance — the attributes that hitherto God alone had. Man is now turning that ‘transformational’ power towards himself, trying to direct his own destiny. But unlike God’s power, the power of science is, although awesome, still finite. And it can, in a trifle, like God, destroy not only incrementally but also exponentially.

Table of Contents
Contents Preface Chapter 1. Man in Context God gotten weary of Man! To let fall a tear for humanity Brooding on the brink Risks, change and transformation The three ‘I’s of the human condition Chigyogoisui — unity of knowledge and action Malaise of modern man God and good men Narcissism and nihilism The way forward — the way inward Chapter 2. The Human Condition The human in the universe Harmonizing personal and collective identity Pleasure and pain Man — a mixed blessing The rope and the snake Dwanda-atheetha and the principle of polarity A thinking pigmy Power, passion and love Moral foundation of mankind Knowledge, ignorance and illusion The self and the razor’s edge Human depravity Evolution and culture Acceptance and tolerance Civilization and chemicalization Consumerism and its critics Comparison, competition and convergence Chapter 3. Of Human Baggage and Bondage Bondage and liberation Human activity and its toxic fall out Lives of quiet desperation The quest for ‘good governance’ Earth and its false gods Evil — be thou my good Money, sex, and power End, means and violence Seeds of self- destruction Chapter 4. The Sacred, Secular and the Profane 8 The three strands Religion, spirituality and science — the struggle for supremacy Transhumanism and technology Limits of science, and the science of limits Innovation and integrity Religion and its future Spiritualism and self-fulfillment Knowledge and desire The Masters and the message Cleansing consciousness and cultivating love Chapter 5. From Mind to Heart — the Odyssey Within Harmonizing the head and heart Man — ‘a mental case’ Harboring holistic heart Restoring equilibrium in human consciousness Mastering the mind and harnessing the heart Chapter 6. Contours of Consciousness Change Consciousness — all there is Hallmark of human intelligence Moral decadence and consciousness change Chapter 7. Transformation and God Three paths to human transformation The phenomenon humans call God Free will, fate, and surrender Faith, divinity, and doubt Transcendence, immanence, and indifference of god ‘Critical mass’ and the ‘hundredth monkey’ Transformation, nature, and science Chapter 8. Models and Metaphors for Human Transformation Lessons from the living world Human effort and divine dispensation An epitaph for mankind

 
 



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