Richard Feynman-A Mystic

Mysticism or spirituality and religion are very different things.Religion is a doctrine and mysticism or spirituality can be a part of each and every doctrine.Let it be arts,science,physics or technology;mysticism will be a ‘approach’of  studying  the same.A scientist can also be a mystic.Generally,religious people turn to mysticism so we forget the very fact that mysticism is an aspect of each and every field.

Richard Feynman,one of the most loved physicist and a Nobel Prize winner was surely a mystic.Each and every quote by Feynman supports the fact that he was a mystic.Here I will give some remarkable statements by Feynman which prove that he was a mystic.

1. We can’t define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers…

one saying to the other: “you don’t know what you are talking about!”.

The second one says: “what do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? What do you mean by know?”

I think this is really one of the most subtle statements ever made by any one.It is like we have made solid objects of everything.But nothing is as we say ‘solid’.Everything is mist.As a result,what we think,what we talk,what we perceive,is just useless,away from reality.

2. You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

Here I remember a very great mystic from India named Ashtavkra who through means of his meditations,has written exactly the same statement in his book ‘Ashtavakra Mahageeta’.Approach of a mystic is never thinking about anything but rather it is of seeing the things in the actuality.The very process of thinking takes us away from reality.When a scientist also  comes to the same conclusion,the only conclusion which we can draw is that he must be a mystic,because the man though very intelligent,if  has no spirirual back-ground,will not come to this conclusion.

3. I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.

And this is the most significant statement.Ordinary scientist always suffers that he should know more and more.He fears that nothing is unknown to him and he tries till his last breath to  solve the mysteries. And here comes the Feynman who says he is happy to die without knowing the things.He  simply accepts the fact that more you try to sove the mysteries of world,more mysterious it will become.

So these statements can hardly come in the mind of an ordinary scientist.To realise these significant statements,the man must have a mystical approach, a deep  trust in existence and also a deep respect for the incompleteness of our human nature.When he accepts to die with doubt,he simply respects the completeness of divine and incompleteness of human which I think only a mystic can do….







3 responses to “Richard Feynman-A Mystic”

  1. michaeleriksson Avatar

    At the risk of triggering your point 1: Could you be more specific about what you mean by “mystic”?

    1. Mandar Karanjkar Avatar

      mystic can not be described in words but ya,can be surely pointed.mystic believes in seeing the things rather than making some ideologies and theories out of them.He explores the mystery and knows the reality but never tries to put it in ideology and theory because mystic knows that some things cnt be put in words.They are to be experienced rather than to be preserved in theories and then to be argued with all the poor words which have no capacity to contain it….

  2. Travis Avatar

    Feynman wasn’t mystical in the traditional sense. He enjoyed exploring the universe, as we all do, in his own way.

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