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5/11/04


Home______ Jesus In Beijing; Physicist's Guide to Enlightenment; Knowledge Web

Jesus in Beijing. David Aikman's new book is Jesus in Beijing (Regnery). Aikman, the former Beijing bureau chief for Time magazine, charts admirably the fascinating, mercurial, and sometimes sadly instructive history of the Christian evangelization of China. It is a story of remarkable men and women: heroes, martyrs, eccentrics, and, yes—as elsewhere—dismal, even disgraceful heretics and apostates.

The Nestorian Christians—whose descendents are the Assyrian churches of Iraq—arrived in A.D. 635. Aikman traverses the subsequent history, ending with an analysis of the startling missionary vision of millions of Chinese Christians of the 21st century: to wend their way along the old Silk Road, gathering in the churches, converting the Muslims as they go, and then at last "to preach the gospel in Jerusalem." He includes superb mini-biographies of some of the most important historical figures and house-church leaders of the past half-century, as well as of dynamic current leadership. More

  • The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist’s Guide to Enlightenment, by Amit Goswami (2000, Quest).Most scientists today do science for career motives. Many who dream of a paradigm shift want to discover that one new idea that will bring them instant fame and fortune. The paradigm that integrates science and spirituality is not based on a new idea. Thus these scientists are reluctant to accept that the “new” idea for the paradigm they seek—the idea that “consciousness is the ground of all being”—has been around for millennia. Yet once one sees the validity of this idea, the authenticity of the quantum window also becomes clear. To appreciate the primacy of consciousness a scientist must investigate consciousness directly. Not with concepts, not only with public experiments in experimental metaphysics (important as these are), but also through direct experience. “Consciousness is closer than our jugular vein,” said the great sheik Ibn Arabi. We have to look at ourselves.

    Traditional science demands from its practitioners strict objectivity: scientists must not become subjectively involved with their field; that is they may change the field of their practice, but they must not allow their research to change them. One must argue compellingly for scientists of the new science to radically extend their methodology in this regard. . . . . Scientists will continue to miss the very profound insight that consciousness is the ground of all being if they don’t delve into transformation. . . . .

    The point is that the transformation in experience which the scientist would undergo while exploring consciousness is essential for the kind of direct and deep insight required to gain knowledge of the psyche. Without that, the scientist would be blind to the phenomena and processes under investigation. Such “inner vision” is the starting point—the sina que non—of any true consciousness science; it is the source of data which, later, the scientist can build into a communicable model. More

  • The knowledge web. With the knowledge web, humanity's accumulated store of information will become more accessible, more manageable, and more useful. Anyone who wants to learn will be able to find the best and the most meaningful explanations of what they want to know. Anyone with something to teach will have a way to reach those who what to learn. Teachers will move beyond their present role as dispensers of information and become guides, mentors, facilitators, and authors. The knowledge web will make us all smarter. The knowledge web is an idea whose time has come. More

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