Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year Cycle

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ex-l

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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Years

Post15 Jan 2013

bkti-pit wrote:Similarly, science works. It produces results, indisputable and remarkable results, but that is not enough in my opinion to support some of the fantastic claims it makes. How many scientists are humble and honest enough to say so?

Just last week I came across two such claims in the news. One was about a stone found in South Africa that they claim is a 2.1 billion years old meteorite coming from Mars. Leaving the dating issue aside, wouldn't it have been more accurate to say something like, "Since it is quite different from what we usually find on Earth and is strikingly similar to some of the stuff found on Mars so far, we BELIEVE that it could be a meteorite originating from Mars"? Because really, what do we know?

I cannot comment on individual aspects of science if I am not trained in them (although it was 1,000 people and I think they are about get to sufficient funding to do 1,500 more) but I understand various basic and generally principles, one of which is that it is about calculating probabilities ... and refining them as the tools become better and the destination closer.

The problem of scientific reporting in the popular press is something else ... look at the problem the university that reported Cold Fusion caused by reporting it too soon in order to gain best publicity. I suppose we could say the same thing about the BKs/PBKs and their 5,000 year theory, bearing in mind it was made public right at the beginning without any supporting evidence (I think it comes from common Vaishnavite belief that Lekhraj Kirpalani was Krishna and Krishna's previous prakata-lila was 5,000 years ago).

Jay pops up in this noisy discussion too ...

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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post15 Jan 2013

ex-l wrote:Can 'it' work before and without believing in the 5,000 Year Cycle? Yes, absolutely. I know that to be true from some students I went through the course with and never made it past lessons two or three. Then why encumber the religion with such a belief?

Good question... perhaps it's simply the truth!
ex-l wrote:It's too easy just to say, "all scientist are bad ... all science is wrong ... they made mistakes about carbon dating while learning about the process, therefore all dating systems are wrong".

My belief is that the dating is wrong in general, because the calibration of their dating tools is wrong. They need to re-set to 5000 years max, not 15 billion years. It would be interesting to see what they came up with in science, if they were restricted to working with a 5000 year limit.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Years

Post16 Jan 2013

Roy wrote:My belief is that the dating is wrong in general, because the calibration of their dating tools is wrong. They need to re-set to 5000 years max, not 15 billion years. It would be interesting to see what they came up with in science, if they were restricted to working with a 5000 year limit.

As progenitors of the concept, it is really up to the "World University" to finance that research.

But do you have any idea about the current state of art and methodology of the various dating systems? (There is more than one).

Ditto, shouldn't they be limited to 2,500 years as no remnants of the Gold and Silver Age exist ... despite their being other evidence for other 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 year cultures.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Years

Post16 Jan 2013

ex-l wrote:As progenitors of the concept, it is really up to the "World University" to finance that research.

Well, of course, that is not going to happen!
ex-l wrote:But do you have any idea about the current state of art and methodology of the various dating systems? (There is more than one).

I am not that up on these matters it has to be said ... but nothing happens in a vacuum; and the measurements are always interpreted in the mind-set that the universe is ancient, and that conditions are somewhat constant. So no matter what methods are used, I believe the "calibration" has a big effect on the results.
ex-l wrote:Ditto, shouldn't they be limited to 2,500 years as no remnants of the Gold and Silver Age exist ... despite their being other evidence for other 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 year cultures.

Yes and no! There would be no history to check-out in terms of culture before 2500 years ago, but there is a geographical history of the earth and universe of 5000 years.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Years

Post16 Jan 2013

bkti-pit, I noticed that the original scientific paper did say, "may" but that it was reported more sensationalistically by the press.

I don't know if you know it but one of the better bits of Google is Google Scholar, in my opinion. I also think it would be a good thing if people were educated a little bit in the use of language in science so they could understand what it is saying. Not so much the complex terminology, but just the way it uses common English so suggest caution or make strong recommendations. I actually find it very, very careful in the way it speaks.

There is also the peer review system which although it can appear like a conspiracy to some, acts as a filter of excesses. It is part of the methodology that religion should borrow, rather than just sucking up to one another at "multi-faith" events.

This is the principle of what we are doing in the split off topic, Pre- & Post-BK experiences of "God" compared with BK ones, e.g. OK, you claim "God" ... which god? One God or all gods? Let's peer review the gods.
Roy wrote:I believe the "calibration" has a big effect on the results.

How about the calculations based on the rings of trees. We know trees make one ring per year. There are sections of trees which can be dated to when they were cut and, hence, count backwards from.

It's called 'Dendrochronology'. Currently, the maximum for fully anchored chronologies is a little over 11,000 years from present, e.g. these can be refined by doubling checking ring patterns with known climatic patterns. In many cases, they counted rings or measured the distance of annual growth, and check with radiocarbon dating. Both dating methods yielded the same result.

You see, my point would be, if the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University wish to become fully ethical, it would have to include some scientific teaching about Darwin, evolution and scientific methodology and present its own teachings purely as unproven 'opinions'.

The oldest living tree is thought to be over 5,000 years and is in the USA/Sweden ... part of continents which, according to the BKs, did not exist in the Golden and Silver Age.

Does that not add a further problem? Or are the BKs just going to reply, "It must have been growing on an island in Sat Yuga."
    BTW, by what process, how quickly and when was coal or petrified wood made?
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post17 Jan 2013

ex-l wrote:You see, my point would be, if the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University wish to become fully ethical, it would have to include some scientific teaching about Darwin, evolution and scientific methodology and present its own teachings purely as unproven 'opinions'.

But the whole basis of RajYoga, is that we are having a relationship with God, who we believe is truth. The fact that the BK leadership have totally sullied this relationship with their activities and attitudes over the years, has made this claim much more difficult to justify. But when one reads about the evidence that is being examined by science and the conclusions that they come to, that can be challenged very eloquently by other scientists who perhaps have different agendas, then who do you believe... nothing to my mind has been proven thus far, by either side beyond doubt. Then there is the application of my own logic on these things, as i've put forward in this thread, such as what i consider the absurdity of the theory of the origins of life, and the very shaky Big Bang theory. The idea of an eternally spinning drama cycle fits in my intellect, much more readily than all this scientific speculation. Therefore, i feel most comfortable in studying the Murlis, Avyakt Vanis, and clarification Murlis; which i get much more out of than studying scientific data, which leaves me a bit cold to be honest. So being someone who has looked at these things in the past, albeit in quite a superficial way; i have come to the conclusion that the souls who don't get involved in all of this and concentrate on their spiritual studies, are not missing out on much, and it is up to the individual to seek out this information, if they wish to... I don't think the BKs or PBKs are obliged to do teach about things they believe are false; this is a condition you wish to impose as an outsider, who has contrary beliefs to those of the BKIVV and AIVV. You would think it absurd if i said that as well as evolution, the study of RajYoga meditation and knowledge should be studied in schools as well, because we Brahmakumaris believe it is the truth. It is just that you have a lot of faith in science, and wish to (in a caring, but perhaps arrogant stance of i am right) impose that on others because you and many others believe it is truth... But others rightly or wrongly don't have the same view... Do we have the right to impose our biases on others, just because we think they are right. The stuff you believe in is taught in Western schools, but why should the Asian schools and others teach these things... why should the BKs and PBKs teach such things, just because others think they are true... They haven't been proven, but there appears to be this arrogance of science, that more or less claims it has all been proven... I think the stance of we'll have to agree to disagree is much more healthy, but the world is not like that; and whether it be spiritual or scientific doctrine; those with the greater power, and arrogance of faith; have sought to impose their supposedly superior knowledge on others by force.
ex-l wrote:The oldest living tree is thought to be over 5,000 years and is in the USA/Sweden ... part of continents which, according to the BKs, did not exist in the Golden and Silver Age. Does that not add a further problem? Or are the BKs just going to reply, "It must have been growing on an island in Sat Yuga."

Well that may be true; i don't know for sure! :D There are suggestions being made in the field of genetics in evolutionary theory; that appear to be even more tentative than this. It always seems to come down to faith in the end, which ever side of the debate you are on.
ex-l wrote:BTW, by what process, how quickly and when was coal or petrified wood made?

Did you not watch the video Button Slammer posted on this subject at the start of this debate. If i remember correctly, it involved high temperatures, in moist, but low oxygen conditions, such as may occur in a cataclysm. According to RajYoga there were two... One between the Iron and Golden Ages... and a lesser one, between the Silver and Copper Ages. I have no idea how long this process would actually take; but it appears from limited laboratory experiments; that it wouldn't necessarily be thousands of years. Take a look, and see what you think.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Years

Post17 Jan 2013

ex-l wrote:I noticed that the original scientific paper did say "may" but that it was reported more sensationalistically by the press.

Thank you for clarifying that. Indeed often the press is to be blamed but, although I agree that official scientific publications are usually more cautious in their affirmations, I think that scientists share the responsibility for not using the same caution when communicating their work and their conclusions to the general public.

My intent is not to denigrate science but I am annoyed when science is turned into a religion and scientific theories, beliefs, speculations, assumptions and interpretations become unchallengeable truths. I am equally annoyed when religions and the likes distort scientific concepts (like the law of thermodynamics or quantum physics) to promote their religious concepts and beliefs. None of that serves the truth that both science and religions are purportedly seeking.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post17 Jan 2013

Perhaps its worth introducing for non-scientific minds the idea of "scientific method", or "scientific rigor" to understand how science actually works and how to differs from the BK path? They can even be applied to spirituality. Or rather, they ought to be applied to spirituality. I am not a scientist but I appreciate and aspire to this principles.

What is wrong with these?
scientific method is a number of techniques used for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.

To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning, such as; systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

The chief characteristic which distinguishes the scientific method from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory's predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false.

Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses via predictions which can be derived from them. These steps must be repeatable, to guard against mistake or confusion in any particular experimenter.

Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as objective as possible in order to reduce biased interpretations of results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, giving them the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post17 Jan 2013

ex-l wrote:What is wrong with these?

Nothing at all! The problems arise when people come to apply principles, they don't always follow them honestly or rigorously enough. Our own personal bias is a hard thing to deal with, whoever we are! Science is supposed to be clinical, unemotional and detached; but human beings are not these things, they are quite often the opposite. Just because scientists are very clever at what they do, doesn't take away their human side when it comes to interpretation of evidence; they are always trying to prove their theories, and egos distort objectivity, clarity, and diligence. Science also is not free from politics, and the impure influence this has. So I am not against scientific principles, I just take the claims of scientists with a pinch of salt, and prefer the teachings of He who I consider to be God.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post17 Jan 2013

As far as I can work out, the root source for the BK's 5,000 year (exactly) theory is a combination of beliefs from the earliest days of the Om Mandli;
    a) Lekhraj Kirpalani vision of himself as Krishna
    b) Lekhraj Kirpalani's mental breakdown when he found himself obsessing over the Swastika/Kalpa
    c) a belief in Vaishnavite Bhakti that the last incarnation of Krishna was 5,000 years ago in Vrindavan. (in a very different way to the BK belief of it). It was during the Prakata-Lila that the Mahabharata happened and he was said to have incarnated to speak to Arjuna. People believe there is scientific evidence for that too.
The BKs don't teach Westerners (c). THere is nothing unique about the 5,000 year theory. It is just a short-cutting and borrowing of traditional Vedic stories

It interests me to ask where such a stereotypical anti-science response originally comes from. It is not unique to you either. I have heard it recycled many times, indeed I recycled myself during my BKs days to stop me from having to think and questions ... but it comes across as on the same level as little old ladies talking of what "Spaniards" are like, or bigots complaining about "Africans", ignoring the vast diversity amongst African people. I sounds to me like you've never actually met and talked to many scientists. May be you just had a bad teachers at school?

I suspect it is rooted in an 18th Century response from the Christians to the rise of the scientific Enlightenment. Or perhaps the response of the Flat Earth-ers who believe the earth is flat because the Bible says so ... "you know you cannot trust those tricky scientists trying to tell us it is round, surely if it was, we've all fall off!". Perhaps it has been with us for all time ... "Wheel? Fire? Pah ... it's never work. You know what those scientists are like".

You've got the weight of vast amount of rock solid, hard earned, meticulous evidence on one side, and complete fairytale with no evidence and a track record of failed predictions on the other ... and you choose the fairytale to gamble on.

Is it the promised rewards, the nice feeling which could just be hypnotism? Honestly? I mean, as a PBK in the West, you don't even get the nice group feeling to sit around and chat with.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post17 Jan 2013

ex-l wrote:I suspect it is rooted in an 18th Century response from the Christians to the rise of the scientific Enlightenment. Or perhaps the response of the Flat Earth-ers who believe the earth is flat because the Bible says so ... "you know you cannot trust those tricky scientists trying to tell us it is round, surely if it was, we've all fall off!". Perhaps it has been with us for all time ... "Wheel? Fire? Pah ... it'll never work. You know what those scientists are like".

Very good I enjoyed that! But I use science all the time, mainly in the form of my laptop, so I am not anti-science, as I think I may have mentioned once or twice. Science has informed us greatly about the world we live in over the centuries, but that doesn't mean I have to accept everything it comes up with, especially when there is so much speculation involved with the data(evidence) that has been collected. Again, I don't have a problem with this speculation... it's the touting of it as fact that I take umbridge with; when imo, it is nothing of the sort. But it's not all or nothing; it's about making your own mind up, based on the data that is available. I believe in the world being round because I can see it in photographs taken from space; and the fact the horizon is such a short distance away, in relation to the size of the earth. I feel the scientists are probably right on this occasion.:D
You've got the weight of vast amount of rock solid, hard earned, meticulous evidence on one side, and complete fairytale with no evidence and a track record of failed predictions on the other ... and you choose the fairytale to gamble on.

That's just the way I roll! :D
Is it the promised rewards, the nice feeling which could just be hypnotism? Honestly? I mean, as a PBK in the West, you don't even get the nice group feeling to sit around and chat with.

I enjoy chatting with you guys! :D But, yes, the idea of the inheritance of heaven, is not too shabby is it? But that's about tomorrow ... the teachings of RajYoga enable me to deal with today in a way I simply couldn't without it. I'd be drifting aimlessly without it to guide and inform me. There is no leader or Guru in this world I can truly believe in, other than Father Shiv. I believe I am following the directions of the Satguru.

When something resonates with you deeply, even when your boat shakes as it is challenged by life's waves ... you find yourself unable, and not wanting to go in any other direction, than the path you are treading. This is the path that excites and motivates me, nothing else does in reality; I would simply be treading water, and getting up to no good, if I wasn't studying AK. Could I be wrong?! ... well, of course, I could; I am a fallible human being. But one has to be true to oneself and so here I am, putting over my point of view about reality as I see it.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post18 Jan 2013

Roy wrote:But I use science all the time, mainly in the form of my laptop, so I am not anti-science ...

Ahem ... yes, and I am not racist because some of my best friends are black!

Come, come ... your laptop is technology.
    Science is the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, from 'scientia' meaning 'knowledge'.
    Technology is the creating of products that solve problems and improve life, from 'tekhnologia' meaning 'systematic treatment'.
In short,
    Science is knowing, Technology is doing
    Science is theorising about causes, Technology is searching for new processes.
    Science is making virtually 'value-free' statements (note the "virtually"), Technology is always 'value-laden'.
    Science focuses on understanding natural phenomena, Technology focuses on the human-made environment
It might be interesting to include in this discussion, the Brahma Kumaris' relationship with scientists and technologists.

They clearly see them as a lower, servant caste, to their higher priest caste, and to be used as required. According to their predictions, "the scientists" as they refer to them, don't even get to stick around in heaven. They get to build it ... and then go. In my day, they used to teach the BKs' version of "the Advance Party" which was going to build heaven would be comprised of reborn BKs and scientists and it was said they only had one birth to do so. (I am not sure how was going to do all the laboring, it certainly was not the BKs. Perhaps the BKs are going to ask the bhilis in Mt Abu to build it for them?)

I don't know the 'Advanced Knowledge' predictions of heaven but what I have picked up in that their understanding of the Golden Age is far more natural than the nuclear powered BKs. It strikes me that Virendra Dev Dixit is correct and Lekhraj Kirpalani had his visions all mixed up and confused. Half of what he was envisaging was of life today, and the Brahma Kumaris "worldly heaven" which they are having now with all their wealth, big buildings and servants.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post18 Jan 2013

ex-l wrote:Ahem ... yes, and I am not racist because some of my best friends are black! Come, come ... your laptop is technology.

I was just trying to say that it would seem somewhat hypocritical to totally denounce science, when it has contributed to the development of technology in the form of my laptop, which i enjoy using everyday.
ex-l wrote:I don't know the 'Advanced Knowledge' predictions of heaven but what I have picked up in that their understanding of the Golden Age is far more natural than the nuclear powered BKs. It strikes me that Virendra Dev Dixit is correct and Lekhraj Kirpalani had his visions all mixed up and confused. Half of what he was envisaging was of life today, and the Brahma Kumaris "worldly heaven" which they are having now with all their wealth, big buildings and servants.

Yes, i believe that may well be an accurate reflection of the situation... and there are Sakar Murli points that appear to hint at this also; which were narrated by Father Shiv through the somewhat confused Brahma Baba Krishna, some time before this situation actually came to be a reality.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post18 Jan 2013

One has to imagine the state of Lekhraj Kirpalani's 19th Century mind, and how confusing visions, flashbacks to early ages and prophetic visions of the BKs future all mixed together must have looked. This is where the BKs, and their supporters, could be/have been much more helpful if there was a clearer record and representation of events instead of all the exaggerated Bhakti worship.

You can see here how defensive otherwise perfectly intelligent and even post-BK adherents become if one so much as questions the validity of "feelings" or the illusions the BK leaders have created.

Ditto, over the genesis of the 5,000 Year dating ... how, where and when did it arrive? Sure, it's been repeated ad nauseum to make it real (acceptance by repetition) but did no one question it? All Western BKs must find it impossible to believe in. A Cycle, fine, it fits in with other natural phenomena ... but 5,000 Years exactly!?!

I proposed above a likely source for it. I have not found another possibility to date. I do not remember any stories about Biblical style "visions" where Lekhraj Kirpalani said, "And God said to me, The Cycle is 5,000 Years, not a second more nor a second less ... and there were no Leap Years in Heaven so that really means 5001 Years, 8 months and 23 days".

Most of the rest of Lekhraj Kirpalani's religion is borrowed from Hinduism, e.g. the 4 Ages, 8, 16, the 108, the 16,108,000, the 900,000, the 330 million deities etc.
    Why should we presume that the 5,000 Years was not also borrowed from Hinduism?
Probability, and knowing the subject, would say it was.

Due to the lack of intellectual or 'professional' standards (ethics) within the inner circle of the BKs, they have had to increase the devotional element for the sake of and 'commercial' (money making) interests which is a strong part of their culture. Ignorance and confusion is good for unethical businesses.
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Re: Why I Cannot Believe in the Brahma Kumaris' 5,000 Year C

Post19 Jan 2013

ex-l wrote: All Western BKs must find it impossible to believe in. A Cycle, fine, it fits in with other natural phenomena ... but 5,000 Years exactly!?!

Why not! You believe the world probably came about my chance ... if it did not, why shouldn't it be 5000 years exactly?
Most of the rest of Lekhraj Kirpalani's religion is borrowed from Hinduism, e.g. the 4 Ages, 8, 16, the 108, the 16,108,000, the 900,000, the 330 million deities etc.

Or so you believe! Where did they get these numbers from?
Why should we presume that the 5,000 Years was not also borrowed from Hinduism?

It's always possible, but i don't believe this is the truth. Although it may be unpalatable to Western minds and intellects, who feel the scientists(not all of them of course) who believe in an ancient universe have got it right... myself and others, have no trouble at all with a 5000 years cycle.
Due to the lack of intellectual or 'professional' standards (ethics) within the inner circle of the BKs, they have had to increase the devotional element for the sake of and 'commercial' (money making) interests which is a strong part of their culture. Ignorance and confusion is good for unethical businesses.

That's true! Most souls in the BK institution, don't seem to care at all about these issues; they simply worship their guru Dadis.
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