“Spiritual philosophy is synthetic and those who have chosen this path are proceeding with their sadhana of attaining oneness. Hence, experienced scientists on this path cannot even think of destroying the hard earned emerald glow of the experience of other scientists; rather they further heighten the brilliance of spiritual philosophy by blending their own glow with that of others. This is the fundamental difference between spiritual and material philosophies.”
– Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, “Matter and Spirit” (1956), published in “Subhasita Samgraha Part 4”, Ananda Marga Publications
Analytic philosophy tries to understand the parts. Analysis is about dividing, slicing and dicing, separating, differentiating, and examining the differences. Analysis is about examining the changes and computing the rate of changes. Analysis is about identifying the components. In analysis there is reduction and attention to structure and form. In analysis one becomes many. This is multiplicity. Analytic process always causes multiplicity by definition. Analytic philosopher is programmed to see the differences.
The spiritual philosophy, on the other hand, is about synthesis. The synthetic philosopher is programmed to see the connections. Synthetic philosophy tries to understand the whole by understanding the relationship among the parts. The basic assumption is that all parts are connected. This is a big assumption. The synthetic philosopher is willing to work with this assumption; the analytic philosopher is not. The spiritual philosopher is not only willing to work with the assumption but he actively looks for shortcuts. The shortcut is the intuitive faculty of the human mind. The analytic philosopher refuses to use this faculty, but the spiritual philosopher takes the maximum advantage of it.
Physicists are pragmatic people. They developed an approach which can be described as both analytic and synthetic. Physics approach is primarily analytic but physics never gives up on the search for a unified theory. When physicists mention the unified theory they don’t mean the unified theory of science and spirituality. They only mean the unified theory of the physical universe. The Cosmos is greater than the physical universe. In Cosmos there are other realms such as the realm of ideas and the realm of spirituality. Physics is not interested in those realms. Most physicists maintain an agnostic stance regarding the realms beyond the physical reality. The spiritual philosopher, on the other hand, actively searches for those realms.
Spiritual philosophy is a search for the unified theory of Cosmos. I am a spiritual philosopher and I am searching for the unified theory of Cosmos. I am searching for the unity behind multiplicity. Is this a hopeless effort? No, because countless human beings have experienced the Unity of Being and shared their experiences with humanity. We are also very fortunate to have advanced teachers such as Shrii Shrii Anandamurti who verified the truth of the ancient spiritual teachings. This gives me hope.
There is another fundamental difference between the analytic and the spiritual philosophies: a spiritual philosopher has to practice what he or she is teaching. An analytic philosopher does not have to own the outlook derived from the fancy logic of his philosophy. The spiritual philosopher does not have that luxury. In spiritual philosophy theory and practice cannot be separated.