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The Higgs Boson and Yogananda

Food means nourishment, and on many levels. Food is usually needed. Another thing is good digestion of it. A third thing is elimination of humbug teachings. By eating and digesting and getting rid of waste, we happen to grow too. Meditation is food for mind and spirit in those who practice deep-going methods with skill.

Study and understand so as to master life too.

A. A Laboratory Thing

The Higgs boson and the Standard Model of physics

The Higgs boson (Higgs particle) is a particle that gives mass to other particles. It might be responsible for all the mass in the universe. The Higgs boson was theorised by Peter Higgs and detected through experiments in March 2013.

The Standard Model (SM) of physics is a theory of the elementary particles. It postulates that the most basic building blocks of particle physics are either fermions or bosons.

Fermions are particles that join together to make up all "matter" we recognise. They have properties, such as charge and mass, which can be seen in everyday life. There are twelve types of fermions - six quarks and six leptons. Each fermion has its own antiparticle. The model says that fermions have mass (they are not just pure energy) and that Higgs bosons travel back and forth between them.

Bosons constitute the other elementary particles in the standard model. Two types of bosons are recognised as yet: gauge bosons and the Higgs boson. The gauge bosons (or particles) have all been seen either in nature or in the laboratory. Gauge bosons make the fundamental forces of nature possible, and the Higg's boson is the particle that gives mass to other particles. Without the Higgs mechanism, or some other effect like it, all bosons would be massless, but measurements show they are not. So the Higgs field (a quantum field permeating space), is added to the Standard Model.

In the Standard Model, the Higgs particle is a very unstable boson with no spin, electric charge, or colour charge. It is decaying into other particles very quickly. It is a quantum excitation of one of the four components of the Higgs field.

The Standard Model explains three of the four basic forces of nature. The four fundamental forces are: gravity, electromagnetism, the weak force, and the strong force. Gravity is the one the model does not explain, so the model falls short of being a theory of everything (TOE). It does not go well with all of gravitation or the accelerating expansion of the universe, or any dark matter particle. Thus, it is not perfect, in that it it does leave some cardinal things (observations, phenomena) unexplained, even though it is self-consistent and has been very successful with experimental predictions.

A particle without spin (magnetic properties), takes us nowhere.

B. Philosophic Problems

Being told about subtleties and perceiving some of them oneself is rather different. - Rudolf Steiner

There are different suppositions about the world. That the world is unreal and that the world is real are two. But there are nuances to consider as well: Advaita Vedanta is a branch of philosophy that says the world humans perceive is "nor unreal" if you thereby perceive directly that Brahman (Divine Existence) alone is real. Teachers of this non-dualistic ('a-dvaita') Vedanta speak of two planes of experience: the conventional, or relative plane of appearances fit for dualistic scopes; and the plane of Ultimate or Absolute Reality which is garbed in the appearances.

If there is karma to be dealt with or past lives to consider or not in one's life, it would depend a lot on being on the relative Brahman plane, and how looming one is inside in dealing with such matters it too.

C. The Former Hotel and Things Yogananda Said

"Illusory Yogananda, illusory teachings, illusory world" - learn practical things also. Grow food with skill, for example.

Paramahansa Yogananda on science The Hindu monk Yogananda (1893-1952) came to the United States in 1920, and from 1936 he called himself Paramhansa. He told repeatedly the world is illusory, a dream, unreal. He seldom explained that if so, illusion itself would be illusory, but an Advaitin like Ramana Maharshi told it.

If you consider Yogananda's basic premise, "the world is unreal", explanations and outlooks that it is so, are unreal too; they are parts of the unreal and therefore unreal as well.

Then you could ask, "Is the saying - in the unreal world - that the world is unreal, really helpful? Or real?" No, is the short answer. Better views are needed. The history of science tells that subtle concepts are not easy to come by, and there are different views and propositions in that camp too, about how the world is. Views are many.

The value of sound philosophy may be, "Stop driveling so much." As for Yogananda, he found out in 1934 that he was "stopped" from much public lecturing by a variant of "Enough is enough".

From 1934 Yogananda withdraws from "campaigning" in America, and stays mostly at Mount Washington. Hard times begin, eating mostly self-grown tomatoes." [1]

Aside: Originally, the Mount-Washington hill was once a part of the huge and sprawling Rancho San Rafael when its only residents were some 15,000 sheep. The hotel on top of the hill opened in 1910, apparently sometime during the week of January 23 that year. There were only 18 rooms, but each had its own adjoining bath. More interesting to tomato-eaters perhaps, was that

The grounds consist of 14 landscaped acres. The hotel is built to Mission-style with a roof garden. The furnishings include velvet carpets, brass beds, and furniture of oak and walnut. The dining room is operated by a chef of renown.

The hotel closed for good sometime during the summer of 1921. Later the Mt. Washington Military School occupied the old hotel. It served as the headquarters for the school that was established by Colonel William Strover. Then, in 1925, the vacant hotel was sold to Paramhansa Yogananda.

At the time Yogananda and followers purchased the hotel it was full of vagrants and many of the windows had been broken. The hotel building remains as the international headquarters of the Self-Realization Fellowship.

This is the hotel Yogananda and supporters bought in 1925 - if the world is real enough for it -, and he experienced hard times in after 1934, we read. A gardener could say, "You might plant some seeds and harvest a lot of vegetables and other basic foods on so many acres, enough for lots of people. So why live only on tomatos in an eighteen-rooms large hotel?" That is the kind of question a gardener might ask. Besides, there were also one or more roof gardens, and much indoor space to grow food in. (Harrison 2010; Biggs 2009; ).

While we are at growing food, here is a bigger issue than many among us have thought so far, is the bet - it is about the freedom to have your own seeds, grow your own crops from those seeds, and be allowed to sell harvests produced by them too. Such freedom is at stake world-wide today. Better watch out!

Seed keepers and seed defenders are saving seeds, working to protect and keep seeds free and fighting laws that undermine our seed sovereignty. However, at the global level it is the corporate control that is shaping the future of the seed . . .

Our first objective is self empowerment of citizens who are aware that they have the power to liberate the seed and themselves.

Our second objective is to have empowered citizens put pressure on Governments and institutions to roll back Patents on Seeds and Seed Laws that rob us of Seed Freedom. These include the White House, EU, WTO and National Governments.

Our third objective is to reclaim our democracy and through our democratic institutions and processes from the local to the global level, pass Laws for Seed freedom. (Shiva, Scroff and Lockhart 2012: foreword)

Knowing that a person cannot live on Yogananda-words about "illusory world" and that sort of stuff, good food should be given a lot better thought. Knowing what you can grow and harvest on a fourteen-acre plot and hotel, much sympathy for Yogananda of those "tomato-eating times" might just dwindle. Besides, he left the USA for India next year already. When he left he was being chased about a lawsuit: In 1929, his co-worker Swami Dhirananda, lecturer and writer in the fellowship from 1922 to 1929, fought him thus to get payment for his hard work. Yogananda in return had charged Dhirananda for lots of money, charges that were proven false and untrue in court some years later, when evidence was found. Yogananda was judged to pay Dhirananda the 8,000 dollars he owed him, but Yogananda was not an American citizen and left the country in early 1935, while the property on Mt. Washington changed hands. So in the end Dhirananda got nothing, and the hotel was no longer Yogananda's property.

SRF could still have saved money there by growing food indoors, up against valls (vertical gardening), sowing vegetables on the tennis courts, or one of them, and combined bounty and beauty outdoors by having plants, bushes and trees that yielded tons of vegetables, berries and bushes (Tepe 2013). They could have started that "gardening house to live in, with a self-supporting garden outside" and gone for free seeds and ecologically healthy cultivation methods too. The literature list at the bottom of the page gives good tips about many of these timely sides to having a plot for gardening.

So what do you say? Was Yogananda's tomato-eating in hard times a fruit of neglected gardening for years? Maybe he saw the value of self-supporting communities - which he was for -, through that.

But in India Yogananda was plump and well fed - not that he was a glutton! - he writes in his Autobiography. In the autumn of 1936 he returned to the United States and took off many pounds. He writes of it as if it was a real weight loss and not something illusory . . . (Chapter 42, and its note 10 in his autobiography).

[Source of quotations in this section: [2]]

Yes, how much is enough? It varies. How long can you speak against the world while eating tomatoes, and with a hilltop hotel backed up with two tennis courts and fourteen landscaped acres? It varies. Food should sometimes be varied too. But applauders of Mussolini and dictatorship would perhaps not be much welcomed lecturers in the States in 1934 and later years. Yogananda's fellowship has not been keen on revealing this side to Yogananda, but such evidence exists, thanks to a journalist. [Yogananda advocating dictatorship]

Reforming Yogananda Religion by Science?

In March 1935 Yogananda registered his fellowship as a church in California. It is a church with a religion - the "Yogananda religion". Some - his long-time editor-in-chief included - regard it as sectarian, and a Catholic professor, named "Father Mateo", writes it off for teaching heresy. So SRF teachings are not streamlined Catholic. That is for sure. But years before those "shadows over SRF", Yogananda talked and wrote a bit differently. He was not yet a man with his own church (I read cult) to back him up.

Yogananda published his article "Reforming Religion by Science" in 1927, in his East-West Magazine of 2-6 October that year. "When man is able to dematerialize. . . his human body . . . and then materialize it again . . . then he will be free," he wrote.

Does it mean only "Away + return -> Here again, somehow"? Hardly.

The freedom that yoga speaks of, is an inward freedom called moksha in Sanskrit. Dematerialisation and rematerialisation are side issues to that.

Einstein and freedom

There are many things to do to increase one's freedom degrees apart from disappearing. Being truly scientific, as a researcher and otherwise, requires much freedom. Albert Einstein observed that the development of science and of the creative activities of the spirit requires inward freedom. [3]

Einstein warns in Ideas and Opinions: "Schools may interfere with the development of inward freedom through authoritarian influences". He stresses that "the development of science and of the creative activities of the spirit" requires inward freedom, "the independence of thought from the restrictions of authoritarian and social prejudices". Einstein also says in 1945 that "Only a free individual can make a discovery." [1]

Yogananda-Claimed Freedom to "Get Lost" and Reappear

The freedom to disappear and reappear in a thrice as taught by gurus of the Self-Realization Fellowship, also suggest the power of being oneself and better: avoid the tragedy of losing oneself only to find it has disappeared. Better take care and guess little so as to have a surer and safer footing.

Yogananda taught for and against individualism. Stick to yours as long as there is much good in you. It is best to maintain the individual you are, since for the lack of it, "you are like anybody or "no one" - and can be dispensed even ruthlessly.

Here are three Yogananda quotations:

Yogananda "Socialism, consisting of evolved individuals, will prevail in the end, but as long as people are not highly evolved, individualism will keep coming to the surface. Individualism exists only for the ushering in of Spiritual socialism." [Yogananda, in East-West of February 1934, Volume 6, No. 4. [Download]

"To bring into being a diversified creation, the Lord had to bestow on everything the appearance of individuality." [Yogananda, Tms 8]

"In the ultimate experience, one does not lose his Soul or individuality." Yogananda, "The Second Coming of Christ", East-West, September, 1933 Vol. 5-11.

Alfred E. Neuman

The first quotation's last part is deranged, the second quotation doubtful, and the third is OK, even though Yogananda teaches against it lots of times. The guru gainsays himself ever so often. How can you trust him, or: Which among different windbag sayings get socially accepted? Is it from a level of gullibility funneled into a dumb and idiotic faith (Cf. the Peter Principle) in what matters? We might wonder what Yogananda was at. Individualism may be harmed and eventually be at stake by foolish and slavish belief in humbug - It means you as an individual soul at risk too. I suggest you stick to the individual soul you are, just to be sure and not give in to humbug.

Otherwise, in physics there are some paradoxes also. If we cannot do away with them, it is presumably because we lack good ideas.

Individuals matter


An individual is defined a "a single human being as distinct from a group". (Oxford Dictionaries). A more or less independent person is suggested, and also being a Self.


Further, "Individuality (or selfhood) is the state or quality of being an individual; particularly of being a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs or goals. The exact definition of an individual is important in the fields of biology, law, and philosophy." (WP, "Individual")


If you are no Self, you cannot be Yourself. Religious views on the self vary much. In Western psychology, the concept of self comes from Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers. Two types of self are commonly considered - the sometimes superficial self that is the [reasoning, sensible, adaptible] ego on the one hand, and the Self which is sometimes called the "True Self", the "Observing Self", or the "Witness" on the other hand.

"Stand by your Soul; you can let a lower self (ego) of everyday adaptations, serve it." Regrettably, Yogananda did not like ego, and treated it as egotism. Then, after he dropped his rallying for sacred selfishness, he started to talk down on it. The change of view is found in his earler career, before and after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, roughly said. [See under "Guru Teachings"]


The concept of individuation appears in numerous fields and in works of Carl Jung. There it names the process in which the individual self develops to integrate into itself various components of the mind and the experiences of a life-time into a balanced and well-functioning whole in time. Abraham Maslow's ideas of Self-actualisation and Carl Rogers' "fully functionion person" are related to Jung's ideas of individuation. [Jung quotations on individuation] - (Cf. WP, "Individuation")

Now let us look into what Paramahansa Yogananda says for being balanced, sound and not garrulously dogmatic:


Highlights from "Reforming Religion by Science"

By Paramahansa Yogananda

By testing and more one may eventually find a good technique for balanced development of body, mind and soul. - Wisdom of Paramahansa Yogananda, rendered. [More, by Buddha].

A great war on ignorance must be launched [against] superstition. Alas, there has seldom been, except sometimes in India, any real research on pragmatic, life-moulding universal religion, in a true scientific way.

[Advocated:] life-long research and scientific study in such a practical way as would show the origin, end and purpose of human life on earth.

Religion mostly has been handled by dogmatists . . .

"Mine is the only one, the best," is the declaration of most cults. But there should be a standard for judging what is best, just as the standard of quality of goods determines which store is the best in town.

All the cult shops selling religion declare their goods are the best.

Unscientific religion has been the cause of the tyranny of the caste system.

Scriptures say, "He is a man of realization who looks upon an elephant, a dog, a pariah, a Brahmin in the same way". [It may be due to elevated or deranged perception. Do not misjudge.]

Why has the minister to look for rich people, and cater to their whims, in order to support his church?

How can the churches, with their third-class performances, compete with first-class pleasure-haunts, dance-halls and movie palaces?

Above all, church funds, instead of being completely tied up in heavy mortgages and ornamental edifices, could be better employed in inducing the greatest scientists . . . to make real investigations for a practical technique of making the body, mind and soul of man . . . perfect, harmonious, ever-strong, quickly developing, better and happier.

Such is the ideal . . . technique for balanced development of body, mind and soul.

Scientists should test, in the lives of growing children, the methods offered . . . and should thus discover by practical application . . .

The truth should be tested by the government of each people, standardized, and introduced into school, societies and universities, in order to bring the maximum results.

Real spiritual experience . . . will be discovered, in the course of realizing God or truth, to be one and the same. There is only one Truth . . .

In India, . . . the word "Dharma" means "those immutable principles which protect man permanently from the three-fold suffering of disease, unhappiness and ignorance."

With all the . . . comforts of present-day civilization, man's life is still uncertain, unsafe.

When man is able to dematerialize or convert his human body into its constituent electrons and basic consciousness, and then materialize it again into organized living physical flesh . . . as Hindu Yogis do, then he will be free . . .

"Man shall not live by bread (solids, liquids) alone, but by every word (vibratory energy) which falleth from the mouth of God (medulla oblongata)."

When practical religion teaches us to be energy, we will then attain immortality and will reclaim the lost God's image in us.

God made us angels of energy, encased in solids - currents of life . . .

Even protoplasm is immortal. So is thought. . . . Why this illusion of mortality and death?

Let us cast aside . . . prejudices and formalities, let us . . . fight Ignorance . . . Let science . . . be engaged in making man himself invulnerable to the destruction arising out of his inventions-death by airplanes, electricity and automobiles-and conscious of his own powers . . . Let science discover and teach the method to consciously leave our bodies.

Let us . . . Scientific Investigation and Realization, and . . . practical application to life.

Soul Plots and Perdition Problems

A jiva (Sanskrit) is the essence or soul of a living being. In Hindu teachings, the jiva (soul) survives death, but a soulin the arms of Jesus may be or may get in trouble, for he postulates in some gospels it can be destroyed, and condemns fawning and flattering hypocrites a whole lot. But his teachings, Kingdom and salvation was for Jews only, he says (Matthew 15:24).

So there is no need to worry a whole lot over his teachings if you are a non-Jewish Christian, on his word. If you believe in everything in the Bible, you believe his teachings are not for Christians, and, further, that the four requirements for Christians are made clear in Acts 15 and confirmed in Acts 21:25. Any special sayings and commands of Jesus are not mentioned there.

The supreme job for the soul or atman or jiva (jivatman) is get aware it is Brahman, The Divine Ground, says old Sanatan Dharma teachings (Upanishads and Vedanta). Higher yoga is a means to that.

A battle for your soul may be waged on many levels and in many ways. Those who are overcome by wicked and misleading teachings, may be led astray and perhaps "fished for food" or "herded as sheep and used". That is nothing to be proud of, so be suspicous about baits, including word-baits; great wariness could pay.

Those who say you should fight your individuality, they signal your deep Self is not worth living with and fighting for. And your deep (high) Self could be what the demons eventually feed, on, once they have overthrown your good sense and decency too perhaps.

I point at a possibility, just point at a possibility. It is one that includes fraud, leading astray, word-binding (conditioning) and things like that. This fight for or against one's soul (individuality) has been waged on Indian soil too. In the long run its outcome was a dominant view in Buddhism that "there is no one here" - no atman (soul as Spirit), not really anyone who reincarnates and gets karma - Buddhism teaches reincarnation and karma "without anyone" -

Thanks for Vedanta, which teaches Atman and ways to become one if the inner sense of It has been lost.

In conclusion: Those who say you are nobody, soulless, are they out to enslave you in the bitter end? How good are they if so, or better asked: How come they are, and not you?

Some get attracted by false helpers only to be confounded, half enslaved and herded like cattle. Many cults are at work on the back of their footfolks in this world.


Paramahansa Yogananda, Higgs boson, science, Literature  

Biggs, Matthew, Bob Flowerdew, and Jekka McVicar. Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Richmond Hill, Ontario: Firefly Books, 2009.

Einsten, Albert. Mis Ideas y Opiniones. Barcelona: Antonio Bosch, 2011.

Frawley, David, and Vasant Lad. The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine. Reprint ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2010.

George, Raymond A. T. Vegetable Seed Production. 3rd ed. Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CABI, 2009.

Gray, Linda. Grow Your Own Groceries: How to Feed Your Family from Your Own Back Garden. Begbroke, Oxford: How To Books, 2009.

Hamilton, Geoff. Organic Gardening. New ed. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2011.

Hardigree, Peggy. The Edible Indoor Garden: A Complete Guide to Growing over 60 Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs Indoors. New York. St. Martin's Press, 1980.

Harrison, John. Vegetable, Fruit and Herb Growing in Small Spaces. London: Constable and Robinson, 2010.

Heinerman, John. Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs. New York: Parker Publishing, 1988.

McLaughlin, Chris. The Vertical Garden. New York: Alpha Books, 2013.

Shiva, Vandana, Ruchi Shroff and Caroline Lockhart. Seed Freedom: A Global Citizen's Report. New Delhi: Navdanya, 2012.

Steiner, Rudolf. Agriculture: A Course of Eight Lectures Given at Koberwitz, Silesia, 7th to 16th June, 1924. GA 327. English tr. George Adams. Rev. ed. London: Bio-dynamic Agricultural Association, 1958.

Tepe, Emily. The Edible Landscape: Creating a Beautiful and Bountiful Garden with Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers. London: Voyageur Press / Quarto, 2013.

Yogananda, Paramhansa. The Master Said: A Collection of Paramhansa Yogananda's Sayings and Wise Counsel to Various Disciples. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship Publishing House, 1952.

  1. Anon. Paramhansa Yogananda: History, Life, Mission. Np, Yogananda Harmony Association, nd, p. 11. Online:

  2. Duke, Donald. "Mt. Washington: Its Hotel and Incline Railway. Los Angeles and Mt. Washington Incline Railway 1909-1919. Ebook. Long Beach CA: ERHA (The Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California,

  3. Haselhurst, Geoff, and Karene Howie. Albert Einstein Quotes, 1997-2008.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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