By Atreya (participant in Youth Retreat held at Vedanta Society of Providence, July 25-27, 2014)
Having read books by Swami Vivekananda, it is very difficult to resist the temptation of - giving up the worldly life and taking up the life of a monk. This spiritual retreat, under the guidance of Swami Yogatmananda, provided a balanced learning experience. It helped me gain better control of my emotions, behavior and actions while humbly reminding that we have lot more to know about this universe.
Walking the noble eightfold path, encompassing Samyak- drishti (view), Sankalpa (intention), Vac (speech), Karmanta (action), Ajiva (livelihood), Vyayama (effort), Smriti (midfulness) and Samadhi (concentration), we can completely eradicate Dukkha from our life. As any other powerful tool, these are difficult to master. These are to be practised simultaneously like spokes of a wheel.
One of the things that make it difficult is our inability to express these things precisely. Many times I have doubts, but I find it difficult to express them in words. Also, many times answers are vague. These challenges make it necessary to quantify and mathematize this beautiful science of spirituality. We can quantify external world. And since internal world is connected to external world, there is some hope in doing that.
An important comment by Swamiji was that we need to reformulate our natural number system, units and have a set of semi-integral cardinality. As I understand, this is necessary to handle the complex working of our mind, a part of which can watch itself while doing some other work.
There are some physical quantities which are conserved like energy, momentum etc. On the other hand while meditating we stress the concept of "Existence". Only because I exist, I am aware and I can think of mathematical consistency. If I did not exist then the concept of awareness and mathematical consistencies are meaningless. Conservation laws are nothing but consistency check. This makes me believe that probably "Energy", "Momentum" are physical realization of abstract concept of "Existence".
These things give me tremendous hope that we will soon reach a point when, as Swami Vivekananda wished, each of us will be able to see the self within us effortlessly.