Adhyatma Vidya-Spirituality Science
HOLISTIC EDUCATION FOR WHOLE MAN OR WHOLE DUDE
The term “HOLISTIC” has to be defined by identifying the individual who may benefit from the learning experience called ‘Holistic Education’. I coined the phrase ‘Whole Dude’ to give my definition of Whole Man.
I describe the Seven Dimensions of the Man to define the phrase Whole Man or Whole Dude. These dimensions are 1. Man, the Physical Being with cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems, 2. Man, the Mental Being with thoughts, feelings, and moods, 3. Man, the Social Being, in which the Singularity of Man, in reality, represents a vast biological or biotic community of interacting individual, independent cells apart from trillions of organisms, 4. Man, the Moral Being who can choose good or evil actions and make the distinction between right and wrong in the performance of his living activities, 5. Man, the Spiritual Being who desires Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in his Living Experience, 6. Man, the Created Being who has no choice other than that of existing as an Individual with Individuality, and 7. Man, the Rational Being who accounts for the Subjective and Objective Reality of his Physical Existence in the Natural World.
Only holistic education can create a peaceful future: Dalai Lama
Interacting with 28 youth peace builders from 14 countries of conflict, he said the younger generations have the opportunity to contribute to a happier world.
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. (Photo: IANS)
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Wednesday said the only hope to create a more peaceful future is through a more holistic education in which knowledge of materialistic values, physical and emotional health are integrated.
Interacting with 28 youth peace builders from 14 countries of conflict, he said the younger generations have the opportunity to contribute to a happier world.
He lamented the increasing use of violence and advocated for a greater role of youth and education in the transformation towards peace.
He stressed his conviction that education is the key to changing people’s way of thinking. “The hygiene of physical is already in our education and now we need to include hygiene of emotion in a secular education system,” he said. He argued that relying on the religious system of moral won’t appeal to everyone. He expressed his profound admiration for the ancient Indian knowledge for its contribution toward the understanding of the human mind and the imbibing of practices to tackle negative emotions. He said a new curriculum combining the ancient Indian knowledge which focuses on inner peace and wisdom with a modern education that brings physical comfort, is being implemented in various educational institutes across the country.
“If you want inner peace, you should come to India. Come here and study modern education and ancient knowledge, but if you want more dollars, then you should go to the US or Europe,” he said. He urged for a greater sense of oneness and mutual understanding during his conversation and said 7 billion human beings have to coexist on this planet.
“Future of the east, west and north and south depend on each other. The national boundary is not so relevant given the new problems such as global warming and climate change. As human brothers and sisters, we have this brilliant intelligence and on top of that, we share an innate compassionate nature. As you witness more and more suffering, use it as an opportunity to strengthen your determination and willpower,” Dalai Lama said.
This is the third annual dialogue with youth peace-builders drawn from countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia and this year’s youth leaders came from 14 countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Iraq, Somalia, Colombia, Nigeria and seven others.
TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF EMPTINESS
Quantum Physics plays no role in understanding reality of ‘Consciousness’ which has both Subjective and Objective basis to verify its existence. Quantum Physics encounters a problem in accounting for true nature of ‘LIGHT’ due to Wave vs Particle Dualism. To the same extent, Quantum Physics encounters a problem to account for Subjective and Objective Reality of Man’s existence in physical universe. The condition called Existence can only be experienced by things which have structural and functional complexity. Particles can exist but cannot experience condition of their own existence unless and until they get incorporated into higher levels of structural and functional organization which is displayed by large molecules called polymers. To explain this, I may use the analogy of experiencing taste sensation imparted by Salt or Sodium Chloride. This sensation can never, ever be experienced from verifying reality of its constituent Chemical Elements, Sodium, and Chlorine. Only a Chemical Compound called Salt is associated with Saltiness. Atoms of Sodium or Chlorine and their subatomic particles cannot account for such experience; and it serves no purpose by bringing into discussion the concept of Emptiness or Sunyata.
For there is a fundamental division or separation of animate and inanimate matter, the study of Quantum Physics belongs to the realm of Inanimate or Non-Living Matter. The Concept of Emptiness or “SUNYATA” shared by Acharya Nagarjuna has to be interpreted by Biology and not by using principles of Physical Science like Quantum Physics. It should not be of any surprise if Physics and Chemistry fail to account for Buddha’s ‘Enlightenment’ whether it is real or not. As such I have to state that Quantum Physics cannot verify or account for ‘TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS’, reality of my Subjective and Objective Existence in Physical World.
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SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
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November 17, 2015 // 08:45 AM EST
The Dalai Lama in New Delhi. Photo: Daniel Oberhaus
Ever since Copernicus published On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres in 1543 to outline his heliocentric cosmology and thereby kick-start modern scientific inquiry, an uneasy truce has existed between science and religion. Although Copernicus wasn’t persecuted for his views by the dominant religious authorities (in fact,Pope Clement VII expressed great interest in Copernicus’s work, and the latter would end up dedicating his Revolutions to Pope Paul III), his intellectual heir Galileo was not so lucky when he faced down the Roman Inquisition in 1633, a testament to the fragility of this philosophical truce.
This either/or approach to the world, where one considers phenomena through either a scientific or religious lens, has colored scientific inquiry ever since Galileo was placed under house arrest for his heretical (but scientifically accurate) views. Its legacy can still be seen today in the vehement spats between religiously motivated climate deniers and the militaristic guardians of science known as the New Atheists.
Yet what if there was a different approach to the world, which didn’t require planting oneself firmly in either the science or religion camp? This was the question posed by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, as he presided over a two day conference on quantum physics and Madhyamaka philosophy in New Delhi last week. And according to His Holiness, figuring out a way to reconcile scientific and religious philosophies may prove to be essential to the future of our species.
“I hope conferences like this can address two purposes: extending our knowledge and improving our view of reality so we can better tackle our disturbing emotions,” the Dalai Lama said, opening the conference on Thursday. “Early in my lifetime, science was employed to further material and economic development. Later in the 20th century, scientists began to see that peace of mind is important for physical health and well-being… As a result of combining warm-heartedness with intelligence, I hope we’ll be better equipped to contribute to humanity’s well-being.”
The Dalai Lama has never been a stranger to science, and throughout his tenure as Tibet’s leader in exile he has advocated for the collusion of science and Eastern philosophy (even Chairman Mao commended the Dalai Lama for his “scientific mind” directly after reminding His Holiness that “religion is poison”). This intersection of interests was manifest in the diversity of His audience, which was comprised of roughly 150 Tibetan bhikkhus, academics, and students who had piled into the conference center at Jawaharlal Nehru University to listen to the Dalai Lama and a panel of physicists and monastic scholars discuss the intersection of quantum physics and Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophy.
Selections from day 1 of the conference at JNU in New Delhi
As the Dalai Lama noted in his opening remarks at the Delhi conference, he was only alerted to the intersection of quantum science and Madhyamaka, one of the main schools of Buddhist thought, about 20 years ago after having a discussion with the late Indian nuclear physicist Raja Ramanna.
According to His Holiness, Ramanna had been reading the texts of Nagarjuna, and he was struck by just how much the ideas of this 2,000 year old Madhyamaka philosopher matched his own understanding of contemporary quantum physics.
The Dalai Lama weighs in on a discussion with Geshe Ngawang Sangye and Geshe Ngawang Samten about Cittramatrin’s view of emptiness. Photo: Daniel Oberhaus
There are generally considered to be two main philosophical schools in Buddhism, known as Mahayana and Theravada. Madhyamaka (“one who holds to the middle” or “the middle way”) belongs to the Mahayana school of thought and was developed by Nagarjuna in the second century. Although a staggering number of subtly different interpretations of Nagarjuna’s philosophies have emerged in commentaries on his work over the years, a core idea uniting them all is that of emptiness.
In Madhyamaka thought, all things are empty insofar as they lack any inherent essence or existence. This emptiness applies not just to people and things, but also to the analytic categories which are used to describe them. According to Nagarjuna, this emptiness is the product of the dependent origination of all things. In other words, all phenomena lack their own inherent existence because their very existence is dependent on the conditions that gave rise to them.
Yet for Nagarjuna, to say that nothing has any inherent existence is not the same as saying nothing exists; it is merely to posit that nothing has a “fixed and permanent nature. In order to clarify this, Nagarjuna posited two truths: a conventional truth and an ultimate truth. In so doing, he recognized that it is possible to simultaneously perceive things as actually existing out there in the world (the conventional truth) as well as recognizing that they lack any inherent existence (the ultimate truth). Holding these two seemingly contradictory positions is only possible by recognizing that ‘reality’ is an experiential phenomenon, not one that has an objective existence independent of our experience of it.
If you’re confused as to just what these ancient musings on the nature of reality have to do with contemporary quantum physics, you’re not alone.
One of the most glaring examples of the intersection of Madhyamaka and quantum physics is to be found in the principle of wave-particle duality, which holds that elementary particles (fermions and bosons) can exhibit the characteristics of both particles and waves, yet can be wholly reduced to neither.
“There seems no likelihood for forming a consistent description of the phenomena of light by a choice of only one of the two languages [particle or
wave],” Einstein once said while discussing the nature of light. “It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do.”
Like the quantum wave function, a probability matrix used by physicists to describe the state of a system at a given time, wave-particle duality points us to one of the central problems at the heart of quantum science: is there an objective, independent reality that is capable of being quantified, or are all such measurements subjective by virtue of the fact that they are always dependent on an observer to take them, thus merely reflecting the observer’s knowledge?
As Einstein and the physicists at the conference pointed out, these seemingly contradictory pictures of reality really only make sense if you take them both together: a middle way, much like the Madhyamaka philosophy.
On the one hand, the act of observation collapses the indeterminacy of the wave function into a definite reality: the cat in the box is either dead or alive, the beam of light is composed of either particles or waves, which is determined through the act of observation. Yet in each case, the underlying reality is that the cat and light don’t inherently have the characteristic of being alive or dead, or a wave or particles; rather, the underlying reality, the wave function, is indeterminate and can only be quantified as a set of probabilities
Another aspect of quantum mechanics worth mentioning is the principle of entanglement. This principle, tackled by both Einstein and Schrödinger in 1935, occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated in such a way that the state of any given particular particle cannot be determined. Rather, the observer must measure the state of the quantum system as a whole. With an entangled system, the state of each particle is correlated with the others; therefore, measuring single particle will influence its entangled partners (what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), collapsing the superimposed states of the entire quantum system.
His Holiness insisted on the need for both physics and philosophy in the quest to overcome ignorance and end suffering, which are arguably the main aims of Buddhism
To borrow from the language of Nagarjuna’s philosophy, we might say that quantum physics possesses two truths: a conventional truth (the determinate reality brought about through observation) and the ultimate truth (an indeterminate reality expressed as probabilities). These truths of quantum mechanics mirror Madhyamaka philosophy insofar as the latter professes that things do actually exist out there in the world yet have no intrinsic, objective essence and only derive their essence from our subjective interpretations.
What is more, in both cases, the explanation for the two truths is remarkably similar in both quantum mechanics and Madhyamaka philosophy. In the case of quantum mechanics, entanglement is a quantifiable expression of Nagarjuna’s notion of dependent origination—the state of a particular quantum particle cannot be expressed because it is dependent on the quantum system as a whole, much like Nagarjuna’s phenomena which cannot have their own inherent essences because their existence is dependent on the conditions which brought them forth.
Such were the ideas expressed over the course of the two-day conference at JNU in New Delhi. For the most part, the explicit connections between Madhyamaka and quantum physics were left up to the interpretation of the audience. The physicists stuck to physics and the monastic scholars stuck to Buddhism.
Yet much like each concept itself, composed of seemingly contradictory ideas that nevertheless prove to be complimentary, His Holiness insisted on the need for both physics and philosophy in the quest to overcome ignorance and end suffering, which are arguably the main aims of Buddhism. Both science and religion have their own specific uses, but one without the other can lead to less than desirable results, to say nothing of painting an incomplete picture of reality.
“Right now when we see the sad things going on in the world, crying and prayer won’t achieve very much,” His Holiness said. “Although we may be inclined to pray to God or Buddha to help us solve such problems, they might reply that since we created these problems it is up to us to solve them. Most of these problems were created by human beings, so naturally they require human solutions. We need to take a secular approach to promulgating universal human values. The sense that our basic human nature is positive is a source of hope [that]… If we really make an attempt, we can change the world for the better.”
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THE CELEBRATION OF SPRING SEASON – WELCOME TO TELUGU NEW YEAR SRI MANMADHA – UGADI CELEBRATION ON MARCH 21, 2015:
Friday, March 20, 2015 is the first day of Spring or Vernal Equinox when duration of night and day are equal. This Friday is special for today is the day for Total Solar Eclipse and a New Moon.
THE CELEBRATION OF SPRING SEASON: WELCOME TO TELUGU NEW YEAR “JAYA” – UGADI CELEBRATION ON MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014.:
TELUGU NEW YEAR VIJAYA: UGADI- THE DAWN OF NEW YEAR APRIL 11, 2013:
Spring is season of the year between Winter and Summer. In the Northern Hemisphere it extends from the Vernal Equinox( day and night equal in length), March 20 or 21, to the Summer Solstice( year’s longest day ), June 21 or 22. The Seasons come with cyclical frequency at the expected time while planet Earth and the rest of the Solar system partake motion of Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy and their location in Space is never constant and is never the same. THE SPRING SEASON – A REASON FOR HOPE :
The arrival of Spring Season is a celebration of Joy in numerous cultures and human traditions. The reason for Joy is because of the Season giving a sense of Hope. The reason for Hope is that of rebirth, renewal, regeneration, regrowth, and rejuvenation. In Spring, we witness the plant and animal life getting revitalized. Things in Nature change with Time but Nature remains unchanged. Nature remains constant, immutable, unchanged, or eternal. Nature does not change as mass, energy, and momentum always remain unchanged. The Laws of Conservation stated by classical Physics state that mass and energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Each Law of Conservation signifies that Nature does not change with passage of Time. We have hope as Nature exists without change. There is hope that we can recover and renew and restart a process broken or worn out. Nature’s ability to support and sustain Life is reflected in the operation of The Laws of Conservation and by operation of the fundamental Force called Gravitation.
THE LORD OF THE SEASON – MADHAVAM :
The other name for Spring Season, known as Vasant or Basant is MADHAVAM. Indian tradition describes ideas by attaching them to personalities. The person known as LORD MADHAVA is the consort of a person known as Goddess MADHAVI. She derives her name from the word MADHU which describes the nectar gathered by butterflies. Madhu is used to name the taste experience called Sweetness, the sweet substances like honey, sugar, Jaggery and any alcohol derived by fermentation of sugars. The Sweetness gives Joy and Happiness and man can get easily addicted to its powerful intoxicating effect. The sweetness has to be experienced with a sense of restraint. Man experiences a sweet sensation called MADHURYA when he experiences MADHAVI as a FORCE/POWER/ENERGY called Mercy/Grace/Compassion. Spring Season is celebration called MADHAVAM as Lord Madhava is the Controller of the FORCE/POWER/ENERGY of Mercy/Grace/Compassion described in Sanskrit language as KRUPA. Man exists at all stages of his life because of God’s Mercy, Grace, and Compassion.
THE CELEBRATION OF TELUGU NEW YEAR – UGADI :
The Telugu speaking people of India follow the Lunar Calendar and the first month of the year is known as CHAITRA. The Telugu New Year is traditionally celebrated as UGADI festival. A traditional holiday dish, a relish called ‘UGADI PACHADI’ is prepared to reflect the tastes and flavors of Spring Season. Telugu people are celebrating the dawn of their New Year called SRI KHARA on 4th April, 2011.
Happy Ugadi to all of you.
R. Rudranarasimham/Rudra N. Rebbapragada, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.,
Welcome to Telugu New Year SRI “MANMADHA.” UGADI CELEBRATION ON MARCH 21, 2015. Best Wishes to all of my readers for Peace and Joy in Celebration of Spring Season.
Friday, March 20, 2015 is the first day of Spring Season. Today is also the day for Total Solar Eclipse and a New Moon.
WHOLE DESIGNER – WHOLE ARTIST – WHOLE AESTHETICS :
Plants have the ability of Photoreception but do not have organs of sense perception like eyes. They produce flowers as if an artist is at work. The flowers below all have two things in common: They’re beautiful, and they remind the human eye of something else entirely. These are flowers are just stunning works of art by nature.
NATURE IS AMAZING & ASTONISHING….
WHOLEDUDE – WHOLEDESIGNER – PHOTOCHEMISTRY
THE ART OF SELF-DISCIPLINE : “KRAMA SIKSHA”, the instruction to impart physical and mental Discipline has a physiological basis. A part of human brain called ‘Reticular Formation’ functions like Spirit or Soul to control, to guide, and to regulate ‘Intellect'(“BUDDHI”), Mind(“MANAH”), Senses(“INDRIYA”), and Body(“DEHA”).
This is a tribute to all the men and women who serve India in Uniform after undergoing rigorous training enduring pain and hardships. The “DRILL”, such as marching together during ceremonial parades, testifies to the process of teaching the ‘Art of Self-Discipline’.
Discipline is training that develops Self-Control, character, orderliness, and efficiency. It may imply strict control to enforce obedience, acceptance of or submission to authority. While Discipline requires training that molds, instructs, and corrects personal behavior, the concept of Self-Discipline is often used in the context of a Spiritual Practice. For all practical purposes Self-Discipline is like Military Discipline which uses training apart from verbal instruction, encouragement, and teaching as its tools. Soldiers master the Art of Self-Discipline to take responsibility for all of their actions, speech, and mannerisms.
Just like training for Boxing, military training gives the ability to react quickly, effectively in a reflex action. The military Drill disciplines the Mind and Body to make the man to make quick, automatic or habitual responses when he hears the words of Command. Both Military and Spiritual Disciplines recognize their need for training to achieve the objective of destroying an Enemy who hinders the path to Success or Victory. Military Discipline imparts the ability to fight an external Enemy on the battlefield and Spiritual Discipline is about fighting one’s own internal Enemy. Combating and overcoming an Enemy is of utmost importance to both types of Discipline. In either case, Discipline has the following characteristics: 1. Devotion(“SRADDHA”), 2. Humility(“NAMRATA”-“NIGARVI”), 3. Temperance(“NIYAMA” -“NIGRAHA”), and 4. Perseverance(“KSHAMA”). These attributes or qualities are acquired through training and are found in a trained Soldier and a Spiritual Practitioner or “SADHAK.”
Discipline involves the ability to endure hardship. No Discipline is entirely pleasant to begin with. The training imposes pain and builds up pain tolerance and pain resistance. In my view, a Spiritual Practitioner or “SADHAK” and a Soldier face the same kind of challenges to overcome lethargy, inertia and accept physical and mental fatigue as a necessary burden to win their Battle.
Devotion(Sraddha) speaks of the fact, quality or state of being devoted. The quality called devotion in physical or mental tasks generates feelings of faithfulness, loyalty, and deep affection. Devotion means to give up oneself or one’s time, energy, etc., to some purpose or activity. The attitude called Discipline involves applying oneself with seriousness or earnestness. The purpose of close-order military drill is that of instilling ideas in the person by repeated exercises. A devoted Soldier dedicates himself to his primary task of fighting a battle and willingly prepares himself to get exposed to the risk or danger of severe bodily injury or even loss of life.
Humility(Namrata – Nigarvi) is the state or quality of being humble; absence of self-pride or arrogance. A trained Soldier takes pride in his Service, takes pride in his Unit or Regiment, and takes pride in the dress or uniform that he wears. But, the training that imparts Discipline transforms the Soldier into a man of Humility for he recognizes that self-pride or arrogance are of no use in the learning process.
Temperance(Niyama – Nigraha) is the state or quality of being moderate in indulging the appetites; it involves self-restraint in conduct, expression, not self-indulgent, moderate in one’s actions, speech, apart from moderation in the use of food, and alcohol. A basic quality of a trained Soldier is that of Self-Restraint.
Perseverance(Kshama) is the act of continued, patient effort; quality of persistence to continue the effort in spite of difficulty or stiff opposition. A trained Soldier is steadfast in his purpose, and he continues his physical or mental activity without shifting to another task because of distractions or of a change in stimulus. Perseverance is the other name for Discipline.
In my view, the training used by military to impart Discipline, and the techniques used by a Spiritual Practitioner to instill Self-Discipline use the same kind of approach to bring harmony in the interactions between body, and mind.
In military training, the term Soul or Spirit is not used. The term “ESPRIT DE CORPS” refers to group spirit, sense of pride, honor, etc., shared by those in the same group such as a Regiment, or a Branch of Service. Military uses the term ‘spirit’ to describe the frame of mind, enthusiasm, and loyalty shared by a group of its members. If not in Science, in religion, and in philosophy, the terms Soul or Spirit describe a vital, animating Principle that is distinct from the body, and mind. In Indian tradition, it is held that the organs of Sense perception are superior to other organs and tissues of the human body, but more than the Senses, the Mind is superior but more than the Mind, the Intelligence is superior and more than the Intelligence that which is superior is the Seat of Individual Consciousness. Soul or Spirit is intimately associated with the function called Consciousness.
Science and military training manuals may not use the term Soul but Consciousness and Self-Awareness are important to the learning process at any Military Training Institution.
A good Soldier is precisely like a good Spiritual Practitioner or Sadhak. Both depend upon Self-Denial and Self-Discipline to arrive at their destination or goal which defines their purpose in life.
Discipline develops the character of the individual and Self-Control is the key to overcome the problems of Self-Destructive behaviors.
Self-Discipline is not about regulating human behavior and actions using the authority or power invested in the rules and regulations that man makes to bring orderliness and efficiency in the society. Military training establishes Self-Discipline using repeated exercises that instill ideas to control mental activities without using physical force and without using the strict Military Code for Conduct. The success of military training does not depend upon the ability to punish or reprimand people for their errant behavior. Military is a hierarchical organization and it uses a group of persons arranged in order of rank, grade, class, etc., to define the power or authority invested in each person. Man is a complex organization, Indian tradition describes a hierarchy of structures or parts of man that can find unity while man acts helplessly according to the impulses born of the modes of material nature or “PRAKRIT.”
Indian tradition recognizes operation of a hierarchy of structures as shown in the above photo image. These structures identified as Body, Senses(Organs of Sense Perception such as the eyes, and ears), Mind, Intellect, and Soul have positions of importance according to a ranking system, and the thing with a superior rank can control the things with a subordinate rank. However, a force called “MAYA” or Illusion deludes man and breaks the Chain of Command.
Human organism is a very complex assembly of trillions of individual, independent, living cells and for purposes of structural and functional organization, these cells are components of different tissues, organs, and organ systems. A basic understanding of human anatomy and human physiology explains the relationships between tissues, organs, and organ systems. Brain is a very important structure but it functions if and only if it is continuously supplied with oxygen and nutrients like glucose to maintain its own metabolic activities. But, the human body and vital organs like heart and lungs depend upon the brain structure called Brain Stem which has the vital regulatory centers that operate functions of respiration and circulation. Within the Brain Stem, the structure called Reticular Formation is identical to Soul or Spirit described in religious scriptures and philosophical writings. Reticular Formation is the structure that is intimately associated with the control, regulation of those functions that help to establish man as a conscious, and breathing living entity.
I am intentionally sharing several images of the structure known as Reticular Formation. It is in the central Brain Stem and extends from Medulla to Thalamus. It has connections with almost all other parts of the Central Nervous System(CNS), such as Spinal Cord, Cranial Nerve Nuclei, Cerebellum, Hypothalamus, Thalamus, Striatum , Limbic System , and Cerebral Cortex. This neural structure which I name as Soul or Spirit plays a central role to develop the trait called Self-Discipline. A disciplined Soldier reacts automatically, and effectively when he hears the words of Command . This reflex motor activity is possible because of the integrative role played by Reticular Formation.
The Reticular Formation consists of more than 100 Brain Stem Nuclei. A single neuron in this network may have synapses with as many as 25,000 other neurons.
Reticular Formation plays an important role in composing the contents of Consciousness. It filters incoming stimuli to discriminate irrelevant background stimuli It regulates actions such as alert/sleep cycles, wakefulness, and behavioral arousal.
Reticular Formation running through Medulla, Pons, and Midbrain helps to coordinate, integrate, and regulate actions of different parts of the Central Nervous System. It is involved in 1. Regulation of Muscles, and Reflex activity, 2. Central transmission of Sensory impulses, 3. Respiration, 4. Cardiovascular responses, 5. Behavioral Arousal, and 6. Sleep. In Indian tradition, the Spirit or Soul exercises similar control to regulate, guide, and integrate the functions of Intellect, Mind, Senses, and Body. The Art of Discipline involves the use of such regulative, and integrative abilities.
THE ART OF SPIRITUAL LIVING :
From the beginning of human history, the ideas about Spirituality included a desire to find Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in all of man’s internal and external relationships, while man exists in a physical environment as a member of a social community or society. Both religious thinkers and philosophers have contemplated that Spirituality involves a potency associated with a Principle called Soul or Spirit. In Indian tradition, the term “ATMA” or “ATMAN” refers to Self, Body, Mind, and Soul depending upon different circumstances. In the YOGA System of India, the YOGA practice uses the term ATMA to describe Mind. The purpose of Yoga is to control the Mind and to draw it away from its attachment to sense objects. The term ‘Sensual’ refers to the body and the senses as distinguished from the Intellect, Spirit, or Soul. Sensual pertains to or it is about preoccupation with bodily or sexual pleasures. The term ‘Sensuous’ refers to a variety of things affecting, appealing to, or perceived by the senses. It implies easy susceptibility through the senses, enjoying the pleasures of sensation, and a strong appeal of that which is pleasing to the eye, ear, touch, etc., Since experience of sensual enjoyment involves the Mind, in Indian tradition, Mind is the Chief Sense Organ or ‘INDRIYA’. The term austerity describes a variety of spiritual practices. Austerity in relation to the Mind is a process that includes attributes such as Simplicity, Solemnity, Purity, and Control. Austerity aims to find Satisfaction through the use of Self-Discipline and Self-Restraint. A variety of spiritual practices like austerity, repentance, penance, expiation, and purgation involve accepting Satisfaction, a mental state that relieves the burden to take action to gratify the desires that seem to hold the Mind in a captive condition. In other words, the goal of Spirituality demands finding Contentment, Satiation, and Satisfaction in the living experience of man.
THE SIX INTERNAL ENEMIES OF MAN :
In Indian tradition, the six internal enemies of man constitute a group called ‘ARI VARGA’ and these are 1. KAMA or Lust, 2. KRODHA or Anger, 3. LOBHA or Miserliness, 4. MADA or Arrogance(Self-Pride), 5. MATSARYA or Jealousy, and 6. MOHA or Ignorance + Illusion known as Infatuation.These behavioral traits drive man onto a path of Self-Destruction. These six kinds of behavior are aspects of Desire. The Art of Spiritual Living deals with this problem called ‘DESIRE’ that takes charge of Mind to drive man to take actions that leave him restless, agitated, confused, irritable, resentful, and frustrated if the overpowering Desire is not gratified.
Behavioral Science includes any of several studies such as Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, etc., that examine human activities, conduct, aptitude, manners, and responses that are observable. In Biology, Behavior explains an organism’s responses to stimulation or environment and the observed Behavior is often described as Biotic Interactions which could be Interspecific(interactions between different groups or species) or Intraspecific( within the same group or species, or within the same organism which could be a complex living system). The term Behavioral Therapy and Behavior Modification involve the use of techniques that seek to modify Human Behavior through application of the principles of conditioning in which rewards and reinforcements or punishments establish desired habits or patterns of Behavior. In Indian tradition, the analogy of a Chariot(“RATHA KALPANA” or the Metaphor of Chariot) helps to discuss the relationships between human body, organs of sense perception(Senses), Mind, Intellect which together constitute ‘The Lower-Self’ and Soul that constitutes ‘The Knowing-Self’ or ‘The Higher-Self’.
Pandava Prince Arjuna in The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter VI, Verse#34 stated the utmost difficult problem called controlling Mind :
“Chanchalam hi manah Krishna
pramathi balavad drdham
tasyaham nigraham manye
Vayor iva su-dushkaram,”
For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate, and very strong, and to subdue it is more difficult than controlling the wind. Mind is unsteady and unbridled for it gets easily distracted by the strong appeal of things which are pleasing to the senses. Mind when left alone to act by itself, will not be able to cope with the powerful influence called Desire.
The word DESIRE or craving involves strong, persistent, and passionate feelings to covet, wish, or long for something and it specifically suggests a longing for something lacking or needed. Craving suggests a desire to gratify a physical appetite, an urgent need that stresses intensity or ardor. The term Covet apart from eagerness, earnestness, and wanting ardently, it involves wanting something that another person rightfully possesses. The term greed and avarice describe excessive desire for having especially wealth, a desire for more than one needs or deserves. Greedy behavior involves wanting or taking all that one can get with no thought of others’ needs. Being greedy implies an insatiable desire to possess or acquire something to an amount inordinately beyond what really needs or deserves. A miser is a greedy person, who is stingy and hoards money for its own sake, even at the expense of personal comfort. Miserliness is often makes the person wretched and unhappy as there is no experience of satisfaction even though the desire is gratified. The greedy behavior that involves the habit or act of eating or consuming too much food and drink is gluttonous or gluttony. A voracious person is greedy to devour or gorge large quantities of food. A ravenous person is wildly hungry, is very eager for gratification. Ravenous may also describe insatiable pursuit for praise or social recognition. Such behaviors make the person rapacious; a person who takes things by force, by plundering, robbing or exploiting others. It leads to establishment of a pattern of behavior called predatory in which the person is waiting to seize the opportunity to take by force and is akin to an act of preying. The term lust describes excessive sexual desire especially the zeal or enthusiasm for unrestrained sexual gratification without idealized or spiritualized feelings like love, empathy, friendship, affection, compassion, respect, and commitment to defend the well-being of the person involved in the sexual interaction. The term Carnal describes preoccupation with bodily or sexual pleasures, sensual preoccupation with gratifying the bodily senses that generally involves grossness or lewdness. The behaviors characterized by greed, lust, and gluttony are acquisitive in nature as they stress exertion of effort in acquiring material possessions to an excessive amount or using people like material objects. The term grasping suggests an unscrupulous eagerness for gain that manifests itself in a seizing upon every opportunity to get what one desires. The problem of Desire is often accompanied by emotional feelings of anger, the feelings of resentful or revengeful displeasure that motivates the person to fight back at the supposed cause of the feelings. While anger is expressed in bodily language, facial expressions, words, and acts, the term rage describes a sudden, violent outburst of anger in which self-control is lost. Greed when combined with feelings of anger is often transformed into jealousy, envy, animosity in which the person is resentfully suspicious of a rival or a rival’s influence. It arouses feeling of strong dislike, hatred, ill will and hostility. The degree of a person’s susceptibility to Desire gets shaped by arrogance, or feelings of self-importance which manifests as overbearing or unwarranted self-pride. Along with arrogance comes a behavior in which the arrogant person claims or seizes things for which he has no natural right. In Indian tradition, the problem of DESIRE is manifestation of an underlying phenomenon called “MOH” or “MOHA.” Intense desires are primarily driven by ignorance, problems of sense perception, and operation of a force or influence called ‘ILLUSION’. Moha is operation of a false idea, a false conception, belief, or opinion which is not in accord with facts. Moha or Infatuation causes man’s alienation or estrangement from his true or real nature. The problem of Moha leads to obsession in which ideas, desires, emotions, etc., rule or take possession of a person and the resulting persistent desire cannot be gotten rid of by the use of reasoning or discernment.
In The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter III, KARMA YOGA, verse #5 Lord Krishna instructs that men act helplessly according to the impulses born of the Modes of Material Nature or PRAKRIT; therefore, nobody can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment. The term ‘DRIVE’ describes any of the basic biological impulses or urges such as self-preservation, hunger, sex, etc., The term ‘Motivation’ explains the motive, the forces influencing people so as to control the making of their decisions that further provides incentive and causes a person to do something or act in a certain way. The term ‘Instinct’ describes an inborn tendency to behave in a way characteristic of a species. The behavior contributed by instincts is natural, unlearned, and is often involves a predictable response to an external, environmental stimulus. Impulsive behavior involves a sudden inclination to act, usually without premeditation. For impulsive behavior, the driving force, push, thrust, impetus and incitement to action arises from a state of mind or some external environmental stimulus. Psychologists find relationship between behavior and external environmental stimuli, Psychoanalysts define Instinct as a primal, psychic force or drive such as Fear, Love, and Anger. In Freudian Psychoanalysis, instincts are of two kinds, 1. The Life Instinct(EROS), and 2. The Death Instinct(Thanatos). Some instincts may help in a secondary or subordinate way just like an accomplice who aids or abets commission of an unlawful act .
The Art of Spiritual Living involves the Mastery of Mind to review, to guide, to regulate and to refrain man’s actions and responses to his Enemy called Desire which can overwhelm man’s ability to preserve and support his mortal existence. The coping mechanisms involved in Desire and its Gratification determine the degree of Satiation, Contentment, and Satisfaction man may obtain at any given instant of his life. Contentment and Satisfaction are the building blocks to give the living experience called Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility. I would further examine the practice called Self-Discipline, the chief ingredient of Spiritual Living in my next article.