Consciousness-Physiology-Soul

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – TANTRIC BUDDHISM – BODY, MIND AND MEDITATION

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TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – TANTRIC BUDDHISM – BODY, MIND AND MEDITATION

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – TANTRIC BUDDHISM – BODY, MIND AND MEDITATION. LUKHANG TEMPLE PAYS RESPECTFUL TRIBUTE TO THE SERPENT SPIRIT CALLED “LU.” IT RECONCILES SPIRITUALITY WITH SENSORY EXPERIENCE.

Special Frontier Force extends appreciation and gives thanks to Culture24 Reporter for publishing an interesting story on Wellcome Museum, London hosting Exhibition on Body, Mind, Meditation in Tantric Buddhism.

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – TANTRIC BUDDHISM – BODY, MIND AND MEDITATION METHODOLOGY AT LUKHANG TEMPLE, LHASA.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

CULTURE 24

Tibet’s Secret Temple: Wellcome opens Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism exhibition

By Culture24 Reporter | 18 November 2015

Inspired by a series of intricate murals adorning the walls of the Lukhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet, the Wellcome’s new exhibition illuminates the secrets of the temple once used exclusively by Tibet’s Dalai Lamas

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – TANTRIC BUDDHISM – BODY, MIND AND MEDITATION. “TAN” MEANS TO EXPAND; “TRA” MEANS METHODOLOGY. LUKHANG TEMPLE, LHASA.

Lukhang Temple with Potala Palace on left hand side © Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

The Lukhang

Lukhang means ˜Temple to the Serpent Spirits” and refers to its origins in a vision that came to Tibet’s Fifth Dalai Lama (1617 – 1682). A serpent-like water deity called a lu appeared to him during his meditations and warned that construction of the Potala Palace was disturbing the subterranean realm of the lu.

In an act of reconciliation, the Fifth Dalai Lama vowed to build a temple to appease the lu once the Potala Palace was completed. This promise was fulfilled during the lifetime of the Sixth Dalai Lama (1683 – 1706) who made the resulting island temple his primary residence.

Once there, he satisfied his controversial preference for romantic trysts and poetic composition over affairs of state. Over succeeding centuries the Lukhang continued to serve Tibet’s Dalai Lamas as a place of spiritual inspiration and contemplative retreat.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind and Meditation. The Method of Mental Cultivation and Perfection called “DZOGCHEN.” Lukhang Temple, Lhasa.

Lukhang Temple with Potala Palace in the background © Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

The wall paintings in the Lukhang’s uppermost chamber illustrate Dzogchen, or Great Perfection, teachings of the eighth-century Tantric master Padmasambhava. These teachings were revealed in a text by Orgyen Pema Lingpa (1450 – 1521), an enlightened Tantric master from Bhutan who was a direct ancestor of Tibet’s Sixth Dalai Lama.

The Lukhang murals are believed to have been commissioned by Desi Sangye Gyatso (1653 -1705), the acting governor of Tibet between the death of the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1682 and the enthronement of the Sixth Dalai Lama in 1697.

In the same period, Sangye Gyatso also commissioned a series of 79 scroll paintings outlining Tibetan medicine’s understanding of the human body and approach to optimal health.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind and Meditation. Spiritual Path to Non-Dual Awareness. Potala Palace, Lhasa.Lhasa Potala Palace © David Bickerstaff 2015

Rising out of a copse of willows on an island beneath the Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace, the Lukhang could originally only be reached by boat.

The temple’s symmetrical design and ascending levels form a three-dimensional mandala, a Buddhist representation of the integral harmony of the cosmos and the human psyche.

This ideal of harmony is further reflected in the Lukhang’s integration of three distinct architectural styles Tibetan, Chinese and Mongolian representing Tibet’s complex political alliances at the turn of the 17th century.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind and Meditation. Goddess LU.Lu Goddess, Lukhang Temple, Lhasa © David Bickerstaff 2015

The Lukhang’s lower level, built in Tibetan style, honours the elemental, serpentine forces of nature that Tibetans call lu. The temple’s second storey, in Chinese style, houses a shrine to the mythical Lord of the lu, flanked by statues of the Sixth Dalai Lama and Padmasambhava, the revered Indian master who introduced Tantric Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century.

A sweeping Mongolian-style roof shelters the meditation chamber on the Lukhang’s uppermost floor and its wall paintings depicting advanced practices of Tantric yoga and Great Perfection teachings on the essence of enlightenment.

A thousand-armed statue of Avalokites´vara, the embodiment of universal compassion that Tibet’s Dalai Lamas are said to represent, stands at the heart of the once-secret chamber.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind, and Meditation for attaining Buddha Nature.

Attributes of Brahma, Tantric Banner © Wellcome Library, London

Tantra: embodying enlightenment

Tantra arose in medieval India as a cultural movement that sought to reconcile spirituality with sensory experience and the creative imagination. With the Sanskrit root tan, meaning to expand, and tra, meaning methodology, Buddhist texts called Tantras expanded the scope of existing Buddhist doctrines and extended their applicability beyond monastic institutions.

The core texts of Tantric Buddhism appeared in India between the eighth and 11th centuries. The anonymously authored works modulate Buddhism’s earlier emphasis on life’s inevitable dissatisfactions and promote actively cultivating joy and compassion.

Unbound from Buddhism’s originally ascetic character, the indestructible vehicle of Vajrayana (or Tantric) Buddhism offered a means for positive change in individual and collective lives. To that end, Tantric deities were not conceived as objects of worship but as representations of the human potential to transcend egocentric concerns and embody universal qualities of wisdom and compassion.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind and Meditation. A study of human body and paths of energy flow.

The Interconnecting Blood Vessels: Back View (Thangka 10) © Wellcome Library, London

The Tantric journey depicted in the Lukhang murals encompasses rapture, terror and self-transcendence. The murals and the following rooms present specific methods used in Tantric Buddhism for freeing the mind from its limitations and embracing all experience with insight and compassion.

 

The daemonic divine

Tibetan monasteries typically include chapels dedicated to wrathful guardian deities representing wisdom and compassion in dynamic form. As can be seen on this panel, the doors leading into the Lukhang’s ground-floor chapel are adorned with intertwining lu volatile serpent spirits that also signify untamed energies of human consciousness.

The Tantric Buddhist deity visible at the shrine beyond Senge Dra rides on a snow lion and, wielding a ritual trident, both subdues and illuminates the psychic forces that the lu embody.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Tibet’s quest for Enlightenment. Potala Palace, Lhasa.Potala Palace, Tibet (circa 1860). Watercolour © British Library                                                    Ornaments of human bone, such as those worn by Tantric practitioners, boldly display life’s fundamental impermanence, and ritual instruments fashioned from skulls and thigh bones are widely used in Tantric rites to cultivate unconditional awareness.

Pilgrims in Tibet typically pay homage to these integral forces of mind and body in their journey towards a state of being beyond self-identification, suffering and strife.

Beyond Tibetan Buddhism’s outward forms lies a hidden world of yogic practices that cultivate subtle awareness through physical exercises, breath control and focused visualisation.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind and Meditation. Mandala of Vajrayogini.

Mandala of Vajrayogini. Scroll Painting (thangka), Tibet © Wellcome Library, London

Based on Tantric principles of bringing all aspects of experience onto the spiritual path, practices of Tibetan yoga range from masked dance ceremonies to sequenced exercises that concentrate attention, energy and sensation in the body’s central core to induce self-transcendent awareness.

 YOGAS OF FIRE AND LIGHT

In Tibetan Buddhism, the physically demanding practices of trul khor commonly precede more subtle Tantric practices undertaken during states of waking, sexual union, sleeping, dreaming and dying.

The so-called Six Yogas are designed to cultivate lucid awareness within all phases of human experience and, as shown in the photograph on this panel, to focus energy and concentration in the heart centre.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind and Meditation. Lord Yama, Lord of Death.

Yama, ‘Lord of Death’© The Trustees of the British Museum

Visualising the body as a translucent network of energy channels (Illusory Body Yoga), practitioners engage in the Yoga of Inner Fire (tummo) to increase vitality and sensation.

The Yoga of Radiant Light and the Yoga of Conscious Dreaming are practised while sleeping and reveal possibilities that normal waking consciousness obscures.

The Yoga of Transitional States (bardo) prepares practitioners for the possibility of psychological continuity after death, and the Yoga of Transference (powa) offers a method of projecting the mind into a paradisiacal Buddha Realm at the moment of death.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Tibetan Lamas of Sikkim.

Lamas at Talung in Sikkim, East India © Royal Geographical Society

The supplementary Yoga of Union, practised either with a real or visualised partner, further enhances subjective states of bliss and luminosity.

 

Mindfulness, meditation and beyond

The Tibetan word for meditation is gom, meaning mindfulness of one’s inherent Buddha nature, a self-transcendent state of empathy, insight and spontaneous altruism.

Although Tantric Buddhism includes a multitude of meditation techniques, the Lukhang murals reveal a system of mental cultivation called Dzogchen, or Great Perfection, that was introduced in Tibet in the eighth century by Padmasambhava.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind, and Meditation. Vajra Yogini.

Vajra Yogini Shrine, Tibet (19th century) © The Trustees of the British Museum

Based on present moment awareness of the mind’s intrinsic freedom from discursive thought processes and conditioned behaviour, Dzogchen is presented as the innate human potential to live beyond limiting beliefs or psychological stress.

When integrated into all aspects of one’s experience, Dzogchen is upheld as the culmination of the spiritual path in which mind and body, reason and intuition, and intention and application function in unison.

Although physical yoga, breathing practices and mindfulness training help to align the mind with its fundamental nature, Dzogchen ultimately does not require them.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism. Aims to achieve unity of perceiver, perceived, and the act of perception.

This picture was taken at a nunnery in Chatang, Tibet © David Bickerstaff 2015

Padmasambhava described Dzogchen as the mind looking directly into its own essence, a seamless continuum of perceiver, perceived and the act of perception. This open presence and non-dual awareness at the heart of Tantric Buddhism is vividly illustrated throughout the Lukhang murals.

 

Tibetan Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness today

The Tibetan Buddhist teachings depicted on the walls of the Lukhang are widely practised today both within and outside of Tibet. Tibetan Buddhism’s diverse approaches to mental cultivation are also the subject of scientific investigations into their potential impact on physiological and psychological health and the enhancement of human potential.

The health benefits of diverse meditation practices from an array of Asian Buddhist lineages awakened the interest of Western scientists in the 1960s, when fascination with Eastern spiritual traditions was burgeoning in the West.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind and Meditation. Spiritual path in which mind and body, reason and intuition, and intention and application function in unison.

A pectoral made of carved human bone strung on threads © Science Museum / Science and Society Picture Library

Collaborations between Tibetan Buddhism and Western science began after the (current) Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s first visit to the USA in 1979.

His interest in science coupled with his willingness to allow Tibetan Buddhist monks to participate in scientific experiments encouraged a range of investigations into the neurological correlates of meditation, which continue to this day through initiatives of the Mind and Life Institute and related organisations.

The health benefits of mindfulness, a practice central to all Buddhist lineages, have also been the subject of scientific research in the past 35 years, which has led to the development of a variety of stress-reduction programmes.

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Body, Mind and Meditation. The Art of Mental Cultivation of Mindfulness.

A monk drumming at Lukhang temple © David Bickerstaff 2015

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, for example, has become a clinical tool recognised by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

With the encouragement of the Dalai Lama, scientists are beginning to investigate the reputed physiological and cognitive benefits of Tibet’s once highly secret Tantric yogas of breath control and dynamic movement, as illustrated in the Lukhang murals.

 

  • Tibet’s Secret Temple: Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism is at the Wellcome Collection, London from November 19 2015 to February 28 2016.

Copyright © Culture24 unless otherwise stated.Information published here was believed to be correct at the time of publication.

Tibet Consciousness – The Lukhang Temple for Body, Mind Control and Cultivation of Mindfulness.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – The Lukhang Temple, Lhasa, Tibet.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Lukhang Temple in early summer.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Lukhang Temple on the small island on lake behind the Potala Palace, Lhasa.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Yoga Practices. Mural in The Lukhang Temple.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Mural in The Lukhang Temple.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Mural in The Lukhang Temple.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Mural in The Lukhang Temple.
Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Lord Avalokitesvara.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Mural in The Lukhang Temple.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism – Awareness without Dualism.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism

 

Tibet Consciousness – LORD AVALOKITESVARA. BODHISATTVA.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism

 

Tibet Consciousness – Lord Maitreya.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Tantric Buddhism
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TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF EMPTINESS

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TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF EMPTINESS

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF EMPTINESS. DALAI LAMA SPEAKING AT THE CONFERENCE ON QUANTUM PHYSICS. PHYSICS CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR THE EXPERIENCE OF TASTE SENSATION IMPARTED BY SALT, SODIUM CHLORIDE, A CHEMICAL COMPOUND.

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.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

 
         
The Spirits of Special Frontier ForceThe Spirits of Special Frontier Force, Ann Arbor, MI. At Special Frontier Force, I host ‘The Living Tibetan Spirits’…
 
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MOTHERBOARD

Dalai Lama: Religion Without Quantum Physics Is an Incomplete Picture of Reality

Written by

DANIEL OBERHAUS
Contributor

 

 

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS - QUANTUM PHYSICS - THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. DANIEL OBERHAUS, AUTHOR OF STORY ON QUANTUM PHYSICS CONFERENCE.
TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. DANIEL OBERHAUS, AUTHOR OF STORY ON QUANTUM PHYSICS CONFERENCE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
November 17, 2015 // 08:45 AM EST

 

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS - QUANTUM PHYSICS - THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. QUANTUM PHYSICS CANNOT VERIFY OR ACCOUNT FOR TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS.
TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. QUANTUM PHYSICS CANNOT VERIFY OR ACCOUNT FOR TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS - QUANTUM PHYSICS - THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. IN EXPLAINING REALITY OF 'LIGHT', QUANTUM PHYSICS ENCOUNTERS PROBLEM OF WAVE AND PARTICLE DUALISM, TWO FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES OF LIGHT. SIMILARLY, QUANTUM PHYSICS CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR EXPERIENCE CALLED CONSCIOUSNESS AS IT ENCOUNTERS PROBLEM POSED BY INANIMATE - ANIMATE DUALISM.
TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. IN EXPLAINING REALITY OF ‘LIGHT’, QUANTUM PHYSICS ENCOUNTERS PROBLEM OF WAVE AND PARTICLE DUALISM, TWO FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES OF LIGHT. SIMILARLY, QUANTUM PHYSICS CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR EXPERIENCE CALLED CONSCIOUSNESS AS IT ENCOUNTERS PROBLEM POSED BY INANIMATE – ANIMATE DUALISM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

© 2015 Vice Media LLC.

 

Tibet Consciousness – Quantum Physics – The Concept of Emptiness. Quantum Physics cannot account for Biological Phenomena such as experiencing taste sensation of Salt.
Tibet Consciousness – Quantum Physics – The Concept of Sunyata or Emptiness. The taste of Salt cannot be discovered by Quantum Physics.

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. The study of Quantum Physics and Quantum Dynamics will not contribute to understanding of Consciousness, a characteristic of Living Things.

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. Quantum Physics cannot verify or explain Buddha’s Enlightenment.

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – MADHYAMAKA PHILOSOPHY. Quantum Physics cannot verify or account for Buddha’s Experience called ‘ENLIGHTENMENT’.
TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – MADHYAMAKA PHILOSOPHY. Quantum Physics cannot explain or account for experiences that require Structural and Functional Complexity. Physics as such cannot account for Buddha’s Enlightenment.

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – MADHYAMAKA PHILOSOPHY. What is Life? What is Consciousness? Quantum Physics cannot study the reality of Life and Existence.

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS AT JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY, NEW DELHI ON NOVEMBER 13, 2015. Physics cannot explain reality of Life and Consciousness.

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY CANNOT ACCOUNT OR EXPLAIN THE EXPERIENCE OF TASTE IMPARTED BY SODIUM CHLORIDE.

 

TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – QUANTUM PHYSICS – THE CONCEPT OF SUNYATA OR EMPTINESS. RELIGION DOES NOT EXPLAIN REALITY USING PHYSICS OR CHEMISTRY. RELIGION IS ABOUT LIFE, AFTERLIFE, AND EVERLASTING LIFE.

 

ADHYATMA VIDYA – WHOLE DUALISM

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SPIRITUALISM AND FUNDAMENTAL DUALISM:

Spiritualism and Fundamental Dualism: Madhvacharya(c. 1199 - c. 1278) is the exponent of "DVAITA", the Indian School of Philosophy that claims a basic difference in kind between God and individual souls.
Spiritualism and Fundamental Dualism: Madhvacharya(c. 1199 – c. 1278) is the exponent of “DVAITA”, the Indian School of Philosophy that claims a basic difference in kind between God and individual souls.

Madhva of India had glorified difference between things. He traced back his dualistic thought to the Hindu scriptures known as the ‘Upanishads’. His main works are his commentaries on the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedanta-Sutras, and the Indian epic poem of Mahabharata. Five types of distinctions, or differences are central to Madhva’s system of “DVAITA” philosophy: 1. distinction between soul and God, 2. distinction between soul, and soul, 3. distinction between soul, and matter, 4. distinction between God and matter, and 5. distinction between matter, and matter. Madhva refuted the “ADVAITA”, or Non-dualistic philosophy of Shankara(A.D. 788 – A.D. 820) who believed that the individual soul and the absolute Spirit(Brahman) are totally identical in all aspects and cannot be differentiated into two separate categories. Madhva rejected the Shankara theory of “MAYA” or ‘illusion’ which taught that only spirituality is eternal and the material world is illusory and deceptive. Madhva maintained that the simple fact that things are transient and ever-changing does not mean that they are not real. Madhva while rejecting the Advaita concepts of falsity and indescribability of world, did not oppose the distinction between the human body and the individual human soul. It appears that the various Schools of Indian philosophy to a large extent agree to a view that separates the individual human soul from its human body. However, it is interesting to note that Madhva thinks that the human individual is “Free” and is dependent only upon God. Madhva shared the Hindu belief in endless transmigration of souls through cycles of birth, death, and rebirth and stated that the “Release” is obtained by devotion to God. He promoted a view, ultimately it is God’s grace that saves man and that man must receive God’s grace through worship.

SPIRITUALISM – WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE?

SPIRITUALISM AND THE BASIS FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE: The structure and function of human ovum or the egg cell must be clearly understood to know the Spiritual Basis for Human Existence.
SPIRITUALISM AND THE BASIS FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE: The structure and function of human ovum or the egg cell must be clearly understood to know the Spiritual Basis for Human Existence. This egg cell is capable of immanent actions, displays cognitive abilities, and performs intelligent functions. It is conscious and is fundamentally distinct from non-living, inanimate, insentient, inorganic matter.

My view about human soul and spirit differs from the views shared by the three major Indian Schools of philosophy. In my opinion, the ground substance that is called ‘cytoplasm’ is a spiritual substance(the substance that I recognize as the substance associated with Soul/Spirit) and this corporeal substance or living matter is fundamentally distinct from non-living matter. The entire human organism is derived from the single, fertilized egg cell; therefore, the individual human soul cannot be separated from the human body it constitutes and develops to establish a human individual that lives or exists as a real, physical being that has objective identity apart from subjective living experience. To interpret the term ‘spirituality’, or ‘spiritualism’, I make a fundamental distinction between life, and non-life, between organic, and inorganic matter, between animate, and inanimate, between sentient, and insentient, between intelligent and mechanical functions, and between immanent actions, and transitive actions.

Rudra N. Rebbapragada/R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

Organization: The Spirits of Special Frontier Force.

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ADHYATMA VIDYA – WHOLE DEVOTION

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SPIRITUALISM-VISISTADVAITA-MODIFIED NON-DUALISM: THE THEORY OF RAMANUJACHARYA:

SPIRITUALISM-VISISTADVAITA-MODIFIED NON-DUALISM THEORY OF RAMANUJACHARYA ( c. 1017 - c. 1137 ). WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD, MATTER, AND INDIVIDUAL SOUL?
SPIRITUALISM-VISISTADVAITA-MODIFIED NON-DUALISM THEORY OF RAMANUJACHARYA ( c. 1017 – c. 1137 ). WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD, MATTER, AND INDIVIDUAL SOUL?

Ramanujacharya is recognized as the foremost Indian thinker who adhered to the Vedantic system of Indian thought like Adi Shankara who was the first to propose the “Unqualified Non-Dualism, or Advaita” to explain the relationship between God, matter, and man. He is the antithesis of Shankara. He opposed the monistic system of Vedanta of Shankara for it offers no room for a personal God. Both Shankara and Ramanuja have derived a system of thought that is based on the interpretation of the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita. Ramanuja provided an intellectual and a philosophical basis for the practice of devotional worship of God in the Indian tradition called “BHAKTI.” He taught that the worship of a personal God and the union of the Individual Soul with the personal God is an essential part of the doctrines of the Upanishads or Vedanta. Both Shankara, and Ramanuja may have shared a common belief in the Indian tradition that describes the transmigration of the Individual Soul through the experience called “SAMSARA”, which is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that is associated with the human body in which the Soul is embodied. Both of them aspire to attain ‘Final Release’ of the embodied Individual Soul from transmigration when it reaches its goal, or the destination. Shankara claimed that the impersonal “BRAHMAN” as the Ultimate Reality, and further stressed that there is no separation or dualism between the Individual Soul and the impersonal Brahman or the Divine Soul. As a theory, Shankara’s Unqualified Nonduality does not demand any ritualistic worship of God. Ramanuja identified the destination, or goal to be attained by the Individual Soul as that of a personal God, a God that he knows by the name of Lord Vishnu. While Shankara had proposed that the material world, and the universe is unreal as it is a mere product of sense experience, a perception caused by “ILLUSION”, or “MAYA.” In Shankara’s view, the understanding of the material world, and the universe leads to ignorance, and not any real knowledge as man has no capacity to overcome the power of illusion. Ramanuja emphasized that the phenomenal world is “real” and that it provides real knowledge. He held the opinion that discursive thought is necessary in man’s search for the ultimate truths. He held that the exigencies of daily life are compatible with the life of the Spirit. Ramanuja allowed the urge for devotional worship(BHAKTI) into his doctrine of Salvation. He combined religious practices of ritualistic worship service with the pursuits of philosophy. He came to these conclusions by accepting the reality of three distinct orders; 1. Matter, 2. Soul, and 3. God. He concedes that there is nonduality(ADVAITA), or an ultimate identity of the three orders. But, this nonduality is asserted by God who is modified(“VISISTA”) by the orders of Matter and Soul that He created. God has modified His own status and nature by causing the birth of Matter and Individual Soul. The analogy used is; just as the human body modifies the Soul, has no separate existence from it, and yet is different from it; similarly, the orders of Matter and Soul constitute God’s body, modifying it, and yet have no separate existence from it. The goal of the Individual Soul is to serve God just as the human body serves the Soul. All the phenomenal world is a manifestation of the glory of God or Lord Vishnu and is described as “VIBHUTI”, or the Infinite Glories of the Supreme Lord. Using contemplation of God, and devotional worship service, man seeks the “RELEASE” of the Individual Soul by God’s grace that remains active in man’s quest. While God’s grace is very powerful, man may have to unconditionally surrender or submit himself to the power of God’s grace.

I would be happy to further examine the issue of the three distinct orders of Matter, Soul, and God and arrive at an understanding of their relationship.

Rudra N. Rebbapragada/ R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

Organization: The Spirits of Special Frontier Force.

 

ADHYATMA VIDYA – WHOLE CONSCIOUS

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SPIRITUALISM – THE FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS:

SPIRITUALISM AND CONSCIOUSNESS: The understanding of Consciousness demands the recognition of difference between mechanical performance(Transitive Action), and intelligent performance(Immanent Action).
SPIRITUALISM AND CONSCIOUSNESS: The understanding of Consciousness demands the recognition of difference between mechanical performance(Transitive Action), and intelligent performance(Immanent Action). Consciousness cannot be explained by elementary Laws of Physics and Chemistry. Living Functions are primarily Oxidation-Reduction Chemical Reactions.
Spiritualism and Consciousness: The actions performed in Nature have to be observed to know if it involves the selection of a purpose and the use of means to attain the desired goal. There is a difference between the forest fire and the bonfire.
Spiritualism and Consciousness: The actions performed in Nature have to be observed to know if it involves the selection of a purpose and the use of means to attain the desired goal. There is a difference between the forest fire and the bonfire. Consciousness cannot be explained using the mechanistic principles.

To make the fundamental distinction between the animate or living, and inanimate or non-living things, we may have to describe the nature of functions that can be observed in the actions performed by things. There is a difference between mechanical performance and intelligent performance. In the actions performed by the living things, the agent is perfected by its own actions, and activities. Actions such as growing, sensing, and understanding are called “Immanent” actions because they are activities which affect the growing, sensing, or understanding agent called the living thing. The action of one inert body upon another inert body is called “Transitive” action. For example, heating is a transitive action. In heating, the hot thing loses its own heat while heat is transferred to the cold thing. In the “Mechanistic” view, the continuity of nature is described in terms of the universality of purely mechanical principles. The mechanistic concept asserts that the phenomena of life are merely processes and transformations obeying elementary chemical and physical laws. However, it should not be very difficult to make a distinction between a forest fire and a bonfire, or a fire ignited in the kitchen in the preparation of a meal. Both the actions represent a chemical reaction called combustion, or rapid oxidation. Both actions may generate light, heat, and warmth. But, the forest fire may lack the purposiveness of the bonfire, or the kitchen fire used in cooking. The understanding of the living and the non-living things involves the difference between vital operations and mechanical operations. There is a difference between the vital power of the living thing and the mechanical capacity of inert, non-living thing.

THE VITAL POWER OF LIVING THINGS:

SPIRITUALISM AND CONSCIOUSNESS: Amoeba proteus is a living organism as it has the ability to perform vital, living functions.
SPIRITUALISM AND CONSCIOUSNESS: Amoeba proteus is a living organism as it has the ability to perform vital, living functions. Amoeba knows the fact of its own existence, it knows as to where it exists, and knows as to how it is existing. It displays two kinds of awareness; 1. What goes on around in its external environment, and 2. What goes on within its internal environment.

The word “Animal” derives from the Latin( anima, animus ) name for vital principle called “Soul” which is a life principle associated with functions like breathing, or the principle called animation. Breathing is a vital function as it is associated with the “Power” of self-nutrition. The power of self-nutrition is the originating power, the possession of which leads us to speak of things as living, and non-living. Nutrition is a vital power as the action is not a mechanical performance. Nutrition is a function associated with a purpose and it is guided to achieve a future end and it involves the choice or selection of specific means to attain the desired goal of its action. A non-living thing like a stone gets heated on exposure to Sun’s radiation and the action is not goal-oriented; it is not guided action to attain a specific purpose of that non-living agent. A living thing like a plant can convert thermal energy from Sun to a new form of chemical energy that it can further use to perform a variety of its own living functions like growth, and reproduction. Living functions are intelligent functions that involve the use of knowledge or information to perform goal-oriented, sequential actions.

SOUL AND THE CELLULAR FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS:

Brain Stem Reticular Formation shown as a red band in the image represents an integrative focus of consciousness functioning through its widespread interconnections with the Cerebral Cortex and other regions of the Brain. It functions to compose the contents of consciousness that would be revealed as Cortical Awareness. Reticular Formation describes "The Capacity of Consciousness" and without this function the contents of consciousness( or cortical awareness) will not be known to the individual.
Brain Stem Reticular Formation shown as a red band in the image represents an integrative focus of consciousness functioning through its widespread interconnections with the Cerebral Cortex and other regions of the Brain. It functions to compose the contents of consciousness that would be revealed as Cortical Awareness. Reticular Formation describes “The Capacity of Consciousness” and without this function the contents of consciousness( or cortical awareness) will not be known to the individual.
SRI AUROBINDO GHOSH IN HIS BOOK, "LETTERS ON YOGA", Page 576 DESCRIBED CONSCIOUSNESS: "Just like you: you have lots of cells in your body; each cell has its own consciousness and you have a consciousness which is the consciousness of your total individuality, though made up of all these small cellular consciousness."
SRI AUROBINDO GHOSH IN HIS BOOK, “LETTERS ON YOGA”, Page 576 DESCRIBED CONSCIOUSNESS: “Just like you: you have lots of cells in your body; each cell has its own consciousness and you have a consciousness which is the consciousness of your total individuality, though made up of all these small cellular consciousness.”
SPIRITUALISM AND CONSCIOUSNESS: A LIVING, ANIMAL CELL PERFORMS VITAL FUNCTIONS USING ITS COGNITIVE ABILITIES.
SPIRITUALISM AND CONSCIOUSNESS: A LIVING, ANIMAL CELL PERFORMS VITAL FUNCTIONS USING ITS COGNITIVE ABILITIES. WHAT IS THAT “SOMETHING” THAT IS RECOGNIZED BY CONSCIOUSNESS?

Consciousness describes the ability to perform intelligent action. Consciousness describes the difference between vital operations and mechanical operations. Consciousness describes the difference between vital powers and the capacities of inert matter. Consciousness describes the difference between living things and non-living things. Consciousness is a biological, vital, or living(“Immanent”) function that characterizes the actions, and activities of living things. Consciousness can include psychological, and mental functions; but it is not a function that can only be performed by living matter of an anatomical structure, or organ called brain. In literature, religion, and philosophy, the term Consciousness is often used meaning, “attention to the contents or workings of one’s own mind.”  John Locke defined consciousness as a psychological condition; it is described as the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind. In popular belief, consciousness is viewed as a form of relationship or act of the mind toward objects in nature. Consciousness is claimed to be a continuous field or stream of mental “sense-data.” Very often, neuroscientists describe consciousness as a neurophysiological mechanism that depends on the functions of the brain. It is true for the Brain Stem Reticular Formation represents an integrative focus of consciousness functioning through its widespread interconnections with the cerebral cortex and other regions of the brain.Consciousness involves recognizing the existence, the fact of knowing something; it describes the fact of being aware of some information. What is that ‘something’ that is known or recognized by Consciousness?  A living thing which has a substance called living matter is conscious, or aware of the fact of its own existence in its given environment. There are two aspects of Consciousness that are subjectively registered by the living thing; 1. Consciousness is a state of knowing or awareness of what goes on around the individual living thing in its external environment, and 2. Consciousness is a state of knowing or awareness of what goes on within the individual living thing, its own internal environment. Consciousness is not simple awareness. It is awareness that involves the ability called “Cognition” which involves knowing; the processing of information, the analysis of information, the storing of information, the retrieval of information, and the application of information to perform a selected action. In other words, Consciousness represents the presence of “Intelligence.” A living thing has Consciousness of its nature of existence that demands the supply of energy from its external environment. The living thing uses its cognitive ability, to recognize the substances, the presence of both living, and non-living matter present in its external environment. It uses the power of self-nutrition to attract these substances to acquire energy, manipulate energy, transform energy, and exploit energy to perform its vital, living functions. Thus, Consciousness becomes an absolute attribute of life; it is the fundamental, biological characteristic of living matter or living substance. For the reasons that I have stated, I define Consciousness as a function by which a living thing knows the fact of its own existence; it knows as to where it exists and knows as to how it is existing.  Since Consciousness is a function that operates at a level of structural, and functional organization that is the characteristic of complex, organic molecules, this function cannot be observed, or measured by quantum physicists who study structures and functions of subatomic particles. I define Consciousness as the ability to establish a connection, or a relationship between energy-demanding molecules, and energy-yielding molecules. A Fundamental Force like the force of Gravitation is very important for existence of man on planet Earth. Man recognizes the physical reality of his own existence with the help of gravitation which provides the experience of his body mass or body weight. At the same time, it must be noted that man exists on the surface of a very fast spinning celestial object. The perception of this basic reality of Earth’s speed and velocity by the human organs of sense perception would endanger the ability to live. Man’s physical existence is defended, and is protected by the shielding effect of the force of gravitation. Gravitation helps to block the sensory awareness of the speed of Earth’s motions. This function of gravitational force must be distinguished from the intelligent function called Consciousness.

SPIRITUALISM-CONSCIOUSNESS-THE MOTIONS OF CELESTIAL BODIES: Human Existence demands alternating periods of light and darkness called Day and Night. At the same time, man cannot exist with direct, sensory perception of the very fast revolving, and spinning motions of planet Earth
SPIRITUALISM-CONSCIOUSNESS-THE MOTIONS OF CELESTIAL BODIES: Human Existence demands alternating periods of light and darkness called Day and Night. At the same time, man cannot exist with direct, sensory perception of the very fast revolving, and spinning motions of planet Earth

ADI SHANKARA’S UNQUALIFIED NON-DUALISM – THE THEORY OF PURE CONSCIOUSNESS:

ADI SHANKARACHARYA - THE PROPONENT OF UNQUALIFIED NON-DUALISM: He based his view on his Theory of "PURE CONSCIOUSNESS."
ADI SHANKARACHARYA – THE PROPONENT OF UNQUALIFIED NON-DUALISM: He based his view on his Theory of “PURE CONSCIOUSNESS.”

The Indian School of Philosophy known as “SUDDHADVAITA”, or Unqualified Non-Dualism of Adi Shankara is based upon a system of thought that may be called “ATMADVAITA” that describes one, universal, eternal, and self-illuminating self whose essence is “Pure Consciousness” without a Subject(“ASRAYA”) and without an Object(“VISAYA”) and from a transcendental point of view, “Pure Consciousness” is the only Ultimate Reality. The phenomenal world and finite individuals could be empirically true, but from the higher point of view are merely false appearances. Adi Shankara based his view on his definition of “Reality: The “Real” is that whose negation is not possible. The only thing that satisfies this criterion is consciousness; because denial of consciousness presupposes the consciousness that denies. It is conceivable that any object is not existent, but the absence of consciousness is not conceivable. Adi Shankara used his immense logical skills and relied upon reasoning to claim that consciousness is the only reality and anything different from it would be unreal. The basic problem of Adi Shankara’s philosophy is that of explaining as to how such “Pure Consciousness” appears in ordinary experience to become individualized as “my consciousness.”

http://Bhavanajagat.com/2010/05/10/I-Am-Consciousness-Therefore-I-Am/ 

http://Bhavanajagat.com/2012/11/08/Spiritualism-And-The-Quantum-Theory-of-Consciousness/

Rudra N Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Spirits-of-Special-Frontier-Force/362056613878227

SERVICE INFORMATION:

R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Personal Numbers:MS-8466/MR-03277K. Rank:Lieutenant/Captain/Major.
Branch:Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission(1969-1972); Direct Permanent Commission(1973-1984).
Designation:Medical Officer.
Unit:Establishment No.22(1971-1974)/South Column,Operation Eagle(1971-1972).
Organization: Special Frontier Force.

I am pleased to share this view posted by Gaurachandra Das of IIT, Kharagpur, India.

Mystery of Consciousness : Life versus Non-life

Gaurachandra Das, B. Tech, M.Tech, Electrical Engineering-IIT Kharagpur

General Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanical Theory (QM) are the two most prominent
theories in the field of Physics. General Theory of Relativity given by Einstein in 1915 states that
direction of light propagation should be changed in a gravitational field. It predicts that “light coming
from a strong gravitational field should have its wavelength shifted to larger values (a red-shift). The
electromagnetic field can have waves in it that carry energy that we call light. Likewise, the gravitational
field can have waves that carry energy and are called gravitational waves. These may be thought of as
ripples in the curvature of space-time that travel at the speed of light.”1 On the other hand Quantum
Mechanical Theory predicts the behavior of particles as waves as they drift away from the classical
domain. Both these stalwart theories till date have been unable to predict the function of consciousness
in living bodies. In fact, they do not even stand unwavering scrutiny and are subject to reformations, time and
again. Albert Einstein himself stated in this regard in 1954-“I consider it quite possible that physics
cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my
entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, and of the rest of modern physics.”

In the words of Roger Penrose – “I definitely believe that Quantum Mechanics is not a final theory and it is incomplete. I agree with Einstein in that sense.” Quantum Mechanics has proved insufficient to describe
the nature of reality so far. He further says-“Quantum Mechanics has two parts: the first is Schrodinger’s
equation, which tells how a system evolves, it is a very precise equation yet it does not tell you how the world
behaves. The second part of QM is the measurement process. The measurement process is inconsistent
with Schroedinger equation. It is non-deterministic, probabilistic, etc. Although these two parts are
inconsistent with each other, they do fit together in a rather remarkable way. To me, it suggests that
QM is not perfectly correct.” 2 Another is the famous Schrodinger’s cat example. (Experiment parallel
to it is being done in Santa Barbara, California under Dirk Baumeister.) Penrose remarks –
“ Schroedinger pointed out that his own equation tells that you could produce a cat that is both alive and
dead at the same time. It is ridiculous because in reality you don’t see cats that are both alive and dead
at the same time. This means there is something wrong with the equations at the level when the objects
become big enough”.2

Schrodinger’s cat set-up

Along with Hameroff, Penrose constructed a theory of human consciousness in which human
consciousness is pointed to as being the result of a quantum gravity effect in microtubules. That was
presented in his “Orchestrated Reduction of Quantum Coherence in Brain Microtubules: A Model for
Consciousness”. However, he also says “Our present scientific knowledge cannot describe
consciousness. On the other hand, boundaries of what we call scientific are not fixed on this view.
Perhaps we may never be able to understand the Ultimate Reality through a rigorous scientific
approach. Some fundamentally new insights are needed. If perhaps there will eventually emerge some
kind of ultimate theory that may explain part of the reality, that theory must differ enormously from
what we have seen in physical theories so far” 2. So as per his opinion, a fundamentally new theory with
remarkably different features is needed to explain the paradigm of consciousness. Thus, what is this
consciousness, a mystery to the world of physics so far.

Robots are another field in which distinction between life and non-life can be seen approaching a
border-line. Nowadays robots are quoted to be even writing poems. But such collection of words is an
artificial attempt from the word-bank fed to computers and arranged with algorithms. The machine has
no feelings and emotions and the purpose of poetry –“to satisfy the poet’s heart” remains forever
absent to a machine. The computer may also play chess but that is the computational (mechanistic)
part done by it from the strategies fed by the programmer. A machine may also pass the Turing’s test3
but the Chinese room argument by John Searle refutes the conscious sense coming from this
resemblance. Actually to prove computers intelligent, one needs to design a robot that can play any
surprise or unexpected game brought before it, not just the chess game. It should be able to learn any
game by speech or text inputs and then play that game reasonably well. But it is not possible to design
such a robot because playing a surprise game requires an understanding in both learning and devising
strategy. A robot can do computation, but it will never have understanding because it can’t be
conscious.

A Robot cannot play an unprogrammed game.

After the tragic event of 9/11 many scientists have shown remarkable interest in these ideas concerning
search of an Ultimate Theory, absolute Reality and depths of the conscious paradigm. They look for a
scientific clue from the known sources of scientific knowledge. This brings them closer to the ideas of
fine-tuning and intelligent design in the universe which have a valid and very reasonable role in the
creation. The fine-tuning of water molecule (H2O) and preciseness of universal constants verify this
claim.

There are various directions to proceed on the basis of the Anthropic Principle.5 One of the interesting
insights is that Vedantic literature points in this direction about the presence of different universes
which have life and are also spiritual in nature. This idea is feasible from the strong Anthropic principle
as Roger Penrose says – “This is the argument that only the physical constants of nature which have
specific values may be suitable for life. Only in the world where the numbers are suitable for
consciousness we will find beings present in that world. It may be a completely different kind of life,
which is not like us at all, which does not depend on chemistry the way we do. So that may open up the
possibility of a world or spiritual world.” 2

Looking into Einstein’s life, we all admire his great insights for a scientific worldview having
mathematical foundations. At same time he also had some profound feeling for religion. In other words,
he tried to relate both scientific and religious worldviews in his life. He said-“Science without religion is
lame and religion without science is blind.” Another of his famous quotes is –“God doesn’t cast dice.”
This may be a serious question posed to the propaganda that life is a chance phenomenon. Roger
Penrose remarks in this connection – “There are remarkable interrelations between truth and beauty.
Even there is a mystery of our perceptions of mathematical truths. I would say that these are higher and
deeper aspects of reality of which we have little conception at the present time.”2 Einstein didn’t see
any conflict between science and religion while he considered them complementary. He could live
happily by synthesizing both the worldviews. It is from this religious paradigm, especially Vedantic
paradigm where we get a precisely correct understanding of consciousness which is a mystery for the
modern thinkers.

Universe and life is not created by humans so the proposal to study and demarcate its
ingredients and intricacies by research-based approach may not be well-placed and successful. It may
actually be like an ant’s attempt to study the architecture of Mercedes-Benz, which is quite too much for
the ant!
However the religious side in this direction, particularly the Vedantic conception offers

interesting comprehensive facts and insights…for example, Bhagavad Gita says that “the soul (atma) or
spiriton is the cause of consciousness. This spiriton or atma interacts with matter through the agency of
the Paramatma or the all-pervading conscious aspect of the absolute truth. This interaction depends on
higher order, non-mathematical laws relating to psychological principles such as desire and free-will.”6
Bhagavad Gita mentions that “the size of spiriton or atma is 1/10000 of the tip of a hair; it is
inconceivable or spiritual in nature and it is eternal and unborn.”7 In fact, our present science cannot
explain this. As some prominent scientists (as Max Born, Roger Penrose and William D. Phillips) say –
“We need a new science, a higher dimensional science to explain this subtle conception of the source of
life.” Yet, its presence in the form of consciousness can be experienced by us all. Max Born says – “I saw
in the atom the key to the deepest secret of nature and it revealed to me the greatness of creation and
the Creator.”8

Roger Penrose and Dr T.D. Singh

So, probably, the sincere mind of a great scientist would need to blur these boundaries between
science and religion and sincerely take up this quest to understand life and conscious paradigm. This has
been the attitude of a galaxy of prominent thinkers, scientists and vastly learned men such as Nicholas
Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein, Max
Born, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Werner Heisenberg, Charles Townes, William D. Phillips and hundreds more.
Albert Einstein says-“I sense these things deeply…the most beautiful and profound religious emotion
that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true
science. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power which is
revealed in the comprehensible universe forms my idea of God.” In the words of Charles Townes-“I
believe there is no long-range question more important than the purpose and meaning of our lives and
of the universe.” 8 Indeed, such a positive and synthesized approach offers a key to solve this mystery of
life and consciousness, to know the distinction between life and non-life and to delve deeper into
Absolute Reality.

References:
1. General Theory of Relativity http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/cosmology/gravity.html
2. Discussion between Sir Roger Penrose and Dr T.D. Singh entitled “Science, Spirituality and
Nature of reality”, Bhaktivedanta Institute, 2005.
3. Turing Test : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test
4. Chinese room Argument : http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/chinese-room/
5. Anthropic Principle – see Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking, Bantam Trade Paperback,
1996.
6. “Life, Matter and their Interactions “ by Dr T.D. Singh, Bhaktivedanta Institute, 2006.
7. “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. New York: Macmillan 1972.
8. “God is a Person”, Reflections of two Noble Laureates, Bhaktivedanta Institute, 2006.
9. Lincoln Barnett, “The Universe and Dr. Einstein, 2nd Edition, New York, 1957, pp.108-109.

         

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE PET

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THE EVOLUTION OF DOGS FROM WOLVES: A STORY FROM THE WASHINGTON POST:

SPIRITUALISM - WOLF TO DOG EVOLUTION: The problem with the Theory of Evolution is its speculative nature. We have to establish valid, scientific principles that establish the existence of living things in Nature.
SPIRITUALISM – WOLF TO DOG EVOLUTION: The problem with the Theory of Evolution is its speculative nature. We have to seek valid, scientific principles that describe the basis for  the existence of living things in Nature.

The scientific journal Nature published an article in its recent issue dated January 23, Wednesday suggesting a hypothesis for the evolution of dogs from wolves. David Brown of the Washington Post has published a news story on that hypothesis. I contest this view as it does not take into account a principle called ‘soul and spirit’ that is the vital, animating principle found in all living creatures. The variations in genome are possible if, and only if there is an unchanging principle that could support the existence of a product generated by the genetic mutation or variation. However, the issue is not that of selective breeding of desired genetic traits. This hypothesis primarily deals with the production of a digestive enzyme called ‘AMYLASE’ and claims that this particular enzyme is a crucial factor that shaped the evolution of Wolf and its descent as Dog. Amylase enzyme produced by the digestive organ called pancreas helps the digestion of carbohydrates( starchy, plant matter) and its conversion into simple sugars like glucose that is used by cells as a fuel. Cells can utilize glucose (sugar) only with the help of a hormone called ‘INSULIN’ that is secreted by a small group of cells called the islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas. If dogs have to survive in nature eating plant matter such as starchy foods, the existence is shaped by the ability to produce Insulin hormone. Dogs by their nature are carnivores that primarily consume animal matter as food. The ability to use ‘AMYLASE’ enzyme and the use of plant matter as food is of minimal importance. However, it will be more interesting to know about the discovery of Insulin hormone by conducting experiments on dogs.

Insulin is the first protein to be sequenced(1951). It is a protein of 21 Amino acids in two cross-linked chains. Insulin is essential for the uptake of Glucose(Sugar) by cell membranes. It also increases protein synthesis in muscles. Insufficient Insulin in the body causes Diabetes.
Hormone Insulin was first discovered in 1923. Insulin is the first protein to be sequenced(1951). It is a protein of 21 Amino acids in two cross-linked chains. Insulin is essential for the uptake of Glucose(Sugar) by cell membranes. It also increases protein synthesis in muscles. Insufficient Insulin in the body causes Diabetes.
The Discovery of Insulin Hormone; The hormone was discovered and its role and use was established by conducting experiments on dogs.
The Discovery of Insulin Hormone; The hormone was discovered and its role and use was established by conducting experiments on dogs.
The Discovery of Insulin by Sir. Frederick Grant Banting, Dr. Charles Herbert Best, and Dr. John James Rickard Macleod paved the way for the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus. They received the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The Discovery of Insulin by Sir. Frederick Grant Banting, Dr. Charles Herbert Best, and Dr. John James Rickard Macleod paved the way for the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus. They received the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION:

This discussion is not about God. We have to discuss what is called ‘creativity’. How do we make things that are original? I appreciate the research work that compares the DNA of dogs and wolves. We have to remember that modern man, or Homo sapiens sapiens has arrived in recent times and the paper clearly points out that agricultural activity and the development of social structures is of recent origin. It appears very easy to suggest that dogs can change their digestive abilities and increase specific enzymatic activity under the influence of a mechanism called ‘Natural Selection’ as it gives an advantage for their survival and reproductive success. How many of you have heard about the enzyme called ‘amylase’? If most of us are not sure as to which enzymes we use for our living functions, how could dogs selectively guide themselves to increase specific enzymatic activity after a short span of social interaction with human beings?  The interaction between dogs and humans may have started about 11,000 years ago after the development of human societies. Kindly explain the Science, and the reasoning process applied to claim that wolves could evolve into dogs within that short span of time? Evolution is about spontaneous, random, and unguided changes in the genes, and the selection of traits that may give reproductive success and increase the ability of survival in nature. To transform a wolf into a dog is like winning the LOTTO in the first chance of purchasing the ticket. There is no natural mechanism to change the genome at one’s will and pleasure, and as per one’s convenience. Now, I can cite reports about thousands of human beings changing their diet on account of gluten(protein found in Wheat and a few other grains) sensitivity, and Lactose intolerance. The problem of food sensitivity and allergy has become a very important issue and the US policies mandate disclosure of allergen information on most of the processed food items. The problem of gluten intolerance is so severe, most consumers with gluten sensitivity only buy items that are clearly marked as “GLUTEN FREE.” The consumer demand for such gluten-free products has increased and in all US grocery stores we find hundreds of items that are sold as gluten-free. Now, we have third-party agencies which test these products and affix the gluten-free label and certify them as such. It demands that the manufacturer cannot use any kind of Wheat or gluten ingredient in the entire manufacturing facility. We fully understand the nature of this gluten sensitivity problem and there is no easy choice. Similarly, I find other people with a variety of food allergies and sensitivity issues. Kindly share that natural mechanism that evolutionary biologists call ‘Natural Selection’ and show me the way to help these thousands of people who are forced to change their diet as there is no other option.To believe in this story about Wolf to Dog evolution, kindly spare a few minutes and give me a rational explanation.

Spiritualism-The problem of Dog Evolution. Dogs by nature are carnivores. The human diet that includes food with plant matter(starches) is not good for dogs. The problem of obesity has become very common among human pet animals.
Spiritualism-The problem of Dog Evolution. Dogs by nature are carnivores. The human diet that includes food with plant matter(starches) is not good for dogs. The problem of obesity has become very common among human pet animals.
Spiritualism-Dog Evolution-The Problem of Diabetes: We need to recognize the nature of dog as a carnivore and provide a diet that consists primarily food from animal matter. Dogs cannot depend upon 'AMYLASE' enzyme to defend their well-being consuming human food.
Spiritualism-Dog Evolution-The Problem of Diabetes: We need to recognize the nature of dog as a carnivore and provide a diet that consists primarily food from animal matter. Dogs cannot depend upon ‘AMYLASE’ enzyme to defend their well-being consuming human food.
AMYLASE ENZYME : The problem of Dog Evolution has to discuss the issue about origin of proteins that are called 'Enzymes' that perform as biological catalysts. How does the mechanism called 'Natural Selection' select the specific proteins and determine the sequential use of these enzymes to perform specific metabolic functions?
AMYLASE ENZYME : The problem of Dog Evolution has to discuss the issue about origin of proteins that are called ‘Enzymes’ that perform as biological catalysts. How does the mechanism called ‘Natural Selection’ select the specific proteins and determine the sequential use of these enzymes to perform specific metabolic functions?

Rudra N Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
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R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
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SPIRITUALISM - THE STORY ABOUT WOLF TO DOG EVOLUTION MUST BE BASED UPON CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEMS OF FOOD ALLERGENS, FOOD SENSITIVITY, AND FOOD INTOLERANCE.
SPIRITUALISM – THE STORY ABOUT WOLF TO DOG EVOLUTION MUST BE BASED UPON CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEMS OF FOOD ALLERGENS, FOOD SENSITIVITY, AND FOOD INTOLERANCE.

There is no finality about these conclusions

“The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, support the hypothesis that dogs evolved from wolves who found a new food source in refuse on the outskirts of human settlements. Eventually they came to tolerate human contact and were brought into the household to be guards, workers and companions.”

Learning to love grains, potatoes was key to the evolution of dogs

By David Brown, Washington Post.

Published: January 23, 2013

You know that dog biscuit shaped like a bone but made mostly of wheat? Your dog’s willingness to eat that treat, instead of going for a bone in your thigh, helps explain how its ancestors evolved from wolves into house pets.

A team of Swedish researchers compared the genomes of wolves and dogs and found that a big difference is dogs’ ability to easily digest starch. On their way from pack-hunting carnivore to fireside companion, dogs learned to desire — or at least live on — wheat, rice, barley, corn and potatoes.

As it turns out, the same thing happened to humans as they came out of the forest, invented agriculture and settled into diets rich in grains.

“I think it is a striking case of co-evolution,” said Erik Axelsson, a geneticist at Uppsala University. “The fact that we shared a similar environment in the last 10,000 years caused a similar adaptation. And the big change in the environment was the development of agriculture.”

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, support the hypothesis that dogs evolved from wolves who found a new food source in refuse on the outskirts of human settlements. Eventually they came to tolerate human contact and were brought into the household to be guards, workers and companions.

Another theory is that wolves were captured by hunter-gatherers, who tamed, bred and eventually settled down with them.
Dog evolution is a contentious subject, and the new findings are unlikely to settle the debate. Among the uncertainties is when some wolves began to evolve into dogs.
Human-tolerant — if not fully domesticated — canids may have existed as many as 33,000 years ago. Archaeological remains reveal dogs and humans sharing the same graves 11,000 years ago. That was at the dawn of agriculture; the two species appear to have been at least acquaintances by then.

“Pretty much everyone without an agenda agrees that we don’t really have a good handle about why wolves domesticated into dogs when they did,” said Adam Boyko, a geneticist at Cornell University who studies dog evolution and was not involved in the new research. “But it does seem reasonable, and in agreement with the fossil and genetic record, that it could have predated agriculture somewhat.”

The evidence of natural selection in the number and efficiency of key digestive enzymes supports the hypothesis that dogs may have domesticated themselves as a way to exploit the garbage of permanent human settlements.

“Humans had nothing to do with it,” said Raymond Coppinger, an emeritus professor of biology and expert on dog evolution at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. “There was a new niche that was all of a sudden available for somebody to move into. Dogs are selected to scavenge off people.”

Accompanying the dietary change — and probably evolving along with it — were behavior changes that allowed dogs to tolerate living near people and ultimately being adopted by them. The Swedish researchers found strong evidence of genetic differences in brain function — and particularly brain development — between wolves and dogs, which they have not yet analyzed.

In the new study, Axelsson and his colleagues examined DNA from 12 wolves and 60 dogs. The wolf samples were from animals from the United States, Sweden, Russia, Canada and several other northern countries. The dogs were from 14 breeds.

The researchers compared the DNA sequences of the wolves and the dogs (which are subspecies of the same species, Canis lupus) and identified 36 genomic regions in which there are differences that suggest they have undergone recent natural selection in dogs.

In particular, dogs show changes in genes governing three key steps in the digestion of starch. The first is the breakdown of large carbohydrate molecules into smaller pieces; the second is the chopping of those pieces into sugar molecules; the third is the absorption of those molecules in the intestine.

“It is such a strong signal that it makes us convinced that being able to digest starch efficiently was crucial to dogs. It must have been something that determined whether you were a successful dog or not,” Axelsson said.

The change is at least partly the consequence of dogs having multiple copies of a gene for amylase, an enzyme made by the pancreas that is involved in the first step of starch digestion. Wolves have two copies; dogs have four to 30.

As it happens, amylase “gene duplication” is also a feature of human evolution. Humans carry more copies of the amylase gene than their primate ancestors. People also produce the enzyme in saliva, which allows the first steps of digestion to occur while food is still in the mouth. That, in turn, rewards chewing and increases the palatability of food.

In dogs, however, the increased amylase activity occurs only in the pancreas. The enzyme isn’t at work in their mouths, probably because the food doesn’t stay there long enough. Dogs may be able to eat human food, but they still wolf it down.

The researchers found 19 genome regions containing nervous system genes that are significantly different between wolves and dogs. Eight regions contain genes governing brain development.
How those genetic mutations explain dog behavior is a topic of future research. However, the fact that so many are involved in brain maturation supports the theory that dogs are really wolves that never grew up.
Sociability around strangers, curiosity and playfulness are traits seen in both wolf pups and dog pups. So are floppy ears, broader faces and liberal tail-wagging. They all persist in adult dogs but are largely extinguished in adult wolves.

This retention of juvenile traits into adulthood — a phenomenon known as “neoteny” — is a key feature of domestication, some biologists believe. In a famous four-decade, 40-generation experiment in Russia, these traits emerged in foxes when scientists selectively bred the animals for tameness.

But the process may not require human intervention. Similar behavior probably evolved naturally in dogs. The willingness to wander fearlessly among people is a big plus if scavenging human food is your business (as it still is for millions of “village dogs” around the world).

There’s a theory that this “self-domestication” also happened in the evolution of Homo sapiens.
As people created permanent settlements — and running away from those you didn’t like (or killing them) became less of an option — there may have been a survival advantage to being cooperative and self-controlled. It’s possible that studying the genes that determine dog sociability might shed light on how a less aggressive, more civilized human evolved, Axelsson said.

It would also help explain why dog is man’s best friend. They grew up together.

 

A TRIBUTE TO THE SCIENTISTS WHO DISCOVERED INSULIN:

 

Sir Frederick Grant Banting(1891-1941), Canadian physician isolated pancreatic hormone, later called Insulin.
Sir Frederick Grant Banting(1891-1941), Canadian physician isolated pancreatic hormone, later called Insulin.

 

Dr. Charles Herbert Best, Canadian physiologist with Sir Banting isolated the hormone from the pancreas during 1921.
Dr. Charles Herbert Best(1899-1978), Canadian physiologist with Sir Banting isolated the hormone from the pancreas during 1921. This discovery demonstrated the usefulness of Insulin to treat Diabetes Mellitus.
Dr. John James Rickard Macleod(1876-1935), Scottish physiologist shares the credit for the discovery of pancreatic hormone that could be used to treat Diabetes Mellitus.
Dr. John James Rickard Macleod(1876-1935), Scottish physiologist shares the credit for the discovery of pancreatic hormone that could be used to treat Diabetes Mellitus.

 

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE YEAR

Posted on Updated on

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

 

 

Here’s an excerpt:

 

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 300,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 5 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

 

Click here to see the complete report.

 

R. Rudra Narasimham/Rudra N. Rebbapragada, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

 

Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

 

Organization: The Spirits of Special Frontier Force.

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Spirits-of-Special-Frontier-Force/362056613878227

 

English: The border between Liechtenstien and ...
English: The border between Liechtenstien and Switzerland (Balzers – Trübbach). In the background the castle Gutenberg and the liechtenstein alps, Deutsch: Die Grenze zwischen Liechtenstein und Schweiz (Balzers – Liechtenstein). Im Hintergrund die Burg Gutenberg und die Liechtensteiner Alpen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Regierungsgebäude (Government Building), Vaduz...
Regierungsgebäude (Government Building), Vaduz, Liechtenstein – Seat of Government and Parliament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Impressive scenery in Liechtenstein, Europe.
Impressive scenery in Liechtenstein, Europe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Heliport in Balzers, Liechtenstein. I...
English: Heliport in Balzers, Liechtenstein. In the background the castle Gutenberg and Liechtenstein Alps Deutsch: Hubschrauberlandeplatz in Balzers, Liechtenstein. Im Hintergrund die Burg Gutenberg und die Liechtensteiner Alpen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein
Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Deutsch: Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz
Deutsch: Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Map of Liechtenstein in closer view
Map of Liechtenstein in closer view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Johann I, prince of Liechtenstein (17...
English: Johann I, prince of Liechtenstein (1760–1836) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)