Spirituality – CONSCIOUSNESS
WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS? – IS THERE SELF-AWARENESS OF LIFE’S JOURNEY?
It is easy and convenient to use terms in conversation when no meaning is attached to the words used in conversation. It is unfortunate to note schools have not designed instructional programs to use words with well-defined meaning attached to them. Basic terms like, man, life, existence, consciousness, and self-awareness have to be used after giving or attaching meaning to those terms.
Consciousness fundamentally involves awareness of one’s own existence. For example, Amoeba proteus is aware or conscious of its own living condition at any given time, and place of its existence. Consciousness may include awareness of thoughts, moods, and feelings and yet it is not mental function. Consciousness is biological function, a characteristic of all living cells. In Clinical Medicine, consciousness is always evaluated and it does not involve taking educational, or occupational history. What you are is described by Science called Anatomy, and what you do is described by Science called Physiology. If Life is defined as ‘Knowledge in Action’, this Knowledge is not experience acquired by cells of human body through man’s learning process.
Life’s Journey relates to functional ability called locomotion which depends upon the nature of living, corporeal substance called protoplasm, or cytoplasm which always exists in perpetual state of motion. This living condition in perpetual motion is synchronized with motions of Earth that provide alternating periods of Light and Darkness called Day and Night while the Sun shines all the time. No instant during the entire period of one’s Life Journey is the same as another instant. Each living instant remains unique, or one of its own kind as no instant can repeat itself. During Life’s Journey, man has no consciousness or awareness of motion of his own living substance and has no consciousness or awareness of the motions of Earth. Man may have intellectual understanding of motions performed by his living substance and of Earth on which he finds his existence. This intellectual ability does not provide direct sensory experience of Journey performed by Living Substance or Earth. For that reason, I suggest that the “Journey” from point A to point B on the surface of Earth that man performs is predestined for man has no ability to control either motion of his living substance or motions of his earthly abode.
I always ask my readers to read cell anatomy and physiology to discuss any issue that pertains to life. The Cell Theory is verified Science; Cells are building blocks of life.
To speak of human consciousness or self-awareness, the discussion demands knowing Egg Cell as conscious entity.
This Egg Cell begins Life’s Journey from the instant called Ovulation, later, Conception, and until another instant called Implantation. Does this Journey from Ovulation, Conception, to Implantation requires Consciousness or Self-Awareness?
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
WHOLEDUDE – WHOLEDESIGNER – WHOLE MONAD:
The word ‘monad’ means a unit, something simple and indivisible, and refers to unity. In Biology, monad refers to any simple, single-celled organism specifically a simple type of flagellated protozoa or protist. In Chemistry, monad refers to a monovalent atom, element, or radical. In Philosophy, monad is an entity or elementary being thought of as a microcosm or ultimate unit. Monadism is the theory that the universe consists of monads.
MONADOLOGY – THE METAPHYSICAL DOCTRINE OF LEIBNIZ:
Leibniz is associated with the philosophical theory called ‘Panpsychism'( from Greek – pan – all and psyche – soul) which asserts that a plurality of separate and distinct psychic beings or minds constitute reality. Panpsychism is distinguished from ‘Pantheism'(everything is God). According to Leibniz, the world is composed of atoms of energy that are psychic. These basic elements or atoms are named monads. These monads have different levels of consciousness; in inorganic reality they are sleeping, in animals they are dreaming, in man they are waking. Further, Leibniz asserts that God is the fully conscious monad. In the metaphysics of Leibniz, the basic constituent element of physical reality is an indivisible, impenetrable unit of substance. He allows just one type of element in the build of the universe. The unique element has been given the general name of monad. He describes a basic order of three things; 1. created monads, 2. souls with perception and memory, and 3. spirits or rational souls. The degree of perfection in each case corresponds to their psychic abilities. Leibniz tried to reason that everything exists according to a reason and everything which exists has a sufficient reason to exist. He tried to solve the problem of mind-body dualism introduced by Rene Descartes. Leibniz speaks of pre-established harmony that can solve the mind-body problem. Descartes thinks that the ‘soul’ is distinct from the physical body and its nature is to ‘think’. Leibniz opposed John Locke’s theory that the mind is a “tabula rasa”(blank tablet) at birth and humans learn only through the senses. John Locke defined consciousness as a psychological condition. It is described as the perception of what passes in a man’s mind. Consciousness is viewed as a form of relationship or act of the mind towards objects in nature. Leibniz is regarded as a universal genius and is regarded as a founder of modern science. He anticipated the development of symbolic logic and, independently of Newton invented the Calculus with a superior notation. He attempted to build an institutional framework for the Sciences in central Europe and Russia. At his urging the Brandenburg Society(The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) was founded in 1700. The purpose of the Academy is that of bringing unity between Natural Sciences and Humanities.
MIND vs BODY – THE UNITY OF SCIENCE AND HUMANITIES:
Due to a lack of unity between Natural Sciences and Humanities, we are not able to describe the reality of man, and have failed to describe the reality of this universe using words to which a definite meaning is attached. The universe is build using units such as Matter, Energy, Space, and Time. Man is composed of atoms, and chemical elements like any other form of physical matter. The difference is that of the nature of existence. The physical, non-living matter requires no supply of energy from an external source to maintain its physical existence. The living things that include all “monads” apart from man need continuous supply of energy from the external environment to sustain existence. The atoms and chemical elements of man do have mass and energy and yet that energy is not available for maintaining the living condition.
The term ‘Soul’ and ‘Spirit’ is often associated with attributes such as intelligence, consciousness, and mental activity such as thinking and discernment. The term ‘intelligence’ should not be limited to the cognitive and discerning abilities of mind or brain. If the term intellect refers to the ability to perform intelligent actions, we may have to consider that all living functions have the characteristics of intelligent actions as compared to mechanical or transitive actions that could be performed by non-living physical matter. I would like to define the word ‘intellect’ as the intuitive ability with which each individual living cell performs very complex, sequential, guided, purposeful, and selective functions to maintain its own living condition. Knowledge is implanted in the substance called living matter to give it the ability to perform intelligent functions. What Leibniz has not recognized is the ‘dynamic’ nature of this basic substance or element that he has named as monad. This substance maintains its constant, unchanging nature while undergoing a change during its entire period of existence. Life is a dynamic process that involves the repair or replacement of its constituent organic molecules and taking immanent action that is called growth and development. This dynamic process is influenced by the operation of Time and manifests itself using the dimension called Space. For this reason, I would like to describe the Creator, the LORD God as a WholeArtist, WholeArchitect, WholePlanner, and a WholeDesigner who uses the building blocks of Matter, Energy, Space, and Time in a creative manner to establish the experience of reality.
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Whole Phenomenon (bhavanajagat.com)
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Matter and Spirit (bhavanajagat.com)
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Spirit (bhavanajagat.com)
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Red Blood Cell (bhavanajagat.com)
- Deus ex Machina Objections in Philosophy: Leibniz contra Malebranche (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
SPIRITUALISM – THE FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS:
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:
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:
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.
ADI SHANKARA’S UNQUALIFIED NON-DUALISM – THE 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.”
Rudra N Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
- Spiritualism – the New Advaita Theory of Non-dualism (bhavanajagat.com)
- The Science of Consciousness. http://Bhavanajagat.com/2011/03/31/The-Science-of-Consciousness/
- What is Life? Life is Knowledge in Action. http://Bhavanajagat.com/2010/08/05/What-is-Life-Life-is-Knowledge-in-Action/
- The Study of Consciousness (robertjrgraham.com)
- CONSCIOUSNESS: What It Is And How It Can Be Manipulated [W/ VIDEO] (secretsofthefed.com)
SPIRITUALISM – THE NEW ADVAITA THEORY OF NON-DUALISM:
I am sharing my view in response to a view shared by Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness in his book, Science of Self-Realization. Firstly, I must state that Srila Prabhupada has not taken into consideration “The Totality of Things.” To describe “The Totality of Things”, the ‘Three Fundamental Distinctions’, or the Three Fundamental Dualisms must be recognized. The Three Fundamental Distinctions are, 1. the distinction between the natural and the supernatural, 2. the distinction between the material and the spiritual, and 3. the distinction between the living and the non-living(animate/inanimate). Substance, material, or matter is a fundamental requirement to establish man’s existence in the physical world. But, this existence becomes a reality if, and only if there is separation of living, and non-living matter or material. A living thing exists by separating itself from its external environment. This separation is supported by implantation of “KNOWLEDGE” in the substance of the matter that gets transformed into living matter. The evidence of the “KNOWLEDGE” that is implanted is detected in two fundamental characteristics of living things; 1. the ‘Consciousness’ or ‘Awareness’ of the fact/state/condition of its own energy-dependent existence by which the living thing knows that it needs energy-yielding molecules found in the matter present in its external environment, and 2. ‘Intelligence’ that involves the cognitive ability to acquire information, process information, store information, and use information to recognize the presence of other ‘Things’ present in the external environment and use them to gain energy and to make structures and perform functions to maintain its own living condition. Consciousness, and Intelligence are the two basic ‘spiritual’ functions of all living things. These are not physical, or chemical functions that are entirely determined by the Laws of Physical Sciences. These are not functions that are dependent upon man’s physical, or mental work. If soul or spirit is defined as the vital, animating principle common to all living things, its presence can be known if the matter is conscious and is intelligent. The separation of man into material body, thinking substance or matter called mind, and an immaterial part or principle called spirit or soul is not correct. The biological existence of man demands Unity. There is no Mind-Body dichotomy as the complete human organism is derived from a single fertilized Egg Cell. The human person will not come into existence if there is no functional, and structural unity between mind, body, and the various tissues, organs, and organ systems. The entity named spirit or soul does not belong to the transcendental, or metaphysical realm or domain. Spirit and Soul belong to the corporeal substance or matter. Man is not an embodied soul and in reality man is a living soul. The purpose of Self-Discovery is not that of God-Discovery. The concern is not about the existence of God, or the verification of God’s existence. Man has to discover his own true or real nature. For this, man has to understand as to what it is to be a substance and as to what it is to be in a condition, or state called existence.
Spiritualism, the new ‘ADVAITA’ Theory of Non-Dualism seeks the Unity of man in body, mind, spirit, and soul. Such unity establishes the dependent condition called existence while man desires freedom in his thoughts, actions, and behavior.
Rudra N Rebbapragada/R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA.
Organization: The Spirits of Special Frontier Force.
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).
Unit:Establishment No.22(1971-1974)/South Column,Operation Eagle(1971-1972).
Organization: Special Frontier Force.
The following is an article based upon the view shared by Srila Prabhupada in his book, The Science of Self-Realization.
Discovering the Self:
Who are you? Are you your body? Or your mind? Or are you something higher? Do you know who you are, or do you merely think you know? And does it really matter? Our materialistic society, with its unenlightened leadership, has made it virtually taboo to inquire into our real, higher self. Instead we use our valuable time maintaining, decorating, and pampering the body for its own sake. Might there be an alternative?
This very important Krishna consciousness movement is meant to save human society from spiritual death. At present human society is being misled by leaders who are blind, for they do not know the aim and objective of human life, which is self-realization and the reestablishment of our lost relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the missing point. The Krishna consciousness movement is trying to enlighten human society in this important matter.
According to Vedic civilization, the perfection of life is to realize one’s relationship with Krishna, or God. In the Bhagavad-Gita, which is accepted by all authorities in transcendental science as the basis of all Vedic knowledge, we understand that not only human beings but all living entities are parts and parcels of God. The parts are meant for serving the whole, just as the legs, hands, fingers, and ears are meant for serving the total body. We living entities, being parts and parcels of God, are duty-bound to serve Him.
Actually our position is that we are always rendering service to someone, either to our family, country, or society. If we have no one to serve, sometimes we keep a pet cat or dog and render service to it. All these factors prove that we are constitutionally meant to render service, yet in spite of serving to the best of our ability, we are not satisfied. Nor is the person to whom we are rendering that service satisfied. On the material platform, everyone is frustrated. The reason for this is that the service being rendered is not properly directed. For example, if we want to render service to a tree, we must water the root. If we pour water on the leaves, branches, and twigs, there is little benefit. If the Supreme Personality of Godhead is served, all other parts and parcels will be automatically satisfied. Consequently all welfare activities as well as service to society, family, and nation are realized by serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
It is the duty of every human being to understand his constitutional position with God and to act accordingly. If this is possible, then our lives become successful. Sometimes, however, we feel challenging and say, “There is no God,” or “I am God,” or even, “I don’t care for God.” But in actuality this challenging spirit will not save us. God is there, and we can see Him at every moment. If we refuse to see God in our life, then He will be present before us as cruel death. If we do not choose to see Him in one feature, we will see Him in another. There are different features of the Supreme Personality of Godhead because He is the original root of the entire cosmic manifestation. In one sense, it is not possible for us to escape Him.
This Krishna consciousness movement is not blind religious fanaticism, nor is it a revolt by some recent upstart; rather, it is an authorized, scientific approach to the matter of our eternal necessity in relation with the Absolute Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Enjoyer. Krishna consciousness simply deals with our eternal relationship with Him and the process of discharging our relative duties to Him. Thus, Krishna consciousness enables us to achieve the highest perfection of life attainable in the present human form of existence.
Ref: Science of Self Realization authored by Srila Prabhupada (Founder – Acharya, ISKCON)
WHAT IS SOUL ????
This story about ‘the quantum theory of consciousness’ that appears under this post is too brief and hence it would be bit difficult to come to a proper understanding of the subject matter. We need to know as to how the terms soul and consciousness are defined. What is Soul? Is it a material principle or is it an immaterial principle? What is Consciousness? Is it a mental function? Is it a psychological function? Is it a biological function? What is the relationship between soul and consciousness? I am sure that these authors may have provided more information on their views at some other place or in their book. But, the story provides some information that is good enough to doubt this theory. Micro tubules are found in all living cells of all living organisms other than bacteria, blue-green algae and viruses. If micro tubules are found inside brain cells or neurons, it is not a surprise. They tend to perform the same functions in all types of living cells called eukaryotes(cells with true nuclei). All the cells of the human body are derived from a single, fertilized egg cell. We need to discuss this topic called soul and consciousness in relationship with this egg cell. Does this egg cell display consciousness? If the egg cell is conscious, does it have a soul? In that context, we have to answer similar questions about Amoeba proteus, is it conscious? and does it have a soul?
I have been writing about some of these issues and like these authors, I have been speaking about the role of Cytoplasm, the living substance found inside living cells. The micro tubules are related to the plasma membrane/biological membrane, the outermost layer that separates the cell from its external environment. This membrane performs functions like cognition and it can process information and transmit information which the cell further uses to perform its various living functions. The cytoplasm exists in a constant condition of motion called ‘amoeboid motion’. The cell structures called micro tubules and micro filaments maintain this motion all the time. Like all cells, the brain cells experience cellular death. We can remove several brain cells or kill them using drugs or radiation while treating problems like cancer. The person still remains conscious and we clearly know the term ‘consciousness’ as used in Clinical Medicine refers to the ‘arousal state’. These authors have not made any distinction between the clinical definition of ‘consciousness’ and the function performed by micro tubules. Their views about gravitational force and its impact upon information processing by brain’s nerve cells have no theoretical basis. We send astronauts into outer space and they function without experiencing any gravitational pull or force and they literally float inside the spaceship.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ex – Personal Number. MS – 8466. Rank. Lieutenant/Captain.
Branch. Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission,
Designation. Medical Officer, South Column, Operation Eagle(1971-72),
Ex – Personal Number. MR-03277K. Rank. Captain/Major.
Branch. Army Medical Corps/Direct Permanent Commission,
Unit.Headquarters Establishment Number. 22 C/O 56 APO(1971-74),
Organization. SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE.
Scientists offer quantum theory of soul’s existence
A PAIR of world-renowned quantum scientists say they can prove the existence of the soul.
American Dr Stuart Hameroff and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose developed a quantum theory of consciousness asserting that our souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells.
Their idea stems from the notion of the brain as a biological computer, “with 100 billion neurons and their axonal firings and synaptic connections acting as information networks”.
Dr Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, and Sir Roger have been working on the theory since 1996.
They argue that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects inside these microtubules – a process they call orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR). In a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state but the information within them is not destroyed. Or in layman’s terms, the soul does not die but returns to the universe.
Dr Hameroff explained the theory at length in the Morgan Freeman-narrated documentary “Through the Wormhole”, which was recently aired in the US by the Science Channel.
The quantum soul theory is now trending worldwide, thanks to stories published this week by The Huffington Post and the Daily Mail, which have generated thousands of readers comments and social media shares.
“Let’s say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the microtubules lose their quantum state,” Dr Hameroff said. “The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. “If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says ‘I had a near death experience’.” In the event of the patient’s death, it was “possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body indefinitely – as a soul”.
Dr Hameroff believes new findings about the role quantum physics plays in biological processes, such as the navigation of birds, adds weight to the theory.
SPIRITUALISM AND ENTROPY :
THERMODYNAMICS AND ENTROPY :
Thermodynamics is the branch of science concerned with the nature of Heat and its conversion into other forms of energy. Heat is internal energy of a substance and it is a form of energy associated with the positions and motions of its component molecules, atoms, and ions. The total energy that a body contains as a result of the positions and the motions of its component parts is called its internal energy. The First Law of Thermodynamics states: “In any process, energy can be changed from one form to another( including heat and work ), but it is never created or destroyed.” In any process, the change in a System’s internal energy is equal to the heat absorbed from the environment minus the work done on the environment. This Law of Conservation of Heat is similar to the Law of Conservation of Energy. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, during any spontaneous process, the change in entropy of a System is either zero or positive. The term ‘entropy’ in Thermodynamics indicates the degree to which a given quantity of thermal energy is available for doing useful work- the greater the entropy, the less available the energy. A consequence of the Second Law is that an engine can deliver work only when heat is transferred from a hot reservoir to a cold reservoir or heat sink. In 1877, Ludwig Boltzmann, an Austrian physicist demonstrated the significance of entropy on the molecular level relating entropy to disorder at the level of the molecules of the System. This concept of entropy as a measure of disorder is also used in Information Theory. Entropy represents quantity specifying the amount of disorder or randomness in a System bearing energy or information. However, in Information Theory, entropy represents the “noise”, or random errors occurring in the transmission of signals or messages. It is important to know that heat and work are related and represent forms of energy that can be inter-converted. The study of Thermodynamics is central to both Chemistry and Physics and is useful in understanding biological processes such as Temperature Regulation in human body. While Thermodynamics studies changes in Physical State or Condition such as solid ice becoming liquid water, it is important to remember that the chemical properties of water molecules remain the same while the physical condition of water may change from solid,liquid, and gas states.
TEMPERATURE REGULATION AND SPIRITUALISM :
The ability of an organism to keep body temperature within certain boundaries is critical for the survival of the organism. Human body maintains its internal body temperature close to 37 degrees centigrade by balancing heat production and heat loss.
The external physical laws of thermal exchange which influence the body heat balance are Conduction, Radiation, Convection, and Evaporation from the body surface. In all medical conditions and health conditions that are related to climatic variation in temperature such as Hypothermia, or Heat Stroke( Heat Hyperpyrexia ), the medical interventions use the principles of Thermodynamics.The Living System is an Open System that is thermodynamically unstable and hence it constantly requires input of energy from an external source. Life comes into existence when energy-yielding molecules and energy-demanding molecules come together in a spiritual relationship. The term ‘Spiritual’ describes the nature of a relationship, a partnership, a connection, bonding, or an association between chemical molecules based upon characteristics such as that of providing some benefit to keep the System to continue its functions. In a Living System, the conversion of energy into work involves the operation of Consciousness and the application of Knowledge. Consciousness or awareness is the mechanism that operates structural and functional relationship between molecules. Consciousness is the principle by which a Living System that is thermodynamically unstable knows the fact of its own existence, it knows as to where it exists and knows as to how it is existing. Hence, Consciousness is a Spiritual mechanism as it establishes a relationship between the energy-dependent Living System and its energy-yielding provider. This is a relationship that requires use of Knowledge which is defined as the fact of knowing a range of information which is used to perform highly selective, sequential tasks under proper guidance. In the operation of a Living System, there is no random, unguided and unpredictable movement of molecules. I define Life as structural and functional organization of matter with implanted knowledge and Spiritualism is the potency that generates Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the interactions within the Living System and between Living Systems. The statement that reads: “When Entropy leads to Order” is not applicable to Living Systems that are Open. Soul or Spirit is the Life Principle; the vital or animating principle found in all Living Things. Spiritualism is the guiding mechanism to establish Order in Biotic Actions and Interactions.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ex- Number. MS-8466 Rank Lieutenant/Captain AMC/SSC,
Medical Officer, South Column, Operation Eagle(1971-72),
Ex- Number. MR-03277K Rank Captain/Major AMC/DPC
Medical Officer, Headquarters Establishment No. 22 C/O 56 APO(1971-74),
Directorate General of Security,
Office of Inspector General Special Frontier Force,
East Block V, Level IV, R. K. Puram,
New Delhi – 110 022
WHEN ENTROPY LEADS TO ORDER:
Researchers trying to herd tiny particles into useful ordered formations have found an unlikely ally: entropy, a tendency generally described as “disorder.” Computer simulations by University of Michigan scientists and engineers show that the property can nudge particles to form organized structures. By analyzing the shapes of the particles beforehand, they can even predict what kinds of structures will form.The findings, published in Science, help lay the ground rules for making designer materials with wild capabilities such as shape-shifting skins to camouflage a vehicle or optimize its aerodynamics.Physicist and chemical engineering professor Sharon Glotzer proposes that such materials could be designed by working backward from the desired properties to generate a blueprint. That design can then be realized with nanoparticles—particles a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair that can combine in ways that would be impossible through ordinary chemistry alone.One of the major challenges is persuading the nanoparticles to create the intended structures, but recent studies by Glotzer’s group and others showed that some simple particle shapes do so spontaneously as the particles are crowded together. The team wondered if other particle shapes could do the same.”We studied 145 different shapes, and that gave us more data than anyone has ever had on these types of potential crystal-formers,” Glotzer SAID. “With so much information, we could begin to see just how many structures are possible from particle shape alone, and look for trends.”Using computer code written by chemical engineering research investigator Michael Engel, applied physics graduate student Pablo Damasceno ran thousands of virtual experiments, exploring how each shape behaved under different levels of crowding. The program could handle any polyhedral shape, such as dice with any number of sides.Left to their own devices, drifting particles find the arrangements with the highest entropy. That arrangement matches the idea that entropy is a disorder if the particles have enough space: they disperse, pointed in random directions. But crowded tightly, the particles began forming crystal structures like atoms do—even though they couldn’t make bonds. These ordered crystals had to be the high-entropy arrangements, too.
Shapes can arrange themselves into crystal structures through entropy alone, new research from the University of Michigan shows. Image credit: P. Damasceno, M. Engel, S. Glotzer
Glotzer explains that this isn’t really disorder creating order—entropy needs its image updated. Instead, she describes it as a measure of possibilities. If you could turn off gravity and empty a bag full of dice into a jar, the floating dice would point every which way. However, if you keep adding dice, eventually space becomes so limited that the dice have more options to align face-to-face. The same thing happens to the nanoparticles, which are so small that they feel entropy’s influence more strongly than gravity’s. “It’s all about options. In this case, ordered arrangements produce the most possibilities, the most options. It’s counterintuitive, to be sure,” Glotzer said.The simulation results showed that nearly 70% of the shapes tested produced crystal-like structures under entropy alone. But the shocker was how complicated some of these structures were, with up to 52 particles involved in the pattern that repeated throughout the crystal.”That’s an extraordinarily complex crystal structure even for atoms to form, let alone particles that can’t chemically bond,” Glotzer said.The particle shapes produced three crystal types: regular crystals like salt, liquid crystals as found in some flat-screen televisions and plastic crystals in which particles can spin in place. By analyzing the shape of the particle and how groups of them behave before they crystallize, Damasceno said that it is possible to predict which type of crystal the particles would make.”The geometry of the particles themselves holds the secret for their assembly behavior,” he said.Why the other 30% never formed crystal structures, remaining as disordered glasses, is a mystery.”These may still want to form crystals but got stuck. What’s neat is that for any particle that gets stuck, we had other, awfully similar shapes forming crystals,” Glotzer said.In addition to finding out more about how to coax nanoparticles into structures, her team will also try to discover why some shapes resist order.Source: University of Michigan
- Entropy Paves Way to Nanostructures (thesciencebulletin.wordpress.com)
- Entropy can lead to order, paving the route to nanostructures (nanitenews.com)
SPIRITUALISM – TIME AND LIFE – SPIRITUAL INTERACTIONS :
Gautama Buddha had observed that whatever is born, produced, conditioned, contains within itself the nature of its own dissolution. The greatest miracle is that of explaining the truth and to make man realize it. What is the Truth? To know the truth about Life, we have to understand the influence of Time. Individual living entities exist during their own LifeTime while the vital principle that animates all Life remains imperishable, immortal, eternal, and unchanging. Time is defined as the duration in which things are considered as happening in the past, present, or future. Time is the measurement of duration, the period between two events during which something exists, happens, or acts. This concept of Time demands that we must make a fundamental distinction between static and dynamic events. Static is the term used to describe a body, mass, or force that is at rest or in equilibrium and hence it is inactive, stationary, not moving, or progressing. Life is a dynamic event in which the object called the living thing exists by a tendency towards change or productive activity. Life requires the presence of a vital, energetic, animating principle that maintains the equilibrium called existence while responding to a flow of events that measure the duration of the existence of that living thing. In my view, Death is also a dynamic event and it is not a static event as the change called Death inevitably flows to cause Rebirth. The flow of Life must be synchronized with the flow of Time for both of them to proceed until Eternity. I describe Spiritualism and Spirituality as the potency that generates Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the Time and Life Interactions to provide the Living Experience that is dependent upon Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility. To know this, we may have to know about the Cyclical Changes of Matter, and the Cyclical Flow of Time. Chemistry is the Science that would give us the understanding of Living Matter and the Cyclical Changes that are caused by Chemical Reactions. In the study of Life, Chemistry is the Science that describes the nature of ‘Spiritual Interactions’. The ‘Spiritual Interactions’ between Time and Matter establish, support, and preserve the existence of Life on this planet Earth.
MATTER – CHEMICAL ELEMENTS AND CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS :
All ‘Matter’ is composed of fundamental materials called Chemical Elements. A substance that cannot be decomposed into simpler substances by ordinary chemical processes is by definition an Element. There are about 88 ‘naturally’ occurring Elements, and about 20 Elements are used in measurable amounts by most living organisms. Phosphorus is an essential Element to all Life as it is a component of DNA and RNA that make up the genetic material of all cells and control reproduction of both the cell and the organism. Phosphorus is part of the energy storage and utilization system at the cellular level. In addition, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Cobalt, Cadmium, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Molybdenum, Boron, Sodium, Chlorine, Fluorine, Iodine, Sulfur, and Chromium are all essential to one form of life or another. Elements can combine with one another to form a wide variety of more complex substances called Chemical Compounds. A Chemical Compound is a substance in which two or more Elements are joined by Chemical Bonds. A Chemical Compound can be created or broken down by means of a Chemical Reaction but not by mechanical or physical separation techniques. It helps to make the distinction between Mixture and Compound. Most naturally occurring Matter represents Physical Mixtures of Chemical Compounds that could be separated using simple physical techniques. While the number of known Elements is small, the number of possible Compounds is almost ‘infinite’; perhaps a million or more Chemical Compounds are known to exist. When two or more Elements combine to form a Compound, they lose their separate identities, and the product called Chemical Compound has characteristics quite different from those of the constituent Elements. For example, the Common Salt or Sodium Chloride is a combination of the highly reactive metallic element Sodium(Na) and the poisonous gas Chlorine(Cl). The unique taste and flavor imparted by Salt cannot be discovered by studying the physical and chemical properties of Sodium or Chlorine. Elements in Compounds always are combined in definite proportion. For instance, a molecule of Water is always made up of two Hydrogen(H) atoms and one Oxygen(O) atom. Again, I would like to pay attention to the fact of two gaseous elements, Hydrogen, and Oxygen with quite different physical and chemical properties can combine to form the Compound Water which has altogether different properties from either Hydrogen or Oxygen. The simple, pure, original, and sweet taste imparted by Fresh Water cannot be discovered in its constituent Elements. I have mentioned that the Element Phosphorus is basic to all Life. Phosphorus is discovered in c.1674 by Hennig Brand. It is an extremely poisonous, yellow to white, waxy, solid substance. When exposed to air, Phosphorus ignites spontaneously. Some of the commercial uses of Phosphorus include the making of detergents, toxic nerve gases and explosives. We have to learn to make the distinction between Chemical Elements and Chemical Compounds and apply this understanding to know the nature of relationship between things. Calcium Phosphate is the principal material found in bones and teeth. Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP is the fundamental energy source in living things. It is very understandable that all Matter is composed of units called Atoms and the physical structure of Atom is well-known. We have to be very careful and avoid deriving understanding about Life and Living Matter from the descriptive knowledge derived from Quantum Physics. To understand the nature of living experience, we need Chemical Molecules and Chemical Compounds whose qualities and characteristics may not be discovered from the study of Nuclear Physics. The phenomenon of creating and breaking down Chemical Compounds in living organisms is known as Metabolism. A Chemical Compound’s smallest units are, Molecules, and Ions. A Molecule can exist in the free state and still retain the characteristics of the Element or Compound; a Molecule can be formed by an Element when it consists of one Atom, or two, or more similar Atoms; a Molecule can be formed by a Compound when it consists of two or more different Atoms. The term ‘Ion’ is used to describe an Atom or Molecule bearing an electric charge as a result of having a number of negative electrons unequal to the number of positive protons in its nuclei. ‘Ionization’ is the process that describes the formation of ‘Ions’ from neutral Atoms or Molecules. ‘Ions’ that are positively charged are known as ‘Cations’, and that are negatively charged are known as ‘Anions’. Simple ‘Ions’ consist of a single charged Atom; double, triple, or even higher positive or negative charges are possible. Oxidation of Hydrogen removes its single electron and gives H+ or cationic Hydrogen which contains no electrons and it has a nucleus which is composed of one proton. This cationic Hydrogen plays a particularly important role in the Acid-Base Chemistry of the human organism with many reactions exchanging protons between soluble molecules. The internal environment of a living cell includes Hydrogen, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium, Chloride, Sulfate, Phosphate and several organic acid ‘Ions’. The chemical events collectively called ‘Metabolism’ require the concentration of Hydrogen Ions and electrolytes to remain within narrow limits in the tissue cells and in the fluid which bathes them. The term ‘pH’ or ‘Acidity’ is a measure of the Hydrogen Ion concentration and a reading level of 7 indicates ‘Neutral’. Human life is possible only if the Hydrogen Ion concentration of body fluid is kept within a narrow range. In health, a blood Hydrogen Ion concentration of 36 – 44 nmol/Liter or pH level of 7.37 – 7.45 is maintained by several closely integrated but widely differing mechanisms.
THE CHEMICAL ELEMENTS AND CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS OF LIFE :
To understand Life, we have to know about Hydrogen as it is the fuel that Sun expends in its role as the Cosmic source of Energy that supports the biological existence of all terrestrial organisms. Man exists on the surface of planet Earth not on account of the merit of his physical, or mental work and effort. Man has no direct access to this source of energy produced from Hydrogen fuel. If Hydrogen is important to support the existence of Life, we have to understand the nature of ‘Spiritual Interactions’. Secondly, Hydrogen is important as it is required to form the Water Molecule. However, Oxygen, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, is the most abundant Element at the surface of the Earth. In the terrestrial environment, Oxygen accounts for about half of the mass of the Earth’s crust, 89% of the mass of the oceans, and 23% of the mass of the atmosphere or 21% of its volume. Oxygen makes up about two-thirds of the human body. It is a vital substance which supports vital functions. Among Chemical Elements used by human body, Oxygen has the highest electronegativity and electron affinity. Oxygen can form ‘Anion’ with a double negative charge by accepting electrons from a donor like Hydrogen. Most of the Earth’s rocks and soils are principally compounds of Oxygen with Silicon and other metals. It is well understood that most organisms depend on Oxygen to sustain their biological processes. Biological Oxidation-Reduction Reactions are ultimately the sources of energy for the higher plants and animals. While speaking about the importance of Oxygen in the biosphere, we must recognize that Oxygen is responsible for natural decomposition of all organic material. Waste products from the activity of the living organisms, dead plants and animals decompose or oxidized through the agency of microorganisms. Thus, Oxygen plays a key role both in its support of important processes of Life and Death. Organic decay and decomposition is of fundamental importance for Life to renew itself and to be reborn and to cause rebirth. The study of ‘Spiritual Interactions’ must include the study of Life and Death.
The nonmetallic Element, Carbon is known to man since ancient times. Organic Chemistry is the study of Carbon Compounds. All living organisms contain Carbon Compounds and hence Carbon is the central Element in the Compounds of which organisms are composed. The Carbon Element found in all living organisms is primarily derived from Carbon Dioxide found in atmospheric air or dissolved in water. It occurs both free and combined form in nature and makes up about 1% of the volume of dry air. Carbon Dioxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. It is the raw material for Photosynthesis in green plants and is a product of animal respiration and of the decay of organic matter. It can cause Death by suffocation if inhaled in large amounts. If this Chemical Compound Carbon Dioxide, a gas that has the potential to cause Death, can impart ‘SWEETNESS’ to a substance that we recognize as ‘SUGAR’, it speaks about the potency that I describe as ‘Spiritual Interaction’ between the Elements of Life.
Water Molecules are the simplest and most abundant of all the Molecules found in the living cell. The simplest forms of Life such as the Virus particles may exist as Molecules of Nucleic Acids and need living cells for their replication. Most Chemical Reactions inside the living cell require the aqueous medium. Cells contain 70 to 80% Water. Cell Chemistry involves the study of Reactions in aqueous solutions. But, much of the Water in Cells is not ordinary Water; it is found ‘structured’ in shells surrounding macromolecules, especially proteins. The activities inside the Cell are separated and take place inside compartments that are regulated. It is important to know that most of the Water inside the living Cell is structured and the Chemistry of the living Cell demands separation of events at Molecular level.
THE CYCLICAL FLOW OF TIME :
Things in Nature change with Time. Does Time exert a ‘FORCE’ entirely of its own to change things in Nature? If Time is viewed as a ‘FORCE’, or ‘POWER’, who controls this Force or Power and what are the Laws that operate this Force or Power? The Clocks and Calendars that man has invented create the illusion that we live in a world of mathematically measured segments of Time. Sir Issac Newton(1687) stated that the flow of Time is absolute. Time is looked upon as a flow like a river: It “flows equably without relation to anything external.” Herman Minkowski, a Mathematician, added Time as the Fourth Dimension of three-dimensional Space. Time is seen as a dimension like Height and Width and it gives meaning to events and the order in which they occur. In 1905, while postulating the Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein had observed that the measurement of Time is affected by the motion of the observer and hence it is not absolute. Gravity affects both Time and Light. The measurement of Time is affected by the gravitational field of each celestial body. The experience of Time on this planet is an illusionary experience and it may not be an absolute experience. Physicists tend to describe Time and Space as the building blocks of this universe. In the context of understanding the relationship between Time and Life, we will be forced to see Time in the internal Biological Clocks that keep all living entities in ‘sync’ with Nature.
All living things have in their nature a plan for their own dissolution and have the ability to use some unique Time-Dependent biological mechanism that is indissociable from life itself. Biological Rhythms represent the periodic biological fluctuation in an organism that corresponds to and is in response to periodic environmental change. Biological Clock in man measures Time as the Solar Day, the period of Earth’s Rotational Spin relative to the Sun. Such Biological Rhythms that occur once a Day are called Circadian( Latin Circa: About, Di: Day ), Solar Day, Diel, Daily, or Diurnal(Day-Active) Rhythm. The Rhythm is synchronized with an external Time-giving stimulus. Within the 24-Hour Cycle, a person usually sleeps approximately 8 hours and is awake 16 hours. For the health and the well-being of man, the daily alteration of Sleep and Wakefulness is important to maintain optimal physiological functions. Man is conditioned to exist under the influence of Time which is operated on planet Earth by its Rotation on its own axis.
Water is important to all life forms for its role in the control of environmental conditions and as it is the main mode of transport of many nutrients; it is the agent that leaches nutrients from rocks and soils and make them available for further use by living organisms.
THE CARBON CYCLE :
The Carbon Cycle describes the exchange of Carbon between living organisms and non-living environment.To maintain Life, an organism not only repairs or replaces( or both ) its structures by a constant supply of the materials of which it is composed but also keep its life processes in operation by a steady supply of energy. Living Systems must be supplied energy on a continual basis. Once spent, the energy for Life cannot be replenished except by further exposure of green plants to Sunlight. The Chemical Elements of Life are continually recycled by such processes as Photosynthesis and Respiration.
THE OXYGEN CYCLE :
Oxygen is equally important for Life and Death as Death must be accompanied by decay and decomposition of organic material to release the Nutrient Elements for further use by other living organisms.
THE NITROGEN CYCLE :
The Nitrogen Cycle begins when atmospheric Nitrogen and Hydrogen combine to form Ammonia in a process called Ammonification. The Nitrogen Compounds are made available to plants which combine them with the products of Photosynthesis to form Amino Acids, which are the basic components of plant Proteins. Animals eat plant Proteins, break them down into Amino Acids during the process of digestion, and recombine them to form their own particular forms of Proteins in order to build tissues and organs of their bodies. Through breakdown of waste products, death and decay, organic Nitrogen compounds reenter environment.
ECOLOGY – LIFE AND DEATH SPIRITUAL INTERACTIONS :
Ecology describes the movement of Chemical Elements and Chemical Molecules in nature because of the interrelationships and interconnectedness of organisms that form the ‘Food Chains’. This flow has a cyclical pattern and Life and Death could be described as two stages in this exchange of material and energy between the living and non-living environment. Greek philosopher Heraclitus( c. 535 B.C. – c. 475 B.C.) held that there is no permanent Reality except the Reality of Change. His famous maxim : “You cannot step twice in the same River.” I beg to differ from his view. The permanent Reality describes the unchanging Spiritual Nature of a Chemical Molecule that supports Life and Existence. Water Molecule came into its existence billions of years ago and it still retains its unique and distinctive properties and is entirely unaffected by the influence of Time while it undergoes both physical and chemical changes in its Interactions. I seek to describe Spirituality in the unchanging nature of Chemical Molecules that operate the dynamic events of both Life and Death. If Life involves a series of Chemical Reactions such as the Redox or Oxidation-Reduction Chemical Reactions, the same dynamic process continues into Death causing changes to promote Regeneration, Rejuvenation, Renewal, and Rebirth. Spiritualism could be the Dynamic Force that promotes Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the material transformations of Life and Death.
- Spiritualism – the Science of Matter-energy-life-and-spirituality (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the Molecular Basis of Spirituality (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the Biological Basis of Spirituality (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the Cell Theory of Spirituality (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the Cognitive Science of Spirituality (bhavanajagat.com)