Spirituality Science – In God We Trust
PHYSICS OF SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – LOVE IS FUNDAMENTAL FORCE
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force. PHYSICS MAY NOT ACCOUNT FOR INTERACTIONS BETWEEN LIVING AND NONLIVING MATTER. PHYSICAL FORCES CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR TWO TYPES OF MOTION. THESE ARE, 1. OBSERVED VARIATIONS IN ROTATIONAL SPINS OF PLANETS, AND 2. MOTION OF LIVING MATTER.
In Physics, the term ‘Fundamental’ is used to describe a Principle, Theory, Law etc., serving as a basis forming a foundation that could be essential to explain other interactions in the natural world. In Physics, the term ‘Force’ is used to describe the cause or agent that puts an object at rest into motion or alters motion of a moving object.
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force. Physics accounts for Four Fundamental Interactions. In Natural World, there are Interactions between Living and nonliving Matter which are fundamentally different from Interactions explained by Physics.
All known physical interactions of Matter occur through the agency of four basic, or ‘Fundamental’ kinds of ‘Forces’; 1. Strong Nuclear Force, 2. Weak Nuclear Force, 3. Electromagnetic Force, and 4. Gravitation Force. Most natural phenomena can be accounted for in terms of Four Fundamental Interactions. Gravitation and Electromagnetism act over long distances and it is easy to observe their effects. Strong and Weak Nuclear Forces act over subatomic distances and the range of their effects is limited.
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: LOVE IS A FORCE THAT CANNOT BE MEASURED BY INSTRUMENTS INVENTED BY PHYSICISTS.
Gravitation is the pervasive Fundamental Interaction. Every particle of Matter seems to attract every other particle with a Force that is proportional to the Mass of each and inversely proportional to the square of their separation. This relationship was first proposed by Sir Isaac Newton. His Theory of Gravitation is ‘Fundamental’, in the sense that all Motion due to the gravitational forces exerted on all objects can be described as a result of the same Force. Gravitation causes apples to fall from trees and determines the orbits of planets around Sun.
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL FORCES CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR VARYING ROTATIONAL SPINS OF ASTRONOMICAL BODIES.
Mechanics is the branch of Physics that deals with motion of material bodies and the phenomena of action of forces on bodies. Celestial Mechanics is study of motion of astronomical bodies as they move under the influence of their mutual gravitation. If the forces acting on a System do not cancel, Motion will result. Calculation of such motions is complicated because many separate forces are acting at once and all bodies are moving simultaneously. Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion and Theory of Universal Gravitation provide a great understanding of the simple elliptical orbits as described by Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion.
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: KEPLER’S LAWS MAY ACCOUNT FOR ORBITAL MOTIONS OF PLANETS. HOW ABOUT EXPLAINING ROTATIONAL SPINS OF PLANETS???
It is interesting to note Hindu Scriptures called Vedas may describe or mention Earth’s rotational spin. Neither Vedas, nor Science have accounted for ‘Force’ that initiated rotational spin of various celestial bodies. Rotational Spin is different from orbital motion displayed by planets. Rotational Spin of planets cannot be explained as caused by physical forces of mutual attraction between celestial objects. Newton maintained that mere Motion does not require application of Force. In Space, there is no friction to restrain motions of celestial bodies.
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: PHYSICAL FORCE SUCH AS GRAVITATION ACCOUNTS FOR EARTH’S ORBIT OR REVOLUTION AROUND SUN. THERE IS NO PHYSICAL FORCE TO ACCOUNT FOR EARTH’S ROTATION ON ITS AXIS.
Man’s existence on surface of Earth cannot be fully accounted by physical force of Gravitation that explains Earth’s orbit or revolution around Sun. Man travels about 67, 000 miles per hour during Earth’s yearly orbit around Sun. Man’s lifetime or lifespan on Earth is determined by alternating periods of Day and Night caused by Earth’s rotational spin. Physical Forces act mechanically without sense of purpose or goal. Earth’s rotational spin serves a specific purpose for it directs Biological Rhythms of Living Systems.
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: Physical Force may account for the Speed of a point on the surface of Earth. Living Systems have synchronized their Biological Rhythms with Rotational Spin of Earth which serves specific purpose by causing alternate periods of Light and Darkness.
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: Man travels nearly 67,000 miles per hour in yearly orbit around the Sun. Earth’s Orbital Motion does not determine Man’s lifetime or lifespan. Man’s lifetime is measured by alternating periods of Day and Night caused by Earth’s rotational spin.
Within our Solar System, no celestial object shares rotational spin characteristics of another object. Each planet spins at a different speed or exhibits different rotational axis. On each planet, we will experience Day and Night and Seasons in different manners as they orbit around Sun. Each planet is unique, distinctive, original, and one of its own kind of celestial object. Space Exploration discovered thousands of planets, but none of them share identical rotational spins, in fact each planet displays individualistic variation in its spin characteristics. So, we need to recognize existence of “UNKNOWN” Force that may have imparted energy to initiate rotational spin of each celestial object.
Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: TILT AND ROTATION AXIS OF PLANETS SHOW INDIVIDUALISTIC VARIATIONS. EARTH’S TILT AND ROTATION AXIS ARE PURPOSIVE AND GOAL-ORIENTED AS IT DRIVES BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS.
I am using the term ‘LOVE’ to define it as Fundamental Force that brings Unity and Harmony in Interactions between Inanimate and Animate Matter to establish Natural Order. LOVE is Fundamental to existence of Sensible or Living Matter. Living Things have ability to perceive LOVE which instruments developed by man cannot measure.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPIRITUALISM-VISISTADVAITA-MODIFIED NON-DUALISM: THE THEORY OF RAMANUJACHARYA:
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.
- Spiritualism – the New Advaita Theory of Non-dualism (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – a Brahman Spirit in Prison (bhavanajagat.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)
SPIRITUALISM: UNCHANGING OPERATING SYSTEM IN A CHANGING WORLD:
Thanks to Shri. Agarwal, and Dr. Bodapati Ramarao for sharing the photo images our celestial home. We exist on the surface of a fast-spinning celestial body which changes the position at which we live all the time without giving us a chance to know as to where exactly we exist. Earth has no choice and it participates in the motions of Sun and of the Milky Way Galaxy. At every given instant, we are on the move. In a changing world, spiritualism describes the operation of an unchanging principle. In a changing world or universe called “JAGAT”, the term called “BHAVANA”(Soul/Spirit) provides the unchanging operating system to make the human existence a reality. The vital principle named Soul/Spirit does not exclusively belong to the transcendental or metaphysical realm or domain. It belongs to the terrestrial world where man, and life exist.
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.
Nasa has shown us views of the Big Marble, the breathtakingly beautiful planet on which we live because it studies space and the Earth. The first Big Blue Marble photo was released in 1972 and each subsequent release of images has increased in quality so that the newest 2012 release of the Big Black Marble, or Earth at Night, are stunning. The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite was launched last year by NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Defense. It orbits 512 miles above our planet’s surface and has an extremely sensitive sensor that can detect
the nocturnal glow produced by Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, it can see the light given off from a single street light or one glowing light on a boat floating alone on the ocean. The VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) carries a low-light sensor that can distinguish night lights with six times better spatial resolution and 250 times better resolution of lighting levels (dynamic range) than before. NASA added a global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before. So here is the series of the Big Marble in Old, New, Aqua, Blue, White and Black Marble. If you stop to think that this is our home, all of us regardless of where on the globe you are located, then it somehow seems possible that we could achieve peace on Earth around this holiday season for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Boxing Day. It also shows why we should protect our environment . . . it belongs to your children’s children and us all. Thank you NASA! You ROCK!
This image of North and South America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The new data was mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet. NASA added, The day-night band observed Hurricane Sandy, illuminated by moonlight, making landfall over New Jersey on the evening of Oct. 29. Night images showed the widespread power outages that left millions in darkness in the wake of the storm. Photo #1 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
The continental United States at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the satellite’s day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires and reflected moonlight. Photo #2 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
Black Marble, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. NASA reported, Unlike a camera that captures a picture in one exposure, the day-night band produces an image by repeatedly scanning a scene and resolving it as millions of individual pixels. Then, the day-night band reviews the amount of light in each pixel. If it is very bright, a low-gain mode prevents the pixel from over-saturating. If the pixel is very dark, the signal is amplified. The Earth Observatory wrote of the night lights on our globe, Scientists are using new images of Earth’s dark side to gain insight on human activity and poorly understood natural events. Photo #3 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
Black Marble Europe at night 2012. For all the reasons that we need to see Earth during the day, we also need to see Earth at night, said Steve Miller, a researcher at NOAA’s Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere. Unlike humans, the Earth never sleeps.Photo #4 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
Black Marble, Asia and Australia. On Out of the Blue and Into the Black, Miller is quoted as saying, The night is nowhere near as dark as most of us think. In fact, the Earth is never really dark. And we don’t have to be in the dark about what is happening at night anymore either. Photo #5 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
Why is Western Australia So Bright? Careful observers of the new Black Marble images of Earth at night released this week by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have noticed bright areas in the western part of Australia that are largely uninhabited. Why is this area so lit up, many have asked? The sensor on the satellite is so sensitive that it picked up wild fires at night. Photo #6 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
The image above shows London and the southern half of Great Britain as it appeared on the night of March 27, 2012. NASA Earth Observatory Photo #7 by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using VIIRS Day Night Band and MODIS Blue Marble data
Earth at Night in HD. Video #1 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
USA East Coast lights on Friday, June 29th, 2012. NASA Earth Observatory Photo #8 by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon using data from the NASA/NOAA satellite S-NPP
Composite map of the world assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. Photo #9 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
Black Marble 2012, Asia at night. NASA’s Earth Observatory wrote, Away from human settlements, light still shines. Wildfires and volcanoes rage. Oil and gas wells burn like candles. Auroras dance across the polar skies. Moonlight and starlight reflect off the water, snow, clouds, and deserts. Even the air and ocean sometimes glow. Photo #11 by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
Most Amazing High Definition Image of Earth Blue Marble 2012. Photo #12 by NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring
The Blue Marble 2012 turned into a White Marble with this snow and ice Arctic View. Fifteen orbits of the recently launched Suomi NPP satellite provided the VIIRS instrument enough time (and longitude) to gather the pixels for this synthesized view of Earth showing the Arctic, Europe, and Asia. Photo #13 by NASA/GSFC/Suomi NPP
NASA Blue (Aqua) Marble 2007 West.ย Photo #14 by Reto Stรถckli, based on data from NASA and NOAA
NASA Blue (Aqua) Marble 2007 East. Photo #15 by Reto Stรถckli, based on data from NASA and NOAA
NASA’s Spacecraft View of Aurora Australis from Space. NASA file image acquired September 11, 2005. Photo #16 by NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
From space, the aurora is a crown of light that circles each of Earth’s poles. The satellite captured this view of the aurora australis (southern lights) on September 11, 2005, four days after a record-setting solar flare sent plasma”an ionized gas of protons and electrons”flying towards the Earth. The ring of light that the solar storm generated over Antarctica glows green in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, shown in this image. The observations of the aurora are overlaid onto NASA’s satellite-based Blue Marble image. From the Earth’s surface, the ring would appear as a curtain of light shimmering across the night sky. Video #2 by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio via LittleSDOHMI
Blue Marble 2002.ย Photo #17 by NASA Earth Observatory
Blue Marble 2002: At the time, This spectacular blue marble image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Photo #18 by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stรถckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation). Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights
Earth image and star field background, released in 2000. Photo #20 by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio / The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC) / Laura Rocchio (NASA/GSFC)
First Blue Marble image captured from Apollo 17 on Dec 7, 1972. View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the coast of Africa is the Malagasy Republic. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast. Astronaut photograph AS17-148-22727 courtesy NASA Johnson Space Center Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Photo #21 by NASA
What is your favorite Old, New, Aqua, Blue, White or Black Marble? Blue Marble “ Astronaut photograph 1972; Blue Marble 2002; Aqua Marble 2005; Bottom row left to right: Blue Marble 2012; White Marble 2012; Black Marble 2012. NASA Goddard Space Flight Centerย wrote, Since we have escaped the bounds of gravity, visions of Earth have inspired and captured the imagination. Here are a few of the most iconic views of our planet returned by both living astronauts and robotic spacecraft in orbit throughout the space age. Photo #22 by Apollo 1972 / NASA / NASA Earth Observatory
There is so much Joy in Sharing. Wish all of my readers a Very Happy Holiday Season.
SPIRITUALISM – THE TRUTH ABOUT HUMAN SOUL OR SPIRIT :
Truth is the quality of being in accordance with experience, and verified facts. Truth or Reality can be established by using a reasoning process called verification and validation. To verify or refute a theoretical claim, we need to clarify statements by demonstrating relation between the theoretical claim and the observational evidence. Such a reasoning process could be applied in two manners; 1. The Coherence Theory of Truth, and 2. The Correspondence Theory of Truth. According to the Coherence Theory of Truth, the standard of Truth is the logical consistency of a proposition with a large system of propositions. According to the Correspondence Theory of Truth, Truth is viewed as a relation between an idea or proposition and its object. To verify Truth or Reality, the Subject and Object of an idea or proposition must have a relationship. Truth when applied to statements or ideas is related to the validity of what we mean and hence it requires correspondence between thought and external reality. It is true that man has the biological ability and capacity called ‘imagination’, but man may not have the ability and capacity to translate the act and power of imagination into actuality, an external experience that could be observed by others. In my imagination, I can seek the existence of an all blissful entity called ‘SHIVA’ while in actuality, I exist in the physical world as a fragile, mortal being. Religion, Philosophy, and Science may represent three distinct fields of learning about Truth and Reality. Scientific knowledge not only provides the knowledge that something is true, but it also provides the reason why it is true. Religion, and Philosophy could use different methods to study Truth and Reality, but the ideas they share require verification, corroboration, and validation. In the study of man, the know-er and the known are one. Man is the observer and the observed fact is that of man’s nature. If man has to know the truth about his self, man has to understand the truth and reliability of his own cognitive powers. If the Subject called man is identified as an Object called Soul, or Spirit, the Truth or Reality of Soul, or Spirit involves a structural/functional relationship between the Subject and its Object.
ADI SHANKARA’S NIRVANA SHATAKAM OR ATMA SHATAKAM :
Adi Shankara ( c. 788 – c. 820 A.D. ), the founder of the Non-Dualist or ‘ADVAITA’ School of Indian Philosophy called ‘VEDANTA’ has shared his ideas about human Soul, or Spirit or ‘ATMA’ or ‘ATMAN’ in Indian Sanskrit language. In six short poems popularly known as ‘Nirvana Shatakam’, or ‘Atma Shatakam’, he has presented his mental concepts about human Soul, or Spirit which he called “AHAM”(Subject ‘A’) . Adi Shankara is primarily concerned about establishing the perfect Identity between this Subject ‘A’ and its Object called “CHIDANANDA SHIVAM(Object ‘C’). However, Adi Shankara makes no attempt in his propositions to establish the basis for this Identity between the Subject ‘A’ and its Object ‘C’. Adi Shankara is proposing that the Subject ‘A’ or ‘AHAM’ has no structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship with its human body or ‘B’. In his view, the human soul or spirit is not involved, and is not concerned with the existence of human body in which the soul or spirit is thought to be residing. In an effort to establish the school of thought called “ADVAITA” or Non-Dualism, he systematically separates the human body from its human soul. Adi Shankara has further extended this proposition to claim that the Subject ‘A’ is the same as the Object ‘C’ and the reason he has given is that of a lack of relationship between Subject ‘A’ and the human body ‘B’. Since, ‘A’ is not the same as ‘B’, ‘A’ is not equal to ‘B’. And, therefore, Adi Shankara claims that ‘A’ is the same as ‘C’ or ‘A’ is equal to ‘C’. He has not stated that there is or there could be a structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship between ‘A’ and ‘C’. If such relationship exists between ‘A’ and ‘C’, Adi Shankara has not presented any observational evidence in support of his claim that states ‘A’ = ‘C’. Let us briefly review the six verses. Kindly note that the verses are composed in Indian Sanskrit language and there are several minor variations in the words that are attributed to Adi Shankara. The word ‘NIRVANA’ means ‘MUKTI’ or Release( the release of the conditioned human soul ), death, Sunset, and conclusion of an event( such as the end of Life ). I must clarify that ‘death’ may not be viewed as a static, or final event. Death is a dynamic event like Life which is characterized by changes like growth and development and various stages like infancy, youth, man, and old age. Just like Sunset which is followed by Sunrise, the event called death is followed by regeneration, renewal, and rebirth. Living organisms arrive with a plan for their own dissolution and such organic decay and decomposition is influenced by the cyclical flow of Time.
MAN IS A PHYSICAL, MORTAL BEING, A CREATED BEING WITH A LIVING SOUL:
Adi Shankara excludes the four mental functions known as Ma-nah( the seat of thoughts and imagination, the chief sense organ called Mind), Buddhi(the seat of intellect and knowledge), Chitta(the seat of emotions such as compassion, affection, and devotion), and Ahankara(the seat of ego, self-pride, the sense of pride that is associated with the recognition of ‘SELF’ or ‘I’ as existing or living) as the basis of his true Identity or Essence(What you are). These four aspects of mental activities are described in Indian tradition as “ANTAH KARANAM” or ‘MANO CHATUSHTAYAM”. The human nature which is known as “CHITTA” or “HRUDAYA”, “KARUNA”, or “DAYA” and “BHAKTI” is recognized as Compassion, Kindness, and Devotion; the mental qualities that are needed for formulating Spiritual relationships both within the Individual and between Individuals. Adi Shankara gives no reason for this separation of human nature from its human Soul. Similarly, he excludes the five organs of Sense Perception( often described as “JNANA INDRIYAS”, the organs that provide sensory information and sensory experience ) such as ears, tongue, nose, eyes, and skin and the Five Primordial Elements described in Indian tradition as ‘Pancha Maha Bhutas’ such as Sky, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water. He thinks that they are not truly related to his True Identity and Essence. He is specifically excluding all known material substances, material structures and forces that operate in the natural world in the description of his True Identity. In my view, I consider that man comes into existence as a newly created object, one of its own kind, original, and distinctive who could always be identified as a specific individual. I claim that man is a created being and man has no choice other than that of existing as an Individual with Individuality. The physical form, the morphological appearance of man always makes him unique and it has to be explained and accounted for. I suggest that human Soul is the internal reality; and Soul is the basis for human Individuality and the Soul is the unchanging principle that allows man to exist with changing external forms with specific physical attributes.
MAN IS DEFINED BY HIS STRUCTURE, FUNCTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR :
In this verse Adi Shankara gives a very detailed description of various tissues of human body and describes all the vital functions and states that the Subject ‘A’ or “AHAM” has no structural or functional relationship with human anatomy and physiology. The term “PRAANA” refers to the vital life-energy and is generally used to describe the chief characteristic to make the fundamental distinction between living and non-living; the important sign of life is the act of breathing or respiration.The term “PANCH VAAYU” refers to, 1. Vyaana – the air that is spread in the entire extent of the human body; 2. Samaana – the air that is in the navel region; it could be the air that is swallowed during acts of eating and drinking and may refer to the intestinal gas; 3. Udaana – the air that is in the throat/neck region; this narrow airway is vital for the respiratory function; 4. Apaana – the air that travels downwards and outwards; it could mean the air expelled from the body as flatus or exhaled air from the lungs; and 5. Praana – the inspired air; air that is in the heart, the chief organ of Cardiovascular System that circulates Oxygen throughout human body. The term “SAPTA DHATU” refers to the seven material essences such as the skin, muscle/tendons/nerves, blood, bones, bone marrow, brain( neural tissue ), and “RASA” which describes fluids like semen and lymph. The term “PANCH KOSHA” refers to the traditional view about the structure of Soul. It is believed that the Soul has five coverings or envelopes and each layer establishes human existence and these are called as the five stages of Self-Realization; 1. Anna maya( related to Nutrition ), 2. Praana maya( related to vital functions like Respiration ), 3. Jnana maya( relates to implantation of Innate Knowledge and Consciousness ), 4. Vijnana maya( relates to the ability to make a distinction between human body or Self and Soul as the Knowing-Self ), and 5. Ananda maya( relates to the experience of Bliss, the experience of Peace, Harmony, Tranquility, and Equilibrium as a Living Experience ) ; these are the five aspects of Self-Realization and refer to complete fulfillment or development of man. I have discussed these five aspects in my blog post:
Adi Shankara also refers to the five organs of action that are described in Indian tradition as “KARMA INDRIYAS” which are the five instruments of Speech(VAAK), Hand-Grip and Manipulation(PAANI), Locomotion( PAADA), Procreation(UPASTHA) and Excretion(PAAYU). Adi Shankara has not bothered to state as to how these different organs and organ systems could function together to support the existence of the human person who lives because of those varied living functions. Life is nothing but to function and in my view, the human Soul is the central element that generates the structural and functional coordination that is required for human existence.
MAN IS A MENTAL BEING, AN EMOTIONAL BEING, AND A MORAL BEING:
Adi Shankara correctly claims that the human Soul may not contribute to human feelings, and thoughts associated with hatred, sexual passion, greed, arrogance, and envy or jealousy. At the same time, he rejects the traditional Indian view about man’s purpose in Life; the purpose of Right Action or “DHARMA”, the purpose called earning money or material wealth to support Life or “ARTHA”, the purpose of Procreation or “KAMA”, and the purpose called God-Realization, Liberation, or “MOKSHA”. In other words, Adi Shankara is suggesting that human life and human existence may have no underlying purpose. He is also not giving any coping mechanism to deal with the problems associated with human emotional experiences like passionate desires. Indian tradition consistently recommends that man can exercise self-control as the human Soul is superior to human mind, human intellect, and human sense organs. If human body has no structural or functional affiliation with its human Soul, it will not be likely that man can exercise self-restraint and self-control. In my view, man, the Mental Being can establish himself as a Moral Being using the discerning ability to make the distinction between right and wrong, and distinguish good from evil by knowing the existence of the Knowing-Self or the Soul.
MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING :
Adi Shankara is describing that he has no sense of attachment to the consequences of his actions either good(“PUNYA”) or bad(“PAAPA”). He is recommending that man need not perform temple worship, and there is no need to observe religious rituals, sacrifice, and perform acts of pilgrimage. He is rejecting the desire to seek pleasure and comfort(“SAUKHYAM”) and he may not be able to totally avoid the pain, misery, and the experience of suffering(“DUKHAM”). He specifically undermined the role of food and its five functions in support of human existence. The problem is that of the nature of human existence. In my view, man at any given age, in any given condition, under all given circumstances including good health or ill-health depends upon the Power/Energy/Force called MERCY/GRACE/COMPASSION. Man is not in control of his own existence. Man needs a guiding, and controlling force called the Divine Providence. In my opinion, the human Soul operates as the Connection between man and the Divine Providence that supports, sustains, and preserves human existence irrespective of man’s experience of pain or pleasure. Man has no choice other than that of seeking Mercy, Grace, and Compassion that is called “KRUPA” in Sanskrit language.
MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING :
Adi Shankara very boldly asserts that he is without a trace of doubt(“SHANKAA”) and further adds that the Soul that he calls “AHAM” has no Father, or Mother. Indian tradition calls Father(“PITAA”) as the originating principle, and Mother(“MAATAA) as the sustaining principle. In my view, the human Soul comes into existence(“JANMA”) because of the Supreme Will or the Supreme Soul which is the Prime Cause, the Cause of all types of things and all kinds of Existence. The human Soul is conditioned and is not totally independent and hence, the human soul still needs a Divine Mother Principle to maintain its Spiritual Condition and Spiritual Existence.
MAN IS A CONDITIONED SOUL :
In this final or sixth verse, Adi Shankara tries to eliminate the classical dualism that is called the dualism of Universal-Particular. He claims that his human Soul or “AHAM” is universal entity that is limitless, formless(“NIRAAKAARA”) and is without any attributes or attachments(“BANDHAH”). In his view, the human Soul is essentially free; it is everything, everywhere, every time and is always in a state of equilibrium. He has stated this view without a trace of doubt(“NIRVI KALPA”). I would like to suggest some caution and ask my readers to recognize the importance of separation between the human soul and the Ultimate Reality. I can understand that there is no disunity between man and his Creator. I would ask my readers to know the philosophical system of thought called ‘NOMINALISM’ that does not grant universality to mental concepts outside the mind. Universality could be applied only to words or “nomina”, mental habits, or concepts. Nominalism only maintains the objective existence of the concrete, individual thing. It denies all objectivity whether actual or potential to universals. The human soul is attached to the human being and the human being has his existence on planet Earth and hence is not an universal entity. Since the human condition demands existence only on planet Earth and not the rest of the universe, the human Soul cannot escape from its conditioned status while it exists as a human Soul. The Universal Soul as proposed by Adi Shankara is just a mental concept and it can only exist in the mind of the man and it may have no correspondence with the facts of external world and the Universe.
WHAT IS TRUTH, WHAT IS ILLUSION???
Adi Shankara is fully convinced in his belief that ‘A’ and the human body ‘B’ are not connected or related. It must be noted that, ‘A’ or “AHAM” refers to a singular person called ‘I’ and that singular person ‘I’ is in a state called ‘Being’, one who lives, or exists. If ‘A’ is stated to be existing, I would like to ask the following questions:
1. Who is Existing?
2. What is Existing?
3. When it is Existing?
4. Where it is Existing?
5. Why it is Existing?
If the Subject ‘A’, or “AHAM”( I AM ), has no size, no shape, and no form, how could we establish the fact that ‘A’ is existing? Adi Shankara has not categorically stated the place or site where ‘A’ could be existing. If ‘A’ is existing, we may like to know the purpose of this existence. If there is a purpose for the existence of ‘A’, the question would be, What is that purpose? How is the nature of ‘A’ or the nature of ‘C’ is related to its purpose? The Truth and Reality about human Soul, or Spirit can be verified, can be corroborated, and can be validated by knowing the structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship, partnership, connection, association, or bonding between ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’. Indian tradition suggests that human body has three aspects; “Tri-ani-pada”, or three-in-one; and the three aspects of human body are, 1. Causal, 2. Spiritual, and 3. Material. There is a material connection between ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’, if the human body has a ‘causal, and a ‘spiritual’ dimension. It would be very interesting to note that Adi Shankara has specifically avoided to describe the connection or relationship between the human Soul and human Consciousness. In Sanskrit language, Consciousness is called “CHETANA” and this term is not used in any of the six verses. Indian tradition believes that consciousness is the evidence for the presence of the human Soul and there is a structural and functional relationship between Soul and the Living Entity that is Conscious. We need to explain the concepts of Subject-Object, Appearance-Reality, Perceptual-Categorical, Immanent-Transcendent, Regulative-Constitutive, Conditioned-Unconditioned Dualism in respect of man’s existence and man’s status in Nature. In the context of human existence, the human Soul, or Spirit belongs to the Immanent Realm.
Rudra N . Rebbapragada, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.
Biographical Information :
1. Place of Birth: Mylapore, Madras City, Chenna Patnam, Chennai, Madras State, Tamil Nadu, India. Born Hindu( Brahmin, Niyogi, Smartha), Telugu-Speaking.
2. Date and Place of Marriage: January 29, 1973. Congregational Town Church, Cuddapah, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Please view this melodious presentation of Adi Shankaracharya’s Nirvana Shatakam or Atma Shatakam at http://www.Youtube.com site:
SPIRITUALISM – SPIRITUAL BEING AND SELF-REALIZATION :
What is Man? I want to respectfully begin this conversation by stating my motivation for asking this question. The motivation to ask comes from a statement expressed in Sanskrit language: “Sarvesham Swastir Bhavatu”, a statement which seeks the well-being of all humans, of all races, of all cultures, of all religions, and of all nations. The meaning and purpose of human life are affected by whatever we think is the ‘real’, or ‘true’ nature of Man. But, more importantly, our efforts to support the well-being of man would require correct understanding and knowledge of ‘real’, or ‘true’ Man. In human cultures all over the world, in the history of a variety of religions, we have come to know about people who have distinguished themselves as Prophets, Saints, and as people of Spiritual Knowledge. Several of them have won the recognition of a higher status of being Spiritual Masters, Spiritual Teachers, or Spiritual Gurus and people have given them attention with a sense of humility, and devotion with the hope of obtaining Self-Realization which could be defined as complete fulfillment of the Self or full development of one’s ‘real’, or ‘true’ Self. I would like to submit to my readers that I do not intend to show any disrespect towards any of these Masters of Spiritual Learning and Teachers of various kinds of Spiritual Practices. I have a basic right to know and understand ‘true’ or ‘real’ Self and I believe that understanding could be applied to promote and preserve the well-being of all humanity. The reasoning process that I use could be called Applied Philosophy which involves the application of conceptual analysis to questions of belief and ideology which affect what we think about ourselves and what we think we ought to do individually and socially. We need to carefully verify the concepts of Soul, and Spirituality to attain Self-Realization.
HUMAN BIRTH IS A DIVINE PHENOMENON :
Spiritualism is the potency that brings Man’s Essence and Man’s Existence to come together to provide Man the Subjective and Objective Reality of his own biological existence in the Physical and Material Realm. Spiritualism is the potency that determines Man’s Existence as a Spiritual Being. Human birth is a Divine Phenomenon. The newborn baby always arrives as a Spiritual Being. This statement has two important implications; 1. There is complete development and fulfillment at birth for Man to exist as a Spiritual Being, and 2. Spiritualism is not Learned or Acquired Knowledge and Behavior. Man does not transform himself into a Spiritual Being by his physical or mental efforts. In other words, Spiritualism does not involve learning from Holy Scriptures, practice of techniques like Meditation, and observation of religious rituals like pilgrimage and Temple worship. Man, the Physical Being is created not as an Embodied Soul but as a Living Soul that lives as a Spiritual Being. There could be several important benefits that Man may acquire by reading Holy Scriptures and through religious practices such as Prayer, Meditation, and Worship. While I would not discourage or disrespect such practices and religious behavior, I would like to categorically submit to my readers that Man does not transform himself into a Spiritual Being by virtue of any of his physical, and mental efforts. To think that Man is born as a Physical Being and slowly transforms himself into a Spiritual Being through a process called Self-Realization is a myth. If the human body is described as a field of activity or ‘KSHETRA’, the Knower, and the Enjoyer of this field of activity called ‘KSHETRAJNA’ exists at birth and this Spiritual Being does not come into existence during a later part of life through a process of Learning from sensory experience or intellectual introspection.
CREATION AND SELF-REALIZATION :
Man, like all other living entities represents a thermodynamically unstable system. Man does not exist in the physical, material world because of his own Power/Force/Energy. Man needs continuous supply of energy from an external source during the entire span of his life. The fact of Man’s Physical Existence in the world could be understood as the manifestation of the Power/Force/Energy of the Supreme Being. The operation of this Divine Power or Potency is revealed as Self-Realization, the process or mechanism by which the Creative Power/Force/Energy establishes the complete Self which for reasons of clarity and understanding could be divided into four stages as follows:
1. First Stage of Self-Realization – The Establishment of Knowledge :
Human life begins at conception as a single, fertilized Egg Cell. This Egg Cell always comes from a previously existing Egg Cell that has grown and developed into a human being. Father is the Originating Principle. Mother, the divine source of Life, Energy, and Knowledge is the Providing Principle. Knowledge is implanted in the substance of the Egg Cell giving its Consciousness, ability to grow and develop into embryo, fetus, and a fully formed human baby. Hence, Life could be defined as “Knowledge in Action.” In Indian tradition, this aspect of Self-Realization is described as “Jnanamoya”, the living symptoms that are manifested as Consciousness.
2. The Second Stage of Self-Realization or The Establishment of Vital Functions :
The newborn baby upon separation from its mother, begins life as an independent living entity by initiation of its vital, living functions such as Respiration and Circulation. To survive in the physical world, the baby needs to breathe on its own and circulate the vital supply of Oxygen to all the tissues, and organs of entire human body. In Indian tradition this aspect of Self-Realization is described as “Pranamoya”, the ability to perform vital functions like breathing on its own.
3. The Third Stage of Self-Realization or The Establishment of Nutrition :
During the stages of embryo and fetus, nutritional support is provided by the mother. The newborn baby must continue to feed through all the stages of its physical existence for the rest of its entire life span. In Indian tradition this dependence upon food for existence is described as “Annamoya”, or the Materialistic Realization of the Supreme Being and Divine Power or Potency.
4. The Fourth Stage of Self-Realization or The Establishment of ‘The Knowing-Self’ :
The cells, tissues, and organ systems of the newborn baby display functional subservience for the benefit of Self which lives because of their living functions. Reticular Formation in the Brain Stem functions as ‘The Knowing-Self’, and is involved in the composition of Consciousness which brings functional unity in the complex, multicellular human organism. It could be described as the “Knower”, and the “Enjoyer” or “KSHETRAJNA” of the field of activities of human body called “KSHETRA”. In Indian Tradition, the establishment of this “Knower”, “Enjoyer”, or the ‘Knowing-Self’ is described as the Fourth Stage of Self- Realization, or ‘Brahman-Realization and is called “Vijnanamoya.”
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S. Class of April, 1970.
- Spiritualism – the Theory of Consciousness (bhavanajagat.com)
- Whole Dude – Whole Living (wholedude.com)
- Spiritualism – Human Existence and Human Nature (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism and Knowledge of Human Nature (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – Human Nature and Human Behavior (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – Psychoanalysis and Human Nature (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – Human Nature and Human Forms (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the Key to Human Nature (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the Victory Over Death (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the Truth About Soul or Spirit (bhavanajagat.com)
“EKAM EVA ADVITIYAM” – This statement in Sanskrit language is from Chandogya Upanishad( 6:2:1 ) and it means: “I, one alone and there is no second.” The original intent of this statement is that of seeking the unity of the Objective Reality of Man known as ‘ATMA’ ( the Individual Soul ) and the Ultimate Reality known as ‘PARAMATMA’ or Supersoul. There is no Duality between the two and there is no disunity between Man and God. However, God is not an object which is under Man’s control and the views about God are subjective opinions. I am quoting this statement to find the Unity of Man in body, mind, and soul. Man’s greatest need is not only to know the world around him but also to know himself better. Man must understand what it is to be a substance and what it is to exist. We need to establish knowledge about Man on a firm basis and the information it provides must be tested for its accuracy and consistency with external reality. Dr. William James in his book, The Principles of Psychology, has observed: “True ideas are those we can assimilate, validate, corroborate, and verify.” The separation of man into body, mind, and soul is not supported by scientific study of man.
Man comes into existence from a single fertilized Egg Cell. This Man cannot be separated into two distinct entities like insentient material being and sentient spiritual being. The physical being and the conscious being are one and the same. The division of Man into a physical substance and a thinking substance or that of a physical body and a thinking mind is not valid as they have no independent existence of their own. The division of Man into physical body and an immortal, non-material or immaterial Soul is not also valid as the Soul is described as the vital, animating principle that is the chief characteristic of Life.
The Spiritual Nature of Man is not a mental function. The Spiritual Nature of Man could be discovered and could be described from the biological properties, characteristics and nature of Man’s corporeal substance found in the fertilized Egg Cell. This substance is Conscious. This Single Egg Cell grows, divides, develops, and builds the cells, the tissues, and the organ systems that constitute the Human Individual. The Spiritual Nature of the substance present in the Single, fertilized Egg Cell brings the functional unity of all the cells, tissues, and organ systems to establish the Physical Reality called Man.
About six days after Conception, the developing Human Embryo implants itself into maternal tissues by establishin an anatomical connection called Placenta. The implantation of Human Embryo does not involve any human thought and the Mother has no cortical awareness of the fact of implantation. The implantation demonstrates the Consciousness of the Human Embryo which is aware of the fact of its own existence. Spiritualism defines the internal, mutually beneficial relationship, partnership, association, and connection between the cells, tissues, and organ systems for the benefit of the Human Person who exists because of their living functions. The Subject that is born from the Single, fertilized Egg Cell is always a new, original, distinctive, unique, one of its own kind of Object that exists because of the innate Spiritual Nature of the material substance. Being born relates Man to the Subjective and Objective Realities of his biological existence. There is structural and functional unity between Man and his Body, Mind, and Soul. There is no Life, and there is no Human Existence if these entities are separated. Spiritualism is the potency that brings Man’s Essence and Man’s Existence to come together to provide Man the Subjcetive and Objective Reality of his own biological existence in the physical, and material world. Man is not an embodied Soul and Man is a Living Soul.
WHAT IS MAN ? I will be repeatedly asking this same question in several of my blog posts on the subject of Spiritualism. I want to remind myself that the motivation for asking this question comes from a statement expressed in Sanskrit language: “Sarvesham Swastir Bhavatu”, a statement which seeks the well-being of all humans, of all races, of all cultures, of all religions, and of all nations. The meaning and purpose of human life are affected by whatever we think is the real or true nature of man. It is more important to recognize that our efforts to support the well-being of man would require correct understanding and knowledge of the real or true man.
SELF AND THE KNOWING-SELF :
To know about Man, we can observe the various activities that describe the Man. The Physical being known as Man is known from the living functions performed by the tissues and organ systems of his body. This Physical being has Identity or identifying features such as age, gender, race, ethnicity and other biometrical information to know the person as a specific Individual. Factors like language, religion, culture, education, social occupation, nationality, and sexual orientation are also used to describe the Man. The Mental being known as Man is described from mental functions such as intellect, thoughts, moods, feelings, cravings, and self-pride. Man, the Social being is known from his social interactions and much of human action and behavior involves interacting with other individuals present in his social environment. Man, the Moral being is known from the choices he makes in the performance of his actions where discernment plays a role to distinguish right from wrong, and good from evil. Man, the Spiritual being is known from the nature of his existence seeking peace, harmony, and tranquility within himself and with others in his environment and community. I designate the term ‘SELF’ to describe Man as a Physical, Mental, Social, Moral, and Spiritual being. I have also observed that the Physical being is in reality consists of about 100 trillion individual living cells that show complex structural differentiation and functional organization. The corporeal substance is of spiritual nature and hence Man, the Physical being has no choice other than that of existing as a Spiritual being. The question is not that of, How Man knows himself? The question that I would like to ask is, How does the body know the Identity of the Man who lives? If the body knows its Owner, there is an anatomical structure that is associated with the function called Knowing-Self.
THE FUNCTION OF KNOWING-SELF :
The Reticular Formation( RF ) is located in the central Brain Stem and extends from Medulla to Thalamus. It consists of more than about 100, 000 Brain Stem nuclei. It is estimated that a single neuron in this network may have synapses with as many as 25,000 other neurons. The RF has connections with almost all other parts of the Central Nervous System including Spinal Cord, Cranial Nerve nuclei, Cerebellum, Hypothalamus, Thalamus, Corpus Striatum, Limbic System, and Cerebral Cortex. Thus, the RF helps to coordinate and integrate actions of different parts of the Central Nervous System such as 1. regulation of muscle and reflex activity, 2. central transmission of sensory impulses, 3. respiration, 4. cardiovascular responses, 5. behavioral Arousal, and 6. Alert/Sleep Cycle.
There are two distinct aspects of human Consciousness namely, 1. the Capacity for Consciousness and 2. the Content of Consciousness. When Consciousness is viewed as a psychological or strictly as a mental function, it is represented by the Content of Consciousness called Cortical Awareness which is a function of the Cerebral Cortex. When Consciousness is understood as a biological function that includes the maintenance of vital functions like respiration, and circulation apart from various homeostatic mechanisms to preserve a constant internal environment, it is represented by the aspect of Capacity for Consciousness.
The Knowing-Self is located in the Reticular Formation of the Brain Stem and its functions are of critical importance in the clinical diagnosis of Brain Death. During Life, the cells, tissues, and various organ systems of the human body work together for the benefit of ‘SELF’ which is known and recognized by this Knowing-Self.
MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING :
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE BANYAN TREE :
The Hindu Scripture of The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XV known as Purusottama Yoga speaks about the nature of the Supreme Person. It metaphorically compares the Supreme Being to the popularly known Fig Tree called Ficus benghalensis. The first verse reads as follows:Sri Bhagavan Uvacha : “Urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham Asvattham prahur avyayam, Chandamsi yasya parnani yas tam veda sa Veda vit.”The Supreme Lord Krishna said: There is a Banyan Tree which has its roots upwards and its branches down and metaphorically it is imperishable; and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this Tree is the Knower of the Vedas( the person attains the Knowledge of the Ultimate Reality or the Supreme being). When we know the Banyan Tree and its apparent imperishable quality, we may understand the true nature of Man. Man is a spiritual being. The truth or falsity of this proposition depends on the fact of man’s having a substance that is of spiritual nature. Such a substance of spiritual kind is perceptible to the senses, is amenable to direct observation, and could be subjected to verification by experimental science. To establish the fact of man’s spiritual nature, it needs reasoning based upon scientific validity. The structure and the behavior of things contribute to their individual being and function. If man has a set of defining features based upon his structure( Human Anatomy ), function( Human Physiology ), and behavior( Human Behavioral Science ), the spiritual nature of man could be proved on theoretical and practical grounds and could be verified by scientific experiments. I am not seeking to discover a soul or spirit that could have existence independent of man’s physical being. However, it will be important to note that it is not possible to conceive of a soul or spirit if it is never associated with its human body. My purpose is that of describing the spiritual nature of human organism and of other living beings. To understand the true nature of human being, we need to ascertain the validity of Knowledge that pertains to the Spiritual Self.
MAN IS A MORTAL BEING :Man’s greatest need is not only to know the world around him but also to know himself better. Man must understand what it is to be a substance and what it is to exist. Man is a physical being or thing with matter and form. The corporeal body of man is composite of two principles; matter, and form. What is called matter is potentiality, and what is called form is actuality. The corporeal substance called protoplasm becomes actuality and is recognized as a living person because of the uniqueness of its genome that operates its living functions and defines its size, shape, color, and external form or morphological appearance. However, life comes into existence only when matter or substance has the ability to acquire energy from its external environment. The human being comes to life when his corporeal substance uses its potential ability and power called ‘Nutrition’ to acquire energy and material from its environment. Life begins with fertilization, the union of sperm with egg cell, and this event called conception proceeds to develop a human being after an important event called implantation. The life journey after conception continues if there is a connection between the energy seeking embryo and its maternal energy provider. To exist means that the substance is maintaining a relationship, a partnership, a connection, or association with its source of energy. Man leads energy dependent existence deriving energy and material from nature which supports other living forms with a similar corporeal substance called protoplasm. The mortality of man must be understood as the dissolution of man’s physical form. The dissolution of living man into non-living molecules and physical elements would not alter that potentiality of protoplasm to acquire energy and material to create its own substance. Things in Nature change with Time; but what is called Nature remains unchanged even under the influence of Time. As per The Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy as described in classical Physics, mass or energy remain constant. The potentiality of living substance to acquire energy and material to form its own kind of substance has remained unchanged or unaffected by major natural calamities and other cataclysmic events. Life forms perish and yet life continues as new life forms. During the billions of years of existence, planet Earth has experienced several minor, and major Extinction Events described in its geological history. The Science of Paleontology offers scientific evidence to support an argument based upon theoretical and practical grounds to propose that the substance called protoplasm could be eternal, immovable, immutable, and indestructible. At a fundamental level, it could be stated that man is a mortal or materialistic being who derives his physical form because of its association with an imperishable substance. During any stage of his existence, the form called man cannot be separated from the eternal nature of its substance.
WHAT IS SOUL OR SPIRIT ? :
Traditionally, man has been divided into two parts; body, and soul. In common usage, the term soul represents the immaterial aspect of a human being. Soul is further defined as that part of the individual which is considered to survive the death of the body. The term spirit is often used to describe a disembodied soul. On separation from the human body, the soul or spirit has a life of its own, a capacity for independent existence or self-subsistence which describes its immortality.
THE CONCEPTIONS OF SOUL : There are a variety of conceptions about soul or spirit. Some of the traditional conceptions of soul are the following:1. Soul is the immaterial substance, form, or principle of self-motion, vitality, life force, or life in living things. The insentient body is completely distinct from the sentient soul.2. Soul describes the Doctrine of the Self, and is considered to be synonymous with the True-Self. In a human being, soul confers the Individuality and its nature of humanity.3. Soul is often described as a thinking substance and is equated with mind. The soul has knowledge of itself by reflection of its acts. The soul is the knower and it knows the physical, and mental acts of the human body where it resides.4. Soul is important to maintain, and to preserve life. Soul may not directly participate in the activities of the human body. However, the activities of the human body may have a polluting effect on soul. If the soul is tainted or contaminated by the sinful acts of the body, the soul may obtain purification by its release from the body. Some form of human effort, activity, attitude, and behavior is essential to keep the soul in its natural, pure, and perfect condition.5. The soul that has experienced the polluting effects by its association with a human body would be forced to experience perpetual reincarnation by a process called transmigration. The soul continues to reside as a prisoner in different bodies until such time it attains its original state or condition of purity and perfection.6. Soul is a transcendental or noumenal object that is real but not visible and could not be detected by human sensory perception. The human body that is visible is in fact unreal or is a product of sensory illusion. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOUL AND HUMAN BODY : Most religions and cultures speak about soul and describe it as some incorporeal or immaterial substance/principle of human life that is distinct from the body. Despite the frequent acceptance of the existence of a soul, different religions and philosophers have developed a variety of theories as to the nature of the soul and its relationship to the human body. There are divergent views about the origin of the soul, when and how it gets implanted into the human body, and the mortality or when and if the soul dies. I would like to share the view that is attributed to Lord Krishna, the avatar or reincarnation of Hindu God Lord Vishnu. ADHYATMA VIDYA – THE BHAGAVAD GITA :The word ‘vidya’ is related to acquired knowledge derived from studies. The term ‘adhyatma’ pertains to the individual soul, atma, or atman which describes the Spiritual Self. The phrase ‘Adhyatma Vidya’ could be described the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self. The legendary IndianSage Veda Vyasa also known as Krishna Dvaipayana was the author of the epic ‘The Mahabharata'( Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty ). Veda Vyasa is recognized as the compiler of ancient Hindu texts known as Vedas. In the Book VI of Mahabharata, Lord Krishna had a conversation with Prince Arjuna while the warring parties of Pandavas, and Kauravas had assembled at the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Lord Krishna revealed His views about soul, human body and their relationship in “The Song of the Lord” known as ‘The Bhagavad Gita’. These poems of The Bhagavad Gita give a synopsis of the religious thought and experience of India through the ages. The Chapter X of The Bhagavad Gita is titled ‘Vibhuti-Vistara Yoga’ and it describes the divine or transcendental attributes of the Supreme Lord. In verse #39, the Lord claims, “I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being, moving or unmoving( “Chara-acharam” ) that can exist without Me.” In verse #32, the Lord proclaims, “….of all the branches of Learning and Knowledge, I am the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self( “Adhyatma Vidya” ). In verse #22, the Lord describes the nature of His connection with the living beings that He has generated, “…. and in living beings, I am Consciousness( “Bhutanam asmi Chetana” ).” He had also clarified that Consciousness or Chetana as a different characteristic and has separated it from mind, intellect and sense perception. Mind is traditionally viewed as the major organ of sense perception, seat of thoughts, intellect, emotions, feelings, and self-ego. Chetana is associated with the characteristics of a living being. The Lord had also cited The Vedanata Sutra to make the distinction between the body, the soul, and the Supersoul. The Vedanta, the insights from Vedic Scriptures describe three manifestations of the Supreme Lord’s Energy. These are 1. Annamoya or dependence upon Food for existence, 2. Pranamoya or the manifestation of the living symptoms and life forms, and 3. Jnanamoya or the Knowledge of the distinction between the body the field of activity and the Knower who resides in the body. If a living being needs food for its existence, and performs its living functions in a state or condition called awareness or consciousness, it could be described as the manifestation of the Supreme Lord’s Energy. In Chapter VII titled ‘Paramahamsa Vijnana Yoga’ or Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, in verse #9 Lord Krishna claims: “I am the life( “Jivanam” ) of all that lives.” He had demonstrated a connection between life and consciousness to describe the spiritual nature of Self. The Chapter XIII of The Bhagavad Gita titled ‘Kshetra – Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga’ deals with the dichotomy or distinction between the material body, immortal soul, and the Supersoul. It states the view that the material body is called the field of activity or Kshetra. One who knows this body, the field of activity is called the Knower of the Field or Kshetrajna. The Knower of the Field is the Owner of the body. The Supreme Lord is also the Knower of the field of activity in all bodies( verse #3 ). In this human body, there is another indwelling obeserver, a sanctioner, a preserver, an enjoyer, and indeed ultimate Controller called ‘Paramatama’ or Supersoul. The Supreme Lord or Paramesvaram is residing equally in all living entities( verses # 23, 27, and 28 ). Just like the Sun who illuminates the entire living world, the soul within the body illuminates the entire field of activity of the physical body by Chetana or Consciousness( verse #34 ). This view as stated suggests that consciousness is the proof or the symptom of the presence of the soul. A similar view is shared in Chapter II titled ‘Sankhya Yoga’. The imperishable or indestructible soul pervades or permeates(“tatam” ) the entire physical body( verse #7 ). What is spread all over the body? Consciousness could be described as spread over the entire body and it leads to the interpretation that the symptom of the soul’s presence is perceived as individual consciousness. The final Chapter XVIII of The Bhagavad Gita titled ‘Moksha-Opadesa Yoga’ comes to an interesting conclusion about the Single Reality that pervades all existence that is divided into innumerable forms. Verse #20 reads as follows:“Sarva bhutesu yenaikam bhavam avyayam iksate avibhaktam vibhaktesu taj jnanam viddhi Sattvikam.”“Understand that Knowledge by which one undivided, imperishable( “Avyayam” )reality is seen within all diverse living entities is in the nature of goodness( Sattvikam” ). What is that undivided reality that is imperishable that connects all the diverse, living entites?
THE BODY-SOUL DICHOTOMY : In the Indian tradition, the individual soul is known as Atma or Atman. The Supreme Soul or the Supersoul is known as Paramatma, Paramesvaram, or Brahaman, the Ultimate Truth and the Reality. However, the concepts about Atma or individual soul vary and Hindus belong to different schools of thought. While the concepts about individual soul are different, there is general agreement among various Indian thinkers and philosophers about the distinction between the material, insentient, and perishable human body and the immaterial, sentient, and imperishable or immortal soul. Soul is independent, and is not attached and it still requires the substance of the corporeal body. However, I am not able to draw that distinction and make that separation from the substance and its function. To describe function, I need the substance. Man lives and functions with consciousness because of the fundamental nature of the corporeal substance called protoplasm, and this substance is apparently imperishable, indestructible, and immortal. We could destroy the physical form of man and several other living forms, but man or nature and the influence of Time have not demonstrated an ability to destroy this living substance which has survived on planet Earth continuously over billions of years. Man cannot create life and man cannot destroy life. Man can only live or exist because of the spiritual nature of his corporeal substance with which he can not seek separation until the time of his death. The substance has a life of its own and continues to create new substance of its own kind and becomes visible as a living life form with a different identity or morphological appearance. Please also review my earlier post titled “Spirituality,Soul, Consciousness, and the God Connection” which is reproduced below this post.
THE STATUS OF MAN IN NATURE :
The First Book of Moses, The Old Testament Book of Genesis describes the story of Creation; in Chapter 2, verse 7, it narrates man’s creation: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
MAN IS A CREATED BEING :
MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING :
The status of man in nature describes man as a created object; a new object, one of its own kind, distinctive, and unique. The principle of Creation
involves the use of inspiration and imagination as opposed to the view proposed by the Theory of Evolution. The fundamental issue is about understanding man’s status in nature. Did man come into existence by gradual changes caused by random and unguided events called genetic mutations? Or, does man actually exist in nature because of his relationship with other objects present in his living environment? What defines man’s existence? What establishes the reality of man’s physical existence? Should we focus on the changing form? Alternately, should we give attention to an unchanging relationship that is a prerequisite for the existence of all life forms? If an object cannot come into its state of existence, how could that object get a shape or form? In the context of a discussion about man’s existence in nature, I state that man is a created object, and hence man
exists as a Spiritual being. The term Spirituality describes the nature of this connection between man and His Creator. Soul is the immortal part of man as distinguished from his body; it is the vital principle which moves and animates all Life. Soul may represent the essence of a human being, it could be the quality which confers individuality, humanity, and the moral nature of man. I divide man into two categories; the first category is called the ‘SELF’ which represents man as a physical, mental, and social being; and the second category is called the ‘KNOWING-SELF’ which represents man as a moral, and spiritual being. These two categories function together and the functional unity of the human person is an attribute of a neuro-biological function called Consciousness. Man’s physical being is represented by a changing external or morphological appearance and while the physical Identity is constantly changing, the unchanging Individuality is supported by man’s spirituality or the nature of his constant spiritual relationship.
Religious thinkers have further defined Soul as that part of the individual which partakes of divinity. People of all races, cultures and religions would like to investigate the nature of this God-Connection as they perceive the world and the universe in which they exist as a fact of Creation. I need to find evidence that would fundamentally deny the fact of Creation.
MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING :
Apart from being a created Physical being, man is recognized as a Social being as he displays social instincts and social behaviors in all of his activities. A rudimentary understanding of Sociology or Theories of Social Science would clarify this matter. Social instincts and Social Behaviors are seen in all animals including bacteria. At a cellular level, the social function is called ‘Association’. Man is an association of trillions of cells. Each human organ and organ system represents an association of cells that display functional subordination to perform selective tasks. Life is just impossible without social structure and organization.
MAN IS A MORAL BEING :
Man is an individual who exists in a social group. At the same time, man is a Moral being, as he displays moral behavior even when he is corrupt. Man displays the ability of Repentance for his thoughts, for his actions of commission and omission. Man has the ability to admit his sins, express remorse and may often punish himself for his sinful conduct. Man experiences grief for his actions that are sinful. Man actively searches for solutions for his sinful conduct. Man cannot sustain his biological existence if he had morally failed. A famous example would be that of Apostle Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus.
The basic characteristic of a Living Cell or organism is the presence of consciousness. I recognize a cell as a Living Cell if it displays functions that characterize the presence of awareness or consciousness. The Living Cell or Living Object need not be aware or conscious of the Subject who may be investigating or observing the properties of that Object. The Living Object need to be aware of its own existence and its condition called Living. Atoms and molecules display their properties and interact according to the Laws of Physics and Chemistry. Living organic molecules show individualistic behaviors under experimental conditions that could be repeated and be verified. The Living Cell is very selective and it responds in a variable manner to physical and chemical stimuli. It can communicate or send signals to other Living Cells present in its environment. It responds according to its internal condition in relation to the environment in which it exists. The interactions of non-living physical matter are not goal-oriented. The interactions of Living matter are goal-oriented and they specifically achieve the purpose of sustaining, preserving, defending, and continuing the Living functions.
MAN IS A MORTAL, PHYSICAL BEING :
LIFE AND DEATH IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS :
When does Life begins? When does Life ends? Every Living Cell is derived from a previously existing Living Cell. Life has not experienced the final event called DEATH. Life continues its act of Living through a function called Reproduction. A given species is considered to be totally extinct only if there is no surviving member to represent that particular species. Death is a programmed event and it gives meaning to the Identity of a Living Object. The dissolution of a single Living Object should not obscure the fact that Life is a continuous process. Life continues as Living Objects get new Identities. It is very reasonable to expect that Life would continue after the death of a given Living Object. People all over the world are a witness to that simple and direct observation. During the Life-Death continuum, the connection between the Creator and the created Living Object is manifested by the biological function called awareness or consciousness. The presence of Soul is evidenced by the presence of consciousness. As long as the Soul is functioning and is united with the physical being, the presence of consciousness could be detected and could be verified.
THE SOUL AND GOD CONNECTION :
There has been no clearly defined and universally accepted metaphysical conception of the term Soul. It is a term rarely used with precise definition in philosophy, religion, or common life. In this discussion we face the problem of using words to which no definitive meaning is attached. If I make an attempt to define the word ‘God’, you may even speculate that I may belong to a new religious order. We need to come to a consensus even if an entity called ‘God’ does not exist. We need to formulate a view, a hypothetical view about Soul and test that hypothesis by countering it with a skeptical hypothesis. The Science called Physics deals with the properties, changes, interactions, etc. of matter and energy in which energy is considered to be continuous. In the ultimate analysis, matter is a representation of its energy content. The Science called Biology deals with Life and Life processes. While Life is made up of physical matter, Life processes are not explained by simple mechanistic interactions. However, I am willing to use the principles, the methods, and the tools used by Physics. Molecular Biology explains biological events by studying the molecules within cells; the molecular basis of genetics – Nucleic Acids and its relationship to energy cycling and replication. If this universe is seen as matter and energy, I would define God as the Controller of Force/Power/Energy. All living things are essentially made up of the same kind of living matter and yet they appear to be different. Life could be attributed to ONE common principle which has the ability to be simultaneously different. Each living object comes into a state of existence as a new object, as an original object, one of its own kind, unique, and distinctive. This morphological variation is an attribute of the organic molecules that establish the phenotype or the physical identity of that living organism. Physics provides those powerful tools to see the molecules and to recognize their individualistic behavior. Life comes into existence using a creative principle, and creative mechanisms that need inspiration, and imagination apart from the use of simple mechanistic laws. If Life is governed by the Law of Individuality, I would define God as a Creative Force/Power/Energy.
A majority of these life forms that we know and have studied, have synchronized their state of existence with an event that produces alternating periods of light and darkness while that source of light is not being turned ‘on’ and ‘off’. Rather we are forced to experience the effects of an illusion. Sunrise and Sunset is the reality that governs a majority of Biological Rhythms that control the life processes. Illusion is the necessary condition for the biological existence of Life. If Earth’s rotational spin generates this illusion, God uses Force/Power/Energy to cause illusion. In the universe that exists today, to the extent we have verified; there are no two identical celestial objects that exhibit the same rotational spin. In this context, it may be said that the Force/Power/Energy called God has created Earth to provide a home to the life forms that He has created as Individuals. These life forms have the ability called reproduction and yet lack the ability of producing two identical new objects. Sexual or Asexual reproduction always results in the production of new Individuals which could be easily verified by using the Biometric Identification Technology. Even the clones, sharing identical genomes, in reality exist as individuals. This Individuality when investigated by the tools supplied by Physics, it is discovered that the organic molecules behave as Individuals and man is not able to modify that behavior. Under the same experimental conditions, the molecules behave as individuals. When we examine the nature of this biological existence, it indicates that life processes are supported by the provision of energy from an external source. The Living Cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without a continuous input of energy a Living Cell will degrade spontaneously into a nonliving collection of molecules. This lack of energy independence would direct us to define God as the Power/Force/Energy which delivers Compassion/Mercy/Grace which helps energy acquisition by energy dependent living organisms. Life forms on planet Earth exist depending upon an extraterrestrial source of energy or Cosmic Power/Force/Energy. Life exists because of its ability called ‘Association’. The act of associating, the state of being associated; the companionship, the fellowship, and the partnership is the defining feature of the State or Condition, or Act of Living. Association or patnership between energy seeker and energy provider could be described as God-Connection. Organisms that are single do not live as single cells but develop association with other single cells to form distinct Colonies. Organisms that are multicellular represent an organization of individual cells that are associated having common interests, purposes, sensations, etc., Since association has a purpose, in the context of biological existence, the association or connection, or partnership between the energy seeker, and the energy provider is a meaningful event and not a simple, mechanical, physical event governed by the Laws of Interactions between Matter and Energy. There are Four Fundamental Interactions and they do not regulate or define this Interaction between Living matter and the Cosmic Force/Power/Energy. Living matter uses and exploits energy in a creative manner to build organic molecules and to break down organic molecules. The life processes are very similar and yet the results are totally different. While using energy mostly following a similar metabolic pathway, each organism supports its identity and individuality.
SOUL AND DEATH :
The idea of ‘Soul’ always comes in the context of Death. If man is immortal, we will not be spending our time and energy discussing to verify the existence of an immortal principle. The human subject has a limited life span and it arouses a sense of curiosity about the existence of something that could defy Death. I am trying to define the word ‘Soul’ in a manner to promote an understanding that ‘Soul’ is immortal if we look at man as an Association of individual living cells. We need to establish the Identity of that Individual for whose purpose or interest this Association of Individual living cells exists. If we think of Death as a final event, it is not supported by factual evidence. In this Association, death is a daily event. We simply fail to acknowledge this daily event as there is an immortal principle that is escaping this death experience. The Individual thinks that he is alive and sustains his Individuality without getting overwhelmed by the dying process that is continuous. While the human organism is changing its external appearance and identity all the time, the Individuality survives if ‘Soul’ the vital, or operating immortal principle is functioning. The issue or question about ‘transmigration’ of Soul would not arise if every living organism exists strictly as an Individual with an Individuality. As stated before,man has no choice and he must always exist as an Individual even when we use Reproductive Genetic Engineering Technology to produce identical clones with the same genome. The dissolution of matter may not change the Law of Conservation of Energy. If Soul is defined as the God Connection that gives the ability of energy acquisition, the Soul when removed from a physical object to which it has given Individuality, would operate as per the commands of the Controller of Force/Power/Energy. It provides the possibility of carrying the impressions of a previous state of existence into a new state of existence with a new identity and Individuality. During the life span of a given Individual, an association of cells in which death is a daily event, Soul is a continuous principle as its purpose and interest is to maintain Individuality of that Individual.
SOUL AND THE LIVING CELL :
I define man as a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being as I define the term ‘health’ as the physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being of the man in his environment and community and not merely as absence of disease. This definition of ‘health’ would help me to provide ‘comprehensive health care’ in my role as a Primary Care physician. Specialists and Super specialists provide health care in specific areas involving an organ or an organ system.
I attach my ideas to some ideas expressed by others. Sartre is a well-known person. He had won the Nobel Prize for literature but declined to accept it. I may not totally agree with him and his views about consciousness. He had stated his view in a manner that people can easily understand. He makes a distinction between objective things and human consciousness. He claims that consciousness is a ‘non-thing'(‘neant’ or nothingness ) and its reality consists in standing back from things and taking a point of view on them. Because consciousness is a non-thing, it does not have any of the causal involvements that things have with other things. If you stand before a mirror, the reflection exists only if it is supported by the presence of a physical being or thing. If the physical thing is taken away, the reflected image is gone but the reflective surface retains its ability to reflect the images of things.
THE BIOLOGICAL MEMBRANE AND CONSCIOUSNESS :
In a Living Cell, consciousness reflects its external environment and its internal condition or internal environment. The Living Cell knows, it is aware of its state, fact, and act of its Living. The Living Cell makes contact with its environment by using a cell membrane, a biological membrane, or a bio-membrane. If you carefully look at some of the functions of this membrane, you would discern that the Living Cell has consciousness or awareness of these functions. The Biological Membrane behaves in a conscious manner and it is not a simple, physical barrier between the Protoplasm, the Living Substance and its environment. If the term ‘soul’ describes a vital principle, or a source of Knowledge, it provides the information with which these functions could be performed. Some molecules and ions can freely move across this Bio-membrane and some are actively pumped in or out of the Cell that involves expenditure of energy. The Living Cell has the ability to recognize the condition of its nucleus, if the DNA is damaged, the Cell can initiate a process and cause its own dissolution.
In multicellular organism, the consciousness works both at the level of each individual cell and to establish the functioning of the organism as an individual unit. Without functional unity, the organism cannot maintain its biological existence. Cell differentiation is the process by which the individual cells use adaptation to perform specific tasks. Red Blood Cells perform specific tasks.
THE NEURO-BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS :
In the human Brain Stem, several neurons, and nuclei which are in an area called Reticular Formation are functionally adapted to compose the contents of human consciousness. The Reticular Formation gives the Capacity for Consciousness. The contents of this consciousness are read in the cortical areas of the cerebral hemispheres and described as Cortical awareness. Most philosophers, most of the psychologists, and several of the religious thinkers pay attention to this Cortical awareness and describe that as human consciousness. We tend to ignore the fact that there would be no Cortical awareness unless there is a Capacity for Consciousness. Most recently, the surgeons had removed the complete left cerebral hemisphere from a child to stop convulsive seizures. The child is alive, fully conscious, and hopefully would continue to live in future with some neurological deficits. Just like the human heart which has four different muscular chambers and each has a function of its own; we need to understand consciousness by knowing its components. We need to use separate terms to distinguish these different components. There would be confusion if a term is used without attaching a specific meaning. Cortical awareness is important and is very interesting and yet man can exist and survive with minimal cortical awareness. We have seen children with severe degrees of mental retardation, and they can keep their biological existence if they retain the ability to Compose Consciousness. I want to designate the upper Brain Stem as the Seat of Consciousness and the word consciousness itself must describe the functions of the Brain Stem which are most important for man’s biological existence. A man is clinically dead in the absence of these Brain Stem functions involved in the Capacity of Consciousness. In Clinical Medicine, the term conscious is often used to measure the degree of Arousal or Cortical awareness and hence this subject matter would remain confusing for a long time. If a subject is unconscious, I would not issue a ‘death certificate’. In Clinical Medicine, the term used is ‘Brain Death’ and when Brain Death is diagnosed, the human person for all practical purposes is dead. I would suggest that we must use the term ‘Unconscious’ specifically to indicate the Brain Death which is diagnosed by testing the Brain Stem Reflexes. If the human person is viewed as a single physical thing or object, the integration of functions is achieved at the Brain Stem( Reticular Formation), and he maintains his individuality throughout his physical existence only when this part of the brain is functioning. If you like the term individual soul or Jeeva Atma, its existence is a reflection of this function. To see a reflection, we need two things; the physical object and a reflective surface. The quality of reflecting objects may depend upon presence of Knowledge. It is not known if this particular kind of knowledge exists as organic molecules; however, it is very well understood that most of the knowledge to perform a variety of biological functions is contained in organic molecules and the most well-known group of these organic molecules are known as DNA. There are Viruses which can function with RNA. Hence, there is still a possibility of finding organic molecules that could be associated with the functional ability called consciousness, awareness, cognition, recognition, responsiveness, perception, memory, intelligence, and association. The most important aspect of ‘association’ is ‘God Connection’ and without this function of ‘association’ man cannot keep his biological existence.
IDENTITY AND INDIVIDUALITY :
The issue of spirituality, the nature of Soul and consciousness must be explored in the context of arriving at an understanding of man’s Identity and Individuality. If man is viewed as an association of trillions of cells, we need to know the Identity of that Subject who lives because of the functions of the trillions of cells. The purpose of consciousness at cellular level is to foster functional unity of the multicellular organism and to establish it as an Individual. In a multicellular organism, cells have short lives as individuals. The Subject or the whole organism has a life span of its own and it has effects on individual cells. Multicellularity is accompanied by adaptive subordination of all cells to the requirements of the organism as a whole. To achieve proper numerical balance between functionally related cell groups, the death of many cells is necessary for other cells to reach maturity. This programmed cell death plays an important role in embryological development. Such programmed cell death events are essential if the organism as a whole is to develop its normal final form. Waves of genetically driven cell deaths are critical to the proper modeling of organs and organ systems. We need to know and understand that death of cells is a must to establish the Identity and to sustain the Individuality of the human being. The dying process helps man to understand his Individuality. The Individuality is preserved while death is a daily event at the cellular level. The phenotype or the morphological appearance of the human Subject undergoes constant change during the Life journey and yet the Individuality remains unchanged. We recognize the death of this human Subject when his Soul departs from his body. Soul may be stated as an entity which is regarded as being immortal or spiritual part of the person. The Spirit of a dead person generally refers to a principle separate from the body and leading an existence of its own. If Soul is viewed as a Non-thing or Nothingness, it comes into the world of existence by entering the physical being at its conception which becomes conscious or aware of its existence. This consciousness has also existed in a previously existing Living Egg Cell which is the Mother of Life, Energy, and Knowledge. Consciousness by its very nature is immortal, it is eternal, and it has no birth or death. We recognize the arrival and departure of the new product during the Life-Death continuum where the Individuality is unaffected by the changes that are caused by the powerful influence of Time.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970
1. Place of Birth : MYLAPORE, MADRAS CITY, Chenna Patnam, Chennai, Madras State, Tamil Nadu, India. Born HINDU(Brahmin-Niyogi-Smartha), Telugu-Speaking.
2. Date and Place of Marriage : 29 January, 1973. Congregational Town Church, Cuddapah/Kadapa City, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.
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