THE WHITE HOUSE OF SUPREME RULER OF TIBET
Living Tibetan Spirits present a guide to Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet. Potala Palace serves the same purpose as The White House of the US President. Potala is the Seat of Tibetan Government called The Dalai Lama Institution of Tibet.
A GUIDE TO POTALA PALACE, LHASA, TIBET
Potala Palace is one of the most well-known spiritual sanctums in the world.
At 12,139 feet above sea level, Potala is the highest palace in the world. The 1,300-year-old structure was originally built as a gesture of love, commissioned by Tibetan king Songtsen Gambo for his marriage to Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. Eventually, monks came to rule Tibet and the palace was expanded and converted into the winter residence for the Dalai Lama. But when the Dalai Lama was exiled to India in 1959, the Chinese government took over and made the grounds into a museum.
Still, the Potala Palace remains an iconic part of the region and a mecca for Buddhists around the world. The name Potala is a nod to a sacred mountain in India, where the Buddha of compassion is said to dwell. Year-round, thousands of religious pilgrims circle the perimeter of the palace with prayer wheels and beads to ask for a blessing. Many have traveled thousands of miles by foot just to pay their respects.
With more than a thousand rooms, 10,000 painted scrolls, 698 murals, and thousands of exquisite statues made from precious alloys and jewels, the structure has become one of the most famous spiritual sanctums in the world. Inside are the tombs of eight Dalai Lamas, hundreds of sacred Buddhist scrolls, and numerous shrines. Butter lamps light the hallways and watchful monks are stationed in nearly every public room to ensure that decorum is maintained.
The building is divided into two sections—the Red Palace and the White Palace. The former serves as the religious section and the latter as the administrative area. They are literally colored red and white; a fresh coat of paint made up of milk, honey, and sugar is applied every autumn.
The Potala Palace was named a World Heritage site in 1994 by UNESCO, and the neighboring Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka and were added on as extensions in 2000 and 2001, respectively. The Jokhang Temple is considered the most sacred temple in Tibet and the Norbulingka was the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama. All three structures are outstanding embodiments of Tibetan culture and despite waves of natural and human-induced damage, they are international icons that have remained spiritually relevant and intact over the centuries.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly into the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or take a train into the city. Visitors must obtain a Tibet Tourism Bureau permit through a local tour agency in advance (allow up to 14 days) to enter Tibet by plane or train.
HOW TO VISIT
All visitors must visit the Potala Palace with a tour group. Groups are allocated an hour inside the premises and photos are not allowed. While the palace and its adjacent temples are very much tourist attractions, many of the guests are Tibetan pilgrims who have come to the sacred sites to pray.
WHEN TO VISIT
As one of the highest cities in the world, Lhasa can get quite frosty during the winter. Summer is the best time to visit. June to August is peak tourist season.
INSTITUTION OF DALAI LAMA REMAINS RELEVANT TO TIBETANS IN OCCUPIED TIBET
In my analysis, ‘Institution of Dalai Lama’ remains relevant to Tibetans in Occupied Tibet. The Institution of Dalai Lama represents The Ganden Phodrang Government of Tibet, the political symbol of Tibetan Rights to Self-Governance. The Seal that represents the Institution of Dalai Lama does not include the image of any of the Dalai Lamas that ruled over Tibet for centuries.
DALAI LAMA SAYS, ‘INSTITUTION OF DALAI LAMA’ NO MORE POLITICALLY RELEVANT
PANAJI: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Wednesday said the “institution of Dalai Lama” is no longer politically relevant and it was up to the people of Tibet to decide whether the age-old tradition should continue or not.
He said the Chinese government was more concerned about this institution than him for political reasons.
Dalai Lama is a title given to spiritual leaders of Tibetan people. This title is given to those who are considered among the most important monks of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Addressing an event at the Goa Institute of Management, the 14th Dalai Lama said, “As early as in 1969, I had formally made a statement whether this very institution of Dalai Lama should continue or not, it is up to the Tibetan people to decide.”
Replying to students’ queries after an hour-long address, he said, “I have no concerns. Nowadays, the Chinese government is more concerned about the Dalai Lama institution than me. The Chinese government is concerned because of political reasons,”
During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama had fled to India.
He said in 2001, the elected political leadership was appointed (by the people in exile) and for the next 10 years, he remained in semi-retired position.
“Then in 2011, I totally retired from the political responsibility. Now, the elected political leadership carries the full responsibility, I don’t get involved in their decision,” he said.
“Now, no longer Dalai Lama institution is politically relevant,” the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner said.
About the future Dalai Lama, he said all leaders of different Buddhist traditions hold a meeting in Tibet every year in November.
“This November, we are meeting again. In the previous meetings, they had decided that when my age reaches around 90 years, then the group of leaders will decide about the future Dalai Lama,” the 83-year-old spiritual leader said.
When asked about his own selection to the chair, Lama recalled, “According to my mother, the very day when the search party set by the Tibetan government reached my place… That very day our family was completely ignorant.”
“But that very day, I was a 2-3-year-old boy… I was so much excited. I myself don’t know why… The search party got some indications that day. When they reached our house, I ran towards them and recognized each persons’ name,” he said.
“At that time, I had some sort of some memory about past life,” the Dalai Lama said.
THE CELEBRATION OF SPRING SEASON – WELCOME TO TELUGU NEW YEAR SRI MANMADHA – UGADI CELEBRATION ON MARCH 21, 2015:
Friday, March 20, 2015 is the first day of Spring or Vernal Equinox when duration of night and day are equal. This Friday is special for today is the day for Total Solar Eclipse and a New Moon.
THE CELEBRATION OF SPRING SEASON: WELCOME TO TELUGU NEW YEAR “JAYA” – UGADI CELEBRATION ON MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014.:
TELUGU NEW YEAR VIJAYA: UGADI- THE DAWN OF NEW YEAR APRIL 11, 2013:
Spring is season of the year between Winter and Summer. In the Northern Hemisphere it extends from the Vernal Equinox( day and night equal in length), March 20 or 21, to the Summer Solstice( year’s longest day ), June 21 or 22. The Seasons come with cyclical frequency at the expected time while planet Earth and the rest of the Solar system partake motion of Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy and their location in Space is never constant and is never the same. THE SPRING SEASON – A REASON FOR HOPE :
The arrival of Spring Season is a celebration of Joy in numerous cultures and human traditions. The reason for Joy is because of the Season giving a sense of Hope. The reason for Hope is that of rebirth, renewal, regeneration, regrowth, and rejuvenation. In Spring, we witness the plant and animal life getting revitalized. Things in Nature change with Time but Nature remains unchanged. Nature remains constant, immutable, unchanged, or eternal. Nature does not change as mass, energy, and momentum always remain unchanged. The Laws of Conservation stated by classical Physics state that mass and energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Each Law of Conservation signifies that Nature does not change with passage of Time. We have hope as Nature exists without change. There is hope that we can recover and renew and restart a process broken or worn out. Nature’s ability to support and sustain Life is reflected in the operation of The Laws of Conservation and by operation of the fundamental Force called Gravitation.
THE LORD OF THE SEASON – MADHAVAM :
The other name for Spring Season, known as Vasant or Basant is MADHAVAM. Indian tradition describes ideas by attaching them to personalities. The person known as LORD MADHAVA is the consort of a person known as Goddess MADHAVI. She derives her name from the word MADHU which describes the nectar gathered by butterflies. Madhu is used to name the taste experience called Sweetness, the sweet substances like honey, sugar, Jaggery and any alcohol derived by fermentation of sugars. The Sweetness gives Joy and Happiness and man can get easily addicted to its powerful intoxicating effect. The sweetness has to be experienced with a sense of restraint. Man experiences a sweet sensation called MADHURYA when he experiences MADHAVI as a FORCE/POWER/ENERGY called Mercy/Grace/Compassion. Spring Season is celebration called MADHAVAM as Lord Madhava is the Controller of the FORCE/POWER/ENERGY of Mercy/Grace/Compassion described in Sanskrit language as KRUPA. Man exists at all stages of his life because of God’s Mercy, Grace, and Compassion.
THE CELEBRATION OF TELUGU NEW YEAR – UGADI :
The Telugu speaking people of India follow the Lunar Calendar and the first month of the year is known as CHAITRA. The Telugu New Year is traditionally celebrated as UGADI festival. A traditional holiday dish, a relish called ‘UGADI PACHADI’ is prepared to reflect the tastes and flavors of Spring Season. Telugu people are celebrating the dawn of their New Year called SRI KHARA on 4th April, 2011.
Happy Ugadi to all of you.
R. Rudranarasimham/Rudra N. Rebbapragada, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.,
EBOLA OUTBREAK – THE US RESPONSIBILITY:
There is a concern about the research on Ebola Virus and it appears that some research activity is about the potential use of Virus as a tool of Bio-Terrorism. If human subjects participate in research such as developing a safe-vaccine to prevent Ebola disease, the volunteers must be fully informed about the consequences before they give their consent to take part in the study.
A Liberian scientist has suggested that the United States may have contributed to the outbreak of Ebola Virus infection in West Africa by conducting secret investigations and experimentations involving the use of healthy, human volunteers who are intentionally exposed to the Virus to study its potential use as a tool of Bio-Terrorism.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
U.S. is Responsible for the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Liberian Scientist
Global Research, October 17, 2014
A History of Guatemala’s Syphilis Experiment: How a U.S. Led Team Performed Human Experimentations in Central America
Dr. Cyril Broderick, A Liberian scientist and a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry says the West, particularly the U.S. is responsible for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Dr. Broderick claims the following in an exclusive article published in the Daily Observer based in Monrovia, Liberia. He wrote the following:
The US Department of Defense (DoD) is funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus. Hence, the DoD is listed as a collaborator in a “First in Human” Ebola clinical trial (NCT02041715, which started in January 2014 shortly before an Ebola epidemic was declared in West Africa in March.
Is it possible that the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and other Western countries are directly responsible for infecting Africans with the Ebola virus? Dr. Broderick claims that the U.S. government has a research laboratory in a town called Kenema in Sierra Leone that studies what he calls “viral fever bioterrorism”, It is also the town where he acknowledges that is the “epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.” Is it a fact? Is Dr. Broderick a conspiracy theorist? He says that “there is urgent need for affirmative action in protecting the less affluent of poorer countries, especially African citizens, whose countries are not as scientifically and industrially endowed as the United States and most Western countries, sources of most viral or bacterial GMOs that are strategically designed as biological weapons.” He also asks an important question when he says “It is most disturbing that the U. S. Government has been operating a viral hemorrhagic fever bio-terrorism research laboratory in Sierra Leone. Are there others?”
Well, Mr. Broderick’s claims seem to be true. After all, the U.S. government has been experimenting with deadly diseases on human beings for a long time, history tells us so. One example is Guatemala. Between 1946 and 1948, the United States government under President Harry S. Truman in collaboration with Guatemalan President Juan José Arévalo and his health officials deliberately infected more than 1500 soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and even mental patients with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chancroid (a bacterial sexual infection) out of more than 5500 Guatemalan people who participated in the experiments. The worst part of it is that none of the test subjects infected with the diseases ever gave informed consent. The Boston Globe published the discovery made by Medical historian and professor at Wellesley College, Susan M. Reverby in 2010 called ‘Wellesley professor unearths a horror: Syphilis experiments in Guatemala.’ It stated how she came across her discovery:
Picking through musty files in a Pennsylvania archive, a Wellesley College professor made a heart-stopping discovery: US government scientists in the 1940s deliberately infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea in experiments conducted without the subjects’ permission. Medical historian Susan M. Reverby happened upon the documents four or five years ago while researching the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study and later shared her findings with US government officials.
The unethical research was not publicly disclosed until yesterday, when President Obama and two Cabinet secretaries apologized to Guatemala’s government and people and pledged to never repeat the mistakes of the past — an era when it was not uncommon for doctors to experiment on patients without their consent.
After Reverby’s discovery, the Obama administration apparently gave an apology to then-President Alvaro Colom according to the Boston Globe:
Yesterday, Obama called President Álvaro Colom Caballeros of Guatemala to apologize, and Obama’s spokesman told reporters the experiment was “tragic, and the United States by all means apologizes to all those who were impacted by this.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had called Colom Thursday night to break the news to him. In her conversation with the Guatemalan president, Clinton expressed “her personal outrage and deep regret that such reprehensible research could occur,’’ said Arturo Valenzuela, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs.
The study in Guatemala was led by John Cutler, an US health service physician who also took part in the controversial Tuskegee Syphilis experiments which began in the 1930’s. Researchers wanted to study the effects of a group of antibiotics called penicillin on affected individuals. The prevention and treatment of syphilis and other venereal diseases were also included in the experimentation. Although they were treated with antibiotics, more than 83 people had died according to BBC news in 2011 following a statement issued by Dr Amy Gutmann, head of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues:
The Commission said some 5,500 Guatemalans were involved in all the research that took place between 1946 and 1948. Of these, some 1,300 were deliberately infected with syphilis, gonorrhoea or another sexually transmitted disease, chancroid. And of that group only about 700 received some sort of treatment. According to documents the commission had studied, at least 83 of the 5,500 subjects had died by the end of 1953.
Washington’s reaction to the report is a farce. The apology made to Guatemala’s government was for the sake of public relations. Washington knows about its human experimentations in the past with deadly diseases conducted by government-funded laboratories that are known to be harmful to the public. The U.S. government is guilty in conducting numerous medical experiments on people not only in Guatemala but in other countries and on its own territory. As the Boston Globe report mentioned, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study occurred between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the “natural progression” of untreated syphilis in the African-American population. The U.S. Public Health Service and the Tuskegee Institute collaborated in 1932 and enrolled 600 poor sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama to study the syphilis infection. However, it was documented that at least 400 of those had the disease (they were never informed that they actually had syphilis) while the remaining 200 did not. They received free medical care, food and even free burial insurance for participating in the study. Documents revealed that they were told that they had “bad blood” which meant that they had various medical conditions besides syphilis. The Tuskegee scientists continued to study the participants without treating their illnesses and they also withheld much-needed information from the participants about penicillin, which proved to be effective in treating Syphilis and other venereal diseases. The test subjects were under the impression that they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government while they were deliberately being lied to by the same administrators who were conducting the tests. Washington is fully aware of its human experimentations with deadly diseases. The government of Guatemala also knew about the Syphilis experiments according to the Boston Globe:
A representative of the Guatemalan government said his nation will investigate, too — looking in part at the culpability of officials in that country. The records of the experiment suggest that Guatemalan government officials were fully aware of the tests, sanctioned them, and may have done so in exchange for stockpiles of penicillin.
However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the study ‘Fact Sheet on the 1946-1948 U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Inoculation Study’ and was forced to admit what happened in Guatemala during the syphilis experiments:
While conducting historical research on the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis, Professor Susan Reverby of Wellesley College recently discovered the archived papers of the late Dr. John Cutler, a U.S. Public Health Service medical officer and a Tuskegee investigator. The papers described another unethical study supported by the U.S. government in which highly vulnerable populations in Guatemala were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The study, conducted between 1946 and 1948, was done with the knowledge of Dr. Cutler’s superiors and was funded by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (which became the Pan American Health Organization) to several Guatemalan government ministries. The study had never been published.
The U.S. government admitted to its wrongdoing, 62 years too late. What Dr. Broderick wrote is not conspiratorial in any sense. The U.S. government has been involved in bio-terrorism; Guatemala is a case in point. Dr. Broderick summarized what average people can do to prevent governments, especially those from the West from creating and exposing populations from diseases they experiment with in laboratories:
The challenge is global, and we request assistance from everywhere, including China, Japan, Australia, India, Germany, Italy, and even kind-hearted people in the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else whose desire is to help. The situation is bleaker than we on the outside can imagine, and we must provide assistance however we can. To ensure a future that has less of this kind of drama, it is important that we now demand that our leaders and governments be honest, transparent, fair, and productively engaged. They must answer to the people. Please stand up to stop Ebola testing and the spread of this dastardly disease.
After Guatemala’s ordeal with the U.S. government who deliberately infected people with syphilis, West African nations should be extremely skeptical about the U.S. government’s actions combating Ebola. Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, College of Law questions the Obama administration’s actions in West Africa. RIA Novosti recently interviewed Boyle and he said the following:
US government agencies have a long history of carrying out allegedly defensive biological warfare research at labs in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is now the point agency for managing the Ebola spill-over into the US,” Prof. Francis Boyle said.
Why has the Obama administration dispatched troops to Liberia when they have no training to provide medical treatment to dying Africans? How did Zaire/Ebola get to West Africa from about 3,500km away from where it was first identified in 1976?”
That’s a good question for Washington, but would the public get any answers? Not anytime soon, since it took more than 62 years for the Guatemala syphilis experiments to be exposed to the public, not by the US government, by a medical historian.
Copyright © 2014 Global Research
This blog post includes letters exchanged during a discussion about an article titled “What Would Krishna Do? Or Shiva ? Or Vishnu ? that was published by Gary Gutting in The New York Times on August 03, 2014. Professor Jonardon Ganeri, Department of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies(SOAS), University of London was interviewed by Gary Gutting of The New York Times Opinionator. Professor Ganeri studies philosophy of Self, Consciousness, and Self-Knowledge and I commend him for articulating the Indian Sanskrit traditions while sharing his views on Hindu religion and its Gods. Kindly find time to read the interview:
Human Nature and Human Behavior:
“I really appreciate that you stress the importance of knowing Natural Sciences such as Physics and Chemistry. I have already taken them into account. There are other sciences such as Biology and it will not hurt you to learn a bit of Biology for it is directly concerned about life and living things. While I speak about a specific characteristic like revolution and rotational spin, it amazes me that you spend time writing about flat earth. I would expect a little more ability to comprehend written communications.
Firstly, it must be realized that nature and behavior are not equivalent terms. The School of Psychology called Behaviorism( there are several schhols of thought among Psychologists), human behavior is always caused by an external environmental stimulus. This comes very close to the Indian School of thought called ‘Guna Traya Vibhaga Yoga’ in which it is explained that man acts under the influence of three modes of conduct while he interacts with Prakrit or Environment. These are mentioned as Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. All men share the same human nature and yet display three different kinds of behavior or modes of behavior such as goodness, passion, and ignorance. When we examine this human nature, the principle called Soul or Spirit becomes evident. At a fundamental human nature is related to the operation of the principle called Soul and hence man is constituted as a Spiritual Being. Both Indian and Christian traditions recognize that man is made in the image of God where the image is about nature and is not about behavior. We should not be surprised to read in our Puranas that describe the evil or wicked acts of demons or ‘rakshasaa’ such as ‘Madhu’, and ‘Kaitabh’, and thousand others. The most significant aspect of all these stories is that of man’s Salvation, Vimochan, or Mukti without any concern for man’s evil behavior. Particularly, those demons or rakshasas who were directly destroyed by Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama, or Lord Krishna get Salvation immediately and they are spared the need to experience rebirth. What God has destroyed is the physical form that is associated with evil behavior. Once the ability to interact with Prakrit or Environment is removed, the Principle called Soul is conserved and it gets automatic Salvation. So, Indian tradition admits that being the enemy of Lord Vishnu could help if Lord intervenes to destroy that physical form. In Christian faith, it is believed that once man’s sins are forgiven, man gets Salvation for his essence describes God’s nature. Christians correctly believe that they may get resurrected if sinful behavior or conduct is forgiven. Man can atone himself for his sins. In India, we have good examples like Valmiki, the Prime Poet or Adi Kavi who lived as a bandit before he got saved.
In Science, verified information has practical applications. In the practice of Medicine, we give no attention to the behavior of the patient and we are concerned about structural, and functional harmony. In government practice, we often treat prisoners who are convicted by Courts of Law for a variety of crimes. In military service we treat prisoners of war, the enemies who try to kill us. There is no difference in the principles of Medicine that we apply for case management. The reason is that of human nature which is not influenced by human behavior. There is a fundamental human nature that brings harmony between the cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems of the human body. We simply look for factors that impact this harmonized existence. If a behavior like smoking could be injurious we explain it to the patient without any concern about the patient being a saint or a sinner. The same principles of management are applied to both saints and sinners. Most psychologists who treat people for behavior-related problems guide their patients to manifest their inherent good nature. In modern times, criminals are given a chance to get reformed and are rehabilitated.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
On Friday, September 12, 2014 6:52 PM, Srinivasa Rao Kankipati wrote:
Dear Xavier, I like nothing more than your statements that we are products of nature and that physical laws apply to us as to things. These downright facts should first be recognised by anyone who attempts to analyse man’s behaviour, consciousness, etc.
Dictionaries define words that are more unfamiliar to us in terms of words that are less unfamiliar. “Consciousness is the awareness of surroundings”: But what is awareness? It is consciousness of the surroundings. What is consciousness? Already explained in terms of awareness!
But this is a method usually resorted to when we are already vaguely aware of the meaning of certain words, which is our opening stock when we are born, coming to us through inheritance, strengthened by impressions and instructions right from birth. Bertrand Russell the eminent philosopher gives an example: we may say, “There go the father and the son”. To be grammatically correct, we must actually say, “There go the man and his son”, or “There go a boy and his father”. But the earlier narration will do in practice, because of the presence of some inherent general notions of father and son in the mind of the narrator and the listener. One can still say that father is the father of the son and the son is the son of the father and that therefore the narration is not self-explanatory.
When we are talking of consciousness, apart from noting that it is the ability to make certain neuron registrations in the brain along with the ability of those neurons to recollect the facts registered, going on at a fantastic speed along with some feedback mechanism that the registration and recall process is taking place, we can also feel that something at a higher level is happening to us, something qualitatively different, something that we experience as consciousness. But the brain activity is a must and is the physical/chemical basis. Albert Einstein has already asked:” How can we explain love in terms of chemical reactions?”.
Science is in infant stage of its development to understand the complex laws which govern such feelings. In the olden days, there was no science at all. People thought that the earth was flat and that lightning is sent by God to punish the wicked. So religion readily jumped in to explain everything in the easiest and laziest way by saying that everything is the act of God. Because God is supposed to be the basis of everything, almost anything and its opposite also can be attributed to God. Poor God is always silent and never complains.
If God is offered as an explanation of nature, then there is no place for science.
Man is also a product of nature as you rightly observed, but a fantastic product that is endowed with powers of observation and analysis that are rationed to all other creatures in a limited fashion and are totally absent in inanimate things. Only by observation of natural happenings and his power of logic is man able to assert his superiority over nature to a great extent. In these modern days, love of man is an essential ingredient for the welfare and progress of man, but not love of God which propels everyone to be satisfied with unsatisfactory explanations of nature. Man has evolved, and is still evolving, at a great rate compared to nature itself, even though he is a late product of nature.
Religion no doubt has its place, but cannot explain nature. If qualities like devotion, loyalty, etc are used to analyse nature, then there is no need to continue putting the one incessant question: “Why?” which man has been using to understand nature.
Even regarding religion, the great thinker monk Swami Vivekananda asked the question, “Why people need religion?”. He said,” because it is the habit of the mind to ask Why”. So even though religion arose in answer to the question Why, the answers given by it in the beginning of man’s quest are shoddy, slovenly and slippery.
The belief underlying the habit of asking Why is man’s innate feeling that this world is a world of causation. Everything is the effect of some cause. It is no good to say God has willed every event in the way He wanted. Evidence does not bear this out. We cannot select any effect, we can select only the causes. But going deeper, we find that even those causes are the effects of some other preceding causes, and so on ad infinitum into the
As for the Original Cause which set this universe of endless chain of causation in motion, nobody knows whether it was a self-propelled mechanism or some God initiated it. Those who believe in God are theists, those who dont believe in Him are atheists. Those who give Him a benefit of doubt are agnostics.
But even the Creator has laid down certain fundamental constants of physics such as electron charge, proton mass, speed of light, etc and there are not changeable now. If the Creator had started with a slightly different speed of light, bigger proton mass or less powerful electron charge, we would have had a different universe. But what is certain is this: There is no God interfering in the affairs of the universe, whether started by Him or by Something Else.
The fairest flower of philosophy is Advaita, which propounds that the One has become manifested as the Many (OM). But Swami Vivekananda who preached Advaita Philosophy and pointed out the tolerance of Hindu religion towards other religions, said that, the answer given by the Advaitist when asked how the One has become the Many, is : “I dont know”. ( Here I am not talking about the half-baked notion of Hindutva which part-understanding Hindus think that Hinduism stands for).
So, if you ask the question how the universe started with its fundamental constants and the chain of causation, my reply would be, “I dont know”. By the countless agents which participate in the law of cause and effect right from the moment of the birth of the universe, and the fantastic variety in nature that is the resulting phenomenon, and by his still developing understanding of nature, man is emotionally driven to assert without evidence that it is all God. God is good as a starting hypothesis but He must gradually cede ground to Science.
But will ever Science be completely able to explain every individual event in the universe, apart from unravelling the general laws governing it? I think it is very difficult, given the fantastic number of participating actors in the chain of causation.
Meanwhile it will be rash to postulate that the Law of Love, or some other emotion or feeling, or devotion to some God, and the propitiating of some minor deities, will solve our problems. We have also to demote the various Bhagawans and Avatars from their enthronement as the Paramatma, because there can be only one Paramatma, if at all. All others are certainly great beings, Mahatmas, and definitely superior to the humble undersigned. The various great men will have to be accorded their proper place in a Merit List, depending on the extent to which they have helped mankind, and also disqualified if they are found to have created violence and hatred among the different children of the Paramatma.
On 10 September 2014 20:55, Xavier William wrote:
You are no doubt very erudite and you have a considerable range of knowledge. Bits pieces of knowledge are like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and it takes logical thinking to find the right place for the right piece of knowledge in the jigsaw. Often our ability to do this is warped by our conditioning and consequently either we try to fit by force a wrong piece into a slot where it will not fit – this is called dogma – or we refuse to put a piece in a slot even though we know it will fit there. Religions, scriptures, sayings by great men, your own parental and societal upbringing etc occlude our reason and consequently we try to fit a piece of knowledge into the wrong place or we refuse to fit the right piece of knowledge into its right place.
Now you have started expatiating on consciousness without a clear definition of it as you did in the case of spirituality.. According to the dictionary consciousness is awareness of oneself and the surroundings. This is a quite complex things. Thus air conditioners can be made to switch on or off in accordance with the temperature changes through the thermostat. Here the ac is conscious of its surrounding and in a way conscious of itself that tells it that it should switch on or off. This becomes even more complex with more complex systems.
Coming to ourselves, since we are very complex systems we react to circumstances in very complex ways both mentally and physically. But that does not mean there is no physics or chemistry involved in our actions and reactions. Men are more physically violent than women because male hormones contribute to violence. Similarly according to a study people get angrier in hot weather than in cold. Then drugs make people violent or lethargic etc. There are antidepressants that can influence considerably our actions and reactions and prevent suicides. So it is wrong to say that physical/chemical/biological laws have nothing to do with our behaviour, consciousness or whatever. We may boast we are sublime beings made in gods image. but in the final analysis we are products of nature and subject to the laws of nature like any animal or tree or stone.
On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:31 PM, R.Rudranarasimham wrote:
DEVOTION AS A METHOD OF INQUIRY:
We started this discussion to show our appreciation to Jonardon Ganeri, Professor of Philosophy who displayed a commendable understanding of Indian Schools of Thought in an interview that was published by The New York Times and shared with us by one of the members of this forum. The basic purpose of this exchange of views is about knowing man and the world in which he exists. In that context, I discussed the motions of Earth. The Milky Way Galaxy is moving at about 1.2 million miles/hour. Sun is moving at about half a million miles/hour. Earth is revolving around Sun at about 66,660 miles/hour and is spinning around its axis at about 1,000 miles/hour. In my life journey on the surface of planet Earth, I partake in all these motions as I have no other individual choice, no freedom of action or ability to rule or govern myself according to my individualistic desires.
Nicolaus Copernicus(1473-1543) Polish astronomer discovered that planets revolve around the Sun and that the turning of the Earth on its axis from West to East accounts for the apparent rising and setting of the stars( includes Sunrise and Sunset), and it forms the basis for modern astronomy.
Johannes Kepler(1571-1603) German astronomer and mathematician discovered the Kepler’s Laws of Motion. Sir Issac Newton(1642-1727) English mathematician, physicist, and natural philosopher formulated the Laws of Gravity and Motion. Albert Einstein(1879-1955), US physicist, born in Germany formulated the Theory of Relativity.
I respectfully acknowledge their contributions and there are several others who had verified the information provided by them. However, it may be noted that none of those contributors are physicians and their primary concern is not about the problems of human existence. For man is a mortal being, there is no escape from the problems of aging, and longevity. Man exists with a life-span, and has a lifetime which is measured by the time interval between two events that cause a significant environmental change that the human body recognizes as if it is operated by a precise clock. Of all the motions that I described, to account for the problems of human existence, I have to examine the spinning motion of Earth around its own axis. All other celestial motions are relevant but my life’s journey on planet Earth is involved and is impacted by Earth’s spinning motion. In Medical Science, we recognize Vital Functions, Vital Operations, and Vital Principles. A physicist has not accounted for any of the Vital Functions that govern or rule human existence. So, at a fundamental level, to understand the issues that involve human existence, we need a method of inquiry that a physicist may not use.
I am asking my readers to learn to make the distinction between mechanical actions and intelligent actions. We need to separate mechanical operations from vital operations. There is the difference between mechanical performance and intelligent performance. People make the distinction between Transitive Action and Immanent Action. The action performed by an inert body on another inert body is called Transitive Action. In contrast, Immanent Action perfects the agent that performs the action. To establish life, in the performance of the vital, living functions, the agent is perfected by its own actions such as growing, sensing, understanding, and developing. For example, heating is a Transitive Action for the hot thing loses its own heat. In the performance of Vital Functions and Intelligent Actions, the results of action remain in the agent to provide some benefit, advantage, or purpose. The term purposiveness describes actions that are guided to achieve a future end and it includes the selection or the choice of means to accomplish or obtain the desired goal.
The word ‘animal’ is derived from Latin name for “SOUL” the Vital Principle of animation. It helps to divide Matter into two kinds; animate, and inanimate, living, and nonliving, sensible, and insensible, or Physical Matter, and Living Matter. The biological property called consciousness describes the difference between Vital Powers and the Capacities of Inert or Physical Matter. Consciousness describes the difference between animate and inanimate things. Consciousness accounts for the power of Self-Nutrition( In Physiology called ‘NUTRITION’), which is the originative Power the possession of which leads us to speak of things as living or nonliving. Apart from Physics, Biology demands explanation for knowing Matter, Energy, and Motions of Objects. The Laws of Physics cannot account for the correct understanding of Vital Powers, Vital Functions, Vital Operations that are based on Intelligent Actions.
In the Divine Song popularly known as The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter VII, verse #25, Lord Krishna speaks to Prince Arjuna: “I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal creative potency(“MAYA”) and so the deluded world knows Me not, who am unborn and infallible.”
The scientific method of inquiry is relevant to understand certain aspects of Matter, Energy, and Motion. There is an aspect of human existence that is operated by the Force of Illusion(“MAYA”) and this existence is not accounted by the realities of the world and the universe in which man finds his existence without any choice of his own. To account for this human existence which needs the operation of illusion, I make my inquiry using “DEVOTION” as my tool or method to investigate the problem.
On 9 September 2014 23:12, kantamaneni baburajendra prasad wrote:
What mr Xavier told is absolutely right. You cannot use the words which are known to only your self. You should use the words which are acceptable to the language selected for discussion. You cannot use telugu or malayali words in English discussion. Mr Rudranarasimham is trying to deviate by jugglery of words to confuse others. He is using the language as he likes which is basically wrong.
Same is the case with other person by name prem sablok.
If anybody want to use their own words, they should give the meanings of the words in the present context.
On Tuesday, 9 September 2014 10:33 PM, R.Rudranarasimham wrote:
MADHU, MADHAVI, AND MADHURYA:
Thanks for your reply. I am participating in this discussion for there is a person who has the patience to circulate these letters on varied subjects and ask for our views. As such I have no social relationship or social contact with any person mentioned in the list. I may not be able to recognize any person unless they mention the idea or concept with which they are associated in our communications.
Sugar, alcohol and sweetness are related terms. Photoreception is the basis for Photosynthesis and it always performs a creative action to produce sugars and other plant products. We often miss the point about the creative generation of sugars. Madhavi symbolizes a person associated with this creative power that is involved in the generation or production of sugar( the fermented liquid, wine or alcohol is called Madhu) and it is easily identified by the taste sensation it imparts. In other words, the creative power, potency can be physically experienced using the taste sensation. Creation is not an abstract idea. Man experiences the fact of creation using the five organs of sense perception.
Thanks for knowing the difference between propulsion and propellant. All said and done, man can only look at the distant stars and admiringly sing, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, How I Wonder What You Are,” for man cannot devise a propulsion mechanism using all the expendable propellant and reach any of those stars that shine in the night sky. For that matter, man has no ability to make an experimental model of a solar system that sustains the varied motions using the operation of natural forces. Science is not a Power/Force/Energy. Knowing Science does not make man the Controller of Power/Force/Energy.
On 9 September 2014 02:56, Dr. PVS Rao wrote:
Thank you for your mails. Your sentences are in black and my responses are in blue.
“Thanks for your reply and thanks for that extra effort to answer the issues by including quotes from my letter.”
Thanks for your kind comments. At first, a few clarifications.
“language that is called ‘Binary Code…”
There is no ‘language’ called binary code. Languages and codes are entirely different.
“All of our communications are made possible because the computer programmer has used this Binary Code”
Programmers do not use the binary code at all.
“Binary code … uses numerical symbols”
It uses only ones and zeroes.
“The word ‘Madhurya’ is derived from the word ‘Madhavi’ which means sweetness and the sweetness is compared to the sweetness imparted by honey, nectar and wine.”
The root word is Madhu which means honey besides many other things.
Madhurya means sweetness
Madhavi means a procuress, bawd, a brothel keeper, an intoxicating drink, sugar, a drink made from honey, tulasi, a white flower ….
To the best of my knowledge, it does not mean sweetness or honey.
“Apparently, I am doing much better than last year when
most people simply ignored what I write and have not bothered to give a response. I will keep trying and give a chance to people to think over the issue.”
As for response, almost without exception, the people on our mailing lists are persons who have made their own individual mark in various professions (academicians, vice-chancellors, award winning scientists, reputed engineers with many patents to their credit, CEO’s and heads of organizations, senior administrators, and so forth. They are a mature, knowledgeable lot…. How ever, they do not respond as often as one would like them to.
1. They may not respond to something which is obviously true, because they feel that there is no need to endorse the obvious.
ThThey may keep quiet when they see something patently absurd, thinking it would be pointless.
2. They may not want to react when they read statements which can neither be proved nor disproved (e.g. God created the world in 6 days…..).
3. They may also hesitate if they get the feeling that some of us tend to be preachy, patronising, judgmental, do not take even constructive analysis or comments kindly and, simply because we do not agree with some one’s views, react with anger, sarcasm, or merely to score debating points rather than with an open mind, unemotionally, constructively and with mutual respect.
The language of a scholarly discourse on a spiritual subject, a discussion in a scientific conference room, a paper in a scientific journal or a an article in a popular science magazine is much different from that of a political squabble or a teenage spat.
Some of the language we see in the mails and exchanges makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps it makes others uncomfortable too.
This may account for several amongst us keeping quiet even if they have contributions to make… just to avoid possible unpleasantness.
“To understand man and the world in which he exists, we need to know the dynamics of a star called Sun and a planet called Earth and their relationship as members of a Solar System. Each planet and the star that form this Sun family exhibit different kinds of motions.”
This, and some other things.
“no single Law or mechanism that can account for this variation in their motions.”
The existing, well established sciences (Newton, Galileo, Kepler down to Einstein and the rest of the stalwarts) seamlessly explain all these and much more quantitatively ….
If you need separate sets of laws principles and explanations for individual cases, it will be an ad-hoc patchwork, not science.
“To postulate any hypothesis, basically it must be understood that planet Earth is a solid planet like Mercury, Venus, and Mars; whereas Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are gaseous planets.”
Astrophysicists and physcists do understand this. Astronomy explains all these and black holes, nutrino stars, novae and supernovae …. It has even predicted the existence of unknown planets which were indeed discovered later. They were found at the exact locations that were predicted for them. There are innumerable other such predictions that science made which later turned out to be true (including the bending of light in a gravitational field and even the misleadingly named God Particle).
“It (the earth) is constantly moving and its position is constantly changing. We do not use the precise language called Mathematics to describe such a variable condition to which no value can be attached by using any kind of symbol that we can possibly imagine.”
It is for precisely such situations that the precision and power of various branches of mathematics are ideally suited, they have been and are being used for this purpose. (Mathematics is not a language.) In-depth knowledge of mathematics and physics will clarify how this is being done.
“To explain the complexity of Earth’s rotational spin, the Newtonian Mathematical Formula is inadequate and is imprecise.”
Anyone who can prove that Newtonian and subsequent physics is inadequate and provide a more adequate way will become more famous than Newton.
Anyone who is able to throw out the current foundations and framework of physics, astrophysics and astronomy by replacing them with a better one will be a bigger scientist than Newton, Einstein and the entire Galaxy of scientists and Astrophysicists who have so far worked in this area from times immemorial. He will be immortalised and reverentially remembered for all times to come, as long as there is mankind..
“If you use the word, “EVOLUTION” like a Magic Formula, it does not provide any answers.”
It is true that even in the 21st century, there is a Flat Earth Society and there are also people who junk Darwinian evolution. Often, opposition to Darwin is due to strong religious convictions. Therefore no comment.
“I state that cognition is a function of the living cell and not a function that could be performed by brain. It can be verified by simply studying amoeba which has cognitive abilities without having any special organs of sense perception.”
In case this is the currently accepted state of the art in this area, I would be grateful for a reference to the relevant scientific publication.
If on the otherhand, it is a new idea, I suggest that you incorporate this claim in a ‘scientific paper’ and publish it in a reputed journal (perhaps even ‘nature’ because it appears very revolutionary.
“I am not sharing a romantic or poetic view about Love. In Indian tradition, the word Love is not used very often. Indian thinkers prefer to explain the experience of Love called Joy, Happiness, Bliss and use terms such as ‘ANANDA’, SANTOSH’, and ‘MADHURYA’.”
No comment, religion and tradition become touch-me-not subjects.
“For Love is a Fundamental Force, it operates biological actions and interactions and the fact of its existence is known by both subjective and objective criteria that can be used to measure the degree of happiness or unhappiness.”
Serotonin and endorphins.
“It is important to know that man is not the Controller of Energy/Power/Force for man leads an energy-dependent existence. If the fact of man’s energy dependence is not understood, you will not be ready to learn the first lesson of Spirituality Science.
The Laws of Physics and Chemistry are based on mechanistic principles. …. I am stating that you cannot explain the relationship between the energy-yielding, and energy-dependent molecules using the principles shared by Physics and Chemistry. I do not mind if you want to recognize what I call and describe as the ‘Spirituality Science’, the Science that is concerned with matter and energy acquisition and transformation to sustain biological actions and interactions.”
You are making very strong assertions. Once these get connected with spirituality, this goes outside science as it is understood and practiced and as I know it. So, again, I will not react.
I feel that no one should conduct bhajans in an operation theatre or do post-mortem dissections (or even surgical operations) in temples.
“In the motions of planet Earth in relation to Sun, we can discern puposiveness, goal-oriented actions that can be subjectively and objectively experienced to understand the Magic of Creation.”
Obviously this is a statement of faith (It is like saying “there is God’ or that He pronounced the Ten Commandments). As far as I can see, it is not a scientific hypothesis that can be put to the rigours of very accurate quantitative testing and validation, which all theories and hypotheses of physical sciences have to pass and have passed before they were accepted. They can neither be proved nor disproved.
We scientists have therefore to leave these claims alone, because they fall outside the discipline of Science.
“To narrow the field of discussion to a few topics at a time, you can choose a topic of your choice; 1. The Laws of Thermodynamics-Entropy, and Temperature regulation by human body, 2. Oxidation-reduction Chemical reactions and control of H ion concentration as a subject of Spirituality Science, 3. Consciousness as a living function unexplained by Physics or Chemistry which explain chemical and physical interactions in the physical world, 4. Cognition, Intelligence which is unrelated to acquired knowledge or learned experience, and 5. Life span in relation to molecules and elements that are not perishable and immutable.”
Thank you for the kind and generous offer. But thanks to my current professional and other commitments, I have to forsake that luxury. Once again, thanks for your offer.
Hence, please understand if I do not participate anymore in this stream.
Dr. PVS Rao
On 9 September 2014 06:14, R.Rudranarasimham wrote:
What is Binary Code?
The computer that we use, may be using a language that is called ‘Binary Code’. All of our communications are made possible because the computer programmer has used this Binary Code and the instructions given to the Computer are easily recognized by this language of Mathematics that uses numerical symbols. But, if I write this letter using the Code, most of us would fail to know its contents. To experience the reality of man, and the reality of world, the medium called Mathematical Language is totally inadequate. You may be able to make statements using precise numbers with values and yet it will remain unintelligible.
To explain the complexity of Earth’s rotational spin, the Newtonian Mathematical Formula is inadequate and is imprecise. It is easy to describe the Conservation of Angular Momentum but it is extremely difficult to evolve a mathematical formula to describe the Momentum in its relationship to Earth’s precise location in this vast universe. From the moment planet Earth came into its condition called existence, there are never two identical instants in its long life which is measured as billions of years. At no instant in this long existence, planet Earth existed at the same location of the universe. It is constantly moving and its position is constantly changing. We do not use the precise language called Mathematics to describe such a variable condition to which no value can be attached by using any kind of symbol that we can possibly imagine.
On Monday, September 8, 2014 6:18 PM, Srinivasa Rao Kankipati wrote:
It would be nice if all this longish narration is put in mathematical form and presented to a scientific journal for publication. It would benefit a wider audience, who otherwise have to reach your blog on their own and swim for the nuggets of truth. Newton, Einstein, Planck etc not only narrated their discoveries in a short form but also expressed them in mathematical form. For example, Newton’s Second Law of Motion takes the concise form
F = m a, where F and a are vector quantities. If F =0, it means a = 0, meaning that v = 0 or c, implying that the body is at rest or is having uniiform motion in a straight line.
Similarly, it should be possible to frame your theory on Law of Love in mathematical form and regale your audience and edify them. Please try and with your vast capabilities you I am sure will not fail. Best Wishes.
On 8 September 2014 14:22, R.Rudranarasimham wrote:
What is force?
In Physics, force is defined as the cause or agent that puts an object at rest into motion or alters the motion of a moving object. This issue has come up for discussion to account for man’s existence on the surface of a fast spinning celestial object. The fundamental force called gravitation may explain planet Earth’s elliptical orbit but it cannot account for the Earth’s revolution around its own axis. Since the concern is about explaining human existence, as we belong to the Solar family, we have to initially give attention to the motions displayed by other members of this family. In this context, I have used the term fundamental force and mentioned that Love is a Fundamental Force. I am not speaking about feelings or thoughts of Love. I am trying to find a name to describe the force that has put Earth into its fast spinning motion. If there is a name in Physics, kindly feel free to reveal that name. The suggestion that a glancing collision can initiate or alter the motion of a moving object sounds good but cannot withstand simple scrutiny. We need a variety of celestial objects of different dimensions to collide with other celestial objects of varying dimensions and generate the angular momentum that establishes the uniqueness of the celestial object. For example, planet Earth, and Moon need two different kinds of objects to give them the rotational spins they display. Then, what happens to that agent that caused this motion? I would expect that agent to remain in the Solar system as it would be governed by Sun’s force of gravitation. If the agent is too small, it will not be able to exert enough force to cause a change in motion. We are able to develop and use a Lunar calendar and develop a concept of time for the motions of Moon are synchronized with motions of planet Earth. Apart from that living beings like man exist for a measured length of time in which the individual organism uses the length or duration of periods of light called day, and periods of darkness called night. While the living matter has its own kinds of motions, its living functions are operated by an environmental change that is recognized as Sunrise and Sunset while in reality there is no Sunrise or Sunset. Take your time, give the name from Physics. If Physics cannot name it, I would name the Force as Love.
What is Cognition?
Cognition involves the ability to process information( the act, the condition, and the state of knowing a range of facts). The living cell is separated from its external environment by its Plasma Membrane or Biological Membrane. This Membrane allows a highly controlled exchane of matter across the barrier it poses, some compounds are able to pass through the membrane easily, others are completely blocked. The selective absorption of ions, molecules may require the use of energy and it is not operated by laws of Physics which govern the movement of particles across semipermeable membranes and depends on partial pressures. At a fundamental level, every living cell has the cognitive ability to recognize the existence of other living cells that are present in its immediate, external environment. Kindly find time to read about Membranes, Membrane transportation, Membrane Structures and functions. The Outer Unit Membrane of Mitochondria controls the passage of material into and out of the Mitochondria and govern their internal environment. This Membrane recognizes and controls the flow of nearly 1,500 different peptides. Actually, my brain may not even know all the names of these compounds. My cognitive power and ability is far inferior when compared to the cognitive abilities of individual cells and other membrane-bound structures like nucleus, mitochondria, and ribosomes.
I describe ‘consciousness’ as the biological function that is concerned with knowing the fact, state, and condition called existence at a given place and time. At a fundamental level, consciousness is not a function called thinking which is a mental function or cortical function.
On Monday, September 8, 2014 12:57 PM, Srinivasa Rao Kankipati wrote:
We all know that the feeling of love guides human affairs and even the behaviour among animals though not in plants. But it is news that there is a Law of Love which governs all other forces. If so, the way it governs has not been indicated, only postulated. And postulation is not proof. By authoritarian means, it can be rubbed down the throats of gullible followers but even they will not be convinced after the initial newness of the theory wears off.
One person says the Law of Love governs the universe. He does not define the terms Law and Love. The same man at another point says that cells have the power of cognition, without caring to define what cognition is. If cognition is the ability to carry out certain prescribed functions but not others, then even a computer chip is able to do that and it is ridiculous to endow them with the ability of cognition. All that is required for certain functions to be carried out is that the proper structure must be there in the agent that carries out the function, and there must be the energy supply to the agent to enable this to be done. Thus both structure and energy are essential. I am not prepared to call this combination cognition, because it is just a new word for a known function.
Another man loosely says that the entire universe is governed by Consciousness. And he is not even conscious that consciousness is nothing but a recording of some information and the ability to recall it, carried out by remarkable swiftness and accuracy by brain cells in human beings and other beings. But 99.0099% of the universe is not conscious of any aspect of the rest of the universe! Still the man theorises that Consciousness governs the universe. He is even so preposterous as to hypothesise that God is Consciousness Incarnate, without caring to define consciousness and personification
Even Swami Vivekananda defines the goal of life as Freedom. The way he defines Freedom is to say: “In Freedom we arise, in Freedom we exist, and in Freedom we merge”. Try as I did with due to respect to this great man, I could never decipher the meaning of this statement. The maximum meaning that can be squeezed into this statement is that man has no existence before his birth, and that he has no existence after his death. This again flies in the face of the assertion of the Gitacharya Krishna that there is a previous birth and an after-birth, and some vasanas are carried forward by an entity called Atma. He has generously allotted an atma to even plants, but has not bothered to explain what a prebirth for a given plant is and what is going to be its next birth, and what vasanas are carried forward by its atma. Meanwhile atma itself is a nebulous entity simply carrying the vasanas, and after all the vasanas are worked off, atma just disappears.
My own feeling is that man is a superior structure evolved over at least two hundred thousand years by Nature, having the apparatus to imagine, think and postulate. His very imagination makes him drunk with the feeling that whatever he imagines must be real. That is why every Tom, Dick and Harry floats his own theory of the creation, existence and decease of the universe and collects his own following to shout support to that theory. The modern equivalent is to create a blog, and use a loudspeaker to cry to everybody, “Love me, Love my blog”, or “See my twitter, See my flutter”.
The great goals before science are to find out how genes inherited also enable the inheritance of certain behaviour patterns in each man, and how inheritance, instructions and impressions, which are the chief factors governing a man’s life during his existence between his Conception and his Death, are getting embedded in one’s own genes and are passed on to his offspring. No need for atmas, suvasanas or durvasanas, and no previous births and no future births. A man’s Beginning is his Conception, and his Breakup is his Death, and no Existence prior to Conception and posterior to Death, and his ability to interact with the world of other human beings, other beings and things, and his ability to be interacted upon by them, exists only during the brief period starting with his Conception and his Death. Men must allow time for Science to investigate this fact seriously, and not license Religion to speculate it furiously. Because the so-called religionists by definition abjure all responsibility to explain their theories, claiming an exclusive divine authorisation for all their prattle. Unfortunately, Divinity seems to be conveying different conflicting messages to different messengers whereas scientists always try to employ repeatable and objective experiments to arrive at verifiable, logical and consensual results. Scientists have a lot of work to do on their hands but have no more than 24 hours a day in which to do this. But most other men with no worthwhile work to do also cannot have less than 24 hours a day. They have to spend this forced time duration to speculate and to collect followers, who otherwise spend their own 24 hours a day in perpetrating mutual violence and destruction. Religion has its origin in this fact of nature which compels man to use his 24 hours a day in at least some useless activities such as religious rituals so long as they are not harmful, as otherwise the worse alternative is to spend that time in violent activities. The best preoccupation for man could be pursuit of science and adoption of humanism to find out how the human misery found everywhere can be mitigated. The worst preoccupation is to indulge in crime and in heaping violence on others under “motiveless malignity” as Shakespeare describes about Iago. In between stand various religions and their sects, the greatest being the Vedic thought of equality of all men, their essential divinity and tolerance towards all religions, and the worst being those which enjoin on their followers the dictum “Convert or Kill”.
On 7 September 2014 09:14, R.Rudranarasimham wrote:
Dear Mr. Xavier,
Thanks for your very kind response. I am glad to write that you are the first person, who for the first time, asked me to explain the term called ‘spirituality’. That gives me a chance to attach the meaning to the word that I use. Kindly find time to visit the blog post on this subject and it takes about five minutes to read. I derive the understanding of spiritualism or spirituality from the work done by scientists such as Jan Evangelista Purkinje(1787-1869 Czech Physiologist), and Hugo Von Mohl(1805-1872 German Botanist) and it is very important to recognize these names and to pay tribute to their living memory and honor them for their work and contributions.
Whether people sing Bhajans or Keertans, eat Chicken after ritualistic killing, or consume flesh from cadavers, or drink alcohol(Soma or others), the basic motivation is attribtable to the tensions inherent to the human condition called existence. There are two strong, and opposing forces that are at work while man lives in the real world; 1. Dependence, and 2. Freedom. Man leads a dependent existence that demands continuous supply of energy from an external source and man uses the power called imagination to seek Freedom, Liberation, Release, Vimochan, Salvation, Mukti, or Moksha from the misery of his conditioned, dependent existence. There is a fundamental drive to discover a theory that may provide a solution to this human problem caused by inherent contradictions or dualism or dichotomy. Humans are searching for an answer and they hope to find it in the religious doctrines they formulate or inspired to reveal. To that extent, I describe Spirituality or Spiritualism as the quest to discover peace, harmony, and tranquilty in the living human condition. For man is a social animal, it should not be of any surprise if several people come together and behave as a group sharing certain beliefs and practices.
In the Indian tradition, thinkers are directed to look inwards rather than outwards. This is a method of inquiry, investigation, or observation and it is scientifically valid. As a scientist, I look at myself, I am the Observer and at the same time, I am the object of scientific inquiry or the Observed. I use the term Spirit or Soul to describe the animating, vital, life principle of all living things. The Principle is known by the functions it operates. In Biology, and Physiology, the structures and their functions are discovered through careful observations and experimental verification. When I speak about Spirituality, I visualize the living substance, living matter, or living material called Protoplasm described by scientists like Purkinje and Hugo Von Mohl. Since Spirit and Soul are associated with a material substance that can be studied, the Spirituality Science that I describe is ready for testing and verification. In my view, my Theory of Spirituality is already verified and the dispute if any pertains to the reasoning process that I use to interpret the scientific body of information. I do not ask people to agree with my statements and I do not ask people to approve my statements, and I am rather challenging people to contest my interpretation of verified scientific knowledge that already shared by text books on Biology, Anatomy, and Physiology. I simply curious as to why people are silent.
On Sunday, September 7, 2014 10:53 AM, Srinivasa Rao Kankipati wrote:
Well said, Xavier. Out of politeness, we refrain from calling a spade a spade. But this is taken as a lack of strength in our arguments and the opponents make a downright attack on our views. As you say, in almost all cases, people who put up a show of spirituality actually fall for the music in the songs or the rhythm in the poems and do not understand what exactly the words therein stand for.
If A and B both have admiration for X, then it is human weakness that A, B together form a tacit or explicit brotherhood. Next to their own selves, the object of their protection and promotion is this brotherhood. This is done by adding more members in the brotherhood, and attacking C and D who similarly have developed an admiration for Y. This is how sects, political parties and religions are formed. Meanwhile, X and Y do nothing to benefit their followers. If X and Y are dead, moreover, they also cannot do anything for their followers. If they have spirits as is popularly supposed, then their spirits also keep fighting in heaven. Perhaps Jesus and Mahamad are still fighting in heaven, instead of reaching an amicable settlement and conveying to their followers here on earth, by dint of their powers, the urgent need to live a happy human life instead of spilling blood.
On 6 September 2014 19:18, Xavier William wrote:
In your extensive and no doubt erudite treatise you have dwelt upon many things which are way over my head though I am a qualified engineer. In your treatise you also mention the word spirituality a number of times. The naive, uneducated idiot that I am (according to Rabindra Kaul) I simply cannot understand what spirituality means. And as a rationalist I think there is no sense whatsoever in discussing a thing which does not mean anything to me. According to my idiocy the first thing to do in a discussion is to define the words used. So I looked up dictionaries and encyclopedias and I find that they too are as much in the dark as I am in defining exactly the word spirituality, except that it has something to do with religion and beliefs. So Mr.Rudra can you please enlighten me on exactly what you mean by spirituality.
Take the song or keerthan ‘Jai Jagdish Hare’ from the movie ‘Purab Aur Paschim’ It has a certain rhythm to it and as you swing your head left and right in accompaniment to the drums and bells you feel something. This I think is called spirituality. But people who do not cater to your beliefs do not feel anything about the keerthan or other like it.
There is a temple at Kodungalloor some 70 km from my place where spirituality comes by drinking and dancing and biting off the head of a chicken and drinking the blood that squirts from the chicken. But I am sure that such practices are obnoxious to you and hold no spiritual value to you.
Then there are the aghoris of Benares who consume morsels of burnt human flesh from the funeral pyres along the Ganges banks. They do it in the belief that such cannibalism will liberate them from the endless cycles of births and rebirths. For them such cannibalism has a spiritual dimension to it whereas the very thought of consuming human flesh would make you throw up. However thousands of years ago human sacrifice and cannibalism were practiced by our ancestors and these practices had spiritual values associated them. Similarly for Vedic people animal sacrifices and consumption of liquor (soma) had spiritual dimension. But now …
Obviously spirituality is highly subjective and depends on one’s beliefs which in turn depends on your parents and society. What is spiritual to one is profane to another. Spirituality is also an instance of self-hypnotism or self-delusion. If you delude yourself into the belief that singing Jai Jagdish song will elate you to nirvana it will. If you dont believe in such stuff there is no spirituality. So my dear Rudra do no put up such subjects as spirituality up for discussion since such things mean vastly different and often incompatible things to different people.
On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 11:37 PM, R.Rudranarasimham wrote:
Thanks for your reply and thanks for that extra effort to answer the issues by including quotes from my letter. Apparently, I am doing much better than last year when most people simply ignored what I write and have not bothered to give a response. I will keep trying and give a chance to people to think over the issue.
You made an attempt to explain the rotational spin of planets and your own explanation is not consistent with your own statements. Initially, you suggested that a glancing collision can cause the rotational spin of a planet( this is a theory to explain the rotational spin of Venus) and later you state with a profound sense of optimism, nothing can stop or suddenly slow down Earth’s rotational spin. You have to reconcile your own views.
The thing called rocket uses a mechanism of propulsion called ‘thrust’, and a variety of propellants are used to produce the desired ‘thrust’. To send a rocket at the speed of light, we may have to use the entire mass of this universe as a propellant to obtain or generate the power or force using the mechanism of thrust propulsion. I do hope that you understand as to why I am giving this explanation. The size of the particle is of great importance. You may have to imagine the size of photon or light particle as compared to the size of rocket with or without man.
Again, I ask all of you to discuss one concept at a time so that we may have a better understanding of the subject. If you use the word, “EVOLUTION” like a Magic Formula, it does not provide any answers. The Biological Clock is the same and we really know that life is existing on planet Earth for billions of years. The Clock is the same and it is unchanging and it is not evolving. The living substance or matter is the same and it is not evolving. The Biological Clock serves to maintain existence and it also serves to determine the life span of the individual organism. It is a plan for dissolution after a predetermined lifetime.
The Laws of Physics and Chemistry are based on mechanistic principles. They explain interactions that are random, unguided, and purposeless. These are the most common interactions that we observe in the vast universe. But, we observe living things only on planet Earth in this vast universe that we have explored and known. The biotic interactions are guided, sequential, purposeful, and goal-oriented. There is a principle called ‘altruism’ that aims at the survival of the organism. The Four Fundamental Interactions; Strong Nuclear, Weak Nuclear, Electromagnetism, and Gravitation cannot account for biotic interactions and actions. When we explain the term food chain, it describes the movement of matter and energy. It speaks about the relationships between energy-yielding molecules, and energy-dependent molecules. I am stating that you cannot explain the relationship between the energy-yielding, and energy-dependent molecules using the principles shared by Physics and Chemistry. I do not mind if you want to recognize what I call and describe as the ‘Spirituality Science’, the Science that is concerned with matter and energy acquisition and transformation to sustain biological actions and interactions.
You have stated that cognition is a function of the brain. I state that cognition is a function of the living cell and not a function that could be performed by brain. It can be verified by simply studying Amoeba proteus which has cognitive abilities without having any special organs of sense perception.
To narrow the field of discussion to a few topics at a time, you can choose a topic of your choice; 1. The Laws of Thermodynamics-Entropy, and Temperature regulation by human body, 2. Oxidation-reduction Chemical reactions and control of H ion concentration as a subject of Spirituality Science, 3. Consciousness as a living function unexplained by Physics or Chemistry which explain chemical and physical interactions in the physical world, 4. Cognition, Intelligence which is unrelated to acquired knowledge or learned experience, and 5. Life span in relation to molecules and elements that are not perishable and immutable. I am not sharing a romantic or poetic view about Love. In Indian tradition, the word Love is not used very often. Indian thinkers prefer to explain the experience of Love called Joy, Happiness, Bliss and use terms such as ‘ANANDA’, SANTOSH’, and ‘MADHURYA’. The word ‘Madhurya’ is derived from the word ‘Madhavi’ which means sweetness and the sweetness is compared to the sweetness imparted by honey, nectar and wine. In other words, Indian tradition claims that Love can be experienced like a sensation and it can be subjectively and objectively verified. Indian tradition uses term like ‘MADHAVA’ to describe the Controller of a Force/Power/Energy/Shakti called ‘MADHAVI’ and that Force is known from knowing the experience it generates. For Love is a Fundamental Force, it operates biological actions and interactions and the fact of its existence is known by both subjective and objective criteria that can be used to measure the degree of happiness or unhappiness. It is important to know that man is not the Controller of Energy/Power/Force for man leads an energy-dependent existence. If the fact of man’s energy dependence is not understood, you will not be ready to learn the first lesson of Spirituality Science.
On Saturday, September 6, 2014 3:13 AM, Dr. PVS Rao wrote:
Thank you for your mail. Your sentences are in black and my responses are in blue.
“There are reasons as to why man is not able to design rockets that can travel faster.”
There could be technological issues but no fundamental barriers to achieving non-relativistic velocities using a variety of known propulsion methods.
“Man is not a Controller of Force/Power/Energy.”
Not an issue.
“.. you make no attempt to explain the relation between Earth’s rotational spin and Force of Gravitation.
Either you have not understood the inquiry or you know that Force of Gravitation cannot account for it.”
The physics involved in the rotation of stellar objects is as follows.
Consider a set of gas clouds in a region of empty space. While moving at their own speeds, these are also subject to mutual attraction due to gravity. So they tend to move closer to each other, in fact towards their common centre of gravity. Since they were all moving independently to start with, they would have a lateral velocity component (in addition to the radial component due to attraction towards the centre of gravity). If they were stationary to start with, they would have moved directly (straight) to the centre, but due to the lateral component of their velocity, they would be moving in converging, (concentric) spiral paths.
Also, since (angular) momentum has to be conserved, their angular velocities will increase as the radius of curvature decreases. The circular movement gets faster and faster as they get close to the centre. (An apt analogy would be a pirouetting ballerina or ice skater – when she moves her hands and feet close to her body, she spins faster.) As the distance to the centre decreases, the clouds merge and their combined rotational (angular) velocity would be the weighted vector sum of the velocities of the individual clouds.
This (adiabatic) contraction increases the temperature and pressure, eventually making nuclear fusion possible. We now have a bright, hot, concentrated, spinning mass of gas, generating (nuclear) energy – i.e. a spinning star.
Thus, gravitation does play a prominent role in causing the stars to form and spin.
Planets and satellites spin due to retention of rotational energy from the parent star as well as due to glancing collisions with other celestial bodies.
The rotational spin does not significantly affect the ‘force of gravitation’. The centrifugal force due to the earth’s rotational spin acts counter to the force of gravity, so that the resultant effective downward pull is reduced slightly. This reduction can be calculated.
“We started this discussion about speed, and velocity in the context of man’s physical existence on the surface of a fast spinning, and moving object.
I claim that man has no ability to have direct sensory experience of the speed of Earth.”
In that case, you are in agreement with my explanation.
The fact is that this inability is not really only a human characteristic. Man cannot experience the velocity of the earth because movement with constant velocity has zero effect on physical matter (animate or otherwise). There is therefore no scientific experiment by which one can determine or feel movement at constant velocity in a straight line. Consequently, man too, who uses physical matter for sensory inputs, cannot have any sensory awareness of such movement. (As regards rotation, a Foucault pendulum or Gyroscope will tell him about this.)
“The first experiment in physiology is often the study of muscle contraction.”
(common school science exhibition demos with dead frogs leaping when given an electrical shock.)
“When the nerve is stimulated using an electrical impulse, the muscle contracts and it is recorded on a paper. There are physiological limits to this ability called contraction. When the nerve is repeatedly stimulated, the muscle contraction fails; rather we see the problem of twitching, fibrillation, or seizure in which the contractions cannot perform any useful task.”
(tonic and tetanic contractions, muscle twitch, nerve refractory time, need for sodium ion replenishment, tetanus, are accepted facts).
I agree entirely with your paragraph. However, there is and there can be no scope for overstimulation as a consequence of the earth’s movement in space (discussed in later paragraphs).
“The Vestibular function is concerned with motion and balance and over-stimulation does not produce recognizable sensory experience.”
This is true.
“Astronauts are trained to test their physiological functions and pilots use simulators to experience the effects of speed and motion.”
(I would say, to experience the effects of acceleration and deceleration. The simulator of course has many other features which are most important for pilot training).
“When you watch a film, if you move the film at a fast forward rate, you see a blur on the screen. The Visual sensory function fails if the images are moving too fast.”
“Man is placed on a fast moving Earth.”
Scientists say he is there as a result of Darwinian evolution.
“Man is protected from the sensory experience of speed as the physiological mechanism gets overstretched.”
We do experience sensory overload if we look at the close-by girders when in a fast train negotiating a bridge.
When I traveled on the Bullet train in Japan for the first time in the sixties, I knew from physics that I would not be able to feel the linear speed, but I was thrilled at the prospect of experiencing this sensory overload that I expected to occur as nearby trees rushed by. Sadly, when in the bullet train, I was so disappointed. There was absolutely no sensory overload even at this high train speed – simply because I could see absolutely nothing rushing by. Why? Because the Japanese made sure that there were no trees or other discontinuities anywhere near the train tracks. No telephone or other track-side poles either. The only thing visible was the distant landscape, and thanks to this distance this appeared to move ever so slowly. This is what happens even when we fly and see the landscape below. Everything appears to be moving slowly, because of the great height, and there is no sensory overload (except, to a small extent, while landing and take off because of seeing nearby objects in fast apparent motion). Conversely, seen from below, the plane too appears to be moving slowly, because of the distance and its small size, relative to the distance.
This is also what happens when we, traveling on our planet, see the other fast moving celestial objects. They don’t appear to be moving at all.
Now, man moving at ‘high’ speed, riding the earth: The earth is moving at whatever speed in space – space which is practically empty. There are a few relatively small objects sun, moon, planets and stars) in the vastness of space, at great distances from each other. We must remember that the earth takes one year to cover the near-circular orbit!
Also, what is important when we talk of sensory overload is the rapidity with which the image moves on our retina; this depends not on the actual speed but only on the angular velocity of the object(s) with respect to the eye, as I mentioned in the case of the bullet train and the aeroplane.
Thanks to the great distance and consequently the very small angular velocity, there is no sensory overload on us despite the speed of the planet(s). A visual overload would have occurred if the neighbouring objects had been close enough to have a high angular velocity with respect to the retina. In such a case of course, this would have been the least of our problems. Their gravitational pull would probably have devastated the earth as we know it.
Hence, no special protection mechanism is needed for man… and there is none.
“Man experiences severe giddiness if the speed comes down suddenly.
We can blissfully live on the surface of Earth as long as it will not slow down. Venus moves very slowly around its axis and man cannot tolerate if the speed of Earth suddenly changes.”
I agree entirely ,,,, BUT…
There is no — absolutely no.. way by which the earth’s rotation can change even quickly, let alone suddenly.
The earth, like a spinning top, will continue spinning, thanks to the law of conservation of angular momentum. I can liken it to a spinning merry-go-round. It can never stop abruptly. Even the brake on the merry-go-round takes time to bring it to a stop.
There are no forces in the universe that can make the earth to change its spin velocity suddenly, so we are very safe.
The earth does in fact slowdown … very very slowly … due to energy loss because of the tidal action due to the sun and the moon, but even this slow down is very very small. The tidal action of the sun did slow down the speed of rotation of Venus but one has to remember that Venus is much smaller and much closer to the sun … also that even so, it has taken eons for this slow down to happen. The same is the case with the rotation of the moon which also slowed down due to tidal action caused by the earth’s gravitation (again very slowly) till it ended up always showing the same face to us (period of rotation became equal to period of revolution round the earth).
Similar arguments apply regarding the earth suddenly slowing down in its orbit. It just cannot do that … any more than a train or a car can stop suddenly. Conservation of momentum means it takes much force applied over much time for a moving heavy object to stop.
“But, man’s existence on Earth is synchronized with the speed of Earth for it gives man day and night and changing seasons with expected frequency.”
Due to the process of evolution, many flora and fauna ended up having biological clocks which are circadian. Lunar cyclicity is also known in human body functions. In fauna, this annual cycle runs driven to a considerable extent by varying lengths of days and nights, temperature, humidity and other parameters which have an annual cyclicity.
“The rules and laws of Physics do not determine the physiological abilities and functions like motion that living matter exhibits.”
It is true that understanding living matter requires a vastly interdisciplinary approach. But doesn’t your above statement amount to saying that physiological abilities and functions are beyond or contrary to scientific laws and hence outside the capabilities of scientists and of the medical profession to understand and systematically cure?
Such beliefs (putting living matter in a special ‘this-is-not-physics- or-chemistry’ category) were indeed prevalent in the initial stages of scientific development. However, scientists, by their efforts, have lifted the veil that blocked our vision and made various branches of science (which deal with living matter, including medical science) possible. For example. it was believed at one time that organic compounds (such as urea) cannot be synthesized in the laboratory ( i.e. outside living organisms) because they required a mysterious life force which, it was claimed, existed only in living organisms. Now, not just urea but we synthesize the most complex organic molecules; even DNA can be manipulated. We know a lot about how the brain works. Scientific research is expanding the frontiers of knowledge. The entire edifice of medical knowledge and practice is based on how well we understand the various physiological functions.
The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion. Arthur C. Clarke
SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING:
In my view, Soul or Spirit is the divine attribute of a material substance that Science describes as Protoplasm, Cytoplasm, or Cytosol, the Living Matter found in all living entities.The method called scientific inquiry is limited to observations or statements that can be further verified. The reality of Soul or Spirit when defined as the vital, animating, Life principle of all living things can be verified using scientific inquiry. There is a fundamental dualism between matter and matter. A distinction can be made between living and non-living, or animate and inanimate matter. In Natural Science, matter is defined as a thing that has Mass and hence it occupies Space. While Matter has physical dimensions such as weight, and volume, it has an immaterial dimension for it has attributes such as being immutable, and imperishable. In Classical Physics, certain quantities are always conserved and the Fundamental Law of Conservation claims that Mass and Energy are neither created nor destroyed. It should not be of any surprise to note that Living Matter is associated with Soul or Spirit that is neither created nor destroyed and it is unborn. The presence of Soul or Spirit is revealed in the primary biological characteristics of living matter, material, or substance and these are the power of Nutrition, Sensibility, Consciousness, and Intelligence(the ability to acquire information, process information, use information, store information, and perform tasks that involve the use of information). We can easily make a distinction between a stone and Amoeba proteus. It is easy to understand Soul and Spirit as an operating principle that is present in all living things.
THE DUALISM OF SOUL:
Indian philosopher Madhvacharya made a distinction between Soul and Soul or he described the dualism of Soul. He made the distinction between the Divine Soul and the Human Soul. The physical reality of Human Existence can be explained as the Unity between the Human Soul and the Divine Soul while both may not be identical or the same. In a complex, multicellular organism like the human being, each independent living cell has the operating principle soul, and the Individual who exists because of the functions performed by the trillions of individual cells has a Human Soul or Spirit. To establish the physical reality of man’s existence, the cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems have to work together and it demands the operation of a central, coordinating, or controlling structure. In man, such a structure exists and is found in the Reticular Formation of the Brain Stem. The term Death, departure of Soul, or Spirit is medically documented as the cessation of functions of the Brain Stem and is often called Brain Death while the rest of the body will experience death as a consequence of the Brain Death.
THE STAGES OF HUMAN EXISTENCE – LIFE, DEATH, AND REBIRTH:
While the Life of the Individual can be objectively recognized, the continuity of this Human Soul or Spirit that is involved in establishing the Life of the Individual is not amenable for proper scientific scrutiny. If this Human Soul or Spirit has independent existence of its own when not associated with its human body, or the fact of Human Soul’s independent existence cannot be observed by scientific method. It is known that everything that is born in this world arrives as a newly created object, and in case of man, the genome that defines him has not existed in the past, and will not again exist in the future. However, the genome defines the human physical form and the Human Soul or Spirit is not concerned about the human physical form. The genome or DNA has no ability to exist on its own and is never independent. The genome or DNA works if its functions are supported by the Life operating principle called Soul or Spirit that belongs to the living matter found inside the living cell. The issue of rebirth, reincarnation, transmigration of the Human Soul cannot be verified as we can only verify the presence of the Human Soul while the Individual maintains the reality of physical existence. For Science, a thing called real must have correspondence with an external fact. Man and Soul are real for they exist in relationship with each other and there is correspondence between the two. It may be claimed that the Human Soul can have existence apart from the man if it exists in relationship with another living entity like God. At that time, Human Soul and God can have correspondence and this correspondence that is not entirely based upon the presence of a living human body cannot be discovered by Science. The stories about reincarnation or rebirth, or transmigration of souls cannot be verified by Science as they do not meet the basic objective criteria to establish the truth or reality of a Human Soul having its own independent existence in the absence of a living human body.
Rudra N Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – THE ORIGIN OF MAN:
The problem of the origin of man is connected with the problem of the origin of Language. The Theory of Evolution proposed by Charles Darwin believes that man has descended from other forms of life such as apes. It must be noted that Language is one of the principal characteristics of the specifically human world. Human Speech, both spoken and written is the criteria by which we can recognize the difference that exists between man and other species. Language is the means by which human beings communicate as members of a social group and as participants in its Culture. Language is the peculiar possession of human beings. No other species has conventionalized its cries and utterances to constitute a systematic symbolism in the same manner as human Language. Man may be described as the talking and writing animal. Language represents a complex series of events. These events are on many planes of experience; 1. Physical, that involves the ability to generate sound waves, the propagation of sound waves, and the reception of sound waves or the perception called hearing. The physical capacity for the use of Language requires the physical capacity called ‘Precision Grip’ which gives the ability to write using a writing instrument, 2. Chemical, that involves body chemistry and its ability to generate the energy needed for performing the functions associated with the use of Language, 3. Physiological, that involves the transmission of nerve impulses and the movements of muscles used in speech or writing, 4. Psychological, that involves a generation of thoughts and feelings and the reaction to such stimuli, 5. Cultural, that pertains to the situation of the speaker or writer in respect to the cultural system of his society, 6. Linguistic, that involves the specific Language that is spoken or used for communication, and 7. Semantics, that involves the ability to convey and grasp the meaning of the Language used in communication.
THE TOWER OF BABEL – THE CONFUSION OF TONGUES:
If human beings constitute members of a single species which share certain common characteristics of both anatomical structures and physiological functions, Language must be the same for all the members of this given species. Like human society, human Language seem to be partly natural, and partly conventional. All conventional languages have certain features of structure which indicate their natural basis in the physical and mental constitution of man. All conventional languages have a common, natural basis, and the confusion of tongues is explained in Bible. The Old Testament Book of Genesis, Chapter 11, verses#1-9 tells us that “The whole earth was of one language and one speech,” but at the time when men began to build ” a tower whose top may reach into heaven,” the LORD said, ” Behold, the people is one, and they all have one language; and this they begin to do and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” At the Tower of Babel(“The Gate of God”), the structure that was built-in the plain of Shinar, by the hand of God every man was stricken for his rebellion, with an oblivion of his former language. God frustrated human plans by confusing their Language and scattered them over all the earth.
THE ART AND THE HISTORY OF WRITING:
Writing is the visible recording of Language that is peculiar to the human species. Writing is not the mere transmission of ideas for it uses a medium that can be used as a historical record. The first known writing dates from 6,000 B.C. Ancient languages like Sanskrit developed alphabet where one letter symbolizes one phoneme or a significant sound. The major non-alphabetic forms of writing are Chinese, in which each character represents a word or concept, and Japanese, in which each character represents a syllable. It appears that writing arose independently in different parts of the world. Seven original systems of writing that can be recognized are, 1. Sumerian in Mesopotamia, 3100 B.C. to A.D. 75, 2. Proto-Elamite in Elam, 3000 B.C. to A.D. 400, 3. Egyptian in Egypt, 3000 B.C. to A.D. 400, 4. Proto-Indic in the Indus Valley around 2200 B.C., 5. Cretan in Crete and Greece, 2000 to 1200 B.C., 6. Chinese in China, 1300 B.C. to the present, and 7. Hittite in Anatolia and Syria, 1500 B.C. to 700 B.C. The original, ideographic, writing system of Maya tribes of Central America developed independently in their Pre-Classic Period( 1500 B.C. ? – A.D. 300).
Writing serves the purpose of communication and the written shapes become signs for elements of linguistic value. However, it must be noted that painting pictures on the walls of caves or on the rocks may not fall in the category of writing. Aristotle says that man is the only animal whom nature “has endowed with the gift of speech.” The origin of human Speech cannot be explained in evolutionary terms. Human Speech is a creative phenomenon and it uses a creative mechanism to generate variations while the humans are endowed with the same kind of gift. Human Language is the instrument by which the thoughts of men’s minds are conveyed from one to another. Language expresses thought, diverse languages are different mediums of the same thing. Aristotle declares, “All men may not have the same speech sounds, but the mental experiences which these directly symbolize, are the same for all.” The human community when conceived in terms of the communication of thought is not limited by political boundaries. Man overcomes the barriers set up by a diversity of tongues by using a tool called translation. Human Language has the Spiritual attribute called Immortality for it includes the thoughts shared by the living and the dead and extends to those as yet unborn. Human Civilization can be described as the Civilization of Dialogue and the conversation continues from one generation to the next as if man is not a perishable creature. Plato observes, “thought and speech are the same, with this exception, that which is called thought is the unuttered conversation of the Soul with itself.”