Friday, January 15, 2016

Shiva-shakti of Kashmiri Shaivism - Leela Revisited (part 9)

The previous day had been unlike any other in the lives of those assembled. Lateral thinking, deep research and interdisciplinary knowledge had filled the minds of the scientists and the mystics. They could barely sleep as they waited for the morning to break for one more day of extraordinary discussions. The day would break new grounds in understanding of existence, this time from the perspectives of the mystics. By now, the scientists had seen enough to know that the talks of the Rishis, sages and saints would be dripping with knowledge and profundity. 

Next morning, all woke up fresh and excited, looking forward to imbibing new knowledge from each other. A group of monks, all bald headed and wearing ochre robes started the session by intoning a sutra from the Rig Veda in a rich, textured and melodious tone

“There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.
What stirred?

There was neither death nor immortality then. 
There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day. 
That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse. 
 Other than that there was nothing beyond.

Desire came upon that One in the beginning, 
that was the first seed of mind. 
Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom 
found the bond of existence and non-existence.

Their cord was extended across. 
Was there below? 
Was there above? 
There were seed-placers, there were powers. 
There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above.

Who really knows? 
Who will here proclaim it? 
Whence was it produced? 
Whence is this creation? 
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. 

Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this creation has arisen –
perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not - 
the One who looks down on it, 
in the highest heaven,
only He knows 
or perhaps even He does not know.”

There was a hushed silence for some time as all got affected with the profundity of the verse. All that was spoken the last evening was packed so beautifully in these verses from the Rig Veda.

After some time, Sage Bhaskara spoke for the first time, “Do not mistake the non-existence as nothingness or emptiness. It may be empty from the perspective of nothing actual, but is really “fullness” of all potential that constitute the source and soul of all things, all worlds, all beings and bodies.”

Looking at Dr. Bohm, who was sitting with his chin in his hands, sage Bhaskara said, “Dr Bohm, what you have proposed in your theory of Implicate Order could be found in the commentary on the “Siva-sutras” – collection of principles of Kashmiri Shaivism called the Spanda-karika in the 10th Century. It says that the Divine Consciousness is not simply cold, inert but active, dynamic, throbbing with life, creative pulsations – just like the vibrations or waves of the Implicate Order.”

The SHREE YANTRA-from the Implicate Order to the Explicate and from the Explicate back to the Implicate

“The potential of the Implicate Order theory of Dr.Bohm seems the same as “Shiva” – the consciousness or the pure intelligence, from which flows the energy and awareness to create the millions of  “Shakti” – the power of action. These latent potential of Shiva continue to take the form of countless shaktis.” Sage Bhaskara continued, “Consciousness is revealed (unmesa) and concealed (nimesa) by the power of mere will. Just a simple cessation of an idea in the mind is said to be nimesa, for without stopping the previous idea, the rise of the next one, unmesa, is not possible. One can observe this for oneself in every single moment between birth and death.”

Ved Vyasa smiled and added, “We humans are different manifestations of “Shakti” that have all emerged from “Shiva”. The intelligence in the human minds is no different from the intelligence in nature, and thus the unified field of nature’s intelligence can be directly experienced by any human being, if he so desires. Our meditation and processes is to understand and connect to that stage of pure intelligence. The meeting of Shiva-Shakti is our ultimate goal.”

We need to increase the frequency of our mind so as tune it with the universal consciousness and then, we will automatically “go with the natural flow” without any effort or thought.” Ved Vyasa concluded by quoting the Vedic literature, “Yatinam Brahm bhavati sarathih” (for those whose mind is established in the universal consciousness, the infinite power of natural law becomes his charioteer.)

David Bohm stood up, overcome with emotion, and went and touched the feet of Ved Vyasa, saying, “I was not even aware of the Spanda-karika of Kashmiri Shaivism. I have spent a lot of time with Indian philosophy and have not found any mention of this treasure-trove of knowledge that is so similar to my search. I have never been happier in my life.”

“Just one request, Ved Vyasa,” Bohm pleaded, “Do you know how a human or a being emerges from the implicate order to take a form?”

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Subjective is the Objective - Leela Revisited (part 8)

The scientists called up Einstein from the Himalayan monastery, to report the truly extraordinary conversation between them and the mystics. Putting the phone on speaker, Dr Wheeler said, “We are so satisfied and happy that all our doubts regarding the mystic’s knowledge have vanished. We just called to say that that while science and spirituality have different paths and styles – they are eventually complementary.”

Einstein listened with rising pleasure and replied with just one sentence, “The only incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is comprehensible”. All assembled in the Monastery started laughing.

Dr. Duncan brought back the discussion to the topic that was bothering the scientists. With folded hands, he spoke, “Dr Gauss, a mathematician in the 1840s worked out equations of curved surfaces. After 75 years, in 1915, when Einstein was working on geometrical theory of gravity, he realized that Dr. Gauss’s mathematical image fit it exactly. Which means that an abstract formula created by the Dr. Gauss’s mind exactly matched the phenomenon of the physical world. It also means that intuition or direct subjective investigation in the mind produces valid knowledge in the outer world. The mind seems to be exactly matching matter. It is so strange.”

Rishi Bhasma stood up and raising his right hand to quite the audience, spoke, “The most straightforward explanation is that the intelligence within the human mind parallels exactly the intelligence displayed in the laws of nature. The individual is parallel to the Universal. This can only happen because the two – individual and universal consciousness, are, in fact different aspects of one underlying unity. This underlying unity is the source from which mind and matter emerge and is pure intelligence or “Consciousness”.”

Ved Vyasa was listening carefully. As Rishi Bhasma looked at him, Ved Vyasa nodded and took over the explanation, “This pure consciousness breaks out into dynamic transformation, into mind and matter– it is the basis of the physical Universe and the physical body. It is also the source of the individual consciousness. In the unified field, everything is one and there is no scope for disunion. Objectivity cannot be separated from subjectivity. This is why you scientists found that the observer changes the observed. The observer and the observed are in fact indissolubly linked. ”

Just then, there was a sound of a helicopter landing and in strode David Bohm, with his usual wave and cheerful smile. As he sat down in the chair after greeting the assembly, Dr Duncan briefed him on the ongoing discussions. Dr. Bohm spoke, “I am so glad that this meeting has taken place and all differences between the two groups are understood as separate routes to attain knowledge. And that too with so much mutual reverence for each other.”

He continued, “Ved Vyasa’s assertion about the source being one and thus interconnected is in sync with my theory regarding the Implicate and the Explicate order. All forces and particles of nature are waves in an unbounded ocean of consciousness which I call the Implicate Order. Within this ocean all waves are connected; and, thus any individual element could reveal information about every other element in the universe. Therefore from the consciousness that is embedded in the Implicate Order, there is an unfolding of space, time and matter – the Explicate. All things found in the explicate order emerge from the Implicate Order by a process called the holomovement and ultimately fall back into it.”

“Within the Implicate Order are embedded all possible features of the explicate order as potentials, just like a “seed” that produces a living plant. The matter that emerges from this Implicate Order has a limited life. And once the duration of each matter gets over, it enfolds back into the waves of the Implicate Order.” Bohm continued, “The layers of the Implicate Order go deeper and deeper to the ultimately unknown. These intelligent and evolving dynamic waves are the basis for both life and matter. The consciousness waves of the holomovement in the Implicate Order are not static, but have been evolving to create matter beginning from elementary particles to atoms to molecules to living beings and finally to conscious beings on Earth”.

John Bell, who had accompanied David Bohm chipped in, “This Implicate Order contains the pure intelligence and the knowledge of the past, present and the future. So, when someone is able to consciously or subconsciously access it while meditating or by intuition, he gets the knowledge that he is seeking from the pure consciousness. As we are all sourced from the Implicate, we can access the knowledge of the Implicate. You, Rishis, have a method of meditating by quieting your mind and allowing the knowledge to enter you, while some of us have had accidental intake of knowledge through intuition.”

Dr. Chandrasekhar, a physicist and a philosopher, added, “People often go to movies and get so involved with the action on the screen that they forget their own lives. Similarly, the three states of the unified field of intelligence – the knower, the process of knowing and the known (or the observer, observation and the observed) interact and enmesh with each other an infinite number of times to create a movie- like life. Due to this, life becomes so textured, compact, concentrated and dense that the silent source of the unified state of Being appears forgotten and hidden. What was once pure consciousness alone has unfortunately, now become a playground of sense experiences and self-oriented activities.”

Prof. Julie Thierot, the young and attractive microbiologist from Stanford could not contain herself. She interrupted by saying, “The DNA contains all the knowledge and is complete. The messenger RNA carries the intelligence to the raw materials available (amino acids) and the resulting protein molecules are the structural components used in building the body. In three sequential steps, the DNA’s genetic code reaches out to make the body, without becoming embodied in any of the structural components that it creates. This is the way that consciousness or intelligence converts into matter.”

“Just the way, your Shiva becomes infinite varieties of Shakti, without losing any of its strength. Or just the way the Implicate Order converts into the Explicate.” Dr Duncan quipped.

There was applause from all those that had assembled and Rishi Bhasma stood up and called the meeting closed for the day. A light dinner was prepared and the scientists and the mystics mingled together for the first time in an atmosphere of joy and mutual respect. It was time to sleep early as next morning the meeting was to begin at 430 am.

The next day, it was the turn of the mystics to use the language of science. There was an air of expectancy in the atmosphere.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Intuition and knowledge - Leela Revisited (part 7)

The leader of the scientists, a young handsome physicist of around 40 called Dr.Jack Duncan got up and said, “Thanks David and Karl, for all these mind-altering theories. All that the Rishis were saying in terms of inter-connectivity (Vasudhaiv kutumbakam) and the world being a mirage or maya (Brahma Satya, jagat mithya) has now been proved correct by our experiments and tests. But I wonder - How can that happen, these guys have no research model, no technology and no rigorous experimentation? Can someone explain pleeeeease?” 

The scientists looked at David Bohm and Karl expectantly. Bohm shook his head, “While I have a reasonable understanding of the source and process of knowledge acquisition by the mystics, you must go and ask them about how they already know stuff on mind and matter that we have been able to corroborate after centuries of deep and objective research and study.”

Excitedly, a rather large group of scientists – old and wise, young and energetic packed their bags for the Himalayan Monastery.  Led by Dr. Jack Duncan, they reached the Himalayas and with folded hands, they asked for an audience with the Rishis, monks and sadhus, which was gleefully accepted.

Dr. Duncan started the conversation as both sides settled down, the scientists on rather comfortable chairs and the mystics sitting cross-legged across them, “We want to understand that some of the concepts and world –view that you have been speaking about or have written in your scripture and holy books many, many centuries ago. These have been proved to be accurate by us scientists after years and years of rigorous experiments and research. We have come today to understand from you, about your source of knowledge. Your methods of acquiring knowledge seem so different from ours; we believe that they are archaic, whimsical and irrational – but the results are accurate. It is a paradox for us.”

Rishi Bhasma smiled with great patience and said, “What you scientists across the world are doing is amazing. We salute your methods, your patience and your rigorous double-blind processes. You have not only worked on the science of nature, but used that science and knowledge to create technology that is helping mankind grow and prosper. Without the work that you have been doing, the poor would not have attained prosperity in many, many parts of the world. So, not only are you searching the Truth of nature with so much diligence, but you are furthering the cause of honest enquiry using integrity and best practices. We mystics really appreciate your methods. Personally, I am a big admirer of the thought and creation of the Large Hadron Collider that you scientists have built to find the God particle. My blessings to you all.”

Another mystic, Krupalucharya concurred, “Spirituality and modern science are not contrary to each other. In fact, they are complementary. We have the highest regards and love for all that you are doing. We both are seeking the Truth. The difference is that you seek Reality by keeping your eyes open and we seek the Ultimate truth by closing our eyes.” All smiled at this profound statement.

“But we do not understand your methods. Obviously, you guys are scientists too, to come out with these findings and answers that we, the modern scientists, are able to corroborate, only now. But to us, this process of meditating and coming out with Truth seems very unscientific, irrational and subjective.” John Wheeler said, adding, “How does one know that a particular theory is correct? Anyone can claim any Truth.”

“That’s a fair question. Most people in the modern world feel that spirituality means non-rational assertions about God, rituals and soul. They think that scriptures and holy books are subjective writings of great enlightened men and women which need to be followed, not questioned.” Sage Bhasma replied, continuing, “In fact, Rishis are some of the greatest scientists and we have rigorous models of due diligence. Our search is external as well as internal and finding the correlation between the two.”

Rishi Vyasa, an old wizened sage continued where Bhasma had left, “Before any theory is accepted, it has to pass multiple tests. These means of knowledge are reasoning or logic, Perception, Inference, Comparison, Postulation, written scriptures by meditating saints and Verbal Testimony that is not unique. Unlike some religions, our books are written by various Rishis and enlightened sages over a period of many centuries to fill in gaps in knowledge. We also encourage different streams of thoughts, even though contrary. One of the shortcomings that we face is the lack of technology, tools and experiments to validate the concepts. We are deeply indebted to modern science to fill up that gap.”

One of the famous medical doctors, Dr. Ron Paul asked, “How did vaidyas or ancient medical practitioners, thousands of years before the age of science, discover health care technologies that science has now proven so effective?”

Dr Kumar Bhatt, an ayurveda medical doctor, who had left his thriving medical practice to come and live with the Rishis, said, “The factual information known to modern science is based on the reductionist approach of objective investigation. But the original ayurvedic vaidyas did not use objective investigation. Instead, they used systematic techniques for subjective investigation. They did not look outside at the world around them. They turned within, to the most profound levels of their own consciousness. All information that they obtained was by cognizing consciousness directly, deep within their own minds.”

He went on, “Rishi Bharadwaj, during the Vedic period, was very concerned with the increasing illness in society and he, along with some of the most accomplished meditation experts of that time sat together in deep and long group meditation. They were able to directly cognize the essence of ayurveda. These insights were part of the Charaka Samhita, the essential text book of ayurvedic medicines. Various experiments, tests and research were done after this that validated the findings of Rishi Bhardwaj.”

“But there seems to be no trace of the scientific approach,” Dr. Ron protested, “Bharadwaj used to no test tubes, no machinery, no double-blind trials – no objective investigation at all.”

Jumpa Dorje, a Tibetan Monk said, “There are two ways of acquiring awareness, the objective and the subjective. With the objective learning process, one would read, understand, experiment and build brick-by-brick solutions to achieve the result or outcome. While, in subjective knowledge acquisition, one would gain understanding of a subject through the consciousness.”

Dr. Ron was not completely convinced, “Why do only sages have this subjective knowledge? Why not me, why not others of the scientific fraternity? If it is a phenomenon, then it has to be universal.” The scientists nodded their heads in agreement.

“Anyone can access their deep consciousness. But one needs to learn the process by intensive meditation that is effective and can delve deep inside one’s self. For accessing subjective knowledge, we need to pass through four states.” Rishi Bhasma said, adding, “First is the preparation state, when mind deliberates the problem. Second state is incubation, when, while the conscious mind is preoccupied with other things, the subconscious mind is active. The most crucial third stage is of illumination or enlightenment, when in period of relaxation one can access the creative flow of intelligence and finally is the process of verification, post illumination.

Rishi Bhasma was warming up to the topic, “Let us start with the phenomenon of sudden direct inspiration, or intuition, or cognition. Scientific discoveries are often thought to result from laborious gathering of facts, from precise experimentation and strict logic, of brick-by-brick knowledge through objective means. But, in fact, many of the most significant breakthroughs in history of science have come in the minds of the scientists unbidden, as an intuition blossoming in the mind, all at once.”

Dr. Duncan was excited, “That is so true. It has happened to me so often. Sometimes, when I am half asleep or in a trance while travelling, I get intuitive answers to some of the questions that have been bothering me and I am so sure of the veracity of those answers, that I go back to the laboratory confident that my intuition would prove correct on verification.” The other scientists also started saying that they too have had similar experiences, smiling and speaking together. The atmosphere in the room became filled with camaraderie and happiness.

Dr. John Wheeler, the American theoretical physicist was lost in his thoughts. He said, “You know it is strange that we are discussing this. Just yesterday, I was thinking about what my friend astrophysicist Fred Hoyle was telling me about how, when he was travelling, he felt like a sudden light had switched inside his brain and he found the answer to his problems. Isn’t this the subjective knowledge that you guys are talking about?”

There have been multiple instances when intuition or subjective knowledge has led scientists and mathematicians to landmark discoveries. Some of the recorded instances have been
  • 1.    The French mathematician Henri Poincare, got the idea about Fuschian functions being identical with non-Eucladien geometry, as he was entering an omnibus for his travels.
  • 2.    Roger Penrose, the mathematical physicist got answer to the problem he was facing when walking on the streets of London.
  • 3.    Friedrich Stradonitz suddenly saw a benzene ring in his brain, while riding half-asleep in a horse-drawn coach.
  • 4.    The Scottish engineer, James Watt invented a radically improved steam engine in an instance while out for a Sunday morning walk.
  • 5.    German physiologist Otto Loewi awoke one night at 3 am with a clear idea for an experiment that would solve the neurochemical problem he was facing.
  • 6. Srinivas Ramanujan, one of the world's greatest mathematician was an "Autodidact" (a person who self -learns on a subject that he has little or no formal education) and got most of his complex equations from subjective understanding.

By now, the scientists were convinced that the intuitive or subjective knowledge was another path of acquiring knowledge, as they themselves had experienced these flashes of clarity many times. They acknowledged that their impression that the mystics worked in unstructured, unscientific and whimsical manner was unfounded.

Dr Duncan said, “We now understand and respect your methods and your deep, profound observations and outcomes. We may have different paths, but in some way, these are truly complementary and each group in its own way, is contributing to the growth of civilization and knowledge. All of us are grateful that we came here to meet you and have this path-breaking conversation.”

“But”, he added, “Can you explain how and why do we get this intuitive knowledge?”

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Holographic Universe and brain - Leela Revisited (part 6)

David Bohm was sitting on the porch of his house, with his feet up and watching the sun set, when the group of scientists came. 

One of the senior scientists said, “We went to the Himalayas to tell the Rishi that his assertion regarding the world being interconnected was true. But instead, he gave us a new statement “Brahma Satyam, jagat mithya” which means that the Creator is true but the world is untrue. This sounds contradictory because if the creator is true, how can his creation be a mirage or untrue? Well, till now all that the Rishis said has been correct, so we kept quiet and have come to you for answers.”

Bohm sat upright and smiled, “The latest studies in physics and neurology points to the same. Let me explain about these new frontier of science and soon my friend, Karl Pribram, one of the greatest neurophysician, will be joining us and he can add a few things.”

“Earlier I had told you about how existence is not static but rather in a constant state of flow and change, kind of invisible ether from which all things arise and into which all thins eventually dissolve. Indeed, even mind and matter are united. I call this theory as the holomovement. The terms holo and movement refer to two fundamental features of reality. The movement portion refers to the fact that reality is in a constant state of change and flux as mentioned above. The holo portion signifies that reality is structured in a manner that is very similar to holography. The universe is like a hologram.” Bohm asserted.

So, in order to understand what that means, we need to have some idea of the components and structure of a hologram. There are several explanations, but here is something of the idea. To construct a hologram you need two beams of light (lasers). One beam will bounce off the object that you want as a hologram, and the other beam will shine directly onto the special photographic plate or film. The interference patterns of those two light sources will interact on the plate. They swirl around and do not look like anything in particular if you are looking at the plate. If, however, you shine a laser beam through the plate of film, the object will be reproduced in the 3-dimensional form of a hologram. And furthermore, if you tear the plate apart and shine the beam of light through any of the pieces, the whole object can be reproduced. So, in essence, each part contains the patterns for the whole picture. 

An analogy to this is the broadcasting region of a radio antenna. In each smaller individual location within the entire area, it is possible to access every channel, similar to how the entirety of the information of a hologram in contained within a part.

Another analogy of a hologram is the way sunlight illuminates objects in the visual field of an observer. It doesn’t matter how narrow the beam of sunlight is. The beam always contains all the information of the object, and when conjugated by a lens of a camera or the eyeball, produces the same full three-dimensional image.

Bohm explained, “The tangible reality of our everyday lives is really a kind of illusion, like a holographic image. Underlying it is a deeper order of existence, a vast and more primary level of reality that gives birth to all the objects and appearances of our physical world in much the same way that a piece of holographic film gives birth to a hologram. 

Just as every portion of the hologram contains the image of the whole, similarly every portion of the universe enfolds the whole.This means that if we knew how to access it, we could find the galaxy in the mind. We could also find Krishna doing his dance with the gopis - because in principle the entire past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each small region of space and time. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every dust, every dew.... 

This was fascinating. They had never heard anything like this, before. 

The scientists huddled together and closer to Bohm, hanging on his every word. One Indian scientist said, “Yatha  Bramhande , Thatha Pindanda”, which means that all that is in the Universe is also in the human body. Now, with your theory of the holograph, this seems true.”
Bohm nodded and added, “If you remember my earlier explanation of the Implicate and Explicate Order, then you will realize that a piece of holographic film and the image it generates are also an example of implicate and explicate order. The film is an implicate order because the image encoded it its interference patterns is a hidden totality enfolded throughout the whole. The hologram projected from the film is an explicate order because it represents the unfolded and perceptible version of the image.

There was a horn and a car entered. It was Stanford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, someone who had also become persuaded by the holographic nature of reality. It was getting chilly and the group shifted to the heated drawing room.

After the introductions, Pribram started, "I was puzzled by how and where memories are stored in the brain. After understanding the concepts of holography, I am now convinced that the human brain can be modeled as a hologram. For decades, numerous studies have shown that rather than being confined to a specific location, memories are dispersed throughout the brain."

An old scientist remarked, “I know for a fact that in a series of landmark experiments in the 1920's, brain scientist Karl Lashley found that no matter what portion of a rat's brain he removed he was unable to eradicate its memory of how to perform complex tasks it had learned prior to surgery. The only problem was that no one was able to come up with a mechanism that might explain this curious whole in every part nature of memory storage.”

Bohm jumped in the discussion, “Our brains are smaller pieces of the larger hologram and our brains contain the whole knowledge of the universe. So, you can see how each mind has a limited perspective of the universal hologram. Our brains are our windows of perception. Each mind always contains the whole picture, but with a limited and unclear perspective. We each have different experience in our lives, but each perspective is valid. Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time. The brain is a hologram enfolded in a holographic universe.” 

Pribram suggested," The processes involve electric oscillations in the brain's fine-fibered dendritic webs, which are different from the more commonly known action potentials involving axons and synapses. These oscillations are waves and create wave interference patterns in which memory is encoded naturally. In a hologram, any part of the hologram with sufficient contains the whole of the stored information. This model allows for important aspects of human consciousness, including the fast associative memory that allows for connections between different pieces of store information and the non-locality of memory storage (a specific memory is not stored in a specific location i.e. a certain neuron)"

“The brain is like the laser beam that shines through the holographic film to interpret the patterns. Therefore, depending on the direction and frequency of the beam that you send through the film, a different hologram will appear. So, if applied to the brain, consciousness literally becomes the co-creator of the reality portrayed depending upon its angle of perception.” Pribram continued his explanation simply.

Bohm was excited, “Therefore, mind contributes to the phenomenon of creation of reality itself, not just to the knowledge of it. Every action starts from an intention in the implicate order. In other words, in the implicate order, as in the brain itself, imagination and reality are ultimately indistinguishable. Therefore, intent and consciousness in the mind can ultimately manifest as realities in the physical body. So it appears that through the use of images, the brain can tell the body what to do, including telling to make more images, to influence our health and control our physical form.”

The leader of the scientists, a young handsome man of around 40 called Jack Duncan got up and said, “Thanks David and Karl, for all these mind-altering theories. We now understand that jagat or the world is a mirage and a projection – a maya. All that the Rishis were saying is being proved correct. How can that happen, these guys have no research model, no technology and no rigorous experimentation? Can someone explain, please?”