April 28, 2017

There is no science as such


Realms of mind and consciousness are not explainable since their ontology does not fall within the physicality as known to the Science of the day. Physical signals of em energy and other physical energies are unable to piece thru the Astral and causal realm of nature where mind resides, Realm of consciousness is even transcendental to the Astral realm of the mind. If you are conversant with the basic Upnishadic/Sankhya philosophy, you get a fair idea of such transcendence.

 Transcendence of the Astral realm of mind and Consciousness are not speculative and theoretical ideas. In the state of Samadhi, the existence of mind and consciousness as distinct from the brain can be experienced in a quite vivid manner. In the area of spiritual research, subjective evidence as flowing from the experience in Sammadhi is akin to empirical evidence in objective scientific research. I am not repeating for the sake of repetition. Need is to seriously follow the description of such experiences in the state of Sammadhi.

You asked why mind and brain are distinct? Very simple since they belong to quite different realms of nature. Brain belong to Physical realm and mind comes from the Astral realm. Though both realms are physical but their physicality and laws governing thereupon are entirely different,  The key problem has been that current knowledge of the Science is limited up to the Physical realm only which represent only a slice of the entire spectrum of nature. If one would like to explain everything say mind-body problem within the known physical realm, then obviously problems are bound to arise. In the state of Sammadhi, Astral realm of nature including the ontological reality of mind can be vividly observed and understood. Now, what is the Astral realm of nature? Either it is a particle in nature with scale in the Planckian regime or it is not the particle  in nature but some quite different nature.

To assume that physicality is limited up to the ends as known to Science of the day and that everything should be explainable within the known physicality is a travesty of rationality. If scientists, particularly Physicists and neuroscientists could sincerely follow and understand the ontology of the transcendental Astral and Causal realm of nature, as given in the description of experiences of the state of Sammadhi and as given by spiritualists of past as well as present, there is the likelihood that their approach towards mind and consciousness may undergo a radical shift. Alternatively, if in future  Physicists and neuroscientists are able to know the expanded range of the physicality and fall on the astral plane of nature, then also they may have new insight on mind and consciousness.

You asked why not legs, arms, mouths, brain ...... and mind.? I have explained above since mind and brain belong to quite different ontology despite both being physical. Here word physical need to be expanded. Any ontological entity which lacks innate consciousness and power of propulsion is physical. Any ontological entity which has consciousness and propulsion power as innate is non-physical or conscious one.


Vinod sehgal


In the absence of consciousness and mind, , where  and how Laws if nature  and numbers  will exist as psychological stable  and sharable. Illusions? All the psychological phenomena including  illusions are the products  of mind. In the absence  of the mind, how such products will be produced.

Vinod Sehgal 

We can derive the existence of computer, (in the original mathematical sense of Church, Post, Kleene, Turing) in elementary arithmetic.
Then, mind can be explained by the self-referential ability of those computers (universal numbers) with respect to each other and with respect to the (infinitely many) computations (realized in arithmetic). That is needed because the universal numbers cannot know which numbers they are, still less which computation or universal numbers supports them.

This does not need computationalism to be proved. But computationalism justifies that the law of physics must be retrieved from some statistics on the first person experiences supported by those infinities of infinite computations.

Contrary to what many materialists believe, materialism is not epistemologically compatible with mechanism. (I can argue for this).

Before suspecting a reductionism here, it is useful to understand that Arithmetic has been shown to be something highly not computable, and that all machines and apparently ourselves can only hope to scratch at the surface of It. Any of our theories are only tiny windows on something which is unnameable as seen from "inside", in the first person perspective.

Brains, computers, cells and physical universes are examples of universal numbers involved in deep computations. 

The universal numbers constitute in Arithmetic a sort of Indra Net, as each universal numbers reflects all the others including their behaviors. They do not produce consciousness or semantic, but filter the consciousness/semantic/sense inherent in the arithmetical truth (plausibly, and in a highly dissociative state). It differentiates and "lost itself" on all sufficiently consistent histories/dreams. Materiality is a relatively persistent pattern when the histories/sharable-dreams cohere enough to make universal numbers meeting themselves, ... and recognizing themselves, or not.


In fact, IF we are machine, THEN we cannot which machine we are. Saying "yes" to a doctor needs an act of faith. And reality is made bigger.

I would say that computationalism is the most anti-reductionist position. It refutes, and show that all universal machines/numbers refute the reductionist conception of machine and numbers. It gives them a soul and explains that it is not a machine.

The real question is more like "do you agree that your daughter marry a man who has got a digital brain transplant". Somehow. For a christian, the question might be "should we baptize the computers", etc. 

Non-computationalism needs to add magic to distinguish human from machine, and that might only mean that human have not yet understood or listen to them.

Nobody claims that computationalism is explaining everything. It is just an hypothesis, and eventually it changes the perspective, entails afterlife, for example, and makes Reality *far* bigger than what we can infer by observation, which appears to be a temporary "illusion", somehow. 

There is no brain. I like to say that the brain is all in the brain. It is an appearance only, provably so when we assume computationalism. Physics will be reduced to machine theology, and so we can test it by comparing the physics "in the head of the machine" with the physics that we extrapolate from observation.

Bruno Marchal


Again, thanks for your detailed response. I agree with you on truth. I think the truth condition should actually be dropped and could be replaced by approximate truth in most cases. In mathematics as you suggest the situation is different. Truth is always defined under an interpretation I in logic. So, essentially this condition will have to be refined contextually in different domains of knowledge.

I need to look at the last part more closely and research it a bit.



But how do you know in a deep coma that your body/matter has any existence in a deep coma? What is evidence that matter or body really did exist when you were in a deep coma?

Vinod Sehgal

priyedarshi jetli Apr 27, 2017

Your reasoning continues to be fallacious. You simply assume that there is a consciousness and its required for existence. I could make the much more plausible and common sense assumption that first there existence and then there is consciousness. After all you argue that consciousness has an existence. I claim, that what you mean by consciousness does not exist. Grammatically 'is' and 'exist' are prior to 'conscious'. When I say "I am conscious" this presupposes existence not consciousness. Existence to me is unquestionable, whereas the existence or reality of consciousness, as you use the term, is debatable at best. 

As for your example, it is misguided. Vision is not the only sense through which we access the physical world. When I am sitting in a dark room I am sitting on something that is a physical object. I am feeling sensations of smell, touch, even vision, as I see darkness, smells and taste. I have never experienced any moment when I am not experiencing something bodily and physical. Further, I do not understand how anything can be non physical.


Donald DeGracia Apr 27, 2017
Professor, Department of Physiology
LOL! There can be no existence without consciousness! They are, in fact, one and the same. In the West, Bishop Berkeley was the first to say this. Lesser minds went on to call it “idealism” but it is much deeper and the Hindu teachings are much better to study once one gets this, the most fundamental of all insights that consciousness = existence. Consciousness IS “is-ness”.

The arguments you raised below were addressed by Berkeley in the early 1700s. You simply cannot have existence without consciousness. And, in fact, it turns out they are the same thing when you think it through.

Dear Diego

You refer to "identifying" as if that term did not refer to an identifier [the one doing the identifying].

Thus when you write

". . . upon identifying it at the most basic level with the manifestation of a singularity/inhomogeneity/difference on a context, the motivation IS THE SELF-MANIFESTATION of them . . ."

I may have misunderstood this, but I take this to mean that YOU are identifying motivation with the manifestation of a singularity.It is not intrinsic to a singularity. 

By using the term manifestation, you apparently mean it just happens by chance or some unknown means that a boundary or difference is established within what is otherwise a homogeneous continuity. It is difficult to reconcile such a contingent occurrence with an intentional motive.

However, if the boundary is determined by a thinking person, with an intention or motive, then the motive and the boundary are not identical, as I am sure you can agree.

You then write

". . for me the primeval distinction, its formal representation as the sign and the observer are identified . . "

But Pierce writes: "Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign.' 

In other words, in the use of the word 'sign' you have an interpreter [observer] and the sign. If they are not different then the word 'sign' cannot be meaningful at all. When you say "formal representation' you are speaking about an abstract mathematical formalism. But an abstraction does not represent what is in reality a distinction. For instance, an ideal gas is an abstraction for which a certain law or equation applies, but real gases have components that interact with one another and therefore violate such equations.  

Saussure further specifies that a sign implies two things: signifier [image/object] and signified [concept]. In Hegelian philosophy a concept and its reality are inseparable as a dialectical identity in difference, never as a mere or abstract identity. 

The next question is: If a singularity is an indivisible identity, how does a singularity produce a path that closes upon itself? Please provide the essential details of how [by what agency/necessity] it divides itself and then produces a path back to itself.

As Hegel remarked, a oneness or non-dual logic can only produce a 'night in which all cows are black.' The difference implied in the word 'all' cannot be eliminated by the paradoxical saying 'all is one.' The 'all' does not fall into the one and disappear, otherwise there would be no meaning to 'all.'

Thank you for trying to explain your ideas to me, but even Maturana's autopoiesis applies to any machine/computer that is made of purely dead matter, which we might call processing but none of which we would identify as cognitive or living. 

B Madhava Puri, Ph.D.

Whit Blauvelt Apr 27, 2017
Hi Priyedarshi,

To me, as a working engineer, not even scientist, the point of the label "reductionism" isn't whether someone embraces it for themselves. When you speak of "the domain of the explanations of science," well of course we have good workable explanations in some domains. I'd certainly go to science (or engineering) to get a good explanation of a steam engine. Yet we had Freud try to extend from our explanation of steam engines to explain the workings of the human mind. So we can have scientific explanations from one domain that work pretty well, then attempts to extend them to other domains which are downright silly. Just as with steam engines, so it is with more recent attempts to explain the mind based on the engineering of computers.

Such silly attempts at extension from a proper domain into domains where the concepts at best fit only poorly, and only by metaphor, is what the philosophers call reductionist. Also, the notion that the various often-disjoint domains where science-like methods work well can all be reduced to a single domain of "science" -- that's obviously reductionistic. If we look closely, there is no "science" as such, merely a bunch of different sciences with a family resemblence. They no more blend to form a single "science" than the spiritual practices of different cultures blend to form a single "religion."

Best regards,

Hi Whit:
Meaning of laws is a subjective judgment that has nothing to do with their eternal existence. Being and things came long after the Big Bang that was governed by the eternal laws. Meaning of the laws conjured by beings and minds will always evolve/change while the eternal laws remain unchanged.

Please do not mix up subjective meaning and fundamental existence (laws representing universal awareness).

Best Regards
Avtar Singh, Sc.D.
Alumni, MIT
Author of "The Hidden Factor - An Approach for Resolving Paradoxes of Science, Cosmology, and Universal Reality"

Universal laws are not - "...only as psychological stable and sharable "illusion", as you say but implicit, unmanifested, eternal, and omnipresent reality in the universe representing universal awareness or consciousness. They were there before the big bang, before humans evolved on earth, and will exist long after humans become extinct for any unpredictable cause. These laws govern everything including all beings, minds, and things in the universe. Human constructs that do not follow these laws are delusions.

Best Regards
Avtar Singh, Sc.D.

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April 27, 2017

Science is the business of finding the most parsimonious and consistent explanation or reason for observations

www.deccanherald.com › ... › Metrolife
“Though I haven’t been reading a lot lately, I enjoy the works of Sri Aurobindo. I started off with ‘Letters on Yoga’. His style of writing can put one’s doubts to rest even as they are reading something really difficult. He has explained a range of concepts like consciousess and human behaviour, which I try to follow in my life. I also read a lot of books on theatre and acting. I appreciate author Jerzy Grotowski’s works including ‘Towards A Poor Theatre’. I also like Peter Brook’s writings and ‘The Empty Space’ by him is another favourite.”

Barry Urie Apr 27, 2017
I really liked this 'Interactive Physics' article 'Theory of Everything, Mapped' in Quanta Magazine by Natalie Wolchover. Thought some in the group may appreciate it also.
Barry U. 

Computationalism, may be of any sophisticated degree, represent only a slice of human mind.  A large territory of our mind still remains unexplored. It is not possible to even enlist, parameterize, quantify and measure  all the "elements"  which constitute mind, if we take reductionist view of the mind. Only some of the aspects of mind can be represented by computationalism and computers. Therefore none of the comutationalism or computers or AI can represent human mind in toto.

Second aspect is that human mind  and consciousness are distinct entities Consciousness is  the one due to which brain and mind get functioning ability to perform. And these functions are also experienced/perceived by consciousness. So whatever little part of the mind has been mapped in computers via brain is not consciousness but that part of the mind and brain which is "computable".

Mind and brain are also distinct entities. It is not necessary that all the territory of the mind is necessarily reflectable at the brain

Vinod Sehgal


Since without consciousness, none is of your existence. Yours very "you" and mine  very "me" exist as long as consciousness remains manifested. Had we derived our existence out of physical body/matter, even in deep coma/sleep, ours "I" would have existed and we could   observe and describe environment and body in coma/deep sleep. But this this does not happens. Please ponder over for some time and things will be clear.

Vinod Sehgal


For you consciousness is the proper functioning of the body/matter  Well, It could be, though it is a very peripherial and shallow view of the consciousness. But whether body/matter exist  or not (at least for you) itself is authenticated or evidenced by your consciousness, What is the logic or evidence  that in the absence of you ( i.e your consciousness),  body/matter has any existence? I  had highlighted on this aspect in detail in my previous email.

Secondly, in Science whenever there is difference in interpretations we go in for empirical experimentation. In the matter of consciousness, any empirical experimentation is not feasible to conduct any empirical experimentation. But subjective spiritual practice following the discipline of Samaadhi of a no of people since millennia has provided a subjective evidence that  our existence i.e our consciousness is derived from realms other than our physical body.

Vinod Sehgal

priyedarshi jetli Apr 26, 2017

I just don't see how the existence of a consciousness or the existence of a non physical mind follows from my existence. It is not a hypothesis that everyone will accept. And as you say it cannot be established. So, it is a mere dogma. That is my point.


Edwards, Jonathan Apr 27, 2017
Dear Vinod,
As a life long scientist I have never ever come across anyone using the term ‘reductionism’ except by philosophers who want to belittle science. And I never thought that what I was doing in science was ‘reducing’. I think reductionism is what non-scientists think science must be about in the way that non-car designers think that understanding cars consists of unscrewing the parts. Science is the business of finding the most parsimonious and consistent explanation or reason for observations at whatever scale suits the job. That means finding laws of regularity in dynamics. I cannot see what that has to do with ‘reducing’. It certainly has nothing to do with saying things like ‘mind is nothing but matter’.

And as I said, your queries are not legitimate because they are reductive. You want a smaller scale mechanism. I do not think science is naive to postulate that there is a level beneath which there isn further mechanism. We may not have identified that level correctly - people are still shifting about on that. But to posit a level beyond which there is no further mechanism seems entirely parsimonious since the alternative is that there is an infinite regress of further theories we will never be able to work through. Moreover, we have very good epistemic evidence for there being a level beyond which there is no mechanism - what is called the quantum level, which can be at any spatial size but is the level of the dynamic indivisible. 

So your string of questions have no answers and need no answers. They are an attempt to run off on an infinitely regressive  wild goose chase. They are distinctly naive stuffiest or materialist in motivation.

There are certainly repeating cyclical variations in field values associated with modes of excitation. But these field values relate to probabilities of actualisation of exemplars within an ensemble and so are not ‘ups and downs in real spacetime’. The relate to something much more abstract. Sadly, physics as described in the popular media is a travesty of the real subject. 


Tusar Nath Mohapatra 
Dear JE,

Your attempt to draw attention to Leibniz is certainly admirable but I'm not sure whether your claims are valid. However, reading Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine can surely give you an alternative perspective to examine your convictions. Thanks.

Apr 26, 2017

Dear PJ,

I don't know if you are aware of Sri Aurobindo. His The Life Divine is considered a very authoritative work that deals with the Dogma question you raise here. Hope, you read it sometime. Thanks.

Apr 26, 2017

Sri Aurobindo wrote extensively on Consciousness a century back but referring to his Ontology is being avoided in these conversations. He provides a much advanced point of departure to study this problem which, I hope, can help in resolving many difficult dilemmas. Thanks to everyone participating in these discussions.

Tusar Nath Mohapatra
Apr 20, 2017

priyedarshi jetli Apr 26, 2017

Thanks for the reply and sorry for the delay as I was off for a couple of days. Plato was more of a journalist of philosophy, presenting all the views up to his time. In the Theaetetus he first rejects the hypothesis that knowledge is simply perception. Then he moves on to identifying knowledge with belief or opinion, but since this would make all false beliefs knowledge, he builds in the qualification of true belief. Now, true belief being knowledge would make knowledge a lucky affair. Plato believes that the notion of knowledge should involve some hard work and that is why the condition of account or justification is added. In mathematics this would be a proof and you know how difficult proofs are to come by. Did Fermat know his last theorem since he could not prove it. Well, he said that he had a proof but did not pen it down before he died. I would say he knew it even if he did not have a proof. And he knew it in a way I could know it even if I can understand and reproduce the proof that has now been found. I have to read your comments on computability more carefully. I tend to agree with you on these. Of course Plato even rejects true account with a belief as being sufficient for knowledge which would eventually lead to Gettier's paper in 1963.

Interestingly in the Meno, earlier than Theaeteus Plato also suggests that knowledge needs a tethering down, a justification or an account. However, for action, which is the main concern of Socrates at least, true belief is sufficient for the knowledge required to perform the morally correct action.


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Perhaps all this Western enthusiasm of finding a better way will eventually lead it onto the same path pointed to by India’s spiritual tradition. While that would be the best and likely safest outcome for the world, it would be a very long and roundabout way of getting there, with a greater than necessary indulgence in ignorance.
(1) See work being done by The Neurohacker Collective, Quantified Self and Flow Genome Project.
(2) ‘The Ideal of the Karmayogin’, Sri Aurobindo, Essay from the ‘Karmayogin’, June 1909
(3) ‘Man – Slave or Free?’, Sri Aurobindo, Essay from the ‘Karmayogin’, June 1909
Shruti Bakshi is a finance professional holding an MBA from INSEAD and an MPhil in Finance from Cambridge University. Having spent a decade living and working in Europe, she now resides in Gurugram. She writes on spirituality at https://stumblingintolife.com Twitter: @shruti_paris.

April 25, 2017

The Reality is one and not a sum or concourse

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What Quantum Physics Tells Us about Our Origins and How We Should Live Amit Goswami. Because ... In the last century, two philosopher-sages, Sri Aurobindo in India and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in the West, had the revolutionary insight that evolution does not end its journey toward increasing complexity with humans.

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In physical creativity, creatives quantum leap to the intellect body and bend the physical laws to their creative will—momentarily at least. Of course, this ... Look at the great chain of being as envisioned by an ancient philosopher of the West, Plotinus, and by a modern philosopher of the East, Sri Aurobindo (fig. 13). They are  ...

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Summary In this fascinating chapter, Sri Aurobindo addresses the relationship between soul and death; the stages between births, i.e. rebirth; as well as rebirth's ... Once that is determined, then in each return to earth, the Person, the Evolving Soul makes a new formation, builds a new personal quantum suitable for a new ...

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