August 04, 2017

Chaitanya taught almost a century before Descartes

Dear  Ram

Namaste. Thank you for your kind reply.

Ram: , Achintya-Bheda-Abheda is a mysterious proposal because by it postulates that the “oneness and difference” is mysteriously inconceivable.
BMP: Oneness in difference is an established logical principle, well understood and explained, utilized as I mentioned as a basic principle in Hegel's philosophy. So it is not mysteriously inconceivable. What Chaitanya Mahaprabhu established was inconceivable for those He addressed who were on the platform of consciousness or experience. Chaitanya, after all, means consciousness. He is considered an avatar or manifestation of God who appeared in 1486 and taught almost a century before Descartes who is considered the initiator of modernity and the priority of ego-centered consciousness and experience.

The conceivability of the principle exists for reason beyond consciousness or understanding. This idea began with Kant the first in the modern age to distinguish between reason [Vernuft] and understanding [Verstand].

Ram:  I used the term “mysterious” because OOO-God NEVER reveals the secret of His creation by providing mechanisms so that we can scientifically test them.
BMP: It is convenient for the analytic understanding to adopt the mechanistic view of science which is based on the analytic method of combining and separating parts that retain their identity in both cases. Nature, however, does not exhibit this type of mechanical behavior. Taking apart a watch, the parts retain their identity in the machine as well as separated from it. But you can't do that with a living organism. This can be called the Humpty Dumpty principle: break an egg and you can never put it back together again. The mechanistic model thus fails to explain Nature. All mechanical explanations apply to mechanics but not to Nature. Therefore the mystery of Nature remains for the mechanists. This mystery is the result of the ego-centered consciousness of first or third person perspectives failing to recognize the platform of pure reason that operates above and beyond experiential consciousness.

Ram: In the unmanifested state of the primal entity (Brahman), the Universal Potential Consciousness (UPC) is its mental aspect and ‘quantum vacuum’, ‘unified field’ or ‘ubiquitous zero-point field (ZPF)’ is its inseparable physical aspect.
BMP: Excuse me Ram, but you cannot use the concept Brahman from sastra, and then make up your own ideas about it having mental and physical aspects. I mean you are free to do so, God bless you, but then it has nothing at all to do with what is meant by Brahman.

Sincere good wishes to you,
B Madhava Puri, Ph.D.
Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute
BHAKTI VEDANTA INSTITUTE – of Spiritual Culture & Science

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BMP: We define phenomena as appearing reality, thus we rationally imply that there must necessarily be a noumenal reality that is the ground/source of that appearance. What is thus established by reason can also be known by reason, even though it cannot be known by experience or consciousness.

As a simple example: The geocentric concept if the solar system is based on consciousness or the experience of the Sun passing through the sky from East to West. The heliocentric concept, however, is based on reason, not experience, and in fact despite experience. Although we can't experience the heliocentric solar system from Earth, we can still know it. through reason, as well as many details about it.

B Madhava Puri, Ph.D.
Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute
BHAKTI VEDANTA INSTITUTE – of Spiritual Culture & Science

In my theory of how brains work (published in places like Frontiers of Systems Neuroscience, Neural Networks and IEEE transactions), the wiring of the human brain actually is a step above that of other mammals, in a way which is responsible for the kind of language and symbolic reasoning we use and abuse so much. But it is not an old or fully evolved capability; it can be a double-edged sword. It allows us to be very effective in probing far in space and time and answering questions, about soul and deep experience as well as physics; however, it also allows us to be pig-headed, and invent fantasies of empty words, and be cold and out of touch far more than any of the creatures I see in my back yard. I described the human "soul' as our connection to the larger "noosphere" of the earth, which connects not only to humans but to the rest of the planet as well, in a diversity of ways.

In truth, to do justice to your point, I should confess some honest but imperfect and unscientific thoughts on this subject:

Best regards,.

On Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 4:24 PM, Paul Werbos

Donald Hebb explains why, at the start of his classic book The Organization of Behavior. But personal experience forced me long ago to look into the evidence of personal experience and, yes, of parapsychology and of work in the book Consciousnesss edited by Goleman. Some of us feel convinced that there is enough evidence to justify believing that humans do have sensing and/or thinking capabilities beyond what can be explained by the neural networks of the brain alone, and of them some of us want to understand better what is going on and why.

In past years, I would emphasize that I fully respect the view which Hebb presented... but that is less and less completely true.


Of course randomness isn't free will.  But it could in my view be a consequence of free will. In my theory,  natural selection has confined this particle in a way that ensures that all the positions it chooses between represent locations in the organism and its environment that are represented in highly appropriate qualia. As a result the particle feels like the organism, experiences its thoughts and drives and makes its free choices in that context. Moreover,  when the particle chooses a particular position this causes a shift in the organism's attention to the represented  location - which does give this well informed particle some modest amount of control over the organism's actions. The disaster of pure randomness doesn't arise because the options it usually chooses between tend to be ones the brain has already calculated to be reasonably rational courses of action.
As far as Gould's spandrels are concerned,  just look at the wonderful separation of our sensory qualia,  the exhaustive use of the full capacity of our consciousness for representing functional information,  the association of unpleasant experiences with detrimental circumstances., the precise representations of visual stimuli by colour experiences and tactile and proprioceptive stimuli by appropriate feelings. Now tell me this is just a spandrel - a byproduct of the evolution of something else!!!!  No way!  Qualia and consciousnesses must do something and their effects have been adapted for a very. Important behaviour-regulating role.  My theory gives a very successful explanation of how that came to be.
So you can relax.  Free will does exist and is involved in the humanities.

Best wishes,
C.  S.  Morrison - Author of THE BLIND MINDMAKER: Explaining Consciousness without Magic or Misrepresentation.


On Thu, Aug 03, 2017 at 06:01:05PM +0000, 'BMP' via Sadhu-Sanga Under the holy association of Spd. B.M. Puri Maharaja, Ph.D. wrote:

Dear Whit

Namaste. Thanks for your reply.

Self-determination or free autonomy seems contradictory. How can the self determine itself? First of all self means being that is related to/identified with itself. Generally, as I have been trying to offer on this forum, identity is never abstractly separated from difference except in the mind, i.e. as an unreality or not actual. Therefore, self determinate being must be divided into the difference of a subjective determining self and an objective determined self, which are yet identical since both sides are the same self but negatively related. The subjective is never a direct or immediate identity with the objective, it is always mediated or negatively related through determination or thinking.

In free will, the term will implies act and act implies change or movement. That is one side of will - the expression of will. The other side of will is the impulse that gives rise to will, the lack or desire that manifests as the will to act or fill/fulfill the lack and thereby satisfy itself. Now the lack and desire to fulfill itself arises from a discrepancy between the subjective self and its objective  reality thus producing the will or act to abate that discrepancy. This may seem complex but it is actually the process that gives rise to consciousness or the relation between the self as ego or I and its object.

I realize that may be a lot to take in, It is my attempt to summarize what Hegel presents in a more detailed exposition in his Phenomenology.

B Madhava Puri. Ph.D.
Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute

Dear Dr. Puri,

Again, thanks for the response. Aristotle in his Ethics discussed "weakness of the will," describing people in whom there is an opinion of what to do, yet as you put it a lack of desire to actually do it. But he also contrasted that personality type, the "continent," (that is, those who would be contained by opinions) with the "temperate," (that is, those who are tempered by the pulls of many possibilities) who according to Aristotle do not have this problem of a disjunction between opinions-as-will and their enactment, because opinions are not held in the same way.

Free will for the temperate person is not controlled by a single set of opinions -- a single spirit in a sense -- but by a set (or ecology) of spirits, and the happiness which results he calls "eudaemonia" -- which means roughly "all the spirits." So if we are to translate Aristotle into the discussion of ego, he'd say that an ego constructed of opinions is a mistake. Indeed Plato at one point described Socrates as being like a cabinet in which statues of all the gods is kept -- again, an ecology of spirits rather than a single set of opinions.

Sometimes we must be somewhat free from our opinions to see what truly is. J. Krishnamurti, who has come up in other threads here recently, was also insistent on that. An ego which is constructed of opinions, then, is truely a sort of false self, and a weak basis for will. But what of a self which is an ecology of spirits? What if we consider a Jungian conception of self, rather than a Freudian conception of ego?

It is in this sense that I argue our selves are substantial, and
substantially free. Such a self is not a closed system, self-contained, but a node in the larger weave of things, an open system.

Best regards,

Just got what promises to be the most thorough & incisive treatment of the topic since Tibebu's 'Hegel and the Third World'-looking forward👍 -

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