April 30, 2019

Accepting weaknesses helps to cultivate compassion and humility

by SL ROSS - ‎2018 - The mere thought of one's hero lifts the spirit, enlivens the heart, illumines the mind, and rouses the body to move courageously into previously unknown territories. Heroes inspire ordinary people through the trials of transformation because they demonstrate it is possible to emerge as triumphant; to inhabit valuable capacities while still being mortal.

Scholars and untrained people alike have gained considerable understanding about the making of heroes (van Gennep, 1909/1960; Eliade, 1958/2005; Campbell, 1968; Turner, 1969; Franco and Zimbardo,2006; Allison et al., 2017; Ross, 2017), and yet our collective knowledge of “how heroes are created…remains a critical area of future research” (Jayawickreme and di Stefano, 2012, p. 174). Because transformation is the means through which heroes are made, a more thorough understanding of the forces affecting transformation, may advance collective understanding of the demands upon the individual. Specifically, it is not known if the process of transforming from ordinary person to hero follows the laws of nature that govern human development, causing heroic aspirations to be within everyone's grasp. Or, if heroism is a progression beyond nature (supernatural), a transcendental process that only the fortunate can apprehend. Or, a combination of the two possibilities. Furthermore, the progression to become a hero constitutes human advancement and as such, it is plausible that the hero will, one day, endeavor once again to transcend all that she knows. If she does, will she remain a hero in the eyes of those who love her or advance and become a superhero and if so, how will we distinguish her? One postulation suggests that super heroism is not simply a fantasy but a certainty; that the average person is “a transitional being….not final….the step from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth's evolution” (Sri Aurobindo, 1972, p. 7).
This article contributes to the literature gap on how heroes are created by exploring the following proposition: heroism and human transformation require evolutionary processes that are both natural (limited to the laws of nature) and supernatural (above nature, pertaining to the Divine). Together, these produce a hero: a human who is literally part natural and part supernatural. This analysis draws upon discourse in depth psychology (Jung, 1988), anthropology (Turner, 1969), mythology (Campbell, 1968), Hindu spirituality (Sri Aurobindo, 1972), physics (Prigogine, 1997), and the Hermetic Sciences (Eberly, 2004). This inquest contains three main sections: (1) a discussion of select concepts and terms pertaining to the qualities and movement of evolution, natural, and supernatural phenomena as related to transformation; (2) an explanation of the timing, in terms of when transformation processes are governed by nature, when the hero must grow beyond nature and act with super-natural capacities, and when Divine forces intervene; and finally, (3) a conceptualization of evolution from novice, to hero, to superman or superwoman, as achieved through three substantial transformations of biopsychosocial maturation and spiritual realization.

Evolution as it pertains to transformation

Because initiates become heroes through transformation, and transformation results in a refined, more evolved creature, it is useful to review some fundamental concepts related to the purpose and movements of evolution. Each point will be elaborated in a later discussion. First, what is the initiate evolving from and toward? Philosopher and teacher G. I. Gurdjieff explains, “In order to know one cosmos [reality], it is necessary to know the two adjoin cosmoses” (Ouspensky, 1949/2001, p. 206). Ancient and modern cosmologies and depth psychology uphold an ontology that humans have access to and can even exist (albeit for most, unconsciously) within three worlds: the world of matter within which we live; a lower or inner world that can be qualified as the shadow, underworld, darkness, or subconscious; and an upper, celestial, heavenly world of a higher or increased consciousness (Ouspensky, 1949/2001; Sri Aurobindo, 1972; Jung, 1988).
Second, what aspect of the initiate is evolving or transforming? Seminal authors across diverse disciplines agree that the transforming feature is primarily the initiate's consciousness (Ouspensky, 1949/2001; Newman,1978; Jung, 1988; Wilber, 1996; Prigogine, 1997), which is defined here as a force or power comprised of two binary capacities or compositions: discrimination and unity (Sri Aurobindo, 1972). These two capacities cause a dynamic tension—an individual possessing consciousness will have capacities to discriminate between that which is self and that which is not self. Prior to consciousness, the entity projects self onto objects, and there is no distinction between self and object. The projection, due to a lack of consciousness, is the seed of all opposites, including the notion of good and evil. Despite these abilities of division, a person with consciousness will also be able to sense through division and experience the unity inherent in all, and will be able to unify perceptions and self (Sri Aurobindo, 1972; Jung, 1988).
Third, what is the context within which the initiate is developing? East Indian spiritual teacher and author Sri Aurobindo offers an understanding of the evolution of the universe that also describes the evolution of individual consciousness as an inevitable and natural process. According to Aurobindo, all of existence is an eternal and infinite “Unmanifested Supreme” (Sri Aurobindo, 1972, p. 24), the Divine or God identified by many religious and secular names across time. In this Unmanifested state, the original Divine (a substance-force) initiated evolution that began with involution: a descent of itself as consciousness into matter (Ouspensky, 1949/2001, p. 134). When consciousness emerged out of unconscious matter for the first time, the world split into an endless assortment of pairs of opposites. Once consciousness arrived into the lowest point, into all of the darkest, most unconscious, inert, and motionless of substances on earth, it began a great, slow ascent outward and upward, liberating the “latent indwelling spirit” existing within matter (Sri Aurobindo, 1972, p. 19). Because consciousness is moved by its impulse to emerge (Wautischer, 2008, p. 476) from that within which it dwells, everything in existence will eventually blossom because the Divine “aspires to become its real self by transcending its apparent self” (Sri Aurobindo, 1972, p. 53). From these perspectives, the impulse to transcend, go beyond the known self, is impelled by an evolutionary compulsion.
This explanation of evolution supports Jung's proposition that “All initiations we know by history or by experience are the external manifestation of a natural inner process which is always happening” (italics added; Jung, 1988, p. 236). Like nature, Jung explains, a person's unconscious mental faculties are in “a process of continuous transformation” (p. 236) of which nothing is realized because the unconscious material is not made conscious:
No crops are brought home by nature; only the consciousness of man knows about crops. He gathers the apples under the trees for they simply disintegrate if left to themselves. And that is true of our unconscious mental process: it revolves within itself. It builds up and it pulls down; it integrates and disintegrates—and then integrates again. (p. 236)
Here Jung describes rhythms of nature and uses the word integration to describe an organic process where life coagulates to produce fruit—different from integration as a psychospiritual process of incorporating experience and energy into the psyche and body. Jung (1988) identifies the continuous ebb and flow of creation as unconscious, “a building up and pulling down, integration and disintegration without end” (p. 236); the birth-death-rebirth succession that “needs our conscious interference to bring it to a goal….Otherwise, it is like the eternal change of the seasons in nature…from which nothing comes unless a human consciousness interferes and realizes the result” (p. 237); by the harvesting of crops. Jung's analogy demonstrates how the initiate can actively engage in her own evolution by paying attention to her inner world and by contemplating and incorporating insights—as they arise and emerge from the unconscious—into her ontology, her experience of what is real or true.
In a context of growth, as caused by a descent of consciousness into matter and an emergence of consciousness out of matter, the hero-initiate is innately compelled to become conscious, to allow consciousness to emerge from within. Evolution causes the initiate to grow, learn, and encounter life-changing experiences—albeit unconsciously at first—and to eventually become a master herself, a hero. The drive to learn and grow, to become a healthier, happier, more triumphant self is, according to these perspectives, the impulse that drives and enables the initiate to be grounded in and limited to the middle or natural world, able to sink inward to the lower world or shadow, and also to rise beyond (or above) the self into the upper world or Divine. In order to set the four “super-natural” abilities necessary for this process of hero-transformation, I first describe four rules of nature that support and delimit the initiate.

Rules of Nature Affecting Hero-Transformation

Humans view activity as supernatural (above nature) when the action does not comply with the “laws of nature,” but those laws are part of a particular perspective. From the outlook of the lower world, our own (middle) world is above or beyond what is natural, and from the viewpoint of the world above human life—the supernatural realm—ours appears lower or unconscious. With this distinction in mind, this section reviews four “rules” of nature (as viewed from the realm of matter) that influence and constrain the hero. These “rules” in particular serve as the source of the hero's earth-bound humanness. The hero is restricted in that, in the end, the hero remains human and yet the task is to apprehend the undifferentiated Divine; meaning humans are “rendered frustrate by the very organs through which the apprehension must be accomplished (Campbell, 1968, p. 258).
The first relevant “rule” of nature, as shown by the Nobel Prize winning theory of Dissipative Structures, states that chaos is critical to the transformation of a system—that “dynamical instability provides only those conditions necessary to generate evolutionary patterns of nature” (Prigogine, 1997, p. 128). Just as elements of the universe transform through chaos, so too must the initiate enter “dynamical instability” or personal challenges in order to transform. Interestingly, this theory shows how matter that is close to equilibrium (a period of peaceful balance) is “‘blind,ș but far from equilibrium…[in the midst of chaos or liminal state] it begins to ‘see”ș (p. 67). This knowledge translates into social science (Prigogine, 1997), and in a heroism context, indicates that the hero-transformation process must include instability and disequilibrium.
The second “rule” of nature relevant to transformation is that the initiate is continuously affected by unforeseen circumstances arising from the unconscious self, best described by Gurdjieff as “the law of accident” (Ouspensky, 1949/2001, p. 199). In this esoteric teaching, humans who are unconscious (i.e., not awakened in consciousness) are subject to moment-by-moment encounters with incidents and activities that arise organically, due to pure chance. For example, an individual might have a plan to go to the grocery store, but later visit a relative when unforeseen circumstances arise—her car needed more gasoline, the store was out of the item she needed, and it began to rain heavily—all of which caused a delay in her plans. Gurdjieff states that an unconscious individual maintains an illusion of having the ability set a goal and achieve tasks and aspirations, when in actuality, she is at the mercy of myriads of circumstances, none of which is within her control. This ontology is similar to what Jung referred to as the “building up and pulling down” (1988, p. 236) referred to earlier, meaning the unconscious ebb and flow of creation. Inclusive of the “law of accident” are the two phases of nature, variously described as “ascending and descending….contraction and expansion” (Burckhardt, 1997, p. 44), integration and disintegration” (Jung, 1988, p. 1402), and “dissolution and coagulation” (Burckhardt, 1997, p. 123). As a part of nature, humans participate in these continuous movements of the “undulating sea of the unconscious” (Burckhardt, 1997, p. 153). The potential is for the hero-initiate to transform to the degree that she supersedes the law of accident, which allows her to live deliberatively, co-creating her moment-to-moment living.
A third “rule” pervades all levels of existence and is integral to the heroic journey: the primordial cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The anthropologist Eliade (1958/2005) explains that the desire to transform is “far more than the obscure desire of every human soul to renew itself periodically” rather, the desire to transform is embedded in universal passages of life-death-rebirth, just “as the cosmos is renewed” (p. 135). This cycle is exhibited in the “two phases of nature,” which are “dissolution and coagulation,” where new life dissolves until it's death and coagulates to reform new life. This universal cycle sustains the movement of physical and psychological realms that encumber shifting from darkness into light and back again into darkness.
The ubiquitous Daoist symbol Yin Yang depicts this natural rhythm using symbols of the Chinese classic Book of Changes, known as the I-Ching. As Jung explains, in this philosophy,
Yang eats the Yin, and from the Yang, Yin is reborn; it bursts forth again, and then Yin envelops the Yang, and so on. That is the course of nature. ….spirit eats the flesh and then the flesh eats the spirit. (emphasis added; Jung, 1988, p. 67)
The alchemical symbol of the snake eating its tail, ourobóros, reflects the cyclical nature of the endless drawing together of creation into a substance and then dissolving back unto itself (van der Sluijs and Peratt,2009). Sometimes depicted as a circle or an infinity shape, it is also a symbol of individuation and exemplifies wholeness as exhibited in the Model of a Complete Transformation (Ross, 2017).
The fourth and most concrete “rule” is that the hero has physical (mental and emotional) limitations and as such, she depends upon the earth and others, to survive. Humans have naturally occurring personal weaknesses, which they may or may not overcome. It has been suggested that that the body, mind, and psyche must be made ready for transformation—that a person cannot withstand transformation unless she advances her holistic health through disciplined action (Ouspensky, 1949/2001; Sri Aurobindo,1972; Jung, 1988). In the end, our frailties—the aspects of self of which we are less capable—define our humanness. Although “nature seeks and demands a gradual attainment of perfection, and a gradual approximation to the highest standard of purity and excellence” (Henry,1893/2012, p. 16), the imperfection existing in the realm of matter—and in us all as human beings—remains critically grounding. Our limitations can indeed be our commonality, what connects us one to another as humans. Accepting weaknesses helps the hero-initiate not only to cultivate compassion and humility, but also to develop supernatural capacities that transform limitations into strengths. By knowing and accepting her humanness, the initiate is poised to develop skills to go above or beyond nature, into the super-natural...

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche named his teacher Superman, a being who Jung states is, in hermetic terms, “a new unit called the rotundum, the roundness, or the round complete thing” (Jung, 1988, p. 1401) that is “the being that can be created by man's making a heroic endeavor to create something beyond himself” (Jung, 1988, p. 49). Hermetic science refers to the one who is self-realized as a master, magisteria (Leicester and Klickstein, 1952, p. 22), or philosopher's stone (Nietzsche, 1961). Although the stone is one entity, it is “called Rebis (two-thing), being composed of…a body and spirit by which the body is dissolved into a spirit” (emphasis added; Henry, 1893/2012, p. 12). Regardless of the name assigned to the new version of human—the transhuman, redeemer, saint, god-man, arhat, rotundum, magisteria, philosopher's stone, Rebis, King or Queen, or superhero—it is certain that she is an entirely new human. The transformed individual is one but consists of two: human and superhuman. Said in a different way,

Everything existing phenomenally or, as we shall say, symbolically, two parts, the thing in itself and the symbol, Self and nature, res (thing that is) and factum (thing that is made), immutable being and mutable becoming, that which is supernatural in it and that which is natural. (Sri Aurobindo,1972, p. 52)
As exhibited in this paper, the two-thing—the human-superhuman—lives in three worlds, the lower, middle, and upper. When an initiate realizes a complete transformation, an entire Figure-8 for the first time, the process places them in relationship with three realms of the lower, middle earthly, and upper.

... which have been explored by Jung (1988), Turner (1969), Eliade (1958/2005), Ouspensky (1949/2001) and Sri Aurobindo (1963/1990), among others. We must also examine thoroughly the contextual elements, what is natural and above nature, that affect the process. Just as an oceanographer must know meteorology and astronomy to better know the ocean, I uphold that to study heroism means we also scrutinize the forces that act upon the initiate during transformation. Following this line of thought, this paper has been so devised.
Founded on the scholarship of seminal authors of depth psychology (Jung,1988), Hindu spirituality (Sri Aurobindo, 1972), anthropology (Turner,1969), physics (Prigogine, 1997), Hermetic science (Eberly, 2004), mythology (Campbell, 1968), and other disciplines, this paper demystifies how an ordinary person becomes a hero by deconstructing the characteristics of transformation as a key function of human psychospiritual evolution. 

April 29, 2019

Buddha introduced the superstition of Karma

Biologists like James Shapiro and Lynn Margulis for example bring a further dimension to light, namely, that biological processes inside the cell are far more complex than can be explained in terms of simple chemical or biochemical reactions. They find whole macro-molecular systems operating in very directed, non random, and goal oriented ways to accomplish the functioning and maintenance of the cell. Shapiro calls it natural genetic engineering (NGE) specifically to bring attention to the non-random, skillful nature of such engineering feats.

Whether these processes can be called evolutionary is open to question when we consider the deeper implications involved in such sentient cells. Shapiro has very nicely explained this in his own words, [...] I consider these statements to be thoroughly honest assessments of the current situation in our scientific knowledge of organic life. What we know from empirical observation is limited to what we can actually measure and see with our instruments, but there is a background life to all of that which such knowledge has not yet grasped. We may claim that life is simply the play of those processes, but the causes and purpose driven goals exhibited thereby are not explained by that simply identification. And most importantly, without understanding that background life or living milieu, we cannot simply say that life is capable of 'evolving'  or if there are other principles that are involved in making it whatever it is. It is at this point that the belief of the scientist or simple faith of the religious person comes in, as soon as one takes a stand without any further knowledge of that unknown domain.

From that perspective the creationist has as much right to claim scientific evidence as supporting her position as any evolutionist. In that case,  the only honest objective stance should be one in which both should be considered as equally inconclusive and open to further investigation and study as reason and evidence may lead us.

Your serious and respectful participation in this group is greatly appreciated.
Humble and sincere regards,
B Madhava Puri

Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/group/Online_Sadhu_Sanga.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/Online_Sadhu_Sanga/CAEKJmQ1cCbeJQ_DSeh80pvLndJ3RtuZF7mhs%2BT48amuTa__1zw%40mail.gmail.com

On Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 9:53 AM 'Ram Lakhan Pandey Vimal' via Scientific Basis of Consciousness wrote:
Hi Alfredo, Chris, and all,

It seems that, in the past, all religious leaders faced the same problem related to God in reducing suffering as we are facing in our discussion. People go to religious places (temples, churches, etc) to pray by assuming God will take care of their problems. They might have confronted the difficulty as we are encountering in our discussion.

If we delete God (as science suggests) then who will take care of problems? If we consider God in us, then people will be confused because of 8 billion Gods. If we consider one single God, then also many problems arise because of science.

It seems true that if we assume God, and pray then we feel peace and our mindBrain system generate enough energy to take care of problems; there is help available from other people if we pray together because a feeling of friendship and cooperativity arise. This happens in a better way if we are superstitious or blind believers or somehow give logic to convince people-at-large that God really exists, who loves us and help us. This is how superstitions were created by leaders to organize and help society.

Evolution does not care what is correct or incorrect; it only needs if the hypothesis fits well (fittest survive). Religions fit best so it is not selected out; it is not only surviving, but it is also thriving, even if there is no God.

What should we do? Should we continue 'as it is' or try to find the solution of suffering to avoid superstitions?

Buddha tried his best to reducing superstition and suffering to some extent by proposing an atheist framework without soul, but he has to introduce another superstition of principle of Karmas across births, so he used rebirth theory even if it is incorrect; this reduces our mundane suffering to some extent thru his 8 Noble paths, but has superstition of rebirth. Mundane suffering is still present ‘as it is’.

The scientific fact seems that the principle of Karma is true for this life as there is no life-after-death. We need to discuss rigorously on how to reduce suffering in our mundane lives without any superstition that God, soul, and/or rebirths exist. This is a scientific challenge for all of us. So far, we agreed (at least three of us) that Monism is better than Dualism; for monism, consciousness was in potential form in the beginning; manifestation occurred later (presumably billions of years after Big Bang) in us in the monistic framework.

Kind regards,
Rām Lakhan Pāndey Vimal, Ph.D.
Amarāvati-Hīrāmaṇi Professor (Research)

There is only name and form
by Amod Lele

One can turn around the first sentence here: Buddhaghosa describes the elements not only by characteristic and manifestation, but also by function. (The term for function is rasa; Heim, in her excellent first book on Buddhaghosa, points out that Pali commentary uses this term in a sense very different from the more familiar Sanskrit aesthetic one, with Buddhaghosa defining it in terms of duty or function, kicca, or attainment, sampatti.) And when Buddhaghosa specifies the element's function, he specifies it in terms of what the element does in physical space – spreading, acting as a foundation – with no reference made to subjective feel. Unless we are seeking to superimpose our own purely phenomenological view onto the texts, I do not see any reason to view this function or attainment as something merely phenomenological – a way the element appears to function – and exclude ontology, the way the element actually does function. To do so seems to do exactly what Heim and Ram-Prasad have warned us against, and treat Buddhaghosa's descriptions as one side of a subjective-objective divide – in this case the subjective.

When Buddhaghosa illustrates the key term rūpa, he does so with an analogy that goes beyond subjective feel and even manifestation. He quotes a passage from the Majjhima Nikāya which says (in the Ñāṇamoli translation): “Just as when a space is enclosed with timber and creepers and grass and clay, there comes to be the term ‘house,’ so too, when a space is enclosed with bones and sinews and flesh and skin, there comes to be the term rūpa.” (Vism XVIII.26) Here he is saying that rupa includes those inner elements that we would not normally perceive or feel subjectively, the things that are typically invisible to us: the bones in the body, the timbers of a house.

This point brings us to nāmarūpa, that compound at the heart of their article's concernes. I agree with what I took to be their most basic point about nāmarūpa. That is: Nāmarūpa is most commonly translated, somewhat opaquely, as "name and form". Some translators have tried to render it in a more English idiom as "mind and matter" or "mentality and materiality". I think Heim and Ram-Prasad are quite right to resist that latter interpretation, pointing out that rūpa includes mental elements of subjective feel. I am in agreement with the "more careful scholars" they name, like Steven Collins and Sue Hamilton, who keep the "name and form" translation within "a metaphysical account of the human being where the disaggregative project of analyses for dismantling selfhood produces an account of smaller constituent parts, which are then affirmed as reals."


What are the implications of it? Does this mean that Leftism is dead? No, I don't think so. Leftism, as a concept, precedes Marxism by several centuries. But it is a good thing if the Marxism is finished because this Abrahamic concept had obtained a hold on the minds of Hindus.
But Leftism - as a concept - is not going to die because it is a reflection of several issues. What we need is a Dharmic Left - a Left that is rooted in Dharmic ethos, so that, if tomorrow BJP is voted out [no party can rule forever], the opposition will also be a Dharmic party.
No, it won't happen. The `elite Left' is already migrating to the BJP from the Congress [CPI and especially CPM were never the bastions of the elite Left, which didn't have the resources to indulge their expensive and degenerate tastes]. The elite Left which parasitically destroyed the Congress from within is going to start moving the BJP to its tastes. This is why you have so many `activists' moving to the BJP.

Savitri Era: Savitri Era Religion respects all faiths and traditions https://t.co/ryhTUCP26E @NathTusar #SriAurobindo
Nothing at present indicates that Savitri Era Party can be a success (it's already twelve years), but having seen some dramatic changes happening quite unexpectedly, I'm hopeful that such a change can come. Instead of a miracle, it should be perceived as logical outcome of events

A relevant thread to what we have been stressing on but without being soft on the other side of the political spectrum. Each ideology has contributed and served the Evolutionary purpose even like the evil in a story but the future belongs to Sri Aurobindo. https://t.co/QXVSWtHzYV

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April 23, 2019

Do not violate established physics in an attempt to understand consciousness

“Shakespeare reads morally. He’s always attuned to moral issues. He is always interested in ethics and the complexity of decisions. Measure for Measure is a brilliant example of that — of how hard it is to do the right thing in a fallen world.” 


The most magical element of all is fresh water, which is a gift, in this rough country with running brooks that disappear quickly into the sea that is surrounding on all sides. No great rivers can form in this landscape, which reminded me of Kerala in India.
Water is life. The fairy Viviane is nothing but a personification of this life-giving nature of water. Until we realize the sacredness of water, and how we carry it in our own bodies, I don’t think we can truly protect the web of ecology that is necessary for our survival. (end) https://t.co/7I4LAnktB1

Sir, you know much better than I. And you also know that  I am indebted to you for all your suggestions, writings and links available on sm to study Rishi. I've just quoted as I did earlier " in the summoning voice..." (Savitri) to express my regards of respect to Sri Aurobindo

The basic rectangle or Vastu in terms of Vedic ontology is formed by Varuna, Aryaman, Mitra, and Bhaga. This is prior to all legends and mythologies and so their pristine implications need to be internalised accordingly. This hypothesis is on much surer ground than Big bang, etc.

I find it frustrating because I agree that strict passive selection, while obvious and incontrovertible, is nevertheless an incomplete explanation of evolution. Other organizational factors including mind and maybe even cosmos are involved. But it isn’t an either-or proposition as these artificially selected and fit for purpose (note the irony) quotes imply. I hope we can get away from such straw-proposals or I fear the conference will be a waste.

April 22, 2019

This applies only to the neurological sensory consciousness and not to the cosmic or universal consciousness. Such restrictive biological consciousnesses can’t explain non local mind or consciousness and empirical very low frequency EM waves and dilation of space time during transcendental meditation. 
Best Regards 
April 21, 2019

Dear Sigfried,

I have discussed relationship between work and energy in a previous e-mail which you missed. It follows rigorously from that, that  the P.E. for attractive gravity is negative, assuming that it is zero when the two objects are infinite distance apart. And yes it is high school physics!!!

As I agreed in the e-mail you are responding to E(tot)=0 is a very attractive but uncertain idea. Apart from uncertainties of mass, radius (even whether the concept of radius of the universe makes any sense)and what happened at the beginning of the universe. Then there are questions about QM, quantum gravity etc. So as I said it is a fascinating idea but uncertain.

About consciousness, I have been telling Avtar and others, do not mix up established physics with your theory of consciousness. As Ram reminds us there are some 40 different definitions of consciousness. So for the time being do not violate established physics in an attempt to understand consciousness!!! This is my redline! A problem for us physicists on this group is that majority of people here do not understand even high school physics, either they never had or they have forgotten!! So discussion becomes  frustrating at times. It is like discussing something with someone who does not know your language and you do not know his language! But that is life!


April 3, 2019

Hi Ram

Total energy of the universe must always be conserved before and after manifestation and throughout expansion and cannot be zero.
Zero energy means nonexistence pure nothingness not even any field. Even the existence of a field or quantum fluctuations requires positive energy.

Your descriptions would violate empirical observations of the universe hence incorrect.

April 4, 2019
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Dear Stan,

Let alone that precognition violates present physics, considering even  our ordinary lives, I doubt whether  initiation of goal-oriented actions by our brains obeys causality in present physics. Our actions are often motivated by desires, purposes, needs, and goals, all of which are closely associated with our future states. The purpose, desire, intention, etc. is looking into a future state.  The search for an appropriate course of action to achieve the desired goal and the action itself depend upon some information about a future state; for example, if I want to go to NY, I will take a train to NY but not to Philadelphia. Therefore, the change from my present state depends upon information regarding a future state. The goal in my present imagination is not the same as the future physical state of my body because I am not in NY yet. The imagined goal is a mapping of the future physical state (different from the present physical state, else no action happens), into my present memory. So, the present memory content does depend on a not yet realized physical state. How does the brain get the information about a future state of itself? Since it seems do so with no help from outside, isn't this ability of the brain violate the causality principle in Physics? Does quantum physics allow a quantum system to acquire all by itself, information about a future state of itself?


April 7, 2019

QM and CM are in conflict and not extensions of each other until a bridge of missing physics is found to re-conciliate them. Collapse of the wave function or objective reduction must be explained to achieve it.

Similarly, GR, QM, and EM have to be reconciled or bridged otherwise they would remain in conflict and paradoxical.


April 7, 2019

Hi Stan,

I agree with John. In my view, if current physics, biology, and neuroscience are kept as they are while extending them, then it would not be considered violation; instead, it would be its extension, which is allowed in physics and other sciences. For example, would you consider QM violated CM (classical mechanics)? I would consider QM extended the CM instead to explain six physical phenomena that could not be explained by CM.


Kind regards,
Rām Lakhan Pāndey Vimal, Ph.D.

April 7, 2019

Hi all,

It seems that formless/patternless, aspectless, attributeless, energyless, consciousness-less, matter-less, symmetric primal Unus Mundus (UM) is Vedānta’s Brahman using its ‘Neti-Neti” concept, which needs further unpacking.

Perhaps, the primal UM has “latent”, “hidden” or “unmanifested” forms/patterns, aspects, attributes, energy, consciousness, and matter as long as symmetry not broken. In other words, the primal UM has the potentiality for aspects, attributes, energy, consciousness (experiencer and experiences, cognition, functions, and patterns/forms), and physical universe. When the UM’s symmetry is broken say thru Big Bang (Cosmic Fire), then all its above-hidden characteristics are manifested appropriately at an appropriate time thru evolution.


Kind regards,

April 6, 2019

Thanks, Rosie.

You mentioned that “… love was the first system – the universe was created through love.” Then a query will be where from “love” came? Perhaps, you might say it is the fundamental primal energy field, which may have many names. In the eDAM, it is called Unified Information Energy Field (UIEF). In Vedanta, it is called “Brahman”, similarly, in other religions. Science calls it a quantum vacuum. In the Intelligent Design (ID) framework, I always wonder who created the designer of the designer of ... of our beautiful universe?  But again, the ID might say the designer is the primal entity. In other words, perhaps, all frameworks are saying the same thing in different languages, but the fundamental reality remains the same, language should not matter.

The Big Bang of science seems like an equivalent to Cosmic Egg and Cosmic Fire (Virāt), as mentioned in the most revered Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad; see (Vimal, 2012c).


Kind regards,
April 4, 2019

There are two concepts of the matter:

(i) First, the Yājñavalkya-Bādarāyaņa-Aristotle’s concept of matter, where matter has rūpa/form and has the potentiality for experiences (Pereira Jr., 2013; Radhakrishnan, 1960; Swami Krishnananda, 1983); it is used in our frameworks (Pereira Jr., 2013; Pereira Jr. et al., 2015; Vimal, 2013).

(ii) Second, the Kaṇāda-Democritus’ concept of matter (who identifies matter with atoms/particles), which implies that matter is non-experiential (Vimal, 2015d); it is used in science (such as physics, chemistry, and biology).

The second concept misleads materialistic biologists who make the grave mistake of following non-experiential materialism that has serious unsolvable problems and hence cannot address the hard problem of consciousness (Chalmers, 1995) because it does not explain about life, especially how experiences arise from non-experiential matter. Biologists who follow Yājñavalkya-Bādarāyaņa-Aristotle’s concept of matter should not have such problems.

There is a simple argument against the above second concept: you want to create an experience from the brain; brain as matter must have a potential for creating experiences, otherwise, how can brain create experiences out of ‘nothing’. For example, apple seeds have the potential to create an apple tree; that is why apples can be created from apple-seeds. In other words, we cannot create oranges from apple-seeds.

To sum up, let us make sure that we cannot create experiences from non-experiential non-mental matter that does not even have a single trace of the potentiality of experiences. We cannot create apple out of orange seeds.

By the way, once you accept Yājñavalkya-Bādarāyaņa-Aristotle’s concept of matter, then you are no more materialist; you are dual-aspect.

The frameworks, such as the extended Dual-Aspect Monism (eDAM), that follow the first concept of matter do not face such problems (Vimal, 2015).


Kind regards,
April 1, 2019


I have asked a very simple and straight question viz where is the empirical scientific evidence that a stone at the macro level or an electron at the quantum level, apart from the detected physical properties, have also

feelings and information?

In view of wave-particle duality, what is the meaning of forms/patterns ( which, I think, you interpret as information) in electrons and other fundamental particles?

Vinod Sehgal

March 29, 2019

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Dear Kashyap,

Strictly speaking, science provides only a theory of how matter interacts with itself. It does not provide any theory of matter itself. This is very important distinction that needs to be made. Is there any scientific theory that can describe an electron or photon in its entirety without referring to any interactions?

What Yogic studies say is that all these multitude of particles and their varied interactions are totally irrelevant when we are talking of how matter interacts with consciousness. You are right in saying that Yogic studies say nothing about how matter interacts with itself. That is totally within the purview of science. But consciousness can also exercise control over matter and that is what these siddhis are about. This does not contradict science in any way.

Now how do we verify these siddhis? You are again right in saying that neither me nor anyone else on this group, as far as we know, actually has the capability to demonstrate any of the siddhis mentioned in PYS. But does that mean that we should not believe in these siddhis? No! Whether we believe in a person or not largely depends on that person's character and integrity (and not which university s/he is affiliated with and how many degrees s/he has). This is true in science also. We would hardly make any progress if all scientists had to personally verify all experiments. And when a person of Vivekananda's and Ramakrishna's character and integrity says that the siddhis mentioned in our scriptures exist, we should not discard this idea just like that. We also need not blindly believe in this! An important point here is that a belief in the siddhis is not necessary for making spiritual progress. In fact, some of these siddhis are considered to be obstacles in the spiritual path and aspirants are strongly advised to turn them away when they arise during deep meditative states.

I am personally neither interested in promoting a belief in the siddhis nor in pursuing them myself. I will only object when someone discards them without trying to properly understand. Even Einstein could not come to terms with Quantum Mechanics all his life. And so, I do understand that even the most rational people can have deep rooted beliefs which can prevent them from appreciating various aspects of reality. Yogic studies are lot more deeper and cannot be understood unless we are willing to radically change our perspective.

July 22, 2018

This issue of verification you have raised is actually becoming problematic in science also these days, as you know very well. There is lot of emphasis on "reproducible research" since many labs these days come under publication pressure and end up reporting data without proper verification. And with the coming decades, it will become all the more problematic since more advanced theories will require that much more advanced equipment which will not be readily available everywhere. Yoga does not face this problem since all its theories and predictions can be verified by an individual without needing any advanced equipment except the body-mind complex. But of course, this does not mean that Yoga is easy. It requires many decades or even lifetimes of intense sadhana under proper guidance. So the main point I am making is that the issue of verification you have raised is extremely important, but it cannot be settled without undergoing the required sadhana. And asking for empirical verification of PYS statements is totally meaningless, since they are about interaction of consciousness with matter and not of matter with itself.

Hence, instead of discussing how to empirically verify the PYS statements, we should discuss the methods proposed in PYS. I would certainly be very much interested in discussing them one by one!

KV: Whatever we know about electrons or photons is enough most of the time to understand empirical results.
KV: Typically science is  interested in understanding “how” rather than “why”.

All that we have in science are theories for how an electron/photon interacts with other particles. There is no scientific theory of an electron or photon itself! These two are very different things. Interestingly, Yoga is also mainly interested in "how" and the "why" questions are dealt with in Advaita/Sankhya/etc. The primary difference between Science and Yoga is of the kind of interactions being studied. Science studies Matter-Matter interactions, whereas Yoga studies Consciousness-Matter and Consciousness-Consciousness interactions. So obviously, the tools that are useful in one domain are unlikely to be useful in the other.

July 23, 2018

April 18, 2019

Science is in the midst of a revolutionary crisis

Dear Péter,

We are speaking about population as certain selective forces that affects a subset of a species, because (for example) it is geographically localized. The Plague affected (and thus selected) humans in Europe in the middle ages. It had little effect on aboriginal Australians at that moment. Thus the theory of evolution deals with populations (and in some cases the population can encompass the whole species).

Whipping out whole species with an asteroid is not selection. Selection, by definition, is something that causes different mortality and/or fecundity among bearers of different hereditary trait. When everyone, irrespective of their traits, experience the same mortality, then it is not selection.

The term "natural selection" was coined to distinguish from selection which has a conscious actor behind it (human breeders). It was important in Darwin's time, as people were not comfortable with the thought that the mere environment can also exert a selective force. Now, at least I hope, but comments on this list sometimes question my faith in humanity, people (not just scientist, but the general populace too) had accepted that nature can also select, not only human breeders.

Sometimes we can pinpoint what (abiotic forces, like cold) or who (other individuals, from parasites, to preys, predators and competitors) select for a certain trait. In the general theory, it does not matter what is the specifics of selection, its existence is the only criterium.

If we would always simplify the complexity of the environment to one factor, then we would arrive at prediction that would be clearly false. The fox eats the rabbit. So foxes are selective agents on rabbits (if there is variation in the traits of rabbits that affects their probability of being captured). However, if we think that the fox is the only selective force on the rabbit, then we might conclude that the rabbit should grow to the size of an ox to escape predation by the fox. Would that be a solution? Yes. Would that happen? No. At certain sizes (and rabbits could already be at that size), lack of food would limit their ability to grow further. And then the selective "agents" are a mix of plant species.

The fox does not exclusively eat rabbits, nor does the rabbit only eat one plant species. Thus they exert selective force on many species, and many species exert a selective force on them. As evolution is, by definition, change in frequency in a heritable trait in a population, our investigations generally focus on one species and its environment. However, the theory of coevolution acknowledges the fact that an evolving population changes the environment of other species' population which, in turn, can also evolve because of this. Thus, the environment is not something fixed, but can very well change, even if the climate (or the abiotic part of the environment in general) does not change.

best wishes,


To take your last point first: evolutionary theorists use the word "population" to exclusively refer to subsets of species.
Thus the term "natural selection" is severely myopic, so to speak.

Biologists are shirking their duty if they call the selector "the environment" and let it go at that. Since we are talking about mere populations in their sense, they should be able to narrow down the selectors to a great extent. Only by understanding the environmental forces in each case, can they make predictions about the future of a population, or suggest the best way for humans to affect it.

Cenozoic and Mesozoic are very appropriate words about the effects of the last great extinction. Currrent evolutionary theory is too much the theory of microevolution, which is unable to predict the large scale consequences of such great extinctions. It speaks of "ecological niches" but some have never been filled because of limitations of mammals and birds in comparison to dinosaurs and pterosaurs. 

Why the title, "Francis Crick's Illusion"? I suppose it refers to Crick's claim about the forces that produced our mind. Blind ones, supposedly, as befits an atheist like Crick. 

But even so, a better title would be, "Crick's Paradox". He points to a fundamental mystery that materialism is all but powerless to unravel. Namely, IF our minds are the product of reductionist concepts of mutation and natural selection, what accounts for the staggering serendipity of being able to unlock the deepest purely physical attributes of our universe?

Moreover, the very term "natural selection" has a deeply unnatural meaning. It is confined to mere populations, and evolutionary theorists are remarkably reticent about what does the selecting. One of the biggest "selectors" was an asteroid that wiped out a vast array of living things -- so much so that what followed is called the Cenozoic Era, while what came before was the Mesozoic. [Ponder the etymology of those two words.] Whole orders were wiped out, and this selector paid scant attention, so to speak, to distinctions between members of any given population.

Peter Nyikos 
Professor, Dept. of Mathematics        
University of South Carolina 

Dear Prof. John J. Kineman,


Thank you for agreeing to the view on the limitation of mechanistic science to understand life (the blade of grass). Modern scientific knowledge of nature is entirely based on the reasoning of the mechanism that governs natural processes. Science tries to present nature as intrinsically associated with a mechanical explanation. Till date, the majority of the scientists (including the field of quantum mechanics) only study nature with the idea that as if it is dictated mechanically by different mechanistic laws. The egoistic view in mechanistic science continues with the notion that certain causal laws will ultimately produce more or less well-confirmed conjectures. Majority of modern scientific work is generally made itself confined to such wishful conjectures because most of the scientists simply presume that everything in our universe is mechanically united. As a result, what we have witnessed in science is the laws which we find convincing at one time may be replaced by apparently more fitting laws at a later time. It is for this reason that Immanuel Kant said that without “the principle of the mechanism of nature there can be no science of nature at all.”

Mechanistic science, by considering reality as complex material wholes only make an attempt to study causal interaction between the forces of the parts of matter. However, QM establishes that such laws can never be known with full certainty and thus it is a mere illusion to live with the conception that nature can be understood by mere mechanistic science. With the progress of science mechanistic conceptions of nature have come under severe scientific critique because all such attempts failed to reduce nature to the laws of science and this approach severely fail to account for the organic aspects of nature: ‘No Newton of the Grass Blade’. At the most fundamental level, mechanistic science can at best deal with the interaction between the fundamental powers of matter – the powers of attraction and repulsion. But, it cannot explain how a blade of grass can appear from that interaction of the powers of attraction and repulsion.

Thanking you.

Bhakti Niskama Shanta

Dear Dr. Ralph Frost,


Please read our recent reply to Prof. John J. Kineman on the same thread where we have stated:  

At the most fundamental level, mechanistic science can at best deal with the interaction between the fundamental powers of matter – the powers of attraction and repulsion. But, it cannot explain how a blade of grass can appear from that interaction of the powers of attraction and repulsion.

Thanking you.

Bhakti Niskama Shanta

Dear John,


Thank you for presenting your detailed views. Since you mention our website, in order to further clarify what I am offering I include the following brief remarks.

The reflection of a whole in a mirror is just as whole as the original whole being reflected. There is an asymmetry because the reflected whole is dependent on the original whole for its existence and movement.  Both are contained within a greater whole, let us call it the Absolute Whole, so that both are real, yet they have an asymmetrical relation of relative dependence and independence. 

In the Vedas matter (jada) is considered inert, dull, representing ignorance or darkness. It cannot move itself without the help of soul (atma). Aristotle has explained in terms of the material and efficient aspects of cause how a clay pot may have a material aspect, clay, but the clay is not the efficient (agent) cause of the pot. The shadow or reflection metaphors are meant to express a similar idea.

Scientists do not know what the term "matter" means. The ancients did not have that problem. What goes on today in terms of 'scientific' thinking/knowing is considered wild goose chasing in Vedic epistemology. Veda means 'know' or 'knowledge.' The Sanskrit vid is the root of words like vision or wisdom. The epistemological process for knowing Veda is based on a humble and submissive approach, for Truth, being intelligent/sentient, reveals itself (or Him/Her Self) to those whom it chooses. That revelation is Veda. The One revealing Veda is explained in the Bhagavad-gita 15.15, as Krishna, Who says vedais ca sarvam aham eva vedo, vedanta krid veda vid eva caham - all the Vedas are meant to know Me, Who am the revealer and knower of the Vedas.

This theme can be found in many Vedic sources and their corollary literature. It is not an interpretation or speculation on my part. Such attitudes are denigrated by the Veda. It is by such attitudes that we find so many differing ideas offered on this list, and that results in the 60+ interpretations we have for quantum theory today. 

What is not realized by modern scientists in general, is that faith lies at the basis of all knowledge. According to Veda it is sraddha, faith, that determines one's reality, and one's identity. Reason cannot be used to change or enlighten one at that level.

A change of heart is required, and an openness to the wisdom of Veda as taught by the agents of the Supreme, the great acharyas (teachers) who guide us by word and example. This is the process for acquiring knowledge given in the Veda. One may take up the processes of karma, jnana, or yoga, and try to perfect oneself in that way, but it may take many births and in the end the recommended process of properly approaching a realized soul will be required.

This is what I understand from my teachers, study, and practice. I do not expect anyone to blindly accept that. This forms the basis of what I am teaching according to logical and compassionate reasoning.

Humble and sincere regards,
B Madhava Puri

April 13, 2019

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Dear John,

Namaste. I really appreciate your  message. 

Realization of our relationship with the Supreme is the harmonizing principle within reality.  The broad scientific  knowledge of how to do that is found in the Veda. Modern science has seriously veered from that principle in so many ways. The necessity now is to steer science back toward that understanding. Those who are sincere in their search for truth will find it intrinsically happening of its own accord. 

Jay patita pavana Sita Ram.

Humble regards,
B Madhava Puri
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Dear John,


The problem may be much worse than you seem willing to believe. If we understand the metaphor of the blind men and the elephant, the wrong and conflicting observations of each of the individual blind men make agreement impossible, what to speak of synthesizing their immediate perceptions/interpretations with the organic whole, elephant. 

Today many see modern science is in the midst of a revolutionary crisis or re-invention, if you prefer. Those who are on the forefront of such change see science differently than those who are content to accept the received view of the consensus knowledge. One thing that remains crucial once we are willing to look at it, is that the object of knowledge changes as our knowledge changes.  This means that a synthesis of two disparate things/concepts/realities would be an oversimplification of the true dialectical/integral relation they bear to each other. 

Progress or change certainly may involve much sacrifice if we hold on to what we have too dearly. iIt is the price we have to pay n order to allow the dynamic development we may come to understand as lying at the foundation of an organic whole of which we are part. The inner knowing and outer known are related. There is a unity in difference at play, a building up and a tearing down, a living and dynamic becoming rather than a dead static being that characterizes an organic reality. 

II is revealing to trace the development of the modern concept of consciousness and the duelist conception at its foundation.  It has been surmised that post-Aristotelian Stoic thought represents the original point of diremption from the unity of thought and being [knowledge and truth] held by  Plato and Aristotle. The Skeptics furthered the division between thought and being, Descartes and Kant in the modern period made it an inseparable part of modern scientific epistemology.

It is important  to understand how we got to where we are now through the study of t\he history of ideas in order to retrace our steps back to the conception of the unity in difference of the organic whole which they in their wisdom comprehended. In the process of reawakening we may remain respectful of differences if we retain the idea of development wherein different stages of that development may seem oppositional at first but on the whole are comprehended as merely processual moments of a dynamic unity. 

Humble regards,
B Madhava Puri

April 16, 2019