April 30, 2017

Survival of the fittest doesn't mean that it has to be cruel or destructive

Dear Anirudh ji,

In the Dvi-Pakṣa Advaita (eDAM), a physical energy is a part of the 3pp-physical aspect and a spiritual energy is a part the inseparable 1pp-mental aspect of a spiritual state (such as Samādhi state) of a mind-brain system. It is the same information, but 'viewing' it from two different perspectives: 1pp (1st person perspective) vs. 3pp (3rd pp). 

I agree that there is no evidence of the 5th mysterious force in addition to four physical (gravitation, EM, weak and strong) forces. However, the 6th sense in us is a possibility to explain paranormal, rebirth, NDEs, OBEs, Samādhi state experiences, which may not be explained thru our five senses. This is because all these experiences must have neural basis as per neuroscience. For further detail please see Section 2.1, 2.3.3, 5.8.3, 5.32.1, 5.35, 5.37-5.40 of (Vimal, 2009d).

Kind regards,

Dear Dr. Ram
Thanks for your very nice response.  But all our experiences whether temporal or spiritual have their neural bases.  Our all experiences even what we get during meditation or state of samadhi are given meaning at our brain level.  And there is all possibilities that such experiences are explained differently by different persons who receive these experiences even if they are identical experiences. The difference of recall of these experiences is dependent on the geographical conditions, language, culture etc. Kindly also enlighten us on this topic.

Anirudh Kumar Satsangi 

Dear Anirudh ji,

I agree with you. Since experiences are personal and depend on the infrastructure of a mind-brain system, on the context/environment, and other factors, they can be different. Trichromats will experience a ripe tomato reddish, but achromats it will be grayish. Theist Vedāntists report different experiences compared to atheist Buddhists for Samādhi state experiences. However, some of the experiences (such as bliss/ānanda at Samādhi state) are more or less common to most of the subjects because their neural bases are also more or less common.

Kind regards,
Rām Lakhan Pāndey Vimal, Ph.D.
Apr 30, 2017

I wish I had your confidence when I was young like you. I still don't have it. But you are obviously in some high level of deep thinking of a philosophical plane to decide that Lokayata is a poor philosophy. One of my senior colleagues, V. P. Verma wrote a book on Indian atheism and won the Birla prize for the book on Hindi. Indian philosophy is rich with diverse schools that are Nastik, do not accept the existence of God. I am afraid you have a very narrow conception of what Indian philosophy is. Indian philosophy on the whole is never dogmatic or doctinaire like you claim it to be. 

History of atheism is much richer in the history of Indian philosophy than it is in Western philosophy. You would be hard pressed to find atheistic schools in Western philosophy before the 18th century. I have been doing shallow thinking philosophy for 45 years and will continue to do so but I will still not accept the existence of a soul or a non material consciousness. And I am not the only one. There are a lot of inferior to you and shallow thinking philosophers who are in the same boat as I am. In fact, a lot of the concepts of God, Divinity, Theism, and so on which are currently used to spell out some of the Indian texts are imported from the West. The literal meaning of 'Theism' is not there in ancient Indian texts. 

Unfortunately, a person I admired a lot, and met a few times when I was a child, Radhakrishnan, is partially responsible for the Christianizing of Hinduism and of Indian philosophy. Advaita is not the paradigm of either Hinduism or Indian philosophy as it came much later, at the fag end of when the activity of Indian philosophy with vicious debates among schools and within schools came to an end and since then Indian philosophy has become stagnant as your dogmatic statements clearly indicate.

Apr 30, 2017

Thanks. My phrasing there was responding to Avtar's "Meaning of the laws conjured by beings and minds will always evolve/change while the eternal laws remain unchanged." Now rereading Avtar I wonder if he pictures there to be precise laws which stand beyond time, in contrast to our approximations of those laws which we derive within it. Insofar as he's suggesting our understandings are only evolving approximations, I agree with him. But he's also claiming "fundamental existence," in which laws it seems are perfectly understood before "universal awareness" -- again, beyond time -- or somehow in a time before time.

As for what I understand by "consciousness," that's a good question, yet I'm not sure it's the sort of word whose understanding best consists in definition, as compared to pointing at it. Some linguists and psycologisgts have been recently focused on "conjoint attention" as a way in which
children learn to see and speak of the world. The child sees where another person is focusing their attention (typically their eyes) and joins them in that focus. Then the child learns to fit what is said to whatever is being conjointly seen.

Well, "consciousness" is the aspect which is there in the background of all of our episodes of conjoint attention. The world, as we understand it particularly with language, is the world of which we are conjointly aware with other persons (and, for some of us, other animals). One way of breaking down the English word "consciousness" is to Latin roots for "see together."
That would fit with this. Then again, metaphor and analogy, so basic to our understanding, also comes in "seeing together" -- although in this case seeing different things together, rather than different people seeing the same thing together. The second "seeing together" is more subjective; the first "seeing together" -- the social act -- is more objective. But there's not a sharp divide between them.

If this is right, then consciousness is the most objective fact before us. When we miss its objectivity, that's because it is so universal to our awareness, as has been said, "like water to a fish."

Whit Blauvelt 
Apr 30, 2017

Why Biology is Beyond Physical Sciences?:

Life and consciousness – The Vedāntic view:

Dear Debashis Banerji,

Survival of the fittest does not mean, that it has to be cruel or destructive toward others.
In the examples of organelles and cells inside our body, it is the unicellular organism and the multicellular body which maximizes its fitness by controlling its organelles and constituent parts. Those part were individuals in the evolutionary past, but now they are part of a new whole, a new evolutionary unit (an eukaryotic cell or a multicellular body).
Certain organisms maximize their fitness by cooperating, or by being mutualist toward other organism. So in the end we see a lot of positive interaction in Nature. The phrase "struggle for existence" (by Darwin) might be better than the survival of the fittest (by Herbert Spencer), as in struggles we can very well come together and aid each other.

Ádám Kun 
Apr 29, 2017

Thanks dr kun... that is what i feel it is... the 'coexister' in the 'struggle for existence'... under pressures of 'selection'.... wish one had a time machine to ride by and be able to visualize the genomic transitions, their expressions, the resultants, in the context of human induced environmental and climate change...our contribution to 'the struggle for existence'... of interest have been eg., some classic examples of rapid evolutionary changes and emergence of heavy metal tolerant plant species etc., under extreme selection pressure...

Debashis Banerji
Apr 29, 2017

Feel Philosophy: In struggles we can very well come together and aid each other

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