[Advaita-l] Something to ponder over

sriram srirudra at vsnl.com
Tue Sep 18 05:37:47 CDT 2012

Dear Sri Sarma
What you have conveyed is in agreement with my thinking also-especially how 
the lesser species cognise the world outside with their sense organs and how 
their tiny to colassal brains -ant -to elephant-interpret the inputs of 
their sense organs and lead their lives till they also pass out.It is a 
mystery and in my opinion it is beyond science`s grasp.Consciousness is gift 
to humanspecies as lesser species donot seem to be conscious of their 
existence except that they defend themselves and attack when posed with real 
or imaginary threats.Here again we only think that they attack us even when 
we are friendly!
Even a thousand rebirths as human beings will not be enough to unravel these 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "D.V.N.Sarma ??.??.???.????" <dvnsarma at gmail.com>
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" 
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2012 5:05 AM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Something to ponder over

> Written By *Deepak Chopra*, MD, FACP, *Menas Kafatos*, Ph.D., Fletcher
> Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Chapman University,
> and *Rudolph
> E. Tanzi*, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at
> Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit 
> at
> Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
> The greatest mystery of existence is existence itself. There is the
> existence of the universe and there is the existence of the awareness of
> existence of the universe. Were it not for this awareness, even if the
> universe existed as an external reality, we would not be aware of its
> existence, so it would for all practical purpose not exist. Traditional
> science assumes, for the most part, that an objective observer independent
> reality exists; the universe, stars, galaxies, sun, moon and earth would
> still be there if no one was looking. However, modern quantum theory, the
> most successful of all scientific creations of the human mind, disagrees.
> The properties of a particle, quantum theory tells us, do not even exist
> until an observation takes place. Quantum theory disagrees with
> traditional, Newtonian physics. Most scientists, although respecting
> quantum theory, do not follow its implications. The result is a kind of
> schizophrenia between what scientists believe and what they practice. When
> we examine this hypothesis of traditional science, we find it more a
> metaphysical assumption than a scientific assertion.
> How can we assert that an observer-independent reality exists if the
> assertion itself is dependent on the existence of a conscious observer?
> This raises the additional dilemma of who or what is the observer and 
> where
> is this observer located? When scientists in general describe empirical
> facts and formulate scientific theories, they forget that neither facts 
> nor
> theories are an insight into the true nature of fundamental reality apart
> from any observer. What we consider to be empirical facts are entirely
> dependent on observation, in agreement with quantum theory. The scientific
> observer in this case is an activity of the universe called Homo sapiens
> usually with a Ph.D. in physics, biology, neuroscience or other branches 
> of
> science. However, many scientists have never really asked the question 
> "Who
> am I"?
> Most neuroscientists who still don't believe that quantum theory has
> anything to do with the brain, would assert that "I", the conscious
> observer, is solely an epiphenomenon of the brain; that consciousness is
> produced by the brain, just as gastric juices are produced by the stomach
> and bile is produced by the gall bladder. The problem with this of course,
> is that any neuroscientist worth his/her tenure will tell you that there 
> is
> no satisfactory theory in neuroscience that explains how neurochemistry
> translates into conscious experience. How do electrochemical phenomena in
> the brain create the appreciation of the beauty of a red rose, the taste 
> of
> garlic, the smell of onions, the feeling of love, compassion, joy, 
> insight,
> intuition, imagination, creativity, free will, or awareness of existence 
> of
> self and the universe? There is no physicalist theory based on classical
> physics to explain these subjective experiences. Nor, is there any obvious
> means for coming up with one.
> When traditional science finds itself in such an impasse it might be time
> to question some of the basic assumptions about so called
> independently-existing reality. We must revisit the idea that science is a
> methodology and not an ontology. Current science however is based on a
> physicalist ontology. This is the basic belief that reality is physical 
> and
> mind is an epiphenomenon of matter (the nervous system). Nonetheless we 
> are
> baffled when asked to explain how matter becomes mind. We suggest here a
> fundamental revision in our most cherished scientific assumptions. We
> boldly suggest that matter, force fields, particles, waves, even the 
> fabric
> of space and time are not denizens of fundamental reality but that they 
> are
> perceptual and cognitive experiences in consciousness. Actually what we
> propose, would be in agreement with what most of the great physicists who
> founded quantum theory almost a hundred years ago would hold. But we are
> also going beyond, taking the statements of quantum theory to the next
> level: All of physical reality is a perceptual experience in consciousness
> alone. The experience may turn out to be different for different species.
> What is physical reality to a bat, a honey bee, a nematode, a whale, a
> dolphin, an eagle, an insect with numerous eyes? There is no fixed 
> physical
> reality, no single perception of the world, just numerous ways of
> interpreting world views as dictated by one's nervous system and the
> specific environment of our planetary existence. We propose that the
> worldview of current science as its is being practiced, which operates 
> from
> the assumption that human perception and particularly facts emanating from
> observations made with human scientific methods are the only fundamental
> truth, is clearly flawed. Furthermore the subject / object split that is
> the basic premise of the current scientific methods has led to the 
> creation
> of arguably detrimental technologies including mechanized death, petroleum
> products in our food, genetically modified foods, global warming,
> extinction of species, and even the possible extinction of the human
> species. Building on the quantum view of the cosmos, which accepts a
> non-local, entangled reality that includes observers as fundamental, we
> suggest the next natural step, a new science rooted in consciousness, one
> that strives to interpret the entire universe, with all its observers, all
> modes of observation, and all objects observed as nothing other than
> consciousness and it's manifestations!
> Rejecting what we believe is the most reasonable and rational approach
> proposed here, will lead nowhere and force us to accept randomness and 
> lack
> of purpose as the hallmarks of the universe. Such a view is, ultimately,
> leading to no meaning for our own very existence. We suggest that
> perceptual objects experienced in consciousness, including our very 
> brains,
> are not the source of consciousness. We suggest rigorous testing of this
> radically different ontology. We feel a holistic science that does not
> separate observer from that which is observed would lead to the unraveling
> of the mysteries of the universe which at presently seem beyond reach,
> leading to an understanding of a conscious universe in which all are
> differentiated activities of a single field that is an undivided wholeness
> and in some sense bridges external reality with inner being.
> -- 
> regards,
> Sarma.
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