Spiritual Speculation- Spirituality and society

A number of buffalos gathered on the banks of the river. Some of them were drinking water. Some were grazing. A leopard jumped from a bush and all the buffalos dispersed in fear. The leopard targeted a buffalo and was chasing it. Another buffalo from the herd came and attacked the leopard. The leopard fell down. All the buffalos in the herd followed suit and started attacking leopard with their horns. The leopard gathered it’s wits and ran away quickly.

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Man was initially part of the nature. Like animals he was mating with in blood relatives and parents and kids. As his memory and consciousness developed he remembered his maternal feelings while raising his kids. He could not overcome those maternal feelings later and that was the beginning of familial relations. Society was formed from the nature and it’s culture separated man from nature. Slowly the modernity has set in and now man is being separated from society into an individual. How is the mystical experience of a person useful to the collective good of a society? If the mystical experience could not make a man’s character flawless (What qualifies for a flaw is a different question) it is of not much use to the society. The mystical experience can not give food to a hungry man. If a person is flawless then it does not matter if the society is capitalistic or socialistic. But that is not the reality. So political leaders have to still struggle to bring up a social model, assuming man is not perfect. The social leaders like reformers should still try to create the education system that keeps on rectifying the flaws in a man. But if the fundamental selfish nature of a man is not changed (might be due to some random mutation), whatever the system be, it is susceptible to collapse. How should a man take the mystic experiences.? I think despite the existence of the experiences he should continue to perform his duties. That is what Bhagavad-Gita says.The pupose of life is to live it in the context handed over to us.

…to continue

ఓ అమెరికా వాడి రైలు బండి

ఒక ఆంధ్ర సాఫ్ట్ వేర్ ఇంజినీర్ కథ

ప్రకటనలు

Spiritual Speculation- Supernatural powers

The paddy fields are vast. They are dotted on the peripheries with Palmyra trees and Casuarina. It is a scorching summer. But the kids know no summer. It’s a vacation time for them.Ignoring the reproaches from their parents they have started into the fields. One of them knows climbing the Palmyra trees. They zero in on a Palmyra tree. They debate if the tender Palmyra will be worthy of eating since they looked a bit off-color. He climbs and cut the bunches of Palmyras. They fall all around. The children feast on the kernels of the tender Palmyras and then move on to the next tree.Now they almost know about the quality of the tender Palmyras on this tree.

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Many people including spiritual men are said to posses supernatural powers. According to Ko.Ku a Telugu writer, the ancient men used to posses these powers. But as man’s thinking power developed, these supernatural powers became defunct. So these powers were all natural once upon a time. Because of the current context, they look supernatural. Some of these powers are harmless. The spiritual healing, magnetic attraction are some harmless powers. Some are potentially harmful if they fall into the hands of selfish people. If a person knows future, assume a stock speculator using his powers to manipulate the market. Similarly reading other’s thoughts could be dangerous. But these powers seem not in control of the persons who posses them. Now they show these powers and tomorrow the powers are gone. If the person who possesses these powers is selfish, they pose danger to the world. The fact that “so far no such danger has materialized” indicates that either these powers are not in control of the person in which they exist or they materialize only in selfless saintly people. One can only get what is there in this world. So, these powers need not be mystified and should not be connected to the heavenly things. Scientists should investigate and find out the reasons behind these powers with open mind. Mystical philosophers make sweeping statements about the nature of thought and self. The statements of many such people look ridiculous in the light of subsequent scientific findings. God is there in details. So scientists and academic philosophers should collaborate and conduct experiments that go into the nitty-gritty of the claims and statements of spiritual men. All thought in not junk. If we think about our understanding about the nature before scientific and physical discoveries, the picture becomes clear.Despite all it’s shortcomings of being just in the realm of ideas, research in physics has resulted in better understanding of the world around us.

…to continue

ఓ అమెరికా వాడి రైలు బండి

ఒక ఆంధ్ర సాఫ్ట్ వేర్ ఇంజినీర్ కథ

Spiritual Speculation- Reality,Truth etc.

It is a cold country. It rained snow for ten months in a year there. The oceans, the rivers and the ponds are frozen. Children played skiing and ran ice scooters on the frozen ocean. The daytime in winter was a few minutes while the night-time in summer too lasted a few minutes. The dogs  pulled carriages with people in it. They are called sledge carts. Entire farming comes to stand still and one does not venture out much. But for locals who are used to the snow and chill, it is business as usual. While walking on the snow outside, you don’t know what is beneath the white snowed surface. It’s all speculation.

*********************

As I started my first job my thoughts about the world entered a different plane. Following are the notes I wrote in those days.

What is reality?
What is subjective?
What is objective?
Is a completely objective thing real?
Now a days, rationality and scientific thinking are given much importance in our society.Many people believe rationality as flaw less and take it as a “plane of reference ” if  there is a dilemma in the daily
life. Some people apply scientific thinking, which is the originator of science and rationality,
to the things that do not fall into the purview of human thinking. While scientific reasoning is the best
jewel in the crown of humanity, it has its own limitations too.
In the entire universe man is a living being on a very tiny particle called earth. His thinking is a product of
an evolutionary process and personal conditioning.
Physically, thought is nothing but an electromechanical action/reaction. It is supported by the daily sensual inputs one is getting through his senses.
As one can see, the entire process is heavily conditioned .
Now, we shall  see what will happen when we try to capture things out side the domain of thought, with thought. It is just like human beings flying in the air. A man traveling in the space with the speed of light.
Subjects like God, absolute truth, absolute objectivity all fall beyond the domain of thought simply because
they are dealing with absolute things, and there is no convincing explanation with in the
field of thought. There’s nothing in the field of thought which is not conditioned by any thing, without a little borrowing of belief. Thought itself is
heavily conditioned by all the things mentioned above(chemical, evolution processes).
And the “notions of god, truth, absoluteness”, solutions and thought itself is created by thought which comes from
the very narrow background of society, values, beliefs.
Further, thought has the limitation of being driven by wishes wants desires and instincts. If et all a man is able to go
beyond thought, he may find altogether a new meaning for the above words(truth, God ) which is not in any way
related to the original meaning or word. This meaning  can not be translated into the field of thought. The greatest he can do is to give a new word to his experience. This experience can not be understood by other people.
It is sort of “starting to find something and landing up in the contrary”. Thought and effort generate and perpetrate
each other. So, we can not try to go beyond thought as that effort it self is a product of thought. Without effort of some kind, thought can not exist.

I’ll give two example to get more clarity. If a person is excited either positively or negatively, it is difficult for him to get into sleep. In that situation if he tries to sleep he will never get sleep. Since “trying to sleep” is possible in conscious state only. So the trying or effort in that direction perpetuates conscious state. Because of this, he will not be able to enter the unconscious state of sleep. Similarly let’s think a person in front of his office system is trying hard to resist sleep. But in spite of the effort he falls asleep. In this case, the unconscious has occupied his conscious state in spite of his conscious efforts to over come sleep.

When a person is in deep sleep or unconscious due to anesthesia he is still alive. But nothing he undergoes in that state can be translated into conscious state. “What with in that state wakes him up into a conscious state”, is a mystery to me.
We think based on many assumptions.For example, take a steel knife of wooden handle. What is there at the meeting
point of wood and steel. Is it steel or wood or both or neither. If we tell it is wood then where from steel is beginning? and vice versa?
If we call it both two objects can not exist in the same place. If we tell neither, we are bringing some imaginary object
which we never have seen in the physical world and which is not defined in terms of physical object, like infinity. But simply because we have never seen in the world , we can not deny that there exists a border.
we have to make any measurement of the knife using its borders only. When borders themselves are not real,
and only notational all the measurements are also notational, based on some undefined imaginary thing.
But that does not mean that physical objects do not exist.
We are daily encountering them.Starting point, Ending point notations, which are based on our intuition
are not working here.
Finally we are measuring objects based on some thing not defined or imaginary, does not sound rational unless we
accept undefined things also as part of rationality.
If scientific measurements are not true , then how science is working and creating miracles. Generally science tries to give workable explanation for any phenomenon with a combination of observed facts and concepts(arrange ment of symbols in proper way
to achieve the goal). That is the reason for the workability of science and scientific thought.Mathematics quantifies the findings of science.

We do not know what is behind our senses.
We can understand any unknown thing up to the extent they can be explained in terms of the already known things.
All human minds can have some shared limitations, in the generation of concepts with in the limits of known things also as we all have some common conditionality.
The common image about rationality and science is they are crystal clear about anything. They have unshakeable basis
for their existence. My this exploration is to dispute this maxim. Of course it is useless to give more attention to the limitations of rationality,
as we can not transcend thought.
If a person tells us he has undergone an experience which is very extraordinary and which can not be translated into words,
how can we know whether he has experienced that or not?
We have to simply either believe or disbelieve him based on our psychological inclinations. We’ll never know the truth about his experience. Finally experiencing is different from understanding intellectually. A completely color blind person can understand what a color might be, using his intellect.But,he will never be able to experience or perceive the color. The mystics experience the reality beyond our senses. The scientists try to understand it intellectually. The aims of both of them are one and the same. But their paths never meet.
Our belief is a mental image. belief can have many reasons.
— Wishful thinking produces belief
— Extrapolation of things and incidents of which we do not have direct sensual experience produces belief or disbelief.
Direct sensual experience itself may not lead to the final truth.
The magic done by the magician should be real if we have to depend only on sensual experience for truth. But there, we apply
our intuition, which is nothing but a healthy disbelief to find out the truth, even though we do not know the trick behind his magic.
Similarly, all the things shown in films, virtual reality , multimedia are not truth. All our dreams give us a feeling of all five senses. But dreams are not true!!
Instead, if we rely on physical laws, at some point they are extrapolations and , simple concepts( based on sensual experience and mentally rearranged symbols).
In the computer programming, in a “for” loop if a final condition is never met , then it results in an infinite loop. Similarly if we try to find out something impossible and some thing beyond human perception and human experience(which is beyond mind and it’s conditionality), then we may land up in an experience which is still in the range of mind.

For some people, God or truth are nothing but a result of wishful thinking.It is like a switch to control their anxiety. They can be mentally more balanced if they beleive in what they
wish. Truthwise, wishful thinking may not be useful, or, it may be if the truth is all-inclusive.

a. Reality and the boundaries of perception

There are supposed to be certain things which are outside the boundaries of human thinking. As such, these boundaries are neither rigid nor concrete. For instance, all over the world, some persons are said to experience epiphanies. But they have difficulty putting these revelations in to words and thoughts. Those people attempt at framing some rules for those epiphanies. But we see those rules falling flat and degrading into obscure cults or extremisms.

I attempted at exploring the issues involved in the understanding of the world beyond human perception. It tries to explain about “the challenges to the human imagination and thinking” in dealing with extra-ordinary and metaphysical aspects of the world.

The telephone that I am seeing on my desk is a real object. My fingers typing these words are real. Let’s examine what the meaning of “reality” is, and what it is not also.

Let’s take the example of an object considered to be very real. That is the ‘telephone’ on my desk.

i.      Verbal aspect

The meaning of the word reality is given by Meriam Webster online dictionary here..

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reality

We’ll consider the meaning, “something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily”. This meaning is relevant to the topic that we are going to discuss.

If something is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily, then that object is deemed to be real. Telephone almost fits the description. So the grey telephone on my desk is real.

Let’s assume there is a kid in my room, who sees the telephone for the first time in his life. Let’s call him little Johnny. Now, we’ll look closely at the mechanism by which the Johnny’s mind identifies that there’s a real telephone on my desk.

  1. By looking at the real world object of telephone, an image is generated in the Johnny’s brain. This image is electrochemical in nature. This image is a lossy image. It does not represent the telephone exactly in his brain. Take Johnny out of the room and ask him, “How many buttons are there on the telephone?” He may not be able to come up with a correct number as an answer.How ever, he may tell roughly around how many buttons are there on the telephone.
  2. As the little Johnny has seen the telephone for the first time in his life, he would like to know what it’s called. He asks the intern there what it’s called. Or, the intern may himself volunteer to tell the kid about the telephone. Alternately Johnny may find in his nursery book that the object is called a telephone. This results in the initiation for linking the image in Johnny’s mind to the corresponding word.
  3. Then Johnny links the word/label/tag called ‘telephone’ to the image in his mind. He needs to simply activate this link when he comes across the object next time anywhere else.
  4. Now, hearing the word ‘telephone’, Johnny can retrieve the image in his brain and alternately by looking at the image of the telephone (internally in his mind or externally), he can retrieve the word ‘telephone’.
  1. However, given the image in his head he can not create the object/instrument telephone itself. (He wishes he could). This is because telephone instrument is “something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily”. That is to say it is real.
  2. He can mix the image of the telephone in his mind, with the already existing images of other objects/ideas in his head. Then he can manipulate the real life telephone according to the image in his mind. For instance he may think the telephone looks like a bread packet and then put it to his mouth, ultimately finding it’s not possible.

Now let’s assume that little Johnny has grown up to be a handsome Mr Johnson. He uses the telephone daily in his office, especially to contact his girl friend.

When Johnson comes across a telephone here is how the events unroll.

  1. The object, telephone triggers its image in his brain.
  2. Then the link established between this image and the tag ‘telephone’ gets activated.

He automatically identifies the telephone. Given the word, he can retrieve the image and vice versa.

  1. However he can not retrieve the actual object called telephone. This makes the object real. It exists even if Johnson exits from this world. It’s not a creation of his mind. So it’s an objective reality.
  2. Now, the only event left is to dial his girl friend

ii.      Subjectivity aspect

However, the shape, color and feel of the telephone are rendered by Johnson’s mind to some extent. If a cow sees the same telephone, it might not be able to identify that it’s a blue telephone because of its color blindness. If a dog listens to its ring, it will identify the infra-sonics, but not Johnson. Not any human being. So, the color of the phone etc are not as objective as they were thought to be. They vary, depending on whether a man has seen it or a cow has seen it.

Similarly, if Johnson looses all his senses, the telephone does not exist for him at that moment. But, he lost not the telephone alone, he lost the entire world. Other normal people will be able to see the telephone. Still, the cow will be able to see the black and white telephone.

If, the blind Mr Johnson believes more in measurements than senses, then he can get measured the mass and length of the phone and get satisfied that the phone is there indeed. The mass of the phone will be same for a cow also, if it knows what mass is. It will be same on Moon and Mars also. But, according to Einstein, the mass of the phone changes as it approaches the velocity of light. Still, it’s the mass of  the same telephone. So, still telephone has existence objectively.

iii.      The significance of the links

  1. If Johnson turns mad he can believe the telephone to be a jet plane and that is pretty much real from his point of view.
  2. In the case of this article, it is more of a word/image play to understand the thing called telephone. So, this article involves “rearrangement and manipulation of images”, abstractions and the attached tags to explore the meaning of reality of telephone.
  3. Concepts, scientific theories, arts, movies take the basic inputs (images or abstractions) from the real world objects  and rearrange them towards an intended goal. To an engineer, this goal could be “to produce a car in the external world”. Some times it could be to know the nature of the real object in the world. Some times the product can be the result of manipulation of  internal images (ex: a painting)
  4. In the case of engineering, the real world objects are rearranged based on the manipulation of the corresponding images in the mind.
  5. However the deductions of theoretical science should be verifiable by the real world objects/phenomena.

iv.      How do you know the real object?

  1. The mechanism explained to elaborate the reality of a telephone applies to all the words used in the process of explanation. So, essentially these words belong to the same plane as the word/image ‘telephone’. The actual object/instrument telephone is the only physical/actual/real thing. This real thing is in a different plane. The rest are notional objects in human mind. So they are not equal to real objects. They can not be used to touch the real object, i.e. real telephone. Words and images interfere between the real object telephone and the real object of our being. You can hardly look at a telephone without invoking the word ‘telephone’ in your mind. For the mind to completely look at the real telephone, the mind needs to offload all the words and images from our being. If all the images are offloaded from the mind, the mind ceases to exist psychologically, as we know it. So, in what state will the mind be? The question is similar to a blind man (blind by birth) asking, “You are telling the rose is neither sweet nor sour! Is it red? What is red?”

How do you explain to the blind man about the color of the rose?

  1. Most of the human thoughts, feelings, and emotions occur in mind, involving only words or images. Hence psychological things can be deemed unfit to be real in the physical sense.
  2. In the above figures, if Johnson does not have the images generated in his mind, he will be in direct touch with the thing, telephone.
  3. So new born kids, animals are in better touch with reality (say telephone, tree) than grown ups.
  4. Why has been all the mankind into this image making? “Survival” could possibly offer an explanation. Usually, our ‘self’ is the centre that binds these disparate images and uses them for various purposes, out of which survival is the top most. For better survival/existance, some entity needs to continually supervise all the images that enter the mind. The survival instinct combined with this entity that supervises is nothing but the self, the ‘I’. That might be the reason the mystiques emphasize “transcending the self”, to realize the truth.
  5. Without the images the survival instinct is power less. Images represent past and future. With out images humans will respond to threats only in the particular moment of threat. Images make it possible to gain knowledge of past experiences and plan for future threats. But, with out images people might be close to nature and in harmony with it.
  6. The flip side of the images is, “they make the struggle for existence a planned affair”. So people bear this baggage of past. Plan revenge plots. Remember real or perceived historical injustices and plan future attacks.
  7. It will be good if people can use the fire power of the images, words and thinking when it’s relevant and necessary ( say for scientific analysis) and turn it off when it’s no good, in hatred, wars etc.

b.                  The boundaries of reality and senses – Some questions

What exists beyond the senses? If the man believes, “everything beyond his “senses and understanding” can not be pursued”, then all the progress made by man would not have been possible. All cows are limited by the color blindness. Similarly all humans might be limited by the senses, time etc. But man has gone beyond senses and discovered things like electronics,nuclear science and quantum theory.

All humans can not listen to ultrasonics, where as bats can. So ultrasonics are not part of our perceived world reality. Similarly traveling in time might be possible in future for some beings. But it’s not part of our reality. Truth or absolute Reality is not an object in the usual sense. The table there may have various colors depending on what kind of living being perceives it. The mass of the chair varies depending on its relative velocity. But the characteristics of the Truth are supposed to be not varying. Or do they vary?

Is reality an idea? If it is an idea, it exists only in our mind. It does not have a physical existence. A thing that does not have a physical existence can not be true. So, is reality an idea that embodies the basic physical and invariable nature objects. (The characteristics of these objects, like color, mass etc, may vary)?   But, the subject of activity is physical objects?

c.                   Absolute truth might not exist?

One interesting characteristic attributed to real objects in their permanence. Reality might be a product of our imagination as result of having to interact with seemingly permanent things daily. Do we interact with objects which do not transform very fast, relative to human life, and then extrapolate the same nature of not transforming? Then, call it real?

d.                  Limitations of thought

People apply human thinking, which is the originator of science and rationality, to the things that do not fall into the purview of human thinking. While scientific reasoning is the best jewel in the crown of humanity, it has got its own limitations too.  In the entire universe, man is a living being on a very, very tiny particle called earth. His thinking is a product of an evolutionary process and personal conditioning. Physically, thought is nothing but an electromechanical action/reaction. It is fed by the daily sensual inputs that one is gets through one’s senses. Considering the entire universe, the entire process is very conditioned and pertains to a small context. Now, we shall see, what happens when we try to capture things out side thoughts domain, with thought. It is just like human beings trying to fly in the air like birds using their wings.

Subjects like “God, absolute truth, absolute objectivity”, all fall beyond the domain of thought, simply because they are dealing with unconditioned things. With out a little borrowing of belief, there is no convincing explanation with in the field of thought. Scientific theories have their assumptions and hypothesis’.

We believe that gravity keeps the solar system the way it is. We believe gravity will keep on existing in the future. Similarly we conceive that electrons revolve around the atomic nucleus formed by protons and neutron and electrons and protons attract each other.  Many theories and application are based on the belief that the electrons will keep on attracting the protons. What will happen if, on a fine day, electrons start repelling the ‘protons or neutrons?’. May be it’s, another way of asking “how do you know that the entire universe will not suddenly collapse one fine day, unless you believe to the contrary?”

Thought itself is heavily conditioned by all the things mentioned above (chemical, evolution etc). And the” notions of God, truth, absoluteness, solutions and thought itself is created by thought which comes from the very narrow background of society, values, beliefs etc. Further thought has got the limitation of being driven by wishes wants desires instincts.If et all a man is able to go beyond thought, he may find altogether a new meaning for the above words (truth, god etc). This new meaning may not, in any way, be related to the original meaning or word. So, he can not translate this new meaning into the field of thought. The maximum he can do is “to give a new word to his experience which others can not understand”.

Thought and effort generate and perpetrate each other. So, we can not try to go beyond thought as that effort it self is a product of thought. With out effort of some kind, thought can not be there. But thought is merely an image. Initiation should come from outside ones self, to go beyond thought. Most of the manifestations to spiritual people seem to be of this kind.

If there’s absolutely one thing (say God, or universe), then there should not be anything outside of it to think and imagine about the absolute thing, for, then it becomes relative. This means we are part of that absolute thing. There’s no way that we can come out of it and transcend it.

e.                  Concepts pointing un-known – some arguments

Take a steel knife with a wooden handle. What is there at the meeting point of wood and steel? Is it steel or wood or both or neither? If we tell it is wood, then where from steel is beginning, and vice versa? If we call it both, two objects can not exist in the same place. If we tell neither we are bringing some imaginary object which we never have seen in the physical world. This third object is not defined in terms of existing physical objects, like infinity. But simply because we could not prove, we can not deny that there exists a border. We have to make any measure meant of the knife using its borders only. When borders themselves are not real, and only notational all the measurements are also notational, based on some undefined imaginary thing. But that does not mean that physical objects do not exist. We daily encounter them. Starting point, Ending point notations, which are based on our intuition are not working here. But,this could be because of the limitation of the concept real numbers we learnt at school. There are infinite real numbers between any two real numbers. But, this is not so with real life objects. There’s some smallest possible particle called Atom (or some other sub atomic particle). If we measure the length of the knife’s  wood in terms of number of atoms, the above paradox could be resolved.

The motion of objects is a paradox. If an object is moving between two locations, is it present at each and every point on the way to destination? If so, is it stationary or moving at each point?. If its stationary how can we tell that the object is moving. If it is moving how can we tell that it existed at so and so time at all points on the way to its final location?

As explained above, some times the physical phenomenon could not be measured because of the wrong concept used. If we use real numbers, since there are infinite real numbers between any two given real numbers, we may have difficulty in finding edges and starting points exactly. So, a different number system say, ‘integers’, will solve problem. Similar relation exists between cause and effect in time domain.

Similarly if a paradox could not be explained by two known things, it could be solved by the introduction of a new third thing (unknown till now).

Ask a person, “Give an example of an object with out a starting point and with out an ending point”.

He may ponder for some time and may argue there is no such object.

Then point him about any circular, ring like object and ask him to identify its starting point and ending point. This will make him realize that the starting point and ending point concept does not make a sense for circular objects. They are mere conceptual. So, the suggestion of the third object, the circular ring, could solve his paradox.

But usually, the difference with epiphanies is that the third object is not with in the field of human understanding. So the third object may bring another paradox into the picture.

If man has not tried to explore the unknown, many mysteries would not have been unraveled. Many of today’s unknown mysteries could be explained tomorrow because they are still with in the limits of human understanding. That should not prevent us from being open about the things beyond human understanding and effort.

Finally, the fact that we measure objects based on some thing abstract or imaginary, does not sound rational unless we accept undefined things also as part of rationality. If scientific measurements are not true, then how science is working and creating miracles? Generally, science tries to give workable explanation for any phenomenon with a combination of observed facts and concepts (arrangement of symbols in proper manner to achieve the goal). That is the reason for the workability of science and scientific thought. We do not know what is behind our senses.

Why do we search for the absolute thing? Is a relative thing not the real thing? Is absoluteness and reality a myth? Are they expectations triggered by our daily life, or they are real or there are cases to justify all these?

Now that we have pondered over reality, is a completely objective thing real? Is an imaginary thing not real?

What is objective? What is subjective?

According to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle ‘the act of observing’, changes the observed thing (momentum or mass of electron in this case). So there’s no perfect objective thing either. We influence part of our so called objective observations.

f.                    Creativity -Randomness Vs Deterministic

Seemingly random events can have deterministic causes.

Let’s take the example of a football game. The time, at which ball hits the goal, looks random. It is almost impossible to predict how many times the ball hits the gaol on one side. Yet, we know that it will be a result of the game played by both sides of the players. So if we know the relative efficiencies and game plans of both sides the probability of guessing how many goals may hit the goal post increases. The probability of guessing goal increases as is the information about its cause increases. If we know in what direction the ball moves at each moment of the game in advance, we can predict about the goals that both sides will do. The number of goals may look random, but they can be calculated based on certain information.

Similarly an invention can be a result of seemingly random thoughts (similar to Brownian motion) striking correctly in the mind of the inventor. Alternately, it can also be a result of the external circumstances the inventor undergoes.

The trigger for creativity can be a chance event with in our understanding, like the trigger for goal that was scored.

The trigger can be from outside our understanding like the “flash out of a blue in a scientist’s mind”, which does not seem to originate from the thoughts in his mind.

g.                  Understanding

We can understand any unknown thing upto the extent they can be explained in terms of the already known things. In the “generation of concepts with in the known things”, all human minds can have some shared limitations, as we all have some common conditionality.

The conventional image about rationality is, “It is crystal clear about anything”. Rationality has got unshatterable basis. Of course, it is useless to give more attention to the limitations of rationality, as we can not transcend thought. If a person tells us he has undergone an experience which is very extraordinary and which can not be translated into words how can we know whether he has experienced that or not? We have to simply either believe or not beleive, based on our psycological inclinations. We’ll never know the truth about his experience.

Our beleif is a mental image. Beleif can have many reasons.

  • Wishful thinking produces beleif
  • Extrapolation of things and incidents of which we do not have direct sensual experience produces beleif or disbeleif.

h.                  Is direct perception true?

Direct sensual experience alone may not define truth. If we have to depend only on sensual experience to know truth, the magic done by the magician should be true. But there we apply our intution, which is nothing but a healthy belief to find out the truth, even though we do not know the trick behind his magic.

Similarly all the things shown in films, virtual reality, and multimedia are not truth. All our dreams give us a feeling of all five senses. But dreams are not true!!

Instead if we rely on physical laws, at some point they are extrapolations and, simple concepts (based on sensual experience and mentally rearranged concepts).

In the computer programming, in a “for” loop if a final condition is never met , then it results in an infinite loop. Similarly if we try to find out something impossible and some thing beyond human perception and human experience (which is beyond mind and its conditionality), then we may land up in an experience which is still in the range of mind.

In some people God or truth is nothing but a result of wishful thinking. It is like a switch to control their anxiety. They can be mentally more balanced if they beleive in what they wish. The product of wishful thinking may not be truth. In other words, it may be truth only if the truth is all inclusive, including illusions and hallucinations.

There seem to be certain boundaries to human perception. The sciences, arts, religion and philosophy focus on different aspects of the reality with in these boundaries. It may need a co-ordinated work with focus on these limits and beyond to know more about the facts. Then the elephant of reality may strike as shown in the parable here.

Four blind men were walking on a path in a Jungle. An elephant came across these four blind men. The four blind men were not aware that there was an elephant in front of them. They sensed that some thing is obstructing their path. One caught hold of its trunk and told it is like a ‘papaya tree’. The second person touched the elephant’s tail and told the thing looks like ‘a snake with a brush at its end’. The third blind man caught the elephants leg and told it is like a palm pole. The fourth man went around the elephant touching it’s feet, trunk and tail then declared it’s all. It’s four palm trunks, with a papaya tree between the front two palm trunks and one snake between the rear two palm trunks. They started arguing loudly about this. “ It’s a snake, it’s a palm pole, it’s the tree, no.. no..it’s all, no.. it’s none”.

The elephant got disturbed by the commotion of the blind men, it screamed and kicked its legs. Then it took the four men by its trunk one by one and has thrown them into the needled bushes at the side of the road. The four blind men got up from the bush crying with pain. The got together, and then they reached the consensus, “It’s none of the things we assume it to be”. “It’s the elephant after all, stupid!”.

…to continue

ఓ అమెరికా వాడి రైలు బండి

ఒక ఆంధ్ర సాఫ్ట్ వేర్ ఇంజినీర్ కథ

Spiritual Speculation-Physical Time, Mental Time

That’s a volcano. It’s tip is a concave plateau. When it explodes, the lava jumps forth from its tip and washes everything on its path along with it. First it touches the rocks near the tip. Then burns the trees and uproots them. There are some habitations at the foot of the mountain. The houses are decimated and carried away by the lava.Theanimals are dead in a minute and carried away by the force of the emissions. It is impossible to reverse the direction of the lava and make it return back to the mouth of the volcano. There is a sea at the side of the volcano. The lava goes into the sea and cools down forming rocks and emitting fumes
*********

The philosophy lecturer was elaborating about time in my graduation class.

He was like a river on spate.

“consciousness is like the circular beam of a torch in a dark room. It lightens up the things in the room that it falls on. The objects around the circular beam are also shown in a dim light. It is like subconsciousness. The things consciousness selects to highlight depend on the nature of the self or ‘I’ and the external stimuli. The nature of the self is explained largely by the physical and psycological needs.
The self, which is is bundle of recorded images is able to look at the world and itself through consciousness. It divides the incidents happening before the contact of the consciousness with the world as “past”, during the duration as present, and after the duration as future. In this way, the past, present and future are created by the self. So, mental time if created by the self or thought.

Simultaneously there exists the physical time made of the sequence of events since the Universe was created either due to big bang or due to some other reason. All the objects of the universe, including humans float in this stream called “Physical Time”. The human individual consciousness, being part of the brain also floats in this physical time. Physical time is insurmountable and unidirectional. It always flows in one direction. It’s direction can’t be reversed. A person can’t go to the time of Moses, for he can’t exist both now and in the times of Moses.

There exists a theory proposing the entire universe in an expression or form of a universal consciousness. The individual conscious ness is like the sound played by the radio of the white noise that exists everywhere in the universe. The entire universe is like the AV/TV button. You press it once, you see the expressed side of the cosmic consciousness, that is the physical world. You press it again you see it in it’s unexpressed form, like the viewer sees the blank screen of the TV. Only some mystics have access to this unexpressed form of  the consciousness. More about that later.”

…to continue

ఓ అమెరికా వాడి రైలు బండి

ఒక ఆంధ్ర సాఫ్ట్ వేర్ ఇంజినీర్ కథ

Spiritual speculation-Self or I

They are on their trip to the famous gorge. On their way they have comeacross these not so famous mountains. From the feet of those mountains they saw the clouds kissing the peaks. They thought their road wouldsnake through the feet of the mountains and pass them. But, unexpectedly the road soon reached the peaks. Their car is now amid those clouds.

The sun has faded. Soon, the road has gone above the clouds and the clouds now appear like end less heaps of white cotton.

After a few hours of journey, they have reached the gorge they have set-in for. It’s an enormous valley dotted with mountains rocks with an ancient river flowing through it.The rays of setting sun make boulders look like golden hills. From the flat earth you could see miles of the valley and its magic. Soon the magic takes over your mind and you are no longer there…only the magic is there.
*********
My philosophy lecturer in the college told me to stand up and asked,

“Who are you?”.
I said, ” I am Chetan”.
“That’s your name..who are you?”
Then I thought for a while and said, “What is a bus? A bus is it’s engine, steering, seat wheels, body etc. All put together it’s a bus. Similarly I am a collection of my body, mind, heart, name etc”.

Then the lecturer asked immediately, “Who is the entity that has just now given this answer?”
“That’s my intelligence”
“If I put this question to a bus, it won’t answer, right. I am talking to that entity in you.I am talking about that entity who is self-conscious. This entity constantly tells you, “you are right here..you are wrong there..hey man!, your capability is not sufficient..work hard”…I am asking about that entity..who is that entity? This is a big mystery and illusion at the same time. What  is “I” in you”.
Then he continued his explanation…

“A new-born kid is not able to distinguish between his self and the external world. If another kid cries he feels that as his own misery and he too starts crying. He can’t make out if that cradle from his hand. The cradle is part of him in the same way his hand is part of him. But slowly he finds the difference through sensations, touch,sound, looks and smells between his self and the non-self.
As he grows up he learns to associate sounds with the images in hismind. This is mom, that is chair. If he does not know the word for an object he stores it’s image in his brain. Now whenever he interacts with the real world the images, sounds and words interfere and mix with the sensory inputs he gets from the real world. So, his perception is colored with the stored images.And you know images are the building blocks of thought.

Do you know what is meant by Zombie? Zombie is a person controlled by some other master. In a way we are all Zombies. We are zombies controlled by our genes and conditioning by the society and environment.”

“But,unlike animals,man has something called “free will” between conditions and his actions.”, I protested.

He said, “At a primary level free will is not so free. Free will is again a product of conditioning.It’s merely the shape that conditioning has given to our instincts and drives. It’s not the content itself. Content is our physical urges needs etc…… You have decided to watch that movie. The umpteen subtle conditionings that you have undergone since your child hood decide your decision to watch a movie.

Similarly at a secondary level free will changes conditions. Gandhi’s will has changed the conditions for all of us and made India free. Man is like a cattle tied with an elastic rope to a poll. With in the confines of the ropes length he is free. He can pull and increase the length of the rope. He can try and learn something and push his limits to achieve things which hitherto are beyond his reach. But there is a limit set to the length of the rope by nature. An elastic rope breaks after the  limit and sets the cattle free. But the rope given to us by nature never breaks. As the elastic limit is reached the rope is strengthened further.So in a way the saying, “Man is born free but is found every where in shackles” is true”
I interrupted him, “In man’s case also, I beleive the rope could be broken”
He laughed, “you are a young man”, and then he continued, “As to any other living organism, our selfishness is given to us by nature for the survival sake. This selfishness acquires the images, words, sensations from the world out there and stores in our memory. It makes these images in the memeory party of it and then becomes the “self” or “I”.  So,the self is a recorded entity. It’s not a live entity. It does not exist in the present.It’s all past. The entity that exists in the present is our individual consciousness. I’ll talk to you about this in detail later.Finally you told you were Chetan(liveliness), but you are not Chetan..you are Achetan(unliviliness)…you are nothing but the dead past stored in memory”

…to continue

ఓ అమెరికా వాడి రైలు బండి

ఒక ఆంధ్ర సాఫ్ట్ వేర్ ఇంజినీర్ కథ

Spiritual Speculation-God and Universe

The river is three kilometers wide. People take mechanized boats and travel upstream to visit the holy places. As the boat moves upstream dense hilly jungles come into picture on both the sides of the river. The river becomes narrower and deeper. Every year the river is on spate during rainy season. The hillocks on both sides bear the marks of the water when it was flooding. But,now the river is very calm and composed. In the jungles there are tribal hamlets. The only mode of transport for them is the country boat on the river. There were no roads to those habitations. No TV signals.. no cellular signals. Sparrows are still chirping around. After staying there for a couple of days and getting immersed in the quite tranquility, a man from the city begins to yearn for his staple diet of TV programs and radio channels. But the original inhabitants know nothing of either the beauty of the place or ruckus of the modern world.

Finally one reaches the birth place of the river. It’s small pond like body in the high mountains. Water collects from almost incessant rains and thus the river is formed. It has become a pilgrim place.

*********

As I entered my tenth standard, I started having many unanswered questions in my mind. Two most important of those questions are about God and the Universe.

Initially I believed in God due to my family environment. Soon there began murmurs in my mind. “Why did that train accident happen? What is wrong with all those thousands of people dead in the tsunami. If I am a bad person, is God,my creator, not responsible for my badness? Should one worship God? Is he a sycophant? Does he punish those who do not believe him? Is he so power-hungry? Should I believe in him to get access to the goodies given by him? If nobody created this world where from it has sprung up?”

Soon it has become difficult for me not to argue God is not there. At the same time it was hard for me not to believe in God..especially in the testing times of school examinations.

While being asked if God is there or not,why don’t people say,”I do not know”. Why do they always either believe or not believe? Usually one believes or disbelieves an object one has not seen or perceived. So, one should say one does not know. Of course,the person who has seen God is free to tell he has seen God. But I have not seen such a person so far. Some people say God is in their heart. This implies a belief and wishful thinking again. Imagination or hallucination can not be God.

The other day I asked my elder cousin who believes he was an omniscient, “Who created God?”.

He said,”Nobody created God.If somebody creates him, then he is not a God”.

Then I asked, “When has God’s existence started?”

He said,”There’s no start or end to God”.

This looks like an escape for me.Escape from agreeing, “I do not know”.

I asked him, “could there be such a thing that does not have starting or ending?”

He said,” Since we do not see any such things in our daily life, we can’t imagine such a thing with out a start or an end. But once we see such a thing it become easier for us to imagine a thing without start or end”

“Could you give an example of such a thing?”

He said, “I can give the example in a different field. Take any circular object. What’s the starting point and ending point of its circular body?”

These arguments between my cousin and me run long.

“What’s the origin of Universe?” I would ask him.

“I’ll give similar answers to those of God”

“What’s outside the Universe?”

“There’s no outside to the universe”

“How come it is possible? An object without an outside?” I would press on him.

“Similar explanation..since in your daily life you do not see any object without an outside..it’s difficult for you to imagine an object with out outside.”

“Before universe what was there?”

“Nothing”

“How come so big a universe has come from nothing?”

“Again..problem with your imagination”, then he posed a counter question,”negatively charged electrons revolve around positive nucleus that contains protons..right? That’s the story so far..but what is the guarantee that one fine day electrons  do not become positively charged too…? Similarly what’s the guarantee that tomorrow, out of the blue, gravity disappears and all planets collapse in to Sun? Fundamentally our imagination is a results beliefs. These beliefs are due to long observed facts. But what’s the guarantee that facts do not change? Fact may not change in a million years.But it can change after two million years.”

“Is the belief in God necessary?”

“It depends. It gives a sense of control over the hardships in your life. If you think there’s nobody to take care of “things beyond your control”, you might become mentally more unstable”

His arguments leave me more confused and restless.

…to continue

ఓ అమెరికా వాడి రైలు బండి

ఒక ఆంధ్ర సాఫ్ట్ వేర్ ఇంజినీర్ కథ

spiritual speculation-After death

That’s a serene valley. The sun is very gentle. The mist is lingering in the woods in pockets. There’s a foot ball match going on in the nearby school. The chirpy school kids never get tired of the game. Their energy is boundless.

It drizzled last night. The leaves of the fir trees look washed and fresh.There’s a stream gurgling near the school ground. It’s mixed with the sound of the woodpecker’s tweets.There was a huge land slide down the stream during the drizzle last night. Suddenly the stream has turned a waterfall where the land slide happened. A small but deep ditch is formed and the stream at once jumps into the ditch now.

The foot ball comes out of the ground and falls into the stream. A boy has begun chasing the ball in the stream.He is about to catch the ball. To his dismay suddenly there appeared the ditch formed due to the land slide. The fall fell into the ditch with water and is quickly carried away by the stream. The boy has to return back with empty hands.

*************

My friend Somu is no more. He is dead while trying to pick a lotus from a pond near the school. After the class prayed for him by observing silence for five minutes, the class teacher said, “For a student of fifth standard, his life ended quite young. Boys and girls! Please do not venture into the water bodies any where around the school”.

Somu is dead now. What does it mean? What happens if I am dead? Will the world go on as usual? These trees, the school, my classmates, the teacher…what happens to them. Will I be able see them once I am dead? If I’m dead, shall I go to heaven or hell? I don’t want to die even if I go to heaven. It’s very scary to imagine my death..why..life is like a dream song…death never entered my mind..and now..it’s like a sudden endless darkness..why am I frightened about death..?

What happens if my father dies? It’s even more scary..? Who looks after me, my loving mother, little sister. How do we get money..? Niket is calling for  the game..I’ll ask him…”What will you do if you die tomorrow?”

He says, “It’ll not happen..come on.. it’s getting late…”.

Why am I worried suddenly about death and then life..?

…to continue

ఓ అమెరికా వాడి రైలు బండి

ఒక ఆంధ్ర సాఫ్ట్ వేర్ ఇంజినీర్ కథ