Monday, December 9, 2013

What should one do after Enlightenment ?

In the Bhagavad Gita, there is an interesting verse, in chapter 5, verse 54 : Arjuna asks Krishna about the state of an enlightened person, how he will conduct himself, how he will sit, how he will walk, what will he talk,etc. He is not merely curious about some enlightened person and his behavior. His question is indirectly a question about himself. After knowing about enlightenment, Arjuna is curious about how the enlightened will behave. In a way he is checking out what he ought to be doing once he is enlightened.

Interestingly Krishna goes about saying several things, obviously not very specific but seemingly distinct.

The inclusion of this dialogue and several such are indeed the genius of the Vedantic texts. The objective of the Vedantic texts are to pave a path for enlightenment. and this is a journey. a long hard journey at that. Instead of merely declaring things as such and such in an axiomatic manner, starting from an imaginary nothingness, these texts mimic the inquiry, introspection and inner transformation of the seeker,every step of the way.

Enlightenment in a way can be elaborated as obtaining the ultimate understanding to our questions in life and beyond, about the world, life, people, events, the space, time and everything that the mind can think and ask about, as well as things that it is not capable of asking about. This is the ultimate quest. The ultimate destination is one and the same no matter how many paths one takes. 

Finally one good morning (or evening ,or most likely in the very middle of the night), when all the studies and teachings of the Guru fructifies and the seeker gets the Aha moment, he is baffled, feels a little bit stupid as well, and eventually completely at peace with the consistency of everything. Whether a simple proof that fits the margin of a notebook, or an elaborate and excruciatingly painful 1000-page proof the Fermat's Last theorem, fact is, it is proved, and finally the integrity of the axiomatic foundations of mathematics are preserved along with the cozy framework of Logic.

After basking in this moment of glory, the enlightened mulls over the post-enlightened phase. What am I supposed to do, 
now that I have known that knowing which I am incapable of knowing anything,
now that I have experienced that, experiencing which I am incapable of experiencing anything further,
now that I have seen that, seeing which I no longer see anything ...etc etc..
kind of perplexing situation, especially for the one who is supposedly enlightened..  this is where Arjuna's question comes into the picture.

Enlightenment means realizing you are not the doer, after realizing it, if one wonders what to do, perhaps the only thing to do is go back and start over the journey of enlightenment again with the hope that it might work this time around.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Why Quantum Mechanics has nothing to do with God

I find it amusing these days to see discussions among scholars of science and spirituality mostly ending with the scientists mocking at the unscientific use of science by the spiritualists to prove the existence of God. To quote Michael Shermer .. 'You say Quantum mechanics is weird and spooky, the world of the spirit is weird and spooky and so quantum mechanics is Spiritual' .. or something to that end. I think Shermer here has a point.

Quantum mechanics for instance is such a very hard subject to grasp from an intuitive manner, perhaps there are just a handful of scientists who really really understand it, and if anything its abstract and perhaps no intuitive interpretation is possible. It is a theory that is fit onto scientific observations. Much like by observing the ratio of circumference to the diameter our ancient scientists figured out that it always seem to be the same. 

An observation, or a series of observations are made, a theory is created. The theory is tested meticulously, objectively, over and over again. the theory is corrected as needed, more observations, more corrections, more new theories .. this is the broad outline of science. chipping away carefully one at a time. This simple yet completely objective study of phenomenon has taken us through various stages of evolution , we have incrementally been knowing more, controlling more, creating more,improving more. Every century has a quantum leap if you will, putting to unimaginable obscurity what the mighty of the past might have to call in terms of knowledge and comforts compared to that of a common man today.

Science has been, is and will ever be the greatest tool of man to investigate, improve and innovate. As a layman it is best to stop there. Just because I have read about the double slit experiment a dozen times in various books and magazines doesn't qualify me as a quantum physicist. Even a PhD in the subject doesn't warrant a complete understanding of it.

Now, to really stop being embarrassed by scientists particularly physicists, spiritualists who truly know what they are talking about, should use the simplest of reasoning to reach to the spirit. There is nothing New-Age about the spirit. The spirit is timeless,but science has its time. there was old archaic science, medieval science, modern science, futuristic science and so on. that is because we keep learning about a constantly changing world. The spirit is timeless.

While using contemporary language and situations are useful to set a context, to claim that modern scientific knowledge implies the spirit is childish. scientists are very sharp people. mathematics and logic are their tongue. If there were to be a connect between the two, then both must speak the same language, and with complete understanding of their respective subjects. the scientist is a seeker. he questions the understanding of man, wants to arrive at an explanation. only thing is he is very clear that his subjects are those that can be objectively observable. they must be observed,measured, detected using an unbiased instrument of sorts and the observation must be repeatable with predictable results. 

Every single such thing that the scientist is interested in, be it a subatomic particle, or sub-sub particle, or a burst of energy, or the force of gravity, or the waves on the beach, the depths of the oceans, the vast distances in space, thoughts in a person, what ever that maybe, has observable attributes. something that an instrument can detect. a single feeble blip is good, but there ought to be one. Even the dark matter for that matter is observable due to its influences, just like Neptune's influences resulted in its discovery. every single thing is owing its existence due to the fact that it can be observed. that in turn owes it to at least one single attribute.

An attribute is anything that can describe something. a length, a weight, a color, a shape, a temperature, a speed, a location.. it can be anything that can be observable. Not necessarily through the eyes, but by any instrument of any kind. If you look around and think about it, every thing that you ever know about will have an attribute..perhaps more than one most of the time. 

Can you think of anything that you know of that has no attributes?

Contd ...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I am the ONE but its not me the person.

The greatest mystery of life is life itself. the place we live, the events that we encounter, the people we meet, the thoughts we have, the feelings that we experience ... everything is a mystery. 

We have our good days, we have our bad days. The Yin and the Yang, the dormant and the dynamic.. its an exciting world.. endless in size. People are the most interesting of its ingredients. 

There are countless number of things in this world. from sub atomic particles, to atoms, to minerals, to liquids, to more things like food, plants, eyes, hair, paper, ink, paintings, light.. and so on. The most interesting of them all is the people. They offer the maximum bang for the buck. The reason must be because unlike all other things we encounter, people seem to have a mind of their own. They behave in such a believable manner that one might even think they are aware! That precious thing called awareness is reserved for the One. and the One can only be One! Yet people we see appear to be aware. they appear to think. they appear to feel. they appear to have a consciousness! Isn't that incredible! well.. that is the reason they are the most interesting of all. They possess the greatest ability to make you focus on the world, and effectively get lost in it!

Well since it is simply not true that they can have a mind of their own with consciousness and awareness, it must appreciated that such a thing called humans exist. the most brilliant idea indeed.. this idea of people!

In the apparent journey towards understanding this complex world, a person inquires, introspects and then after realizing the truth. transforms to the true self, its the mother of all journeys, the greatest adventure of all times, the most daring, the most slippery, and astonishing travel. In the travel, the destination is the most fascinating. The journey takes the person to the true beginning, where everything started.

The truth is amazing, the person realizes that the only One in the Universe is the person itself! Well.. not really. When I understand the ultimate reality to be the simple fact that 'I am the One', the tendency is to falsely conclude that I as the person is the One. It is the 'I-I' that is the One and not me as a person. This is the most tricky endgame move that keeps me from truly getting it.

I as the person can never be the One. Its completely on the contrary. Only when I get rid of even the slightest trace of consciousness from the I as the person, can I see the One. Once this distinction is clear, the final piece of the puzzle is set in its place, and the destination is reached.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bundle of Stimuli

Interesting things keep happening all the time. Anything that captures attention is interesting. sometimes, when nothing happens for a long time, that too captures attention and becomes interesting.

Some events make me feel good, some ticks me off. Everyday is a bundle of stimuli, every moment a bundle of stimuli. sometimes a very trusted person betrays, or a totally unexpected thing happens, I might wonder why? Why not the good events all the time? Why not life go exactly the way I like it go? Sweet thought indeed. and with sweetness comes bitterness. When some crazy person interferes with my peace, I react. I get upset. I feel betrayed, cheated etc. depending on whatever that happened. Sometimes this feeling could be jealousy. How come that guy is so smart? Now.. these thoughts makes me feel miserable. When these thoughts overwhelm, then its these feelings that dominate, they engulf. It paralyses. Its like the venom of a deadly snake. It takes over. Anger, sadness, fear, helplessness, you name it, I got it.

These thoughts, or chain of thoughts, sets me in action. I counter these. I correct these. I want to feel the Opposite of these. So I chart my course in a reactionary manner. Things begin to get better sooner or later. I take a breath, relax. things really get good. I jump up and down. But.. not for long. before yet another event, yet another crazy guy. Sounds very normal, and familiar, and would fit in to the framework of life, if not for one significant difference.

I know that this world is an illusion. None of this is real. I am the only awareness. No other consciousness is there to interact. Its me.. and this illusion. All these people are part of the illusion. the ups and downs, the good old days, the nice and cozy, as well as the tough times..every single thing is an illusion. In this illusion, why such crazy experiences? why not the good ones all the time? More relevant than before.

Need to apply some common sense here. If one needs to stimulate the nose then its possible only with something that can produce smell. A color, a light, a music, or fire, none of these can stimulate the nose. A rose could, so could a fruit, so could fresh air. Same with the ears. a sweet apple cannot simulate it. a beautiful painting has no power to touch the ear. music could, so could a loud thud!

Life as it happens , is nothing but a bundle of stimuli. some hit the body, some hit the mind. Change is the essence of life. The Mind, is more than the physical devices, its infinitely more varied. It is capable of a multitude of experience. While the nose can smell and the ear can hear, the mind can do wonderful things, it can think, smile, worry, rejoice, loose the temper, laugh, cry, feel miserable, and much much more.

A nose cannot smell something by itself. It needs a stimuli. An ear cannot hear by its own, its needs the stimuli from a vibrating instrument, the air carries these compression and rarefaction to its drums. A fine piece of music is needed to touch the ears. 

So does the mind. 

A mind cannot feel rejoiced by itself. It needs stimuli. Events create such stimuli. And for the mind to feel rejoiced, it must feel the lack of it before. Else the experience will not be perceived. Now, that again needs a different stimuli. Another event provides it. Life is nothing but experience, and experience is possible only by being aware of change. Change if it happens randomly all by itself, would result in an uninteresting experience. Hence a stimuli and the lack of control over it.

Every person, every event, every thing, is part of the illusion. I exist, that is the absolute truth.The illusion, as the name suggests is an illusion. Is such a beautiful concoction. devilish at times, divine mostly, yet together they form the fabric of life.

I breathe easy. Now I know that crazy person, doing his or her crazy thing, is part of the stimulus package, to wake me up from a boring slumber. People are the most exciting and believable stimuli. They appear to have awareness, they appear to have a mind on their own. They appear very very real. They form a very important and powerful part of the illusion. Most of them behave in a manner that makes me believe this is all too real. I thank them for acting so well.  There now.. peace returns.. momentarily.