THE SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS


Dennets idea of mind and conscious experience
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Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Dean of the Harvard Medical School 1847-1882. "To live is to function and that is all there is in living." Life is defined by the nature of its living functions. Consciousness is the absolute characteristic of all living functions and so I define Life as "Knowledge in Action."

WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS ?

Why is this baby crying? Is it hunger? Is it thirst? Is it a wet diaper? Is it earache? Is it fever? Is it too hot? Is it too cold? Is it gripes or colic? Is it to get attention? Is it Consciousness? The baby is aware of something. The baby is aware of its existence in an environment and is also aware of its internal condition.

Consciousness is described as a state of knowing, or awareness, or recognizing the existence, truth, or fact of ‘something’. What is that ‘something’ that is known or recognized by Consciousness ? I propose to explore the contents of Consciousness to answer the question of what is Consciousness ?

CONSCIOUSNESS IS A SENSE EXPERIENCE  :

 

 

What is Consciousness? Is it awareness of Sense Perception? Is it awareness of Thought? Is it awareness of Mood and Feeling? Is it awareness of Existence? Can there be any Perception without Existence? What is that Exists and Knows that it Exists?

       

 

The Neural Correlates of Consciousness defined by Mormann & Koch explores Consciousness as a sense experience. It fails to understand the Totality of Consciousness.

 

Consciousness is generally viewed as a form of relationship or act of the mind towards objects in nature. Consciousness has been described as a continuous field or stream of mental sense-data. Some biologists and neurophysiologists view Consciousness as a brain function and describe it as an exclusive function of the nerve cells; neuronal and axonal function. Dr. Florian Mormann and Dr. Christof Koch have defined Neural Correlates of Consciousness( Florian Mormann & Christof Koch(2007) NCC, Scholarpedia 2(12):1740 ) as the minimal neuronal mechanisms jointly sufficient for any one specific conscious percept. Further, Mormann & Koch state that, “Consciousness is a puzzling, state-dependent property of certain types of complex, biological, adaptive, and highly connected systems. A Science of Consciousness must strive to explain the exact relationship between phenomenal, mental states and brain states.” They have posed the question: ” What is the nature of the relationship between the immaterial, conscious mind and its physical basis in the electro-chemical interactions in the body? The answer to this question is very simple. Consciousness is related to a material substance that is called Protoplasm and electro-chemical interactions in the body describe the properties of this living substance or material. The brain cells and all other cells have the same basic features; they are constituted by Protoplasm which has a Biological Membrane to define the limits of the Cell. Mormann & Koch also erroneously suggest that, “Only a few particular systems can experience anything, why they are Conscious and other systems such as the enteric nervous system or the immune system are not Conscious.” The enteric nervous system does in fact provide a wide range of Conscious experiences. A baby would respond with a cry when it experiences gripes or colic. In the practice of Clinical Medicine, the evaluation of pain as a symptom and as a diagnostic clinical sign plays a very significant role. The pain experienced by an individual with gastrointestinal, or genitourinary problems, or from inflammation of tissues and organs, and from problems with skeleton and musculature is registered by Consciousness. The immune system behaves in a Conscious manner and displays specificity, selectivity, and memory. A Living Cell is a highly complex, biological, adaptive, and highly connected system known in Natural Science. A simple understanding of various cell functions would explain this issue. For example, mitochondria are organelles found within most cells which provide the cells with energy. Extensive protein translocation occurs in mitochondria where about one thousand different polypeptides are imported from the cytosol. This event is orchestrated by distinct translocation machineries in the outer and the inner mitochondrial membranes. Mitochondria display functional awareness and perform the task of oxidising sugars and fats in a deliberate, and sequential manner that involves the use of different enzymes to facilitate each chemical reaction. 

CONSCIOUSNESS IS A PHYSICAL OR BODY EXPERIENCE - THE CONCEPT OF HOMEOSTASIS  :
Apart from thoughts, intellect, feelings, moods, and perception of various sensory information, man is aware of the fact of and the state or condition of his physical existence. Man is aware or Conscious of hunger, thirst, and sexual drive. Man is aware of vital functions like respiration, and circulation. Man is alerted and often reacts with a sense of fear when these vital functions are disturbed or threatened in a significant manner. Consciousness or awareness includes awareness of bodily functions such as appetite, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting sensation, deglutition( the act of swallowing food and drink ), satiation, and the functions of excretion and the associated sensations like the fullness of the bladder, and rectum. The human organism has awareness of its internal condition such as the state of hydration, water and electrolyte balance, and acid/base balance. The chemical events collectively called “metabolism” require the concentration of hydrogen ions and electrolytes to remain within narrow limits in the tissue cells and in the fluids which bathes them. Body responds to both volume changes and changes in the osmotic pressure of the body fluids. Life is possible only if the hydrogen ion concentration of body fluid is kept within a narrow range. In health, a blood hydrogen ion concentration of 36-44 nmol/liter or pH 7.37 – 7.45 is maintained by several closely integrated but widely differing mechanisms. 19th century French physiologist Claude Bernard had defined “Homeostasis” as “all the vital mechanisms, varied as they are, have only one object; that of preserving constant the conditions of life.” All living things maintain a constant internal environment or Internal Milieu. Living cells and organisms are aware or Conscious of the environment in which they exist as well as the state of their own internal environment making possible to witness this phenomenon of Homeostasis.

 

CONSCIOUSNESS IS A CELLULAR EXPERIENCE  :

 

 

   

All the solid tissues in the human body consist of cells that are essentially similar to an Ovum.

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the former Dean of Harvard Medical School had defined Life by stating that, “To live is to function and that is all there is in living.” Who or what is the subject who lives because of its living functions? Consciousness is a cellular experience of the cells of the brain and the body. It is an experience shared by the Whole Organism. It is an experience shared by all the living cells. The living functions of cells include uptake and conversion of nutrients, synthesis of new molecules, production of energy, and regulation and coordination of metabolic sequences apart from the function of reproduction by asexual cell division. All the solid tissues in the human body can be shown to consist largely of similar cells, differing it is true, but that are essentially similar to an ovum. The most significant feature of similarity between the cells is the presence of a soft, gelatinous, semi-fluid, granular material inside the cell. This substance known as Protoplasm is similar to that found in the ovum or the egg cell. This viscous, translucent, colloidal substance is enclosed in a membrane called Plasma Membrane or Biological Membrane. A small, spherical body called nucleus is embedded in the protoplasm. The protoplasm could be differentiated into cytoplasm/cytosol, and nucleoplasm based upon its location. Cytoplasm refers to protoplasm located outside the nucleus. Nucleoplasm refers to the protoplasm located inside the nucleus. The two essential features of any living cell in the human body are that of the presence of protoplasm and the nucleus. The most striking characteristics of protoplasm are its vital properties of “MOTION”, and “NUTRITION”. Protoplasm has the intrinsic power to change its shape and position and the motion is described as amoeboid movement as the motion is similar to the motion that is observed in Amoeba proteus. Nutrition is the power which protoplasm has of attracting or drawing the materials that are necessary for its growth and maintenance from surrounding matter/environment. Nutrition is not a passive, unguided, and physical event. The Biological Membrane or the Plasma Membrane allows a highly controlled exchange of matter across the barrier it poses; some compounds are able to pass through the Membrane easily, others are completely blocked. The Biological Membrane helps to maintain  cell’s internal environment or constant interior milieu in which intracellular reactions occur. To maintain life, the cell not only repairs or replaces, ( or both) its structures by continual synthesis of new organic molecules. This is characteristic of functional awareness or Consciousness that is at work at the cellular level. The human organism uses a repair process and it is described as Inflammation and Repair. Wound healing,  and hemostasis (or blood leakage or bleeding from an injured blood vessel is controlled) are natural mechanisms operated by Cellular Consciousness. Human existence is possible because of this valuable and protective healing process which comes into immediate play after an injury or damage. Similarly, the human organism defines its identity and defends its existence by deploying unique protein molecules such as the antibodies. Antibodies recognize their antigens or foreign protein molecules with high affinity and extreme selectivity. The ability to develop specific immunity to infection is only one consequence of a wider capacity in the individual to recognize and to specifically respond to the foreignness of an extensive range of biological substances that are not normally present in the body of that individual. The adaptive immune system remembers that particular infectious agent and can prevent it causing disease later. The immune system consists of a variety of molecules and cells that are distributed throughout the body. They play an important role in inflammation, tissue damage and repair, the killing of bacteria, viruses, and tumor cells. Cellular Consciousness defends human existence.

CONSCIOUSNESS IS A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE  :

Sociology lays claim to the whole of human life beyond the biological level because virtually all human activities possess a social aspect. Consciousness can be viewed as the capacity in an individual to form harmonious relations with others and to participate in or contribute constructively to changes in the social environment. Man is a social being and he is aware of the social structures and the social organization that he is part of. Parental instincts and social instincts describe an aspect of social behavior exhibited by all animals. Animals exhibit social behaviors and form parental societies to care for their offspring. Bacteria come together to live as colonies. At cellular level, the social aspect of Consciousness is reflected by the cell’s abilities such as association, cooperation, communication using signaling molecules, recognition, and functional subordination in its interactions with other living cells present in its environment. In an Ecological System, the Consciousness plays the role to establish the interrelatedness, the interdependence, and the interconnectedness.

CONSCIOUSNESS IS A MORAL EXPERIENCE  :

Consciousness is the attribute of a conscientious person. Conscious behavior is often described as conscientious action that is scrupulous, characterized by or done with careful attention. Conscience describes awareness of one’s own acts and the application of knowledge to discern an act as right or wrong, good or evil, selfish or altruistic. Man has the intrinsic ability to recognize his acts of transgression or sinful conduct. Man is a creature with conscience and hence exists as a moral being.

CONSCIOUSNESS IS A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE  :

The word spiritual is often used to describe the fact of having a relationship based on sympathy of thought or feeling. Consciousness has a spiritual function as it establishes a relationship between the energy dependent living cell and its energy provider. The living cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without continuous input of energy, a cell will degrade spontaneously into a nonliving collection of molecules. The life’s journey of the human organism begins as a single cell, that of a fertilized egg cell. This single fertilized egg cell is Conscious of its existence, is Conscious of its energy dependence and it promptly connects itself to its energy provider. Human life begins to move forward when this egg cell implants itself into the maternal tissue and the biological mother has no cortical awareness of this implantation. Cortical awareness does not describe the Totality of Consciousness. The Science of Consciousness must describe the mental, the sensory, the physical, the cellular, the social, the moral, and the spiritual aspects of Consciousness.

CONSCIOUSNESS IS AWARENESS OF EXISTENCE IN AN ENVIRONMENT :           

Amoeba proteus - Is this organism aware of its own existence in an environment? Is it aware of what goes on around it and what goes on within it?

Consciousness describes the condition of an individual; the condition of knowing, awareness, or recognizing the fact, the state, and the act of existence or living in a given environment. Thus, Consciousness is a natural principle that could explain what an individual knows and experiences about the world around one and inside one. There are two aspects of Consciousness that is registered subjectively by an individual; 1. Consciousness is a state of knowing or awareness of what goes on around an individual, and 2. Consciousness is a state of knowing or awareness of what goes on within the individual. Who is this individual who has the ability to know and be aware of its external and internal environment ? The term environment refers to all the conditions, circumstances, and influences surrounding, and affecting the existence of a given individual, or group of individuals. The individual is a living organism and the organism could be unicellular or multicellular.

CONSCIOUSNESS AND MATERIAL SUBSTANCE  :

Consciousness is an absolute attribute of Life; it is the fundamental characteristic of living matter or living substance described as Protoplasm, Cytoplasm, Cytosol, Nucleoplasm, and etc.,

Consciousness is an absolute attribute of Life; it is the fundamental characteristic of living matter or living substance described as Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, the essential living matter or material substance of all animal, and plant cells. Wherever Protoplasm is found, irrespective of the size, shape, and form of the cell or of the living organism, the contents of its Consciousness could be discovered.

CONSCIOUSNESS – THE LAW OF INDIVIDUALITY AND CREATION :

Identity and Individuality are the two sides of the same Coin. The genome establishes the Identity, and Consciousness establishes the Individuality of a Living Cell or of a Living Organism.

The contents of Consciousness vary from individual to individual. There are individualistic variations in the contents of Consciousness. There can never be two identical living individuals. Even when the cells are cloned and have the same or identical genomes, the state, or condition of Protoplasm that is Conscious is never identical. With the same genome, or different genomes, the living cells can only exist or live as individuals and they have no other choice. The living substance is the same, and the nature of Consciousness is the same and yet the contents of Consciousness are not the same. This Individualistic variation of Consciousness is the characteristic of what I describe as ‘The Law of Individuality and Creation’.

THE PRINCIPLES OF CONSCIOUSNESS  :

Consciousness is the natural, vital principle that moves and animates all Life. The Living Cell knows the fact of its existence, it knows as to where it exists, and knows as to how it is existing.

Consciousness is the natural principle, the vital principle that moves and animates all Life. It has a set of defining features; it is the principle by which a living cell or organism knows the fact of its own existence, it knows as to where it exists, and knows as to how it is existing. Cognition is described as the act of knowing. Cognitive Science involves the study of all human activities related to Knowledge. These activities include attention, creativity, memory, perception, problem solving, thinking, and the use of language. Cognition is the process involved in knowing, or the act of knowing which includes awareness and judgment. The nature of cognition, the relationship between the knowing mind and external reality, is applicable in the study of living functions that are characteristic of the living substance or material called Protoplasm. These functions at cellular level that require cognition include nutrition, reproduction, metabolism, and association with other living cells present in the immediate environment. The human brain is often viewed as the Seat of Knowledge. Human brain’s ability to acquire, process, store, and use of information is essentially a function of the cytoplasm of the brain cells. Cognitive functions like perception and memory would establish Protoplasm as the Seat of Knowledge.

CONSCIOUSNESS IN HUMAN ORGANISM  :

The Human Organism is an association of trillions of individual living cells. Consciousness serves the purpose of Functional Unity and all the cells display adaptive functional subordination to serve the purpose of the Whole Organism or the Individual. There are two distinct aspects of human Consciousness;1. The Capacity for Consciousness, and 2. The Contents of Consciousness.

There are two distinct aspects of human Consciousness namely the Capacity for Consciousness and the Contents of Consciousness. When Consciousness is viewed as a psychological or strictly as a mental function, it is represented by the Contents of Consciousness which is a function of the Cerebral Cortex. When Consciousness is understood as a biological or living function, it is represented by the aspect of Capacity for Consciousness. The upper brain-stem, the neural structures like the Reticular Formation, and Thalamus function to compose the contents of Consciousness and project the contents to the cerebral hemispheres via the tracts of the Ascending Reticular Activating System. The integrity of these neurons and neural connections is important to maintain the alertness, and Arousal State of the Whole Organism in its relationship to its environment and internal maintenance of coordination of various living functions.

THE GRADING OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN CLINICAL MEDICINE  :

The reaction of pupil to light beam is often tested in the neurological evaluation of Consciousness in the practice of Clinical Medicine.

Apart from philosophers, psychologists, psychics, theologians and others, the term Consciousness is frequently used by the practitioners of Clinical Medicine. It is a useful term with several practical applications in the management of individuals with a variety of conditions that impact the neural functions, particularly the Arousal. In medical practice, the assessment and grading of Consciousness serves the purpose of being good predictor of the eventual long-term outcome or prognosis of the underlying disease or medical condition.

In Clinical Medicine, the medical practitioner evaluates the Level of Arousal or Alertness of his patient.

In Clinical Medicine, the medical practitioner evaluates the Level of Arousal or Alertness of his patient. The different levels of Consciousness are :

a. alert or awake, fully Conscious and fully Oriented to person, place, and time. This Orientation represents the normal operation of Higher Intellectual Functions. A person who is Conscious, but is under the influence of alcohol or other psychotropic drugs, neural stimulants or depressants may not be fully oriented.

b. phase of automatism – the person is not fully alert as in Sleep-walking, or recovering from the effects of anesthesia.

c. Lethargic – drowsy, sleepy, but easily arousable.

d. Delirium – a state of mental confusion, a toxic condition, altered physical, and mental state or condition.

e. Stupor – semiconscious, responsive only to painful stimuli.

f. Coma – Unconscious or not responsive to painful stimuli.

Similarly, the Edinburgh method of grading Consciousness is :

Grade  0 – Fully Conscious

Grade 1 – drowsy but responsive to vocal command.

Grade 2 – Unconscious but responsive to minimal painful stimuli.

Grade 3 – Unconscious but just responsive to strong painful stimuli.

Grade 4 – Unconscious with no response to verbal commands and all other painful stimuli.

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS ) is universally used in the assessment of the head injury victim. This Scale measures and provides a score that ranges from 3 to 15 points by evaluating three kinds of responses from the patient.

1. Eye Opening : Spontaneous eye opening=4; Eye opening in response to command=3; Eye opening in response to painful stimuli=2; and no response of eye opening=1.

2. Motor Response : Obeys commands=6; Localizes pain=5; Shows flexion( decorticate ) response to pain=3; Shows extension ( decerebrate ) response to pain=2; and no response( no reflex muscular activity )=1.

3. Vocal Response : Oriented to person, place, and time=5; Confused=4; Shows inappropriate speech=3; Makes incomprehensible sounds=2; and no vocal sounds=1.

Such neurological evaluations are repeated periodically to record significant changes in the medical condition of the patient. However, it must be noted that Clinical Medicine always evaluates the totality of all living functions and the medical usage of the terms Conscious and Unconscious represent a careful interpretation in the context of the medical condition of the patient.

THE TOTALITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS  :

The Science of Consciousness must explore and investigate the entire contents of Consciousness. By understanding the nature of experience provided by the Totality of Consciousness, the condition, the state, or the act of being Conscious could be explained.

Consciousness is a Mental Experience  :

The term consciousness is most widely used as meaning ” attention to the contents or workings of one’s own mind.” English philosopher John Locke defined Consciousness as a psychological condition; it is described as the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind. In Indian tradition, mental activities are of four kinds and collectively constitute what is named as “ANTAHKARANAM”; these are : 1. “MANASSU”- the seat of thoughts, 2. “BUDDHI” or intellect and knowledge, 3. “CHITTAM” or the seat of emotions such as Kindness and Love, and 4. “AHAMKARA” or self-ego. The mental experience or knowing of these activities of thoughts, intellect, moods, feelings, and self-ego describe Consciousness as a mental experience. Using this view, many philosophers, religious thinkers, and mystics have shared their experience of different levels of Consciousness and have given names to the higher levels or states of Consciousness. Terms such as Pure Consciousness, Cosmic Consciousness, and Super Consciousness may describe some kind of mental experience and such terms may not add any information to understand the Totality of Consciousness and its experience.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,

M.B.B.S.,  Class  of  April, 1970.

The Neural Correlates of Consciousness defined by Mormann & Koch basically ignores the existence of specific Conscious percept like NUTRITION by which the Living Organism shows its awareness of Energy dependence for its existence or living.

TIBET – THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE


View of the Potala Palace from the foothill of...
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A TURNING POINT IN THE HISTORY OF TIBET :

 

 

 

 

       

       

     

A historical occasion: The Separation of Church and State: The Separation of Spiritual and Temporal Powers of the Dalai Lama.

 

The institution of Dalai Lama or Gaden Phodrang dates back to 1642 when the Great 5th Dalai Lama assumed Tibet’s political leadership role. The 3rd Dalai Lama while on a visit to the Mongol Chief Altan Khan, received from that ruler the honorific title “TA-LE” which got anglicized as “DALAI”, the Mongolian equivalent of the Tibetan “RGYA-MTSHO” meaning “Ocean”. Tibet existed in a serene and unperturbed state for several centuries until October 1950 when Communist China’s People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibetan soil. Tenzin Gyatso, the present 14th Dalai Lama fled from Tibet following the failed Tibetan National Uprising in 1959.

52nd Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising – March 10, 2011 :     

The 14th Dalai Lama has voluntarily relinquished his political powers. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile must derive its power from The Constitution of Tibet. The power of the people of Tibet must be now vested in the Constitution of Tibet. Amendments in Charter of Tibetans in Exile to pass political authority to an elected leadership would not suffice.

March 10, 2011 could be marked as a historical moment in the long history of Tibet. The 14th Dalai Lama had issued a statement to voluntarily relinquish his political leadership role. The Dalai Lama formally communicated his decision to the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on March 14, 2011. He has recommended a democratic system of governance for the Tibetan polity. He has recommended Amendments in Charter of Tibetans in Exile to pass political authority to an elected leadership.

THE SEPARATION OF TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL POWERS :

The Dalai Lama will continue as the Spiritual Leader of the People of Tibet. Tibetans must now derive their political rights and authority to govern themselves from powers vested in the Constitution of Tibet.

I welcome this statement from 14th Dalai Lama seeking the separation of temporal and spiritual powers from the institution of Dalai Lama or Gaden Phodrang. The Dalai Lama institution will continue to exist and the Dalai Lama would continue as the Spiritual Leader of the people of Tibet. The Living Tibetan Spirits tell me that they would accept this decision made by the 14th Dalai Lama. Now, the people of Tibet need to derive their rights from a duly established Constitution of Tibet, a written document that would state the fundamental laws and the principles of governance for Tibetan people. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile must derive its authority and power from the Constitution of Tibet. Amendments in Charter of Tibetans in Exile will not help this transition of political power from the Dalai Lama to the people of Tibet. The Tibetan community in Exile must draft the Constitution of Tibet and get it ratified by all people of Tibetan origin and Tibetans inside Tibet should be given an opportunity to ratify this Constitution of Tibet at a later date when the foreign occupier of Tibet is evicted from the Land of Tibet. Tibetans are not seeking separation from China. Tibet is not a part of China and the Problem of Tibet is its military occupation. Special Frontier Force is a multinational defense plan that aims to establish freedom and democracy in the Land of Tibet.

Rudra N. Rebbapragada, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
SERVICE INFORMATION: 
Service Number: MS-8466/MR-03277K; Rank: Lieutenant/Captain/Major; Branch: Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission/Direct Permanent Commission(1969-1984); Unit: Headquarters Establishment Number. 22, C/O 56 APO(1971-1974); Designation: Medical Officer; Organization: Special Frontier Force.

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How Does the Dalai Lama Change the Tibet Question?

By Bhaskar Roy

Although the 14th Dalai Lama has been talking about stepping down from the leadership of the Tibetan Government in Exile for some time, his final decision announced on March 10, did shock his people to an extent, and posed big question mark to the world at large. The effect has not fully sunk in yet. It will, when the new Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) is elected on March 20 by the All Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD), which gathered in Dharamsala from March 14.

It is to be noted that the Dalai Lama chose March 10, the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan peaceful uprising against the Chinese. Some may interpret this as the Dalai Lama’s decision to give up his peaceful struggle for the autonomy of Tibet within the Chinese constitution. This is not correct, though the outgoing Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdong Rimpoche was dismayed that the way the Dalai Lama was received around the world was unique, and his political successor may not achieve such status.

While that is true, one needs to carefully study his March 10 statement. The 76-year-old religious leader revered all over the world said his desire to devolve authority had nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility. It would benefit the Tibetans in the long run, and that he was committed to playing his part in the just cause for Tibet. The Dalai Lama made it clear that the Tibet cause and the Tibetan people would remain his highest consideration. He would be available for consultations and advice. He would be travelling the globe where he is welcome, meet the world’s leaders both political and religious but as a monk reminding the world that Tibetan Buddhism, language and culture was on the verge of extinction in China controlled Tibet. As a religious leader, these activities are well within his bound. Although the Chinese leaders and officials will continue to attack him, they would risk doing so without legitimate basis.

Within hours of the Dalai Lama’s announcement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said “He has talked often about retirement in the past few years”’ adding these were “tricks to deceive the international community”. This was brave face but other official statements do not effuse a lot of confidence.

Tibet’s Communist Party Secretary Zhang Qingli, used insulting language describing the Dalai Lama as a “wolf in monk’s robes”, and again charged him for trying to “split” China. But ethnic Tibetan leaders of Tibet were a little more circumspect. Qiangba Puncog, Chairman of the Standing Committee of Tibet autonomous region’s people’s congress commented that he could not deny that the Dalai Lama, as Living Buddha and a religious leader did have some influence on his believers, and his death would have “ some minor impact on Tibet”. Padma Choling, Chairman of the Tibet autonomous regional government went even further. He told the official China Daily that the reincarnation of the institutions of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama have been carried on for several hundred years, these historical institutions and religious rituals of Tibetan Buddhism must be respected, and it was not up to anyone to abolish the reincarnation institutions.

It must be said that both the ethnic Tibetan leaders, though sworn to protect the party and government, allowed a glimpse into their inner thinking. They made it clear that while they were committed to perform their official duties, they do not condone insult of the Dalai Lama and do not contribute to the Chinese government’s policy appointing their own Living Buddhas especially the Dalai Lamas and the Panchen Lamas. This mind-set will play a significant role in the future politics in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama’s decision to devote his political responsibility was deeply thought over for several years. He is also similarly thinking whether he should leave the directions for the search of the 15th Dalai Lama after his death, and who should be appointed with the responsibility for the search. There could be problems like the search for the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa of the Karma-Kargyu sect, where the four regents fought and there is now more than one claimant to the 17th Karmapa’s throne. The Chinese would get into the fray as they did in the case of the 17 Karmapa, and declare their own 15th Dalai Lama. The gap between the 14th Dalai Lama’s death and finding the real successor will be very crucial. Hence a purely political set up to fill this gap would be very important. If need be, only the political leadership would continue with the Tibetan agenda.

There is also the question of Ughen Thinley Dorjee (UTD), the most talked about 17th Karmapa, though Thaye Dorjee, then other claimant has also significant following among the Karma-Kargyu community both inside and outside Tibet. Both have following among foreigners in the West and South East Asia. This is a very difficult problem. The Dalai Lama would have to resolve it in some manner.

The Indian government is hardly in any position to intervene in and resolve the 17th Karma dispute. It has taken the only sensible step it could. The seat of the Karma-Kargyu sect, Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, has been locked in the interest of peace till the real 17th Karmapa is agreed to by all concerned. India has been keeping away any kind of Tibetan politics including against China, and the Chinese acknowledge that officially.

Ughen Thinley Dorjee is recognized by both the Chinese and the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama played no direct role in the UTD case. He only accorded his recognition in 1992 while he was in Rio de Janero, when Tai Situ Rimpoche, the Regent promoting UTD, told him over telephone that UTD was recognized by all the Rumtek Regents as a consensus.

Sections of the Indian media created a mess recently when they called UTD a Chinese “spy” over unaccounted foreign currency found at his monastery. The confusion was due to the fact that UTD’s office failed to follow the process to legalize the donation from his followers the world over including from China.

There has been a lingering doubt about UTD and his loyalty especially because the manner by which escaped from Lhasa to India over five days and four nights without being detected by the Chinese security. Further, the Chinese government never criticised him, nor has UTD stood up vocally for the aspirations of the Tibetans. He is, therefore, not yet a candidate to take the Dalai Lama’s place as a religious or political leader of the Tibetans. UTD will have to prove his position one way or the other. He is 24-year-old, and the Dalai Lama demonstrated his religious and political leadership at a younger age.

What is moot, however, is how the new structure in Dharamsala will impact the main support bases of the Dalai Lama and the issue of human rights in Tibet. The mainstay has been the US especially the White House. The Dalai Lama has significant support in Europe, but not always steady. There are Japan, Taiwan and Australia. But the Chinese have used their economic muscle to buy out the western human rights critics. Nevertheless, the instrument of pressure on China are very much there and could be turned on and off depending on China’s political and strategic behaviour.

There will be quite some challenges for the Tibetan movement in the initial stages. But eventually the move can work out right. The Dalai Lama would have more time to concentrate on religious groups in the USA and Europe who have significant political influence and are livid with Beijing’s religious persecution. The fires can be stoked. And such fire can easily spread to China’s western region of Xinjiang which witnessed bloody anti-Han riots by Muslim Uighurs in July 2009. That region remains restive.

The political Tibetan government in-exile would have a much freer hand. They are not expected to foment unrest inside Tibet. They are wise enough to know that just simple unrest cannot stand up to the Chinese security forces and the army. But the people inside Tibet do not need orders from outside. Most of these are coming to an understanding they are losers any way, and will keep opposing the Chinese regime.

The political leadership of the Tibetan government in exile, though not recognised officially by any country, will have the latitude to lobby more actively in the United Nations, the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization (UNPO) in Europe, and important capitals of the world. If they get sufficient support and work unitedly without squabbling among themselves, they can raise a huge movement which could seriously challenge Beijing’ unreasonable attitude.

India may face a politically sensitive situation with China. The Chinese are convinced that it is the Americans who are at the root of the strength of the Tibetan movement. They are not sure how much India is a party to this conspiracy, but they will harden their attitude towards India. India must tell the political government in-exile that there are boundaries in India that cannot be crossed. But at the same time, must allow them to work within what India’s constitution and laws allow them to. New Delhi must also weigh its policies in the light of revelations how China and Chinese agencies have been assisting Indian insurgents in the north-east to wage war against the state. It will have to be a balanced approach.

In sum, the future is not yet clear. But in the long-term the Dalai Lama’s decision could greatly change the dimensions of the Tibetan movement in their favour unless they directly confront Beijing. Big issues must be left to big powers.

(The author is an eminent China analyst with many years of experience. )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

JAPANESE NUCLEAR DISASTER ON 11 MARCH 2011


1 – control rods; 2 – reactor cover; 3 – react...
Image via Wikipedia

AN UNFORGETTABLE LESSON IN HUMAN HISTORY :        

I dedicate this blog post to the nuclear engineers of the Tokyo Electric Power Company who are currently serving at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. I sincerely applaud their spirit, dedication, and courage to confront the challenge of averting an imminent nuclear meltdown at this Nuclear Plant where Plutonium is being used as fuel at Reactor #3. I would remember the people of Japan in my prayers as I firmly understand that man is a created being who exists in the physical world depending upon the Power/Force/Energy which bestows Mercy, Compassion, and Grace upon all of us. The natural disaster, a combination of a powerful earthquake and a massive tsunami on March 11, 2011 resulted in loss of life and property and yet there is Hope. As per the Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy, matter is indestructible. I pray for renewal, regeneration, and regrowth in Japan. Man has no choice, and has no alternative as the Subjective Reality of his physical existence is conditioned. Man exists in the physical world depending upon energy provided to him by his Creator and this acquisition of energy for biological existence is sustained by God-Connection. Man’s dependence upon Nuclear Energy and the consequences of Radiation exposure and injury should be fully understood.

A very powerful Earthquake and a devastating Tsunami initiated the Japanese Nuclear Disaster on March 11, 2011.

 

 

Nature's Fury- Tsunami hitting Natori, Japan. The Disaster that followed this tsunami is more frightening.

 

 

Man's dependence upon Nuclear Energy is the real issue to be faced by Japan, and the rest of the World.

 

 

Japan's Nuclear Disaster - Explosions and Fire at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

 

The explosions at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant has caused a breach in all the three containment structures and the risk of radiation escaping into the environment has become real and the consequences would be inescapable.

 

We need to earnestly ask ourselves: Is this Safe? Is this Cheap? Is this Green? In human history, the Japanese Nuclear Disaster on March 11, 2011 will be the most unforgettable Moment. Nuclear Power is more frightening than the Earthquake and the Tsunami that initiated this Nuclear Crisis. It also speaks about the effects of human activities on their environment and on the survival of other species.
The Safety of Nuclear Power is exposed by this image. The containment structures have failed and could not prevent the escape of radiation from the Reactor Core.

ECOLOGICAL AWARENESS OR CONSCIOUSNESS  :

 

We understand the term Evacuation, Exclusion, or Danger Zone only in terms of its significance to human beings. We need to always think of the entire Ecological Community and man simply belongs to the greater Ecological Community.

 

The nuclear disaster in Japan will give us a reason to reflect upon the fragile nature of human existence. The Earthquake and the devastating Tsunami are understandable natural calamities and man has no control on geological events and Plate Tectonics. Man has no control over the tidal waves unleashed by the earthquake. However, man has to come to terms with his dependence upon Nuclear Power. This tragedy would also give us a chance to understand the interconnectedness, interrelatedness, and the interdependence of all forms of life. Consciousness is the awareness of something; the awareness of one’s own state of existence and the awareness of the existence of other conscious entities present in the environment. A living organism’s ability to detect the presence of other living organisms in its environment is the characteristic of the biological function known as consciousness. A living cell is conscious as it displays awareness of other living cells present in its environment. The relationship between the organism and all the factors including other organisms that make up its environment is described as Ecology. Consciousness establishes the interconnectedness, the interrelatedness, and the interdependence of a diverse population of living organisms that constitute a continuous ecological chain. This disaster speaks about the effects of human made radiation; the effects on the environment, the effects on other members of human community, and the effects on the Ecological Community in the areas affected by the disaster.

 

MAN AND NATURE – WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP ?   : 

The Science known as Ecology, Bioecology, Bionomics, and Environmental Biology study the relationships between organisms and all factors including other organisms, that make up their environment. I derive Knowledge from Spirituality Science to understand as to how the relationship between man, and other organisms gets established.

Ecology considers organisms at the levels of individuals, populations, and communities. It will be easy to visualize the human toll in terms of sickness, death, and forced displacement of a large population of human beings. The loss, the pain, and the suffering that is endured by each human individual reveals only a part of this disaster of epic proportions. While we humans try to escape from a disaster zone or area, we need to recognize that our evacuation plans during an emergency fail to include the plant, and animal life with which we share our living environment. We need to take into account the land and water that exist in the area affected by a disaster. The problem is not that of simple relocation of human beings. The human costs are further aggravated by the lack of gasoline, the damage done to the roads and the lack of transportation to move a large number of people quickly and efficiently. The lack of food, safe drinking water, the lack of housing is often understood as a problem just affecting the human victims of the disaster. We have to give attention to the impact upon the Ecological Community as a whole. We need to understand the costs of nuclear industry, the risks it poses to life, and environment, and the long-term consequences imposed by nuclear plant shutdowns. Nuclear accidents get very dramatic attention. There is a fundamental problem with Nuclear energy it is not clean, it is not cheap, and it is not safe. It is very frightening when we face the uncertainties this disaster has imposed on us.

 

THE BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF RADIATION  :

The Biological effects of Radiation are well understood. The human risks from exposure to Ionizing Radiation are known. We need to realistically assess the safety levels for the entire Ecological Community.

 

The General Electric Company designed Boiling water reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant had posed safety concerns when they went into operation during 1972. These reactors have about 1000 MW capacity per year and are similar to the Chernobyl 4 Reactor that exploded in 1986. However, in Japan, the reactors have better safety features. This type of Nuclear Crisis is an inherent risk that could happen at any time during the life of the reactor for a variety of reasons. The containment structures have faced a stress and sustained damage. The explosions on March 12 have demonstrated that the danger of radiation leak is not fully contained. These nuclear reactors built-in 1972 have an average lifespan of about 40 years and they are at the end of their operational life. We can never ignore the problem of aging that is  an inseparable characteristic of the operation of nuclear plants. We have to recognize the risks imposed by the Suppression Pools that are designed to cool and trap the radioactive particles of Iodine, Cesium, and Strontium. It has been reported that levels of 400 millisieverts per hour had been recorded near the No.4 reactor at Fukushima. At that level of radiation exposure, the operators would be at a high risk of getting radiation sickness after two and half hours of continued stay. According to the World Nuclear Association, radiation exposure to over 100 millisieverts a year can lead to cancer. It has been stated that 1,000 millisieverts of radiation exposure causes immediate or Acute Radiation Sickness. The fatal dose of radiation exposure is about 5,000 millisieverts. The biological effects of radiation are determined by the amount of energy absorbed. Energy dissipation must be quantified to determine the exposure levels. The amount of exposure, the duration of exposure, and the area of the body surface that is exposed are the important factors that determine the nature of radiation injury or illness. The radiation enters the body either as waves or as particles that are electrically charged. Radiation enters body like minute bullets that cause localized injuries in the cells affected. Whether the cell dies immediately or shows molecular changes depends upon the number of sites in the cell that are bombarded and upon how critical these locations are. In the chromosomes, the molecular DNA structure could be damaged. High radiation doses cause rapid cell death. If the cell changes are more subtle, the damage to DNA would unable the cell to reproduce, or the new cells produced could be abnormal and not viable. The tissues most affected by radiation are those that undergo rapid replacement, such as bone marrow, intestinal tract, and skin. Some of the direct effects of radiation exposure include cell depletion, inability to produce new tissue, lowered resistance to infections, decreased number of Red Blood Cells, bleeding from disrupted blood vessels, effects of toxins released by tissue breakdown, and slower blood clotting time. The indirect effects of radiation exposure include tumor growths, a shortened life span, recurrent bacterial infections, anemia, and body ulcers. The explosions at Fukushima Nuclear Plant have exposed the highly radioactive material to environment and radiation levels have increased in the surroundings and in distant areas. It is not known as to how long the population would remain exposed to radiation risk as the population could not be fully evacuated. People in the Danger Zone have been warned to stay indoors.  The longer-term exposure to radiation can raise the risk of Thyroid, and Bone cancers, and Leukemia. The incidence of birth defects and deformities would increase. People would become more vulnerable because of suppression of immunological functions. Children, pregnant women, women of child-bearing age would face the brunt of this nuclear disaster while the environment takes its time to recover. There can never be a happy ending to a very tragic story of this kind. There is no Winner and we are all Losers.

THE TWO FACES OF THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY  :

 
Nuclear Energy - Is there a Winner? Are we all not the Losers?

 

The civilian uses of Nuclear Power often conceals the use of Nukes as weapons of warfare. The radioactive waste from both civilian and military use remains toxic for thousands of years. The waste is disposed by concentration and storage in casks. This disaster would reveal more information about the fate of highly radioactive waste that is often stored at the nuclear plant on a permanent basis.

BLESSINGS TO PEOPLE OF JAPAN  :

 

Indian tradition, in the epic story of Samudra Manthan or Churning of the Ocean, glorifies Lord Shiva who had protected humanity from utter destruction by holding a deadly poison in His throat. We need a Savior to protect humanity from deadly toxins like Plutonium.

 

I seek the Blessings of Lord Shiva to protect and defend the existence of the people of Japan and wish them a success in their efforts to contain the problem of radiation leaking into the environment.

A LESSON FOR INDIA AND ITS NUCLEAR LIABILITY  :

Japan's Nuclear Disaster offers a valuable Lesson to India. India must carefully review its Bill for Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.

 

Kindly review my blog post titled Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 – A Himalayan Blunder.

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/civil-liability-for-nuclear-damage-bill-2010-a-himalayan-blunder/

TIME’S DIVINE POWER OF HEALING :

On March 11, 2012, I am pleased to share the following photographs from Japan that display Time’s Divine Power of Healing. I continue to seek the well-being of people of Japan and the full recovery of its Land and all of its inhabitants.

 

 

 

“SARVESHAM SWASTIR BHAVATU” : This is a statement expressed in Sanskrit language and it seeks the well-being of all people, of all nations, of all religions, of all races and of all living entities in their environment and community.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B,S., Class of April, 1970.

After the Japanese Disaster, A

Reappraisal of Nuclear and the

LNG Option

by Kent Moors Ph.D. | published March 14th, 2011

After the triple blow of a massive earthquake, aftershocks, and a tsunami,

much of the infrastructure in northeast Japan is reeling, and the energy

sector is descending into a significant crisis.

Already, a casualty has emerged: The resurgence of nuclear power as an
alternative energy source worldwide has taken a direct hit.

Japan has now introduced electricity rationing, as more and more
nuclear-generated power comes off-line.

As of Sunday morning, four of the six nuclear power plants in the district
suffered damage from the natural disasters, while technicians lost the
ability to cool six nuclear reactors at two of those plants.

Three of those units are at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco, TYO:9501) Fukishima Dai-ichi power complex, where a hydrogen explosion occurred
Saturday at Unit 1 and a separate explosion was feared likely at Unit 3.

Such explosions are in the outer building – not in the one surrounding
the reactor core itself. The Japanese facilities have two complete
structures separating the core from the outside world, unlike the
1986 Chernobyl disaster (where the plant had only a single encasement).
Nonetheless, the overriding concern in Japan is to prevent a meltdown
at each facility.

If a full meltdown occurs, a huge, molten, radioactive mass would burn
through both containments and all supporting structures, destroy the
buildings, and release a mixture of highly radioactive particles to be
spread by wind and rain.

How bad the aftermath would be depends on two things – how much
radiation is released and the weather.

At least through Wednesday (March 16), the wind is blowing out to sea,
rather than inland, toward population centers. That’s good.

However, reports yesterday about the detection of highly radioactive
cesium-137 and iodine-131 outside the Dai-ichi complex means a small
amount of dangerous radioactivity has escaped. Experts believe that
the radiation problem is thus far localized and minor. Nonetheless,
upwards of 200,000 people have been evacuated from the area
surrounding the Dai-ichi complex.

To prevent the meltdowns – the worst scenario reminiscent of the cinematic treatment in “The China Syndrome” (1979) – operators have been pumping in seawater in a last-ditch effort to cool down the reactor core. Absent another significant tremor de-stabilizing the plants even further, most specialists believe this will be successful.

But there will be some major costs.

For one thing, seawater corrodes the reactors, making them unusable. There
will be significant downtime for other reactors, as detailed technical examinations take place, to say nothing of the massive cleanup required at a number of plants.
The largest damage, however, is to the credibility of nuclear power in general.

Nuclear Expansion Plans Are Likely to Be Delayed

This calamity is not about inadequate company oversight or technical
deficiencies.

This is all about how Mother Nature can undermine even the best-laid
plans of mere mortals.

As the larger Asian region begins to ascertain the damage done to the
nuclear-as-remedy approach, major nuclear expansion plans in China, India, throughout East Asia, and in Australia are likely to be delayed. The same
goes for the two new reactors under construction in Japan and the 12 more currently in the planning stage.

The real impact, however, is likely to be felt well beyond Asia.

According to London’s World Nuclear Association, there are at present
442 reactors worldwide providing around 15% of global electricity. Plans are already announced to build more than 155 additional reactors, most of them
in Asia, with 65 reactors currently under construction.

Back at the epicenter of the present disaster, the impact upon Japanese
electricity volume is already wreaking havoc on factories attempting to
jumpstart production.

In trading today throughout Asia, shares were tumbling on concerns that
major companies would be unable to return to any normal level of production anytime soon.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange also suspended any trading in Tepco. The company
is facing an avalanche of sell orders that would greatly exceed the exchange’s
24% limit in the decline of share price.

Yet, despite the current sourcing problems, energy needs will certainly
not abate.

LNG Is the Immediate Alternative

Prior to the earthquake, 54 nuclear reactors at 17 plants nationwide
produced more than 30% of Japan’s power. Japan has already requested
additional electricity from Russia, but the rolling blackouts introduced today
will continue throughout the country.

The immediate alternative source of power will be an accelerated
usage of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Japan had traditionally been
one of the two primary users of LNG (the other being South Korea).

More recently, LNG has been increasing in transport volume throughout
the world, even establishing a northern European spot market to challenge
long-term conventional pipeline prices from Russia and prompting Canada
to revise the terminal under construction at Kitimat on the British Columbia
coast to move LNG to Asia.

In the U.S., a similar move to turn excess shale gas into LNG for export
is also afoot (see “A Solution for North America’s Natural Gas Surplus,”
November 2, 2010).

Closer to Japan, the Gorgon and other northwestern Australian projects,
along with those in Papua New Guinea and on Sakhalin Island off of the
Pacific coast of Russia, are gearing up a rising volume of LNG for export.

Much of that increase is bound for China, where five receiving terminals are right now at various stages of completion, and three additional ones are in planning.
Still, there is more volume that can be brought to market, and Japanese utilities have been actively locking in additional LNG consignments governed by multi-year contract agreements.

Japanese energy needs are tailor-made for a transition to LNG as a
rising fuel source for power generation. The country had already embarked
on a robust project to expand existing LNG terminals and build new ones
well before the earthquake occurred.

These are not coming on-line in short order…
But neither are the problems with the Japanese nuclear network
going away anytime soon.

Sincerely,
Kent

SPIRITUALITY-THE CONFLUENCE OF RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, AND SCIENCE


The School of Athens (detail). Fresco, Stanza ...
Image via Wikipedia

ARISTOTLE – THE FATHER OF HIGHEST SCIENCE, FIRST PHILOSOPHY, AND THEOLOGY  :

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

  

ARISTOTLE- born 384 BC and died 322 BC. His Metaphysics brings about the convergence of Philosophy, Religion, and Science.

It gives me  pleasure to dedicate this blog post to the memory of Aristotle. He surveyed the whole field of human knowledge as it was known in his day. He was at the Athenian Academy of Plato for 20 years. In 335 BC, he opened the Lyceum in Athens, a Center for speculation and research in every department of human inquiry. He became an authority for all philosophers, especially in Logic and in Natural Sciences. Logic, the theory of formal truth and validity originated in reflections on the practice of Dialectic introduced by Plato. For scientific knowledge, we need to know the governing principles of a subject and deduction from these principles provides not only the knowledge that something is true, but also the reason as to why it is true. Aristotle is recognized as the Father of Science and he defined Science as a deductive system based on evident axioms.

ARISTOTLE’S METAPHYSICS – FIRST PHILOSOPHY, HIGHEST SCIENCE, AND THEOLOGY  :

What a great Scene in the history of Man? If Plato and Aristotle come together, Reason and Faith also come together. The Scene at the Athenian Academy of Plato depicts the confluence of Religion, Philosophy, and Science.

Aristotle’s Metaphysics, and Plato’s Dialectic describe a method or inquiry that deals with the nature and relation of things – What each is, how it differs from others, what common qualities all have, to what kind each belongs, and in what rank each stands in its kind and whether its being is real-being, and how many beings there are, and how many non-beings to be distinguished from beings. Metaphysics is concerned with the primary axioms, the universal principles applicable to all existence, and the transcendental properties of being. Aristotle claimed, “There is a Science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to being in virtue of its own nature.” The First Philosophy described by Aristotle speculates about being and its subject matter includes all existing things as existing, and involves not only the question how anything which exists, exists( i.e., the properties of being ), but also the question whether certain things, whose existence can be questioned, do in fact exist. In the words of Francis Bacon we can make a distinction between Physics and Metaphysics. Bacon stated that Physics inquires into efficient and material causes; Metaphysics inquires into formal and final causes. For Aristotle, Science means the demonstration of universal and necessary conclusions from self-evident principles. The modern conception of Science is that it represents knowledge founded upon experiment and extended observation. For example, Issac Newton in his book ‘OPTICS’ proposed to explain the properties of Light by using reason and experiments.

MAN’S ESSENCE – ‘KNOW THYSELF’  :

What is Man's Essence? This tradition of Knowing Oneself is a longer tradition than any other Science. Socrates tells his friends gathered in the prison cell where he is to drink the hemlock, "True phlosophers are ever seeking to release the SOUL and are always occupied in the practice of dying."

The tradition of knowing oneself is the oldest established tradition in the history of man and it is a longer tradition than any other science. “Know Thyself” describes a study in which the Knower and the Known are One; the object of the Science is the Nature of the Scientist. In the Indian tradition, “PURUSHA” is the Man or the Knower, and his body or “KSHETRA” is the object of Inquiry, and the Knowledge that is discovered is known as “Kshetra Jnana.”

ARISTOTLE – NATURAL SCIENCE AND THE SCIENCE OF SOUL  :

What is Soul? can Science investiagte or inquire about the existence of Soul? Does this organism known as Amoeba proteus has a Soul?What is its animating Principle?

Soul is the vital principle which moves and animates all life.  Aristotle describes corporeal substances are composite of two principles; form and matter. What is called matter is potentiality, what is called form is actuality. In the above image of Amoeba proteus, its matter is constituted by its protoplasm, the living substance, and its actuality is recognized by the scientist when he observes its form. The existence of Amoeba proteus is known to man as it is made of two principles, the form, and the matter. The Natural Sciences are concerned with natural objects that are characterized by the fact that they are subject to change. Change is therefore the basic phenomenon. Matter and Forms are the Material and the Formal Cause respectively, of what comes to be. Aristotle distinguishes four kinds of Causes. For example, a Building or a Thing comes into being because of the Builder, or the Creator known as Efficient Cause. Formal Cause describes the Structure by virtue of which it is the Building or the Thing. Material Cause describes the matter such as stones or wood that has received the Structure. The end or purpose for which the structure, the Building or the Thing exists is known as the Final Cause. A building or a house provides a place of safety for the man who lives there. The purpose or the end of a life form is to sustain its state of living. Aristotle calls the forms of living things as “Souls”. “The soul is in some sense the principle of animal life.” As per Aristotle, “the study of the Soul falls within the Science of Nature.” The Greek inquiry into the soul extends beyond man, to all living things. So, it is relevant to investigate or inquire about the Soul that describes the Form known to us as Amoeba proteus.

ARISTOTLE’S TREATISE - “ON THE SOUL”  : THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE: THE CONFLUENCE OF INSPIRED KNOWLEDGE, SPECULATIVE KNOWLEDGE, AND INFERENTIAL KNOWLEDGE :

 
 

  

   

  

Lord Rama and Spirituality Science. The Lord provides inspired knowledge, philosophy provides the speculative knowledge and Medical Science and other Natural Sciences provide the inferential knowledge to explore and investigate the connection between man and his Creator.

For Aristotle, the Soul rather than Man is the object of Science. He described three kinds of Souls: 1. Vegetative(plants), 2. Sensitive(animals), and 3. Rational(human beings). He believed that the Soul is merely a set of defining features. He did not regard the Body and the Soul as two separate things that mysteriously combine to form an organism. If Soul is defined as the Immortal part of Man as distinguished from his Body, that kind of definition would suggest that Man is composed of two kinds of substances; a corporeal substance, and a non-corporeal substance. In my discussion on this subject, I tend to agree with Aristotle and suggest that Man is composed of one kind of substance and Man may not be divided into Body and Soul. However, I would like to discuss the issue of Man’s Essence, his Identity and Individuality in relation to Soul after this review of Aristotle’s ideas about material and immaterial substances. Aristotle tells us that to understand Substance, it would be necessary to consider immaterial substantial forms, like Soul and God. Only then can Man understand what it is to be a Substance, and what it is to Exist. He further described two parts of Man’s Soul; the intellectual virtue corresponds to the rational part of the Soul, and the moral virtues such as justice, courage, and generosity belong to the irrational part of the Soul which is subject to reason and has reasonable desires and feelings. I divide Man into two categories and have described Man as the ‘Self’ and the ‘Knowing-Self’.The first category describes Man as a Physical, Mental, and Social being, and the second category describes Man as a Moral, and Spiritual being.  The study of Metaphysics eventually becomes the study of immaterial substance, immortality, and God.

SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE - THE CONVERGENCE OF RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, AND SCIENCE  :

 

 

 

  

 

 

The Bhagavad Gita is the source of Inspired Knowledge, my internal reflection is the source of Speculative Knowledge, and the Medical Science and Natural Science is the source of Inferential Knowledge to establish Spirituality Science as a method of Inquiry to investigate man's relationship, partnership, association, and connection with his Creator.

 

Aristotle tried to define and establish a branch of Science which contributes Wisdom to deal with the first causes and the principles of all things. “There are other theoretical sciences, such as Physics and Mathematics which investigate causes or deal with principles, but they do not reach to the highest causes or first principles, nor do they take all things in their most universal aspect as the object of their inquiry. Physics deals with material things in motion; and the Mathematician investigates abstractions.” He claimed that Mathematics could be certain without telling us anything about Reality. He states that, “If there is something which is eternal and immovable and separated from matter, clearly the knowledge of it belongs to a theoretical science not, however to Physics nor to Mathematics, but to a science prior to both.” He gives two names to the highest of theoretical sciences. He denominated it both from the position it occupies in relation to all other disciplines and in terms of the kind of substance which it alone investigates. A substance which is formed by Nature will be explored by Natural Science. If there is an immovable, immutable, immaterial, or eternal substance, the Science of that substance is the highest Science and it deserves to be called “Theology” as well as “First Philosophy”. I propose to study and investigate the immaterial substance or principle and name the Science of that Substance as “Spirituality Science”. If Divine is present everywhere at the same time, the Divine is present in both material and immaterial substances.

Dr. R.Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,

M.B.B.S.,  Class  of  April,  1970.

 Related Article : Spirituality – Soul, Consciousness, and the God-Connection.

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/spirituality-soul-consciousness-and-the-god-connection/