Tag Archives: SARVESHAM SWASTIR BHAVATU

SPIRITUALISM – HUMAN NATURE AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR


HUMAN NATURE AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR : “SARVESHAM SWASTIR BHAVATU”

The Vitruvian Man c. 1492. The painting by Leonardo da Vinci displays the spirit of scientific inquiry. We must know the distinction between Human Nature and Human Behavior.

What is man? The motivation for asking this question comes from a statement expressed in Sanskrit language : “Sarvesham Swastir Bhavatu”, which seeks the well-being of all humans, of all races, of all religions, of all cultures, and of all nations. Our efforts to support the well-being of man would be affected by our understanding the ‘real’ or ‘true’ nature of man. I recognize that man exists with the following five forms, 1. the Physical Being as described by Human Anatomy, Human Physiology and other Medical Sciences, the human being in health and sickness, 2. the Mental Being, the intellect and emotional aspects as described by Psychology and Psychiatry, 3. the Social Being as described by Social Sciences, 4. the Moral Being as described by Morals and Ethics, the power of discernment used by man to make the distinction between good and evil, and right and wrong, and 5. the Spiritual Being as described by the spiritual nature of man’s corporeal substance that develops and builds the cells, tissues, and organs of the human body. While most religious and philosophical traditions explore spirituality by understanding human thoughts, and feelings, I try to know this spiritual aspect of human nature by observing the functional behavior that is displayed in the interactions of cells, tissues, and organs that constitute the human organism. If man is viewed as a multicellular organism, human behavior must be observed in the biotic interactions of cells, tissues, and organs because of whose functions man lives in the world. The five aspects of man contribute to the five kinds of behavior of man; the physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual behavior. A muscle cell displays the behavior of contraction in response to a stimulus and it is able to contract because of its contractile nature which gives it the power of contracting. I would like to explain that Spiritualism is the human nature that gives the man the power or ability to perform his living functions and display his characteristic behaviors like feeding, and reproduction.

HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND ENVIRONMENT :

Burrhus Frederick Skinner( 1904 – 1990 ), Professor of Psychology at Harvard University( 1948 – 1974 ) proposes that the empirical study of human behavior is the only way to arrive at a true theory of human nature. He had published several books, The Behavior of Organisms:An Experimental Analysis(1938), Science and Human Behavior(1953), and Verbal Behavior(1957).

B. F. Skinner studied behavior and the environmental causes of behavior mediated through conditioning mechanisms. In his opinion, all behavior is a function of environmental variables. He proposed a thesis of ‘Universal Determinism, and thinks that every human event including all human choices has a set of preceding environmental causes. In Indian tradition, the Bhagavad Gita also explains the relation between human behavior and environment or ‘Prakriti’. Chapter XIV, verse 5 states : “Sattvam, rajas, tama iti gunah prakriti sambhavah”, the modes of human behavior such as Sattva( the mode of goodness ), Rajas( the mode of passion ), and Tamas( the mode of ignorance ) are generated by the interactions between human body and the environment in which he lives. At the same time, Indian tradition makes a very clear distinction between true human nature and the three modes of human behavior. The real, or true man is described by the spiritual characteristic of human nature. The Bhagavad Gita in Chapter XVIII, verse 20 claims that all living entities share a single reality even while they are divided into innumerable forms( “Sarva bhutesu yenaikam bhavam avyayam iksate” ) and directs us to recognize that spiritual nature as the true reality that is common among different living forms. B.F. Skinner paid attention to the external causes or influences that generate or modify human behavior and has totally avoided the study of innate or inner cause of behavior. He did not give any importance to the role of heredity in human behavior. This internal influence on an organism’s behavior is not directly observable and an experimenter cannot manipulate such internal influences to conduct experimental studies of behavior. Skinner’s findings about external influences and environmental conditioning mechanisms explain several aspects of human behavior but they do not explain the relationship between human behavior and human existence. To understand human existence, we have to learn about the nature of man’s substance and the behavior of the cells, tissues, and organs that provide the structural and functional basis of the human organism. Man is a very complex living organism that shows structural differentiation and the functional organization of various tissues and organ systems. The specialized functions of tissues and organs is possible because of the functional subordination of the cells to the requirements of the organism as a whole. In other words, the specialized functions of tissues and organs could be described as ‘altruistic’ behavior, a behavior that promotes the well-being and appears to favor the individual’s chances of survival and reproduction. Man may exhibit behavior under the influence of environment and may act in the modes of behavior such as goodness(Sattva), passion(Rajas), or ignorance(Tamas), but his existence is made possible by his innate human nature which acts as an internal influence and determines the characteristics of the biotic interactions between the cells, the tissues, and organs of his own body.

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. 

DEFINING INDIAN IDENTITY – THE ROLE OF INTERFAITH DIALOGUE


MULTICULTURALISM AND INTERFAITH DIALOGUE :

The Interfaith Dialogue must only be used to give equal represenation to all religious beliefs and faiths and must not be used as a tool to change a person's opinion/belief/faith.

 Multiculturalism is the policy or principle of giving equal attention or representation to the cultural needs and contribution of all the groups in a society. In the development of a pluralistic society, in the existence of a nation with groups distinctive in ethnic origin, cultural patterns, religion, and language, or the like, it would be useful to have “Interfaith Dialogue” to promote social harmony. Unfortunately, we live in a world which is not multipolar and a few nations and a few social/religious groups are actively seeking to expand their sphere of influence and pursue an agenda to dominate the world by changing the opinions/beliefs/ and faiths of other human beings. It is important to understand the role of Interfaith Dialogue in promoting peace and to prevent war. Such Interfaith Dialogue could be of some value in an academic context where the participants of the dialogue seek better understanding of each other in the pursuit of academic knowledge that pertains to theology, morals and ethics, traditions, holidays, festivals, and food culture of people. Such understanding would help in promoting better social interactions and to promote peace and harmony at workplace, or in the local community. Historical events of the past such as the foreign conquest and occupation of the Land of Bharat or India were not shaped by Interfaith Dialogue. Even today, such Dialogue has no role in formulating international relations. War or Aggression between nations will not be prevented by holding Interfaith Dialogues. In the conduct of warfare, it is the aggressor nation or party chooses to define the identity of the victim nation or social group that is targeted for an attack. It would be of no help or consequence if the victim pleads to describe his identity in terms different from the terms of identity chosen by the aggressor. The victim has no choice other than that of defending an identity that the aggressor has imposed to launch his attack. In the context of defining Indian Identity, the Dialogue process will not influence the behavior of Islamic Jihadist groups who attack the Hindu Identity of India. Similarly, the Dialogue process will not deter the Christian Evangelists from conducting their acts of infiltrating and subverting the Hindu society of India to convert the beliefs and faith of Hindu population of India. I have described Indian Identity as that of Individualism. Man exists in this physical world with no choice other than that of being an Individual and has to experience the Subjective Reality of his own existence. We need to formulate universal principles and policies to promote the well-being of all men, of all races, of all religions, of all cultures, and of all nations while showing respect to the Individuality of man who exists as part of a social group.

RELIGION AND FOREIGN POLICY :

I appreciate the fact that many of you would like to discuss the term ‘interfaith dialogue’ in the context of a debate, discussion, or participation in a public forum, meetings, seminars, symposia, and etc., I speak about ‘interfaith dialogue’ in the context of the conduct of foreign policy by national entities. National entities develop foreign policies to define their political relationships with other entities in support of their perceived national interests. Apart from diplomacy, trade, and cultural contacts, national entities often use the military option to achieve their foreign policy objectives. As a former member of Indian Armed Forces, and the Land Forces of the Sultanate of Oman Land Forces, I had a direct opportunity to participate in Security and Intelligence Operations in support of the United States of America and Great Britain. As you would know, military operations, military planning, military training, and military tactics involve preparation to engage the enemy, confront the enemy, and kill the enemy while facing the risk of getting killed by the enemy. The men have to be mentally prepared for this task of killing the enemy and voluntarily accepting the risk of death and injury. The men have to be fully briefed about the enemy, the nature of the enemy, and as to why it is desirable to kill the enemy. Men have to be motivated for the battle and I have attended several such sessions at different locations to fight the enemy defined by the military planners. Religion is the most important element and plays a big role in motivating people to kill others. Particularly, it plays a vital role in Infantry combat operations where a direct and physical fight is needed to achieve the military objective. National entities use religion as a tool to psychologically motivate people to fight wars. There is a dialogue and there is communication between the military planner, the military commander and the men who have to execute the orders given. United States and Great Britain have engaged in several wars across the globe and several times have engaged in proxy wars providing training, finance, military equipment, and logistical support to either other national entities or rebel groups. You must carefully look at the war plan and as to how it shaped the battle in any given conflict. To quote some examples, religion was used in fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, to break up the Republic of Yugoslavia, to create the State of Kosovo, to bifurcate the Republic of Sudan, in changing the regimes in Iraq and Libya, and to support the ethnic conflicts in Albania, and Chechen Republic of Russia. I have not personally participated in those conflicts, but I was trained, briefed, and equipped by the same Intelligence and Security Agencies which are involved in all of these conflicts. So, I have a personal knowledge, experience, and understanding of American and Great Britain foreign policy when the policy uses religion as its tool to accomplish a military mission to obtain the foreign policy objectives.

I have a good understanding of the military threat posed by the foreign policy of United States and Great Britain to degrade and devitalize the Republic of India. United States and Great Britain have openly supported the Khalistan Movement, and the Kashmir Separatist Movement. These rebels have openly met with Members of Congress and Parliament and
received open encouragement. These countries have clandestinely supported various rebel groups that operated in Northeast India and they have used Christian missionaries as paid agents to motivate the rebels to fight the battle. My Unit while operating in Chittagong Hill Tracts during 1971 Operation Eagle, has captured a British national ( with Australian passport ) working as a Christian Missionary and he was providing motivational support to
the Christian Mizo rebels who were being trained in East Pakistan’s military posts in that region. East Pakistan had deployed the Frontier Regiment and the men are mostly Pathans and a few Baluchis. They are all devout Muslims and have no reason to be served by a British Christian Missionary. This Missionary gained access to those military camps as he was a paid agent. My concern is not about debating or discussing the theology of Christian religion. Both United States and Great Britain use this religion to promote demographical changes
and to use that population to bring about a political change that would be of advantage to obtain their foreign policy objectives. American Evangelism is a multibillion dollar industry and it is entirely subsidized by the State. All the donations, and contributions given to the American Evangelists are tax-exempt. These donors do not pay federal tax on the funds contributed to Church. In other words, American Evangelism must be viewed as a State sponsored Enterprise. In the wake of terrorist attacks on American soil, United States is not allowing foreign Islamic Organizations to support and fund charitable work in the United States. They are not allowed to support even simple educational activities at Islamic
Schools. I would ask the Indian Government to follow the example of the United States and stop the flow of foreign money into India. Churches in the United States must support the needs of their local population where there is unemployment, hunger, and poverty. United States must stop these tax subsidies to Evangelists working in foreign countries. They can use those funds to preach Christianity to people of their own Land who do not care to attend Church or worship God.

 

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

 

R. Venkatanarayanan wrote:
 

1. If the word “dialog” is worrying how about using the term, “debate” or “discussion”?
2. Why should one expect or propose or demand that the starting point for debate, dialog or discussion with a Christian Missionary or Mullah should be the acceptance by the latter that he or she will not seek to convert another person? Is ‘conversion’ the only or the primary point of difference or discord between the Abrahamic religions and Hindu Dharma? If so the corollary seems to be that the Hindus must adopt any means to stop it. What are the means other than violence? Is it the proposal?
3. How are Hindus to tackle the misleading or mischievous interpretations and analyses of Hindu Dharma and practices in the intellectual arena, without writing, speaking and debating in the public domain? By running away? Burying their head in the sand? By violence? By voting in the elections?
4. Why should all dialog, debate or discussion be to “convince” the opponent? What about convincing the onlookers/audience?
Should we not consider the foregoing aspects dispassionately? If we do so, will we not be able to come up with some constructive and useful suggestions to deal with inter-Faith matters? Or we Hindus, as a people should think or hold that there is nothing called inter-Faith matter of importance or interest to Hindus?

R.Venkatanarayanan

 

On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 7:52 AM, Rajiv Malhotra wrote: Mr. Rajiv Malhotra is the chairman of the Board of Governors of the India Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, U.S.A. He has participated in interfaith exchanges for over a decade and has published two books. The hyperlinks to his books and blog posts on this subject are included at the end of this post.

“The real problem with these internet threads is that they assume there is only one kind of dialog. This is the same reductionist mentality as one religion, one book, one church, one history, etc.

There are many kinds of dialogs between opponents. Before writing something about “dialogs” a serious scholar should take note of this and examine various kinds of dialogs such as the following:

  1. academic panel discussion: each person explaining their own thesis to other scholars/students. Little or no real “dialog” back and forth among the panelists.
  2. fight to knock each other down.
  3. diplomacy in front of the public to win over public support, while remaining opponents internally.
  4. motive of a discussant could be merely to use the event and get int more mainstream discussions and forums, rather than getting branded in one extreme – so he plays his cards accordingly.
  5. some forums are really to promote someone’s book. Calling it a dialog is merely a way to get it approved by the authorities, who would otherwise not give their support for an event that serves one person’s interests.
  6. Genuine desire to learn from one other.
  7. Private meetings to pretend to reach some agreement to a specific problem or dispute.

These are not mutually exclusive. No generic sweeping statement can be applied to all dialogs without some such taxonomy. There are other variables as well which would make the taxonomy even more complex.
One must play the game according to the particular playing field, and this comes from experience of having encounters, not from armchair mouse-clicking activism like most of our “experts” tend to be.”
regards,
rajiv

On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 8:42 PM, Mukund Apte wrote:

What you are saying is correct that the competition for resources is the bad thing. But I say competition per say is bad thing. Wherever organisation and ORDER exists, competition cannot be absent. every religion has been established in organizational frame. The people herein therefore have a tendency to compete with others to rise in the hirarchy of the Organisation and this create bad blood as well as conflict in the Religion. All COOPERATION amongst people is lost.
Sanaatan Dharm is based on सहकार There being no hirarchy or even Organization people help each other for progress ON THEIR OWN, i.e. by Cooperation. The चातुर्वर्ण्य is organized to prevent competition and improve cooperation. Responsibilities are allotted to different groups (they are also not pernanent but variable as per desires of the people).
This was mainly based on the behaviour of other species in the Universe. They had their own DHARM and they follow quietly without conficts anywhere. So सनातन धर्म developed on similar lines and with same principles of cooperation and no competition. Every specie in the world lives happily without competition and conflicts, why can’t man does same thing and live peacefully?
This is only because Religions are organized with determined hierarchy. People surely desire to rise in the hirarchy and get involved in jealousy and competition with others. Still this much is acceptable because it is within the small group of the Religion. This situation explodes when some religion considers others i.e. different thoughts/religions not worthy of even existence. Then real conflict starts. With organization, cooperation has been discarded and now with dislike and hate, peace also gets kicked away. The current माहौल (condition) prevails.
Sanaatan Dharm is immersed in Cooperation of ALL SPECIES in the Universe. This aspect has to be understood by all religions and must accept cooperation as basic principle. Again Man is not supreme and very different than other species needs be accepted by Religions. Religion is for its followeres (only) whereas धर्म is for ALL entities and species in th world. With regards to all,
—-Mukund Apte

On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM, Major(Retd).R.Rudra Narasimham wrote:

MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING :

The problem with this dialogue is that of the undisclosed motivation for the dialogue. Is it a dialogue to come to a better understanding of each other and to avoid conflict in social interactions? Is this a dialogue to change the opinion and belief of the participant and to mentally prepare the participant to reconcile and give up resistance without the use of physical force? To be a true Christian, to be a true Muslim, the person has no choice other than that of converting people to embrace their faith. The Christian thinks that he is preparing the world for the Second Coming of the Saviour. The Muslim believes that he is acting in obedience to the commandments of Allah. Both of them have very clear objectives. In that context, the dialogue is not an academic exercise and it has no academic purpose or value. Even if they do not openly disclose their motivation or inner intentions, Indians have to better understand their own history, the history of foreign conquest and foreign occupation. The Indian conquest began in a very significant manner by Muhammad of Ghazni and the Arabic word ‘Ghazi’ refers to a Muslim hero, especially one who wars against infidels. The Muslim thinks of nonbelievers as infidels and the Christian thinks of nonbelievers as heathen. Both Muslim and Christian define the word belief and all others in the world are nonbelievers. If they recognize the presence of a nonbeliever, they are required to take action to avoid sin and its consequences.

But, religion, and religious faith is not the biggest problem in the world. The problem is that of competition among members of the same speices for shared resources. Man is a terrestrial organism and there is competition between social groups for the same resources that support human survival and human existence. Man is a social being and he always exists in a social community. Man has a tendency to compete with others while being part of a social group. Man tends to expand his territory to gain access to the natural resources and uses warfare as a tool to expand his territorial rights. There is a fundamental motivation for human behavior and the motivation or drive comes from the perception of his economic condition.Karl Marx has proposed that human history is shaped by man’s economic progression. The Communists have proposed that the Revolution is the answer for man’s economic ills. Just like Muslims, and Christians, the Communist believes in changing man’s social condition to bring the Revolution to cure the problems of man’s existence. In India, we see the problem of Evangelists who would like to bring a peaceful demographic change by converting the people to Christianity and then the Leaders of this change would have access to the natural resources of the Land and can use them without fighting bloody battles. By becoming Christians, people can avoid those nasty battles, save their lives, protect their existence and live upon the few resources spared by the Masters. This has been witnessed in Africa where millions of people got converted and still remain in poverty and misery. The Muslim has tasted the loot and plunder of India over one thousand years and he knows that he can take what he wants by using the power of his sword. However, he cannot do it by himself. He encourages and motivates his followers in the name of God and tells them that it is a divinely ordained duty. The taste of fruits of victory is very addictive and he would seek more of it because of the pleasure it brings. The NaxalMovement inspired by Communist Bosses does not need God, and man is simply willing to join others and wage a group fight to improve his own economic condition. But, we have all seen the results of Communist Revolution. The Party Leaders and officials control the wealth and enjoy it while talking about economic emancipation of man. The social pressures that we see today have economic causes. If not for the sake of God or religion, China would like to extend its influence into India to get a better hold on India’s natural resources. This exploitation becomes easy if people do not challenge it or resist it. In the United States where there is plenty of use of guns to commit crime, people are often reminded to give away their wallets, purse, handbags, backpacks, and belongings if a gunman makes a demand for those items. The Police tell us that it is not rational to lose life to protect such personal belongings. People are advised to give away the car keys and leave the car if a gunman demands to take your car. So, Indians have to make hard choices. They all can become Christians, they all can become Muslims, or they all can become Communists, but if they have to save their life, they may have to give their car, purse, and belongings if a gunman threatens to kill them. They cannot fight this battle as individuals. If they want to fight or resist, there is no choice other than that of fighting as a group.

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

 

INTERFAITH DIALOGUE: HELP OR HINDER

Dr. Babu Seelan :

Several Hindu scholars, saints, teachers, helping professionals, Hindu political leaders, writers and journalists have been entering or engaged in some form of interfaith dialogue with leaders of closed, fundamentalist, mechanistic, reductionists desert dogmas.

It is genuine, sane and required for all concerned Hindus to ask “what do we gain from entering such dialogue with those who refuse to change? What ideas from the desert political dogma which has been used for invasion, plunder, slavery, colonization, oppression, war and terrorism have special significance or value for understanding our relationships? Their closed, rigid, non-compromising belief system and behavior always have been creating effective obstacles in practicing our universal, peaceful Dharma. Islam and Christianity, as closed, rigid, and fundamentalist paradigms have their own philosophy, blind belief system, teachings, followers, war machine, separate states and powerful organizations and are strongly defended by their adherents.

We Hindus are fundamentally all alike and our basic aim is the optimum development of human being. We believe in “World is One Family” (“Vasudeiva Kudumbahakam”). To enhance this goal, we Hindus need to be aware and guided by the best we know of their past brutal history, current sinister plans, cunning strategies and techniques and goals of Islamists and Christian Missionaries.

Yes, the world is changing. We are faced everywhere with the evidence of conflict, hate, destruction, war, beheading, terrorism and coercive religious conversion. Spiritually malignant Muslims and Christians all over the world are trying to establish their own kingdom based on their blind faith. We Hindus are faced with these numberless forces of destruction and conquest. In this time of dire need, it is natural for few Hindus to engage in dialogue with our nemeses. Their good intention is to ceaselessly battle in an effort to thwart the destruction of our Dharma, and stop or slow down coercive and deceptive religious conversion of innocent and gullible Hindus. It is no wonder the frightened Hindus looks wishfully to magic and mystery for protection against our powerful adversary.

One would expect that in the face of overwhelming blows from the the brutal hands of Jihadi and Missionary warlords, Hindus would oppose steadfastedly in a unified, powerful political force. But this is not the case. Hindus are facing destruction from without and within. In this context why Hindus are displaying their extraordinary propensity for dialogue with our enemies attacking on our own existence?

Is the dialogue or debate with our distracters is helping to change their destructive dogma? Are we going to demand that they cease and desist from this deadly paradigm conspiracy? Are we strong enough to demand equitable physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, political opportunity for Hindus for a meaningful life? Hindus are currently stand with their feet in the mud, their eyes fixed on the stars.

Are we going to be successful by this dialogue to force our enemies for a theoretical change? At this juncture, we need to look at ourselves, and force Hindus to grab political power, declare India as a Hindu Rashtra and change Hindus more effectively for political participation. We have to go beyond interfaith dialogue and use our knowledge for desired change in the closed dogmas? Do we have the power to effect change? Or our enemies will psycho program us using the cunning strategy of dialogue? Christians and Muslims know how to use different increasing social pressure tactics on Hindus. We need to prepare ourselves to deal with Hindu frustration, anger, and those who feel powerless to face the organized and powerful enemy.

The increased need for Hindus is to be competent and strong to teach our adversaries new ways of dealing with Hindus .

Out of these concerns and questions, painful as they may be: Always remember that Shanti comes from Shakthi (Peace comes from strength). It is also important to remember that criminal thinkers and their destructive habits are not going to change with our eclectic and peaceful approach. Hindus need to be strong, and realistic. Reality is always more rich and accurate than our mental picture of it.

https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/how-not-to-engage-in-hindu-christian-dialogue-vijaya-rajiva/
http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2012/01/hindu-christian-encounter-not-dialogue.html

Related Articles and hyperlinks :

1. http://bhavanajagat.com/2009/03/03/the-gods-of-monotheism/

2. http://bhavanajagat.com/2009/01/12/the-right-to-worship-creation-a-fundamental-right/

3. http://bhavanajagat.com/2008/12/09/the-power-of-creation-vs-the-power-of-destruction/

4. http://bhavanajagat.com/2009/01/20/jihadist-attacks-indias-right-to-self-defense/

5. http://bhavanajagat.com/2007/05/29/defining-indian-identity-individualism/

6. http://www.BeingDifferentBook.com

7. http://www.BreakingIndia.com/

8. http://www.stateofformation.org/2012/01/part-one-a-different-kind-of-hindu-christian-dialogue-difference-with-mutual-respect/

7. http://digestingveda.blogspot.com/

8. http://www.mirroroftomorrow.org/blog/archives/2012/1/27/4983773.html

 

 

SPIRITUALISM – THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A RELATIONSHIP


WHAT IS SPIRITUALISM ? :
 
The term ‘spiritual’ describes the nature of a relationship between two living persons based upon thoughts, feelings, and understanding such as sympathy, tolerance, cooperation, and mutual assistance. Personal relationships fail and may die if there is no ‘spiritual’ bonding, association, or partnership between the persons participating in a relationship. Spiritualism speaks about the kind and nature of relationships between individuals and it also speaks about the nature of relationships within the individual. A human person when viewed as a multicellular organism, the existence depends upon harmonious interactions between the cells, the tissues, and the organs that are the constituent parts of that human individual who exists because of their living functions. The problem of Cancer provides us a better understanding of the nature of spiritual relationships that exist within the individual and between individuals.
 
KAMALA KAUL NEHRU – THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A REALTIONSHIP :
 
Kamala Kaul and Jawaharlal Nehru got married in1916 and the relationship ended in 1936 with the death of Kamala Kaul Nehru.
Jawaharlal Nehru with wife Kamala Kaul and daughter Indira Priyadarshni in 1918.
The Spiritual Relationship between Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Kaul could not survive the threat of Secondhand Smoke and Cancer.
 

Jawaharlal Nehru continued to smoke after the death of his spiritual relationship with Kamala Kaul.
 

Life under the shadow of Jawaharlal Nehru's Secondhand Smoke was a prescription for the death of his spiritual relationship with Kamala Kaul Nehru. Kamala Kaul born in 1899, had married Jawaharlal Nehru during 1916 and gave birth to Indira Priyadarshni during 1918. She died in Lausanne, Switzerland in a sanitarium on 28 February, 1936. In my opinion, her death was not the result of Tuberculosis infection. It is more likely and it would be rational to think of Lung Cancer as the cause of her death. Lung Cancer is caused by exposure to Secondhand smoke and at that time the relationship between Cancer and Secondhand Smoke was not understood and was never recognized. The clinical picture and findings of Tuberculosis and that of Lung Cancer are very similar and at that time we had no proper diagnostic tools to conclusively establish the diagnosis of these two conditions and no therapeutic agents and medical interventions were available to provide specific treatments either for Pulmonary Tuberculosis or Lung Cancer. NATIONAL CANCER ACT OF 1971 :The understanding of cancer leads to the understanding of the spiritual substance of the cell.

 NATIONAL CANCER ACT OF 1971 :

On December 23, 1971 President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act to direct efforts to conquer the problem of cancer through investment in cancer research and biomedical science. On the occasion of this 40th anniversary of the signing of the National Cancer Act, we need to reflect upon the problem of cancer. It begins with a single mishap or mutation within the nucleus where 23 pairs of chromosomes on which 20, 000 to 25, 000 genes are scattered. Genes hold the instructions for regulating a variety of cell functions, and proteins carry out the instructions to perform these cell functions. Cancer is a problem associated with abnormal cell proliferation or cell divisions. Cancer study helps us to understand normal functions of cells and to learn about the instructions that tell the cells to grow or to stop growing to make new cells. Normally, cell division begins in response to a signal or instruction received. Cells have circuits or pathways to send instructions. Genes send signals to each other along pathways. When a cancerous cell divides, the new cells receive signals to continue proliferation or cell divisions with the characteristics of immortality. The immune surveillance system may detect the presence of cancerous cells by detecting unique surface marker proteins present on the surface of the cancerous cells and the cells of the immune system neutralize or kill the cancerous cells. The study of cancer provides insight into individual signaling pathways and mutations that are characteristic of cancer. The diagnosis of cancer involves the identification of the cells involved, and their location in the body. For each type of cancer disease, there are many genetic variants. Each cancer has to be defined by knowing the genetic mutation that has affected the individual cell. For example, currently, cancer researchers have identified about 56 sub-types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Each sub-type has its own genetic signature. Cancer treatment involves the killing of cancer cells and the therapy may often cause damage or death of healthy cells and tissues. Cancer research is developing targeted therapies that specifically address cellular flaws and spare the normal, and healthy cells, and tissues.

 
CANCER AND THE THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE :
The understanding of the problem of cancer would help us to answer the question: “What is Man?” We need to know and understand man if we have to fight the problem of cancer. Man is an organism represented by a biotic community of about 100 trillion individual living cells and ten times more of other living organisms that inhabit his gastrointestinal tract. The problem of cancer involves the study of the nature of biotic interactions among members of this biological community. If the members, the individual living cells interact in a manner that show characteristics such as mutual assistance, cooperation, sympathy, understanding, devotion, and functional subservience, man will keep his biological existence and the quality of this existence becomes an attribute of his health and well-being. In this context, I define the word ‘Spiritualism’ as a mutually beneficial interaction between individual living cells of the human organism and the Whole Organism represented by the human individual. For example, the Red Blood Cells deliver Oxygen and remove waste products from other cells in the human body displaying the characteristics of a spiritual relationship or partnership. In the problem of cancer, we encounter cancerous cells that fail to display the chracteristics that I have mentioned. The cancer cells behave like an internal enemy; they invade the territory or space of normal and healthy cells and tissues. Cancer grows and causes both structural and functional changes in the tissues and organs where it is located. The cancer cells show the propensity to spread or invade the local and distant parts and sites of the body apart from occupying the place of their origin. Most of our medical interventions aim at destroying these enemy cells that threaten the biological existence of the cancer victim. The cancer variants describe the genetic variations found in the nuclei of cancerous cells and not that of any variation in the cytoplasm of these cells. This corporeal substance found inside the living cells is ‘spiritual’ in its nature where the word ‘spirit’ means the potential for immortality, imperishability, and immutability. This spiritual substance remains unchanged while the cancer disease affects the genes altering the structure and function of genes to deliver normal instructions. Man always comes into existence from a previously existing egg cell and inherits the maternal cytoplasm. Man survives because of the spiritual nature of this inherited maternal cytoplasm. Hence cancer research must explore the spiritual nature of man that has the potential to survive from generation to generation.
 
JOY IN LIFE, LOVE AND COMPASSION IN HEART :
 
The spiritual well-being of man is reflected as joy in life, love, and compassion in heart. In health care, the term ‘comprehensive care’ describes the preventive, the diagnostic, the curative, the rehabilitative, and the restorative care of the entire person and not merely treating the symptoms of the disease. Cancer like several other disease entities imposes stress upon the human organism. The fear of premature death, the fear of disability or disfigurement, the risks imposed by chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, the medical costs, and the loss of employment or of employability contribute to psychogenic stress. The human body is further exposed to physical and chemical stress because of the nature of medical interventions. Cancer as a disease causes ‘biotic stress’. The cells of the immune defense mechanism may detect the presence of cancerous cells and initiate a battle to destroy them. This immune response causes internal stress and very often there is no cortical awareness of this inner battle to defend life. The hostile biotic interactions between cancer cells and healthy cells produces a stress reaction which is mediated by the same stress pathways; the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal pathway. A cancer victim would have a better chance to become a cancer survivor if he is stress resistant and has greater stress tolerance. The restorative care in cancer patients must commence as soon as the diagnosis of cancer is made as the body has already experienced the stress reaction before the clinical diagnosis of cancer could be made. To make a person stress resistant and stress tolerant, it needs the understanding of the spiritual nature of man.  
 
MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING :
The Great Banyan Tree of Kolkata has lived for over 250 years. This tropical fig tree known as Ficus benghalensis is native to India; 'adventitious' roots that grow from its branches go downwards and take root to form new trunks over a relatively wide area. In Sanskrit language, the Banyan tree is known as 'ASVATTHA' and is cherished for its everlasting or imperishable nature. If the tree is living, we need to know the nature of its substance that keeps it living.
The Banyan Tree offers unusal appearance. It has roots that appear growing from its branches and the roots are located upwards and away from the ground; it has trunks and branches growing downwards apart from the normal branches that grow upwards and outwards. Because of its adventitious roots, Banyan Tree spreads to cover a wide area and lives for a long time. Knowing and understanding this Asvattha Tree is important to gain the Knowledge of Vedas, the Hindu Scriptures that reveal the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self or Adhyatma Vidya.

 THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE BANYAN TREE  :

The Hindu Scripture of The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XV known as  Purusottama Yoga speaks about the nature of the Supreme Person. It metaphorically compares the Supreme Being to the popularly known Fig Tree called Ficus benghalensis. The first verse reads as follows:
Sri Bhagavan Uvacha :
 “Urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham Asvattham prahur avyayam,
    Chandamsi yasya parnani yas tam veda sa Veda vit.”
The Supreme Lord Krishna said: There is a Banyan Tree which has its roots upwards and its branches down and metaphorically it is imperishable; and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this Tree is the Knower of the Vedas( the person attains the Knowledge of the Ultimate Reality or the Supreme being). When we know the Banyan Tree and its apparent imperishable quality, we may understand the true nature of Man. Man is a spiritual being. The truth or falsity of this proposition depends on the fact of man’s having a substance that is of spiritual nature. Such a substance of spiritual kind is perceptible to the senses, is amenable to direct observation, and could be subjected to verification by experimental science. To establish the fact of man’s spiritual nature, it needs reasoning based upon scientific validity. The structure and the behavior of things contribute to their individual being and function. If man has a set of defining features based upon his structure( Human Anatomy ), function( Human Physiology ), and behavior( Human Behavioral Science ), the spiritual nature of man could be proved on theoretical and practical grounds and could be verified by scientific experiments. I am not seeking to discover a soul or spirit that could have existence independent of man’s physical being. However, it will be important to note that it is not possible to conceive of a soul or spirit if it is never associated with its human body. My purpose is that of describing the spiritual nature of human organism and of other living beings. To understand the true nature of human being, we need to ascertain the validity of Knowledge that pertains to the Spiritual Self.
 
MAN IS A MORTAL BEING :
Man’s greatest need is not only to know the world around him but also to know himself better. Man must understand what it is to be a substance and what it is to exist. Man is a physical being or thing with matter and form. The corporeal body of man is composite of two principles; matter, and form. What is called matter is potentiality, and what is called form is actuality. The corporeal substance called protoplasm becomes actuality and is recognized as a living person because of the uniqueness of its genome that operates its living functions and defines its size, shape, color, and external form or morphological appearance. However, life comes into existence only when matter or substance has the ability to acquire energy from its external environment. The human being comes to life when his corporeal substance uses its potential ability and power called ‘Nutrition’ to acquire energy and material from its environment. Life begins with fertilization, the union of sperm with egg cell, and this event called conception proceeds to develop a human being after an important event called implantation. The life journey after conception continues if there is a connection between the energy seeking embryo and its maternal energy provider. To exist means that the substance is maintaining a relationship, a partnership, a connection, or association with its source of energy. Man leads energy dependent existence deriving energy and material from nature which supports other living forms with a similar corporeal substance called protoplasm. The mortality of man must be understood as the dissolution of man’s physical form. The dissolution of living man into non-living molecules and physical elements would not alter that potentiality of protoplasm to acquire energy and material to create its own substance. Things in Nature change with Time; but what is called Nature remains unchanged even under the influence of Time. As per The Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy as described in classical Physics, mass or energy remain constant. The potentiality of living substance to acquire energy and material to form its own kind of substance has remained unchanged or unaffected by major natural calamities and other cataclysmic events. Life forms perish and yet life continues as new life forms. During the billions of years of existence, planet Earth has experienced several minor, and major Extinction Events described in its geological history. The Science of Paleontology offers scientific evidence to support an argument based upon theoretical and practical grounds to propose that the substance called protoplasm could be eternal, immovable, immutable, and indestructible. At a fundamental level, it could be stated that man is a mortal or materialistic being who derives his physical form because of its association with an imperishable substance. During any stage of his existence, the form called man cannot be separated from the eternal nature of its substance.
California State Tree known as Redwood includes Sequoia sempevirens, and the Giant Sequoia known as Sequoia gigantea. The Redwoods are the most massive trees in the world and could attain a trunk diameter as large as 30 feet. They also include the tallest trees in the world averaging about 300 feet high. They include the oldest known living trees and may reach ages of over 3,000 years. What is that corporeal substance that is living apparently in an imperishable manner?

 

Sequoia sempevirens. Man has officially designated this tree as the State Tree of California State. What is the connection between Man and Plants or Trees? What is the corporeal substance shared or common to all living entities?
Sequoia gigantea is a massive tree. A living thing has a form and has matter. We often recognize the form and give it a name. What about the "MATTER" that constitutes the substance of this Living Thing? We need to understand the 'potentiality' of the Matter to know the nature of the Form. The Form has no independent existence of its own. The Form lives if and only if it has Matter that is living.

 WHAT IS SOUL OR SPIRIT ?  :

Traditionally, man has been divided into two parts; body, and soul. In common usage, the term soul represents the immaterial aspect of a human being. Soul is further defined as that part of the individual which is considered to survive the death of the body. The term spirit is often used to describe a disembodied soul. On separation from the human body, the soul or spirit has a life of its own, a capacity for independent existence or self-subsistence which describes its immortality.
 
THE CONCEPTIONS OF SOUL  :
 
There are a variety of conceptions about soul or spirit. Some of the traditional conceptions of soul are the following:
1. Soul is the immaterial substance, form, or principle of self-motion, vitality, life force, or life in living things. The insentient body is completely distinct from the sentient soul.
2. Soul describes the Doctrine of the Self, and is considered to be synonymous with the True-Self. In a human being, soul confers the Individuality and its nature of humanity.
3. Soul is often described as a thinking substance and is equated with mind. The soul has knowledge of itself by reflection of its acts. The soul is the knower and it knows the physical, and mental acts of the human body where it resides.
4. Soul is important to maintain, and to preserve life. Soul may not directly participate in the activities of the human body. However, the activities of the human body may have a polluting effect on soul. If the soul is tainted or contaminated by the sinful acts of the body, the soul may obtain purification by its release from the body. Some form of human effort, activity, attitude, and behavior is essential to keep the soul in its natural, pure, and perfect condition.
5. The soul that has experienced the polluting effects by its association with a human body would be forced to experience perpetual reincarnation by a process called transmigration. The soul continues to reside as a prisoner in different bodies until such time it attains its original state or condition of purity and perfection.
6. Soul is a transcendental or noumenal object that is real but not visible and could not be detected by human sensory perception. The human body that is visible is in fact unreal or is a product of sensory illusion.
 
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOUL AND HUMAN BODY  :
 
Most religions and cultures speak about soul and describe it as some incorporeal or immaterial substance/principle of human life that is distinct from the body. Despite the frequent acceptance of the existence of a soul, different religions and philosophers have developed a variety of theories as to the nature of the soul and its relationship to the human body. There are divergent views about the origin of the soul, when and how it gets implanted into the human body, and the mortality or when and if the soul dies. I would like to share the view that is attributed to Lord Krishna, the avatar or reincarnation of Hindu God Lord Vishnu.
 
ADHYATMA VIDYA – THE BHAGAVAD GITA  :
The word ‘vidya’ is related to acquired knowledge derived from studies. The term ‘adhyatma’ pertains to the individual soul, atma, or atman which describes the Spiritual Self. The phrase ‘Adhyatma Vidya’ could be described the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self.
 
The legendary IndianSage Veda Vyasa also known as Krishna Dvaipayana was the author of the epic ‘The Mahabharata'( Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty ). Veda Vyasa is recognized as the compiler of ancient Hindu texts known as Vedas. In the Book VI of Mahabharata, Lord Krishna had a conversation with Prince Arjuna while the warring parties of Pandavas, and Kauravas had assembled at the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Lord Krishna revealed His views about soul, human body and their relationship in “The Song of the Lord” known as ‘The Bhagavad Gita’. These poems of The Bhagavad Gita give a synopsis of the religious thought and experience of India through the ages. The Chapter X of The Bhagavad Gita is titled ‘Vibhuti-Vistara Yoga’ and it describes the divine or transcendental attributes of the Supreme Lord. In verse #39, the Lord claims, “I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being, moving or unmoving( “Chara-acharam” ) that can exist without Me.” In verse #32, the Lord proclaims, “….of all the branches of Learning and Knowledge, I am the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self( “Adhyatma Vidya” ). In verse #22, the Lord describes the nature of His connection with the living beings that He has generated, “…. and in living beings, I am Consciousness( “Bhutanam asmi Chetana” ).” He had also clarified that Consciousness or Chetana as a different characteristic and has separated it from mind, intellect and sense perception. Mind is traditionally viewed as the major organ of sense perception, seat of thoughts, intellect, emotions, feelings, and self-ego. Chetana is associated with the characteristics of a living being. The Lord had also cited The Vedanata Sutra to make the distinction between the body, the soul, and the Supersoul. The Vedanta, the insights from Vedic Scriptures describe three manifestations of the Supreme Lord’s Energy. These are 1. Annamoya or dependence upon Food for existence, 2. Pranamoya or the manifestation of the living symptoms and life forms, and 3. Jnanamoya or the Knowledge of the distinction between the body the field of activity and the Knower who resides in the body. If a living being needs food for its existence, and performs its living functions in a state or condition called awareness or consciousness, it could be described as the manifestation of the Supreme Lord’s Energy. In Chapter VII titled ‘Paramahamsa Vijnana Yoga’ or Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, in verse #9 Lord Krishna claims: “I am the life( “Jivanam” ) of all that lives.” He had demonstrated a connection between life and consciousness to describe the spiritual nature of Self. The Chapter XIII of The Bhagavad Gita titled ‘Kshetra – Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga’ deals with the dichotomy or distinction between the material body, immortal soul, and the Supersoul. It states the view that the material body is called the field of activity or Kshetra. One who knows this body, the field of activity is called the Knower of the Field or Kshetrajna. The Knower of the Field is the Owner of the body. The Supreme Lord is also the Knower of the field of activity in all bodies( verse #3 ). In this human body, there is another indwelling obeserver, a sanctioner, a preserver, an enjoyer, and indeed ultimate Controller called ‘Paramatama’ or Supersoul. The Supreme Lord or Paramesvaram is residing equally in all living entities( verses # 23, 27, and 28 ). Just like the Sun who illuminates the entire living world, the soul within the body illuminates the entire field of activity of the physical body by Chetana or Consciousness( verse #34 ). This view as stated suggests that consciousness is the proof or the symptom of the presence of the soul. A similar view is shared in Chapter II titled ‘Sankhya Yoga’. The imperishable or indestructible soul pervades or permeates(“tatam” ) the entire physical body( verse #7 ). What is spread all over the body? Consciousness could be described as spread over the entire body and it leads to the interpretation that the symptom of the soul’s presence is perceived as individual consciousness.
 
The final Chapter XVIII of The Bhagavad Gita titled ‘Moksha-Opadesa Yoga’ comes to an interesting conclusion about the Single Reality that pervades all existence that is divided into innumerable forms. Verse #20 reads as follows:
“Sarva bhutesu yenaikam bhavam avyayam iksate
  avibhaktam vibhaktesu taj jnanam viddhi Sattvikam.”
“Understand that Knowledge by which one undivided, imperishable( “Avyayam” )reality is seen within all diverse living entities is in the nature of goodness( Sattvikam” ). What is that undivided reality that is imperishable that connects all the diverse, living entites?
 
THE BODY-SOUL DICHOTOMY  :
 
In the Indian tradition, the individual soul is known as Atma or Atman. The Supreme Soul or the Supersoul is known as Paramatma, Paramesvaram, or Brahaman, the Ultimate Truth and the Reality. However, the concepts about Atma or individual soul vary and Hindus belong to different schools of thought. While the concepts about individual soul are different, there is general agreement among various Indian thinkers and philosophers about the distinction between the material, insentient, and perishable human body and the immaterial, sentient, and imperishable or immortal soul. Soul is independent, and is not attached and it still requires the substance of the corporeal body. However, I am not able to draw that distinction and make that separation from the substance and its function. To describe function, I need the substance. Man lives and functions with consciousness because of the fundamental nature of the corporeal substance called protoplasm, and this substance is apparently imperishable, indestructible, and immortal. We could destroy the physical form of man and several other living forms, but man or nature and the influence of Time have not demonstrated an ability to destroy this living substance which has survived on planet Earth continuously over billions of years. Man cannot create life and man cannot destroy life. Man can only live or exist because of the spiritual nature of his corporeal substance with which he can not seek separation until the time of his death. The substance has a life of its own and continues to create new substance of its own kind and becomes visible as a living life form with a different identity or morphological appearance.
 
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.
 
Please also review my earlier post titled “Spirituality,Soul, Consciousness, and the God Connection” which is reproduced below this post.
 
Paire de base
Image via Wikipedia

THE STATUS OF MAN IN NATURE :

The First Book of Moses, The Old Testament Book of Genesis describes the story of Creation; in Chapter 2, verse 7, it narrates man’s creation: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

The Book of Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 27:"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

MAN IS A CREATED BEING  :  

Man is a created being. Spirituality explores the connection between man and his Creator. The Trimurti at Elephanta Island Cave Temples near Mumbai, India represents God as the Creator(Brahma), the Preserver(Vishnu) and the Destroyer(Shiva).

MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING :

The status of man in nature describes man as a created object; a new object, one of its own kind, distinctive, and unique. The principle of Creation
involves the use of inspiration and imagination as opposed to the view proposed by the Theory of Evolution. The fundamental issue is about understanding man’s status in nature. Did man come into existence by gradual changes caused by random and unguided events called genetic mutations? Or, does man actually exist in nature because of his relationship with other objects present in his living environment? What defines man’s existence? What establishes the reality of man’s physical existence? Should we focus on the changing form? Alternately, should we give attention to an unchanging relationship that is a prerequisite for the existence of all life forms? If an object cannot come into its state of existence, how could that object get a shape or form? In the context of a discussion about man’s existence in nature, I state that  man is a created object, and hence man
exists as a Spiritual being. The term Spirituality describes the nature of this connection between man and His Creator. Soul is the immortal part of man as distinguished from his body; it is the vital principle which moves and animates all Life. Soul may represent the essence of a human being, it could be the quality which confers individuality, humanity, and the moral nature of man. I divide man into two categories; the first category is called the ‘SELF’ which represents man as a physical, mental, and social being; and the second category is called the ‘KNOWING-SELF’ which represents man as a moral, and spiritual being. These two categories function together and the functional unity of the human person is an attribute of a neuro-biological function called Consciousness. Man’s physical being is represented by a changing external or morphological appearance and while the physical Identity is constantly changing, the unchanging Individuality is supported by man’s spirituality or the nature of his constant spiritual relationship.  

 THE ETERNAL REALITY OF SOUL’S IMMORTALITY  :
Ajanta Caves near Aurangabad, Maharashtra State, India, Fresco-type wall painting- Man's spiritual dimension describes man's humanity, moral nature, individuality, and Consciousness.

 Religious thinkers have further defined Soul as that part of the individual which partakes of divinity. People of all races, cultures and religions would like to investigate the nature of this God-Connection as they perceive the world and the universe in which they exist as a fact of Creation. I need to find evidence that would fundamentally deny the fact of Creation.

 MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING  :

 

French philosopher Auguste Comte(1798-1857) coined the term Sociology. He believed that the scientific study of social organization would make possible a reconstitution of the social order based on principles of moral progress.

Apart from being a created Physical being, man is recognized as a Social being as he displays social instincts and social behaviors in all of his activities. A rudimentary understanding of Sociology or Theories of Social Science would clarify this matter. Social instincts and Social Behaviors are seen in all animals including bacteria. At a cellular level, the social function is called ‘Association’. Man is an association of trillions of cells. Each human organ and organ system represents an association of cells that display functional subordination to perform selective tasks. Life is just impossible without social structure and organization.

MAN IS A MORAL BEING  : 

 

Man is a Spiritual being and is endowed with Moral nature. James Tissot in his painting captures the essence of man. The Book of Matthew, Chapter 27 verses 3-5 narrate the story of Apostle Judas Iscariot and his moral failing that caused the dissolution of his biological existence-"When Judas who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. "I have sinned," he said,"for I have betrayed innocent blood." So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."

Man is an individual who exists in a social group. At the same time, man is a Moral being, as he displays moral behavior even when he is corrupt. Man displays the ability of Repentance for his thoughts, for his actions of commission and omission. Man has the ability to admit his sins, express remorse and may often punish himself for his sinful conduct. Man experiences grief for his actions that are sinful. Man actively searches for solutions for his sinful conduct. Man cannot sustain his biological existence if he had morally failed. A famous example would be that of Apostle Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus.

 MATTER, ENERGY, AND KNOWLEDGE  :
Greek philosopher  Aristotle had observed that corporeal substances are composite of two principles, form and matter. What is called matter is potentiality, what is called form is actuality. The totality of things have been divided in various ways. The three fundamental distinctions are 1. the distinction between the natural and the supernatural, 2. the distinction between the material and the spiritual, and 3. the distinction between the lifeless and the living. When we make the distinction animate/inanimate, living/non-living, and inorganic/organic, a question arises about the nature of that distinction. The difference, is that one of kind or degree? The Mechanistic View claims the continuity of nature in terms of the universality of purely mechanical principles. I have defined Life as ‘Knowledge in Action’. Please view the blog post at http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/what-is-life-life-is-knowledge-in-action/
I define Life as organization of matter with implanted supernatural Knowledge. The establishment of supernatural Knowledge in matter decribes the operation of ‘God Principle’, Spirit, or Soul. Life comes into existence when matter and energy come together with the establishment of ‘God Connection’.
  
LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS  :                    

 

Amoeba proteus, unicellular, protozoan organism is conscious or aware of its own state of existence. It has the abilities of Motion, Nutrition, and Reproduction. All of its living functions are goal-oriented. It responds to its environment and survives adverse environmental conditions by a process called encystment.

The basic characteristic of a Living Cell or organism is the presence of consciousness. I recognize a cell as a Living Cell if it displays functions that characterize the presence of awareness or consciousness. The Living Cell or Living Object need not be aware or conscious of the Subject who may be investigating or observing the properties of that Object. The Living Object need to be aware of its own existence and its condition called Living. Atoms and molecules display their properties and interact according to the Laws of Physics and Chemistry. Living organic molecules show individualistic behaviors under experimental conditions that could be repeated and be verified. The Living Cell is very selective and it responds in a variable manner to physical and chemical stimuli. It can communicate or send signals to other Living Cells present in its environment. It responds according to its internal condition in relation to the environment in which it exists. The interactions of non-living physical matter are not goal-oriented. The interactions of Living matter are goal-oriented and they specifically achieve the purpose of sustaining, preserving, defending, and continuing the Living functions.

MAN IS A MORTAL, PHYSICAL BEING  :

Man is a mortal being who must eventually die. When Lazarus died and was laid in a tomb for four days, Jesus performed a miracle and Lazarus came back to life from death. The Book of John, Chapter 11, narrates this event. In verses 41 and 42, Jesus said,"Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but I said this for the benefit of the people who are standing here, that they may believe that You sent Me." The risen Lazarus had eventually died.

LIFE AND DEATH IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS :

 

When does Life begins? When does Life ends? Life always comes into a state of existence from a previously existing Living Cell. Life and Death is a continuous process and is recognized by the presence of Consciousness and Individuality.

When does Life begins? When does Life ends? Every Living Cell is derived from a previously existing Living Cell. Life has not experienced the final event called DEATH. Life continues its act of Living through a function called Reproduction. A given species is considered to be totally extinct only if there is no surviving member to represent that particular species. Death is a programmed event and it gives meaning to the Identity of a Living Object. The dissolution of a single Living Object should not obscure the fact that Life is a continuous process. Life continues as Living Objects get new Identities. It is very reasonable to expect that Life would continue after the death of a given Living Object. People all over the world are a witness to that simple and direct observation. During the Life-Death continuum, the connection between the Creator and the created Living Object is manifested by the biological function called awareness or consciousness. The presence of Soul is evidenced by the presence of consciousness. As long as the Soul is functioning and is united with the physical being, the presence of consciousness could be detected and could be verified.

THE SOUL AND GOD CONNECTION : 

 

All types of Living Cells with or without nucleus represent thermodynamically unstable systems. Without a continuous input of energy a Living Cell will degrade spontaneously into a nonliving collection of molecules. Biological existence is possible because of an association or connection, or partnership between energy seeker and energy provider.

 There has been no clearly defined and universally accepted metaphysical conception of the term Soul. It is a term rarely used with precise definition in philosophy, religion, or common life. In this discussion we face the problem of using words to which no definitive meaning is attached. If I make an attempt to define the word ‘God’, you may even speculate that I may belong to a new religious order. We need to come to a consensus even if an entity called ‘God’ does not exist. We need to formulate a view, a hypothetical view about Soul and test that hypothesis by countering it with a skeptical hypothesis. The Science called Physics deals with the properties, changes, interactions, etc. of matter and energy in which energy is considered to be continuous. In the ultimate analysis, matter is a representation of its energy content. The Science called Biology deals with Life and Life processes. While Life is made up of physical matter, Life processes are not explained by simple mechanistic interactions. However, I am willing to use the principles, the methods, and the tools used by Physics. Molecular Biology explains biological events by studying the molecules within cells; the molecular basis of genetics – Nucleic Acids and its relationship to energy cycling and replication. If this universe is seen as matter and energy, I would define God as the Controller of Force/Power/Energy. All living things are essentially made up of the same kind of living matter and yet they appear to be different. Life could be attributed to ONE common principle which has the ability to be simultaneously different. Each living object comes into a state of existence as a new object, as an original object, one of its own kind, unique, and distinctive. This morphological variation is an attribute of the organic molecules that establish the phenotype or the physical identity of that living organism. Physics provides those powerful tools to see the molecules and to recognize their individualistic behavior. Life comes into existence using a creative principle, and creative mechanisms that need inspiration, and imagination apart from the use of simple mechanistic laws. If Life is governed by the Law of Individuality, I would define God as a Creative Force/Power/Energy.

 

Life is a condition that describes Synchronized Existence, the synchronization of activities, the connection between energy dependent life functions and its Source of Power.

A majority of these life forms that we know and have studied, have synchronized their state of existence with an event that produces alternating periods of light and darkness while that source of light is not being turned ‘on’ and ‘off’. Rather we are forced to experience the effects of an illusion. Sunrise and Sunset is the reality that governs a majority of Biological Rhythms that control the life processes. Illusion is the necessary condition for the biological existence of Life. If Earth’s rotational spin generates this illusion, God uses Force/Power/Energy to cause illusion. In the universe that exists today, to the extent we have verified; there are no two identical celestial objects that exhibit the same rotational spin. In this context, it may be said that the Force/Power/Energy called God has created Earth to provide a home to the life forms that He has created as Individuals. These life forms have the ability called reproduction and yet lack the ability of producing two identical new objects. Sexual or Asexual reproduction always results in the production of new Individuals which could be easily verified by using the Biometric Identification Technology. Even the clones, sharing identical genomes, in reality exist as individuals. This Individuality when investigated by the tools supplied by Physics, it is discovered that the organic molecules behave as Individuals and man is not able to modify that behavior. Under the same experimental conditions, the molecules behave as individuals. When we examine the nature of this biological existence, it indicates that life processes are supported by the provision of energy from an external source. The Living Cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without a continuous input of energy a Living Cell will degrade spontaneously into a nonliving collection of molecules. This lack of energy independence would direct us to define God as the Power/Force/Energy which delivers Compassion/Mercy/Grace which helps energy acquisition by energy dependent living organisms. Life forms on planet Earth exist depending upon an extraterrestrial source of energy or Cosmic Power/Force/Energy. Life exists because of its ability called ‘Association’. The act of associating, the state of being associated; the companionship, the fellowship, and the partnership is the defining feature of the State or Condition, or Act of Living. Association or patnership between energy seeker and energy provider could be described as God-Connection. Organisms that are single do not live as single cells but develop association with other single cells to form distinct Colonies. Organisms that are multicellular represent an organization of individual cells that are associated having common interests, purposes, sensations, etc., Since association has a purpose, in the context of biological existence, the association or connection, or partnership between the energy seeker, and the energy provider is a meaningful event and not a simple, mechanical, physical event governed by the Laws of Interactions between Matter and Energy. There are Four Fundamental Interactions and they do not regulate or define this Interaction between Living matter and the Cosmic Force/Power/Energy. Living matter uses and exploits energy in a creative manner to build organic molecules and to break down organic molecules. The life processes are very similar and yet the results are totally different. While using energy mostly following a similar metabolic pathway, each organism supports its identity and individuality.

 

WHO HAS ESTABLISHED THE CONNECTION BETWEEN AUTOTROPHS AND HETEROTROPHS? The creative mechanism to trap Solar Energy describes implanted Knowledge to formulate the connection between autotrophs and heterotrophs.

 

In mitochondria, many substances(food) are oxidized and ATP, the energy-storing chemical of the Cell is produced. The most important equations for living things are mutually inverse. Respiration of humans, and Cellular Respiration represents the reverse of Photosynthesis.

SOUL AND DEATH  :

The idea of ‘Soul’ always comes in the context of Death. If man is immortal, we will not be spending our time and energy discussing to verify the existence of an immortal principle. The human subject has a limited life span and it arouses a sense of curiosity about the existence of something that could defy Death. I am trying to define the word ‘Soul’ in a manner to promote an understanding that ‘Soul’ is immortal if we look at man as an Association of individual living cells. We need to establish the Identity of that Individual for whose purpose or interest this Association of Individual living cells exists. If we think of Death as a final event, it is not supported by factual evidence. In this Association, death is a daily event. We simply fail to acknowledge this daily event as there is an immortal principle that is escaping this death experience. The Individual thinks that he is alive and sustains his Individuality without getting overwhelmed by the dying process that is continuous. While the human organism is changing its external appearance and identity all the time, the Individuality survives if ‘Soul’ the vital, or operating immortal principle is functioning. The issue or question about ‘transmigration’ of Soul would not arise if every living organism exists strictly as an Individual with an Individuality. As stated before,man has no choice and he must always exist as an Individual even when we use Reproductive Genetic Engineering Technology to produce identical clones with the same genome. The dissolution of matter may not change the Law of Conservation of Energy. If Soul is defined as the God Connection that gives the ability of energy acquisition, the Soul when removed from a physical object to which it has given Individuality, would operate as per the commands of the Controller of Force/Power/Energy. It provides the possibility of carrying the impressions of a previous state of existence into a new state of existence with a new identity and Individuality. During the life span of a given Individual, an association of cells in which death is a daily event, Soul is a continuous principle as its purpose and interest is to maintain Individuality of that Individual.

SOUL AND THE LIVING CELL :

I define man as a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being as I define the term ‘health’ as the physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being of the man in his environment and community and not merely as absence of disease. This definition of ‘health’ would help me to provide ‘comprehensive health care’ in my role as a Primary Care physician. Specialists and Super specialists provide health care in specific areas involving an organ or an organ system.

 

Jean Paul Sartre had stated that Nothingness(Non-thing or Neant) is a condition of not having Being and yet it is supported by Being. Nothingness comes into the world by the Being-for-itself. The Conscious Knowing-Self or the Essence of man is preceded by the Subjective Reality of physical Existence.

I attach my ideas to some ideas expressed by others. Sartre is a well-known person. He had won the Nobel Prize for literature but declined to accept it. I may not totally agree with him and his views about consciousness. He had stated his view in a manner that people can easily understand. He makes a distinction between objective things and human consciousness. He claims that consciousness is a ‘non-thing'(‘neant’ or nothingness ) and its reality consists in standing back from things and taking a point of view on them. Because consciousness is a non-thing, it does not have any of the causal involvements that things have with other things. If you stand before a mirror, the reflection exists only if it is supported by the presence of a physical being or thing. If the physical thing is taken away, the reflected image is gone but the reflective surface retains its ability to reflect the images of things.

 THE BIOLOGICAL MEMBRANE AND CONSCIOUSNESS  :

 

The Biological Membrane is not a simple physical barrier separating the Living Cell from its environment. The Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, the Living Matter uses its Biological Membrane with a sense of awareness or consciousness which recognizes the fact of its existence and the fact of something present in its environment.

 In a Living Cell, consciousness reflects its external environment and its internal condition or internal environment. The Living Cell knows, it is aware of its state, fact, and act of its Living. The Living Cell makes contact with its environment by using a cell membrane, a biological membrane, or a bio-membrane. If you carefully look at some of the functions of this membrane, you would discern that the Living Cell has consciousness or awareness of these functions. The Biological Membrane behaves in a conscious manner and it is not a simple, physical barrier between the Protoplasm, the Living Substance and its environment. If the term ‘soul’ describes a vital principle, or a source of Knowledge, it provides the information with which these functions could be performed. Some molecules and ions can freely move across this Bio-membrane and some are actively pumped in or out of the Cell that involves expenditure of energy. The Living Cell has the ability to recognize the condition of its nucleus, if the DNA is damaged, the Cell can initiate a process and cause its own dissolution.

 

Red Blood Cells display functional subordination to serve the purpose of the Whole Organism. Functional differentiation, and Functional Unity are important to support the existence of the Subject or Individual who is in reality an association of trillions of cells.

In multicellular organism, the consciousness works both at the level of each individual cell and to establish the functioning of the organism as an individual unit. Without functional unity, the organism cannot maintain its biological existence. Cell differentiation is the process by which the individual cells use adaptation to perform specific tasks. Red Blood Cells perform specific tasks.

 THE NEURO-BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS  :

 

Reticular Formation of Brain Stem has connections with almost all other parts of the Central Nervous System and it helps to coordinate and integrate actions of different parts of the CNS. It is important for Behavioral Arousal, and the Capacity for Consciousness.

In the human Brain Stem, several neurons, and nuclei which are in an area called Reticular Formation are functionally adapted to compose the contents of human consciousness. The Reticular Formation gives the Capacity for Consciousness. The contents of this consciousness are read in the cortical areas of the cerebral hemispheres and described as Cortical awareness. Most philosophers, most of the psychologists, and several of the religious thinkers pay attention to this Cortical awareness and describe that as human consciousness. We tend to ignore the fact that there would be no Cortical awareness unless there is a Capacity for Consciousness. Most recently, the surgeons had removed the complete left cerebral hemisphere from a child to stop convulsive seizures. The child is alive, fully conscious, and hopefully would continue to live in future with some neurological deficits. Just like the human heart which has four different muscular chambers and each has a function of its own; we need to understand consciousness by knowing its components. We need to use separate terms to distinguish these different components. There would be confusion if a term is used without attaching a specific meaning. Cortical awareness is important and is very interesting and yet man can exist and survive with minimal cortical awareness. We have seen children with severe degrees of mental retardation, and they can keep their biological existence if they retain the ability to Compose Consciousness. I want to designate the upper Brain Stem as the Seat of Consciousness and the word consciousness itself must describe the functions of the Brain Stem which are most important for man’s biological existence. A man is clinically dead in the absence of these Brain Stem functions involved in the Capacity of Consciousness. In Clinical Medicine, the term conscious is often used to measure the degree of Arousal or Cortical awareness and hence this subject matter would remain confusing for a long time. If a subject is unconscious, I would not issue a ‘death certificate’. In Clinical Medicine, the term used is ‘Brain Death’ and when Brain Death is diagnosed, the human person for all practical purposes is dead. I would suggest that we must use the term ‘Unconscious’ specifically to indicate the Brain Death which is diagnosed by testing the Brain Stem Reflexes. If the human person is viewed as a single physical thing or object, the integration of functions is achieved at the Brain Stem( Reticular Formation), and he maintains his individuality throughout his physical existence only when this part of the brain is functioning. If you like the term individual soul or Jeeva Atma, its existence is a reflection of this function. To see a reflection, we need two things; the physical object and a reflective surface. The quality of reflecting objects may depend upon presence of Knowledge. It is not known if this particular kind of knowledge exists as organic molecules; however, it is very well understood that most of the knowledge to perform a variety of biological functions is contained in organic molecules and the most well-known group of these organic molecules are known as DNA. There are Viruses which can function with RNA. Hence, there is still a possibility of finding organic molecules that could be associated with the functional ability called consciousness, awareness, cognition, recognition, responsiveness, perception, memory, intelligence, and association. The most important aspect of ‘association’ is ‘God Connection’ and without this function of ‘association’ man cannot keep his biological existence.

 

Consciousness is awareness of existence, the facts that relate to the state or condition of existence. Behavioral Arousal and Cortical awareness of thoughts, feelings, and sensations is an important component of total Biological Existence.

IDENTITY AND INDIVIDUALITY :

 

The Eternal Reality of Soul's Immortality is described in The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter II, verse 12. Lord Krishna spoke to the Pandava Prince Arjuna :"Na tv evaham jatu nasam na tvam neme JanadhipaH;Na chaiva na bhavisyamaH, sarve vayam ataH param." For each of us our Individuality existed in the past and our Individuality will continue in the future without interruption. Certainly, never at any time did I not exist, nor you, nor all these Kings and certainly never shall we cease to exist in the future.

The issue of spirituality, the nature of Soul and consciousness must be explored in the context of arriving at an understanding of man’s Identity and Individuality. If man is viewed as an association of trillions of cells, we need to know the Identity of that Subject who lives because of the functions of the trillions of cells. The purpose of consciousness at cellular level is to foster functional unity of the multicellular organism and to establish it as an Individual. In a multicellular organism, cells have short lives as individuals. The Subject or the whole organism has a life span of its own and it has effects on individual cells. Multicellularity is accompanied by adaptive subordination of all cells to the requirements of the organism as a whole. To achieve proper numerical balance between functionally related cell groups, the death of many cells is necessary for other cells to reach maturity. This programmed cell death plays an important role in embryological development. Such programmed cell death events are essential if the organism as a whole is to develop its normal final form. Waves of genetically driven cell deaths are critical to the proper modeling of organs and organ systems. We need to know and understand that death of cells is a must to establish the Identity and to sustain the Individuality of the human being. The dying process helps man to understand his Individuality. The Individuality is preserved while death is a daily event at the cellular level. The phenotype or the morphological appearance of the human Subject undergoes constant change during the Life journey and yet the Individuality remains unchanged. We recognize the death of this human Subject when his Soul departs from his body. Soul may be stated as an entity which is regarded as being immortal or spiritual part of the person. The Spirit of a dead person generally refers to a principle separate from the body and leading an existence of its own. If Soul is viewed as a Non-thing or Nothingness, it comes into the world of existence by entering the physical being at its conception which becomes conscious or aware of its existence. This consciousness has also existed in a previously existing Living Egg Cell which is the Mother of Life, Energy, and Knowledge. Consciousness by its very nature is immortal, it is eternal, and it has no birth or death. We recognize the arrival and departure of the new product during the Life-Death continuum where the Individuality is unaffected by the changes that are caused by the powerful influence of Time.

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

SPIRITUALISM – THE KEY TO HUMAN NATURE


THE THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE : “SARVESHAM SWASTIR BHAVATU”

The Vitruvian Man c. 1492. The painting by Leonardo da Vinci displays the Spirit of Scientific Inquiry about Human Nature.

What is Man? The motivation for asking this question comes from a statement expressed in Sanskrit language, “Sarvesham Swastir Bhavatu” which seeks the well-being of all humans of all races, of all cultures, of all religions, and of all nations. Our efforts to support the well-being of man would be affected by our understanding the ‘real’, or ‘true’ nature of man. All human traditions including several philosophical and scientific traditions make assumptions about human nature. The basic assumption about human nature is that of finding it displayed in feelings, thoughts, moods, action, and behavior. I try to know human nature from the functional characteristics that are observable in biotic interactions of cells, tissues, and organs that constitute the human organism. If man is viewed as a multicellular organism, I need to discover the human nature of this subject who lives because of the functions of the cells, tissues, and organs that provide the structural basis of the human organism.

THE KEY TO HUMAN NATURE – EVOLUTION vs CREATION :

Charles Darwin’s great contributions to Biology: “The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection: Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle of Life”(1859), The Descent of Man(1871), The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals(1872).

Man’s evolution from ape-like ancestors is thought to be the key to our true human nature. Ethology or the scientific study of animal behavior is based on the Theory of Evolution. In order to explain human condition, ethological theories of human nature appeal to the evolutionary past of man.

Konrad Zacharias Lorenz( November 1903 to February 1989 ), Austrian Zoologist, founder of modern Ethology which involves scientific study of animal behavior by means of comparative zoological methods. He won the Nobel Prize for Physiology along with two other animal behaviorist.

Lorenz sees man as an animal who has evolved from other animals. He thinks that human behavior is subject to the same causal laws of nature as all animal behavior. Many patterns of animal behavior show “hereditary coordination” or “instinctive movements” that are innate rather than learned. The ‘instinctual’ behavior is fixed and may not be eliminated or altered by the environment. Instinct is inherited and it is essentially unlearned behavior. Some of the most important aspects of animal behavior are innate. Lorenz studied the nature of instinctive behavioral acts. The instinctual behavior is caused by a ‘drive’ which causes the behavior to appear spontaneously. The “four big-drives” are feeding, reproduction, flight, and aggression. Very often, behavior is activated by two or more basic drives. To account for an instinctive behavior pattern in a species, reference is made to its survival value it has for the genes for that behavior. To explain the existence of any particular organ or behavior pattern, Lorenz looks for its survival value for the species. In his book, “On Aggression” ( 1963 ), he explains the natural history of man’s aggressive behavior. He considers that man has an innate drive to aggressive behavior towards his own species like many other animals. Fighting and warlike behavior in man have an inborn basis. He seeks an evolutionary explanation for human innate aggressiveness or ‘Intra-Specific’ aggression which is concerned with fighting and threats between members of the same species. The most destructive aspect of human aggression is its communal nature and the fighting is not between individuals but between groups. Humans fight as groups and human beings are the only animals to indulge in mass slaughter of their own species. He explains that this innate aggressive behavior has evolved from the communal defense response of our pre-human ancestors. However, Lorenz made no scientific study of behavior displayed by apes. Among the members of Homo genus, man is the only surviving representative of the Homo sapiens species and hence it will not be easy to validate his conclusions about evolutionary origin of innate human aggressive behavior. If aggression is viewed as a hereditary behavior which is based upon its survival value for the genes for that behavior, it must be noted that all human ancestors had perished and have gone extinct and the behavior of aggression could not be of value in defending their survival as a species.

COMPASSION WITHIN THE INDIVIDUAL AND BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS :

Compassion or sympathy( sym=together + pati=suffer ) describes the emotional feelings of sorrow for the sufferings or troubles of another person or others accompanied by an urge to help. Compassion describes an understanding arising from the sameness of emotional feeling. When man recognizes pain or sorrow in the lives of others, it spontaneously arouses the emotional feelings of compassion. This understanding and the emotional response to the pain and suffering in the lives of others appears to be instinctive. Apart from the “four big-drives”, compassion is operated by an innate drive or it is a motivated behavior. Compassion and altruism( any behavior that appears to favor another individual’s chances of survival ) is a response generated by human nature. Compassion acts like a physical force, power, or energy. It has the power to uplift man from physical pain and mental, or emotional pain or sorrow. The instinct of compassion comes into play and acts as a force, power, or energy when man experiences sorrow and reacts to the suffering or troubles of another man. I am also suggesting that the emotionally motivated behavior of compassion is found within individuals apart from between individuals. If my experience of pain or suffering does not elicit the emotional response of compassion from others, fortunately, I can derive the benefit of the uplifting power of compassion by simply knowing the source of compassion that exists within myself. When a person is enjoying a state of good health, we find that the cells, tissues, and organs of that human person are interacting with each other in a harmonious manner and these intraspecific biotic interactions display characteristics such as mutual assistance, mutual cooperation, mutual tolerance, and mutual functional subservience to provide a benefit to the human individual who lives because of the functions of these cells, tissues, and organs. The constituent parts of the human body interact with each other with a sense of devotion, sympathy, compassion, and understanding. We often try to find compassion in the actions performed by others in response to the pain, and suffering that we may experience. We describe compassion from the thoughts, emotional feelings, understanding, and sympathetic response that we witness in the behavior and action of others. I recognize compassion in the nature of the interactions between the cells, tissues, and organs of my body and consider that such compassion always operates to keep me the human person in good and positive health. I understand the reality of human existence and suggest that the existence is made possible because compassion is innate to human nature guiding the normal living functions both in health and sickness. I observe the operation of compassion in the wound healing mechanism that is described as ‘Inflammation and Repair’. The emotional feelings of compassion are important for the survival of man who exists to find emotional satisfaction from his living experience. The instinctive behavior of compassion supports the survival of man as it provides an emotional sense of satisfaction and contentment which contributes to the experience of joy and happiness in life.

COMPASSION IS THE KEY TO HUMAN NATURE :

The Key to Human Nature could be discovered by knowing the Cell Structure and Functions. If hereditary behavior is operated by information present in genes, it must be noted that the genes have no independent existence of their own. The nucleus and the genes perform their cellular functions deriving energy from the cytoplasm or protoplasm of the cell. The biological properties, characteristics, and the biological nature of the living substance or protoplasm could account for the instinctive behavior pattern of compassion.

The biological properties, characteristics, and the biological nature of the living substance or protoplasm could account for an instinctive behavior pattern like compassion. Biological functions and characteristics such as nutrition, recognition, awareness, responsiveness, and communication with other living cells have not evolved because of their survival value for the species. At a fundamental level, certain living characteristics or nature is innate or implanted in matter at the beginning of life. The nature called compassion is implanted or innate to the living substance or matter known as protoplasm.

SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – THE SPIRIT OF FREEDOM :

On June 03, 1972, His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama had visited Headquarters Establishment Number.22, C/O 56 APO to inspect the Tibetan soldiers who serve in the multinational military organization called Special Frontier Force. I had served as the Medical Officer at this military Establishment and my duties required the verification of mental, and physical preparedness of all the men.

While I had served in a multinational defense organization called ‘Special Frontier Force as its Medical Officer, I had a direct opportunity to study and observe the interaction of human aggression and human spirit of compassion. Human aggression as displayed by the Tibetan soldiers of this military Establishment is in response to a stimulus from the external environment to which they have been exposed. The brutal, military occupation of the Land of Tibet by People’s Liberation Army of Communist China has provided the environmental stimulus and has influenced the external behavior and action of these Tibetan men who have volunteered to fight China’s act of military aggression. Since, as a Medical Officer, I have a spiritual relationship with these Tibetan soldiers of my Unit, I can easily recognize their true spiritual nature that seeks Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility both within the person and with others present in the external environment. The human spirit seeks Freedom and it resists military occupation and repression. I could easily recognize the Spirit that makes man to use aggression to defeat the purpose of an enemy who has compromised the desire and the quest for Freedom. I would like to invite all of my readers to visit my Facebook Page and show their support to ‘The Spirits of Special Frontier Force.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Spirits-of-Special-Frontier-Force/362056613878227 

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

Service Information:

Personal Number: MS-8466/MR-03277K; Rank: Lieutenant/Captain/Major;

Branch: Army Medical Corps/Short Service Commission(1969-1972)/Direct Permanent Commission(1973-1984);

Designation: Medical Officer( September 22, 1971 to December 18, 1974 );

Unit: Headquarters Establishment Number. 22, C/O 56 APO;

Organization: Special Frontier Force.

Biographical Information:

1. Place of Birth : Mylapore, Madras City, Chenna Patnam, Chennai, Madras State, Tamil Nadu, India. Born Hindu(Brahmin-Niyogi-Smartha), Telugu-Speaking.

2. Date and Place of Marriage : January 29, 1973, Congregational Town Church, Cuddapah, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

 

SPIRITUALISM AND KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN NATURE


THE THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE – ‘SARVESHAM SWASTIR BHAVATU’ :

This painting the Vitruvian Man( c. 1492 ) by Leonardo da Vinci displays a spirit of scientific inquiry. What is Man? The understanding of human nature will help to promote man’s well-being.

What is Man? The motivation for asking this question comes from a statement expressed in Sanskrit language, ‘Sarvesham Swastir Bhavatu’ which seeks the well-being of all human beings of all races, of all nations, of all cultures, and of all religions. The term altruism describes unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It involves human behavior and actions that appear to favor another individual’s chances of survival and reproduction. The thought expressed in Sanskrit language reveals human nature. Our efforts to support the well-being of man would be affected by our understanding the ‘real’ or ‘true’ nature of man. All religious and cultural traditions make assumptions about human nature. The basic assumption about human nature is that of finding it displayed in feelings, thoughts, actions, and behavior.If man is viewed as a multicellular organism, we need to discover the human nature of this subject who lives because of the functions of the trillions of cells. Hence, we need to know if human nature is displayed in the functional characteristics that are observable in biotic interactions of cells that constitute the human organism. The objective of this blog post is to explore the universal principles that determine human nature. Human cultures and religions seek to know human nature as reflected in man’s thoughts, feelings, moods, actions, and behavior. I seek the knowledge of human nature by describing the characteristics of behavior exhibited by the cells that constitute the human individual.

THE STUDY OF MAN AS A LIVING THING :

Greek philosopher and the founder of Biology Aristotle(384 – 322 B.C.) has observed that there is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to being in virtue of its own nature.

Greek philosopher and the founder of Biology Aristotle( 384 – 322 B.C. ) has observed that there is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to being in virtue of its nature. For a thing to come into being, Aristotle describes four kinds of causes, 1. Efficient Cause, 2. Formal Cause, 3. Material Cause, and 4. Final Cause, the end or purpose for which a thing exists. Aristotle describes corporeal substances are composite of two principles, form, and matter. Matter and Form are the Material and the Formal Cause respectively of what comes to be known as a thing. The matter represents the potentiality of the livng corporeal substance and the form represents the actuality of the living thing. The structure and the behavior of things contribute to their individual being and function. Aristotle did not regard the body and soul as two separate entities as the soul is merely a set of defining features. I would like to proceed with my presentation keeping the basic criteria that Aristotle would use to know human nature, 1. the human form, 2. the living matter, 3. the human living thing, its nature being a function of its structure and its behavior. In case of man, the human form undergoes changes during every stage of its existence such as infancy, boyhood, youth, adult, and oldage. The living matter or protoplasm continues to live without any apparent changes in its fundamental living properties. The biological functions or the characteristics of the living matter or protoplasm do not evolve or change because of its survival value for the species. The living functions such as consciousness, responsiveness, recognition, communication through signalling, motion, and nutrition are innate properties of the living substance or protoplasm and are not acquired by a learning process. This innate ability of protoplasm to perform functions helps in the development of instinctive behavior that is observed in the organism. It is not surprising to observe that certain important features of human nature are innate rather than learned from experience. There are several factors involved in the development of human nature and in the formation of individual character. We need to recognize the contrast between the innate and the learned, heredity and environment, nature and nurture or social upbringing. The biological properties such as Motion, and Nutrition, the biological characteristics such as consciousness or awareness of its own condition called existence in a given environment, and the biological nature such as responsiveness, communication, and recognition of other living cells present in its external environment could account for an instinctive behavior pattern observed in all living organisms. This instinctive behavior pattern accounts for the nature of biotic interactions among members of a given biotic community. To explain human nature, we need to study the character and behavior of man’s corporeal substance or protoplasm and view man as a terrestrial organism represented by a biotic community of trillions of individual living cells and as a natural host to trillions of microbes that inhabit man’s gastrointestinal tract. The terms such as spirit or soul must be used by stating its defining features and we need to understand the connection between the feature and the substance that contributes to that feature of soul or spirit that is seen as the vital, animating principle found in all living things.

THE MECHANIST CONCEPT OF LIFE :

There is fundamental distinction between the lifeless and the living, animate and inanimate, living and nonliving matter. The living system cannot maintain its living functions by exclusively using the elementary laws of Physics and Chemistry.

The Mechanist Concept of Life asserts that the phenomena of life are merely processes and transformations obeying elementary laws of Physics and Chemistry. The living system is ultimately reducible to its constituent molecules and atoms. The living cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without continuous input of energy, a living cell will degrade spontaneously into a nonliving collection of molecules. To maintain life an organism not only repairs or replaces( or both ) its structures by a constant supply of the materials of which it is composed but also keeps its life processes in operation by a steady supply of energy. This functional activity of a living cell is called metabolism. Living systems must be supplied energy for continual synthesis of new organic molecules and to replace, or to repair broken organic molecules. We need to explain this functional ability of a living system to acquire energy from its external environment. This ability is not operated by laws of Physics and Chemistry. For example, in Physics, the force by which every mass or particle of matter including photons attracts and is attracted by every other mass or particle is called Gravitation which is the weakest of the four Fundamental Forces operating in nature. A living system does not use the force of Gravitation to attract a substance to use it for its metabolism. Physics explains the process of diffusion and the operation of Osmosis in which a solvent passes through a semipermeable membrane such as the wall of a livng cell, into a solution of higher concentration, so as to equalize concentrations on both sides of the membrane( the osmotic pressure gradient ). Osmosis is a relevant biological mechanism but it does not fully account for the energy acquisition by a living cell.

HOW DOES PROTOPLASM ACQUIRE ENERGY?

The Biological Membrane or the Plasma Membrane separates protoplasm of the cell from its environment. It allows a highly controlled exchange of matter across the barrier it poses.

The functional activity called metabolism involves a living system’s continual exchange of some of its materials with its surroundings, principally in the process of building up or destroying its protoplasm. The most striking characteristics of protoplasm are its vital properties of Motion, and Nutrition. By Motion is meant the property which protoplasm has of changing its shape and position by some “intrinsic power” and exhibit amoeboid movement. Ciliary movement or the vibration of hair-like processes from the surface of any cell may also be regarded as a variety of the motion with which protoplasm is endowed. Nutrition is the “power” which protoplasm has of attracting to itself the materials necessary for its growth and maintenance from surrounding matter. When any foreign particle comes in contact with the protoplasmic substance, it becomes incorporated in it, being enwrapped by one or more processes projected from the parent mass which encloses it. When thus taken up, the foreign particle may remain in the substance of the protoplasm for some time without change, or may be again extruded. The living substance called protoplasm has the “intrinsic power” of motion and uses its power to ingest and to expel foreign particles in the external environment with which it may come into contact. The Biological Membrane or the Plasma Membrane which separates protoplasm of the cell from its environment 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 screening effect on the substances that enter and leave the cell is perhaps the most important function of the membrane. The actions and behavior of protoplasmic substance are dependent upon its innate “power” and may not be attributable to elementary laws of Physics and Chemistry.

SPIRITUALISM AND HUMAN NATURE :

Red Blood Cells provide a very good example of the adaptive subordination of cells to meet the requirements of the Whole Organism. The specialized functions of tissues and organs of human body are possible because of such functional subordination.

The structural differentiation and the functional organization of various organ systems makes man a very complex living organism. This kind of specialized functions of tissues and organs is possible because of adaptive subordination of the cells to the requirements of the Whole Organism. If altruism describes any behavior that appears to favor another individuals’ chances of survival, we can easily recognize this characteristic in the functions performed by the Red Blood Cells. Each Red Blood Cell lives for a very limited life span of its own and during its short period of existence it serves the purpose of the Whole Human Organism with a sense of devotion, with the spirit of cooperation, to provide assistance to all other cells, tissues, and organs of the body in a selfless manner. I define the term ‘Spiritualism’ as the NATURE of a relationship, a partnership, an association, or bonding between two individual living entities based upon characteristics such as compassion, sympathy, understanding, cooperation, mutual assistance, mutual tolerance, voluntary subservience to provide some benefit to the member participating in the biotic interaction. Spiritualism is innate and is not acquired by learning experience. The very existence of the human being and to perform the characteristic living functions, man depends upon the protoplasmic substance and its innate “power” to acquire energy from its external environment. The human form becomes the actuality that it represents by the NATURE of its spiritual association with the protoplasmic living matter. Man is a spiritual being because of the spiritual nature of his protoplasmic living substance.

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. 

 

  

CANCER AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SPIRITUAL SELF


NATIONAL CANCER ACT OF 1971 :
 
The understanding of cancer leads to the understanding of the spiritual substance of the cell.

 On December 23, 1971 President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act to direct efforts to conquer the problem of cancer through investment in cancer research and biomedical science. On the occasion of this 40th anniversary of the signing of the National Cancer Act, we need to reflect upon the problem of cancer. It begins with a single mishap or mutation within the nucleus where 23 pairs of chromosomes on which 20, 000 to 25, 000 genes are scattered. Genes hold the instructions for regulating a variety of cell functions, and proteins carry out the instructions to perform these cell functions. Cancer is a problem associated with abnormal cell proliferation or cell divisions. Cancer study helps us to understand normal functions of cells and to learn about the instructions that tell the cells to grow or to stop growing to make new cells. Normally, cell division begins in response to a signal or instruction received. Cells have circuits or pathways to send instructions. Genes send signals to each other along pathways. When a cancerous cell divides, the new cells receive signals to continue proliferation or cell divisions with the characteristics of immortality. The immune surveillance system may detect the presence of cancerous cells by detecting unique surface marker proteins present on the surface of the cancerous cells and the cells of the immune system neutralize or kill the cancerous cells. The study of cancer provides insight into individual signaling pathways and mutations that are characteristic of cancer. The diagnosis of cancer involves the identification of the cells involved, and their location in the body. For each type of cancer disease, there are many genetic variants. Each cancer has to be defined by knowing the genetic mutation that has affected the individual cell. For example, currently, cancer researchers have identified about 56 sub-types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Each sub-type has its own genetic signature. Cancer treatment involves the killing of cancer cells and the therapy may often cause damage or death of healthy cells and tissues. Cancer research is developing targeted therapies that specifically address cellular flaws and spare the normal, and healthy cells, and tissues.

 
CANCER AND THE THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE :
The understanding of the problem of cancer would help us to answer the question: “What is Man?” We need to know and understand man if we have to fight the problem of cancer. Man is an organism represented by a biotic community of about 100 trillion individual living cells and ten times more of other living organisms that inhabit his gastrointestinal tract. The problem of cancer involves the study of the nature of biotic interactions among members of this biological community. If the members, the individual living cells interact in a manner that show characteristics such as mutual assistance, cooperation, sympathy, understanding, devotion, and functional subservience, man will keep his biological existence and the quality of this existence becomes an attribute of his health and well-being. In this context, I define the word ‘Spiritualism’ as a mutually beneficial interaction between individual living cells of the human organism and the Whole Organism represented by the human individual. For example, the Red Blood Cells deliver Oxygen and remove waste products from other cells in the human body displaying the characteristics of a spiritual relationship or partnership. In the problem of cancer, we encounter cancerous cells that fail to display the chracteristics that I have mentioned. The cancer cells behave like an internal enemy; they invade the territory or space of normal and healthy cells and tissues. Cancer grows and causes both structural and functional changes in the tissues and organs where it is located. The cancer cells show the propensity to spread or invade the local and distant parts and sites of the body apart from occupying the place of their origin. Most of our medical interventions aim at destroying these enemy cells that threaten the biological existence of the cancer victim. The cancer variants describe the genetic variations found in the nuclei of cancerous cells and not that of any variation in the cytoplasm of these cells. This corporeal substance found inside the living cells is ‘spiritual’ in its nature where the word ‘spirit’ means the potential for immortality, imperishability, and immutability. This spiritual substance remains unchanged while the cancer disease affects the genes altering the structure and function of genes to deliver normal instructions. Man always comes into existence from a previously existing egg cell and inherits the maternal cytoplasm. Man survives because of the spiritual nature of this inherited maternal cytoplasm. Hence cancer research must explore the spiritual nature of man that has the potential to survive from generation to generation.
 
JOY IN LIFE, LOVE AND COMPASSION IN HEART :
 
The spiritual well-being of man is reflected as joy in life, love, and compassion in heart. In health care, the term ‘comprehensive care’ describes the preventive, the diagnostic, the curative, the rehabilitative, and the restorative care of the entire person and not merely treating the symptoms of the disease. Cancer like several other disease entities imposes stress upon the human organism. The fear of premature death, the fear of disability or disfigurement, the risks imposed by chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, the medical costs, and the loss of employment or of employability contribute to psychogenic stress. The human body is further exposed to physical and chemical stress because of the nature of medical interventions. Cancer as a disease causes ‘biotic stress’. The cells of the immune defense mechanism may detect the presence of cancerous cells and initiate a battle to destroy them. This immune response causes internal stress and very often there is no cortical awareness of this inner battle to defend life. The hostile biotic interactions between cancer cells and healthy cells produces a stress reaction which is mediated by the same stress pathways; the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal pathway. A cancer victim would have a better chance to become a cancer survivor if he is stress resistant and has greater stress tolerance. The restorative care in cancer patients must commence as soon as the diagnosis of cancer is made as the body has already experienced the stress reaction before the clinical diagnosis of cancer could be made. To make a person stress resistant and stress tolerant, it needs the understanding of the spiritual nature of man.  
 
MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING :
The Great Banyan Tree of Kolkata has lived for over 250 years. This tropical fig tree known as Ficus benghalensis is native to India; 'adventitious' roots that grow from its branches go downwards and take root to form new trunks over a relatively wide area. In Sanskrit language, the Banyan tree is known as 'ASVATTHA' and is cherished for its everlasting or imperishable nature. If the tree is living, we need to know the nature of its substance that keeps it living.
The Banyan Tree offers unusal appearance. It has roots that appear growing from its branches and the roots are located upwards and away from the ground; it has trunks and branches growing downwards apart from the normal branches that grow upwards and outwards. Because of its adventitious roots, Banyan Tree spreads to cover a wide area and lives for a long time. Knowing and understanding this Asvattha Tree is important to gain the Knowledge of Vedas, the Hindu Scriptures that reveal the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self or Adhyatma Vidya.

 THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE BANYAN TREE  :

The Hindu Scripture of The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XV known as  Purusottama Yoga speaks about the nature of the Supreme Person. It metaphorically compares the Supreme Being to the popularly known Fig Tree called Ficus benghalensis. The first verse reads as follows:
Sri Bhagavan Uvacha :
 “Urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham Asvattham prahur avyayam,
    Chandamsi yasya parnani yas tam veda sa Veda vit.”
The Supreme Lord Krishna said: There is a Banyan Tree which has its roots upwards and its branches down and metaphorically it is imperishable; and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this Tree is the Knower of the Vedas( the person attains the Knowledge of the Ultimate Reality or the Supreme being). When we know the Banyan Tree and its apparent imperishable quality, we may understand the true nature of Man. Man is a spiritual being. The truth or falsity of this proposition depends on the fact of man’s having a substance that is of spiritual nature. Such a substance of spiritual kind is perceptible to the senses, is amenable to direct observation, and could be subjected to verification by experimental science. To establish the fact of man’s spiritual nature, it needs reasoning based upon scientific validity. The structure and the behavior of things contribute to their individual being and function. If man has a set of defining features based upon his structure( Human Anatomy ), function( Human Physiology ), and behavior( Human Behavioral Science ), the spiritual nature of man could be proved on theoretical and practical grounds and could be verified by scientific experiments. I am not seeking to discover a soul or spirit that could have existence independent of man’s physical being. However, it will be important to note that it is not possible to conceive of a soul or spirit if it is never associated with its human body. My purpose is that of describing the spiritual nature of human organism and of other living beings. To understand the true nature of human being, we need to ascertain the validity of Knowledge that pertains to the Spiritual Self.
 
MAN IS A MORTAL BEING :
Man’s greatest need is not only to know the world around him but also to know himself better. Man must understand what it is to be a substance and what it is to exist. Man is a physical being or thing with matter and form. The corporeal body of man is composite of two principles; matter, and form. What is called matter is potentiality, and what is called form is actuality. The corporeal substance called protoplasm becomes actuality and is recognized as a living person because of the uniqueness of its genome that operates its living functions and defines its size, shape, color, and external form or morphological appearance. However, life comes into existence only when matter or substance has the ability to acquire energy from its external environment. The human being comes to life when his corporeal substance uses its potential ability and power called ‘Nutrition’ to acquire energy and material from its environment. Life begins with fertilization, the union of sperm with egg cell, and this event called conception proceeds to develop a human being after an important event called implantation. The life journey after conception continues if there is a connection between the energy seeking embryo and its maternal energy provider. To exist means that the substance is maintaining a relationship, a partnership, a connection, or association with its source of energy. Man leads energy dependent existence deriving energy and material from nature which supports other living forms with a similar corporeal substance called protoplasm. The mortality of man must be understood as the dissolution of man’s physical form. The dissolution of living man into non-living molecules and physical elements would not alter that potentiality of protoplasm to acquire energy and material to create its own substance. Things in Nature change with Time; but what is called Nature remains unchanged even under the influence of Time. As per The Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy as described in classical Physics, mass or energy remain constant. The potentiality of living substance to acquire energy and material to form its own kind of substance has remained unchanged or unaffected by major natural calamities and other cataclysmic events. Life forms perish and yet life continues as new life forms. During the billions of years of existence, planet Earth has experienced several minor, and major Extinction Events described in its geological history. The Science of Paleontology offers scientific evidence to support an argument based upon theoretical and practical grounds to propose that the substance called protoplasm could be eternal, immovable, immutable, and indestructible. At a fundamental level, it could be stated that man is a mortal or materialistic being who derives his physical form because of its association with an imperishable substance. During any stage of his existence, the form called man cannot be separated from the eternal nature of its substance.
California State Tree known as Redwood includes Sequoia sempevirens, and the Giant Sequoia known as Sequoia gigantea. The Redwoods are the most massive trees in the world and could attain a trunk diameter as large as 30 feet. They also include the tallest trees in the world averaging about 300 feet high. They include the oldest known living trees and may reach ages of over 3,000 years. What is that corporeal substance that is living apparently in an imperishable manner?

 

Sequoia sempevirens. Man has officially designated this tree as the State Tree of California State. What is the connection between Man and Plants or Trees? What is the corporeal substance shared or common to all living entities?
Sequoia gigantea is a massive tree. A living thing has a form and has matter. We often recognize the form and give it a name. What about the "MATTER" that constitutes the substance of this Living Thing? We need to understand the 'potentiality' of the Matter to know the nature of the Form. The Form has no independent existence of its own. The Form lives if and only if it has Matter that is living.

 WHAT IS SOUL OR SPIRIT ?  :

Traditionally, man has been divided into two parts; body, and soul. In common usage, the term soul represents the immaterial aspect of a human being. Soul is further defined as that part of the individual which is considered to survive the death of the body. The term spirit is often used to describe a disembodied soul. On separation from the human body, the soul or spirit has a life of its own, a capacity for independent existence or self-subsistence which describes its immortality.
 
THE CONCEPTIONS OF SOUL  :
 
There are a variety of conceptions about soul or spirit. Some of the traditional conceptions of soul are the following:
1. Soul is the immaterial substance, form, or principle of self-motion, vitality, life force, or life in living things. The insentient body is completely distinct from the sentient soul.
2. Soul describes the Doctrine of the Self, and is considered to be synonymous with the True-Self. In a human being, soul confers the Individuality and its nature of humanity.
3. Soul is often described as a thinking substance and is equated with mind. The soul has knowledge of itself by reflection of its acts. The soul is the knower and it knows the physical, and mental acts of the human body where it resides.
4. Soul is important to maintain, and to preserve life. Soul may not directly participate in the activities of the human body. However, the activities of the human body may have a polluting effect on soul. If the soul is tainted or contaminated by the sinful acts of the body, the soul may obtain purification by its release from the body. Some form of human effort, activity, attitude, and behavior is essential to keep the soul in its natural, pure, and perfect condition.
5. The soul that has experienced the polluting effects by its association with a human body would be forced to experience perpetual reincarnation by a process called transmigration. The soul continues to reside as a prisoner in different bodies until such time it attains its original state or condition of purity and perfection.
6. Soul is a transcendental or noumenal object that is real but not visible and could not be detected by human sensory perception. The human body that is visible is in fact unreal or is a product of sensory illusion.
 
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOUL AND HUMAN BODY  :
 
Most religions and cultures speak about soul and describe it as some incorporeal or immaterial substance/principle of human life that is distinct from the body. Despite the frequent acceptance of the existence of a soul, different religions and philosophers have developed a variety of theories as to the nature of the soul and its relationship to the human body. There are divergent views about the origin of the soul, when and how it gets implanted into the human body, and the mortality or when and if the soul dies. I would like to share the view that is attributed to Lord Krishna, the avatar or reincarnation of Hindu God Lord Vishnu.
 
ADHYATMA VIDYA – THE BHAGAVAD GITA  :
The word ‘vidya’ is related to acquired knowledge derived from studies. The term ‘adhyatma’ pertains to the individual soul, atma, or atman which describes the Spiritual Self. The phrase ‘Adhyatma Vidya’ could be described the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self.
 
The legendary IndianSage Veda Vyasa also known as Krishna Dvaipayana was the author of the epic ‘The Mahabharata'( Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty ). Veda Vyasa is recognized as the compiler of ancient Hindu texts known as Vedas. In the Book VI of Mahabharata, Lord Krishna had a conversation with Prince Arjuna while the warring parties of Pandavas, and Kauravas had assembled at the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Lord Krishna revealed His views about soul, human body and their relationship in “The Song of the Lord” known as ‘The Bhagavad Gita’. These poems of The Bhagavad Gita give a synopsis of the religious thought and experience of India through the ages. The Chapter X of The Bhagavad Gita is titled ‘Vibhuti-Vistara Yoga’ and it describes the divine or transcendental attributes of the Supreme Lord. In verse #39, the Lord claims, “I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being, moving or unmoving( “Chara-acharam” ) that can exist without Me.” In verse #32, the Lord proclaims, “….of all the branches of Learning and Knowledge, I am the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self( “Adhyatma Vidya” ). In verse #22, the Lord describes the nature of His connection with the living beings that He has generated, “…. and in living beings, I am Consciousness( “Bhutanam asmi Chetana” ).” He had also clarified that Consciousness or Chetana as a different characteristic and has separated it from mind, intellect and sense perception. Mind is traditionally viewed as the major organ of sense perception, seat of thoughts, intellect, emotions, feelings, and self-ego. Chetana is associated with the characteristics of a living being. The Lord had also cited The Vedanata Sutra to make the distinction between the body, the soul, and the Supersoul. The Vedanta, the insights from Vedic Scriptures describe three manifestations of the Supreme Lord’s Energy. These are 1. Annamoya or dependence upon Food for existence, 2. Pranamoya or the manifestation of the living symptoms and life forms, and 3. Jnanamoya or the Knowledge of the distinction between the body the field of activity and the Knower who resides in the body. If a living being needs food for its existence, and performs its living functions in a state or condition called awareness or consciousness, it could be described as the manifestation of the Supreme Lord’s Energy. In Chapter VII titled ‘Paramahamsa Vijnana Yoga’ or Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, in verse #9 Lord Krishna claims: “I am the life( “Jivanam” ) of all that lives.” He had demonstrated a connection between life and consciousness to describe the spiritual nature of Self. The Chapter XIII of The Bhagavad Gita titled ‘Kshetra – Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga’ deals with the dichotomy or distinction between the material body, immortal soul, and the Supersoul. It states the view that the material body is called the field of activity or Kshetra. One who knows this body, the field of activity is called the Knower of the Field or Kshetrajna. The Knower of the Field is the Owner of the body. The Supreme Lord is also the Knower of the field of activity in all bodies( verse #3 ). In this human body, there is another indwelling obeserver, a sanctioner, a preserver, an enjoyer, and indeed ultimate Controller called ‘Paramatama’ or Supersoul. The Supreme Lord or Paramesvaram is residing equally in all living entities( verses # 23, 27, and 28 ). Just like the Sun who illuminates the entire living world, the soul within the body illuminates the entire field of activity of the physical body by Chetana or Consciousness( verse #34 ). This view as stated suggests that consciousness is the proof or the symptom of the presence of the soul. A similar view is shared in Chapter II titled ‘Sankhya Yoga’. The imperishable or indestructible soul pervades or permeates(“tatam” ) the entire physical body( verse #7 ). What is spread all over the body? Consciousness could be described as spread over the entire body and it leads to the interpretation that the symptom of the soul’s presence is perceived as individual consciousness.
 
The final Chapter XVIII of The Bhagavad Gita titled ‘Moksha-Opadesa Yoga’ comes to an interesting conclusion about the Single Reality that pervades all existence that is divided into innumerable forms. Verse #20 reads as follows:
“Sarva bhutesu yenaikam bhavam avyayam iksate
  avibhaktam vibhaktesu taj jnanam viddhi Sattvikam.”
“Understand that Knowledge by which one undivided, imperishable( “Avyayam” )reality is seen within all diverse living entities is in the nature of goodness( Sattvikam” ). What is that undivided reality that is imperishable that connects all the diverse, living entites?
 
THE BODY-SOUL DICHOTOMY  :
 
In the Indian tradition, the individual soul is known as Atma or Atman. The Supreme Soul or the Supersoul is known as Paramatma, Paramesvaram, or Brahaman, the Ultimate Truth and the Reality. However, the concepts about Atma or individual soul vary and Hindus belong to different schools of thought. While the concepts about individual soul are different, there is general agreement among various Indian thinkers and philosophers about the distinction between the material, insentient, and perishable human body and the immaterial, sentient, and imperishable or immortal soul. Soul is independent, and is not attached and it still requires the substance of the corporeal body. However, I am not able to draw that distinction and make that separation from the substance and its function. To describe function, I need the substance. Man lives and functions with consciousness because of the fundamental nature of the corporeal substance called protoplasm, and this substance is apparently imperishable, indestructible, and immortal. We could destroy the physical form of man and several other living forms, but man or nature and the influence of Time have not demonstrated an ability to destroy this living substance which has survived on planet Earth continuously over billions of years. Man cannot create life and man cannot destroy life. Man can only live or exist because of the spiritual nature of his corporeal substance with which he can not seek separation until the time of his death. The substance has a life of its own and continues to create new substance of its own kind and becomes visible as a living life form with a different identity or morphological appearance.
 
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.
 
Please also review my earlier post titled “Spirituality,Soul, Consciousness, and the God Connection” which is reproduced below this post.
 
Paire de base
Image via Wikipedia

THE STATUS OF MAN IN NATURE :

The First Book of Moses, The Old Testament Book of Genesis describes the story of Creation; in Chapter 2, verse 7, it narrates man’s creation: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

The Book of Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 27:"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

MAN IS A CREATED BEING  :  

Man is a created being. Spirituality explores the connection between man and his Creator. The Trimurti at Elephanta Island Cave Temples near Mumbai, India represents God as the Creator(Brahma), the Preserver(Vishnu) and the Destroyer(Shiva).

MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING :

The status of man in nature describes man as a created object; a new object, one of its own kind, distinctive, and unique. The principle of Creation
involves the use of inspiration and imagination as opposed to the view proposed by the Theory of Evolution. The fundamental issue is about understanding man’s status in nature. Did man come into existence by gradual changes caused by random and unguided events called genetic mutations? Or, does man actually exist in nature because of his relationship with other objects present in his living environment? What defines man’s existence? What establishes the reality of man’s physical existence? Should we focus on the changing form? Alternately, should we give attention to an unchanging relationship that is a prerequisite for the existence of all life forms? If an object cannot come into its state of existence, how could that object get a shape or form? In the context of a discussion about man’s existence in nature, I state that  man is a created object, and hence man
exists as a Spiritual being. The term Spirituality describes the nature of this connection between man and His Creator. Soul is the immortal part of man as distinguished from his body; it is the vital principle which moves and animates all Life. Soul may represent the essence of a human being, it could be the quality which confers individuality, humanity, and the moral nature of man. I divide man into two categories; the first category is called the ‘SELF’ which represents man as a physical, mental, and social being; and the second category is called the ‘KNOWING-SELF’ which represents man as a moral, and spiritual being. These two categories function together and the functional unity of the human person is an attribute of a neuro-biological function called Consciousness. Man’s physical being is represented by a changing external or morphological appearance and while the physical Identity is constantly changing, the unchanging Individuality is supported by man’s spirituality or the nature of his constant spiritual relationship.  

 THE ETERNAL REALITY OF SOUL’S IMMORTALITY  :
Ajanta Caves near Aurangabad, Maharashtra State, India, Fresco-type wall painting- Man's spiritual dimension describes man's humanity, moral nature, individuality, and Consciousness.

 Religious thinkers have further defined Soul as that part of the individual which partakes of divinity. People of all races, cultures and religions would like to investigate the nature of this God-Connection as they perceive the world and the universe in which they exist as a fact of Creation. I need to find evidence that would fundamentally deny the fact of Creation.

 MAN IS A SOCIAL BEING  :

 

French philosopher Auguste Comte(1798-1857) coined the term Sociology. He believed that the scientific study of social organization would make possible a reconstitution of the social order based on principles of moral progress.

Apart from being a created Physical being, man is recognized as a Social being as he displays social instincts and social behaviors in all of his activities. A rudimentary understanding of Sociology or Theories of Social Science would clarify this matter. Social instincts and Social Behaviors are seen in all animals including bacteria. At a cellular level, the social function is called ‘Association’. Man is an association of trillions of cells. Each human organ and organ system represents an association of cells that display functional subordination to perform selective tasks. Life is just impossible without social structure and organization.

MAN IS A MORAL BEING  : 

 

Man is a Spiritual being and is endowed with Moral nature. James Tissot in his painting captures the essence of man. The Book of Matthew, Chapter 27 verses 3-5 narrate the story of Apostle Judas Iscariot and his moral failing that caused the dissolution of his biological existence-"When Judas who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. "I have sinned," he said,"for I have betrayed innocent blood." So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."

Man is an individual who exists in a social group. At the same time, man is a Moral being, as he displays moral behavior even when he is corrupt. Man displays the ability of Repentance for his thoughts, for his actions of commission and omission. Man has the ability to admit his sins, express remorse and may often punish himself for his sinful conduct. Man experiences grief for his actions that are sinful. Man actively searches for solutions for his sinful conduct. Man cannot sustain his biological existence if he had morally failed. A famous example would be that of Apostle Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus.

 MATTER, ENERGY, AND KNOWLEDGE  :
Greek philosopher  Aristotle had observed that corporeal substances are composite of two principles, form and matter. What is called matter is potentiality, what is called form is actuality. The totality of things have been divided in various ways. The three fundamental distinctions are 1. the distinction between the natural and the supernatural, 2. the distinction between the material and the spiritual, and 3. the distinction between the lifeless and the living. When we make the distinction animate/inanimate, living/non-living, and inorganic/organic, a question arises about the nature of that distinction. The difference, is that one of kind or degree? The Mechanistic View claims the continuity of nature in terms of the universality of purely mechanical principles. I have defined Life as ‘Knowledge in Action’. Please view the blog post at http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/what-is-life-life-is-knowledge-in-action/
I define Life as organization of matter with implanted supernatural Knowledge. The establishment of supernatural Knowledge in matter decribes the operation of ‘God Principle’, Spirit, or Soul. Life comes into existence when matter and energy come together with the establishment of ‘God Connection’.
  
LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS  :                    

 

Amoeba proteus, unicellular, protozoan organism is conscious or aware of its own state of existence. It has the abilities of Motion, Nutrition, and Reproduction. All of its living functions are goal-oriented. It responds to its environment and survives adverse environmental conditions by a process called encystment.

The basic characteristic of a Living Cell or organism is the presence of consciousness. I recognize a cell as a Living Cell if it displays functions that characterize the presence of awareness or consciousness. The Living Cell or Living Object need not be aware or conscious of the Subject who may be investigating or observing the properties of that Object. The Living Object need to be aware of its own existence and its condition called Living. Atoms and molecules display their properties and interact according to the Laws of Physics and Chemistry. Living organic molecules show individualistic behaviors under experimental conditions that could be repeated and be verified. The Living Cell is very selective and it responds in a variable manner to physical and chemical stimuli. It can communicate or send signals to other Living Cells present in its environment. It responds according to its internal condition in relation to the environment in which it exists. The interactions of non-living physical matter are not goal-oriented. The interactions of Living matter are goal-oriented and they specifically achieve the purpose of sustaining, preserving, defending, and continuing the Living functions.

MAN IS A MORTAL, PHYSICAL BEING  :

Man is a mortal being who must eventually die. When Lazarus died and was laid in a tomb for four days, Jesus performed a miracle and Lazarus came back to life from death. The Book of John, Chapter 11, narrates this event. In verses 41 and 42, Jesus said,"Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but I said this for the benefit of the people who are standing here, that they may believe that You sent Me." The risen Lazarus had eventually died.

LIFE AND DEATH IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS :

 

When does Life begins? When does Life ends? Life always comes into a state of existence from a previously existing Living Cell. Life and Death is a continuous process and is recognized by the presence of Consciousness and Individuality.

When does Life begins? When does Life ends? Every Living Cell is derived from a previously existing Living Cell. Life has not experienced the final event called DEATH. Life continues its act of Living through a function called Reproduction. A given species is considered to be totally extinct only if there is no surviving member to represent that particular species. Death is a programmed event and it gives meaning to the Identity of a Living Object. The dissolution of a single Living Object should not obscure the fact that Life is a continuous process. Life continues as Living Objects get new Identities. It is very reasonable to expect that Life would continue after the death of a given Living Object. People all over the world are a witness to that simple and direct observation. During the Life-Death continuum, the connection between the Creator and the created Living Object is manifested by the biological function called awareness or consciousness. The presence of Soul is evidenced by the presence of consciousness. As long as the Soul is functioning and is united with the physical being, the presence of consciousness could be detected and could be verified.

THE SOUL AND GOD CONNECTION : 

 

All types of Living Cells with or without nucleus represent thermodynamically unstable systems. Without a continuous input of energy a Living Cell will degrade spontaneously into a nonliving collection of molecules. Biological existence is possible because of an association or connection, or partnership between energy seeker and energy provider.

 There has been no clearly defined and universally accepted metaphysical conception of the term Soul. It is a term rarely used with precise definition in philosophy, religion, or common life. In this discussion we face the problem of using words to which no definitive meaning is attached. If I make an attempt to define the word ‘God’, you may even speculate that I may belong to a new religious order. We need to come to a consensus even if an entity called ‘God’ does not exist. We need to formulate a view, a hypothetical view about Soul and test that hypothesis by countering it with a skeptical hypothesis. The Science called Physics deals with the properties, changes, interactions, etc. of matter and energy in which energy is considered to be continuous. In the ultimate analysis, matter is a representation of its energy content. The Science called Biology deals with Life and Life processes. While Life is made up of physical matter, Life processes are not explained by simple mechanistic interactions. However, I am willing to use the principles, the methods, and the tools used by Physics. Molecular Biology explains biological events by studying the molecules within cells; the molecular basis of genetics – Nucleic Acids and its relationship to energy cycling and replication. If this universe is seen as matter and energy, I would define God as the Controller of Force/Power/Energy. All living things are essentially made up of the same kind of living matter and yet they appear to be different. Life could be attributed to ONE common principle which has the ability to be simultaneously different. Each living object comes into a state of existence as a new object, as an original object, one of its own kind, unique, and distinctive. This morphological variation is an attribute of the organic molecules that establish the phenotype or the physical identity of that living organism. Physics provides those powerful tools to see the molecules and to recognize their individualistic behavior. Life comes into existence using a creative principle, and creative mechanisms that need inspiration, and imagination apart from the use of simple mechanistic laws. If Life is governed by the Law of Individuality, I would define God as a Creative Force/Power/Energy.

 

Life is a condition that describes Synchronized Existence, the synchronization of activities, the connection between energy dependent life functions and its Source of Power.

A majority of these life forms that we know and have studied, have synchronized their state of existence with an event that produces alternating periods of light and darkness while that source of light is not being turned ‘on’ and ‘off’. Rather we are forced to experience the effects of an illusion. Sunrise and Sunset is the reality that governs a majority of Biological Rhythms that control the life processes. Illusion is the necessary condition for the biological existence of Life. If Earth’s rotational spin generates this illusion, God uses Force/Power/Energy to cause illusion. In the universe that exists today, to the extent we have verified; there are no two identical celestial objects that exhibit the same rotational spin. In this context, it may be said that the Force/Power/Energy called God has created Earth to provide a home to the life forms that He has created as Individuals. These life forms have the ability called reproduction and yet lack the ability of producing two identical new objects. Sexual or Asexual reproduction always results in the production of new Individuals which could be easily verified by using the Biometric Identification Technology. Even the clones, sharing identical genomes, in reality exist as individuals. This Individuality when investigated by the tools supplied by Physics, it is discovered that the organic molecules behave as Individuals and man is not able to modify that behavior. Under the same experimental conditions, the molecules behave as individuals. When we examine the nature of this biological existence, it indicates that life processes are supported by the provision of energy from an external source. The Living Cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without a continuous input of energy a Living Cell will degrade spontaneously into a nonliving collection of molecules. This lack of energy independence would direct us to define God as the Power/Force/Energy which delivers Compassion/Mercy/Grace which helps energy acquisition by energy dependent living organisms. Life forms on planet Earth exist depending upon an extraterrestrial source of energy or Cosmic Power/Force/Energy. Life exists because of its ability called ‘Association’. The act of associating, the state of being associated; the companionship, the fellowship, and the partnership is the defining feature of the State or Condition, or Act of Living. Association or patnership between energy seeker and energy provider could be described as God-Connection. Organisms that are single do not live as single cells but develop association with other single cells to form distinct Colonies. Organisms that are multicellular represent an organization of individual cells that are associated having common interests, purposes, sensations, etc., Since association has a purpose, in the context of biological existence, the association or connection, or partnership between the energy seeker, and the energy provider is a meaningful event and not a simple, mechanical, physical event governed by the Laws of Interactions between Matter and Energy. There are Four Fundamental Interactions and they do not regulate or define this Interaction between Living matter and the Cosmic Force/Power/Energy. Living matter uses and exploits energy in a creative manner to build organic molecules and to break down organic molecules. The life processes are very similar and yet the results are totally different. While using energy mostly following a similar metabolic pathway, each organism supports its identity and individuality.

 

WHO HAS ESTABLISHED THE CONNECTION BETWEEN AUTOTROPHS AND HETEROTROPHS? The creative mechanism to trap Solar Energy describes implanted Knowledge to formulate the connection between autotrophs and heterotrophs.

 

In mitochondria, many substances(food) are oxidized and ATP, the energy-storing chemical of the Cell is produced. The most important equations for living things are mutually inverse. Respiration of humans, and Cellular Respiration represents the reverse of Photosynthesis.

SOUL AND DEATH  :

The idea of ‘Soul’ always comes in the context of Death. If man is immortal, we will not be spending our time and energy discussing to verify the existence of an immortal principle. The human subject has a limited life span and it arouses a sense of curiosity about the existence of something that could defy Death. I am trying to define the word ‘Soul’ in a manner to promote an understanding that ‘Soul’ is immortal if we look at man as an Association of individual living cells. We need to establish the Identity of that Individual for whose purpose or interest this Association of Individual living cells exists. If we think of Death as a final event, it is not supported by factual evidence. In this Association, death is a daily event. We simply fail to acknowledge this daily event as there is an immortal principle that is escaping this death experience. The Individual thinks that he is alive and sustains his Individuality without getting overwhelmed by the dying process that is continuous. While the human organism is changing its external appearance and identity all the time, the Individuality survives if ‘Soul’ the vital, or operating immortal principle is functioning. The issue or question about ‘transmigration’ of Soul would not arise if every living organism exists strictly as an Individual with an Individuality. As stated before,man has no choice and he must always exist as an Individual even when we use Reproductive Genetic Engineering Technology to produce identical clones with the same genome. The dissolution of matter may not change the Law of Conservation of Energy. If Soul is defined as the God Connection that gives the ability of energy acquisition, the Soul when removed from a physical object to which it has given Individuality, would operate as per the commands of the Controller of Force/Power/Energy. It provides the possibility of carrying the impressions of a previous state of existence into a new state of existence with a new identity and Individuality. During the life span of a given Individual, an association of cells in which death is a daily event, Soul is a continuous principle as its purpose and interest is to maintain Individuality of that Individual.

SOUL AND THE LIVING CELL :

I define man as a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being as I define the term ‘health’ as the physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being of the man in his environment and community and not merely as absence of disease. This definition of ‘health’ would help me to provide ‘comprehensive health care’ in my role as a Primary Care physician. Specialists and Super specialists provide health care in specific areas involving an organ or an organ system.

 

Jean Paul Sartre had stated that Nothingness(Non-thing or Neant) is a condition of not having Being and yet it is supported by Being. Nothingness comes into the world by the Being-for-itself. The Conscious Knowing-Self or the Essence of man is preceded by the Subjective Reality of physical Existence.

I attach my ideas to some ideas expressed by others. Sartre is a well-known person. He had won the Nobel Prize for literature but declined to accept it. I may not totally agree with him and his views about consciousness. He had stated his view in a manner that people can easily understand. He makes a distinction between objective things and human consciousness. He claims that consciousness is a ‘non-thing'(‘neant’ or nothingness ) and its reality consists in standing back from things and taking a point of view on them. Because consciousness is a non-thing, it does not have any of the causal involvements that things have with other things. If you stand before a mirror, the reflection exists only if it is supported by the presence of a physical being or thing. If the physical thing is taken away, the reflected image is gone but the reflective surface retains its ability to reflect the images of things.

 THE BIOLOGICAL MEMBRANE AND CONSCIOUSNESS  :

 

The Biological Membrane is not a simple physical barrier separating the Living Cell from its environment. The Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, the Living Matter uses its Biological Membrane with a sense of awareness or consciousness which recognizes the fact of its existence and the fact of something present in its environment.

 In a Living Cell, consciousness reflects its external environment and its internal condition or internal environment. The Living Cell knows, it is aware of its state, fact, and act of its Living. The Living Cell makes contact with its environment by using a cell membrane, a biological membrane, or a bio-membrane. If you carefully look at some of the functions of this membrane, you would discern that the Living Cell has consciousness or awareness of these functions. The Biological Membrane behaves in a conscious manner and it is not a simple, physical barrier between the Protoplasm, the Living Substance and its environment. If the term ‘soul’ describes a vital principle, or a source of Knowledge, it provides the information with which these functions could be performed. Some molecules and ions can freely move across this Bio-membrane and some are actively pumped in or out of the Cell that involves expenditure of energy. The Living Cell has the ability to recognize the condition of its nucleus, if the DNA is damaged, the Cell can initiate a process and cause its own dissolution.

 

Red Blood Cells display functional subordination to serve the purpose of the Whole Organism. Functional differentiation, and Functional Unity are important to support the existence of the Subject or Individual who is in reality an association of trillions of cells.

In multicellular organism, the consciousness works both at the level of each individual cell and to establish the functioning of the organism as an individual unit. Without functional unity, the organism cannot maintain its biological existence. Cell differentiation is the process by which the individual cells use adaptation to perform specific tasks. Red Blood Cells perform specific tasks.

 THE NEURO-BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS  :

 

Reticular Formation of Brain Stem has connections with almost all other parts of the Central Nervous System and it helps to coordinate and integrate actions of different parts of the CNS. It is important for Behavioral Arousal, and the Capacity for Consciousness.

In the human Brain Stem, several neurons, and nuclei which are in an area called Reticular Formation are functionally adapted to compose the contents of human consciousness. The Reticular Formation gives the Capacity for Consciousness. The contents of this consciousness are read in the cortical areas of the cerebral hemispheres and described as Cortical awareness. Most philosophers, most of the psychologists, and several of the religious thinkers pay attention to this Cortical awareness and describe that as human consciousness. We tend to ignore the fact that there would be no Cortical awareness unless there is a Capacity for Consciousness. Most recently, the surgeons had removed the complete left cerebral hemisphere from a child to stop convulsive seizures. The child is alive, fully conscious, and hopefully would continue to live in future with some neurological deficits. Just like the human heart which has four different muscular chambers and each has a function of its own; we need to understand consciousness by knowing its components. We need to use separate terms to distinguish these different components. There would be confusion if a term is used without attaching a specific meaning. Cortical awareness is important and is very interesting and yet man can exist and survive with minimal cortical awareness. We have seen children with severe degrees of mental retardation, and they can keep their biological existence if they retain the ability to Compose Consciousness. I want to designate the upper Brain Stem as the Seat of Consciousness and the word consciousness itself must describe the functions of the Brain Stem which are most important for man’s biological existence. A man is clinically dead in the absence of these Brain Stem functions involved in the Capacity of Consciousness. In Clinical Medicine, the term conscious is often used to measure the degree of Arousal or Cortical awareness and hence this subject matter would remain confusing for a long time. If a subject is unconscious, I would not issue a ‘death certificate’. In Clinical Medicine, the term used is ‘Brain Death’ and when Brain Death is diagnosed, the human person for all practical purposes is dead. I would suggest that we must use the term ‘Unconscious’ specifically to indicate the Brain Death which is diagnosed by testing the Brain Stem Reflexes. If the human person is viewed as a single physical thing or object, the integration of functions is achieved at the Brain Stem( Reticular Formation), and he maintains his individuality throughout his physical existence only when this part of the brain is functioning. If you like the term individual soul or Jeeva Atma, its existence is a reflection of this function. To see a reflection, we need two things; the physical object and a reflective surface. The quality of reflecting objects may depend upon presence of Knowledge. It is not known if this particular kind of knowledge exists as organic molecules; however, it is very well understood that most of the knowledge to perform a variety of biological functions is contained in organic molecules and the most well-known group of these organic molecules are known as DNA. There are Viruses which can function with RNA. Hence, there is still a possibility of finding organic molecules that could be associated with the functional ability called consciousness, awareness, cognition, recognition, responsiveness, perception, memory, intelligence, and association. The most important aspect of ‘association’ is ‘God Connection’ and without this function of ‘association’ man cannot keep his biological existence.

 

Consciousness is awareness of existence, the facts that relate to the state or condition of existence. Behavioral Arousal and Cortical awareness of thoughts, feelings, and sensations is an important component of total Biological Existence.

IDENTITY AND INDIVIDUALITY :

 

The Eternal Reality of Soul's Immortality is described in The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter II, verse 12. Lord Krishna spoke to the Pandava Prince Arjuna :"Na tv evaham jatu nasam na tvam neme JanadhipaH;Na chaiva na bhavisyamaH, sarve vayam ataH param." For each of us our Individuality existed in the past and our Individuality will continue in the future without interruption. Certainly, never at any time did I not exist, nor you, nor all these Kings and certainly never shall we cease to exist in the future.

The issue of spirituality, the nature of Soul and consciousness must be explored in the context of arriving at an understanding of man’s Identity and Individuality. If man is viewed as an association of trillions of cells, we need to know the Identity of that Subject who lives because of the functions of the trillions of cells. The purpose of consciousness at cellular level is to foster functional unity of the multicellular organism and to establish it as an Individual. In a multicellular organism, cells have short lives as individuals. The Subject or the whole organism has a life span of its own and it has effects on individual cells. Multicellularity is accompanied by adaptive subordination of all cells to the requirements of the organism as a whole. To achieve proper numerical balance between functionally related cell groups, the death of many cells is necessary for other cells to reach maturity. This programmed cell death plays an important role in embryological development. Such programmed cell death events are essential if the organism as a whole is to develop its normal final form. Waves of genetically driven cell deaths are critical to the proper modeling of organs and organ systems. We need to know and understand that death of cells is a must to establish the Identity and to sustain the Individuality of the human being. The dying process helps man to understand his Individuality. The Individuality is preserved while death is a daily event at the cellular level. The phenotype or the morphological appearance of the human Subject undergoes constant change during the Life journey and yet the Individuality remains unchanged. We recognize the death of this human Subject when his Soul departs from his body. Soul may be stated as an entity which is regarded as being immortal or spiritual part of the person. The Spirit of a dead person generally refers to a principle separate from the body and leading an existence of its own. If Soul is viewed as a Non-thing or Nothingness, it comes into the world of existence by entering the physical being at its conception which becomes conscious or aware of its existence. This consciousness has also existed in a previously existing Living Egg Cell which is the Mother of Life, Energy, and Knowledge. Consciousness by its very nature is immortal, it is eternal, and it has no birth or death. We recognize the arrival and departure of the new product during the Life-Death continuum where the Individuality is unaffected by the changes that are caused by the powerful influence of Time.

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

A HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY


The tradition of Thanksgiving Day – Man lives by giving Thanks during all days of his life.

THE TRADITION OF THANKSGIVING DAY :

In the United States, Thanksgiving is an annual holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a day of feasting, and it often serves as a public expression of thanks to God in the form of a prayerful eating of food. It commemorates the Pilgrims’ celebration of the good harvest, and a friendly relationship between Plymouth Colonists and Native Americans in 1621. The first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President George Washington was celebrated on November 26, 1789. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual holiday.

GRATITUDE IS AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT :

The word “Thanks” is used to acknowledge the feelings of gratitude for a benefit that we have received; grateful acknowledgment of something received by or done for one. Giving thanks is an act that reveals the spiritual nature of a relationship between two or more entities involved in interactions. The term ‘spiritual’ describes the nature of a relationship, partnership, an association, or bonding between two living entities based upon characteristics such as cooperation, mutual assistance, tolerance, sympathy, compassion, voluntary subservience, and functional subordination to provide some benefit to the members of a biotic community participating in the biotic interactions at a given place, and in a given environment. The human organism represents a biotic community of interacting living cells. It is estimated that the human body consists of about 100 trillion cells, and the human body carries about ten times as many bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These microbes are important to the health of humans. Man has no cortical awareness of the biotic interactions that take place inside his gut and the colonization of his gut by several kinds of microbial flora. The biotic interactions between the gut cells of the human body and the bacterial cells have the characteristics of spiritual biotic interactions.

Living cells have a corporeal substance called Protoplasm that has the ability of Spiritual Biotic Interactions. The Biological Membrane or Cell Membrane separates the cell from its environment and other living cells present in the environment. Cells use unique proteins, biological molecules and receptor sites to recognize the other living cells and use chemical signals to facilitate the interactions. Such interactions between living cells have the characteristics of consciousness or awareness.

The biotic interactions take place at cellular level and are dependent upon the conscious nature of living cell that gives it the ability to recognize the presence of other living cells in its external environment. The anatomical organ known as brain does not play any role in these spiritual biotic interactions inside the human gastrointestinal tract. Each time we eat a meal, consume any food or drink, the act of eating represents ‘Thanksgiving’. Man has no choice and has no control over the beneficial effects of his eating and in expressing his thanks to the microbial flora of the gut with whom he had established a mutually beneficial spiritual relationship. Whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, man lives by providing a Thanksgiving meal during all the days of his existence. Each meal functions as a serving of ‘Gratitude’. While human existence is dependent upon Lord God Creator’s Power/Force/Energy known as Mercy, Compassion, Grace, and ‘KRUPA’, man may or may not publicly express his thanks in acknowledgment of that Compassion. However, man has no escape from the act of giving thanks. I am happy to share this article titled ‘A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day’, published in The New York Times that speaks of the benefits or dividends associated with acts of expression of Gratitude.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/science/a-serving-of-gratitude-brings-healthy-dividends.html?r=1

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.

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