A SQUIRREL STORY TO EXPLORE CONSCIOUSNESS


A SQUIRREL’S CONSCIOUSNESS AND DISPLAY OF MATERNAL INSTINCTIVE BEHAVIOR LEADS ME TO EXPLORE CONSCIOUSNESS.     

IRATE MOTHER SQUIRREL ATTACKED A VISITING TEACHER ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUS :     

The Ann Arbor News has reported this story about a mother squirrel’s angry attack. A 52-year-old Detroit Public School teacher was with a group of students touring the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor on Thursday, April 23. She had spotted some baby squirrels that were outside of their nest. The teacher had tried to alert the mother squirrel that was at a distance about a baby squirrel that was left alone. The mother squirrel could instantly recognize that the teacher was giving unwanted attention to her baby. The mother squirrel was instinctively aroused, turned on the teacher. The teacher tried to run away from the angry mother squirrel. She slipped and fell on the ground and injured her ankle. Seizing the opportunity, the mother squirrel bit the teacher on her leg. The teacher managed to escape and went to the Hospital Emergency for treatment.     

PARENTAL CARE IS AN INSTINCTIVE BEHAVIOR :     

Parental care is an aspect of social behavior exhibited by all animals. This is a complex unlearned or innate behavior that is influenced by heredity(genetic basis) as well as by experience. The study of behavior provides valuable information about relationships among animals. No animal is ever completely isolated from some kind of environment. Animals exhibit social behaviors and form parental societies to care for their offspring. This parental care/maternal instinctive behavior is highly organized amongst mammals. The young are part of the mother while growing inside the mother and are nourished before birth by the ‘placenta’ of the mother. After birth, the young still seek nourishment from the mother and suck or lap milk produced by the mammary glands of the mother. This ensures that there is a strong family association between mother and the offspring.     

BEHAVIOR AND CONSCIOUSNESS :     

The mother squirrel while displaying its maternal instinctive behavior has demonstrated that it is a ‘CONSCIOUS’ entity. Consciousness is defined as the state of being ‘conscious’ which has two components. 1. Being ‘conscious’ means being aware or recognizing the fact of one’s own existence. 2. Being ‘conscious’ also means being aware of our natural environment and it represents the state of knowing what goes on around one. Being conscious gives us the ability to interact with our environment and display an appropriate behavior. In higher animals this consciousness or awareness is also characterized by the presence of mental activity which includes an awareness of our own thoughts and emotions. A living entity is always conscious of its own existence. A living entity always exists in a state of consciousness. We identify a person as ‘UNCONSCIOUS’ if the person is not spontaneously interacting with his environment. There are several medical conditions that alter and affect our state of consciousness. Several drugs and intoxicants such as alcohol and poisonous agents like carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide cause drowsiness, stupor, and various levels of semiconscious to deep unconsciousness. Consciousness is very important in evaluating people with head injuries and neurovascular accidents such as ‘stroke’. While a person is unconscious of his environment, he is still aware of his existence. This fact could be easily demonstrated by conducting tests. A living organism or a living cell responds when exposed to a stimulus. For example, an unconscious individual is evaluated by testing to see the response of the pupil of the eye which reacts by constriction of its size on exposure to a light beam.     

CONSCIOUSNESS AND SURVIVAL :     

An organism uses its awareness to survive in the environment. I could illustrate this by narrating my personal experience. While I was camping in the Himalayas, We were using the quarters left by the British while they ruled India. On a cold winter night, I was sleeping in a small room that was not heated, and the room had no fire-place or a chimney. However, I had used a coal burner to heat the room. The coal burns very slowly giving heat and it lasts for several hours and needs no attention. On that particular night, I did not recognize, the coal was of poor quality and it was not burning as expected and was giving away smoke. The door and the windows were shut, and the smoke started filling up the room. The smoke is lighter than the room air, and it slowly went up filling the room from top. While I was fully asleep in a dark room, unaware as to what was going on around me, I was suddenly alerted when I experienced ‘palpitation’, a consciousness of my heart’s rapid beating. I awoke, but still could not see the smoke in the dark room. I had evaluated my condition to understand my rapid heart rate. I was in good health and there was no reason to experience an increased heart rate. I had decided to investigate my problem and walked up to the door to turn the light switch on. The moment I had turned the light on, I could immediately see the smoke-filled room and the fresh, clear layer of room air was below my bed level. I immediately left the room to get fresh air from outside and saved my life. Many people are not that fortunate, and we read about entire families losing their lives while sleeping in rooms that are heated by improper burners. I was not conscious of what was going on around me while I was sleeping. However, my body was aware and conscious all the time. The chemical sensors in my body worked alright, they sent signals to my brain centers, which in turn sent signals to increase my heart rate to improve the oxygen delivery. It fortunately worked like an alarm for me. Very often, people become more drowsy, become fully unconscious, and lose life while asleep in smoke-filled rooms.     

THE SQUIRREL IN THE STORY OF RAMAYANA :     

Three striped Indian Palm Squirrel, a native of India, and Sri Lanka is mentioned in the epic poem of Ramayana. All living entities are conscious.

Just like the mother squirrel in Ann Arbor which demonstrated its consciousness, in the epic poem of ‘RAMAYANA’, the awareness and the behavioral response of a squirrel is described. The story narrates the construction of what is popularly known as “SETHU” or a bridge across the sea from the southern shores of Indian peninsula to the island of LANKA. The squirrel was apparently conscious of its environment. It had observed the activities of thousands of monkeys throwing stones to build the ‘ADAM’S BRIDGE’, and recognized the presence of LORD Rama who had initiated the effort to build the bridge. The squirrel had volunteered to help and in its behavior it showed attributes of devoted service. The abilities of the squirrel are very small and yet it won the favor of the LORD and is blessed. The LORD is pleased with the squirrel’s conscious efforts to offer devoted service.     

CONSCIOUSNESS AND ENERGY :       

In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains the nature of Human Existence. Consciousness gives the ability to seek and establish a connection between an energy seeker and an energy provider and both are Conscious entities.

The living human entity or man is known as “NARA” in the Sanskrit language, and the superior energy is personified and is known by the name “NARAYANA”. The poem of ‘BHAGAVAD GITA'( The Divine Song) narrates the dialogue between ‘Nara’ known as prince ARJUNA and ‘Narayana’ known as LORD KRISHNA. The LORD describes the relationship between the human soul( ATMA) and the divine soul( PARAMATMA). In Chapter 7 which is called ‘PARAMAHAMSA VIJNANA YOGA'( The Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth), verse 5 describes the ‘energy’ relationships. The material nature which is composed of sky, earth, air , water, and fire are constituted of ‘inferior energy’ of the LORD. The superior energy of the LORD is manifested as the embodied soul of all living entities. This superior energy of the LORD which is in the living entities gives the ability to the living entities to exist in the world by exploiting the inferior material energy from nature.     

THE ENERGY PROVIDER AND THE ENERGY SEEKER :   

In Clinical Medicine, the medical practitioner evaluates the Level of Arousal or Alertness of his patient.
In Clinical Medicine, the medical practitioner evaluates the Level of Arousal or Alertness of his patient.
Dr Florian Mormann & Dr Christof Koch have defined Neural Correlates of Consciousness as the minimal neuronal mechanism jointly sufficient for any one specific Conscious percept. This definition basically makes no distinction between Thinking and Consciousness. The NCC definition is not based on correct understanding of the function known as Consciousness. It fails to speak about the role of Reticular Formation, and Brain Stem Nuclei that have the Capacity of Consciousness. The Capacity of Consciousness is an essential precondition of the Content of Consciousness. The Reticular Formation filters incoming stimuli to discriminate irrelevant background stimuli and composes the Content of Consciousness before relaying the information to the Cerebral hemispheres to cause Cortical awareness.
Dr Florian Mormann & Dr Christof Koch have defined Neural Correlates of Consciousness as the minimal neuronal mechanism jointly sufficient for any one specific Conscious percept. This definition basically makes no distinction between Thinking and Consciousness. The NCC definition is not based on correct understanding of the function known as Consciousness. It fails to speak about the role of Reticular Formation, and Brain Stem Nuclei that have the Capacity of Consciousness. The Capacity of Consciousness is an essential precondition of the Content of Consciousness. The Reticular Formation filters incoming stimuli to discriminate irrelevant background stimuli and composes the Content of Consciousness before relaying the information to the Cerebral hemispheres to cause Cortical awareness.
The Human Organism is an association of trillions of individual living cells. Consciousness serves the purpose of Functional Unity and all the cells display adaptive functional subordination to serve the purpose of the Whole Organism or the Individual. There are two distinct aspects of human Consciousness;1. The Capacity for Consciousness, and 2. The Contents of Consciousness.
The Human Organism is an association of trillions of individual living cells. Consciousness serves the purpose of Functional Unity and all the cells display adaptive functional subordination to serve the purpose of the Whole Organism or the Individual. There are two distinct aspects of human Consciousness;1. The Capacity for Consciousness, and 2. The Contents of Consciousness.
What is Consciousness? Consciousness is not a simple psychological function. It is a mental experience of thoughts, moods, feelings, and emotions; a sense experience provided by organs of Special Sense and other sensory input; a body experience of its state of existence like temperature, oxygenation of blood, and hydration; a cellular experience of its motion, nutrition, and other metabolic and physiological functions. The Composition of Consciousness, and the content of Consciousness includes both body, and mind.

Humans like other living entities supports his existence by deriving energy from the environment. Living cells obtain nutrients such as sugars and use oxygen in their metabolism to generate energy to carry out their vital biological functions. The primary source of energy of all living entities on planet Earth is derived from Sun. The Sun provides energy by burning its hydrogen fuel. It is reasonable to assume that Sun has derived its energy from a higher source of energy or “Higher Power”. This is evidenced by the observation of stars in various stages of their natural cycles of birth , and death. We can observe the birth of stars, the stars that are existing for a long time, the dying stars, the spectacular supernovas, and the dead stars like the white dwarfs, and the brown dwarfs. Human consciousness brings us the awareness and sustains the connection between the energy provider and the energy seeker. We manifest our existence with this unique ability to gain energy from the environment. Just like the squirrel in the story of Ramayana, if we use our awareness, we will become ‘CONSCIOUS’ of LORD’s presence whose superior energy we manifest.       

Can man know God? How does man acquire knowledge of God? Does man come into existence with this fully developed organ called brain? How does human embryo, a mere clump of cells with no brain establish an anatomical connection with a host whose physical identity in the real world is not known or experienced by the embryo seeking its own growth and development.
Belief in God – Is it a matter of Faith or is it a matter of Pure Reason? What can be known? How it can be known? How certain man could be about his intuition, sense experience, or deductive reasoning? Is there an acceptable method to know God? Consciousness of Innate Knowledge with which man exists in the natural world would provide information and knowledge about God Connection.

Please also view related blog post titled ‘I am consciousness, therefore I am’.  

https://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/i-am-consciousness-therefore-i-am/  

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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6 thoughts on “A SQUIRREL STORY TO EXPLORE CONSCIOUSNESS

  1. Comment sent by my eldest brother, Prof.R.Subbarao :
    “SUPER CONSCIOUSNESS” AND MOTHER PRINCIPLE:

    The “Super Consciousness” or ‘Pragyna’ or “Shuddha Chaitanya” in all beings exists as “I” principle. That is why Sri.Ramana Maharshi says, find out “Who am I?” The Scripture say, “Iyam Atma Brahma”, consciousness is a level below that.
    The Divine Mother Principle is manifested as “PRAKRITHI”. The Divine Mother has also specially manifested as “mother” and has given the physical mother some of its attributes.Hence the mother principle is very, very sacred.
    “Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu Maatru Ruu pe ne samsthita,Namastatye, Namastatye, Namo Namaha”.

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  2. Comment sent by Sri. KBR Reddy :

    “I enjoyed reading it. Kindly permit me to republish the story in our magazine; VANA PREMI of the Association of Retired Forest Officers, A.P.”.

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    1. SUBJECT AND OBJECT DUALISM :
      Thanks for visiting this page. Man perpetually exists in a state of illusion because of the nature of his conditioned existence. Is he the subject or the object of his thoughts? You need to explore the biological function called consciousness. Are you the person who is aware of the state called existence? Or, are you the person who is existing and experiencing life? What is man’s true identity and how is this identity is established in the multicellular human organism?

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  3. Great site! Good information and good endeavor to know the Truth, consciousness or God.

    The squirrel story reminds me of a tale or fact narrated by my father in 1940s or may be early 50s. He told British did an experiment. They thought mother monkey loved her offspring very much. So they put a monkey with her baby monkey in a bath tub and started filling water in it. The mother monkey raised her baby up and up as the water level risen up and up. However they observed that when the water level reached the nose of the mother monkey instantly she put the baby down and raised herself up to save herself. I do not know if this story is true or false but this is what I heard.

    Similarly about major Rudra’s personal experience with the smoke, does it not raise many questions? What were the probabilities of his being saved? Why did he not keep sleeping? What happens when we sleep? Where does the consciousness rest when we sleep? Scriptures say and sages and saints of the truth also say that the life has four stages -Jagrat (awake), Svapan (dream), shushupti (REM state sleep) and Turiya (awakened state known as Brahamgya). I have heard from a devotee that the life rests in between eye brow. And I experience it to be true because when we breathe our breath goes up to that place and then goes down in to lungs. It is miraculous that without oxygen our blood does not provide nourishment to our brain and without brain our neurons do not pump our heart. Is this not a cycle –chicken and egg situation? When we remember the Word of God or the God (as Bible says “In the beginning there was a Word, the Word was with God, the Word was the God and the God was the Word”) with every breath and meditate on the lotus feet of God we fall sleep in 3-4 breaths. Kabira said, “Saans Saans par Naam Le, Ek Bhee Saans Na Kho; Kyaa Jaane Is Saans Kaa, Aavan Ho Na Ho.” I have personally experienced out of body experiences, but again it is a matter of experiencing the Truth or God rather than describing God and the glory of God. Some poet said, “Saat Samandar Masih Karun, Dharati Sab Aakaash Kagad karun’ Upaban Sab Lekhani Karun, Hari Gun Likhyaa Na Jaayee.” It is endless –Neti, Neti (means Na+Iti, i.e., No End). Something we can talk face to face has a whole lot more effect than reading and writing or even talking on the phone. More the faculties involved better the reception becomes and the imbibing in to the brain the Word of God (Naam, Shabda, Tatva, etc.) and touching the consciousness is the ultimate.

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