SPIRITUALISM – THE THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS


SPIRITUALISM AND THE THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS :

The Vitruvian Man. c. 1492. The painting by Leonardo da Vinci displays the spirit of scientific inquiry. The inquiry of Man must begin with the investigation of Consciousness.

 What is Man? The motivation for asking this question comes from a statement expressed in Sanskrit language: “Sarvesham Swastir Bhavatu”, a statement which seeks the well-being of all humans, of all races, of all cultures, of all religions, and of all nations. The meaning and purpose of human life are affected by whatever we think is the real or true nature of man. But, more importantly, our efforts to support the well-being of Man would require correct understanding and knowledge of the real or true Man. Consciousness is the biological characteristic of Life or of living matter and this functional attribute must be distinguished from ‘Mind’, the chief organ of Sense Perception( such as vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch ), the seat of thoughts, feelings, moods, cravings, emotional states, dreams, intellect, and self-pride. Knowledge about Self begins with Consciousness and not as sense experience.

THE THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS :

In the Divine Song of the Lord known as the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter X, Vibhuti-Vistara Yoga, The Opulence of The Absolute, verse 22, Lord God Krishna states: "Indriyanam Manah, bhutanam asmi Chetana." The Divine is associated with the attribute called Mind, the chief organ of Sense Perception and other mental functions; and among all living entities the Divine is associated with the function known as Chetana or Consciousness.

 “INDRIYANAM MANAH, BHUTANAM ASMI CHETANA” – MIND AND CONSCIOUSNESS: I would like to propose The Theory of Consciousness to explain the Spiritual nature of Consciousness which is stated in the Divine Song known as the Bhagavad Gita. Human Mind and its uniqueness as an organ of Sense Perception( such as vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch ), the seat of thoughts, dreams, emotions, desires and cravings, intellect, and self-pride represents the operation of a divine attribute, or of divine potency. The Human Mind is not an attribute that is shared by all living entities. The biological attribute that is shared by all living entities is known as Consciousness. The contents of Consciousness would help us to identify Consciousness as the following: 1. Consciousness is a mental experience, 2. Consciousness is a sense experience, 3. Consciousness is a homeostatic experience, 4. Consciousness is a social experience, 5. Consciousness is a moral experience, and 6. Consciousness is a spiritual experience. These various aspects of Consciousness could be verified by examining the features of Man that identify him as a Physical, Mental, Social, Moral, and Spiritual being. At a fundamental level, the role of Consciousness in a living organism relates to its ability to acquire energy from its external environment. A living cell is conscious or aware of its energy dependent existence in the given environment. The nature of conditioned existence that involves dependence upon continuous supply of energy from an external source is the essential, or primary content of Consciousness. In the human organism, the cells of the gastrointestinal tract are primarily involved in energy acquisition. The cells of the brain are not involved in primary energy acquisition. The cells of the human gastrointestinal tract have the awareness or Consciousness of the substances present in the digestive tract, they recognize the presence and nature of specific molecules, and interact with them in selective manners either to absorb or reject those substances for the benefit of the entire human organism. Hence, The Theory of Consciousness that I propose would define Consciousness as the spiritual mechanism to support the living organism to maintain its living functions.

“I AM CONSCIOUSNESS” – MAN’S ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE :

It would be helpful to understand the difference between Spiritualism and the Philosophy of Existentialism shared by Jean Paul Sartre. The Man described by Sartre "exists" in his thoughts, feelings, and consciousness that is viewed as a mental or psychological function. The 'Consciousness' described by Sartre is not the Essence of a Substance and he thought of it as 'Nothingness'. I describe a Man who exists in the physical world because of his Consciousness which is the functional characteristic of Man's corporeal substance and this functional mechanism is operated by Spiritualism, the potency that brings human essence and existence to come together.

 In this proposition, “I am Consciousness”, the subject known as “I am” is related to an object or an idea described as “Consciousness.”  The truth or reality of a relationship or correspondence between the subject and its object could be verified. The subject is the entire human organism consisting of trillions of individual cells which function as tissues and organ systems of the human body. The subject “I am” cannot be merely defined as a single, individual, specific organ like brain or entity called mind. The functional relationship between the subject and the object operates and involves the activities of the entire organism and not limited to the activities of brain, or mind. The body organ called brain has no independent existence of its own. Brain and its neuronal structures, tissues, and cells need energy to sustain their metabolic functions and activities. The process, the mechanism, and the power by which a living cell acquires energy to perform its living functions is called ‘Nutrition’. Consciousness is the awareness of energy dependent existence in a given external environment. Consciousness is the biological characteristic of all living cells irrespective of their functional adaptation, functional differentiation, functional subordination and identification as specific organs or tissues such as brain and nerves. The idea or object called “Consciousness” is fundamentally related to the subject called “I am” both at the level of the entire or Whole Organism and at the level of individual living cells that constitute the Organism. Hence, Spiritualism could be stated as the potency of the subject called “I am” who is associated with the object called “Consciousness” to maintain his own existence and living functions.

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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20 thoughts on “SPIRITUALISM – THE THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

  1. “The subject is the entire human organism consisting of trillions of individual cells which function as tissues and organ systems of the human body.”

    YES, And so it is that the ground of being contracts into a Kosmos and evolves to become conscious of itself through the many cells of finite conscious experiences (all sentient beings).

    I enjoyed readng your blog so, may I share some thoughts with you?

    I imagine you are saying “Of course.”

    So…

    The ground of being is all that exists- eternally. It is the fundamental energy source, the pure wave before the particle. And it is proto-consciousness without awareness.

    The ground of being has both an interior and an exterior. It is in a continuous state of fluctuation between a much subtler form of what we understand as entropy. Low and high. But it can never become so disorganised that it fades to nothingness because there is no such thing as nothingness. Non-existence does not and can never exist. It is a contingent concept that exists because there is only something. And yet …the ground of being itself isn’t conscious of this fact.

    And so it is that the ground of being eternally produces matter and forms through which it becomes conscious of itself. It can only know itself as an infinite and eternal being that will never die, when it takes form and becomes conscious. But then it realises it can only ever manifest in finite forms.

    This is the ‘Primal Anxiety’ of the ground of being. The driver behind the creative impulse to take form. The innate knowing that it is eternal and yet can only manifest as finite things.

    But finally the infinite ground wakes up in finite form and finds peace and acceptance in it’s finite expression, in the knowledge that it can be no other way.

    It is already complete and eternal as a finite thing. There is no permanent or perfect condition other than this now.

    We are not going anywhere because we have never been anything other than this, even though the forms change.

    If there was a more perfect, permanent and blissful condition, free from attachment and desire before the creation of the Kosmos then why did the desire to create the Kosmos emerge?

    Surely there was no need to do or be anything?

    After all, the ground of being has had an eternity before now to perfect itself and nothing but this present existence exists, therefore this is it and we are that.

    The world is an illusion
    Brahman alone is real
    Brahman is the world

    It is in life that we find peace and eternal rest – not in death.

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    1. Many thanks for sharing that view. In Indian tradition, the desire to create is explained as “Divine Play” or “LEELA”. The suggestion that the world is an illusion has to be carefully qualified. Man has the Subjective Experience of the Reality of his Physical Existence in the physical, and material realm. The finite form that is recognized as ‘actuality’, the human being, exists because of a conditioning mechanism; man is conditioned to experience alternating periods of light and darkness while the Sun, the source of light shines with all brightness all the time. Man has no choice other than that of this conditioned state of existence. The potentiality of the living substance and living matter to be eternal, immutable, immortal, and imperishable cannot overcome the Force of Illusion that operates the conditioning mechanism. Hence, we make a distinction between man and God and accept the separation or duality of man and God. The spiritual substance that produces the finite, living form called man always seeks an association, relationship, partnership, and bonding with that Supreme Being, the Controller of Matter and Energy.

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