Yes indeed, Life is Complicated. The complexities of Life involve exploring the phenomenon of Life in which the events called Birth and Death occur during the Cyclical Flow of Time and Life whereas in reality Time moves forwards in a Straight Line like an Arrow. The Study of Life must include the concepts of Past Birth, Present Birth and Rebirth.
Matter is an actual substance that has properties such as mass or weight, and occupies space. Matter has other attributes like motion, size, shape, and a form by which it may be recognized. Matter makes up all visible objects in the universe, and it can be neither created nor destroyed. There is no such agreement about the term ‘Spirit’.
In my view, man will not be able to define his purpose in life if there is a separation of matter and spirit. Man is a physical being with matter and form. To define the goals, or values of human life, man must understand what it is to be a substance and what it is to exist. If matter and spirit are separated, and if there is no unity between matter and spirit, human life would be simply impossible. The word or term ‘Spirit’ is associated with characteristics such as immutable, immortal, immovable, imperishable, indestructible, immaterial, eternal, and unchanging, or constant nature of a substance which withstands the influence of time.
If God is uncreated and is eternal, Spirit is a natural extension of God’s nature and shares the same attributes. To recognize the spiritual potential of a substance, we have to understand the nature of matter.
TIBETAN BUDDHISM AND THE LIVING TIBETAN SPIRITS OF SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
In the beginning, I submit to all of my readers that this conversation is not about the principles of Tibetan Buddhism. I ask my readers to know that I am not speaking about Tibetan traditional belief in reincarnation. In Tibetan Buddhism, a “TULKU” is a particularly high-ranking Lama who can choose the manner of his (or her) rebirth or reincarnation. I have no personal knowledge of rebirth or reincarnation of any high-ranking Lama including the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. This conversation is not about reincarnation or rebirth.
I am sharing my personal experience, my association, and my contact with non-clergy members among Tibetan exiles, the laity, the peasants, and other ordinary folks of Tibet. The Tibetan Spirits that I know are not supernatural beings and they do not claim to possess any kind of supernatural powers. I am exclusively speaking on behalf of ‘The Living Tibetan Spirits’ that inhabit my consciousness. I would like to carefully define each term that I may use in this conversation to avoid confusion and misrepresentation of facts or information that pertain to Tibetan Identity and Tibetan Culture. It must be clearly noted that traditional Tibetan Buddhism supports the concept of “ANATMA” and proclaims the non-existence of the human soul or spirit. Having studied, Human Anatomy, and Human Physiology, I would like to share my understanding of the human soul and spirit. I would not be surprised if a majority of Tibetan Buddhists reject my views about the human soul and spirit.
WHAT IS SPIRIT? WHAT IS THE LIVING SPIRIT?
I use the term ‘soul’ to refer to the animating, vital, Life Principle found in all living things. The term ‘spirit’ is often used to refer to the intelligent, or immaterial part of a man as distinguished from the human body, and mind. The traditional Indian belief systems may describe the ‘spirit’ as the immaterial reality that is imperceptible to the organs of sense perception. I describe consciousness as the fundamental characteristic of all living things and I describe consciousness as a spiritual function; a function that requires the operation of the soul, and spirit. I claim that consciousness is the absolute nature of living things or living objects. Consciousness is the natural principle by which a living thing knows and experiences its external and internal environment. Being conscious means recognizing the existence, the fact of something. Consciousness is the biological characteristic which is the evidence of a living thing knowing the fact of its own existence; it knows as to where it exists and knows as to how it is existing. A dead, or non-living thing has no consciousness and the dead object has no awareness of the world in which it may be found. I cannot describe soul and spirit as entities that may exist independently of living matter. Hence, I would like to suggest that soul, and spirit is known because of its association with a living person. I have no personal experience of a disembodied spirit. I am intentionally using the term, ‘The Living Spirits’ as I am not aware of the existence of ‘Dead Spirits’. Spiritism or Spiritualism is a belief that natural, living objects have indwelling spirits. When used as an adjective, the term ‘spiritual’ means, relating to or concerned with the spirit or soul. This term is often used to describe human relationships. The term ‘spiritual’ in the context of human relationships describes the nature of a relationship, a partnership, an association, a connection, or bonding between two or more living people based upon thoughts, or feelings of sympathy, and understanding.
THE LIVING TIBETAN SPIRITS OF SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
I was granted Short Service Regular Commission to serve in the Indian Army Medical Corps during 1969 and joined the Service on July 26, 1970, in the rank of Lieutenant. On completion of basic military training at Lucknow and professional training at Military Hospital, Ambala, I was posted to Headquarters Establishment Number. 22, C/O 56 APO (Vikas Regiment) which is formally known as Special Frontier Force. This organization is primarily concerned about operating across the legitimate border between India and Tibet as established by the McMahon Treaty and the Simla Agreement of 1914 and its purpose is that of ending the military occupation of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China. This organization was conceived by the 35th U.S. President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy during 1962. President Kennedy pursued the U.S. Foreign Policy that was initiated by the 33rd U.S. President, Harry S Truman (1949-1952). President Truman founded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or ‘NATO’ on 04 April 1949. NATO is a multinational defense plan to defend Europe in response to tensions with the Soviet Union (USSR). The Truman Doctrine of 1947 was formulated to protect Greece and Turkey from Communist domination. The 34th U.S. President, Dwight David Eisenhower (1953-1961), and his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles continued Truman administration’s policy of containing Communism.
Eisenhower Doctrine of 1957 was designed to protect the Middle East from Communist aggression. At that time, the U.S. administration and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) started playing an increasing role to defend the Tibetan interests and provided training and equipment to the Tibetan freedom fighters to resist the military occupation of Tibet by the People’s Liberation Army of Communist China.
During October 1962, after a massive, and brutal attack on India’s Himalayan Frontier, India recognized the military threat posed by Communist China. India needed urgent foreign assistance as it had faced critical shortages in its defense preparedness. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who embraced the policy of political neutralism accepted the US military assistance while India officially continued its adherence to the Non-Alignment Policy. Similarly, Tibetan Exile Leader, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama continued Tibet’s policy of political isolationism, and agreed to participate in a military alliance or pact with the United States and India to respond to the military threat and military occupation of Tibet by Communist China without publicly disclosing the military agreement and cooperation between these three nations. The Cold War Era of secret diplomacy made it easy to give birth to a secretive military organization called Special Frontier Force where the identity of the Employer remains concealed. The Government of India and Tibetan Government-in-Exile have administered the oaths of secrecy to all of their participating members of Special Frontier Force. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency provided the necessary military instructors to train the personnel in the use of U.S. military equipment and stores. The U.S. Congress makes the budgetary provision to provide the funds to this organization which primarily uses U.S. military equipment. However, the Officers and the men who serve in this military establishment are not mercenaries who may join the battle to provide some exclusive benefit to a foreign government or Agency. The men and the Unit are motivated to perform their duties to defend their rights and their own territory. The United States participates in the operational activities of Special Frontier Force to collect intelligence about Communist China’s military preparedness.
Special Frontier Force launched a difficult military operation called Operation Eagle to initiate the Liberation of Bangladesh in the Chittagong Hill Tracts during 1971.
I witnessed the loss of the lives of some young Tibetan soldiers during this battle. Since I have a spiritual relationship with the men of my Unit, I was not a simple witness to the fact of their death. Without any recognizable sense perception, my consciousness has given a home to the Tibetan Spirits. At that time, I had no particular mental awareness of this fact. We returned to India during January 1972 on completion of our Bangladesh operations.
We returned from Bangladesh with a sense of pride for our successful execution of the military campaign. I served in Special Frontier Force until December 1974 and lost contact with the men of my Unit. The events of 1971-72 got buried in my memory. In January 1984, I left India with my family to begin our lives away from the country of our origin. In practical terms, I began my life as an exile and I had no direct contact with my Indian relatives or Tibetan exiles who continue to live in India.
THE JOY OF EMPTINESS – THE DISCOVERY OF THE LIVING TIBETAN SPIRITS:
I arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan with my family during July 1986 and started leading a life of voluntary simplicity. I maintain very minimal indirect contacts with my relatives who live in India. Apart from the fact of physical separation, there is mental separation from all the events and experiences that shaped my life in India before I left the country. While I live in Ann Arbor, it came as a big surprise to me when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visited Ann Arbor to speak at a function organized by The University of Michigan. He explained the concept of finding “JOY” in Emptiness or the emptying of the mind in which the mind has been emptied of all particular objects and images. Emptiness is created by casting aside the attachment to everyday things and worries. While I practiced the emptying of my mind, I recognized that I cannot remove the desire for Freedom in the Land of Tibet. On careful introspection, I discovered that this desire is attached to The Living Tibetan Spirits who inhabit my consciousness. I have no personal attachment to the Land of Tibet. I have no personal attachment to the Tibetan Identity. I have no personal attachment to Tibetan Culture. I have no personal attachment to Tibetan Buddhism. I believe in God as the Creator of man, this world, and the universe. But, I find myself attached to this desire that seeks Freedom in the Land of Tibet. I can remove all my desires and break my attachment to impermanent things or thoughts. This desire for Tibetan Freedom is not a thought that I have imagined in my mind. This concern for Tibetan Freedom is evidence for the existence of The Living Tibetan Spirits in my consciousness. There are two aspects of consciousness that are registered by a living individual; 1. Consciousness is a state of knowing or awareness of what goes on around an individual, and 2. Consciousness is a state of knowing or awareness of what goes on within the individual. In my Consciousness, there is the existence of Freedom in Tibet. In the world that I am conscious and aware of today, there is no Freedom in Tibet. So, I have decided to fight the sense of fear and darkness that has enveloped my mind and tell the people around that I demand Freedom in Tibet. I want to give a sense of “JOY” to The Living Tibetan Spirits. I want to share these photo images that have captured the moments of pride and victory in War. These photo images were illegally obtained by the Enemy. This Enemy Agent who took these photo images killed himself for his act of betrayal. However, The Living Tibetan Spirits recognize a moment of glory in their sacrifice. They were not alive on June 03, 1972 and could not personally witness the event shown in these photo images. The Living Tibetan Spirits can easily identify all the objects shown in these images and are pleased by viewing these images. The Enemy unintentionally served a purpose while he engaged in acts of espionage. I am not surprised. At Special Frontier Force, we as an organization have always accepted the challenge and are willing to meet the Enemy on the battlefield.
THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM IN TIBET:
In conclusion, I suggest that without effort and struggle, there can be no real upward movement in our lives, or in the lives of people, or in the history of a Nation. The people of Tibet need to struggle to realize the hope of regaining their natural Freedom. The darkness of military occupation has enveloped the Land of Tibet. When the oppressor intends to be unjust, he would use any excuse and he will always find a pretext for his tyranny. It is useless for the innocent to try reasoning to get justice from a tyrant. Let us all join and work together to Fight the Battle of Right against Might.
Rudolf is reborn as Rudi to describe the spiritual connection between the Cell and its Energy Provider
Rudi acknowledges his German heritage at Whole Foods when he discovered the spiritual connection between man, food, and Providence.
Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet are connected by a material substance called Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, a divine plan to provide nourishment to Life.
The Rudolf and Rudi Connection at Whole Foods, Ann Arbor can be best described as the concept of Whole Spirituality, the three dimensional spiritual relationship between the multicellular human organism, food, and the Divine Providence.
Spiritualism – The Cell Theory of Spirituality:
In Biology, cell is the basic or fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization in all living things or it is the building block of life. Let me begin with my respectful tribute to some of the people who contributed to ‘The Cell Theory’, one of the foundations of Biological Sciences. Cells were first observed in the 17th century shortly after the discovery of the microscope. Robert Hooke, british curator of instruments at The Royal Society of London, during 1665 coined the word cell. Dutch microscopist Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) made over 247 microscopes and examined microorganisms and tissue samples. He gave the first complete descriptions of bacteria, protozoa (which he called animalcules), spermatozoa, and striped muscle. He also studied capillary circulation and observed Red Blood Cells.
Improvements in microscopy during early 19th century permitted closer observation and the significance of cells had received better understanding. Matthias Jakob Schleiden (1838), German botanist, Theodor Schwann (1839), German physiologist, and Rudolf Virchow (1855), German pathologist, and others made important contributions to the Cell Theory that describes cell as the building block of all Life.
The Cell is the smallest unit in the living organism that is capable of carrying on the essential life processes of sustaining metabolism for producing energy and reproducing. Many simple, small, single-celled organisms like Protozoa perform all life functions. In higher, complex, bigger, multicellular organisms, groups of cells are structurally and functionally differentiated into specialized tissues and organ systems. Thus, the Cell Theory includes the following foundational principles of the Biological Sciences:
1. All living things are made up of cells. Cell is the most elementary or basic unit of Life.
2. Cell is a fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization in all living things including plants and animals.
3. Cells only rise from division of previously existing cells.
4. All cells are similar in composition, form, and function. All cells are basically the same in chemical composition (in spite of variations) in organisms of similar species. For example, all the solid tissues in the human body can be shown to consist largely of similar cells; differing it is true, but that are essentially similar to an Ovum.
5. The cells exhibit functional autonomy. The activity of an organism depends on the total activity of ‘INDEPENDENT’ cells.
6. Energy flow (metabolism and biochemistry) occurs within cells.
7. Cells contain hereditary, biological information (DNA) which is passed from cell to cell during cell division.
The Cell Theory of Spirituality:
The basic or fundamental unit of life in the human organism is derived from the fertilized egg cell that eventually develops into a complete organism. The most significant feature of similarity between the cells of the human body is the presence of a soft, gelatinous, semi-fluid, granular material inside the cell. This substance known as Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, or Cytosol is similar to the ground substance found in the Ovum or the Egg Cell.
This viscous, translucent, colloidal substance is enclosed in a membrane called Cell Membrane, Plasma Membrane or Biological Membrane. A small spherical body called nucleus is embedded in the Protoplasm of the cell. The three essential features of any living cell in the human body are that of the presence of protoplasm, the nucleus, and the cell membrane.
Protoplasm – The Ground Substance of Spiritualism and Spirituality:
I seek the existence of Soul or Spirit in a substance that is basic to life activities, and in a material that is responsible for all living processes. I, therefore, propose that the understanding of the true or real nature of this ground substance of all living matter will help man to discover peace, harmony, and tranquility in all of his internal and external relationships while man exists in a physical environment as a member of a social group, social community, and Society. In this blog post, I would like to pay my respectful tribute to Jan Evangelista Purkinje and Hugo Von Mohl for their great contribution to the scientific understanding of the living substance, living material, and living matter.
Purkinje conducted his research on human vision at the University of Prague and later on, he served there as a Professor of Physiology (1850-69). He went to Germany and was appointed the Chair of Physiology and Pathology (1823-50) at the University of Breslau, Prussia. There Purkinje created the world’s first independent Department of Physiology (1839) and the first Physiological Laboratory (Physiological Institute, 1842). He is best known for his discovery of large nerve cells with many branching extensions found in the cortex of Cerebellum of the brain (Purkinje Cells, 1837). He discovered the fibrous tissue that conducts electrical impulses from the ‘pacemaker’ called Atrioventricular node or A-V node along the inside walls of the ventricles to all parts of the heart to help in Cardiac contractile function (Purkinje Fibers, 1839). In 1835, he invented and introduced the scientific term ‘Protoplasm’ to describe the ground substance found inside young animal embryo cells. He discovered the sweat glands of the skin (1833); he discovered the nine configuration groups of Fingerprints used in biometric identification of man (1823); he described the germinal vesicle or nucleus of the unripe ovum that now bears his name (1825), and he noted the protein digesting power of pancreatic extracts (1836).
Hugo Von Mohl named the granular, colloidal material that made up the main substance of the plant cell as “Protoplasm” in 1846. Purkinje invented the word, but Hugo gave more clarity, understanding, and knowing the nature of this ground substance. He viewed cell as an “elementary organ” and in Physiology he explained Protoplasm as an organ of Motion or Movement, Nutrition, and Reproduction. It is the preliminary material in cellular generation. He was the first to propose that new cells are formed by division of preexisting cells and he had observed this process of Cell Division in the algal cells of Conferva glomerata. His observations are very important to understand the Cell Theory that explains cells as the basic building blocks of Life. He was the first to investigate the phenomenon of the stomatal openings in leaves.
Protoplasm is a complex, viscous, translucent solution of such materials as salts and simple sugars with other molecules, mostly proteins and fats, in a colloidal state, that is dispersed but not dissolved in one another. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen constitute more than 90 percent of Protoplasm.
It exhibits properties such as Protoplasmic Streaming or Cytoplasmic Streaming or Motion that is called “Amoeboid Movement.” It has the intrinsic power to change its shape and position.
Protoplasm has the power of Nutrition by which it can attract and obtain the materials necessary for its growth and maintenance from surrounding matter/environment.
The living functions such as Nutrition, Cellular Respiration, and Reproduction performed by Cytoplasm involve acquiring, processing, retaining, and using information to perform tasks in a sequential manner for a predetermined purpose and hence describe Consciousness, Memory, and Intelligence.
The terms Soul and Spirit belong to the materialistic realm where the Physical Reality of man’s biological existence is established. I have not yet discovered any good reason to use the terms Soul and Spirit as a metaphysical or transcendental Reality.
The Inheritance of Cytoplasmic Membrane or Cell or Plasma Membrane:
The Functions of Cytoplasmic Membrane or Cell Membrane or Biological Membrane:
1. Protection: It protects the cell from its surroundings or extracellular environment. Plant cell possess wall over the plasma membrane for extra protection and support.
2. Holding cell contents: Plasma membranes hold the semi fluid protoplasmic contents of the cell intact; thus keeping the individuality of the cell.
3. Selective Permeability: Cell membrane allows only selected or specific substances to enter into the cell and are impermeable to others.
- Gases like O2 and CO2 can diffuse rapidly in solution through membranes.
- Small compounds like H2O and methane can easily pass through where as sugars, amino acids and charged ions are transported with the help of transport proteins.
- The size of the molecules which can pass through the plasma membrane is 1-15 A0. This property is responsible for keeping a cell ‘as a cell’, an individual unit.
4. Shape: It maintains form and shape of the cell. It serves as site of anchorage or attachment of the cytoskeleton; thus providing shape to the cell (especially in animal cells without cell wall).
5. Organelles: Cell membrane delimits or covers all sub-cellular structures or organelles like nucleus, mitochondria, plastids, Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, microbodies etc. thus protecting them form the surroundings and also helps in maintaining a constant internal environment.
6. Compartmentalization: Cell membrane separate the cells from their external environment and cell organelle from cytosol. It help the cells and their organelles to have their own microenvironments, structural and functional individuality.
7. Cell Recognition: With the help of glycolipids and glycoproteins on its surface, cell membranes are able to differentiate similar cells from dissimilar ones, foreign substances and cells own materials. Cell recognition is useful for tissue formation and defence against microbes.
8. Antigens: Cell membranes possess antigens which determine blood grouping, immune response, acceptance or rejection of a transplant (graft rejection by MHC’s on plasma membrane).
9. Microvilli: They are microscopic finger like projections of plasma membrane present on some cells like intestinal epithelial cells, which are involved in a wide variety of functions, including increasing surface area for absorption, secretion, cellular adhesion etc.
10. Sheaths of cilia and flagella: Cilia and flagella are projections from the cell; made up of microtubules which are covered by an extension of the plasma membrane.
11. Cytoplasmic bridges in plasmodesmata and gap junctions: Plasmodesmata in plant cells and gap junctions in animal cells; meant for intercellular transport and communication, form cytoplasmic bridges between adjacent cells through plasma membrane.
12. Endocytosis and Exocytosis: Bulk intake of materials or endocytosis occurs through development of membrane vesicles or invagination and engulfing by plasma membrane.
Exocytosis: It is reverse of endocytosis that provides for releasing waste products and secretory materials ot of the cells with the help of plasma membrane.
13. Impulse transmission in neurons: The transmission of a nerve impulse along a neuron from one end to the other occurs as a result of electrical changes across the plasma membrane of the neuron
14. Cell metabolism: Cell membranes control cell metabolism through selective permeability and retentivity of substances in a cell.
15. Electron transport chain in bacteria: In bacteria; Electron transport chain is located in cell membrane.
16. Osmosis through cell membrane: It is movement of solvent molecules (generally water) from the region of less concentrated solution to the region of high concentrated solution through a semi permeable membrane. Here the semi permeable membrane that helps in osmosis is the cell membrane. Eg: Root cells take up water from the soil by osmosis
17. Carrier proteins for active transport: They occur in the cell membranes and control active transport of substances. Example, GLUT1 is a named carrier protein found in almost all animal cell membranes that transports glucose across the bilayer or plasma membrane.
18. Plasma Membrane enzymes: Many enzymes are present on the plasma membrane with wide variety of catalytic activity. Example: Red blood cell plasma membranes contain a number of enzymes such as ATPases, anion transport protein, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, protein kinases, adenylate cyclase, acetylcholinesterase.
19. Cell Membrane Receptors: Receptor on the plasma membrane performs signal transduction, converting an extracellular signal into an intra-cellular signal. Membrane possess receptors for hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies and several other biochemicals.
20. Plasma membrane assisted Cell movements: Undulation and pseudopodia are cell membrane phenomenon involved in cell movement. Amoeba, macrophages and WBCs move with the helps of temporary organelles like pseudopodia. Pseudopods are temporary cytoplasmic projections of the cell membrane in certain unicellular protists such as Amoeba. Some mammalian cells such as fibroblasts can move over a solid surface by wave like undulations of the plasma membrane.
The Ground Substance of Spiritualism and Spirituality. The vital characteristics, the animating principles of Protoplasm could be known by observing Amoeba proteus. The Living Substance works as an organ of Motion or Movement, as an organ of Nutrition, and as an organ of Reproduction to generate new cells which have a life span of their own. In these physiological functions, I describe the characteristics such as Cognition, Consciousness, Memory, and Intelligence as spiritual attributes of Life as they bring functional unity and harmony in the interactions between different parts of the same individual organism while it exists in an environment as a member of a biological community.
The Spirituality of Substance, Function, Organization, Action, and Interactions:
To establish the biological existence of the human organism, I add the concept of Spiritualism and Spirituality to the Cell Theory.
The Single Fertilized Egg Cell has ground substance that is of Spiritual nature and the Spiritualism and Spirituality consists of the following functional, and organizational characteristics:
1. The Cell is Conscious of its own existence and knows its internal condition and knows it external environment.
2. The Cell is intelligent and it has the cognitive abilities like perception and memory to acquire information, to retain information, to recall information, and to use information in the performance of its complex tasks in a sequential manner.
3. The Cell has the ability to show characteristics such as mutual cooperation, mutual tolerance, and display functional subordination and subservience while being independent.
4. The Cell grows, divides, and develops into a complete organism while it acquires substances and energy from an external environment. The power of Protoplasm/Cytoplasm to attract matter found in its external environment is called Nutrition. The Cell continuously transforms matter to build matter of its own kind for its own benefit to sustain its existence with its own identity and individuality. The Organism represents a social group or a biological community of Cells. The Spiritual nature of Protoplasm/Cytoplasm brings this functional harmony and unity in the Social Group or Biotic Community of Cells by bringing together its Essence and Existence.
5. The Cell Theory is incomplete for it does not describe the conditioned nature of the Cell’s existence. The Cell represents a Living System that is thermodynamically unstable. It requires a constant supply of matter and energy from its external environment to sustain its living functions. The concept of Whole Spirituality formulates the connection between the Cell and its external source of matter and energy.
The theoretical claims about Spirit and Soul, the religious and philosophical doctrines of Spiritualism and Spirituality must be verified using the Cell Theory that defines the human organism. To describe Soul or Spirit as nonmaterial or immaterial Self will not help man to know the real or true man.
Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet come together in a Wholesome Relationship as God is the Energy Provider, the Original Source of Matter and Energy for Life.