Yes indeed, Life is Complicated. To explore and to understand the complex human organism, I divide it into two categories, 1. The Self, and 2. The Knowing-Self. The Self describes the Singular entity recognized as Man and the Knowing-Self describes the Soul of the multicellular human organism.
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. We need to establish knowledge about Man on a firm basis and the information it provides must be tested for its accuracy and consistency with an external reality. Dr. William James in his book, The Principles of Psychology, has observed: “True ideas are those we can assimilate, validate, corroborate, and verify.” The separation of man into body, mind, and soul is not supported by a scientific study of man.
“EKAM EVADITIYAM” – This statement in the Sanskrit language is from Chandogya Upanishad( 6:2:1 ) and it means: “I, one alone and there is no second.” The original intent of this statement is that of seeking the unity of the Objective Reality of Man known as ‘ATMA’ (the Individual Soul) and the Ultimate Reality known as ‘PARAMATMA’ or Supersoul. There is no Duality between the two and there is no disunity between Man and God.
However, God is not an object which is under Man’s control and the views about God are subjective opinions. I am quoting this statement to find the Unity of Man in body, mind, and soul.
The man comes into existence from a single fertilized Egg Cell. This Man cannot be separated into two distinct entities like insentient material being and sentient spiritual being. The physical being and the conscious being are the same. The division of Man into a physical substance and a thinking substance or that of a physical body and a thinking mind is not valid as they have no independent existence of their own. The division of Man into a physical body and an immortal, non-material or immaterial Soul is not also valid as the Soul is described as the vital, animating principle that is the chief characteristic of Life.
The Spiritual Nature of Man is not a mental function. The Spiritual Nature of Man could be discovered and could be described from the biological properties, characteristics, and nature of Man’s corporeal substance found in the fertilized Egg Cell. This substance is Conscious. This Single Egg Cell grows, divides, develops, and builds the cells, the tissues, the organs, and the organ systems that constitute the Human Individual. The Spiritual Nature of the substance present in the Single, fertilized Egg Cell brings the functional unity of all the cells, the tissues, the organs, and the organ systems to establish the Physical Reality called Man.
About six days after Conception, the developing Human Embryo implants itself into maternal tissues by establishing an anatomical connection called Placenta. The implantation of Human Embryo does not involve any human thought and the Mother has no cortical awareness of the fact of implantation. The implantation demonstrates the Consciousness of the Human Embryo which is aware of the fact of its own existence.
The phrase Spiritual defines the internal, mutually beneficial relationship, partnership, association, and the connection between the cells, the tissues, the organs, and the organ systems for the benefit of the Human Person who exists because of their living functions. The Subject that is born from the Single, fertilized Egg Cell is always a new, original, distinctive, unique, one of its own kind of Object that exists because of the innate Spiritual Nature of the material substance. Being born relates Man to the Subjective and Objective Realities of his biological existence. There is structural and functional unity between Man and his Body, Mind, and Soul. There is no Life, and there is no Human Existence if these entities are separated. Spiritualism is the potency that brings Man’s Essence and Man’s Existence to come together to provide Man the Subjective and Objective Reality of his own biological existence in the physical and material world. Man is not an embodied Soul and Man is a Living Soul.
WHAT IS MAN?
I will be repeatedly asking this same question in several of my blog posts on the subject of Spirit and Soul. I want to remind myself that the motivation for asking this question comes from a statement expressed in the 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. It is more important to recognize that our efforts to support the well-being of man would require correct understanding and knowledge of the real or true man.
THE SELF AND THE KNOWING-SELF:
To know about Man, we can observe the various activities that describe the Man. The Physical being known as Man is known from the living functions performed by the tissues and organ systems of his body. This Physical being has Identity or identifying features such as age, gender, race, ethnicity and other biometric information to know the person as a specific Individual. Factors like language, religion, culture, education, social occupation, nationality, and sexual orientation are also used to describe the Man. The Mental being known as Man is described from mental functions such as intellect, thoughts, moods, feelings, cravings, and self-pride. Man, the Social being is known from his social interactions and much of human action and behavior involves interacting with other individuals present in his social environment. Man, the Moral being is known from the choices he makes in the performance of his actions where discernment plays a role to distinguish right from wrong, and good from evil. Man, the Spiritual being is known from the nature of his existence seeking peace, harmony, and tranquility within himself and with others in his environment and community. I designate the term ‘SELF’ to describe Man as a Physical, Mental, Social, Moral, and Spiritual being. I have also observed that the Physical being is in reality consists of about 100 trillion individual living cells that show complex structural differentiation and functional organization. The corporeal substance is of spiritual nature and hence Man, the Physical being has no choice other than that of existing as a Spiritual being. The question is not that of, How Man knows himself? The question that I would like to ask is, How does the body know the Identity of the Man who lives? If the body knows its Owner, there is an anatomical structure that is associated with the function called The Knowing-Self.
THE FUNCTION OF THE KNOWING-SELF:
The Reticular Formation (RF) is in the central Brain Stem and extends from Medulla to Thalamus. It consists of more than about 100, 000 Brain Stem nuclei. It is estimated that a single neuron in this network may have synapses with as many as 25,000 other neurons. The RF has connections with almost all other parts of the Central Nervous System including Spinal Cord, Cranial Nerve nuclei, Cerebellum, Hypothalamus, Thalamus, Corpus Striatum, Limbic System, and Cerebral Cortex. Thus, the RF helps to coordinate and integrate actions of different parts of the Central Nervous System such as 1. regulation of muscle and reflex activity, 2. central transmission of sensory impulses, 3. respiration, 4. cardiovascular responses, 5. behavioral Arousal, and 6. Alert/Sleep Cycle.
There are two distinct aspects of human Consciousness namely, 1. the Capacity for Consciousness and 2. the Content of Consciousness. When Consciousness is viewed as a psychological or strictly as a mental function, it is represented by the Content of Consciousness called Cortical Awareness which is a function of the Cerebral Cortex. When Consciousness is understood as a biological function that includes the maintenance of vital functions like respiration, and circulation apart from various homeostatic mechanisms to preserve a constant internal environment, it is represented by the aspect of Capacity for Consciousness.
The Knowing-Self is in the Reticular Formation of the Brain Stem and its functions are of critical importance in the clinical diagnosis of Brain Death. During Life, the cells, tissues, and various organ systems of the human body work together for the benefit of ‘SELF’ which is known and recognized by this Knowing-Self.
MAN IS A SPIRITUAL BEING:
THE KNOWLEDGE OF ASVATTHA, THE FIG 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 religiosa. 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 Fig 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 Fig 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 subject 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 a 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 an existence independent of man’s physical being. 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 the 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 a potentiality, and what is called form is an actuality. The corporeal substance called protoplasm becomes an 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 an 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 an 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 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 a man cannot be separated from the eternal nature of its substance.
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. The 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. As per various human traditions, 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 the soul are the following: 1. The 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, the soul confers the Individuality and its nature of humanity. 3. The Soul is often described as a thinking substance and is equated with the ‘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. The Soul is important to maintain and to preserve life. The 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 the 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. The 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 as the Knowledge of the Spiritual Self. The legendary Indian Sage Veda Vyasa or Krishna Dvaipayana, the author of the epic poem ‘The Mahabharata'( Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty ) 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 the soul, the 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. 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 represents a different functional activity and has separated it from activities of mind, intellect and sense perception. The Mind is traditionally viewed as the major organ of sense perception, the seat of thoughts, intellect, emotions, feelings, and self-ego. Chetana is associated with the characteristics of a Living Thing that sets it apart from Non-Living Things. The Lord had also cited The Vedanta 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 observer, a Sanctioner, a Preserver, an Enjoyer, and indeed ultimate Controller called ‘Paramatma’ 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 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 entities?
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 Brahman, 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. The 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 the 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 of several other living forms. But, either man or nature and the influencer called Time has 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 a new substance of its own kind and becomes visible as a living life form with a different identity or morphological appearance.
The Neuro-biological aspects of 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 the 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 the 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.
IDENTITY AND INDIVIDUALITY:
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 a 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 a 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 a proper numerical balance between functionally related cell groups, the death of many cells (apoptosis) is necessary for other cells to reach maturity. This programmed cell death (apoptosis) plays an important role in embryological development. Such programmed cell death (apoptosis) 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 the death of cells (apoptosis) 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.
The 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.
The Rudi Connection at Whole Foods Verifies the Proposition, I am Consciousness
Yes indeed, Life is Complicated. The complexities of Life begin with our own selves. The universe is vast and man’s role in it is insignificant. Man’s great need is not only to know the world around him but also know himself better. Man has to know the Truth about himself.
What is Truth? Who am I? I am Consciousness:
The term Truth suggests confirmity with facts, experience, or with Reality, either as an idealized abstraction or in actual application to statements, ideas, acts, etc., Truth signifies an established or verified fact, or principle. Truth is related to the validity of what we mean. Plato defined the nature of Truth as correspondence between thought and reality. Dr. William Jones in his book, ‘The Principles of Psychology’ states : “True ideas are those we can assimilate, validate, corroborate, and verify.” The universe is vast and man’s role in it is insignificant. Man’s great need is not only to know the world around him but also know himself better. Man has to know the Truth about himself.
The Three Dimensions of Truth:
1. Truth is correspondence between a statement and the reality of external world.
2. Truth is correspondence between the observer and the reality of the observed fact. Here, we need to recognize the method used for the observation such as intuition, sense experience, or revelation.
3. Truth is correspondence between man and his true nature.
Lord Jesus Christ – Truth as Revelation:
The Truth about Lord Jesus Christ comes to a very critical scrutiny while he got arrested and stood before Pilate, the Roman Governor. The Book of John, Chapter 18, verses 37 and 38 record the conversation between Jesus and Pilate: So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a King?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a King. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Jesus did not answer the question as the truth must have correspondence with a reality in the external world. The truth of Jesus is about the establishment of Kingdom of Heaven upon Earth. It was a prophetic truth and the truth would be evident only when the Prophecy comes true.
Lord Gautama Buddha – Truth as Experience:
Lord Gautama Buddha known as Siddhartha (He who will accomplish), c. 563 B.C to c. 483 B.C., left the palace at the age of 29 leaving behind his young wife and infant son. After six years of ascetic life, while meditating under a Pipal tree (later called BODHI or Enlightenment Tree), he became Supreme Buddha (c. 528 B.C.) at the age of 35. He preached his first sermon at Sarnath. He outlined his Doctrine of Four Noble Truths and the First Noble Truth is that of suffering, the experience of pain and sorrow called DUKHA is implicit in human existence. Buddha’s truth relates to man’s experience of the nature of his existence in the world. I maintain that man exists at any stage of his existence, at any given age, under any given circumstance, in either good health or ill health, in pain and suffering or that of joy and happiness due to the operation of a Fundamental Force/Power/Energy that delivers Mercy/Grace/Compassion. If suffering describes one face of the coin called human existence, Compassion describes the second face of the same coin. Compassion is implicit in human existence and the existence of all living things.
Lord Rama – Truth in Action:
In an epic poem known as Ramayana, Indian poet Valmiki describes Lord Rama’s life journey. Rama spent 14 years in the forest to help fulfilment of the word or promise made by his father. In the final Chapter, Book Six, Yuddha Kanda, Chapter (Sarga) 117, verse 11, He asks the following question:
“aatmaanaM maanuShaM manye RaamaM Dasharathaatmajam;
so aHaM yasya yatashchaahaM bhagavaMstadbraviitu me.”
“I think of myself to be a human being, by name Rama, the son of Dasaratha. You, as a gracious Divintiy tell me who I am and why I am like this?”
In the story of Ramayana, the Creator Lord Brahma responds to the questions asked by Lord Rama. These are the questions that we need to ask ourselves. To know Truth about Self, the man must begin his inquiry with the question of WHO AM I?
The Inquiry about Self – Who am I?
The tradition of knowing oneself is a longer tradition than any other Science. This is a study in which the Knower and the Known are one. The object of scientific inquiry is the nature of the scientist.
How to Discover the Truth about Self?
Religion, Philosophy, and Science may represent three distinct fields of learning about Truth and Reality. Each tries to answer fundamental questions about human life. All three differ from each other in the selection of method and subject matter. Auguste Comte, the 19th century French philosopher, the founder of Sociology describes Positive Science as the study of natural, mental, and social phenomena by empirical methods. In his view, Philosophy is mere speculation and Religion is superstition or irrational belief. Speculation represents a futile attempt to go behind the phenomena in order to discover ultimate causes or substances and such speculative methods may result in guess work or conjecture and not in knowledge. Philosophy may use Logic and system and yet its conclusions may lack the validity or objectivity of Science.The philosophical inquiry does not involve investigation by experiment. Science not only provides the knowledge that something is true, but also the reasons why it is true.
The famous Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud categorically claims that no knowledge can be obtained from revelation, intuition, or inspiration.
There is a tendency in modern times to reject the methods used by Religion and Philosophy. Philosophy may use intuitive generalization or induction from ordinary sense experience. The scientific method involves induction from an inference from experiments which involve testing and verifying a hypothesis. The observations of scientist go beyond the experiences which ordinary men have in the course of daily life. The instruments that are invented and used by scientists have immense abilities to collect numerous kinds of empirical data with precision, accuracy, and consistency. However, it may not be easy to conclude that Science alone can arrive at correspondence with Truth and Reality. Could we extend scientific methodology of investigation to every field of Inquiry? Could we obtain clarity and certainity in all matters using scientific methods? Could Science be the only avenue to Truth? Could we find Truth and Reality as an external experience? Could man use scientific information to experience Truth and Reality?
When a object exists in a conditioned state, like this Pencil in Water, Science may explain the illusion generated. Science and scientific information may not provide the direct experience of Truth and Reality.
Man is the observer, and the reality or truth of Earth’s Angular Speed, or Linear Speed is not an observed fact obtained by direct human sense experience. Scientific information can not provide the experience that could be generated by the truth and reality of Earth’s Motion.
The Purpose of Science: The Knowledge about Self:
The purpose of Science is to describe and codify observation and experiences. Natural Sciences such as Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Medical Sciences provide accepted body of information about the world and human body. We need to arrange this information into a meaningful pattern and interpret it to describe the Reality or Truth about man. We need to apply a reasoning process which involves analysis of basic concepts to determine their consistency. Something could be said to be true if, and only if it could be verified by logical or scientific procedures. We need to use a reasoning process, a philosophical analysis to clarify statements, to verify or refute a theoretical claim by demonstrating relation between the theoretical claim and the observational evidence.
The Self and the Knowing-Self:
I divide man into two categories; 1. The Self : it represents the man as a physical, mental, and social being. The Self represents the thinking person or the person having thoughts, and feelings. 2. The Knowing Self : it represents man as a moral, and spiritual being. The Knowing Self is aware or Conscious of the thoughts and feelings of The Self.
Thinking vs Consciousness:
The Self may think about the nature of consciousness, but Thinking and Consciousness are two distinct functions. Thinking and Consciousness are not one and the same. Consciousness functions to provide Awareness and it is not involved in mental activities such as Thinking. The Reticular Formation of the Brain Stem supports functions such as AROUSAL and it maintains wakefulness, alertness, and sleep. In the absence of this Brain Stem function, the Individual is not capable of generating thoughts, and feelings and would not be aware of what goes on inside the Individual, and what goes on outside the Individual.
The Individual – Identity and Individuality – The Two-Sides of the Same Coin:
If man is viewed as a living thing, the thing is made of Matter and Form. The Form establishes the morphological appearance in the external world. The Matter establishes the Individuality of the Individual. The external appearance or Phenotype of man undergoes constant change and is not the same at all times. The Individuality is related to the Genotype which remains constant while man goes through various stages of his existence from conception to old age.
As per The Law of Individuality and Creation, man is a created being who always exist as an Individual with Individuality and man has no choice other than that of existing as an Individual. The Truth about Self is not about the Identity of the Individual in terms of his anthropometric measurements, biometric information, name, gender, race, ethnicity, language, religion, nationality, education, social occupation, social status or social ranking, and affiliations. This external reality has a degree of correspondence in the external world as it is often confirmed and is recognized by others who can observe the Individual. But this knowledge is subject to change and the information it provides is not experienced in a constant, and objective manner. The Truth about Self is the Truth about the human organism which is multicellular. We need to know as to who or what is the subject who lives because of the functions of the trillions of cells that comprise the human organism.
Who am I? “I am Consciousness.”
All living organisms use similar building units called cells. Basically, the cell has a membrane, a nucleus, and a living substance known as Protoplasm. The nucleus has nucleic acids like DNA/RNA which have no independent existence of their own. The genome functions when it is associated with Protoplasm which has the exclusive ability to obtain energy (food) from its environment. Consciousness is a natural principle that describes the condition of an Individual; the condition of knowing, awareness, or recognizing the fact, the state, and the act of biological existence in a given environment. The term environment refers to all the conditions, circumstances, and influences surrounding, and affecting the existence of a given Individual, or a group of Individuals. Who is this Individual who has the ability to know and be aware of its external, and internal environment? The Individual is a living organism and the organism could be unicellular or multicellular. The most fundamental aspect of Consciousness as a living function that establishes biological existence is that of acquiring energy from environment. The living cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without continuous input of energy, a cell will degrade spontaneously into a non living collection of molecules.
“I am Consciousness.” – The Verification of the Proposition:
The proposition that “I am Consciousness” could be subjected to a reasoning process in two manners: 1. The Coherence Theory of Truth, and 2. The Correspondence Theory of Truth.
1. “I am Consciousness” – The Coherence Theory of Truth: The standard of Truth is the logical consistency of a proposition with a large system of propositions. “I am Consciousness” is the proposition. The propositions to support my proposition are:
a. Consciousness is a mental experience.
b. Consciousness is a sense experience.
c. Consciousness is a physical or body experience.
d. Consciousness is a social experience.
e. Consciousness is a moral experience.
f. Consciousness is a spiritual experience.
g. Consciousness is a cellular experience.
The Subject “I am” of the proposition could be defined as a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being based upon the contents of the ‘Total Consciousness’ experience of that Individual.
2. “I am Consciousness” – The Correspondence Theory of Truth: Truth is viewed as a relation between an idea or proposition and its object. “I am Consciousness” is the proposition. The Subject known as “I am” is related to an idea or object described as “Consciousness.” We need to verify the Truth or Reality of a relation between the Subject and its Object. The Subject is the whole or entire human organism comprising of trillions of individual cells which function as organs and tissues of the body. The Subject “I am” can not be defined merely as a single individual, or as a specific organ like brain or mind. The body organ called brain has no independent existence of its own. Brain and its cells (neurons, axons, and connective tissue) need energy to sustain their metabolic activities. The functional relationship between the Subject and the Object operates and involves the activity of the entire organism and is not limited to the activities of brain or mind. The purpose of Consciousness at cellular level is to foster functional unity of the multicellular organism and establish it as an Individual. A living thing maintains it Individuality while being a member of a given social group. The process 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 environment and it is the characteristic of all living cells irrespective of their differentiation, functional subordination, and identification as the constituent parts of specific organs, tissues, and organ systems. The idea or Object called “Consciousness” is fundamentally related to the Subject called “I am” both at the level of the entire organism and at the level of individual cells.
Human Knowledge and the Knowledge of Self:
Human Knowledge is of two kinds; 1. Acquired Knowledge that is dependent upon sense experience, and reason, and 2. Innate or Intuitive Knowledge, the genetic information, the biological information that all living cells and organisms use to perform living functions and to exhibit biological behavior and instincts. The Knowledge of Self, or Self-Knowledge begins with the implantation of Consciousness in Matter and not as Sense Experience, and not on account of rational thinking with application of reason.
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.