Author Topic: Reality and Relativity - V.Dwarakanath Reddy. Mountain Path - July - Sep. 2005  (Read 2241 times)

Subramanian.R

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(This article is a talk given by the author at the All India Conference of World Association for Vedic
Studies (WAVES), held in Bangalore in January 2005)

*

Scientists, scholars and spiritual teachers:  I feel blessed that I can be a part of this significant event
and share with this elite and focused gathering the strivings of my soul to know the truth of itself,
to divine its origins if possible, so that its chartered passage so far could serve to define its ultimate
destination.  I have chosen to title this deliberation as Reality and Relativity.

In the relative frame of mentation, we can acquire knowledge only within the circle of inescapable duality,
of category, quality and quantity. This is the linear voyage.  Yet we know that the longest  list of the
largest numbers will not add up to infinity, but infinity is not the contagious last point of an extended line.
Thus our mind assumes familiarity with both Reality and relativity, but the mind which is a native of relativity
has no visa to visit Reality. Reality is not a step toward, it is Transcendence.

Human intelligence cannot rest till it knows what now remains unknown.  It has marched a long way and knows that there are yet miles to go through the dark woods.  Man is asking total questions and so the demand
for ultimate answers.  What is creation?  Why is it the way it is?  What is its future?  This deep probe into the
basic nature of things and events is the essence of pure science.  Physics studies the working of energy on
matter and measure the resultant changes.  Chemistry deals with the composition and structure of matter and
the interactions and reactions therein.  Mathematics formulate the findings of both in the precise and succinct
language of numbers, and states them in concise equations.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 11:22:57 AM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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The World, I and God:

Who is asking questions, and formulating answers?  I AM.  Who has the need to know?  I HAVE.   There
are three entities, no more and no less.  The world, I and God.  This God is a word, a concept, a postulate
-- but necessary to complete the cosmic inquiry, because creation inevitably brings up the reference to
a creator.   When finally resolved, the word God may change to Absolute, or to Reality, or even to Unified
Theory of Everything.  The point is this:  the created world of matter asks no questions and needs no answers;
God should have no problems, and in any case is not asking questions.  It is I, this person somewhere in-
between the two, with the gift or curse of a mind.  Mind is conscious faculty that makes me more than matter
but less than God, and this mind is posing the questions and is restless for answers.

Every thought arises as a nascent whisper of sound within me, and is shaped by words that constitute my
language.  I have lived and learnt and communicated with these words always and these same words must
now carry me to the new frontiers I dare to explore.  And of these words, time, space and causation are the
irreducible datum that circumscribes every event.  Any happening is in space at some time and due to some
cause.  Where, when and why or how are the questions that are always involved.  All these seems to be OUT
THERE, but the knowledge of it, the perception and the formulation is IN HERE, in me. In my vocabulary the
orbiting worlds are dead, while I am alive.  What makes the difference?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

Subramanian.R

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Let us ask the Physicist:

I go to the Physicist.  "Sir, What is the reality you are looking for?'  He says:  'We want to know how the cosmos
began and how it is evolving. We want to know why the world is just this way?'  I ask: 'Sir, how will you find out?'  He says:  'We know that all the matter of the universe was condensed into a small sphere.  We call it black hole, because at that density not even light could escape its gravitational hold. Then it exploded in what we call Big Bang.  The expansion since then is being measured and charted.  But we are clueless as to what happened in the first 1/10000th of a second. What triggered the Big Bang and how?  If we knew that, we could unravel the whole of creation.'  'Sir', I ask, 'When did the Big Bang happen?'

The Physicist says: 'The question is inadmissible.  Time start at the Big Bang, which is a singularity.  There is
no prior event at this horizon, so there is no prior time.'  'Sir, why do you need the time factor at all?'
He says:  'We study the play of cosmic forces like gravity, electricity, and radiation on matter.  We need time
to measure velocity and acceleration.'

I am beginning to feel isolated.  I feel let down.  Time has personal connotation for me.  I feel the subjective
need for memory in order to be the person that I am, to preserve my personal identity -  and this memory
needs time to establish continuity.  The consciousness in me is what confirms to me the existence of the universe.  The relevance of scientific inquiry has its focus on me.  My watch ticks with mechanical precision
but the watch has no need to know the time.  I wear the watch so that I may know the time. I have a purpose.
There is no purpose in the material frame.

More recently, physics, moving beyond Newton's determinations into quantum uncertainty, has included an
'observer' in the equations of the observed.  The word 'observer'  in the language of common usage has implied reference to a conscious entity, and leads to an erroneous assumption.  In truth, the physicist's observer is a machine, not a human.  The physicist does not talk of life or of consciousness.  Agreed he deals only with
dead matter and dead energies. If consciousness was only about feeling, about pain, emotion, or muscular
response, physics could disclaim any involvement with it.  But as time (unlike matter) is a concept and as
concepts are the exclusive domain of consciousness, how can physics distance itself from the inquiry into
consciousness?  Time will catch up with the physicist!

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                             

Subramanian.R

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Let us ask the bio scientist:

Sadly, but hopefully I turn to other disciplines of scientific investigation, chemistry.  I seek out the bio
scientist and ask him:  'Sir, you, unlike your brother physicist, deal with living organisms. The insignia
of evolved life is consciousness.  Where is the beginning of consciousness?  Where does it arise?' And
the bio scientist says to me:  'Consciousness arises from the brain cells.  The great wonder of creative
evolution, called the brain, has billions of nerve cells or neurons, with axons and fine fibers called
dendrites. Nerves are joined by synapses where chemicals are released and act as triggers. Signals
are passed between neurons as electrical impulses, carried by the nervous system, creating recognition
and response.'  I am staggered at the reach of science.  The physicist with the telescope views the
expanding universe and the chemist with microscope views the minute cell.  But my question is about
some 'I-scope' in my mind, without which nothing can be viewed.  I complain to you about tooth ache
and you say you will talk to the tooth about it, but not to me.  I am being ignored.  I am alive.  I am
conscious, and I want to know how I am fitted into your scheme of matter. So like a petulant pestering
boy, I continue with my line of questioning.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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"Sir", I ask the bio scientist, 'neurons or proteins are made up of atoms and molecules.  Like bone, blood,
muscle or hair, the brain is also structured out of matter, and matter is insentient, inert.  What exudes
or effervesces out of matter has also to be insentient and inert. Honestly, it is dead matter.  But are you
insisting that dead matter produces life.

I consider myself a sentient being because I am aware of myself to start with, and therefore aware of you,
it, and the world, and I perceive and respond.  Matter cannot do that.  So where does this conscious energy
enter my material body frame?"

He replies:  "The m special arrangement of molecules in the brain and the nervous system makes it possible.
Everything is molecular, and the key to the complex web of secret of life is our recent discovery of DNA.
On this new frontier Nature will be overtaken by science.  Your God lost the race."

The conversation had ended.  My question has been evaded, not answered. Whatever is product of
matter must be material too.  Are we to understand that life is only a word that refers to the 'dead'
phenomena?  Darwin reportedly asked in his Note Books, 'What is unusual about consciousness?
As sweat oozes out of the skin, so does consciousness ooze out of the brain." If that is right, death
is the true face of creation and life a mask laid falsely upon it.  Fortunately, that is not right.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Among the energies known to science are gravity and electricity.  They are eternal. They exist for ever,
and everywhere, as unmanifest potential forces.  Only when aligned with matched equipment do they
manifest.  Electricity is light in the bulb, the motion in the fan, and sound in the mike. If a bulb is broken,
that bit of electricity does not die.  When the TV or the computer was invented, electricity did not have
to 'evolve' to learn a new mode of manifestation.  There is no evolution of energy; there is only evolution
of equipment.

Gravity does not exist in isolated areas.  Science talks of gravitational field and electromagnetic field.
Matter itself is a concretised area within the field of gravitational energy.  E=MC2 is not read as
'All is Matter'.  We read it as 'All is Energy'.  Even  seen as equals, one emerges as more equal!

My life, in my personally validated terms, is a movement, experienced as a flow of thoughts.  I am
perceiving, feeling, deciding and reacting.  My material body is functioning because energy is acting
on it, and that energy is consciousness.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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The science of life, which we may call philosophy, accepts the rationale of the material sciences
about energies, and says that consciousness is for ever like gravity, and unchanging.  But a great
distinction has to be emphasized.  Gravity, electricity, and all other observed forces are insentient,
for they do not know themselves or each other.  Consciousness is unique in that its very nature is
'knowing', 'being aware', and so it must be conceded that consciousness is an energy that knows itself,
and knows all other energies.  It remains eternally self confirmed and all knowledge of the cosmos stands
validated in the center where consciousness, is manifesting as 'I AM' .  My own assertion of being and knowing
clearly focused upon my body frame, but again the question arises:

"Is this assemblage of material molecules or organs generating and expressing the life in it  -- life that
is experienced psychologically, but which  is a deeper reality than physiological  - or is it an independent
faculty of life called consciousness that is manifesting through this body equipment, turning these 60
kilos of dead matter into a live person?"

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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The Great Divide between Mind and Matter:

Herein lies the Great Divide, the insurmountable Great Wall of China, that sets science and philosophy
apart. Time becomes the Achilles' heel of physics and Mind the Achilles' heel of chemistry, Redemption
lies in the truth of consciousness.  Another great sage of our times, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, has stated
in clear terms.  He says:

'Look at the mind as a function of matter and you have science.
Look at the matter as the product of the mind and you have religion.'

Let us drop the labels of scientist or sage, science or religion, and be involved together in one thrust of
inquiry to understand the unitary Reality. Aptly it had to be the theory of relativity, it could not have been
the theory of reality, for we shall capture Reality in our equations?

Einstein displayed honesty and modesty when he told his scientific fraternity:  'As long as the laws of
mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as long as they are certain, they do not refer to
reality.'

By the same token of honesty, let us not bend backwards in the name of catholicity and compromise.
There is no need for it and no sense in it.  Forcing a square peg into a round hole helps no one.  Truth
is an uncompromising master, otherwise it would be untrue to itself and that is impossible.  A quotation
etched on our credibility declares:

'Science without religion is blind; religion without science is lame.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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This seemingly noble edict voiced by a well meaning Einstein amounts to nothing tangible. It suggests that
together they can reach finality.  But please visualize their joint venture:  Trying to move alone, both
will fall into their individual ditches.  Joining forces or talents, and lame religion riding piggy back on blind
science, both will now fall into a common ditch.  Let them take their choice, but what comfort is it to us?
The sole question to be resolved refers to consciousness. Let the scientific fraternity in its wisdom and integrity
face the challenge.

Darwinian Evolution:

Let us look at the Darwinian concept of evolution.  Body forms have changed over the millennia. Each
species has struggled for survival, and that has brought about minute changes, or major mutations,
in cell structures.  These changes have been transmitted to the off spring, because reproduction has for
its base the transfer of sperm to ova, which means of matter to matter.  Thus evolution is the history
of progressive material complexity, carefully researched and documented by Darwin.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

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Now, suppose a thesis is argued on the evolution of the wheel, on which, literally, civilization has rolled
across time.  From the cart wheel to the cycle, to the car, to the landing gear of the jet plane, has been
the developing story of the evolution of the wheel evolved, but the wheel itself has had no gain, no benefit,
no joy in the process.  The profit and fulfillment belongs to the demanding human race.  The purpose for its
evolution lay in the need of humanity for better transport -- without the continuity of this purpose, there
would have been no continuity of its evolution.  Regretfully, science knows a lot about the content of creation,
but knows nothing about the intent of creation.  Content is matter.  Intent is consciousness.

Similarly, with the evolution of species, if consciousness is coeval and co terminal with the body of the individual,  there can be no continuity of an experiencer beyond a single lifespan.  One generation struggles, suffers, endures, and brings about progress.  It earns the means for a better life, but dies at that point.
This is a case of unpaid wages.  A later generation, without even saying 'Thank you, grandpa' inherits these
advantages.  This is a case of unearned income.  Is this the benevolence of providence, or perverted justice
in creation?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
               

Subramanian.R

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Again, if this is the ordained scheme of creation, it seems bizarre that a mighty majestic epic is unfolded
over an eternity of time, but man, the proclaimed pinnacle of evolutionary excellence, is permitted no more
than one brief glimpse for one moment of a life bubble, and is blanked out. Dumb time and mute chance are
the eternal witnesses but not a continuing consciousness.  This is what the sage is identified as 'looking
at mind as a function of matter.'

My laboratory for studying consciousness in itself has to be myself.  That is sufficient. I exist aware of my
existence. I know the world I live in; that is my objective knowledge.  That is my state of wakefulness.

The dream state in consciousness:

But I occasionally experience another state of consciousness, the dream state.  All of us know what that means,
otherwise we cannot share the meaning.  It would be like explaining light to one born blind.  Try it.
In my dream this 60 kg body of mine was not a participant. But no one is bodiless in his or her dream.
Also all the physical and sensory functions are totally intact.  In my dream there are many others, and a town,
and a beach. All of it is as real to my dreaming consciousness as any situation or scene is to me when I am
awake. Later, on waking up, I say I had a dream and narrate what happened.  I tell you that it had happened to me. My continuity through the two planes  of consciousness is asserted from the personal experience,
not by deduction or hear say.  The relative reality of the two states is later categorized, but the continuing
identity of the I person is not doubted.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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The deep sleep state in consciousness:

The deep sleep state takes the inquiry into consciousness much farther.  Deep sleep, by definition, would
have to be a thoughtless state.  Flow of thought is mental activity and signifies wakefulness and awareness.
I, as a person cease to be in deep sleep.  'I fell fast asleep.  I know nothing' is your quote and mine.
This is said by us on waking up, not sensed by us while in deep sleep. The continuing identity of the same
I-person is not questioned.  Without the physical body, without even the subtle mental-body, where was this
'I'?  He surely was, for he returned. Thought is to Total Consciousness what a wave is to the ocean.  Flow of
thought is what we call 'the mind'. Total consciousness manifests as individualized mind through one brain,
just as Total Electricity manifests as light through one bulb.  When switched off, electricity goes into the
unmanifest mode.  And the room goes into darkness.  Deep sleep ism the switching off, when the relative
consciousness becomes unmanifest and the person knows nothing.  'I knew nothing' he says. You and I
have said it  But the I-ness, the insignia of consciousness, has continued through waking, dream, and deep
sleep states.  The brain was not essential for the existence of consciousness, it was only essential for its
manifestation as the mind. The switched off bulb will light up again.  The sleeping man will wake up.
But when the bulb has fused it cannot lit again.  That is death.  The body dies when the contact with the
consciousness current is destroyed, when the circuit is broken permanently.  The bulb goes into the dust
bin;  survivors take the corpse to the graveyard or the crematorium.

Total Consciousness is seamless, shoreless. Is it not my mind that knows time and space?  Time and space
are contents of my consciousness.  How then can they be the container of my consciousness?  If my brain
matter is producing consciousness, then of course I am in time, but if in reality the reverse is true, then time
is in me.  It means that I am coeval with time. I am as eternal as time is.  Bodies are born, grow and die
but the Consciousness that is reflected in the experiencer, the ego or the psyche or the I-ness of the individual
cannot cease to be.  Death is only a changed state of consciousness. An anonymous poem says it perfectly:

Do not stand at my grace, and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Creation resolves itself into Total Consciousness:

Let science, shackled hand and foot to matter, move to this perspective. It is still only a beginning,
but it is path beyond the great divide.

Objective knowledge would have begun to concede a subjective reality to the knower of objectivity.
In one corner of a canvas with a scenic painting, there is the picture of the painter shown seated at his
easel painting the picture.  You asked 'Who painted this picture?' and you show me the area of canvas
which contains the picture of the painter!  Is that a sufficient answer?  That, at best, is the 'observer'
of physics.  All of it is in the same frame and the frame is relativity.  Great physicists have conceded that
they are  looking at nothing but a set of highly abstract differential equations;  that they are looking not
reality itself but at mathematical symbols of reality.  Schroedinger, Broglie, Sir James Jeans.  Eddington
and Ken Wilber agree that the search for reality by the mathods of physical science leads only to 'shadow
world of symbols',

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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All concepts are shaped by pairs of opposites:  far and near, big and small, tall and short, rich and poor,
hot and cold, beautiful and ugly, honor and dishonor, virtue and sin, life and death.  The word 'relative'
therefore conjures up its opposite:  'absolute'.  But it is only a word in the vocabulary of the relative Mind.
Mind's name is relativity.  It cannot touch the Absolute, any more than numbers can touch the infinity.
Therefore it can now be stated that by freeing our personalized consciousness from the stifling embrace
of matter, we do not arrive at Reality.  We only arrive at a 'relative reality'.  However even this yet a
quantum leap from today's rigid stance of science.

Seers focused on the study of absolute life, as apart from the study of 'living forms' have had to make
a distinction and call the individualized or fragmented mentation as 'reflected consciousness'.  Total
consciousness remains intact, and is the unconditioned Absolute Reality, but assumes a seeming
plurality, as one can become many through multiple reflections.  It is this reflected consciousness
that we call the Mind when we limit it through identity with a body form, just as we might talk of the sun,
when seeing its reflection in a pool of water. This is the psyche, loosely called the 'soul', or confusedly
called 'the ghost in the machine.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
     
   

Subramanian.R

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There is a purpose to life and that is the quest for abiding happiness.  Security, status, possessions,
sex and fame are providers of happiness.  But there is no satiation.  Lasting contentment evades the
seeker, simply because the largest number does not exist.  A linear function as no destination.  The
craving is understandable.  But the methodology is wrong.  It is even self defeating.  The right method
can be formulated only when the Absolute and the relative are seen for what they really are.  And that
means, when Total Consciousness is recognized as distinct from reflected consciousness.  This is an
attainable goal, because the I-am center in me is even now, the inheritor of 'Reality', but by limiting
it to my body-frame I have needlessly fettered myself with the limitations of time, space, and causation.
I have reduced the eternal to the temporal, and the infinite to the spatial, and the uncaused to the causal.

If this ignorance is corrected, this very same I-center can experience its Absolute nature, and regain
the kingdom which in truth it never lost.  The king dreamed he was a beggar and suffered in his dream,
but he woke up smiling as the king. This is intuited rationally by the seeker of spiritual reality in the lab
of his mind.  With confidence and commitment he devised experiments called meditation.  He arrived.
Unlike physics and chemistry which bring observed results, the seer ended in the experienced results.
That is what makes one a Sage. And we have the promise of the Sage, in the declaration of the Vedas
that Total Consciousness is the Reality, there can be none else.

This is literally true from A to Z, that is, from Advaita to Zen, including Sufism, Christian Mysticism,
and Taoism.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.