Thursday, March 29, 2018

Besides Humans Everything Has Consciousness Too


By Promod Puri
What is the difference between you, me and a spoon, a table, a stone, or any object or a thing? Both are physical matters. But we have consciousness others don’t. Or maybe they have it which we don’t sense. Anyway, that is what distinguishes you and me, and the “non-consciousness” objects.
How is this distinction through consciousness created which directs the nature of physical matter to make it a mindful entity?
There are two theories.
However, before we approach these concepts let us define or get a practical understanding of consciousness.
According to Wikipedia consciousness is an “inward awareness of an external object, state, or fact,” and these could include perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. The key words are “inward awareness” suggesting it is already present. The dictionary explanation says, “full activity of the mind and senses.” In that activity, the knowledge gained through external or inherent factors stimulate the development of a conscious mind. Consciousness is both a biological and psychological phenomenon which correlate with each other.
Now back to the theories:
The first one is called dualism where consciousness is an import from an unknown source which plugs into the physical matter to make it conscious. That suggests consciousness is separate and independent from the physical matter. But together they make a dual entity.
In dualism, the independent nature of consciousness is unseen. And its source is unknown unless the divinity factor is contemplated giving soul to the object such as humans or animals. The moment the object is unplugged consciousness disappears or might be expired.
In the second theory, consciousness is already a built-in occurrence in the constituents of a matter. That means every single particle, even the tiniest one, has an inherent awareness caused by consciousness. But the residing of consciousness in them is a very basic or simple structure. The latter is so elementary that it can’t be imagined as consciousness.
It is only when these particles come together thru some complex process, which may include neurochemistry, that together they constitute the realized consciousness such as human instinct.
Consciousness is thus created out of dormant or “non-conscious” materials present in physical matter. The materials are the small fragments of an object or its composing molecules along with their atomic and sub-atomic particles. This theory is called materialism; meaning created out of materials.
However, believing all things have conscious quality, the term materialism has been replaced and is widely known and accepted as panpsychism. It is derived from two Greek words “pan” meaning “all,” and psyche means soul or mind. Nonetheless, to meet human conclusion panpsychism involves the construction of consciousness to the level when it can be humanly realized.
At what stage the aggregation of “conscious” materials, from a human perspective, is ready to be called or felt like a conscious object? As humans are limited in their perception, consciousness can develop and complete its process to form its own system which under human observation is not noticed. In that respect, consciousness may already be dwelling in a spoon, a table, a stone, etc.
Or the particles may never combine to create the conscious system. Still, these are plugged forever in their own individual conscious orders. If that is acceptable, then the panpsychism does merge with the dualistic concept as there exists duality of consciousness and matter.
The dualism theory is secured because it has the support of the widely believed existence of some divine utility responsible for supplying the power of consciousness. On the other hand, panpsychism offers some rational assumption based on metaphysics in its understanding.
In panpsychism, the particles are already “divined” as part of the whole with the concept that the entire universe is one whole conscious body. And the whole is represented by individual physical parts like mountains, rocks, trees, humans, animals and other seen or unseen matters down to the atomic and subatomic levels.
The universe in its continuum is a conscious body of conscious parts, no matter how tiny or big they are. When the whole is conscious, its parts are conscious too, just like a human body. When it is alive, every organ of it is live as well. There are minds in the universal mind.
The ideological value of panpsychism lies with the conception everything existing in the universe has consciousness. It can be inherent or created internally or by an external source. And all the constituents of the universe are fundamentally connected with each other as being contained in one big whole.
The connectivity concept gets ardent support from the Upanishadic wisdom in Hinduism. The unique mantra of Om purnam adah talks about the totality of the universe and the togetherness of its composing constituents. The trees, the mountains, the people, the birds, the stars, howsoever far away they may appear, but they are all associated.
In this connectivity, the two theories of consciousness do meet in their divine orders.
(Promod Puri is a journalist, writer of human interest, politics and religious topics, and author of Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Traditions).

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Stephen Hawking Opens New Frontiers In The Science Of God


By Promod Puri
In his mind, physically-challenged Stephen Hawking explored the cosmos, and he got a much clearer picture of how the universe came into existence. In the quest, he could not find the god commonly believed to be up there and responsible for this creation.
However, as a physicist, he found his god in his dedicated daily karmas (works) in the astronomical objects called “black holes,” and in the Quantum theory explaining the universe at the subatomic depths.
Hawking’s understanding the nature of black holes and quantum mechanism can be helpful in knowing how the universe was born. University of Queensland professor Tamara Davis explains in The Conversation:
“Hawking famously described the quest for a theory of everything in analogy to God:
“If we do discover a theory of everything… it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would truly know the mind of God.”
“As a devout atheist, he made it clear that he didn’t mean we would understand a deity, but rather that we would be able to explain, using physics, the birth of the universe itself, and all the processes within it, thus demonstrating there is no need for a god.
“In his own words:
“God may exist, but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator.”
“We know that nothing, not even light, can escape a black hole’s gravitational pull. Nevertheless, Hawking discovered that black holes should glow. But if light can’t escape from black holes, how can they glow?
“The event horizon of a black hole is the point of no return. Once you are on the event horizon, you can never escape, and no light you emit will ever be seen outside. The reason black holes can glow is that no light actually emerges from inside the event horizon. The light gets created just outside of it, thanks to the black hole’s interaction with the quantum vacuum.
“This leads to another question because another important rule of physics is conservation of energy; you can’t create something from nothing. So, in order to glow, the black hole has to pay the price, and it pays with the only currency it has – its mass.
“As the black hole emits light it gets lighter, and the lighter the black hole, the more dramatically it shines, which accelerates its demise until it evaporates into nothing in an intense flash of radiation.
“As spectacular as that may be, it may seem a trifle esoteric: why should we care how black holes behave? Well, the theories Hawking was developing also have implications for the question of how the universe began. Hawking proposed a mechanism, through quantum physics, by which a universe could be born. In other words, he proposed an answer to how the big bang banged.”
In this explanation where Hawking deals with the nature of black holes and the quantum physics by combining the two, he has put the religiosity of god in a different perspective in relationship with the birth of the universe.
Besides the fact his god was in his thoughts and works, which were more meaningful and rational than the ritualistic faiths, Hawking’s progressive investigations open new thinking on the science of God altogether. And it is here he went beyond the empirical confines in the realm of metaphysics where religion dwell.
Stephen Hawking might be an “atheist”, but thru his exploration of the origin of the universe, he did establish some relationship between science and religion, a fact which is yet to get its realization by the scientific community.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Stephen Hawking’s God & His Dharma


For most of us we have a mindset personified image of God. And that is what Hawkins rejected. His God resided in his rational thinking and dedicated research which was in the cosmos world and beyond. For that reason he knew more about God than the god most of us perceive. His God was in his thoughts and works or karma, not in a ritualistic religious place. It is wrong to say that Hawkins was not a religious person. His karma was his dharma.
-Promod Puri

God And Religion Of Stephen Hawkins


Physically-challenged Stephen Hawking’s mind explored the cosmos, and from where he got a clear picture of how the universe came into existence. In this quest, he could not find the god commonly believed to be up there and responsible for this creation.

However, as a physicist, he found his god in his dedicated daily karmas (works) in the astronomical objects that are too massive and dark to be anything but “black holes” of bottomless pits, and in the Quantum theory explaining the universe at the subatomic depths.
 

His God was in his thoughts and works which is more meaningful and practical than the ritualistic and blind faith which have been created by most of our religious orders.
 

His progressive and scientific religious thoughts expressed thru his devotional investigations are not realized and recognized yet.
 

-By Promod Puri

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A QUESTION OF MORAL AND ETHICS FOR THE SOCIETY


A QUESTION OF MORAL AND ETHICS FOR THE SOCIETY


A person attempts to commit a terrible crime but fails in his or her mission. The individual, however, is apprehended, charged and while accepting graveness of the criminality, is punished with a jail sentence. After completing the required period of the jail term with good behavior certification, the person moves back to the society and starts his or her life afresh as a good citizen.

Does the society have the moral conviction to treat the person as an outcast for the rest of his or her life?
-Promod Puri