"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science". Einstein
"What has a man to contend with who undertakes to establish a new science? He has the opposition of all the former opinions of the world in regard to it, and all their influence. He will be misunderstood by fools and misrepresented by knaves, for his science will tear down their fortress or belief and they will use all their skill and deception to defeat their enemy. Their weapon is their tongue, and the tongue of a hypocrite is of all weapons the most deadly to truth: for it can assume the voice form of an angel while it is sapping your very life's blood from your soul. Its life and happiness are its own torment. Ever since the world began, science has had this enemy to contend with, and some very hard battles have been fought before error would leave the field." Dr. P. P. Quimby
In the last section Part IX A, we had a glimpse of the philosophical side of expositions on the “Who Am I” and in this issue; I shall try to get into the scientific foundations through certain relevant principles of established physics as stated by the experts in both the fields of physics as well as philosophy. Physics has consented to interchangeability of matter and energy but the conscientious amalgamation of Consciousness in physics is still a remote dream. It is heartening to see that there is awareness growing lately about this topic in the scientific community in the various fields. I hope to take a brief detour into this still emerging field.
The often quoted word in physics called, “Quantum” (L. quantus, how much) means quantity or amount, especially a specific amount - a naturally fixed minimum amount of some entity which is such that all other amounts of that entity occurring in physical processes in nature are integral multiples thereof; alternatively the smallest quantity of some physical property, such as energy or a particle with such a unit of energy, that a system can possess according to the quantum theory.
Einstein first used it in 1905 and his group reintroduced it in 1922 and used it in their theory of relativity in “Quantum Mechanics” while Max Plank first used it in1900 and reintroduced it in 1912 - a less popular name in non scientific society, used it in his “Quantum Theory” of the emission and absorption of electromagnetic energy not continuously but in finite steps. We shall be concerned here with the Einstein’s concept for our relevance.
There are many aspects of modern physics which seem to violate our intuition. The classical theory of physics which was held from the time of Newton until this century provided an orderly model of a world made of the visible objects moving around and pushing each other in (un)predictable ways. The mathematics could be difficult, but the basic ideas meshed with our common sense notions of how the world works. Starting at the beginning of this century, our physical theories began to include aspects which ran counter to that common sense, and yet the theories consistently (seen?) made accurate predictions of experiments which could not be explained with Newtonian physics. Gradually, and despite much resistance, physicists have been forced to accept these new results. Again it shouldn’t be seen as the end of all.
Traditionally, Physics doesn’t have the word “Consciousness” in its lexicon so far but the advanced scientists have tried to corroborate them through certain empirical experiments and observations in an attempt to clear the mist. I shall attempt to examine this much debated controversial concept amongst the scientists, sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, theologians in various fields including the medicine in my humble way.
It is important and vital because it has profound implications for human society as well as it opens new avenues for scientific research. It is quite interesting to note that the modern scientists have started a search for the so called Higgs Particle or Higgs Boson in the name of God. So far it remains an enigma for a common person as well as the scientists and it is doubted if they ever will find the God particle in their physical laboratories. They are not even sure, if such particle exists.
Physicists are set to announce the latest results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), but what exactly is the Higgs boson, why do people call it the 'god particle' and what would its discovery mean for physics? http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/dec/13/higgs-boson-lhc-explained
Electromagnetism describes how particles interact with photons, tiny packets of electromagnetic radiation. In a similar way, the weak force describes how two other entities, the W and Z particles, interact with electrons, quarks, neutrinos and others. There is one very important difference between these two interactions: photons have no mass, while the masses of W and Z are huge. In fact, they are some of the most massive particles known.
The first inclination is to assume that W and Z simply exist and interact with other elemental particles. But for mathematical reasons, the giant masses of W and Z raise inconsistencies in the Standard Model. To address this, physicists postulate that there must be at least one other particle -- the Higgs boson.
The simplest theories predict only one boson, but others say there might be several. In fact, the search for the Higgs particle(s) is some of the most exciting research happening, because it could lead to completely new discoveries in particle physics. Some theorists say it could bring to light entirely new types of strong interactions, and others believe research will reveal a new fundamental physical symmetry called "supersymmetry."
Higgs Boson: One page explanation
In 1993, the UK Science Minister, William Waldegrave, challenged physicists to produce an answer that would fit on one page to the question 'What is the Higgs boson, and why do we want to find it?' More at: http://www.phy.uct.ac.za/courses/phy400w/particle/higgs.htm
There are many such serious inconsistencies that our science is beseeched with. Our so called discoveries may be better termed as rediscoveries of what is there in the nature already present. There is nothing new about.
Suffice to say that scientists are still debating on the “Speed of Light” in the background of Einstein’s theories of Relativity. The fastest speed so far known to the present day scientists is the “Speed of Light”. The speed of light in vacuum, usually denoted by c, is a ‘physical constant’ important in many areas of physics. Its value is 299,792,458 metres per second. In the theory of relativity, c interrelates space and time, and appears in the famous equation of mass–energy equivalence E = mc2.
Speed of Light:
The recent controversial but very meaningful findings concerning the speed of light is encouraging as well as enlightening. Scientists have posted new results that confirm measurements made in September that a beam of subatomic particles had travelled faster than the speed of light. (Cf. More in: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8783011/Speed-of-light-broken-at-CERN-scientists-claim.html)
...in an attempt to address a potential flaw in their original experiment, they again showed that the neutrons arrived at the Italian site some 60 billionths of a second faster than if they had been travelling at the speed of light.
"If this result were true ... then the structure of the world might be very different from what we believe. Einstein's theory of relativity is built on the idea that there is an absolute cosmic speed limit — that light is the thing traveling at this speed is beside the point. Among other things, the existence of that speed limit sets the structure of causality in the Universe.” ...(Adam Frank)
Bell’s Theorem in nutshell:
Gary Felder in an explanation of ‘Bell’s Theorem’ described ... “I am going to discuss one of those hypotheses, called nonlocality here”. Its converse, locality, is the principle that an event which happens at one place can't instantaneously affect/transmit an event someplace else. For example: if a distant star were to suddenly blow up tomorrow, the principle of locality says that there is no way we could know about this event or be affected by it until something, e.g. a light beam, had time to travel from that star to Earth. Aside from being intuitive, locality seems to be necessary for relativity theory, which predicts that no signal can propagate faster than the speed of light.
In 1935, several years after quantum mechanics had been developed; Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen (EPR) published a paper which showed that under certain circumstances quantum mechanics predicted a breakdown of locality. Specifically he showed that according to the theory I could put a particle in a measuring device at one location and, simply by doing that, instantly influence another particle arbitrarily far away. They refused to believe that this effect, which Einstein later called "spooky action at a distance" could really happen, and thus viewed it as evidence that quantum mechanics was incomplete. It also exposed the greatest weakness and hubris of science and the scientists.
Almost thirty years later J.S. Bell proved that the results of quantum mechanics could not be explained by any theory which preserved locality....Years later the experiments were done, and the predictions of quantum mechanics proved to be incomplete. In short, locality is dead.
For anyone who knows anything about Einstein's theory of relativity this result should be particularly disturbing, as it was to Einstein himself. A key notion of relativity is the idea that nothing can communicate with anything else faster than light. If this were to be violated the whole structure of relativity would be in jeopardy. Before abandoning relativity, however, we should look a little more closely at what it means to "communicate." This problem will only arise if somehow I can send a message to someone faster than light.
A much simpler introduction to the theorem, with some loss of completeness, has been prepared. You may access an html or pdf version with the links to the right, for a more astute reader.
In 1975 Stapp called Bell's Theorem "the most profound discovery of science."
In this document, we shall explore the theorem. We assume some familiarity with the concept of wave-particle duality; a document on this may be found here. We also assume considerable familiarity with the Stern-Gerlach experiment and the concept of a correlation experiment; a document on these may be found here.
More on entagled particles in nutshell at: http://quantumweird.wordpress.com/quantum-weirdness-a-matter-of-relativity-part-5/
This works even if the two entangled electrons are very far apart - at the opposite sides of the galaxy. I could measure the first electron on this side of the galaxy while you measure the second electron on the opposite side of the galaxy. As soon as I find it to be spin up or spin down, I know what result you would get too. This is strange because if you were to send me a message from across the galaxy, it would take 100,000 years to reach me at the speed of light.
This "action at a distance" is known as the EPR Paradox, but in fact there is no paradox. Einstein's relativity requires that no information travels faster than light ... However, quantum entanglement does not allow you to send any information....
More on EPR Paradox, Bell’s Theorem and confession of Einstein that Quantum Mechanics theory was incomplete. Access the link for more:
Physics and Consciousness: Quantum Interconnectedness
Nature of Mind, Body and Spirit
Quantum Interconnectedness has received some attention in the last decades; physicists have come to realize that the universe is interconnected in much subtler ways than had once thought. In quantum physics the observer and the observed can no longer be separated and the whole is more fundamental than the part.
The mathematical principles of this "new" science may help explain and recognize consciousness as a fundamental part of reality. The similarities between mind and quantum theory undoubtedly abound. The intent of this web site, however, is an attempt to explain *some* of the dynamics of physics and how it quantumly relates to consciousness.
When we have a narrow perception of reality it creates illusionary lines of separation. This separation transverses from personal, societal, cultural and expanding into the world. The interconnectedness of the parts of the whole allows us to realize our oneness with all things.
Let us care to examine the observations of a biologist hereunder on the creational DNA music and the related amino acid protein molecules.
You are listening to actual DNA music called "Spidroin" by biologist Dr. Mary Anne Clark. "It is produced from the primary and secondary structure of protein sequences...pitch is determined by amino acid identity and instrumentation is chosen according to protein folding pattern, with different instruments representing regions of alpha-helix, beta-strands and turns."
The twenty amino acids can be assigned to a musical scale, for example the C-major scale below:
In this example the amino acids are ordered from hydrophobic = water-insoluble (I «» c) to hydrophilic = water-soluble (R «» a2), as far as possible.
The duration of each note varies with the number of DNA (DesoxyriboNucleic Acid) codons associated with the amino acid. The DNA codons are part of the genetic information for protein synthesis on the chromosomes of each cell's nucleus. Our DNA molecules carry the encoded message which determines their transmission of the message consciously without our knowledge but what determines that consciousness is a mystery.
Also peruse: http://www.ucm.es/info/respira/resources/PDF/004.pdf
Amit Goswami (1989) has developed a paradox-free interpretation of quantum mechanics based on the notion that consciousness collapses the quantum wave function. This solution of quantum measurement theory sheds light on the nature of consciousness. Quantum theory is applied to the mind–brain problem and a solution (quantum functionalism) is proposed for the paradox of the causal potency of the conscious mind and of self-reference. Cognitive and neurophysiological data are also reviewed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Amit Goswami is a theoretical nuclear physicist and member of The University of Oregon Institute for Theoretical Physics since 1968, teaching physics for 32 years. After a period of distress and frustration in his private and professional life starting at the age 38, his research interests shifted to quantum cosmology, quantum measurement theory, and applications of quantum mechanics to the mind-body problem.
There is a new branch in physics and neurosciences emerging with a Theory of Everything that is suggested to be incomplete without inclusion of Consciousness in it.
In an article in Time magazine, Steven Pinker on 29 January 2007, in a post “The Brain: the Mystery of Consciousness”, describes the Consciousness in two parts, Easy and Difficult Problems. On his views on Easy Problem, he says: “So neuroscientists are well on the way to identifying the neural correlates of consciousness, a part of the Easy Problem. But what about explaining how these events actually cause consciousness in the sense of inner experience--the Hard Problem?
No one knows what to do with the Hard Problem. Some people may see it as an opening to sneak the soul back in, but this just relabels the mystery of "consciousness" as the mystery of "the soul"--a word game that provides no insight.”
This is where I place my bet, though I admit that the theory could be demolished when an unborn genius--a Darwin or Einstein of consciousness--comes up with a flabbergasting new idea that suddenly makes it all clear to us.
Steven Pinker is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard and the author of The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate
Hinduism & Quantum Physics
The basic oneness of the universe is not only the central characteristic of the mystical experience, but is also one of the most important revelations of modern physics. Let us first examine the Bell's Theorem, Vedanta and Quantum Physics, Human consciousness and the physical world in the light of our above evidence as seen through some controversies in science and physics which have been more self satisfying linguistics than truly scientific evidence. It reminds me of the Italian maxim: “SE NON È VERO, È BEN TROVATO” means “even if it is not true, it is well conceived or cleverly invented”. If we proudly declare ourselves scientific, knowing our follies and take pride in deriding others as non-scientific, what can be more hypocritical? Yet we call for lack of scientific evidence in them. Long back in antiquity, Indian Sages had deciphered and declared what we are still shovelling in the field of Human Consciousness through our ill conceived principles of physics. Kindly bear with me and examine the following statements from the Indian scriptures:
'Om Isha vasyam idam sarvam, yat kincha jagatyam jagat'
"All this - whatever exists in this changing universe, is pervaded by God"
Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings)
Isavasyam idam sarvam (the entire universe is permeated by God)
"Om purnamadah purnamidam purnaat purnamudachyate,
purnasya purnamadaya purnamevaavashishyate"
"That (pure consciousness) is full (perfect); this (the manifest universe of matter; of names and forms being maya) is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness." -Peace invocation- Isa Upanishad
In simple mathematical terms, Brahman or Consciousness is equated with the great “Zero (O)”; that when added, subtracted or divided; the result is always “Zero” and thus it represents the unchangeable ‘Highest Self’.
The Supreme Brahman (God) is the only Reality. The idea of the phenomenal universe is falsely superimposed upon it."
- Says Swami Nikhilananda of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Centre, New York.
Brahman the primodial Energy has intrinsic power to manifest as ‘Jagat’ (Universe) and ‘Jiva’ (living Beings). There is only one truth; One Singularity. That is Brahman. It has the power to manifest as the Creation. It can be experienced in the embryonic life where a single cell develops into a loving beautiful baby of its own kind and species.
Monkey procreates into a monkey and a human cell procreates a human baby. Both are a magic and a mystery of the creation we still do not understand. But it must be guided through some “Consciousness” in the minutest cells through the genetic encoding but it needs to ponder over the findings of Dr Mary Anne Clark, the biologist mentioned above. This perfection in the transmission of the biological message unfailingly must be recognised as the best marvel of nature that still eludes us in our creational understanding. Somewhere something is missing.
This power of Brahman is called ‘Maya’. It creates a ‘Veil ‘of ‘Plurality‘.
Man’s cognition of the world as pluralistic exists only till he realizes the “Truth”. He then understands that there is only One Truth, the Singularity (Brahman). There is no Plurality i.e. “Ekoham Bahusyam” (Truth is one that appears as many), the Vedas declare so. Again it is asserted in this aphorism: Ekam sat viprah bahuda vadanti (there is only one, but wise one express it differently).
One of the outstanding and exceptional teachings in the Upanishads is that the phenomenal universe is a manifestation rather than a creation. One absolute Reality has been manifested into many. This is different from the western idea of a creator who is separate from the creation. Duality is completely discarded in the teachings of the Upanishads. Eko’ham bahu syam. There is only One, here, there, and everywhere. The One is Brahman, the Upanishadic term for the Reality, or pure consciousness. “Brahman is real,” state the Upanishads, “and the transitory objects of the world are unreal.” Everything other than Brahman is illusory. Brahman is the source of life, light, and existence. The purpose of life is to realize this truth.
The tendency of most people is to look externally to the objects of the world for happiness. The Upanishads, on the other hand, tell us that happiness is not to be found in the things of the world. Those things, including relationships, are fleeting, and what is fleeting cannot provide lasting peace or joy.
The Upanishads tell us to look within to find what is everlasting. “Man looks toward what is without, and sees not what is within,” say the Upanishads. “Rare is he who, longing for immortality, shuts his eyes to what is without and beholds the Self. Fools follow the desires of the flesh and fall into the snare of all encompassing death, but the wise, knowing the Self as eternal, seek not the things that pass away.”
The Implications of this Theorem are Staggering:
In recent years physicists had to address the interplay of consciousness and the physical world. In Quantum Physics much has been made over Bell's Theorem. The implications of this theorem and the experimental findings that flow from it are devastating. They force us to consider that the entire notion of a purely objective world is in conflict not only with the theory of quantum mechanics (and the speed of light limitation), but with the facts drawn from actual experiments. These findings point insistently to a profound interaction between conscious mental activity and the physical world itself. They are perfectly in consonance with our perceptions of the realities of the world as expounded by the ancient rishis or sages.
The Sages’ Envision
This realisation of the controversy through the above scientific discourse, it is amply clear that this entire universe is “interconnected” by each other through forces like nonlocality of Bell’s Theorem that are difficult to prove but easy to observe. Its awareness and acceptability has to be realised by consciously being aware of the inherent weakness of the current physical science to reproduce.
This should also help us understand some of the phenomena that we do not understand but see it in front of our eyes occuring yet we deny their occurrence. It is simply stupefying. The Sages envisioned the Srutis through their meditation and interconnections with some “Supernatural Power” that is highly subjective to the individual. This is impossible to prove or disprove by our current physical science on one hand and cannot be denied their validity on other hand. Read more at:
Upanishads, Bell Theorem and Holographic Universe
Imagine, two particles once in contact, separated even to the ends of the universe, change instantaneously when a change occurs in one of them!
Slowly, new ideas are emerging to explain these unthinkable occurrences. This phenomenon should open up our quest for searching “Consciousness” which is at the core of our worldly existence. How an entangled particle is aware of the change taking place in its twin at the unimaginable polar distance, yet reacting exactly in a predictable manner is something we have to content with till further?
One view is that, in some unexplainable way, the separated particles are still in contact although separated in space. This is the suggestion of the French physicist Bernard D'Espagnat.
In 1979, writing about quantum reality, he said that "the entire notion of an external, fixed, objective world now lies in conflict not only with quantum theory, but in facts drawn from actual experiments.... in some sense all these objects constitute an indivisible whole." More at:
Interestingly, our modern science is still struggling to find out the existence of God by the so called imaginary “God Particle” they call it Higgs Particle. There is no such particle to ascribe to God. It was known to the ancient Indian monks right from the very beginning what the modernists are embarrassingly spending huge amount of money in its research. It can only be discovered in the depths of the silence of our own heart through transcendental meditation or whatever name we may give. We must learn to differentiate between an objective particulate matter and a thought process as a subjective experience.
Paramahamsa Tewari in his “Spiritual Foundations” explains further the esoteric evolution of matter from the energy in Vedic concept. The five basic elements - sky, air, fire, water, and earth form in the order presented here with the vibrations created by the utterance of the Divine word which shakes the sky (aakaash or ether)gradually condensing into air into fire into water into earth. He has formulated them as follows:
The aakaash itself becomes the basic matter that further assembles terrestrial matter like air, water, and elements of earth. The oscillatory movements of finer matter and annihilation of material particles create heat and light (fire).
“I am one, should become many”. Brahman, the One, with the body of aakaash, churned himself to create the cosmic worlds so as to become many, or to assume many forms. ”He became knowledge, and He became ignorance. He became truth, and He became falsehood”: Taittiriyopanishad. The Nirvikar Brahman developed vikar and this happened due to the creation of cosmic matter within Brahman from the energy of Brahman and from the Will of Brahman. This notion of oscillatory movement also validates the Divine Dance of Shiva to cause this vibratory motion in the creational movements.
Thus the fundamental lesson of yoga inherent in the concept of pratyahara is the relinquishing of the ‘Lower mind (Self)’ to the realisation of the ‘Higher Self’. Many wonderful insights into the role of the senses in the spiritual life are given in Srimad Bhagavad Gita (SBG):
“The illuminated One has learned to deftly withdraw the senses from the attractions of the world, just as the turtle naturally pulls in its limbs to protect itself.”
~ SBG Chapter 2, V. 58
“… Even those minds that know the path can be dragged away from it by these unruly indriyas and senses.”
~ SBG Chapter 2, V. 60
“The delights (contagious) that are contact-born [of the senses] are verily the wombs of pain; they have, oh son of Kunti, a beginning and an end. No wise person rejoices in them.”
~ SBG Chapter 5, V. 22
“Each soul is potentially “Divine”.
The goal of life is to manifest this divinity within by controlling the nature, external (through physical sciences, technology, and socio-political processes) and internal (through ethical, aesthetic, and religious processes): This is the whole of religion. Doctrines or dogmas or rituals or books or temples or forms, are but secondary details."
In an interesting read, let us examine one of the much talked about phenomena called UFOs. UFOs, aliens and consciousness
“The ever-colorful "space visitors" encountered since 1947 could be the vanguards of an unknown manifestation of consciousness.”
I must conclude here on this vast exploratory emerging hotly debated topic in the scientific field and I am pleased to note it that the modern science has woken up by acknowledging the reality of Consciousness.
Thus it expounds in the Vedic concepts, our true Reality by contemplating on this basic enquiry, “Who Am I”? This is also the very essence of the ancient Indian wisdom for establishing the humanity in harmony with itself by establishing in harmony with the Nature. This liberates us from the pangs of the ephemeral world.
In my next article, I shall start elaborating on the “Antarangas” and get to know our own self and the reality through the techniques as taught by the Great Sage Patanjali through Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
(Dr. O. P. Sudrania is a senior retired teacher in surgery and a medico-legal counsellor; now also engaged in research of spiritual and socio-political analytical science as a part of service to humanity.)