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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Science and Spirituality; A Challenge to Physicists by Dr. Pawan Dhar

Dr. Pawan Dhar

Science and Spirituality; A Challenge to Physicists

The dimension of spirituality that exists beyond the physically known universe remains largely unknown. Spirituality is the science of the 'life giving substance'. In physics, we have moved from molecules to atoms to the sub-atomic world and identified many fundamental forces.

However, these forces only attempt to explain how matter is formed. They do not explain the composition and nature of the life giving substance itself. Due to this reason, there is still a huge divide between spiritual sciences and physical sciences. Is their a unified view somewhere? Subhra Priyadarshini
In this new series, Dr. Pawan Dhar, director at Symbiosis School of Biomedical Sciences in Pune, will explore the possibility of a unified view between the two apparently divergent fields of science and spirituality.
The dimension of spirituality that exists beyond the physically known universe remains largely unknown. In this new series, Dr. Pawan Dhar, director at Symbiosis School of Biomedical Sciences in Pune, India will explore the possibility of a unified view between the two apparently divergent fields of science and spirituality.
Thus, to understand the fundamental difference between the living and the non-living, we might need to look in the space beyond the known physical universe. We might need to differentiate between 'energy and intelligent energy', 'motion and emotion', 'mind and matter'.
Given that the same carbon atom that makes charcoal also makes a human being, it is clear that the science of matter cannot explain the fundamental difference between living and non-living. Several questions arise when we leave known physical dimensions and move into the unknown space of life energies.

What is the composition of soul? Does soul have a periodic table? What needs to be added to solar energy to make it 'soular energy'? How many layers beyond the physical body are we composed of? Are there any scientific means to explore spiritual dimensions? What are the technological innovations needed to capture each layer? Can we photograph mind and soul? What is their address? Does the address remain static or does it change?
We know about DNA, RNA and proteins. We are also familiar with terms like genotype and phenotype, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and so on. Currently, biological science deals with the space between molecular inventory of an organism and its phenotypic outcome. The trouble is that DNA, RNA and protein molecules are 'practically dead' on arrival. They can be chemically synthesized and crystallised. What is chemically synthesized can be part of the living system but cannot be the 'life giving substance' itself.
Thus, to get a fundamental understanding of life, we must connect chemistry with consciousness and beyond. To do so, it would be important to define relevant terms first. Three terms have been explained below. There could be more, depending upon our perception and experience.
Body is what we experience at the gross level. A chemical analysis of the human body shows that it is made of 28 elements of the periodic table with carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen contributing 96% of the body mass. The question is: what happened to the rest more than 82 elements. Why didn't they participate in the formation of body mass? At what time and how was the chemical inventory of the body frozen? If environmental context determined formation of bodies, will the composition of body change if the environment also changes? What are the tolerable replacements? Where do we draw the boundary?
Life energy is like an operating system that runs the show but remains unknown. The subject of life energy has largely remained unexplored. As of now, the scientific community swims at the cellular and molecular surface, studying waves here and there and calling them path-breaking discoveries.
The question is how to scientifically find what runs us? How to see ourselves as operating systems? What kind of preparation is needed? Can we use technology to understand the life giving substance? Logically such technology needs to be equally sophisticated or maybe a little more sophisticated than the life giving energy itself? Can we ever find such a technology? How does it feel like experiencing life in its purest form, without any additional attributes? We do not know.
Mind is what we think of as a buffer between subtle life energies and the gross body. It is like a 'metabolic pathway'that stays between the 'genotype of life energy' and the 'phenotype of the gross body'. It would be nice to scientifically document the contents of the mind to see its dimensions. We see the body, imagine the mind and believe in the life giving substance. This needs to change.
Could there be more gross layers and more subtle layers than this naïve abstraction? People use terms like consciousness, sub-consciousness, super-consciousness, emotions and awareness to describe life. Though one can play with these terms, in reality we only talk about individual perceptions.
To get a clear understanding of life giving elements, their attributes, their interactions, their structural and functional correlates, the subtle-to-gross pathways, we need to generate additional evidence in the space of existence and extend the intellectual front end of science.
People in the spiritual domain use mind as a lab, intent as approach and intensity as the key. People in the scientific world use a reductionist approach to split a system into constituent elements and weave the information into an integrated model.
In the first approach, the technology exists within the body. In the second, technology exists outside the body. To find a meeting point of science and spirituality, it would be prudent to find commonalities between both and propose a logical and evidence-based approach that probes deeper into the spiritual space.

Article is taken from:


On Going Around – “THE CURVED CITY”-Anonymous

The central idea of this essay as”going around” as against a “frontal attack”’ embodying the principle of nonresistance. The modern phrase expresses it well: “ If you can’t lick ‘ em, join’ em”. It defends the curve against the straight line, being bent against being straight, the indirect method against the direct method, the hidden against the open, the recess against the exposed area, the secluded against the ostentatious, etc. All these ideas are expressed in the Chinese language by one and the same word, CHU, which occurs in the essay sixty three times, but has to be rendered differently as “going around”, ”round”, ”curve”, ”bent”, ”indirect”, “hidden”’ etc. Some of the play on the word is lost in the translation, but the main idea is quiet clear.

Someone asked me why I call it a “curved city”. “Because it follows the bends of the ground, as you see”, I answered.
“So you like the crooked instead of the straight. Why don’t you make it straight?”

“that I cannot do”, I said.” You know that straight means staright, but you do not know that being curved does not mean being crooked. Look at the universe and all its things and study its principles. The firmaments go around us, and the earth turns around. The four seasons follow one another in a cycle, and the seven constellations rotate in the skies. The important thing in a mountain is its undulating sweep, in water its meandering curves, in a dragon its spinning around, in a tiger its crouching gesture before the pounce, in a bird its circling the sky, in an old cypress its twists and bends. Therefore the Wuyi Mountain is famous for its ‘nine bends’, and a balcony for its ‘hexagonal corners’. The ‘four recesses’ of a pond control the outflow of water, and the ‘one graceful curve’ of the crescent moon adorns the skies. The spring becomes more beautiful in the Serpentine Park [Chukiang, famous park south of Tang capital, Chang-an], flowers seem all the more surprising on a curved path, and friends lined up to drink on the bends of a curving stream enjoy it the more. Objects have their hidden parts, the heart has its secret corners, affairs have their complicated turns, and men’s words have their intricate meanings and motives. That is why we say of a good artist that he has mastered the ‘secrets’ of the trade , and speak of good moral teachings as reaching the ‘inner depths’ of man, and we speak of a wise settling of affairs as a good ‘round’ compromise, and of helping to overcome difficulties as a ‘roundabout’ achievement . and, of course, there are 3,300 rules of the so-called ‘CHU etiquette’. So you see the meaning of being round and curved is comprehensive and all embracing”.
“Then you hate what is straight?”
“I did not say that. In all arts and industry, all human affairs and relations, the combination of the straight and the curved makes the best results. In archery, the bow is bent, but the arrow is straight. In a boat, the mast must be straight while the sails must bend. In fishing the line is straight while the hook is curved, and in carpentry and masonry, you a veto have both guiding line and the T-square, and the compasses. Sometimes it is better to give a sly hint than advice to a friend, and kings and rulers can be made to see your point by a covered , indirect analogy better that by straight forward counsel. There are time when an official must carry out the law rigidly even to the point of killing his own close relatives, and other times when the father covers up for [refuses to inform on] the son and vice versa. Confucius said, ‘ In times of peace, speak and act by stern principles, but in times of bad government, act by stern principles but speak very carefully’. Sometimes one must act straight, and sometimes one must not. By going around, one accomplishes what is a straight purpose ,and by being firm but polite, one gets at the heart of the matter”.
“If so., then why do you choose the curve?”
“Ah, indeed! I would like to lead the ruler by straight forward advice but the ruler would not follow, try to influence fiends by frank criticism but the friends would not listen. I tried to discipline the family by rigid rules but the family would not take it, and I tried to live by stern principles and society thought me lacking in tact. So in such a world, a man does not hold his head high against the sky, nor does he tread firmly on earth. He bows and kowtows and sits gingerly on a seat corner. He circles round the bank until he finds a place where he can ford the stream. He doubles up in his sleep for rest, bends his body or his rams when carrying things, and crooks his legs when sitting on the ground. Looking up at the sun, he tilts his head. So then we do everything indirectly; we try to circumscribe an obstacle, go around a difficulty, and answer by evasion. If a post does not pay enough, we ‘stoop’ to accept it, and when we find we cannot satisfy everybody, we have a compromise, or ‘round about’, solution. We ‘yield’ to violence, ‘suffer’ sickness and sorrow, ‘go around’ and avoid those who would hurt us, and ‘endure’ and ‘give ground’ in time of turmoil and chaos. If someone calls me a ‘cow’, I will ‘roundly’ admit that, too. There are so many applications of the principle of going around. Things which are curved are so useful, like the plowshare, the hollowed chisel, and the wicker basket”.
“You seem to have made out a good case for the curved”, my friend said. “Greta historians sometimes bent their heads and great generals sometimes bent their knees. The great poet Tao Yuanming sometimes bent his waist to make a bow. Confucius himself enjoyed sleeping head on a crooked arm. Well, well, you have made a good point there”.

There are two ways of carving roast, one by cutting it through with a chopper, and the better way by prying around the interstices of a joint.
All nature move sin curves. I do not think it is possible to find a single straight line in plants, animals, and minerals. The heavenly bodies are proverbially round and certainly clouds are never square. Canals are straight but not rivers. A bird’s leg is constructed like a spring suspension. In this is contained the esthetic principle of calligraphy. A good calligraphist never makes a straight line, but tries to suggest a sinuous paw or a curving vine. ” A horizontal line should contain three bends “, said Wang Shichih, the “Prince of calligraphists”. That is why I abhor the cubist paintings: they are the products of an engineer’s draft board, not of an artist. A cubist does not even begin to understand the aesthetics of natural forms. Functional architecture is all right for factory buildings. Definitely, art has sold out to commerce.
In morals, the combination of strength and grace is even more important in the development of human character. I think a wife can get very tired of a husband who says gracefully, “yes, my dear” all the time. All beauty and all character come from the combination of strength and grace. Someday I would like to write an essay on this as a general aesthetic principle.

Kilogram Story “How Much Is a Kilogram? by James Trefil

I have taken just one example from ‘101 Things You Don't Know about Science and No One Else Does Either’ by James Trefil, because the very basis of Science is measurability. Read this interesting info in this link……..

“How Much Is a Kilogram?

When you buy hamburger in a supermarket, you aren't likely to worry that the weight written on your package is incorrect. This is because there is a system stretching from your neighborhood store to scientific laboratories around the world devoted to making sure that scales are correctly calibrated. Maintaining accurate standards of measurement has always been a traditional responsibility of governments, and today it is a major scientific undertaking. But old-fashioned or modern, the basic idea is the samethe government sets the standard for weight or length or whatever, to which everyone within that government's jurisdiction must adhere.

The oldest such standard we know of is the Babylonian mina, a unit of weight equal to about a pound and a half. The standards were kept in the form of carved ducks (five mina) and swans (ten mina), and were presumably used in balances to weigh merchandise. In the Magna Carta, King John agreed that ''there shall be standard measures for wine, corn, and ale throughout the kingdom." The marshal of the great medieval fairs at Champagne kept an iron rod and required that all bolts of cloth sold at the fair be as wide as the rod. For most of recorded history each
country has kept various different standards for different purposes. In America, for example, we measure land in acres, grain production in bushels, and height in feet and inches. According to the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, there are no fewer than eighteen different kinds of units called the barrel, for measuring everything from liquor to petroleum. There is even a barrel used exclusively to measure cranberries! It was, I suppose, to get away from these sorts of confusions that the nations of the industrialized world signed the Treaty of the Meter in 1875. According to this treaty, ''the" kilogram and "the" meter were to be kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris, and secondary standards were to be maintained in other national capitals. In the United States, they were kept at the Bureau of Standards (now the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, or NIST) in Washington, D.C. The meter was the distance between two marks on a length of platinum-iridium alloy, the kilogram the mass of a specific cylinder of the same stuff.

But since the setting of these simple, intuitive standards, advances of technology have made them obsolete. It's all very well for "the" meter to reside in a vault in Paris, but it would be much more convenient if everybody could have access to a uniform standard. Thus the trend has been away from the kind of centralized standard-keeping codified in the Treaty of the Meter and toward standards based on the one truly universal thing we know about the properties of atoms. The development of the atomic clock is one example of such a move, the new standards for the meter another. In 1960 the platinum-iridium bar was discarded and the meter redefined as 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of a particular color of light emitted by a krypton atom. Since every krypton atom in the world is the same, this redefinition meant that every laboratory in the world could maintain its own standard meter. In 1983, following further development of the atomic clock, the meter was redefined as the distance light travels through the vacuum in 1/299,792,458 second. Again, this standard can be maintained in any laboratory. But the kilogram hasn't changed. It's still that same cylinder sitting inside three protective bell jars on a quartz slab inside a vault in Paris. Even in such an environment, however, atoms of other substances stick to the cylinder's surface. Until 1994 it was cleaned periodically by an old technician using a chamois cloth. (I remember listening to an absolutely fascinating argument at a NIST lunch over whether or not removing atoms by washing was worse than letting gases accumulate on the surface.) When the United States wants to check whether its version of the kilogram still matches the standard in Paris, the American kilogram has to be carried overseas for tests. The last time this was done, in 1984, two scientists went with it one to carry it, the other to catch it if it fell.

This is no way to run a high-tech society, and there is an enormous push to develop an atomic mass standard and put ''the" kilogram into a museum. One technology that may allow us to do this is the new technique of isolating single atoms in a complex "trap" made of electrical and magnetic forces so that they can be studied for months at a time. These single atoms stay in the traps so long that they acquire names (the first, a barium atom trapped in Munich in the 1980s, was called Astrid). It is not too difficult to determine the mass of individual atoms to high
accuracy; the problem is counting the number of atoms in a sample big enough to serve as a mass standard.

The cylinder that now constitutes "the" kilogram contains approximately 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms, so even if we knew how much each one weighed to incredible accuracy, we'd have a real problem knowing how many to add. At the moment, at least five different techniques are being developed to give the kilogram an atomic definition, and I don't imagine it will be long before one of them succeeds. When this happens, the
kilogram will join the meter in its museum.”

Book Of Wisdom

In THE SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE' by GUY MURCHIE explains very  nicely, scientifically and philosophically the wisdom as experienced by enlightened souls.

I would equate this book with any great scripture of the world but a scripture for the educated people, for the intellectually advanced souls and the scientifically probing minds.

It is a very essential book for anyone who is interested in understanding and learning about life in its totality without any prejudice or conditioning either religious or social or cultural or ideological, but based on pure facts as they are. 

Any education or academic qualification with a reading of this book would enhance the understanding of the subject better through the very broad approaches it makes in to any area of life.

It is so unique that it beats many encyclopedias in information; it surpasses many scriptures in its wisdom and overwhelms everyone with its interpretation and as for language it is marvelously poetic.