Truth can be pursued only by two persons in this world, one is a scientist and the other is a saint. In the strict sense, science will not give direct perception of the truth, but a saint can directly experience the truth through his own means. Science is some thing like a geometrical concept of asymptote .That means it tries to reach the goal but never reaches. Thus, the science progress will be nearer to the truth but never reaches the truth, because truth can only be experienced but cannot be understood through intellectual means. There is no feeling or direct experience of facts in the study of science.
The one important common point that both scientist and saint will accept is that our sensory perception is very limited and hence it is necessary to transcend the knowledge beyond senses to understand this universe. The only difference is their technique to do that. Science reaches to transcendental knowledge through reasoning and expresses the facts in the language of mathematics and equations where as a saint tries to experience directly the transcendental state and not so much interested to express it as he knows that it can only be experienced but cannot be expressed in a complete sense. But in the history these mystical facts were expressed in poetic language , cautiously stressing the limitedness of any kind of expression regarding the truth very well.
This article is my small effort to synthesize both their views to understand the truth.
The Real World
Let me tell you first of all how we perceive the world around us. We perceive this world with our five senses. Hence this world is appearing like this to us. The five senses are mere external instruments .The matter around us creates disturbance in our senses and fires impulse signals in the corresponding connected sensory nerves and these impulses are stored in the brain at various nerve centers. They will be recalled, some automatically and some as per our wish as and when required (we call this generally as memory) and we react in the nature basing on the cumulative effect of the previously stored impulses in the brain. This reaction leaves again some mental impressions basing on which we behave further. This is a continuous chain. In fact every conscious action will leave an impression in our experiencing faculty thus influencing our further psychological behavior. Similarly other creatures like amoeba, birds etc also perceive this world according to their own sensory mechanisms and capability. Amoeba reacts to the temperature differences around it and moves but it cannot perceive various colors like us. Hence this world appears to it differently. Suppose in the evolution if we have got an organ to sense magnetic fields around us, this world appears entirely different to us as we are in gigantic earth’s magnetic field! Thus every creature including man tries to understand the nature according to its level of perception and again react to the nature depending upon the ability of quick response that has got through developed nervous system in the evolution. Thus to perceive this world, we need senses (the instrument), organs (nerves and nerve centers in brain) and the most important thing is mind. Suppose, if you are studying with much concentration in a library, and if a wall alarm rings still you may not here it. Here, there is an external vibration (alarm),reached to your sense (ear),nerve signal transmitted through auditory nerve to the brain(nerve center) but still you cannot here because your mind is not involved as it is involved in your study. Thus only if your faculty of mind is involved in the process of perception, then alone you can experience the phenomenon out side. Here brain and mind are different. Brain is a material thing composed of richly interconnected nerves lump, but mind is basically the process of interaction with the world around us. In lower species like amoeba there is no brain because there are no nerves in it, but it has mind because it interacts with nature. Thus the senses, nerves, brain and our body are mere apparatus and mind is a process going on between the apparatus and the external world .The base for the process of interaction is the consciousness. It is the ruling faculty of any creature. It experiences objects and feelings from external world through the apparatus and again directs the reactions with the external world through this apparatus and the whole process involved in this is nothing but mind. I can give you simple analogies for this concept. Suppose, if a robot is working with all its hands and legs like a man in a company as per its preprogrammed software, then we can view its material form as our physical body, preprogrammed software instructions as our mind. Then what is consciousness? It is the intelligence of the programmer in writing that software code! The consciousness is the base on which every thing is projected. In a theater, the characters in the picture are projected on to the screen. The whole drama with full of passions and feelings among the characters will go on, with the screen as back drop. But none of these feelings can attach to the screen. In a similar way, the world is projected through mind on our consciousness, the experiencing faculty, but nothing can attach to it. It is just a witness experiencing the panorama of life. The senses, brain (the nerve center) and mind should involve simultaneously in the act of perception for any creature to be conscious of this world. The consciousness in us (that which is experiencing) is the sign of life for every creature. If any of the three faculties that is the sensory capability, brain or mental involvement is changed in the creature then the same thing is experienced in a different form. In the evolution these three faculties evolved differently for different creatures and hence each creature manifests different degree of consciousness and perceives the same reality differently and calls it as its world. Hence this world is relative and subjective phenomenon. The most important point that I would like my readers to note is; it is wrong to ask what the real world is? There is no real world at all! Each creature will have its own world basing on its experience. But every creature, including man, thinks that the world it perceives is real. This is just like as our dream experience. As long as we are in a dream we think that dream as the reality and involves in it, so also is this world.
Then what is life? We have seen that matter around us creates disturbances and impulses in nerve centers and there by we react, creating a disturbance in the nature in the form of action and reaction. Thus the interaction results are being fed back at every moment to the experiencing faculty of the creature and basing on that creature responds further. Hence there is a feedback connection between external world and every creature and also among its various organs. This interaction is not a mere process but a process involved with material and energy transfer. Every creature takes air, food from this nature and by combustion, energy is liberated in each cell of the living organism. With this energy every creature again reacts with the nature performing various life activities and leaving out waste products. Thus there is an exchange of matter and energy from each cell of the body in the process of interaction. But, theoretically, flow of energy or matter from one system to other is possible only if there is non equilibrium. Under equilibrium conditions, no matter or energy can flow. Hence the interactions of the living creature with the nature are accompanied in nonequilibrium environmental conditions with properly connected feedback system. Further, this feed back is positive but not negative, because in nature only systems involving positive feed back interactions move far from equilibrium states with a sign of growth or drastic changes which are also the predominant characteristics of life and evolution of living creatures on this earth. But if we observe, growth in every creature is accompanied in this interaction process by its own. That is every creature is self making, an autopoetic system, it can make its own components of the body through interactions involving exchange of matter and energy with nature. Every creature is duplicating its first cell by its own and again these cells are divided and group of cells thus formed are becoming tissues, and various tissues are developing into organs and various organs into whole body with inherent defensive mechanisms and excellent adaptability features to minute disturbances in the nature. Further, the interactions by living creature with the nature are of non linear type. That is, there is no definite possible reaction for a definite action. We cannot predict the reaction in living creatures. For example if we kick a ball with a certain force we can predict its motion with definiteness as per physics laws framing linear equations but if we kick a dog with some force, we are not definite about its reaction, it may run or it may even bite us. The non predictability is one of the important characteristic of non linear interactions and the same is also observed in living beings also. Another remarkable feature is that each cell of a living creature exchanges its matter with surroundings but still it never looses its structure. Such structures are called dissipative structures. They will have definite form and exist with a boundary separating its environment and to your surprise its boundary is also made by its own components by itself! The same is the case with every living cell, organ and the whole creature. Hence,
The living creature can be modeled as an autopoietic system having continuous positive feedback nonlinear interactive process with its environment and among its components, involving the exchange of matter and energy under non equilibrium environmental conditions with dissipative structural mechanism; and life is the emergent property of such a system.
The Laws of the universe
From the era of Greek philosophers to the end of nineteenth century, many philosophers and scientists dedicated their lives to know the ultimate constituents of this universe. Much was achieved in this struggle and deduced fundamental laws governing this universe and peculiar constants in the nature. But at the dawn of twentieth century, with the advent of relativistic physics and quantum physics, every one shocked to the results. For the first time in the history of science, every physicist questioned his commonsense and the validity of universal laws. It is realized that we cannot measure anything exactly in this universe, the error lies not in the apparatus but in the nature itself! It is understood and verified several times that our involvement in measuring this nature will change the results of the measurement itself. Thus it is impossible to understand this nature without modifying it. Hence, scientists started describing this universe with probabilistic concepts abandoning the age old Newtonian deterministic view.
Our universal laws and all measurements are subjective and relative. Wherever we stand in this universe we get only relativistic knowledge relating to our frame of reference, but not the absolute knowledge. Every law and every measurement we take in this universe is relativistic but not realistic. Time, space and causation are all mere emergent properties and only exist in the relativistic domain; hence matter and energy are found to be interchangeable and mere emergent properties. The separation of definite form (matter) and formlessness (energy) in this universe is gradually fading out from our mental realm as the science is progressing. That means we are intrinsically webbed in this cosmic universe with the mechanism of interactions previously mentioned as the property of life. Hence, with all the reasoning capability of our mind and sensory perceptions we cannot perceive the absoluteness at all. Thus in studying this universe we are no more an experimenter, but we are a participator. This universe and the world exists as an emergent property as long as our mind (process of interaction) is present, if there is no life (the interaction), there is no universe. Here one thing we must understand, with out mind there is no relativity and there is no universe; and without this universe there is no interaction and hence the mind. Hence mind and matter though appears to us as internal and external concepts of different nature, in reality both are same. Process (mind) exists only when there is matter and matter exists only when there is process (mind)! As long as we depend on mind we will have this universe and laws governing it in the mental realms of time, space and causation, and we get only relative knowledge but not the reality. Not knowing the reality is nothing but our ignorance. So, living itself is the sign of ignorance.
Without the study of evolution, we do not know how and why we came to this beautiful earth. We all know that, even though the concepts of evolution rooted from the time of Aristotle, the big leap for this concept was given by Darwin. Though there were unanswered questions at his time about this concept because of the lack of knowledge on hereditary and genetic science in those days, still Darwin theory can be considered as the basis for the understanding of evolution. Darwin viewed life as a struggle for existence and the nature selects the suitable creature for the living and this whole thing can be viewed as the survival of the fittest on this earth. But, in this concept Darwin viewed the creature and the nature are different. But we have seen in our previous discussions that both the nature and the creature are intrinsically webbed and hence Darwin concept is to be modified in accordance with the present understanding of this universe and life. As every living creature and this universe are highly interconnected and not separate entities we have to modify the concept of evolution to co-evolution. That means every creature not only adopts itself to the nature by changing its own body mechanism, but also simultaneously brings changes in the nature also. This is very important in understanding primordial evolutionary concepts. The environment and nature on this earth created suitable and favorable conditions for the evolution of plants but these plants in turn modified the nature around them in the process of continuous interaction called, photosynthesis, and produced more oxygen in the environment than the carbon dioxide. But again this paved the way for evolution of creatures from bacteria to humans which take oxygen from the environment and leaving out carbon dioxide. Thus every creature is supporting life on earth directly and indirectly through various mechanisms and maintaining the ecological balance. This is applicable to every creature from virus to homosepians.
Further, the reason for the existing vast biodiversity is not the result of genetic mutations as once thought. Because, many mutations generally result in malfunction of the organism. A new concept called symbiogenisis is found to be giving promising account for the vast biodiversity. Symbiogenisis means two living minute creatures jointly depending upon each other for sufficiently longer periods to perform their various functions effectively resulting in a new living structure. The best example is that the mitochondria, the power house of the living cell, is once an independent bacterial type living creature. It joined with primitive living cell long back in evolution and turned into important organelle of the cell, thus resulting in a new cellular structure. Thus the reason for the vast biodiversity is not the competition among species, as Darwin suggested but it is cooperation at minute levels of life resulted in variety species on this earth. Thus the modern concepts of evolution centered on ‘cooperation’ but not on ‘competition’.
Through out the evolution we have to observe one thing, every creature is trying to win over this nature. This nature is some times kissing and some times giving blows to every creature. Every creature with its senses, nervous system and mind experiencing this nature and is falling into plains of pleasures and pains. So when pain is felt, it is trying to defeat the nature either by adapting to the conditions through changing its body mechanism or it is trying to change the nature. In the course of evolution, this constant struggle against this nature resulted in the development of highly intelligent creatures. Man is the superior of all the living creatures on this earth not because of his strength of body (in fact many animals are physically stronger than man) but because of his intelligence. With the weapon of intelligence he can fight against this nature very well. Now you can really understand what the whole science that man has invented. Science is the result of human intelligence, zeal to study this nature, where from this zeal came to man? From the evolution itself, from the struggle to win over this nature by studying its mechanism and understanding it fully. By understanding this nature, primitive man learned how to use fire to eat healthy food, how to build houses to avoid heat and cold, how to travel comfortably to save energy and time, how to live healthy to protect from threats by other species like bacteria and virus and how to communicate in the quickest possible manner along long distances to exchange ideas for comfortable living. What for all this, is it not just to avoid blows from this nature? Thus every creature on this earth is learning every moment though consciously or unconsciously and is trying to win in the struggle against this nature. This constant learning resulted in the evolution. Intelligence, thinking, communication, thinking about thinking and communication about communication all are the different ways adopted by the creatures to fight against this nature. But the big question is where from this nature came and what for this fight? The answer lies in my previous discussion that there is nothing like separate universe or nature in reality. It is mere a creation of relativistic mind. So as long as the creature depends on its mind and its relativistic knowledge which is based on the previous mental impressions, this nature will always exist to it and struggles to win over it. Thus if there is any creature who can really won the struggle and dwells in absolute knowledge without being a slave to its mind, definitely for that creature there is no struggle, no universe, no evolution, no space, and no passage of time. Then what remains? We shall discuss it now. I told that in evolution; senses, organs and mind all changes for each creature from virus to man and thus perceive the same reality in different forms and think it as it is the only world. But the faculty of consciousness that which is experiencing, that which is lying as witness to this panorama of life, in every creature is not evolving. Saying that consciousness has evolved from vertebrates or so is meaning less. Even the minute creature like virus has consciousness and the supreme man has also the same consciousness. But the difference lies only in its degree of manifestation. A well developed creature with all its capacity of perceiving and thinking can manifest higher degree of consciousness and lower animals can manifest only lower degree of consciousness. Hence, consciousness is not some thing which is evolved but lies even before the evolution also. Thus its existence does not depend on life, mind or matter. From creature to creature the manifestation of consciousness is limited by the mental realms and hence as the mind is expanding, the whole universe is felt into consciousness. Then, for that creature evolution has ended, reached its goal. Reaching the goal means coming out of relativistic realm of the mind, ignorance and reaching into the absolute realm, the truth. In that highest state, when the mind is unconscious of it, there will be no matter at all and hence no boundaries of space and when there is no boundary of the space there will be no passage of time sense. When there is no passage of time and space there will be nothing to change and hence that state is infinite and eternal, and since there is no evolution and struggle only bliss remains and there will be no separate entities, that which is learning and that which is learned in that state and hence consciousness alone will be present. Bliss-Absolute-Consciousness. That is the final goal that every creature is trying to reach whether it is conscious of its path or not.
Further, with the development of genetic science and unraveling of the structure of DNA, biological scientists thought that the whole life and its characteristics can be attributed to genes. But, surprisingly, it was found that the function of genes cannot be easily analyzed due to involvement of complex non linear feedback interactions forming hyper cycles. Not only that, the structure of a minute virus is not even a single cell or its nucleus, but it is a piece of DNA chemical structure. Still, it is behaving like a living thing with consciousness. Hence, it is evident that as we penetrate deep into minute levels of life, what is it that is left out is the consciousness alone, the base of life.
Birth and Death
We have seen till now what is life, its evolution and its connectivity with this universe. This life we described is in between two important events, birth and death. All the creatures are born through either sexual or asexual reproduction. Reproduction is the intrinsic desire of every living thing. Why animals reproduce? The answer is simple, to perpetuate its race. But why every thing wants to perpetuate its race? Further, why creatures adopted sexual reproduction which is more complicated than asexual reproduction in the course of evolution and is there any specific advantage for the developed creatures to evolve into separate genders? Such questions did not have any definite conclusive answers yet, but the process of growth and reproduction is known deep into the cellular level very well. What ever may be the process, every creature is born with the qualities of previous generation because of genetic transfer. But these qualities of previous generations are again inherited from their previous generations. Like this, evolution progressed. Although all the qualities of both the parents are not obtained by the child, and all the obtained qualities may not be exhibited in the life of a child, still we can say that there is a continuous transfer of genetic material from one generation to other in the species thus leaving at least small traces of its fore fathers in every living creature. Thus every creature contains genetic signatures of all its previous creatures. This chain can be extended back from human beings to single cellular organisms. Further we are made up of atoms and molecules in which the constituents are same but configuration of their arrangements are different. The molecules with which we are made are basically carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorous are all present on this earth from its very beginning and they were brought to earth because of gravitation and other factors from the entire universe. But, even though at gross level, all creatures appearing differently because of their form and behavior, their structural chemical elements are almost common. Hence this whole life on earth is connected internally with hereditary qualities with similar elements of nature and externally with different regulated bio cycles. Hence, we need not consider the concept of birth as some thing which is formed entirely new. Birth is a combination of age old constituents of the universe in a definite form resulting in the emergence of a new quality, the life itself.
Next, I want to discuss some thing about the most mysterious thing in this world, death. Death is an end point to all and everything. All the good, bad, rich, poor, ignorance, knowledge, kingdoms and everything vanishes into it. Death is viewed as the most fearful and saddest incident. But, when we consider the death is an end to life, it should be understood as something differently keeping in view of our previous discussions about life. Just after death, our body parts remain as it is but what we loose is continuous process of interaction with feed back mechanism with the surroundings. Death can occur as a natural process due to ageing or due to an accident or decease. Every now and then the cells of various organs of our living bodies are replaced with new identical ones which are formed out as the xerox copies of previous cells. Thus as the time passes, each cell thus formed will be a xerox of xerox and hence the transcription at genetic level will not be imprinted perfectly after more number of prints and hence we loose our body charming. This is nothing but ageing. As the time still passes, some of the cells cannot be replaced correctly and hence various organs will not be in good condition to carry out the feed back interactive process. Hence the interaction finally stops at one moment and it is the death. In case of accidents or deceases the various components are broken or infected resulting in the death of healthy cells which finally interrupts the interaction process, thus leading to death of whole organism. Hence, for the life to perpetuate both its components and process involved in between them and surroundings should be perfect. Any serious disturbance to it will cause death. After death, dead body constituents will be mixed in the atmosphere as molecules and atoms and those will be taken by some other creatures and continues their life. Thus death is a decomposition of the living creature constituents which contribute for continuation of life activity in other creatures or may be utilized in forming new creatures that is to birth itself. Thus both birth and death are some way or the other interconnected through the process of life. Thus scientifically, birth and death are nothing but mere change of form but nothing else. Then why people are more sentimental in their lives about these two? Just because of ignorance. Where we have come from and to where we are going? The answer is this, we have come from each part of this universe, and going to each part of this universe. And what is our age? The age of the universe itself!
On this earth we find many creatures and out of them many cannot think beyond sensory knowledge except one creature, it is man. In these men we find many who never tries to gain knowledge beyond their sense perceptions because of their ignorance. Out of remaining, many try to understand this universe by studying natural sciences and philosophy. These men enjoy the studying of various theories and commentaries on philosophy, but they never move not even a finger to practice the philosophy in their life. Such men are mere arm chair philosophers. No one can really win over their arguments and they cover excellently their slavery to the mind. The man who can surpass all these stages is the real philosopher. No need to prove this, our history shows it. The whole history of human race is the life of these few men. The rest are in the veil of maya. The word maya has got different meanings and interpretations in due course; especially it is understood as illusion or delusion. But the actual meaning of this maya is the ‘present state of existence’. We are in maya means what we are now. The mother loves his child even though she knows that he is a rogue, this is maya. We know every loop in philosophy, still we are slaves to our mind, and this is maya. We all know that we came to this earth alone and we have to go alone, still we are attached to human relations, like ants attaching to sweet, this is maya. We all know that life is a bubble and death soon comes and takes us into its mighty hands, no matter how strong we cling to this world, still nothing is more important to us than transitory gains and enjoyments of this world, this is maya. Where from maya came. It came from our ignorance. This ignorance is the symptom of the control of mind over us. This relativistic mind differentiates the oneness and creates this world by limiting our power of manifesting consciousness. From the world around us, with constant play of our mind, on the name and form of various objects, all feelings arise, ego, love, hatred, selfishness etc. There by characters, behaviors, pains, pleasures and total life is the result of this maya. This state of existence is the cause for this sate of existence! One who knows this and struggles to get out of this maya is the real Jnani. He lives in this world, but sees this world differently. He never crawls and weeps on seeing the death as he knows death is a mere change of form and there is nothing in this world that can really kill him. He is as courageous as a tiger and as generous as a mother. He never hesitates to serve the needy as he realizes that in the whole universe every one is there and in every one the whole universe is there. We see him involving in constant activity with purity of heart and unfettering faith, the sign of realization. Nothing in this world can cause pain to him as his mind will be in the highest state, unattached to both pains and pleasures. When he sees the enjoyments of this worldly life, with his will power commands his mind to go higher, higher and higher and all that is low naturally falls off from him and what remains is the highest state alone, Bliss-Absolute-Consciousness. He alone is deserved to declare this world as a heaven, and for the rest this world is a prison. Those who can agree this are on the right track and the rest are hypocrites. Many doubt that can every one reach that state? Philosophy says yes, because it is a journey to know about ones own real nature. All that you need is tremendous faith in yourself. Master your mind, this world will come and fall on your feet; this is the whole of philosophy of life.