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perform good deeds, and why did I perform bad deeds?’” With all this in mind, the Upanishadic un-


derstanding of Consciousness may be summa- rized as follows: Consciousness is the underlying principle of awareness, the ultimate witness, of all of creation and beyond. It is one with the fun- damental Existence of all things, and is one with Brahman, the most subtle substratum of all. It is the Self. The Upanishads do not philosophize about some “other,” but rather expound the Self that is within all of us, available for realization here and now. It is the “I” within all. How can Consciousness be realized? By


meditating upon its effects in the world and knowing them to be nothing but the effects of a higher Consciousness. It is realized through ô


ô33 õô3 ô ô ô 3L also the inculcation of desire for knowledge


of that through which everything becomes known. It is realized by finding a teacher of this knowledge who is well versed in the Ve[ das and established in knowledge of Brahman. Why should one strive to realize Conscious- ô33I + 5


UK + ô ô õ ^ ô


bliss. To perceive the ultimate knowledge. To transcend duality. Consciousness, one with Ex- istence, one with Brahman, is the cause of the universe, and to know it implies, according to the ö ó 3S *


1ö ó, knowledge of the


nature of everything. To know Consciousness is to be free from the sorrow of suffering and to be free from the cycle of birth and rebirth. It is lib- eration. To know Consciousness, according to the Upanishads, is to be free of the suffering associ- ôõ S ^


S ô ^ Brahman.


deliver a universe where math is compatible with mind. The higher you climb, the farther you may fall. In Tegmark’s case,


critiques have emerged in equal measure with praise. He himself poses the most troubling problems that must be confronted: 1. Since it is agreed among quantum theorists that subatomic par- ô3


ô3


ô ô33ô ô3ô


U ô 5 ô ô ô 3L 3 S õ õ õ3L 3


and trees get their physical properties? It looks like cre- ation out of nothing. How do we get from numbers to the hardness of granite and the sweetness of strawberries? 2. To date, there has been a chain of


discoveries of ever more potent math- ematics to explain the structure of the cosmos. But what if the chain isn’t endless? We may be at the point where Nature’s patterns, and the math that describes them, run out. If that’s true, then the mathematical õô 3 S


5ô S L 3 3


every previous model going back to the Greeks has succumbed. The big differ- ence is that no one trained to view math as the ultimate tool of science can conceive of what would replace it. 3. What gives some kinds of matter the property 3


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varun.khanna@chinmayauniversity.ac.in


require someone to make sense of it? Random computer streams of 0’s and 1’s have no meaning independent of the algorithms that someone has devised in advance, using a mind. So tracing mind back to 0’s and 1’s seems like circular reasoning. 5. There is a limit to all models, because reality is too complex to be


whittled down. The great mathematician John von Neumann sup- posedly said that the only adequate model of a neuron would be a neuron. In other words, you can’t explain the mind by reducing it to anything else. Tegmark offers an eloquent exposition of his claim that matter may have con- sciousness as one of its basic prop- erties. He and others in the same wave of cosmologists are nibbling around the fringes of a universe that may be entirely mindful. ' ô


3 S 5 - self “panpsychist,” meaning that


in some way everything is con- scious. This would be the same


as accepting Schrödinger’s origi- nal notion that consciousness is holistic and cannot be subdivided. A radically new view of reality emerges if you accept this one idea, sending shock waves through brain science, quantum phys-


-


erty of being gaseous, while iron is metallic. The difference can be explained using the periodic chart of the elements. No such chart ex- ists for why the sugar in your brain participates in thinking, while the sugar in a sugar cube does not, until you consume it. No explana- tion exists for why the electrons that are being sent around the brain are somehow associated with thought, while the same types of elec- trons are found in the cores of nuclear reactors. If the electrons and elementary particles are common to both, would we conclude that 3


õ ô 3 ô ô 3 ôI ' 3ô K 4. “Information” is a dubious foundation for consciousness. You


can make heavier elements by adding more protons to an atom and more atoms to a molecule, but is it true that the great achievements of the mind (represented, for example, by Mozart, Shakespeare and Einstein) were gained simply by adding more information? A Mozart symphony contains no more and no less information than a sympho- ny by one of his hack contemporaries. Besides, doesn’t information


ics and cosmology. Here are three quotations from Vashishtha, a Vedic sage


writing many centuries ago, almost eerily anticipating the most far- seeing speculations in current cosmology.


)öï ï óQï 1


1


Q ó1J ï


1 ï Pï 1ï 1


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ï õï 1 1 ï11 I


)öï Q ó ïR 1 1 õï õ óS


­S !


ïï ö 1ï 1 ï11I J # Z R ó ö I ) 1J &ö Z ( õö 1ö ! J &ö Z J &ö Z #ï ó $ï )öï 1ïJ # april/may/june, 2017 hinduism today 57 1 ïPï J ïPï


ïó õï 31I )ö ï


1 öï 1 1 ï Q 1 öï


1 ïQï S 1 [ó ï ïR 1 1


1 ï11 1J ó ïPï Z 1 ï11 ïòï ó öï Q ïó 1 ï ï


1 ï11 ö 3


ï 1ï ó 1 öï óI


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