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Thomas Ray: on 6/5/14 at 16:42pm UTC, wrote Tejinder, I think you are sure to win a top prize this year. " ... in...

Petio Hristov: on 6/5/14 at 7:00am UTC, wrote Hello Tejinder, As an appeal for correspondence and exchange of ideas...

Chidi Idika: on 6/3/14 at 8:41am UTC, wrote Dear Tejinder, Should you find the time I will most appreciate your...

Tejinder Singh: on 5/31/14 at 12:47pm UTC, wrote Dear Don, Thank you for reading my essay. I appreciate your comments, and...

Tejinder Singh: on 5/31/14 at 12:44pm UTC, wrote Dear Laurence, Thank you for reading my essay and for your insightful...

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Anonymous: on 5/28/14 at 21:17pm UTC, wrote Hi Tejinder, I like your essay very much. I also like the transition from...

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FQXi FORUM
December 11, 2017

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Enlightenment is not for the Buddha alone by Tejinder Pal Singh [refresh]
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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on Apr. 17, 2014 @ 20:25 GMT
Essay Abstract

The second law of thermodynamics provides the universe with an arrow of time. Living organisms are metastable states which, through the process of aging, are also subject to the second law. At the top of the living chain is humanity, with the human mind and the creative thought process possessing a tremendous ability to alter its environment. However, the mind is also an inefficient storehouse of redundant, repetitive and unproductive thinking. Combined with the mind`s acute ability to remember the past, and think about the future, such unproductive thinking can become a source of harmful negative emotions such as anger, hatred, worry, anxiety and fear, amongst others. It is possible to overcome such unpleasant consequences resulting from the ever-thinking mind, by realizing that there is a underlying thoughtless state - Consciousness. An individual who operates from the state of a conscious I, then lives in the Here and Now, and is happier, and at peace with oneself, and more likely to contribute constructively and compassionately to the task at hand. It is this state that humanity should collectively strive to steer towards. If this can be achieved, even to a partial degree, it will become easier for humankind to address and resolve the practical threats and challenges we face on our planet today.

Author Bio

The author is a professor of physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India. His research interests are in quantum gravity, foundations of quantum mechanics, and cosmology. Personal home page: www.tifr.res.in/~tpsingh

Download Essay PDF File




Hasmukh K. Tank wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 08:41 GMT
Dear Prof. Tejinder Pal Singh,

1. I feel very happy, that a professor of physics is interested in subjects like 'consciousness', and 'meditation'!

Hope, you will be glad to read my attempt titled:"On the nature of consciousness, space, and omni-presence of GOD" describing possible physics involved in 'consciousness': http://scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/viewFile/290/335

2. Just as a doctor prescribes some pain-killer for temporariy-relief and medicines for permanent cure, so exactly, the meditation in a quiet room can make our minds stronger to seek answers to the problems before us. The permanaent peace of mind can be attained when all the doubts get resolved. e.g. physicists have been struggling hard, for nine decades, to understand whether light and 'matter' are 'particles' or 'waves'? As soon as the puzzle gets resolved, as described in the following link, our minds come to rest. Like this all our doubts need to be scientifically resolved; to attain permanent peace. Here is the link explaining wave/particle-duality:

http://vixra.org/pdf/1403.0947v1.pdf

3.
You will also be delighted to read my essay in this contest, titled "On the emergence of physical world from the ultimate reality'

With my best regards,

Hasmukh K. Tank

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 15:15 GMT
Thank you very much, for your remarks - am very happy to know we agree on the benefits of meditation. I will read for essay and leave comments on your essay page, and also see the links you quote.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 09:27 GMT
dear professor Pal Singh,

Your essay is an enrichment of the "ordinary" physical thinking.

Indeed we "think" that we are the "top" of living things, but this top is only aware with FIVE senses, so it is is very limited, 95% of our "material" universe is not understood, so we use the words "black" and "dark", indeed not to recognized by our senses, so the TOP is very relative...

It seems that our created reality is "driven by Laws", these laws however are based on memories that we have of experiments within our own created reality.

It is also my perception that the Planck length and time are the limits of causality, after that I introduce the non-caused Total Simulatneity.

Sometimes I am thinking about "entropy" and imagine that when we cut out all the words of a dictionary and throw those words in the air, the new order of words will probably not be the same as before , but every time we throw up the new order is as unique as the former (including the for us comprehensible book), so what is "order" and entropy ?

Your "Timeless Consciousness" has great paralels with my "non-causal (non-caused) consciousness. I hope that you can read my perception of consciousness in my essay "STEERING THE FUTURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS?"[:link].

We have the same end goal : enlightenment, my perception is that the deeper merging of non-caused consciousness and its conscious part become more ONE. Dear professor I hope that you can find some spare time to read my essay (link above) and also leave a comment on my thread, eventually I would be oblidged if you can give it a rating that is corresponding to your appreciation.

best regards

Wilhelmus

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 15:55 GMT
Hello and thank you. I agree it is a very limited top, but hope you will agree that researchers are pushing at the edge. I also agree on the importance of memory in establishing laws, but since things seem to fit together across minds into a universal pattern then I would very favorably assign objectivity to those laws.

My reference to entropy and order is very much in the standard spirit of statistical mechanics.

I had already browsed through your essay and noted the commonality between ours - I will definitely read your essay again and leave comments on your page in the coming days.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Ram Kunwar Bansal wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 11:43 GMT
Dear Dr Singh,

I am delighted to read your essay and the valuable thoughts there in. I have rated also your essay.

Each of us has a right to enlightenment. Indeed, Buddha was not at all enlightened but was fooling the World. This is my well considered view derived from my researches in Vedic Scriptures..

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 15:58 GMT
Thank you for your comments.

I am very intrigued by your remarks that Buddha was not enlightened but fooling the world, and that you derive this inference from the Vedas. I will be grateful if you could elaborate on this point with more remarks. Thank you.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




sridattadev kancharla wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 14:51 GMT
Dear Dr Tejinder Pal,

Let me start by saying I love you and what you have written. It is word by word what I feel inside of me every living moment, it seems that I in all of us is trying to reveal the truth to the human kind. I know it is the case with many of us who are consciously evolved at every moment.

Please read

Levels of consciousness[/].

Yes, there is a mathematical equation for the absolute universal truth of conscious I, and it is
zero = i = infinity

Regarding your thoughts on a system to be adapted by everyone at all stages in life, internet is the best medium to do that. It is for this reason I have created a custom search engine and a portal of portals

Any Body Can Do - Everything For Good to popularize the truth.

I am a father of 3 little boys of ages 8,6 and 3 and I know it is not an easy task to teach them some good behavior and not to fight with each other with out enticing them with some gifts. It's amazing how even though they are biological brothers in the shorter frame of time and space of a single family, they tend to fight so vehemently sometimes. Now I can understand this situation extrapolated to a large scale of human kind, which easily forgets the truth of brotherhood and fights. It is for this reason we need to find ways to remind us all of who we really are and hence the fancy website to grab the attention. You might find categories in the website which are purely entertaining as it is a crucial part of enticing an ever wandering human mind.

"I thinks, therefor we are"

I thank you for your work and I hope you will adopt and spread your alter egos work of "Any Body Can Do - Everything For Good" as well.

Love,

I.

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 16:12 GMT
Thank you very much for your kind remarks. In the coming days I will see the links you mention.

You mentioned children on the one hand, and extrapolation to humankind. I am sure you will agree these children love each other at heart, and will grow into compassionate siblings. I would say infants are aware of the timeless consciousness very directly, and live in the here and now - a capability which begins to falter as the mind grows and starts to remember and think. By the time they become teenagers, the thought clutter is already very high - add to it the lack of maturity that adults acquire. I think teenagers very much need spiritual training [strictly secular, and to be distinguished from fanatical/fundamentalist teaching associated with preaching this or that religion], along with their ongoing school training.

Kind regards,

Tejinder



Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 17:13 GMT
Sridattadev, I looked at your link about the levels of consciousness, and had a hard time understanding what you might be implying. My own work on developmental theory has pointed to a simple binary growth map (0, 1, 10, 11, 100, etc) of expanding awareness of first, second, third, and eventually (if lucky) fourth person perspective, for inputs and outputs (what I want to take into myself, and what I want to express out from myself). It seems too simple, perhaps, but everything I've seen, evidenice-wise, has been well described by this general pattern of consciousness, and how the human brain grows in it's ability to think about the self and others in our four dimensional reality (that we're aware of). If you want to see some more about this theory, you can see some of it at http://www.thewiseturtle.com . The way we help minds grow healthfully is to support their basic needs (see: Maslow) so that their bodies, and the brains that are part of those bodies, are able to function at peak performance, with effective multi-person goal-oriented thinking.

Also, note that the binary growth idea can be seen in the I Ching, which was kind of a surprise to me!

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sridattadev kancharla replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 21:00 GMT
Dear Dr. Tejinder,

Thank you for reading my notes. I was just giving an analogy of my children when they fight they forget that they are brothers, yes indeed they love each other very much when they are not fighting for toys or some resource or some argument they start. We are like that grown up children fighting for resources on this planet and not realizing the plentitude of what the universe has to offer. Human kind is still in its teenage of growth and it needs direction to mature into a self sustaining, long lasting civilization. There comes along people on this planet who would consciously mature to the extent they do not hesitate to lay down their lives for teaching others the true way of life. We need to join more people in to this system of learning the truth about infinite nature of our self and that this life is just one of many in this timeless journey and then we can have a paradise on earth for all those who will ever visit here.

Love,

I

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MIROSLAW KOZLOWSKI wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 15:38 GMT
Dear Professor Tejinder Pal

Your Essay is written beatifully. But in effect do not contains any new idea for physicist educated in West unuversities. As an example I can citate the book by Brian Leftow "Time and Eternity" CUP , 1991 ( Sic!)( 400 pages) devoted to the study of time, space and consciousness with the statement consciousness is not in time or space

Regards

Miroslaw Kozlowski

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 17:01 GMT
Dear Prof. Kozlowski,

Thank you for your comments. I agree with you fully that the idea `consciousness is not in time and space’ is not new [I wonder though why you made specific reference to Western physicists]. If I can get hold of the the book you mention, I will definitely see it, but perhaps you will agree that this view of consciousness has been more than once realized, discovered and propagated by great spiritual teachers over many past centuries.

Neither of course can I claim originality for the idea that attaining access to the conscious state , even if temporarily, makes the mind happier and more peaceful.

I suppose the new thing being said in the essay, in the present context of the question `How should humanity steer the future’ is that humankind should attempt to convert such seeking into a global mass movement. I have attempted to make a case that doing this is more important than making this or that scientific or technological advance, as this effectively impacts positively on everything else that we are trying to do as a race to steer towards a better future.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Turil Sweden Cronburg wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 16:03 GMT
In my experience, I believe that this level of thinking is a natural process that I call 4th person perspective, which happens around age 40 in humans, where the brain finally hits the stage of development where the ability for both sides of the prefrontal cortex are able to function independently. There's very little neurological work going on right now about this, since most folks have attached to the belief that the brain can't change after young adulthood, but I've seen a little movement here and there. (Sorry, I don't have a link to a citation at the moment. I read about the studies in Barbara Strauch's The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain.)

The idea is that at this stage of development, IF our bodies are well cared for (meeting the basic physiological and social needs in Maslow's "deficiency needs"), then our brains are able to consider current states as compared to long term goals, in all four of the time~space dimensions we're aware of. That allows us to more FULLY experience ourselves in our world. Those who get to this stage but haven't yet found a more wise/full/enlightened ability for thinking are clearly lacking some of those basic needs to keep their brain/body healthy and functioning at peak performance.

So the solution is to start focusing our resources on taking the best care of ourselves as possible. Anything else is wasteful and causing illness, physical and mental. We've been brainwashed to throw our resources at some bizarre distractions, but I see that people are waking up and seeing how insane this has been, and starting to look at what really is important and seeking ways to use whatever we've got to take better care of ourselves, so that we really can thrive, grow, and expand, dimensionally, in wisdom, awareness, creativity, and curiosity.

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Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 17:02 GMT
Also, I saw your comment in the end of your essay about Descartes, and it always frustrates me to see people interpret his statement Cogito ergo sum! He wasn't at all, not in the least, saying that thinking is what makes us real/existing! Instead he was saying that the only proof of anything in reality is that that SOMETHING exists because he is able to experience. Thinking being his term for experiencing things. We can't prove anything beyond that, since our experiences might be inaccurate. But the fact that we do experience things means that SOMETHING must exist, and that we CAN prove. If it helps you understand what he was really talking about, imagine that the world "cogito" means patterns of energy, as opposed to totally static things, or total emptiness. Cogito is all about information, change, somethingness, which is what you're talking about in your paper. So, really, you are saying much of the same thing as Descartes, even if you don't realize it. :-)

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 14:19 GMT
Hello, and many thanks for your incisive observations. I attempt to reply to your various points:

I hope I will be able to find the book you refer, and look up the very interesting discussion you cite on brain development around age forty. It would be interesting to see though, if they have something direct to say about how these changes relate to realizing a thoughtless consciousness. The way i have understood it, the thinking mind may be associated with the underlying brain. However, when thinking can be stilled, the conscious self-awareness that can be realized is a `whole body’ plus `mind’ process. The conscious I is a self-aware state not confined to the brain / mind, but a perception felt by the whole body.

Regarding what you say in your second paragraph, I had a remark. For people reaching forty, even if social and physiological needs are met, and they are in a state of readiness to be enlightened, there still could be lot of thought noise, isn’t it? I think they need a trigger or jolt, say in the form of spiritual education, to make them see and achieve this better state of a controlled mind.

I fully agree with what you say in your third paragraph.

Regarding interpreting Descartes, I have no quarrels :-) I do know and agree that `cogito ergo sum’ has been interpreted variously, and debated over by philosophers whether it is even correct as an assertion. So if by `think’ you mean `am conscious’ ...so that we can say `I am conscious, therefore I am’...then yes its the interpretation put forth in the essay. I was using the commonplace interpretation [which you debate] to distinguish the thinking mind from the conscious I.



Turil Sweden Cronburg replied on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 13:06 GMT
My own work suggests that the stage that we (if we're lucky) reach at around 40 is literally the ability to think 4 dimensionally, meaning that we have a 3D self awareness that we can step beyond, and turn around to look at. This is what you describe as "a `whole body’ plus `mind’ process", as far as I can tell. If you look at a tetrahedron, you can see the first three points (of view) fully and completely from the forth point, meaning that it feels like we've got the ability to step outside ourselves, in a sense, at least compared to what it was like before! And while the culture and language of "enlightenment" certainly only comes to some folks at this stage of development, the biological function seems to come to all humans who have the basic physical needs met to have it happen. They just don't think of it as so exceptional or worthy of mentioning, perhaps. Though we do have the very common idea (mentioned in The Secret Life of the Grown Up Brain) of wisdom, which most folks notice appearing around middle age. (Which is what neurology shows as that new ability to use both sides of the pre-frontal cortex in parallel, adding to the two more "primitive" functions of the physical lizard-brain/brain-stem, and the emotional-brain/amygdala. Giving the brain, literally, four dimensions of thinking at the same time.)

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 12:36 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

The title of your essay uses the notion enlighten in sense that differs from use in Western philosophy. Did the Age of enlightenment enlighten those who believe in Buddha? Perhaps not.

While I fully agree with the first sentences of your essay, I doubt that e.g. war is just a consequence of unproductive thinking and harmful negative emotions. Alan Kadin dared to address a taboo question that is pretty new and is not answered by religions: While the resources are definitely limited, there is not yet a limitation to birth rate. On the contrary, the larger the number of believers, the stronger is a religious community against others. The bible demands: Be fertile and get more.

Do you expect healing just by means of meditation groups of men like those six who recently in India were sentenced to death for brutally violated to death a young woman? I rather prefer Alfred Nobe's legacy, methods of birth planing, and Bismarck's social care that provided individuals with a pension replacing the necessity to have as many children as possible.

Regards,

Eckard

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 14:54 GMT
Dear Eckard,

Thank you for your remarks.

I agree that I talk of enlightenment in the limited sense as outlined in the essay, and this differs from enlightenment as in the Age of Enlightenment/Age of Reason. It would seem to me that enlightenment in the sense I talk of it, would greatly enhance the cause espoused in the `Age of Enlightenment’, but the other way round does not seem feasible, for one needs to go beyond reason to realize the conscious enlightened state.

Limiting birth rate, given limited resources, is a very significant concept, I readily agree - indeed I overlooked mentioning it in my essay.

As for war, I am inclined to believe that those in power who declare war have somewhere in their minds some anger, hatred, greed [power lust] or fear.

Criminals must face punishment. But while they serve out their sentence, they can be reformed by spiritual education - yes I do believe in this :-) Also, I have tried to advocate the need for such education as a mass movement, which in the very long run will hopefully reduce crime. The specific example that you cite, of the brutal death of a young Indian woman at the hand of criminals, I believe has its roots in the depraved manner in which India often treats its women, which again has its roots in poverty, lack of education, and sickening orthodoxy and gender inequality. These root problems have to be addressed, and I have tried making a case in the essay what might help.

Thank you again, for reading my essay.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 10:01 GMT
Hi Tejinder,

I really like the idea of introducing mindfulness classes to schools. Learning how to quieten the mind and cope with stress are life skills. I have read of the many health benefits that arise from reducing stress. 'Tools' such as meditation, relaxation techniques and yoga or Tai chi can all be used. Extending the opportunity to the workplace is also a good idea although I do not know how many would like to participate. If it is seen as a waste of time, when there are more urgent tasks to deal with, making it mandatory might well cause more stress rather than less. I have heard the saying though -'The time to relax is when you don't have time to'. .

A well written, easy to read essay with a very nice message. Let's hope. Georgina

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 13:41 GMT
Many thanks Georgina, for your encouraging comments. Yes it will be very fruitful indeed to introduce such practical teaching at high school and college levels. OK I agree it could be trickier to implement it as a `classroom session’ in the workplace. But perhaps some form of collective counseling / orientation advice on inter-personal relations and stress/ availability of meditation rooms for optional use, could be helpful. I do feel something badly needs to be done about the office atmosphere in general, where more often than not, the goal is productivity and achievement and competition, and scant attention is paid to the mental well-being of the employees.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Member Dean Rickles wrote on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 02:11 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

Interestingly, you argue for an *exactly opposite* conclusion to my essay, though both defend a view based in the human mind.

Whereas you say, for example:

"An individual who operates from the state of a conscious I, then lives in the Here and Now, and is happier, and at peace with oneself"

and

"This combination of thought noise, and the ability to perceive the flow of time, is often a recipe for disaster, and the source of the ills alluded to above. While on the one hand the mind and body are truly speaking existent only in the present moment [the here and now] the noise of irrational thoughts relentlessly and continuously forces the mind into thinking and worrying about the past and the future [the there and then]"

I say that Humanity's troubles are from people living *too much* in the Here and Now, and now sparing enough thought for future states/events/selves (and also the past, in order to learn from previous events). I advocate a kind of Janus-faced perspective according to which humans should attempt to learn to look as much forward and backwards as on their present experiences.

Best,

Dean

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 13:22 GMT
Many thanks for your interesting comments Dean. I have left a response on your page.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 16:05 GMT
Dear Professor Singh,

I thought that your essay was extremely well written, and I do hope that it does well in the competition. I do have a minor quibble that I hope you do not mind me mentioning.

You wrote: “The end result of the metastable state is inevitable death: the second law wins; there is no living organism that lives forever.”

Respectfully sir, there is only one living organism and it is immortal. The only way one can continue to live is by regularly consuming material that was once alive. Although one evacuates some of the consumed material and thinks of it as waste, it is actually full of micro biotic material. When one dies, one is in turn consumed by the maggots that emerge from the eggs that were implanted into each baby at birth. The maggots get eaten and the eaters of the maggots get eaten and life goes on.

With the highest of regards,

Joe Fisher

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 13:54 GMT
Dear Joe,

Many thanks for your kind remarks.

I am not sure I have properly understood your comment and hence I am unsure how to respond. I have ascribed to the commonplace interpretation of death: the end of a particular living organism. Of course you could extrapolate this concept to talk of new beings being born utilizing the end products of the dead ones, and that would somehow make life a continuum. I was however giving importance to the spatio-temporal separation between organisms. Now on the other hand there indeed are spiritual teachers who talk of all life as being a manifestation of one being. Honestly I haven’t grasped that at all, and it is perhaps my own limitation.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Wesley Wayne Hansen wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 17:09 GMT
Tejinder,

Perhaps you would find the paper from the Mind and Life Institute, "Contemplative Practices and Mental Training: Prospects for American Education", which I reference in my own essay, interesting. It provides considerable scientific support for your own thesis.

I believe it was D. T. Suzuki who was invited to give a lecture on Zen Buddhism at the Symposium of World Religions hosted by Notre Dame University. Before starting his lecture Dr. Suzuki said, "Legend says that when the baby Buddha was born, he immediately stood up, pointed to the sky and said, 'Worlds above,' pointed to the ground and said, 'Worlds below,' ran his hand around and around and said, "There's no one in this world like me." Dr. Suzuki went on to give his roughly 50 minute lecture, at the conclusion of which he said, "Today when babies are born the doctor smacks the babies on the bottom and the babies cry, cry, cry. What do the babies say when they cry, cry, cry? The babies say, 'Worlds above, worlds below, there's no one in this world like me.' All babies are Buddha babies!"

With regards,

Wes Hansen

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 07:07 GMT
Dear Wesley,

Thank you for your comments. I shall look up the article you mention, and also read your essay.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Chidi Idika wrote on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 05:45 GMT
Dear professor Singh,

Two issues:

1.) You make the fundamental assumption that anger, hatred, worry, anxiety and fear are essentially wrong emotions. But I think they are very useful things—only wrong when misapplied (much like fire is bad when out of control). Else how could one lay any claims to being a MORAL being if one had NO boundaries and the emotions necessarily associated with violations or threats to those boundaries? These feelings are in fact part and parcel of being a living thing (a “consciousness”).

2.) I am interested that humanity as a starting point must scientifically define this conscious I and I quite agree with you that “These investigations will most probably lie at the fascinating interface of neurobiology, biochemistry, quantum theory, thermodynamics, and condensed matter physics.” Let me say I have ventured such a definition but from my vantage this stage of things in man’s civilization (which you have given the nice name of “enlightenment”) will require extremely delicate management because given a technology that could “control” the mind we are then in danger of being controlled by some “government” (or collective self).

Claim is cheap so I will appreciate if you as a trained physicist do find the time to go through this essay http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2094 and then tell me honestly what you think.

All the best,

Chidi

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 07:15 GMT
Dear Chidi,

Thank you for reading my essay and commenting on it. Your essay is on my reading list and I will get to it in the coming days.

Your point 1 : I respect your different point of view. My opinion is that such emotions can disturb the affected individual and make him / her unhappy, and often have harmful / destructive consequences.

2. I need to think further to understand the implications of what you say here.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 01:27 GMT
Dear Tejinder

Congratulations for writing such a coherent essay on a subject that you have obviously experienced for yourself. I would have said it was "thought-provoking" but that is not exactly what you wish from the reader!

I totally agree, and from personal experience that "...mind that is also a garbage dump of thoughts!". As an artist I get rid of this garbage through painting, and in some of my pictures one can see the conflicting emotions and thoughts, but the overall result is a sense of peace and clarity. In your essay you do not give an opinion about the cause of these negative thoughts - for example we have evolutionary hard-wired drives needs and urges that can conflict with the necessities of organised society. Still, that does not annul the drift of your argument about thought.

In my Beautiful Universe theory time does not exist as a dimension, but everything evolves from one state to another. As you say our ability to remember and anticipate can create negative thoughts (as well as pleasant ones!), but I like your recipe for contentment, to try to return to the "Conscious I". Is there an app for that? This last remark because yesterday I read about an app designed to combat phobias!

I enjoyed a YouTube clip of Thich Nhat Hanh, thanks for introducing this living saint.

Best wishes from

Vladimir

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 09:13 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thank you for your kind remarks. I had read your essay soon after it appeared and enjoyed it! I will return to it again in the coming days.

You mention `causes of negative thoughts’. I agree with you that if `evolutionary hard-wired needs and urges’ are not fulfilled in a manner consistent with societal norms, there will be negative emotions and conflict. I have in mind circumstances where basic needs are met and yet there is discontent, unhappiness and negative thoughts. I am attributing the origin of such thoughts to the `conditioned mind’ where actions are dictated by thoughts which control the individual, rather than actions being dictated by the conscious I which is above thoughts. By `conditioned mind’ I would partly mean mind caught in a state of biological evolution where the mind often dictates and leads to actions which are not in the best interest of individual - as if it were an inefficient machine!

An app for a `conscious I’? :-) It will be most wonderful, and I think something like it will come one day, but you will agree it is much into the future, isn’t’ it?

Thank you for reading my essay, and kind regards,

Tejinder




Petio Hristov wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 09:44 GMT
Dear Prof. Tejinder Pal Singh

Your essay in a brilliant way gives the answer on the path which human kind must take, based on the philosophy of the Buddhist teachings and some of its practices – aimed to widen the human consciousness. Man in being a micro cosmos, I believe must do so in order to be in synchrony with the entropy of the macro cosmos or as Hermes Trismegistus says: “That which is up is that which is down. That which is down is that which is up”. My essay is also based on this principle.

As it is in the microscopic word so is in the macroscopic world – the process of evolution is cyclic. The whole Universe is subjected to cycles, to the circles of time. As we are, as is Earth so is the Universe part of a living being /beings. With the trick of creation (The Law of Conversion), expressed with the continuous reproduction of living beings, embodied in the meaning of the human breath and the universal breathing, the Manifestation of Conversion is the continuous entropy.

I suggest you look into (Life under ground Cosmic mystery and physical reality by Petio Hristov ) Conversion was known in some ancient cultures. They also had an understanding of the cycle of nature.

I also would like to point out the fact that the understanding of time uses the Hindu Shastras (references).

I consider that your essay deserves a high rating.

I believe that we still have much to talk about.

Petio Hristov

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 11:00 GMT
Dear Petio,

Thank you for reading my essay and commenting on it, as well as for your related remarks. I shall be reading your essay in the coming days.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Cristinel Stoica wrote on May. 1, 2014 @ 07:39 GMT
Dear Prof. Singh,

Let me start by expressing my full support for the idea that meditation, at least in some forms, and self-awareness, can help people be happier and discriminate between what is really important and things we are conditioned to worry about. I find what you say, and the way you say it, very similar to what many gurus say.

Now, knowing all the benefits of meditation,...

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Anonymous replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 10:13 GMT
Dear Cristi,

I am grateful for your well-thought out detailed critique and I try to respond point wise:

You wrote

“Now, knowing all the benefits of meditation, and that this is perhaps the most fundamental and natural state for human mind, why it is not more spread? I mean, who will prefer alcohol, drugs, sexual excesses? Who will prefer an unhealthy life to a healthy one?...

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Anonymous replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 17:05 GMT
Dear Prof. Singh,

Thank you for the detailed clarifications. I fully agree with your answers. I wish you success in this contest, and high visibility for your wise words.

Best regards,

Cristi

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James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 3, 2014 @ 06:42 GMT
Tejinder,

Is the state of a "conscious I" an enlightened state attained through study and meditation? What is the source of the "biological evolution" that pollutes the mind? One assumes it emanates from an outside world where greed and self-interest lead to "unproductive thinking." I would wonder how education would be so globally accessible that it could change a global culture that prizes material things over peace, compassion and living in the "Here and Now."

I certainly don't have the implementation answer to correct what ails our world culture. Your enlightenment for the young would be a good start -- I assume enlightened thought over a habitual way of thought.

Jim

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 13:05 GMT
Dear James,

Thanks for reading my essay. Yes, I would say that the `conscious I’ is always there, but we are not aware of it, as it is hidden behind the enormous mass of thoughts. Hence, as you point out, the need for practice and training to realise this state. Source of the biological evolution that pollutes the mind: my understanding is that while nature evolved to create an intelligent and thinking human mind, the average human mind, while being on the one hand intelligent, is also inefficient. As if nature is still in the process of improving the mind, which I think it is. The inefficient mind, building on memories and anticipations, can give rise to unproductive and harmful thinking, leading to actions which are not always best suited to the individual’s well-being. I am also hopeful that educating the young is a good start.

Kind regards,

Tejinder



James Lee Hoover replied on May. 20, 2014 @ 23:02 GMT
Tejinder,

The time is grower short, so I am revisiting and rating. Your response, "Source of the biological evolution that pollutes the mind: my understanding is that while nature evolved to create an intelligent and thinking human mind, the average human mind, while being on the one hand intelligent, is also inefficient. As if nature is still in the process of improving the mind, which I think it is," speaks of the mind's evolution. One of my solutions involves "looking within." It is the dependence on more efficiently using the minds capabilities (like Einstein did and spoke of), considering the mind a microcosm of the universe.

Have you had a chance to read my essay?

Jim

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 05:30 GMT
Thanks James.

Yes I have read your essay and enjoyed reading it.

Best tejinder




Anonymous wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 02:31 GMT
Dr. Tejinder,

No issue whatsoever with the "conscious I". Totally agree with your point that the human mind is the key to humanity's future.

Some thoughts for you to comment on:

1. We know how slow evolution works compared to how fast man tries to accomplish. Maybe, the same negative sides of nature show up (outside of humanity) but only over longer time periods: What ice ages are to nature, world wars are to humanity. Maybe, nature and humanity share the same imperfections or mutations. The result is the lack of existence of an end state and as there is simply no definable end, we can only steer to ends that will always be temporary. We need to steer forever!

2. Your point about Enlightenment arriving with age reminds me of the saying that the true soul of a person reveals itself only when it has nothing to loose: first as a child and later as an elderly person.

I wonder what you think of my essay (here) which aims to steer with a time frame of just one generation. Looking forward to your comments.

- Ajay

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Ajay Bhatla replied on May. 8, 2014 @ 05:06 GMT
This note is from me. I guess I had logged out.

- Ajay

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 11:56 GMT
Dear Ajay,

Thank you for reading my essay.

While you maybe right that we may have to eke steering forever, I very much hope we can steer away from the current mess to a near plateau of a collective enlightened state. I think there are reasons to believe that biological evolution will help us get there.

Also, it would be highly desirable, I feel, if the true state is achieved, through practice and training, in young adulthood, so that individuals whose contribution to society is critical, maybe operating through the conscious I.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Luca Valeri wrote on May. 9, 2014 @ 08:37 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

In my essay I take the structure of time, the factual past and the potential future as starting point to discuss the structure of physics. In my essay I consciously avoid to talk about the present, where the transition from the potential future to the factual past 'happens' - avoiding questions on the nature of events or when has a measurement happened etc.

Do you see any connection between the present of the conscious I and the present as a moment of actualisation?

Kind regards,

Luca

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 23, 2014 @ 05:16 GMT
Dear Luca,

My reply to you got lost it seems. So I reply again. I agree that the present f the conscious I and the present moment of actualization should be regarded as being the same concept. While the conscious I does not perceive a flowing time, being always in the Now, the `present as a moment of actualization’ means there is never really any future or past, but only a succession of Nows. The conscious I is the Now.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




George Gantz wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 02:52 GMT
Tejinder - Thanks for the excellent essay and summary of a Buddhist perspective on the theory of mind. I have a deep appreciation for the benefits of meditation, and also acknowledge the deep similarities in foundational thought between Buddhist and Christian teachings - evil derives from the self acting without control.

I'd be interested in your reaction to the thesis in my essay The Tip of the Spear, that the evolutionary constraints of the universe ultimately point to cooperation and empathy as the principles that lead to progress. In that sense, selfish behaviors may provide short term benefits to an individual or group, but ultimately cooperation and human empathy (compassion, love) are essential to the achievement of maximum benefits for all.

Cheers - George

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 23, 2014 @ 06:10 GMT
Many thanks for your kind comments George,

Tejinder




Peter Jackson wrote on May. 19, 2014 @ 13:55 GMT
Tejender

I was pleased to connect fully with your essay explaining a valuable technique for disengaging with our common worldly failings. I agree that such new ways of thinking will be essential for the advancement of mankind to a higher plane. I employ a cameo of your proposition in my own essay, where Bob retires to silence many light years away from Earth to 'clear the storehouse', to contemplate and rationalise the workings of nature. No doubt you're familiar with the iterative burning and rejuvenation 'cycles' which I've also rationalised scientifically with empirical evidence elsewhere.

However I disagree that simply achieving the 'state' itself is the end itself, but suggest the state opens a door to seeing not just ourselves but the universe in a different light. The 'escape' is then also from embedded doctrines. The last sentence of you abstract seems to agree of the state itself;

"If this can be achieved, even to a partial degree, it will become easier for humankind to address and resolve the practical threats and challenges we face on our planet today." I provide a practical demonstration of the truth in that hypothesis which I hope you above most may perceive the real value of.

I found your essay beautifully written, a pleasure to read and of potentially high value Tejinder, but such approaches have existed for a long time and resisted universal adoption. A coup may be needed which I believe I demonstrate is possible if not ignored. But I suggest our real problem is really ignoring the solutions hiding before our eyes due to old rubbish cluttering the storehouse. I hope you'll read my allegorical essay and look forward to your comments.

Very best wishes

Peter

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 14:50 GMT
Many thanks for your insightful comments Peter. I had read and very much enjoyed your essay when it appeared - I will revisit it soon.

When you say above that 'such approaches have resisted universal adoption' a thought came to me as to whether this has been attempted by governments as a mass movement to be implemented by the state. I think not, and I feel such implementation is needed, howsoever idealised it might sound. I feel governments don't do it because it works against their immediate short term interests.

Kind regards,

Tejinder



Peter Jackson replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 16:56 GMT
Tejinder,

I can't see any government even considering it their business let alone trying to legislate for such things. I suspect the 'coup' may need to be a major breakthrough tied to the thinking methods.

Take the classical derivation of QM correlations I describe for instance. It's veracity is self apparent (classical dynamics and geometry) yet prior beliefs cause it to be rejected by most without even a scientific assessment. The problem is that it takes an enlightened way of thinking to derive.

Perhaps we should get together. I've said to Doug I think it may need 'crowd authoring' to get editors to 'take a risk'. If it takes off then the better thinking methods behind it, very much as you describe, should also do so.

I've now reviewed most and am pleased to be able to help push yours in the right direction, though having had 3 top 10 essays passed over by the judges the importance of peer scoring seems devalued and mu y point seems to be confirmed.

I wish yours luck in the placing and look forward to your comments on my own.

Best wishes

Peter

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Peter Jackson replied on May. 29, 2014 @ 18:00 GMT
Thanks Tejinder for the post on my blog. It's unsurprising that new science can't be instantly absorbed from just the essay, particularly when we've learned so many spooky tales of QM! It is however simple a sl elf apparent. Very Occam! I responded as below;

~

Thank you. The model provides a rational geometrical derivation of Bohmian mechanics, but with a twist (invoking electron...

view entire post


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Laurence Hitterdale wrote on May. 19, 2014 @ 17:12 GMT
Dear Dr. Singh,

Can you clarify the relationship between the timeless conscious I and the thinking I which seems to be immersed in time? When I first read your essay and also the essay by Dean Rickles, I was inclined to agree with his comment of April 22 about your essay. It seemed to me that the two of you had opposite opinions about the relationship of time to a good form of consciousness. However, in your comment of April 24 on his essay you state that you and Dr. Rickles are actually in agreement. In that comment you suggest that the contrast you want to draw is between cluttered thought and destructive behavior, on the one hand, and productive and enlightened thinking and behavior, on the other. Perhaps, then, the distinction between enlightened consciousness and unenlightened thinking is not really about time. The ground of the distinction might be ethical. While cluttered thinking is bad, enlightened consciousness is good. If so, it might be that how enlightened consciousness relates to events in time depends on circumstances. At least, this is how I would now interpret your essay.

Laurence Hitterdale

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 31, 2014 @ 12:44 GMT
Dear Laurence,

Thank you for reading my essay and for your insightful comments and questions.

I refer to the conscious I as timeless because it lives in the Now; every moment, when it arrives, is the present moment. The past, and the future, [even though the conscious i can relate to them constructively through controlled thinking] are known by the conscious I to be unreal, in the sense that the body and the being exist only in the present.

The uncontrolled thinking mind does not realize that the being exists only in the Now, and assigns reality to the past and the future, in the sense that events of the past play a very prominent role through memory; and anticipation makes the future very real, in the sense that one visualizes what can/might/will happen. We certainly agree that memory of the past has great advantages, for we learn and acquire knowledge through memory. Similarly we agree that anticipation of the future is key to planning. What we are referring to as unfortunate is that the thinking uncontrolled mind [cluttered thought] falls prey to unpleasant memories and anxiety of the future, leading to problems. The conscious I, which knows that only the Now is real, does not let the unpleasant past and uncertain future trouble it.

Thus I would say that the thinking mind immersed in time is what emerges when we let it control us, and when we forget the conscious I which relates directly to the Now, and does not see time as divided between past, present and future.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Ajay Bhatla wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 04:33 GMT
Tejinder,

This note is a copy of a note I put on my essay thread in response to your comment there.

You make a very good point. I agree that your emphasis and mine together make a very strong story. I'll give it some thought as to how to make the combination happen - do you have any ideas?

How can you and I communicate outside this forum and especially after May 30, when I presume these communications will end?

-- Ajay

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Anonymous wrote on May. 28, 2014 @ 21:17 GMT
Hi Tejinder,

I like your essay very much. I also like the transition from your usual scientific essays.

My spiritual preferences run to Ramakrishna, and Eckhart Tolle and I recommend them to anyone.

However, outside of a comparative religion course, it is not wise to teach the true spiritual truths to anyone in a public setting even if it is the truth.

If I may modify your idea a little, I would offer a course in "turning off the mind". A very practical scientific course using neural activity detectors and competitions among the student. I would also avoid the terms consciousness and enlightenment, they are way too loaded semantically and have become useless (IMHO) and have become weapons in the war between we the enlightened and them the barbarians.

However, you have pointed out something foundational and important, your essay deserves a much higher score.

Don Limuti

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 31, 2014 @ 12:47 GMT
Dear Don,

Thank you for reading my essay. I appreciate your comments, and respect the suggestions you make here. Undoubtedly, implementation in the manner you propose will be very fruitful too.

Kind regards,

Tejinder




Chidi Idika wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 08:41 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

Should you find the time I will most appreciate your comment and voting on my perhaps unconventional thesis.

Best,

Chidi

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Petio Hristov wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 07:00 GMT
Hello Tejinder,

As an appeal for correspondence and exchange of ideas between FQXi members I have send you my books on your email address.

Their content is not only a new approach in the understanding of the Universe, but a new sort of physics, because in my study of the physical laws I had to give a new definition of time and space regarding the sequence and nature of their creation.

For some myths Egyptologists use the phrase: “divine mystery” the reading of which helps me to understand the cosmic mysteries. This understanding I gain by running the myth “through the prism” created by the physical laws and I decipher the formed image.

I hope that this will help you in your own field and in your studies.

Best wishes,

Petio

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 16:42 GMT
Tejinder,

I think you are sure to win a top prize this year.

" ... in spite of all the objectivity we attach to it, we cannot dissociate the objective universe entirely from the human mind which tries to comprehend it."

Isn't that in fact what Einstein meant when he said, "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible"?

You get my high vote of confidence, just for so eloquently illustrating why the well being of the least element of the human social system is most critical to the success of the complex social system as a whole, and at every scale of activity.

All best,

Tom

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