Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Our Body, Our Mind

(This is part of my notes from “Magical Mind, Magical body" of Dr. Deepak Chopra.) 

Good health is not mere absence of disease.  It is a state of positive wellbeing which includes emotional, psychological wellbeing besides physical wellbeing.  Our body is not a frozen sculpture fixed in space and time, a physical machine that has learnt to think. It is a river of information and energy and thought is a fluctuation of information and energy in the body.  Greek philosopher Heraclitus said “In a river, you cannot step into the same water twice.”   Every second of our experience, the body undergoes change.  With every breadth we take in 1022 atoms that end up as our cells. When we breathe out, we are breathing out bits and pieces of tissues and this we are exchanging with others in the planet.  That means we are exchanging our body with the body of the universe.  Isotope study reveals that we replace 98% of atoms in our body in one year.  We make a new liver once in six weeks, a new skeleton once in six months. Our body at the current moment is of 2014 model much different internally from 2004 model.  There is a deeper reality behind this changing body which does not undergo any change while the body continuously undergoes change. 

Our body is made of atoms and atoms are made up of subatomic particles like leptons, mesons etc. which are moving at lightning speed.  99% of our body is empty space and out of this empty space come these particles as in the space outside.  These particles are fluctuations of energy and information.  A quantum unit of electricity is electron, of light is photon and of gravity is graviton. Similarly a quantum unit of mind is thought.  A thought at basic level is an impulse of information. When we have a thought we make in our brain a set of chemicals called neuropeptides, neuro standing for nervous energy and peptides for protein-like molecules.  This is the means for brain cells communicating with one another.  When one brain cell wants to communicate with another brain cell, it manufactures the neuropeptides that latches on to the receptors in the other cell.

These receptors exist in other systems of the body like immune system.  That means immune system can think and also knows what goes on in our body all the time. When the body encounters bacteria, our immune system tries to figure it out and manufacture the antibody to counter it. The body can do a million things simultaneously and correlate them as well. So it is a thinking system. In other parts of the body like intestines and colon also we have cells that have receptors. That means they are also thinking systems and so our mind cannot be confined to the heart or brain alone. We have a thinking body that has mind all through the body. So our human body is body-mind at the same time.

Universe is a non-local field of energy and information with which this local field of information & energy called physical body is exchanging energy and information unconsciously continuously.  Our body’s biological rhythms, circadian rhythms, are in tune with earth’s rhythms, which in turn are affected by planetary movements.  Universe out there is a chaos of energy soup while the deeper reality behind the body and thought is a silent witness that does not change and is beyond Time and Space. The chaos of energy soup we take into our physical system through the five senses and inject a sense of reality to it unconsciously.  But our senses are not a true test of reality.  Because of our conditioned response, conditioning caused by socio economic conditions, belief and value systems, and upbringing etc., each one of us structure a certain type of physical reality. In complete silence of thought only, mano-nasa, we recognise we are not the thoughts but the one who is witness to the thoughts. The witness is the pure Consciousness, called Unified field.  Physical body, feelings, psychological makeup does not affect the Consciousness.

This quantum mechanical body is made up of particles like leptons, mesons etc. These particles are not material objects.  They give us the experience of matter through our senses but they are really fluctuations of energy in a void of energy and information.  99% of body is empty space, and this empty space is not an emptiness of nothing but fullness of non-material intelligence that is responsible for the material expression of body and mind.  The field of non-material intelligence is called Unified Field or Morpho-genetic Field by scientists.  Morpho-genetic means that which gives rise to form, give birth to the variety and diversity that the body is. The essential I,the 'I', is not the body or mind but its source, the non-material intelligence.  As it is not matter the 'I',is not subject to the laws of matter, which are valid only in a field of time, space and causation.  ‘I’ is basically Consciousness which conceives, constructs and governs the body.  That means 'We' are not physical machines that have learnt how to think, but the impulses of intelligence that have learnt how to create physical machines and thoughts are impulses of intelligence.  'We' are the quantum events in that Field which has learnt how to create both the mind and the body.

We are shifting to a new paradigm not only of the body but also of the interpretation of the world. The old paradigm said that there is an objective world outside which is completely independent of the perceiver. The new paradigm says we live in a participatory world where as observer we create that outside world.  The old paradigm says world consists of clumps of matter separated by time and space.  The new paradigm says that world is non-material and is composed of energy fields that come from one underlying unmanifest Field. The old paradigm says mind and matter are independent and separate entities.  The new paradigm says mind and matter are the same.  The Field experienced subjectively is mind; experienced objectively is material objects.  The old paradigm said the mind is trapped in brain and intelligence is localized in the nervous system or in the body.  The new paradigm says mind is unbounded and infinite, though it finds expression in localized forms and phenomenon. The old paradigm said Consciousness is epiphenomenon of matter.  The new paradigm says matter is epiphenomenon of Consciousness.  The old paradigm said human beings are self-contained independent entities.  The new paradigm says they are only focal points of intelligence in the Field.  The old paradigm said perception is an automatic phenomenon.  The new paradigm says we learn how to interpret and that brings about perceptual changes.  And today we are moving into a new era where there is a shift in perception.
(As audio-book this is available at

Friday, 23 May 2014

Silence – the Real Self

Silence can be of body, speech or mind.  As physical silence is called stillness, we generally associate silence with speech or mind.  Of these the popular association is with speech. Silence of speech is practised more as a vrata, mouna vrata.  In mouna vrata also, one keeps the mouth shut but does not stay still and the mind also keeps its chattering and wandering. The silence, I am referring to is the silence of the mind, the inner stillness, which is also referred to as mano-nasa, the destruction of the mind.  Here the mind is not destroyed but only quietened with the thought process of the mind arrested. This state can be achieved only when there is total silence, silence of body, mind and speech.

Our mind being a product of the satva component of the pancha bhuthas i.e. space, air, fire, earth and water, which by themselves are insentient, is also insentient by itself.  It is made sentient by the pure Consciousness, called Chaitanyam that the mind manifests through its reflection in the mind, called Chidabasa. So in every thought experience called Vritti, Chaitanyam is associated.  One Chaitanyam associated with numerous thoughts is symbolically represented as Rasa Krida.  Krida stands for the coming and going of thoughts and Rasa stands for Anandha, that is Chaitanyam, which is Sat, Chit, Anandha. Rasa Krida is the figurative interplay of thoughts with Chaitanyam, which is one and changeless.  Normally we are experiencing Chaitanyam with Vritti in all our thought experiences. When the mind is silent, it is thought free and we are experiencing the Chaitanyam only and so the peace and happiness experienced in the moment of inner stillness is the peace and happiness associated with Chaitanyam

In Kenopanishad this is explained beautifully by the fit student first and later the guru explains it to the mediocre student. In the second verse of chapter 2, the student states as a reply to guru’s question, “I do not think, ’I know It well’, Not that I do not know; I know too.”  The student cannot know it well because Chaitanyam cannot be known as an object or as a concept.  But at the same time he cannot also say he does not know because it is part of his thought experiences. Thereafter the teacher explains this to the mediocre student in Mantra 4, with the oft-quoted statement. “प्रतिबोधविदितं मतम्”.

Here the teacher again explains to the mediocre student that Chaitanyam is associated with every thought modification of the mind.  Every experience we have has a variable component, thought and a non-variable component, Chaitanyam, the pure consciousness principle. One registers only the thought and not the Chaitanyam. To see an object one not only needs good eyes but also a source of light to illumine the object.  For even if one has good vision, one cannot see the object if there is no light and it is totally dark. But when we see an object, our mind registers the object only and not the light pervading it which makes it possible for us to see the object.  This you can experiment, while walking in the daytime.  The mind registers the objects only and not the sunlight that makes it possible for us to see the objects.  Even if there is nothing to notice, the emptiness also is revealed by the light only. In the same way not only the thought but also absence of thought is revealed by Chaitanyam. So in the moment of inner stillness, when thought is absent we have the experience of the revealing Chaitanyam and this explains the deep peace and serene happiness enjoyed at the time of inner stillness.

When mind is silent there is total silence i.e. silence of body and speech as well. And the inner stillness experienced then is the experience of Chaitanyam, which is our Real Self. This is conveyed by Mandukya Upanishad as well  through Mantras 7 and 12. Mantra 7 describes Turiyam, which is Athma and Mantra 12 describes Amatra, the state of silence, and both have identical descriptions. For as we have seen earlier, it is Chaitanyam that illuminates the chatter of mind as well as the silence of mind.  So this inner stillness is Athma that is Brahman, the Cosmic Supreme.   So if you meditate on ‘Om Namasivaya’ or on ‘Om Namo Narayana” or some similar Mantra, slowly spelling out the words mentally, concentrating on the silence in between words and lengthening the period of silence as meditation progresses, then you are  meditating  on Silence, your inner Real Self. 

This is the concept Wayne Dyer employs in his Gap Meditation, through which he says one can have conscious contact with God.  This inner stillness, Eckhart Tolle equates with ‘Now’, the container; the events that take place at any time being only the contents. So in his book “Stillness Speaks”, Eckhart Tolle states “When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself ----- This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.  Stillness is your essential nature” and goes on to equate the stillness with Awareness which is Chaitanyam. From this we can see that what Lord Dakshinamurthy does, is not teaching in silence but teaching ‘Silence’, that is one’s Real Self.