Introduction to this blog

Consciousness can be generated by the process of computation! This is the claim of neuroscientists and computer scientists. However, the Vedic literature provides a clear idea that conscious by its nature is not a matter and hence it cannot be generated by any kind of complex computation that is due to matter. This blog is to explore the science of consciousness from Vedic perspective.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Neuro Science and Consciousness

As we look around the world we find that many neuro scientists are getting interested more and more in the problems related to consciousness. For example the Hard and Easy problem of David Charmer[1], Neural co-relate consciousness(NCC) of Francis Crick and Christof Koch [2], Quantum consciousness by Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose [3], concept of epiphenomena of V. S. Ramachadran and many other well known philosophers, neurologist, and physicists like Amit Goswami [4], A. K. Mukhopadhyay[5] at AIIMS, India, Sangetha Menon [6] at NIAS, India are very much involved in the realm of consciousness. Hence we can see that the problem of consciousness can not be ignored any more.

Many intuitions are speculated and theorised in order to understand the consciousness from neuro science point of view. However, till now after so much of dedicated research effort the consciousness is not very well understood by the great thinkers of the world. Most of the scientists have impression that the consciousness is originated from the complex interaction of neurons in the brain. The collapsing of wave function is the one speculation in which most of the scientist around the world are contemplating in order to understand the origin of consciousness. The other proposal which is well accepted among many leading scientist of the world is microtubles as the origin of consciousness. Apart from these two proposals which are well accepted there are many other proposals in this area which also tries to explain the origin of consciousness in brain. One thing to be noted is, till now there is no satisfactory answer to the origin of consciousness from the basis of brain or complex interaction of neurons. On the other hand, the Indian Vedic literature provides a clear idea that the very nature of consciousness is non matter rather spiritual. Being a spiritual element the consciousness can not be generated by complex interaction of the neurons which are matter by nature. The Vedic literature provides very detail understanding of consciousness from entirely different aspect.

In brief here we can discuss bit about the Vedic understanding of consciousness. According to Vedic understanding the elements of this entire creation is categorized into two. One is matter and another is non-matter or spirit. The matter is again classified into two, one is gross matter which consists of earth, water, fire, air, and ether and other one is subtle matter which consists of mind, intelligence, and false ego. The matter is different from the spirit because it does not contain any consciousness. The spirit however has consciousness. According to the Vedic science the phenomena of perceiving, feelings, and experiencing are due to the presence of consciousness in spirit. In matter no such phenomena are expressed or exhibited. Vedic science gives the analogy of sun shine and sun to understand the consciousness and spirit. The sun shine is like the consciousness where as the spirit is like sun globe. Hence according the Vedic science the consciousness is fundamental quality of spirit. Because of the presence of consciousness the spirit is entirely different from matter and it exhibits far more superior functions. Hence we can see that the consciousness according to the Vedic science is not the complex interaction of neurons. Further more the Veda gives the information that the neurons in the brain, and mind are the devices through which the consciousness is transmitted between the spirit and the sensory organ. And this is how the spirit interacts with the external Nature. The most difficult question that scientists ask is the proof that the spirit exists and how it posses the consciousness as its fundamental quality. The Vedic literature has given very practical methodology to proof the existence of spirit.

According to the Vedic science the spirit is something which cannot be observed by the senses or the kind of extended senses like ultra microscope and NMR technology. Hence Vedic science has devised an entirely different kind of methodology to directly perceive the spirit. And this methodology or science is known as Science of self realization. Bhagavad-gita the encyclopedia of Vedic knowledge provides various kind of self realization process. Among all these processes the one which is practical for this age of modern science and technology is the process of devotional services to Supreme Lord Krishna. The process of devotional service is recommended by the Supreme Lord himself and it is accepted and successfully practiced by many seeker of Supreme Lord. By studying the life of many great spiritual scientists we learn that the science of self realization is the only one method by which one can proof (directly see) the existence of spirit and consciousness. Although this may be very difficult for modern scientists to accept but this is the well proven methodology to see the spirit. May be in the future our modern scientist may invent some method to proof the existence of spirit but it is very much doubtful that it will give us complete perception of spirit and consciousness because till now we have not seen directly any of the sub-atomic particles- our quantum world is completely a dark room where we just infer and go ahead.

Therefor, if the scientists will be open minded and come forward to look into the literature of Vedic knowledge it will be easy for them to unravel the mysteries of consciousness accurately in very shorter period of time.

This post is at primary stage on the commentary on neuro science and consciousness. Kidly give your valuable suggestions, references, and other useful resources such that the concept of consciousness can be understood precisely from both modern science as well as from ancient Vedic literature.

Bangalore, India

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