An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Ancient Hindu Science and the effect on the world – II

(continued from Ancient Hindu Science and the effect on the world – I)

Einstein had already casted light as particle and wave in 1905 to set himself up for the Nobel Prize. In 1923, a little known graduate student, Louis de Broglie, threw the people around him in a tizzy when he asserted in his PhD thesis that electron were wave as well. The supervising committee for the student consulted Schrodinger, who rubbished the idea. When Einstein was consulted he suggested them to give the kid his PhD, for however outlandish the idea may have been, it wasn’t without merit. In the next 3 years, Quantum Mechanics developed such that the electron was firmly established as a wave as well. Schrodinger also contributed to the formulation of Wave Collapse and came up with his “Cat paradox”.

Between his opposition of deBroglie and immersion into the Wave Mechanics, came his own take of his philosophy of life “Mein Welten sicht “(My World View) in1925. One could see that his ruminations on Vedanta were leading him to his Cat Paradox, which would surface in 1935 in Zeitschrift der Physick.

“But it is quite easy to express the solution in words, thus: the plurality [of viewpoints] that we perceive is only “an appearance; it is not real. Vedantic philosophy, in which this is a fundamental dogma, has sought to clarify it by a number of analogies, one of the most attractive being the many-faceted crystal which, while showing hundreds of little pictures of what is in reality a single existent object, does not really multiply the object.”

and…

“… you may suddenly come to see, in a flash, the profound rightness of the basic conviction of Vedanta: … knowledge, feeling and choice are essentially eternal and unchangeable and numerically one in all men, nay in all sensitive beings.”

Schrodinger’s “Cat” was taking shape. One of the pioneers of Quantum Mechanics and a Nobel Prize winner then went onto link Vedanta with Modern Quantum Science.

“If finally we look back at that idea of Mach [that `the universe is not twice given’], we shall realize that it comes as near to the orthodox dogma of the Upanishads as it could possibly do without stating it expressis verbis. The external world and consciousness are one and the same thing.”

It has become fashionable for men and women of dubious distinctions with no significant contribution to speak of in science and scholarship, to object angrily to anyone who sees very similar conclusions in Ancient Hindu philosophy (based on methodical ways of self enquiry) and Quantum Mechanics regarding the Truth of existence and creation.

It is indeed telling that those, who have led the growth of Quantum Mechanics and created and shaped this entire subject of Physics were never shy of not only extolling the similarities, but sharing how Vedanta shaped their own thinking.

The blind self-denial by “Science Scholars” who have no real contributions to speak of in the world of Quantum mechanics, is not only symptomatic of a superstitious mind but a dogmatic approach to Science. No wonder such men and women have always stood on the sidelines of Physics, waving inane placards angrily without contributing anything of value while expressing their frustration through persistent and rhetorical criticisms!

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“I beg to introduce myself to you as a clerk in the Accounts Department of the Port Trust Office at Madras on a salary of only £ 20 per annum. I have had no university education but I have undergone the ordinary school course. After leaving school I have been employing the spare time at my disposal to work at mathematics. I have not trodden through the conventional regular course which is followed in a university course, but I am striking out a new path for myself. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as “startling”… I would request you to go through the enclosed papers. Being poor, if you are convinced that there is anything of value I would like to have my theorems published. I have not given the actual investigations nor the expressions that I get but I have indicated the lines on which I proceed. Being inexperienced I would very highly value any advice you give me “.

This is possibly the most important letter ever written in the history of mathematics. Ramanujam wrote this to Godfrey Harold Hardy, a British mathematician on January 16, 1913.

He glanced at the letter, written in halting English, signed by an unknown Indian, asking him to give an opinion of these mathematical discoveries. The script appeared to consist of theorems, most of them wild or fantastic looking, one or two already well-known, laid out as though they were original. There were no proofs of any kind. Hardy was not only bored, but irritated. It seemed like a curious kind of fraud. He put the manuscript aside, and went on with his day’s routine.

These papers had been returned by top Cambridge mathematics ( H. F. Baker and E. W. Hobson) professors without comment. Hardy took a look at the papers along with his colleague and another mathematician, John Edensor Littlewood and came to a different conclusion.

When Hardy looked at Ramanujam’s theorems he realized that some had already been determined by others as well. But some were truly intriguing and original. He commented “[theorems] defeated me completely; I had never seen anything in the least like them before.”

…. and that they “must be true, because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them.”

This is an important conclusion of a mind that sees beyond the written. What is written as a final conclusion is not important, as much as that which lead to that conclusion. If you do not find consistent steps leading into and going out of a destination, then one has looked deeply enough. To deny the existence of such a destination by calling it a fairy tale does not take away the obvious, but it closes all possibility to intelligently and logically understand the heights mankind has already scaled.

Fundamentally, the most damning issue with mankind today is its urge to “recreate” everything that one could harness from nature. God, a proxy for nature, had to be “defeated” by the scientists after the Dark Ages. So, whatever “God” could do or nature came up with, had to be done again by man.

No wonder, as worshippers of mechanistic view of science and knowledge, we have ended up polluting the planet and outer space with things and creations that will in the final analysis hurt our existence itself.

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Modern Science from its inception years has worked with an the assumption that are predicated on the existence and its inherent and internal interactions being “physical and material” in nature. Scientific method is described as:

To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[2] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Unfortunately for this mechanistic view of science and its proponents, our very definition of “existence” and its interplay has changed. Quantum Mechanics and Theory of Relativity, which later led to an entire discipline of looking for Unified Theory, have completely altered the way existence can be viewed. It is no longer “mechanistic”, defined by matter or related to the early view of science.

Dr. William Tiller, world renowned Material Scientist, throws yet another curve ball at the mechanistic world-view of Science.

For the last four hundred years, an unstated assumption of science is that such a thing is impossible. However, our experimental research of the past decade shows that, for today’s world and under the right conditions, this assumption is no longer correct. We have discovered that it is possible to make a significant change in the properties of a material substance by consciously holding a clear intention to do so. For example, we have repeatedly been able to change the acid/alkaline balance (pH) in a vessel of water either up or down, without adding chemicals to the water, merely by creating an intention to do so.

Intention, or thought is an energy based on consistent experiments, that can alter physical reality. This violates the very basis of a worldview, where only matter or “physical energy” can alter physicality. Tiller confronts us with a reality where something that has no measurement, has hitherto been defined merely by poets and writers, suddenly blossoms into a viable force to alter the physical experiments of a Science lab!

The future Tiller spells inspired by his experiments is fantastic to even comprehend.

Improved methods for converting fossil fuels to mechanical energy, more powerful computing capabilities and greatly enhanced potential for human mental and physical development are just a few examples of the dramatic possibilities.

Why is an Intention so powerful? Can it permanently alter a reality? Yes, says TIller, based on repeatable empirical evidence. When the experiments were repeatedly done over and over again, Tiller and his team found that the effect of intent becomes permanent. The repeated flow of Intent in the laboratory, “conditions” the entire laboratory such that the same results are initially achieved stronger and quicker, and eventually the results occur even without the presence of the Intention devices anymore.

The Intention of the monks has taken hold of the laboratory’s basic ability to alter chemical reality inside it. At this point, law of physics no longer work as they are supposed to. Without any effort, the pH value of the water can be altered by merely bringing it in the environment of the laboratory.

What are we dealing with here?

It has been established that for quantum mechanics and relativity theory to work, vacuum must contain an energy density 1094 grams per cubic centimeter. Does this vacuum possibly a source or “container” of any energy?

The Vacuum: Most of the general public hold the idea that the vacuum is not only the absence of physical matter but is also devoid of anything! However, for quantum mechanics and relativity theory to be internally self-consistent, the vacuum is required to contain an amazingly large inherent energy density. This vacuum energy density is so large that, for a “flat” universe (so Einstein’s Gravitation constant can be neglected), the intrinsic total energy contained within the volume of a single hydrogen atom is [about one trillion times larger than that contained in all the physical mass of all the planets plus all the stars in the entire known cosmos out to a radius of 20 billion light-years. This makes the energy stored in physical matter an insignificant whisper compared to that stored in the vacuum. Uncovering the secrets of the vacuum is obviously a very important part of humankind’s future!

The real progress lies in harnessing the energy that is inherent in the existence by something as intangible as Intention! Tiller remarks:

“Matter as we know it, is hardly a fragrance of a whisper.”

Interestingly however, our basic view of what was called Science, is still defined by rules that originated from the world of matter.

Like Neils Bohr said philosophically – “It is wrong to think that the task of Physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature.” Science is no longer the “articulation of Truth” but it is “Knowledge which is an Estimation of the Truth“.

To argue with “rules” created about a discipline when it was erraneously defined in very limited manner, is akin to using the Rule Book from the era of sending post by pigeons to define the laws of Internet. The very premise has changed.

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So, we come to the question as to what is “Science”? Should, and more critically can the scientific exploration of today be shackled to a definition that was the result of our knowledge in 1600s? Does the definition of mechanistic science hold itself in the face of a non-mechanistic science?

These are important questions and carrying around such a dead semantic horse of an idea called Science from four centuries ago can at best be termed as “Superstition”.

But is there any parallel of approaching exploration into the foundations of our existence from anytime of human existence? For, our current paradigms and semantics that are being dragged on from the mechanistic past are no longer relevant.

Eugene Wigner, a pioneer into the new exploration of consciousness as the most foundational currency of existence, has an interesting insight to share from his review of a book that discusses the differences between mechanistic and non-mechanistic eras.

Eugene Wigner received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 “for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles”. Some contemporaries referred to Wigner as the Silent Genius and some even considered him the intellectual equal to Albert Einstein, though without his prominence.(source: Wikipedia)

“I liked the third chapter of Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science very much. In particular it acquainted me some with the Bhagavad-gita. I learned that the basic philosophical ideas of this on ‘existence’ are virtually identical with those which quantum mechanics lead me to.” – Eugene Wigner, Nobel Price for Physics (1963) said of Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science An Investigation into the Nature of Consciousness and Form by Dr. Richard L. Thompson

Like one saw in case of Schrodinger, another pioneer of Quantum Mechanics and Nuclear physics, unabashedly discusses the inspiration that he derives in his own exploration of the Quantum from the Scientific thought enshrined in Hindu Scriptures. The same sentiment has been repeated by the greats such as Oppenheimer etc.

As discussed earlier, only the Superstitious cheerleaders of mechanistic era with no skin in the Quantum world, have a strange aversion to the inspiration of the pioneers of QM. But hey, at least that gives them some career to earn some money off of. Otherwise failed scientists would have had no way to bring bread to their table.

In the next parts, we will discuss the Hindu (Vedic and Vedantic) view of Creation and its scientific underpinnings. The word “Hindu” is a very misunderstood word and the Hindu philosophy is even more. We will go through the basics of different hues within the pantheon of structures that are called Hinduism.

Reference Links:

Scientific method
Eugene Wigner
CONSCIOUS ACTS OF CREATION: The emergence of New Physics

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