Monday, August 30, 2010

Replies to Previously Unanswered Comments in the post "Some Reflections on UG and the Scientific Approach "

Monday, August 30, 2010

These are some of the comments that haven't been answered in my previous blog. I will answer them here, so they are more prominent than in the comments page. I think they deserve being put here. I have replied to four comments yesterday, please look them up under comments:

1) David said...

"One day scientists will realize that consciousness is everywhere"

Is this what Advaita speaks of as the world arising with the mind i.e. Body is in the Self ?

Can you elaborate on your understanding of this statement?
March 13, 2010 11:12 PM

Reply: Advaita says consciousness is everything, not just everywhere. Yes, the world of appearances, according to it, arises with the mind (because of ignorance), but then the body is part of it.(Actually, the mind is part of the world of appearance.) The Self, on the other hand, is consciousness.

2) Blogger Rambondalapati said...

Dear Narayana Moorty Sir,
Happy to see you back. I have been introduced to your blog nearly 20 days back through internet search. Since you have not been active of late, I thought of sending an email. But, again I thought at your age if were well or not.
I have the following questions:
1. Quite some states in our daily experience are beyond effort. Eg:we can't go into sleep by effort since effort requires us to be conscious. similarly if we are excited either positively or negatively, then also we can not enter sleep despite our efforts. Sitting in front of my computer some times I can't stop sleep despite my best efforts. Similarly I can't become Tendulkar with pure effort without action. To learn driving after some psychological effort i need to sit in a car and learn it. Once I learn the driving, it's impossible to get the reflexes out of my system despite my conscious effort. This might be because of the reflexes operating at a subconscious level.
Is the natural state some thing similar to the above situations?

Reply: The reflexes happening at a subconscious level are still mental, i.e., products of the divisive mind or thought. I don't what the natural state consists of, but it can't be the subconscious mind.

2.Though our mind operates through images, images are two way connections to the world. If I kick the man going on the street through his image, his image kicks me back because of him. It means through images we manipulate the world and invented things like space craft etc. This is very significant. Could this be done with the help of the "thought on demand" mode in which UG was?

Reply: I am not sure what you mean by 'image' here: if it is a visual image, UG was not capable of visual images. Even if thoughts were operating in UG on demand, they are not images in that sense. If, on the other hand, you say that my perception of my kicking a man results in my perception of his kicking me back, then perhaps you are right. For UG, in other words, the world is our interpretation of it.

3.UG says for practical purposes we can use thought. But from my perspective there's no clear cut distinction between these two aspects practical, and psychological(self conscious). Does being in natural state give that clarity?

Reply: I think we can understand UG better when we hear him say that actions are in him always prompted by something outside (in the world); they are never initiated by him. Then what you call the psychological plays no role at all.

4. Planning for future is one aspect of self-consciousness. Does it not enhance our survival?

Reply: Yes, but it also is responsible for the destructive nature of man. You can't have the one without the other.

5. Has civilization enhanced our survival? While comparing the amount of casualties in the case of calamities in developed and not developed world, I get the feeling that civilization has enhanced our collective survival(in addition to individual survival) too.

Reply: To appearances it may be so; but man's destructiveness is much deeper than just numbers of people who have survived vs. those who have perished. (Look at the divisions in the world, exploitation, hunger, wars, and on and on.)While I am impressed by many of the products of civilization, I can't say I can brag about it.

6. Can the thoughtless state be a result of the every day effort man exerts? If I read a book with concentration, then I am not self conscious at the moment. My mind is filled with the subject of the book (it might be images). Though the effort I put to read the book is to fulfill some selfish goal, or because of curiosity, am I not in a state that does not have self consciousness? Similar logic applies to a football player chasing a football in the field. Though, in this case he is chasing the image locked to a real world object.

Reply: It's not true that there is no self-consciousness in being absorbed in reading a book or playing football. There is thought and there are divisions (for example, your being affected by what happens to the hero in the book or when you are keenly aware of how close or farther away you are from your goal). Those divisions are divisions of self-consciousness. It just operates in a different way, that's all

7. Telling "some thoughts result in thoughtless state and some thoughts results in further thought", is nothing but "telling through thought/effort you can realize the thoughtless state". Is it correct?

Reply: I am not sure who said that. UG couldn't have said that. But if I said it, I mean that if a thought resulted in being free from thought, it is not because of any effort (which is always seeking a goal), but the abandoning of effort. If I let everything go in a certain state of mind, I am not seeking anything. I just let it go because of the realization that all goal-seeking only resulted in duality. If that constitutes a thought, I would say it's not like other thoughts. It's sort of self-annihilating.

8.Can we realize the necessary conditions for a natural state through our efforts/actions?

Reply: Only in the sense I talked about in the previous answer.

9. This question is mainly from what J Krishnamurti says. I have striven to reach the state. Now, it's easier for you. You need not be an Edison to switch on a light. Is it because if a person reaches certain state and looks back, it looks very easy to reach that state. Has JK realized that to a layman all that he was giving was a description of a state?

Reply: He must have known that. Yet, he somehow hoped that by his "journey together" he would lead the audience into some such state.

Finally, I write some novels kind of things on net. They are here.
I'll be very happy, if you could go through them and let me know your opinion (if your health permits)

Reply: Thanks for the links and I will let you know what I think when I get to read them.
March 15, 2010 12:19 AM

3Blogger Rambondalapati said...

One more question:
If we can realize the natural state through drugs or genetic engineering, then does it mean we attain that as a result of self consciousness?

Reply Not necessarily. The drugs can be taken by yourself or administered to you by someone else with or without your knowledge. In the last scenario, there is no self-conscious; you are a mere victim (or perhaps under duress!) But at any rate I wouldn't equate such changes with a transformation of the human being.

March 15, 2010 12:22 AM

4 Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Moorty,
Subjective introspection is prone to theorizing.It's very difficult to determine if a fleeting sensation is due to theorizing or actual. If a person is fully aware of teachings of UG, and then one day he tried(pseudonym) reaching end of thought,after thinking he has reached end of thought, according to the theoretical knowledge and his wishful thinking he may have a fleeting feeling that he realized the thoughtless state. It's impossible to distinguish this state from the actual natural state. In a recent time the experiment conducted on subjective introspection by Russell T. Hurlburt’s & Eric Schwitzgebel’s deals with this method.There's some literature about this experiment in internet.

Reply: I am not sure what you mean by 'theorizing': You mean one imagines one has such and such a sensation? Perhaps one would only as to the nature of the sensation, but not the fact that one has. That may be so in some cases, but it is rash to generalize from that all introspection is unreliable.

I think your assertion that UG's natural state is only his wishful thinking that he had one is borne out of not knowing what UG in person was like. Suppose it is so, how could you say it is impossible to distinguish this state from the actual natural state. Suppose one were in the actual natural state. How would you know? Through his behavior? Well, why wouldn't you use that method to find out if UG was indeed in that state or not. If there is no distinction, on the other hand, between the two states, then your claim that it is a result of theorizing becomes meaningless (theorizing as opposed to what?).

March 21, 2010 12:33 AM
5Blogger Ganesh said...

Dear Mr. Moorty,

Thanks for this article, its refreshing to have read it.


March 25, 2010 8:28 PM

6 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have tested it and writing form your personal experience or you find some information online?

Reply: Tested what?

July 2, 2010 7:12 PM
7Blogger Lionel said...

Hello Mister Moorty.

Thanks for this article.

I cannot but think about a paper wrote by Mahesh Bhatt called "a taste of death". Under the section called "August 4... day twenty-six" UG comments an article that Mahesh read in the Herald tribune the day before.

What amaze me is that UG says suddenly: "this new dimension which they claim they (the scientists) are now beginning to read in nature has always existed."

So in your article you quote UG saying "there is no such thing as a third or fourth dimension (if he saw Einstein - who talked about the three dimensions of space and the fourth of time - he would "shoot him on sight". As far as UG was concerned there are only two dimensions, implying that the third and the fourth dimensions are interpolations or our thought process"

Ok. Sorry there is again a contradiction with UG's statement in the Mahesh Bhatt article which was written in 1995. In 1995 science was and still is working with the concepts of 4 dimensions (even more!). If UG, commenting the article of the Herald Tribune, gives some credits to the idea that scientists begin to read in Nature a new dimension (which by the way has always existed), that implies, so to speak, a fifth dimension! - he, again, contradicts "himself" for me. I don't understand (i know, nothing is to undertand) and that irritate me. For me, this is an assumption that leads in the opposite direction than the one claiming about only
two dimensions in Nature.

What is your opinion on this contradiction ?

Thanks you for your reply.

All the best


August 14, 2010 8:30 AM


Hi Lionel:

Thanks for your comment. Please post your comments from now on at and not here. I cannot post replies on this blog any longer. They moved the old blog to the new blog site.

The Herald Tribune quote you gave does seem to contradict what UG says elsewhere. However, in this quote, he only seems to have said that about new dimension to disparage the scientists and their achievements, but not to pick a specific axe like a fourth or fifth dimension.

When he talks about two dimensions, he is mostly speaking from the point of view of his own personal experience in which he experiences the world in two dimensions and the third or fourth dimensions are mere interpolations of thought.

August 14, 2010 11:01 AM

No comments: