Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mind Over Matter

So, I recently stumbled across this exciting article in Mail Online. It is about the biologist Robert Lanza and his ideas about a "biocentric universe" derived from his own studies and the findings in the field of quantum physics.


You can read the article here:

And you can read about Professor Robert Lanzas biocentric universe here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biocentric_universe

Are these ideas new? Lets take a look at what the gaudiya vaishnava saint Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaj thinks about the order of matter and mind:

Matter does not produce the soul; rather the soul contains in its one negligible portion the conception of matter. Like an eczema, it is a disease. The world exists like an eczema in a wholesome body. This is the Vedantic understanding. It would certainly be a wonderful miracle if stone could produce the soul, but it is easier and more reasonable for us to think that the soul has produced the conception of stone. In the soul, there are many conceptions, and one conception is that of stone. It is all in the plane of consciousness. But that stone can produce soul, or consciousness, is difficult, ridiculous, inconceivable, and unreasonable. Rather, it is the opposite, something like the Berkeley theory that the world is in the mind, and not that the mind is in the world. It is only our deviation from the truth that brings us into this mundane world. How and where that deviation begins is to be thought out. But deviation from the truth has brought us to this false area.
 
So, consciousness is producing everything. Consciousness is eternal; this world is not eternal.
 
This is a temporary production, and the temporary stone cannot produce eternal consciousness. Pure consciousness is an eternal subject (nitya sanatana). It is not a product, it is productive. Ether can produce fire, and earth, but the earth cannot produce ether. The subtle is more efficient than the gross. The gross is of secondary importance. The soul, atma, is of principle importance. 

The origin of everything must be conscious; the starting point must begin with the interested party. The soul is endowed with interest, but a stone has no interest, plan, or project, nothing of the kind. But there is a plan and a purpose pervading everything, and that is the important thing.

/B.R. Sriddhar Swami, The search for Sri Krishna (reality, the beautiful)

This was written during the 20th century, could this idea possibly be older than that? How old is the idea of consciousness and mind seeding matter with life?

The Vedas are often referred to as  "the holy scriptures of India and hinduism" and of them Rig Veda is considered the oldest and is also one of the most ancient written text known to mankind.
But comparing it to scriptures like the Quran, the Bible or the Torah is not really fair, since it is not written by  mystic mediums, angels, God or magic powers.
The Rig Veda are the words and songs of (pre?) bronze age humans walking out of their housing and shelters during night, looking up at the stars, moon and the rising sun contemplating what it is all really about.
In the 10th Mandala (book) is a passage known as the Nasadiya Sukta, or the hymn of creation and the ancient philosophers certainly had some ideas about mind and matter. many thousand years before quantum physics:


At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined water.
That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat.

In the beginning desire descended on it -
that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
know that which is is kin to that which is not.

Rig Veda 10:129 - 3-4

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