Thoughts in the atmosphere

Things of the world, and out of it.

Archive for July, 2012

The Primary Axiom of Science is Unscientific

Posted by desicontrarian on July 19, 2012

An out-of-body experience can be replicated in a lab by stimulating parts of the brain. A near-death experience—going through a tunnel with a light at the end—is just a trick of the brain. “We know exactly why it happens. In the visual cortex at the back of the brain, lots of cells are laid out towards the middle of the visual field. At the periphery there are very few cells and poor vision. When you come near death or take certain drugs like LSD or mescaline, the brain cells start firing very fast randomly. And that random noise looks like a white light in the middle where there are lots of cells, phasing out towards the dark of the periphery (which gives the illusion of a tunnel). As it gets brighter and stronger, the light appears to be coming towards you”.

So they say, the scientists.

If we are seeing white light because the middle cells in the visual cortex are firing rapidly, it means that these middle cells exist and not the white light, eh? The peripheral cells exist and therefore cause the tunnel vision, right? As laymen, we can’t empirically verify that this is what is happening. So we accept what the scientist says. Oh yes, we “know” that the neuro-scientist can replicate it by injecting drugs or electrodes into our brain, but again, we did not personally verify it, did we? It just became another belief, since scientists are the authority we accept. How different is it from scriptural acceptance?

What is happening with this neuro-scientific line of thinking? Basically, the brain exists as physical matter, the electrical/chemical energy activity causes experiences for the brain-owner to classify as Real Things, and therefore it is all a panorama of subtle physical matter/energy causing illusory phenomena. This is considered Objective Reality if a large no. of brain owners accept it.

The primary axiom is still that ONLY physical matter only exists, whether gross or subtle. This axiom is not falsifiable, and therefore unscientific. This axiom is never questioned for its lack of rigour.  This is similar to a 2-dimensional being unable to fathom that there are things happening in a higher dimension for which he has no access, even in thought.

An observer standing in the corner of a room has three directions naturally marked out for him; one is upwards along the line of meeting of the two walls; another is forwards where the floor meets one of the walls; a third is sideways where the floor meets the other wall. He can proceed to any part of the floor of the room by moving first the right distance along one wall, and then by turning at right angles and walking parallel to the other wall. He walks in this case first of all in the direction of one of the straight lines that meet in the corner of the floor, afterwards in the direction of the other. By going more or less in one direction or the other, he can reach any point on the floor, and any movement, however circuitous, can be resolved into simple movements in these two directions.

But by moving in these two directions he is unable to raise himself in the room. If he wished to touch a point in the ceiling, he would have to move in the direction of the line in which the two walls meet. There are three directions then, each at right angles to both the other, and entirely independent of one another. By moving in these three directions or combinations of them, it is possible to arrive at any point in a room. And if we suppose the straight lines which meet in the corner of the room to be prolonged indefinitely, it would be possible by moving in the direction of those three lines, to arrive at any point in space. Thus in space there are three independent directions, and only three; every other direction is compounded of these three. The question that comes before us then is this. “Why should there be three and only three directions?” Space, as we know it, is subject to a limitation.

In order to obtain an adequate conception of what this limitation is, it is necessary to first imagine beings existing in a space more limited than that in which we move. Thus we may conceive a being who has been throughout all the range of his experience confined to a single straight line. Such a being would know what it was to move to and fro, but no more. The whole of space would be to him but the extension in both directions of the straight line to an infinite distance. It is evident that two such creatures could never pass one another. We can conceive their coming out of the straight line and entering it again, but they having moved always in one straight line, would have no conception of any other direction of motion by which such a result could be effected. The only shape which could exist in a one-dimensional existence of this kind would be a finite straight line. There would be no difference in the shapes of figures; all that could exist would simply be longer or shorter straight lines.

Again, to go a step higher in the domain of a conceivable existence. Suppose a being confined to a plane superficies, and throughout all the range of its experience never to have moved up or down, but simply to have kept to this one plane. Suppose, that is, some figure, such as a circle or rectangle, to be endowed with the power of perception; such a being if it moves in the plane superficies in which it is drawn, will move in a multitude of directions; but, however varied they may seem to be, these directions will all be compounded of two, at right angles to each other. By no movement so long as the plane superficies remains perfectly horizontal, will this being move in the direction we call up and down. And it is important to notice that the plane would be different to a creature confined to it, from what it is to us. We think of a plane habitually as having an upper and a lower side, because it is only by the contact of solids that we realize a plane. But a creature which had been confined to a plane during its whole existence would have no idea of there being two sides to the plane he lived in. In a plane there is simply length and breadth. If a creature in it be supposed to know of an up or down he must already have gone out of the plane.

In normal states known to us, we have three separate things – The Known, The Knower and the Knowledge (Object, Subject, Process). In Yogic literature, it is said that when the separation vanishes (all 3 merge into one), the knowledge is Real and Complete. There are no mistakes of perception. This is called Turiya. A person who is really interested in knowing should strive to reach this state. Until then, he or she does not really know.

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