Monday, December 27, 2010

Bigyan O Biswa-Chaitanya - Science and Universal Conciousness

What is consciousness? Who/What is conscious and who/what is not? The questions are difficult to answer, but Biswadeb Mukhopadhyay in his book "Bigyan O Biswa-Chaitanya'' (Bengali) (Science and Universal Consciousness) does it with ease. The book is an excellent read. It gets to the point from the very first line and deals with the subject with rigorous and impeccable logic. The author takes the reader on a very enjoyable ride through Davidson's Incommensurability Thesis, Godel's Incompleteness Theorem, Quantum theory, Theory of Relativity. The best part about the book is that it has been written from a layman's point of view. The author assumes absolutely no knowledge in these subjects or fields, explaining these concepts in a manner seldom seen in Bengali literature.

I was amazed at the author's knowledge in varied fields. The arguments presented in the essays, being heavily reliant on them. It would not be out of place to mention, that Biswadeb Mukhopadhyay, is also a well known connoisseur of Indian Classical Music. It is evident in his writing, of course, which flows like music itself.

I would strongly recommend this book to all who have reason to doubt His existence and even more reason to believe in Him. This book will undoubtedly lead many onto the path of Truth.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Inside the Devil's Workshop

My sister's Facebook status messages are thought provoking to say the least. Following one such message that said "Seems brain is most active when left idle", we had a healthy discussion on why there is more than just junk in the devil's workshop?

My realization was that all the junk in the workshop, was never the devil's handiwork. It was the devil's waste product. By the very process of being 'idle', the brain filters out irrelevant information. So as to confirm the relevance of the information, we think what we think and do what we do, when 'idle'. The assimilation of data, collected by the process of learning, when not in this 'idle' state, occurs, to my belief only in the 'idle' state.

However, the statement is perhaps logically debatable. According to the foregoing discussion, it is quite clear, that the brain is actually functioning (doing something) when left 'idle'. So how is the brain 'idle' then? Here, I believe, is the need for a proper definition for 'idle brain'. The best definition to suit the discussion, would be a state where the brain only stops its function of information gathering, active and passive both. The reader may note the use of the word 'only' in the previous statement.

The term 'assimilation' used previously needs a proper definition, at this point in the discussion. By assimilation, I am referring to a process of transferring information from the sense organs to the brain's long term memory. The process may have any number of steps, some, may not involving the brain at all, but for our discussion, the details of the process are irrelevant.

However, the discussion would be incomplete, without some reference, to a brain which is not allowed any idle time. My guess would be, the brain would still be able to assimilate, but the process of filtering out data, would be less than perfect. More precisely, one can expect irrelevant data in the long term memory and relevant data being lost.

The devil perhaps is not all evil!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Eternal Creations

My father often says, "I fear listening to Rabindrasangeet". The fear, I realize now, is hereditary. A creation, so powerful it projects the entirety of God in its full splendor. The sheer joy in being able to see God in all His Grace is often more than one can take. Yet, the pain is unbearable, heart-wrenching. Rabindranath Tagore was one such creator.

True literature, like matter is indestructible . Literature is a feeling, a state of emotional high that stays on with the reader for the rest of his life. That, I feel, distinguishes true literature from the rest.