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Thread: Atman and mind

  1. #1

    Atman and mind

    Hello

    I'm currently reading the book The Circle of Fire (website here http://www.thecircleoffire.com/, http://www.thecircleoffire.com/atman.html ) it says modern science has gotten rid of the need of the soul to animate the body and mind. Do Hindus have any counters to this? And if there is the soul where does it connect to the mind?
    And we are made up of tiny little cells do these cells have souls what about single cell organizims? How do these tiny organisms work up to better births if they do have souls?

  2. #2

    Re: Atman and mind

    Namasté Rudy

    Soul is just a word, nothing has changed, a Jnana yogin has published a book which may help other Jnana see through his eyes.
    You are focusing on the fruit rather than the tree, try to see the roots of the meaning long before the words. You will become aware that the soul and that of which this book speak are the same thing. Nothing has changed form, it is only the light with which it is seen that has changed colour.

    Cells and tiny organisms are all a part of Prakriti as are rocks and stones and Mountains. We only have to look at the fossilised seashells at the top of mountains to know this.

    The cycle of life which bubbles away through time like the froth on the very crest of a wave has at its pinnacle intellect and awareness. None of which could exist with out the movement of the sea which is all one, made from the same elements.

    Think of the way some fungus or termites behave. They act in a group as one, their apparent intelligence is collective but no single mould or termite contains the soul which knowingly guides their constructions yet they all contain Jiva.



    Om Shanti.

  3. #3

    Re: Atman and mind

    The word soul has so many connotations within Western belief and thus Dharma that it is very hard to translate without preconceived ideas (Vritti) being stirred.

  4. #4

    Re: Atman and mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
    Hello

    I'm currently reading the book The Circle of Fire (website here http://www.thecircleoffire.com/, http://www.thecircleoffire.com/atman.html ) it says modern science has gotten rid of the need of the soul to animate the body and mind. Do Hindus have any counters to this? And if there is the soul where does it connect to the mind?
    And we are made up of tiny little cells do these cells have souls what about single cell organizims? How do these tiny organisms work up to better births if they do have souls?
    I think a good and honest way of looking at the notion of the soul is this: can science, at all, really "prove" or demonstrate a principle that is distinct from the physical?

    Mind-substance (chitta) is not the same thing as soul. The former is more like a computer which enables thought. The underlying Witness-Consciousness, on the ther hand, is the substratum that makes thought possible, not being thought itself. To use an example, mind is the like the ink that makes letters, but it is the paper which allows them exist.

    So when scientists bring up examples of mind-body interaction (like the famous incident with Phineas Gage) and thus point out the correlation between mind states and physical states, a good rule of thumb is to point out that such is just that: mind-body interaction. Such explorations do not so much as touch consciousness proper, which is in an unprovable domain, as Sankara would no doubt point out. Nothing, even Descartes' "I think therefore I am" is adequate to proving the self logically, since this would end in an infinite regress, among other things.

  5. #5
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    Re: Atman and mind

    This is the full episode http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAQpO...eature=related

    If you jump to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAQpO...lated#t=10m11s this neuroscientist has a pretty interesting take on it, especially at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAQpO...lated#t=14m15s to 15:05.

    In short, it mentions Hindu and Buddhist belief in a universal soul.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

  6. #6

    Re: Atman and mind

    Namasté Minotaur



    Great link thanks!

    Take a look at neuroepigenetics, this will blow your mind!

    http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/...6.html?lang=en

    The implications of this article are enormous!



    Om Shanti.
    Last edited by Mana; 29 June 2011 at 01:32 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: Atman and mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Minotaur View Post
    This is the full episode http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAQpO...eature=related

    If you jump to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAQpO...lated#t=10m11s this neuroscientist has a pretty interesting take on it, especially at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAQpO...lated#t=14m15s to 15:05.

    In short, it mentions Hindu and Buddhist belief in a universal soul.
    This was certainly an interesting documentary that was actually pretty evenhanded. I'm glad Bruce Greyson is finally getting some mainstream attention, and not just being slammed as another crackpot parapsychologist.

    Still, it would be a stretch to say that the show proves the soul. At most these findings, fascinating though they may be, can only show that the human possibility of experience is not local to the brain or limited to the domain of biology. It could be that there is no soul at all and that human personality is stored in the quantum information scattered across the universe.

    The soul remains a thoroughly metaphysical posit, in my view.

  8. #8

    Re: Atman and mind

    Namast

    Quote Originally Posted by Kismet View Post
    The soul remains a thoroughly metaphysical posit, in my view.
    As is Quantum Electro Dynamics.

    Fascinating times these in which we live!

    Om Shanti.

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    Re: Atman and mind

    every "thing" is made up of the 3 gunas, or am i incorrect?
    "The leprosy of unreality disfigured every human creature in attendance."
    - Charles Dickens

    "Every blade of grass, every insect, ant, and golden bee, all so marvelously know their path, though they have not intelligence, they bear witness to the mystery of God and continually accomplish it themselves."
    - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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    Re: Atman and mind

    Quote Originally Posted by arjunah View Post
    every "thing" is made up of the 3 gunas, or am i incorrect?
    Namasté arjunah
    My ipression is that everything is influenced by the 3 gunas, but does not necessarily consist of gunas i.e. "made up of the 3 gunas".

    Sri Krishna said:

    Above the body are senses;
    Above the senses is the mind;
    Above the mind is intellect;
    Above the intellect: the Self.
    Bhagavad Gita 3:42

    So we have a break down of what we are. Bascially everything is made up of elements. For example the mind and body comes into form through taking in food from the earth. The gunas operate on the mind. The intellect can be used to "reign in" the mind and control it, otherwise the mind is pulled in the direction of the lower senses. Once the intellect gains hold, we can come to recognise that we are not limited to the intellect, but that we are that which knows the intellect too i.e. the Self, Consciousness, Atman or Brahman.

    Once one recognises one's higher Self as Brahman and knows one's Self, then one is liberated whilst living. The gunas still act on the mind, but one is beyond the mind yet fully aware of the mind. (These words are a gross simplicity and we can elaborate if required).

    The problem, regarding the OP, is that science stops at the intellect, in general it rarely recognises anything beyond the mind/intellect, as anything beyond the mind is not measurable. Science needs to be able to measure to confirm itself. So the Atman - Self - Brahman is beyond measure and hence beyond science. However Brahman can come to know itSelf through itSelf, so the scriptures and Guru continue to lead us to It.

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