Monthly Archives: May 2007

Babaganoush

This week’s recipe is Babaganoush. It is a roasted eggplant dip with many different contrasting flavors that goes well with just about everything. Serve this with pita bread, crackers, vegetables or on top of rice cakes. You can also use this as a spread in a sandwich or wrap. Enjoy!

2 whole eggplants
2 Tablespoons Roasted Tahini
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh Pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch red chili flakes
2 teaspoons roasted garlic (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the eggplants lengthwise, brush olive oil on inside, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place down side in a roasting pan.

Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until eggplants are soft. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool and ready to handle, remove the seeds and skin. In a food processor or blender add all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper.

Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

This week’s recipe is a refreshing and very easy to make Garbanzo bean salad. This is a great dish to parties or picnics. Enjoy.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)
1 cups of fresh Arugula, lightly chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup English cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 small yellow tomato, diced
½ cup celery, chopped
1 Tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
¼ teaspoon Sea salt
Pinch Black Pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano

Mix the garbanzo beans and all the vegetables together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, basil, sea salt, pepper and oregano. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently.

Is there any purpose to the universe and life in it?

The famous cosmologist Steven Weinberg says – “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” Is there any purpose to the universe and life in it? If yes, what is it? If no, why do they exist at all?

What does Holistic Relativity tell us about the purpose of the universe and life?

Materialism (material only reality) kills the intrinsic purpose in the mainstream science.
Dogmatic belief kills the purpose in religion.
How to instill purpose in science to provide an intelligent substitute for the dogmatic religion?

The mainstream science has limited its investigations to the inanimate matter just because all its measuring tools and methods are restricted to the classical material instruments and fixed (Newtonian) space & time of the material world. Science has identified spontaneous physical phenomena such as wave-particle duality allowing spontaneous conversion of mass to energy or vice versa. In fact all motion in inanimate bodies or objects has to be induced by some kind of a spontaneous force or stimulus initiated by a conscious being. No inanimate matter can move at its own according to the laws of physics. For example, a perfectly functional car is capable of motion but has no purpose and incapable of driving itself to a desired destination. However, science has ignored integrating such observed spontaneity (consciousness or free will) in nature into the mathematical or empirical formulations of its theories such as theories of physics, cosmology, and biology including the theory of evolution. Because of this fundamental deficiency, no scientific theory has the physics of self-motivation that animates the living organisms in the universe.

Inanimate or dead matter cannot have a purpose, which is a property or characteristic of only the animated or self-motivated (conscious) organisms. Hence, it is obvious and not surprising that scientific theories that solely deal with the behavior of inanimate matter are fundamentally impotent and incapable of addressing the purpose and meaning of human life. This impotence, however, is not of the fundamental science but an artifact of the ignorance of its practicing materialists who have excluded spontaneity or consciousness from scientific investigations and theories by declaring that “There is no ghost in the atom.”

Similarly, conventional religion is bogged down by its blind beliefs, dogmas, and rituals. The faith that was supposed to induce hope and self-motivation of a person to seek for the ultimate truth has been prematurely degenerated into the dead end beliefs and lifeless rituals. Faith no more means what it is supposed to mean. Belief and dogma have killed the faith of the would-be seeker and squeezed out his/her consciousness turning him/her into a living dead. Faith (and hope) to seek the truth is thus replaced with the fear of devil/hell and empty promises of an imaginary god/heaven.

The orthodox materialists and blind believers of science and religion respectively who have squeezed life (consciousness) from them and made them purposeless and meaningless are within not outside of their individual domains. It is high time that some conscientious scientists as well as spiritual leaders come forward to revitalize science as well as religion via reinserting consciousness into them. An integrated science that includes the wisdom of the deeper essence of spirituality would provide such a tool and go a long way in bridging the two.

An integrated consciousness based approach [1] has shown promise resolving not only the paradoxes within science but also bridging the gaps between science and religion. The integration of consciousness into the physical laws of matter shatters the barriers dividing science and religion, and leads to a natural transcendence between their apparently opposing aspects such as evolution (time) and eternity, survival and revival, chaos and order, and meaninglessness and purpose in the universe. The integrated model demonstrates the inherent purpose and meaning via the prevailing eternity, omnipresence, wholeness, certainty and order in the universe. It confirms that the universe is not born out of nothing and it is not merely going to disappear into oblivion, and that the universe is a cosmos with order and not chaos. The model also unfolds the following universal realities and their apparent purposes:

• The purpose of the material or manifested universe is to provide an objective evidence to human beings to search for and find the un-manifested, eternal, and omnipresent universal truth in consciousness, often referred to as God.
• The purpose of human being is that thru it the eternity and truth want to be realized or manifested.
• Relativity, and not uncertainty, rules the universe, which represents relatedness, connectivity, and non-locality with no censorship from God.
• Simplicity and beauty, and not complexity and confusion, are the dominant characteristics of the universe for human beings to enjoy and cherish.
• Time and evolution are relative realities of matter only. Since matter is a small fraction of the total mass-energy of the universe, the universe as a whole has no time, beginning, or ending. The clock ticks in the domain of matter only.
• There is only one single whole universe, which encompasses multiple sub-universes representing various relativistic (matter-energy-space-time) states of the one whole, eternal, and omnipresent consciousness or the Zero-point energy, commonly referred to as God.
• What exists now always existed in the past and will exist in future. Nothing can come out of nothing without violating the laws of conservation.

In summary, a consciousness integrated science – Holistic Relativity demonstrates that there is nothing in the universe that is purposeless or pointless. This is consistent with the essence of the wisdom of Buddha, Jesus, Nanak, and spiritual masters. Every thing, event, or phenomenon that exists or happens has a distinct purpose. This purpose is to present the objective evidence to the seeker or awakened beings of the existence of the ONE wholesome eternal and omnipresent reality that wants to be manifested thru the consciousness of the beings. However, more often than not, the beings ignore or fail to see the clue and go on living in their sleep or semi-conscious state of mind pursuing the lower level of temporal realities until the real opportunity of life is taken away by the sure destiny of death.

The purpose is only seen and realized by the awake, while the sleeping ones waste their lives in purposeless material pursuits and living while waiting to die sooner or later. The awakening is of the individual and not of the crowd. The spiritual masters including Buddha realized this fact that the root cause of suffering is the individual ego and focused their teachings on awakening the individual via self-realization rather than curing the incurable ills (relative realities of the material life) of the society or masses such as poverty, injustice, and violence that surrounds us.

A life that ends in death without realizing the eternity of the ONE truth is an unrealized and purposeless life by its very own freedom of choice. Humans are graced by this absolute freedom of choice, which they most often misuse due to their own ignorance, dogmas, or beliefs.

[1] A. Singh, The Hidden Factor: An Approach for Resolving Paradoxes of Science, Cosmology and Universal Reality, AuthorHouse, 2003.

Am I the Weird One?

This past weekend, I went to an outdoor music festival in Santa Barbara called Lightning in a Bottle. The best way to describe the event was a mix between music, art, spirituality, and drugs. It was a blast.

What made the weekend so interesting was not the music, art, spirituality, or drugs but rather the unique people that attended the event. You couldn’t walk ten steps without seeing somebody who caught your eye or even better, made your jaw drop (imagine a man dressed in a wolf costume on 6 foot stilts). The more outrageous, wild, or downright bizarre you looked, the more you fit in.

In the beginning of the event, I found myself feeling unusually insecure. Imagine showing up to a black tie event in jeans. It was just like that except for that everyone was wearing leopard print satin suites and top hats instead. As a little clean-cut white boy, I felt way out of place.

Then, I remembered a little riddle that my dad used to tell me that goes like this:

What does a yogi do when they walk into a party and see that they are under-dressed?

They don’t even notice.

I recognized that my discomfort was just a matter of interpretation, If I wanted to have fun, I needed to let go of my fear of being judged and embrace my authentic expression. Besides, that was exactly what everyone else was doing already and they looked like they were having a pretty damn good time.

So I made the shift, and then my weekend truly began….and what a weekend it was. Wow!

Reflecting back, I realized that you learn a lot by going beyond your comfort zone every once in a while. Whether that means going to a dance, taking a yoga class, or simply saying hello to a stranger, step outside your fears and see what happens. You might be surprised by what unfolds. I sure was.

By the way, please check out our new splash page for the Self Centered Tour – www.selfcenteredtour.com.

Much love,

Max

Roasted Yam and Tofu

This week’s recipe is a Roasted Yam and Tofu dish. Marinade the tofu overnight if possible as this will attract more of the flavors. It is robust and comforting at the same time. This can be served as a main entrée or as a side dish. This recipe goes really well with sautéed greens or a green salad. Enjoy.

Tofu Marinade
½ cup orange juice
1 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 lb. firm tofu, cut into 1” cubes

Marinade for Yams
2 large yams, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
2 teaspoon olive oil or ghee
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup apple juice or vegetable stock
Cilantro

Combine all the ingredients for the Tofu marinade in a small bowl and gently mix together. Let marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible. Preheat the oven 350 degrees.

For the yam marinade – In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil or ghee, black pepper, oregano, dill, curry powder, garam masala, soy sauce, lemon juice and apple juice or vegetable stock. Add the cubed yams and toss until well coated. Spread the marinated yams and marinated tofu on an oiled sheet pan and bake in the oven until then yams are tender and golden brown. Cook for about 30-35 minutes. Let cool and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with a green salad

The Dharma Drug: Buddhism as a Psychoactive Agent

The Buddhist and psychedelic paths share some certain commonalities in the expansion of consciousness in both theory and practice. Both philosophies can serve to make one a more compassionate, sentient being. Practice in Buddhism’s mindfulness, as do well-planned and intentioned sessions with psychedelics give people the power to overcome habitual behaviors and attachments.

Both provide means, method and historical research into worldviews and the nature of reality, relating to the self and universe. Do the theories and practices of both paths simply run parallel? Do they converge? Do they enhance one another? Is it possible for one to stand in for the other? Can Buddhism be the Modern World’s soma?

A dynamic relationship between psychedelics and Eastern spirituality has existed since the nineteenth century, documented in esoteric and occult writings by likes of infamous folks like Crowley and Gurdieff. In the last century Buddhists and Hindu texts inspired aristocratic British exiles like the writers Gerald Heard, Humphry Osmond, Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts to pry open the dark doors of perception and seek experiential illumination through psychedelic hallucinogens. This inspired American academicians like Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) to investigate Eastern texts and practices. No one really remembers the seventies (must have been the cannabis, huh?), but the eighties gave rise to the popular use of MDMA (Ecstasy) originally ( and legally-shortlived as it was) psychotherapy practice and more recently in the underground rave culture and club scene.

Not truly a psychedelic hallucinogen, controversial chemical MDMA is perhaps best been described as an empathogen. The heart-centered serenity feeling from what is sometimes referred to as the "Buddha-drug" loosens the bondage of individual ego and clears the pathway to an unusually high level of honesty, intimacy and communication. If psychedelics do correspond with esoteric Buddhism, some argue MDMA could be seen as the recommended bodhisattva’s pharmaceutical. In my own research, I’ve encountered many folks that have included the substance on their personal practice of loving-kindness.

Of course, the Buddhist practitioner may just say (k)no(w), and spend meditation time in dark retreat to produce such a fantastic visual voyage. While entertaining entheogenic eye candy is exciting, and dancing dakinis in the sky with diamonds really do get one’s attention, the real goal of
the Mahayana and Vajrayana sects is to become a bodhisattva. Vajrayana techniques are reputed to enable the enlightenment of Buddhahood in an accelerated pace, perhaps as short as a single lifetime.
Crash courses are not without their crashes, however. The fact that the fast track to enlightenment can produce spiritual casualties in crisis may be the fifth noble truth.

How do modern Buddhists feel about the use of such substances? I remembered an old Tricycle magazine interview written by Robert Forte I’d read some time ago, which recently resurfaced in Alan Hunt Badiner’s book, Zig Zag Zen, with psychedelic shaman/researcher/Buddhist Jack Kornfield:

"It is important to say that there is no Buddhist point of view on psychedelics. They are rarely found in the Buddhist tradition, if at all, and generally would be lumped in the precepts under ‘intoxicants.’"

Kornfield feels officially that there is no common traditional point of view about the use of psychedelics in Buddhism itself, as there is very little written about them. Forte reminds Kornfield of story of someone asking the Dalai Lama if one could use drugs to attain enlightenment. His Holiness joked, " I sure hope so". The basic training precepts in Buddhism tell the practitioner not to kill, not to steal, not to lie or engage in sexual misconduct, and lastly, to refrain from using intoxicants to the loss of mindfulness or loss of awareness. Using attorney or teenager logic, one could interpret that as not saying not to use them.

Yes, without question psychedelic usage, like crossing the street, can be dangerous.
Is Dr. Charles Tart right? ; Is not using them can also dangerous?
Psychedelics are dangerous, not only because they alter the senses, but because they challenge the notion of authoritative control. They promote a worldview from a much different vantage point than so-called "normal" western society, but then again, so does Buddhism. The left-hand path can be full of disappointment, disassociation, and delusion. When not kept in check, kleshas can ruin anyone’s long strange trip. Wacky things happen to the most substance-free meditative mind when isolated. Not to mention, many psychoactives are illegal. And many are not. To be fair, however, Buddhism has had its’ share of legal and political strife.

It seems we humans are wired for such states in our neurophysiologic makeup. In fact, the very first I ever heard of researcher Terence McKenna was from a musical rave romp by British electronica band The Shamen, in a song composed around Mckenna’s speech about us all carrying a Schedule One substance in our brains: DMT.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a major constituent of Amazonian ayahuasca, is a powerful entheogenic substance that exists naturally in the mammalian brain. If it exists within us naturally, is really an intoxicant to be avoided? Dr. Rick Strassman doesn’t think so. He believes that endogenous DMT in humans play a significant role in the production of spontaneous or induced altered states of consciousness. DMT is a close analogue of the neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine, also known as serotonin. Strassman hypothesizes that DMT stimulates the pineal gland to create such spontaneous psychedelic states as near-death experiences.

But what is really going on in these transcendental experiences, regardless of meditative or chemical cause? From the materialist’s viewpoint, mystical experiences are the simply a result of pathological and delusional brain dysfunction. Recent neuro-psychological evidence supports the hypothesis that the human brain’s temporal lobe plays a key role in producing mystical states of consciousness. Strassman also recognized that certain brain centers and neural transmitters are mobilized in altered states of consciousness and spiritual awareness, regardless is they are induced by the ingestion of substancesor by a control of the will. A report in an April 2001 New Scientist described scientific experiments which demonstrated Tibetan Buddhist’s meditation experience as the dissolution of distinction between self and other, as there was associated shutdown in the region of the brain responsible for the sensation, the parietal lobe.

The Tibetan culture’s early indigenous shamanic practice Bon Po, embraced a shamanism focused on divination, magic, spiritual guidance regarding death, and the attainment of altered states of consciousness through which the shaman could affect change in the Material realm. In a similar manner, meditation techniques within modern Buddhism too can provide a colorful altered state experience, psychedelic in nature, through which the practitioner can affect change in his or her Spiritual realm, resulting too in material changes. By-passing the normal boundaries of the body, both the Buddhist and Psychedelic seeker have transcendent, transformational experiences in altered states of consciousness.

While spending time with McKenna in Mexico, Terence stated the Bon used plant based substances like datura and hashish to compliment their practice. Researcher Dr. Christian Raetsch and wife Claudia Mueller have spent decades studying the shamanic practices and use of Amanita Muscaria in the Himalayan shamanic traditions. Indian Tantrism too has added to this entheogenic recipe, concocting a shamanistic brew by adding its’ own secret ingredients of initiations and involved texts that have evolved into the complex rituals, tankhas and mandalas we associate with modern Buddhist monks.

The Tantric influence was a cornerstone in the development of Tibet’s "third vehicle" of Buddhism, Vajrayana. The Sanskrit Vajra (similar to the Tibetan Djore’) refers to the thunderbolt of Indra, made from an indestructible substance, which could pierce any obstacle. "vajra" also refers to this substance, and is also translated as "adamantine" or "diamond". This diamond vehicle provides a fast path to enlightenment, which sounds much like the soul piercing power of psychoactive psychedelic agents, such as LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. In his writing and lectures, visionary artist Alex Grey often talks about Vajravsion – the visual resonance that psychedelic substances impart upon our mind’s eye. He says that it was only after the ingestion of LSD that the pattern flames and multi-limbed deities of tankha paintings made sense to him.

Two things we shall all truly encounter said to be death and taxes. While I am not sure what firm the of Rinpoche and Rinpoche will do about my 1099s, a deeply significant contribution Buddhism offers this modern world is creating a context for Death. The psychedelic path also can open this doorway. Buddhism, especially the Tibetans, have explored and written a cornucopia of literature dealing with consciousness and dying. For centuries Tibet has engaged in the systematic study and analysis of the human death process as a cautious and practical preparation for this inevitable event. Many western psychedelic psychonauts, from Leary to random folks I meet on the dusty playa at Burning Man have turned to the wisdom of Tibetan Book of the Dead and other writings for understanding of mysteries death and ego-death that science and medicine have failed to answer, let alone, address.

To become one with this Self, one must become free of all attachments and bondage.
Mind training and mind expansion is the road to quiescence. While walking the psychedelic path is a powerful tool for accelerating this process, it is not for everyone.

Western intellectuals often dismiss the Eastern ontology as "occult" and "mystical",
Labelling psychedelics (rightly so) as "dangerous" and "illegal". Whether Eastern or Western based in thought, our task, regardless of chemical of spiritual causation, is to create a worldview large enough to incorporate the ancient and recent findings of the energy sciences into a revised reality.

Buddhism offers the modern world much available evidence and data, dating back for thousands of years, that readily adapt to the most recent discoveries of modern science including nuclear physics, biochemistry, genetics, and astronomy. While some may argue modern psychonauts only draw academic reference of psychedelic usage from only the past century or so, no one can deny the pre-historic shamanic tradition that the modern practice is built upon. From the viewpoint of practitioners that have walked both paths, yes these roads to transformation are often parallel, but also often intersect, cross over and merge. However many western researchers agree that certain psychedelics can provide a car pool lane to get one there faster. One is not a complete substitute for the other, but perhaps each can compliment the other, in an integrated practice. And if you want to score a really natural high, go east, in thought and practice. Meditate.

As the science of investigating consciousness changes, by scientifically studying methods such as meditation, yoga, monastic retreat, and sensory deprivation, perhaps it will become self-evident that Buddhism is the pure and naturally psychoactive Dharma drug.

okay bloggers- i’m ready for your backlash….
and for the record i am NOT recommending anyone indulge in any practice of an illegal nature-
even tho nature used to be legal !

Spinach Frittata

This week’s recipe is a Spinach Frittata that goes well at brunch. Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, I have posted this wonderful brunch dish. It is simple to make and has been modified to be less fat than a traditional frittata.

Use organic products when cooking with eggs and dairy products. Serve the Frittata with either some yummy roasted potatoes or a field green salad and fresh fruit. Enjoy.

Spinach Frittata

6 large organic eggs
1 1/14 cup organic low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons olive oil or ghee
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 large leek, white part only, small dice
3/4 cup organic low-fat mozzarella, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a blender place the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Blend well and set aside. In a medium skillet (choose a pan that will be able to go into the oven), heat the olive oil or ghee, leeks and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts about 4 minutes. Add the egg mixture into the skillet. With a spatula make sure the filling is even in the pan. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.

Cook for another 3 minutes. Place skillet in the oven and let the frittata finish cooking for 10 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool about 5 minutes and turn the skillet over to place frittata on a large plate. Cut into wedges.

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When Science Becomes Religion or Pseudoscience

The purpose of science is to reveal the universal reality. Knowing this reality helps improving not only the material quality of life but also achieving fulfillment of being human. Even if science

is not able to prove or describe the ultimate reality in measurable terms, it is expected that its theories may be able to extrapolate or point to the universal reality in terms that are comprehensible to the human mind. Has science met its objective? Is it capable of ever revealing the ultimate reality – the Theory of Everything?

Mainstream science has struggled for centuries to understand the universe. While its theories have constantly been revised, great achievements in recent decades have enriched material life on Earth. Some scientists have even declared the ultimate victory in that the end of science is near. However, mysterious and irresolvable paradoxes have plagued the otherwise successful theories of science. One of the most serious outcomes of existing and widely accepted theories is the meaninglessness of the universe and life in it, thus making science itself meaningless. Mainstream science is still far apart in explaining the observed universe and, hence the success of science has been only global and not universal. The flagship theories of science namely Newtonian theory, relativity theory, and quantum mechanics suffer from unresolved inconsistencies among them that prohibit a generic representation of the observed universe behavior. These theories may explain results of countless individual experiments, but fail to predict observations at universe scale. Such failures raise serious doubts if these theories represent the universal laws accurately and completely as the mainstream science claims. In Stephen Hawking’s words (Discover, Dec. 2002, p13):

“It is a tribute to how far we have come in theoretical physics that it now takes enormous machines and a great deal of money to perform an experiment whose results we can not predict.”

However, for most people science means the one and only mainstream science. It is common (mis)understanding or mindset that whatever is not agreed upon or approved by the mainstream science is pseudoscience. Fortunately for the humanity, the ultimate reality or existence is not a popular vote of the mainstream crowd (like the Copenhagen declaration vindicating quantum mechanics over relativity theory). Depending upon the degree of capability to reveal the ultimate reality, we can describe three types of alternative pursuits of science:

1. Holistic Science:

The science that is complete in its formulations to describe the behavior of matter, mind, and consciousness. Only a complete science or holistic science is capable to reveal the ultimate universal reality and the observed behavior of the universe (that includes matter, mind, and consciousness within its domain) without any unresolved paradoxes and singularities. This is essentially the Theory of Everything that includes meaning and purpose of life and the universe.

2. Science of the Matter or Mainstream Science:

The science of the matter limits its investigations to only what can be measured or what is manifested in material form. This science, also known as the mainstream science, reveals only the material part (4%) of the overall reality. In a way, materialism is the religion of the mainstream science and the materialistic experiments its rituals. The countless experiments (rituals) that are performed to validate the mainstream theories are nothing but to worship the goddess of matter. The material benefits of the mainstream science are considered to be the Prasad or the holy gift from the goddess of matter. Like an orthodox priest preaches the belief in God, a mainstream scientist propagates his/her religion of materialism and belief in the goddess of matter. It is not even funny when the mainstream science boasts about its objectivity, which is confined to the sole and literal subjectivity towards the objects of matter – the particles and things. It is ironic that the great theories of motion – Newtonian or quantum mechanics are unable to explain what caused the very first motion in the universe.

This is evidenced by the fact that the mainstream science can predict only 4% of the observed universe in the form of the visible matter. Rest 96% of the universe is unknown or explicitly immeasurable and unexplainable dark energy and/dark matter. Because of the serious incompleteness or missing physics of the non-material reality (consciousness) from the mainstream scientific method and theories, it not only unable to explain the observe universe, but remains full of several serous unresolved paradoxes that kill the purpose and meaning in the universal existence and life itself.

The enemies of science are within – the materialists who have clipped its wings (consciousness) to imprison it in its golden cage of matter. These very enemies have also killed the purpose in the universe and life by squeezing away consciousness or life from it. The universe of the mainstream science (quantum mechanics) is a dead universe inhabited by mindless particles of inanimate matter or anti-matter running around with no purpose at all in the ocean of nothingness and filled with evolutionary uncertainty, complexity, and destiny of an ultimate demise into the oblivion. What an achievement and productive use of the resources of humankind?

3. Metaphysics or Metaphoric Science

Metaphysics simply attempts to fill in the incompleteness or gaps in the knowledge of the mainstream science with non-scientific, unverifiable, or metaphorical concepts (the so-called God of the Gaps) that cannot be described or represented in rigorous mathematical terms representing the language of science. In some cases, the metaphoric approach is built upon the existing mainstream science approach to justify mystical experiences on the basis of the unexplained mysteries or paradoxes of the mainstream science such as quantum mechanics. Such science is not science at all but metaphysical, metaphorical, or speculative philosophical fluff that demeans both science and spirituality, and not worth pursuing any further in this post.

The word – “Pseudo” according to the Webster’s dictionary means illusory, not representing reality, false, sham etc. From the perspective of the Holistic or complete science that reveals the ultimate universal reality, both the mainstream science as well as metaphysics are pseudo sciences, at least at the present level of understanding, since they are unable to represent the wholesome universal reality of the observed universe in rigorous mathematical terms devoid of the unresolved paradoxes and singularities. The fact that the mainstream theories are validated against a multitude of experiments is irrelevant to establish their universal credibility unless they can predict the observed universe in totality. Devoid of consciousness, the mainstream science of today can reveal only relative reality of matter constrained by the limits of the scientific method and not the ultimate universal reality because of the following reasons:

1. Limitations of experiments to measure only the manifested reality
2. Ignorance of reality in any other form than matter
3. Ignorance of consciousness or spontaneity in nature
4. Fragmentation destroys the wholesomeness of the universal reality
5. Scientific or material reality is evolutionary and hence diverging

A Proposed Approach to the Holistic Science

The good news is that there is a common root cause paralyzing the mainstream science and it is within our reach to eliminate this cause. This root cause is the ignorance of the inherent consciousness or the observed spontaneity in the universe.

The Holistic Relativity (HR) mathematical model proposed in references [1] thru [5] integrates the observed spontaneity with a simplified model of general relativity, which is shown to provide resolution to many of the questions and paradoxes above. HR is not a philosophy or pseudoscience, but a simplified general relativity applied to the spontaneous decay of particles – a phenomenon ignored in the past by the mainstream science. The HR formulations enhance the status of the mainstream science from a pseudoscience to a Holistic Science as defined above since it allows the material reality to absolve into the universal reality. The proposed HR model demonstrates that a common set of universal laws govern the behavior of the matter, mind and consciousness. Consciousness or the spontaneity in nature is shown to be a physical phenomenon and not an epiphenomenon. Its existence is a physical reality and not a metaphysical myth that can be excluded from a rigorous scientific theory.

The proposed HR scientific approach provides a seamless integration between the classical and quantum reality (it solves the quantum Observer’s Paradox) as well as a fresh perspective on scientific reality as it relates to the ultimate universal reality. A successful agreement between the predictions and observations of the universe demonstrates the validity and credibility of the proposed approach. This is not just a fortuitous fluke and demands a serious consideration by the mainstream scientific community as it resolves several of the inconsistencies and paradoxes of the current theories.

HR also closes the artificially created gap between science and spirituality. It integrates the wisdom of the spiritual masters into the science master Einstein’s relativity theory to compensate for his – “Hidden Factor”. It provides a physical basis and answers to many of the philosophical questions related to time and evolution. It also restores the once lost simplicity, beauty, purpose, and meaning not only to science, but also to the universe and life in it. It also demonstrates that the existing paradoxes of the modern science and cosmology leading to an apparent absence of purpose in the universe are artifacts, rather than universal realities, of the missing physics of spontaneity in the modern scientific theories.

It is not the proper question as to why science and spirituality need to be unified. The relevant question is why the human ego tends to separate them from their Oneness. Holistic Science is genuine spirituality or vice versa since they both reveal or point to the same ultimate universal reality. Only the egos of mainstream scientists and orthodox priests would like to keep them separate for their own materialistic gains or ignorance. Just as the mainstream science likes to divide and rule nature by fragmenting the reality into pieces (particles of quantum mechanics) of matter, the mainstream religion likes to divide ONE WHOLESOME CONSCIOUSNESS into religions and sects to rule the psyche of common human folks.

I will continue my efforts but I am not holding my breadth waiting for the mainstream science to awaken to the reality of the consciousness as a universal phenomenon instead of “The Ghost in the Atom.” Both mainstream science and religion have fundamental conflicts of interest with Holistic Science and universal consciousness respectively. The Holistic Science would dissolve the illusion of matter as the ultimate reality that feeds billions of dollars of research funding to the mainstream science to pursue the wild geese chase of the ever illusive particles. The universal consciousness would dissolve the illusion of God as the ultimate reality that brings in people to churches/temples offering charities, which keep the religions and priests flourishing in their business. Who says there is conflict between the mainstreams of science and religion? One could see a perfect harmony in the collusion between the pseudoscience and pseudo spirituality against the Holistic Science or consciousness, their common enemy.

References:

[1] A. Singh, The Hidden Factor: An Approach for Resolving Paradoxes of Science, Cosmology and Universal Reality, AuthorHouse, 2003.

[2] A. Singh, A New Theory of Spontaneous Decay Resolves Paradoxes of General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and Cosmology, The XXII Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics, Stanford University, CA, December 13-17, 2004.

[3] A. Singh, In Search of the Universal Reality and Purpose – A Scientific Investigation, presented at ‘Science and Religion: Global Perspectives’, June 4-8, 2005, in Philadelphia, PA, USA, a program of the Metanexus Institute (www.metanexus.net).

[4] A. Singh, Quantum Non-locality Explained by Theory of Relativity, Physics Essays, March, 2006.

[5] A. Singh, A New Approach to the Problems of Consciousness & Mind, Accepted for the conference – Toward a Science of Consciousness 2007, Budapest, Hungary, July 23-26, 2007.

A Scientific Understanding of Buddha & Spiritual Masters: Part I

Is there an objective and credible way to learn and benefit from the true wisdom of the Buddha and spiritual masters? How to find the needle of the essence of the wisdom in the haystack of countless interpretations marred with individual spins and biases?

Countless and varying interpretations, writings, and critiques of the teachings of the Buddha and other spiritual masters exist ever since they walked on this planet. Both believers and skeptics, theists and atheists, as well as materialists and spiritualists have presented their conflicting views and objectives of the teachings. Mystics and paranormals who claim to have had first hand experiences add to the confusion via invoking the quantum mysticism. Then, of course, there are creationists as well as intelligent designers who have their own views about the universe.

Could science provide an objective and credible tool to understand and benefit from the wisdom of the spiritual masters? The modern mainstream science has achieved amazing successes in conquering matter but has become aloof from the daily life of a common person and almost wholly owned and operated by the elite scientists. This resonates well with the views expressed by the famous and Templeton Prize winner cosmologist George Ellis – “It is precisely by limiting its scope to the experimentally verifiable that modern science has had such enormous success within its domain. The downside is that it cannot therefore by itself provide a satisfactory overall worldview.”

However, all hope is not lost in spite of the prevailing widespread pessimism and disbelief that science and religion are irreconcilable. We have to think positively and outside of the boxes of the two mainstreams – scientific materialism and religious dogmatism. What caught my attention was the following comment during the previous post on Buddha by Deepak:

“To remain ‘negative’ is to remain ‘stuck’ . . . in the linear dimension……Negativity thinks it is trying to solve a ‘problem'; yet, it can’t solve it because It itself is the part of very same problem. ………Positivity moves in the vertical dimension and in doing so it changes its Focus and Perspective and gains the ability to view the entire ‘maze’ – unlike negativity which because of being lost in the same maze can only see a fraction at a time…..Because of this change in perspective, positivity transcends the very problem. . . that negativity can spend eons and still not be able to ‘solve’.”

Motivated by such a positive and optimistic attitude, the Holistic Relativity approach makes an honest attempt to overcome the centuries old paradigm that science and religion are two irreconcilable domains. The insights gained are also out of the box and probably counterintuitive to the two mainstreams of thinking. Probably, an overreaction and hasty judgments are natural when an age old paradigm is challenged. It is a challenge to even a serious peer reviewer who has to develop a much deeper and wider introspection, attitude, and intuition to provide a fair, objective, and holistic review that transcends beyond the two mainstream philosophies and ideologies. All pessimism, negativity, and prejudice must be set aside as quoted above to assure a proper open-minded state to grasp the deeper scientifically-spiritual insights. Hence, I humbly request that before one makes premature and prejudiced judgment/comments regarding the HR approach or insights, one should take time to ponder on the insights presented after a thorough study and grasping of the published work in the references listed at the end of this article.

It has been demonstrated [1 thru 6] that when the existing theories of science are integrated with appropriate models of the consciousness or spontaneity observed in nature, they are shown to predict both the behavior of the matter and mind. Such an integrated Holistic Relativity (HR) model reveals the essence of the teachings of the Buddha and spiritual masters. HR provides a powerful and versatile tool to analyze our lives, identify causes of suffering and death, and realize the timelessness and eternity that lie underneath the ever-changing worldly living. Just as the Buddha revealed, HR shows that the ever-changing or evolutionary, chaotic, and meaningless universe we perceive is a direct product of our diminished conscious or semi-conscious way of looking at it thru the colored glasses of our own minds or egos. The HR approach thus provides a deeper scientific understanding to resolve the mystery pointed out by Dr. Deepak Chopra in his IB post Buddha and the World (Part 1):

“……..Mahatma Gandhi… said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Because the world is so huge, it came as a revelation to me–and also a mystery–that by changing myself I can affect the world. This idea was not original to Gandhi. It’s an offshoot of a much older idea, traceable to ancient India, which says, “As you are, so is the world.”
That, too, is a revelation and a mystery.”

The HR approach should be amenable to materialist skeptics since it maintains the materialistic aspects of the mainstream science theories. It should be amenable to spiritualists as it integrates universal consciousness into the scientific theories. It should also be amenable to the believers since it complements the concepts of eternity and omnipresence, the perceived characteristics of God. At the same time it washes away the blind beliefs and dogmas of religion and metaphysics, the so-called pseudoscience. Moreover, what could be more credible and convincing than a theory that predicts the scientific observations of the universe, resolves paradoxes and inconsistencies of the existing scientific theories, and simultaneously vindicates the essence of the wisdom of the Buddha and spiritual masters without invoking the QM-CRAP (Quantum Mysticism, Creationism, and Paranormal)?

HR vindicates the important insight of the Buddha and masters that the only door to eliminate suffering and fear of death was the inner or self realization and not the relative realities alone of the external or material world that amplified suffering. They were not reformers but scientists exploring the inner workings of mind and psyche wherein the ultimate perception/experience of all suffering and joy resides. Just as Einstein revealed the laws of the inanimate matter, the Buddha and masters revealed the laws governing the mind that perceives time, suffering, as well as temporal happiness. However, the door they found to the universe opened inside and not outside as in science. Their search was individual and driven by their intense inner experiences (thought experiments similar to scientific experiments) of suffering, aging, and death that inflicted human life. Their findings and ultimate message were also directed towards the individual for his/her inner awakening to the ultimate reality beyond matter or external world alone. Their solution to suffering was transformation or dissolution of the ego rather than its reform by an imposed code of conduct based on man-made morals and rituals.

The spiritual masters were fully aware that the individual unconsciousness or ignorance was the root cause of the “Collective Unconsciousness” or ills of the society that led to violence, hatred, and suffering. They realized that the ego was the mother of all evil such as hatred, anger, and greed, while the egoless-ness or consciousness gave natural birth to the virtues of compassion, humility, and gratitude. The key revelation was that the virtues were a natural outgrowth of the awakened consciousness or being rather than the externally imposed code of conduct prescribed by man-made morals. They were not politicians or businessmen exploiting and “packaging” the laws of the mind and psyche but, as Deepak said, they were the doctors or surgeons of the diseases of the mind. They unpackaged the packaged deal of religions- “Follow my commandments – go to heaven.” They unpackaged the packaged deal of politicians promising wealth, world peace and lower taxes. They restored the grace of human life in its free will and choosing reality. They were fully aware that in spite of the choice, not every individual would choose to awaken and walk on the path to the ultimate reality. They did not chase only the devil or God alone; their search was holistic as demonstrated in Holistic Relativity. They realized that relativity existed in duality, which is the symptom of the ego disease. So long there is ego, there is happiness and suffering, birth and death, and good and evil etc. The coin of ego-induced relativity or duality cannot exist without the two sides and it is fruitless and against the laws of nature to eliminate one side of the coin while keeping the other. Their solution was to melt or dissolve the coin of ego into its fundamental ingredient – consciousness to end the relativity or duality.

The masters chose Oneness over “Collective” that reflected duality or multiplicity. They realized the oxymoron nature of the so-called – “Collective Consciousness”, which in reality is the One Wholesome Consciousness. Instead of shouting the empty slogans of the politicians and religious leaders, they focused on uprooting the root cause of suffering via awakening the individual. Rather than speculating on a rosy evolutionary future for the mankind and its collective consciousness, they realized that the reality existed in the present moment. As the Buddha said – “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” They emphasized the total responsibility of the individual human being and its own free will in choosing and walking on the path to enlightenment, as the Buddha said – “App Deepo Bhav” (be your own light). Pankaj Mishra, in his book – “An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World” states what the Buddha spoke with singular clarity:

"The mind, where desire, hatred, and delusion run rampant, is also the place — the only place — where human beings can have full control of their own lives."

We cannot control everything but only control our experiences, perceptions, conclusions in the present, and the way we choose to live. The masters never relied on the fate of time and the external forces of evolution to awaken the consciousness of the human mind. They liberated the individual human being from the bodily clutches of time and environment – the other – the duality.

(……. TO BE CONTINUED………….)

References:

[1] A. Singh, The Hidden Factor: An Approach for Resolving Paradoxes of Science, Cosmology and Universal Reality, AuthorHouse, 2003.
[2] A. Singh, A New Theory of Spontaneous Decay Resolves Paradoxes of General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and Cosmology, The XXII Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics, Stanford University, CA, December 13-17, 2004.
[3] A. Singh, In Search of the Universal Reality and Purpose – A Scientific Investigation, presented at ‘Science and Religion: Global Perspectives’, June 4-8, 2005, in Philadelphia, PA, USA, a program of the Metanexus Institute (http://www.metanexus.net/conference2005/pdf/avtar_singh.pdf).
[4] A. Singh, Quantum Non-locality Explained by Theory of Relativity, Physics Essays, March, 2006.
[5] A. Singh, A New Approach to the Problems of Consciousness & Mind, Accepted for the conference – Toward a Science of Consciousness 2007, Budapest, Hungary, July 23-26, 2007.
[6] A. Wallace, Contemplative Science: Where Science and Buddhism Converge, Columbia University Press (in press).


Gingerbread with Mango Cake

This week’s recipe is Gingerbread with Mango Cake. As you can tell by now, I really love to use fresh ginger in the recipes. Ginger root has many detoxifying properties and can be incorporated into many dishes. You can also use fresh peaches or pears in place of the fresh mango pieces. Enjoy

1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour
¾ cup turbinado sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ginger, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
½ cup vanilla soy milk
½ cup molasses
¼ cup canola oil
1/3 cup mango puree (or applesauce)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup fresh mango, peeled and cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch baking pan and side aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk together the soy milk, molasses, oil, mango puree and lemon juice, Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently combine. Add the fresh mango pieces and continue to fold in gently. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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