NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 57:
Prior to excerpting the Ramana Maharshi disciple, Master Nome in the text below we continue the series: Fine-Tuned Universe , the premise that a small change in several of the dimensionless fundamental physical constants would make the Universe incapable of Life.
Fine-Tuned Universe 37:
[In the unreal reflection called the “Universe”, a product of an unreal Mind, even there, Infinite Intelligence is evident and inspiring.]
In structuring his turn of the 20th Century argument in Fitness of the Environment, Henderson pointed to the Darwinian view of fitness as involving a mutual relationship between the organism & the environment & stressed the essential role of the environment as being of equal importance to the evolution of the organism. He opened his argument with the following paragraph:
“Darwinian fitness is compounded of a mutual relationship between the organism & the environment. Of this, Fitness of the Environment is quite as essential a component as the fitness which arises in the process of organic evolution; & in fundamental characteristics the actual environment is the fittest possible abode of life. Such is the thesis which the present volume seeks to establish. This is not a novel hypothesis. In rudimentary form it has already a long history behind it, & it was a familiar doctrine in the early nineteenth century. It presents itself anew as a result of the recent growth of the science of physical chemistry.”
His strong claim was that the actual environment is the fittest one possible for living organisms. Even as a sophomore at Harvard, Henderson confided in his “Memories” that he had “a vague feeling that there are not only many undiscovered simple uniformities behind the complexities of things, but also undiscovered unifying principles & explanations”.
But there was more. Alongside this explanation, he recounted that he came upon William Prout’s hypothesis concerning the periodic classification of chemical elements (all are multiples of the atomic mass of hydrogen) & felt the order involved must have an explanation. Was he retrospectively claiming that he had himself become “fit” to search for an understanding of the “fitness principle”? He was certainly willing to stray beyond the boundaries of the laboratory & the conceptual borders of the sciences.
Henderson began attending the philosophy & logic seminars of Josiah Royce in Harvard’s Department of Philosophy. Through this channel, he came to know the works of Alfred North Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, & other contemporary philosophers. He continued to sit in on philosophy seminars in subsequent years. In the preface to Fitness of the Environment, he generously acknowledged Royce:
“His learning & generosity have in the past aided me to reach an understanding of the philosophical problems of science, & in the preparation of this book have repeatedly guided me aright”. Royce himself had expressed belief in a form of universal teleology in. The World & the Individual, & he enthusiastically called Henderson’s work to the attention of other philosophers. In a long footnote at the conclusion of Fitness, Henderson cited Royce’s teleological vision.
The two joined with other Harvard faculty to discuss issues in the history & philosophy of science. In his work, Henderson’s ideas of fitness developed along with a growing interest in regulation of the physiological processes of the organism. Although he only later referred to this work, it was very much in accord with the concept of maintaining the milieu developed in the later decades of the nineteenth century by Claude Bernard & other contemporaries.
But in his paper on the excretion of acids, Henderson zeroed in on the seeming fitness of certain substances for physiological processes, pointing to the excretion of phosphoric acid as an indicator of renal action needed to maintain an acid–base balance: “There seems to be nothing in evolutionary theory to explain it & for the present it must be considered a happy chance . . .”
In “Memories,” Henderson looked back & noted that he had questioned whether the role of carbon dioxide & phosphates was somehow linked in retrospect to special properties that made them more appropriate for physiological processes.
“I saw that fitness must be a reciprocal relation, that adaptations in the Darwinian sense must be adaptations to something, & that complexity, stability, & intensity & diversity of metabolism in organisms could not have resulted through adaptation unless there were some sort of pattern in the properties of the environment that, as I now partly knew, is both intricate & singular. His research focus became water, carbon dioxide, & other carbon compounds . At the level of theory, he looked for a single order that linked biological & cosmic evolution. Was the explanation he sought mechanical or teleological? But teleology, as he used the term, was limited. There were no final causes, no entelechy. The “teleological principle” in his understanding was inherent in matter & energy. These natural phenomena have original principles “essentially not by chance.” But Henderson was consciously agnostic & refused to seek or find religious links for teleology. For Henderson, teleology stood in parallel to mechanism, not as a replacement for it. As he put it in the preface to The Order of Nature: “Beneath all the organic structures & functions are the molecules & their activities… they . . . have been molded by the process of evolution…and have also formed the environment.”
Some more selected verses from the Ramana Maharshi disciple Master Nome:
The Self alone knows. The which is objective, inclusive of the Ego, can have no knowing power. For all that is objective is not Consciousness itself & is therefore unreal. The objective & unreal cannot know themselves, cannot know each other, & cannot know the Knower. The only Knower is the Self which the unknown Know of all that is known. Though it cannot be known objectively, the Self is nonetheless known in Self-Knowledge devoid of the triads of knowing-knower-known, by the Self itself, which is the Self of the Sages who truly know.
The Self is the true Knower of Knowledge that is referred to in the Upanishad aphorism, tat tvam asi “Thou art That” & not anything else. Anything else would be a mere superimposition on the real Self & would have no such Knowledge. There is no other Knower. This is the all-comprehensive Knower, which is Absolute Consciousness itself, ever-free, homogenous, Non-Dual, & space-like.
This Knower is is realized when the illusory objective aspect has been negated. The Knower can never be the known. All that is known is subject to destruction, but the essence of the Knower can never not be.
The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through:
or with Caps-sensitive:
Duplicates (but with graphics) have been available on:
http://www.blogger.com as “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:
[But from now on, they will be different & still usually daily.]
“There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.” – the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome – Ajata Vada
for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see: www.ajatavada.com/