NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 58:
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.
[In the unreal reflection called the “Universe”, a product of an unreal Mind, even there, Infinite Intelligence is evident and inspiring.]
Fine-Tuned Universe 38:
In his Fitness of the Environment,Henderson was struggling not to be misunderstood, and he concluded his preface with a plea:
” I beg the reader to bear this in mind & constantly to remember one simple question: What are the physical & chemical origins of diversity among inorganic & organic things, & how shall the adaptability of matter & energy be described ? He may then see his way through all the difficulties which philosophical & biological thought have accumulated around a problem that in the final analysis belongs only to Physical Science, & at the end he will find a provisional answer to the question.”
But misunderstood he was. At least he thought he was. His correspondence was filled with letters attempting to clarify & define “Teleology” [the end purpose of things].
“The Idea of Teleology: If you will look at a living organism, or at a watch, you will find that it possesses, like many other things in the World, a pattern. There is a certain peculiarity, however, about the pattern of the watch which resembles the peculiarity of the pattern of the living organism, & differs from the peculiarity of the pattern of certain other things possessing other well-marked patterns, such as, for instance, the orbit of a planet, or a geometrical figure. This seems to me to be an objective characteristic of the watch which we know to have been an excellent proof of the fact that the watch was designed.
It seems to me also to be an objective characteristic of the organism, & in the case of the organism, the current interpretation of explanations of it is that it is Natural Selection. What I maintain is that there is a pattern in the ultimate properties of the chemical elements & in the ultimate physico-chemical properties of all phenomena considered in relation to each other. I do not mean to say that this pattern is exactly of the same nature as the pattern of the watch or an organism. Still less do I mean to say or to imply anything about Design or Mind. The only Minds that I know are the Minds of the individual organisms that I encounter upon the Earth. But I feel perfectly justified, in spite of a certain unavoidable vagueness & ambiguity, in using the word “Teleology” for the pattern in which I am interested.
The important thing to my Mind is, nevertheless, not any doubtful talking about the proper name to discuss such a thing, but the fact itself. That is to say, the objective fact that the properties of the elements bear a certain very curious relationship to the process of Evolution.”
In” The Order of Nature”, Henderson’s philosophical explorations came farther forward as he recounted the ideas of natural organization & Teleology in a wide array of earlier authors from Aristotle through Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Goethe, Bernard, Dreisch, J. S. Haldane, & Bosanquet. But the problem of reconciling mechanism in nature with indications of purpose, was that: there was indeed “a teleological appearance of the World…It is something that is real…”
The solar system, meteorological cycle, & organic cycle seem to imply “a harmony which corresponds to an order in Nature.” “What is the mechanistic origin of the present order of Nature?” The answer may be approximately solved by discovering, step by step, how the general laws of physical science work together upon the properties of matter & energy so as to produce that order.
Henderson he had achieved limits set on Teleology: “Science has finally put the old [Medieval Scholastic] Teleology to death. Its disembodied spirit, freed from Vitalism & all material ties, immortal, alone lives on, & from such a ghost Science has nothing to fear. The man of Science is not even obliged to have an opinion concerning its reality, for it dwells in another “world” where he as a scientist can never enter.
But Henderson had struggled to reach this point in his argument. As he summed up his thinking, he again asked the question “What then becomes of Fitness ?” He had already banished all metaphysical Teleology from Science & was left to explore 2 possibilities: “An unknown mechanistic explanation” of both cosmic & organic Evolution exists – or it does not.”
While Henderson found it hard to credit such an “unknown” explanation, he added, with the historian’s eye, that before Darwin’s enunciation of Natural Selection, it was hard to imagine a mechanical explanation of Biological Fitness. Therefore, at the end of Fitness he warned: “We shall do well not to decide against such a possibility.”
When Henderson was composing “Fitness”, he had rejected the then current theories of Vitalism & that of a Designer for nature; but he had insisted on maintaining the term “teleology,” albeit adjusted as he saw “fit.”
Calculus for Yogis, part 1
[In a manner somewhat similar to Coordinate Space analogies used here, “graphs” play heavily here, if only because some of the Mind works this way.]
The idea behind this “Calculus for Yogis” segment is to use a simplest introduction to Calculus as a ongoing Analogy for certain spiritual principles. In dealing with Math at this very Intermediate level, it serves to warm up if we consider the idea of a “Variable”, typically designated as “ x“.
To the uninitiated, this is sometimes called in popular speech, the unknown quantity. [I remember nuns in grade school complaining about then–commercial use of “X” in X–mas for Christ–mas, seemingly an “insult” to the Savior. Actually, the “X” stood in for the Greek Chi, χ. An even more obscure confusion took the capital of Eta, η, which as Н looked like the Roman alphabet “H”. Seeing this apparent “H” in the middle of the abbreviation “JES” for “Jesus” (ancient Greek script had only capitals), the less literate Medievals said “Jesus H. Christ”.]
In any case, “ x” sometimes is “unknown”. But more to the point, “ x” is a “Variable”, meaning that “ x” can be any Real Number. “Variables” are symbols that can take on a range of numerical values. Depending on the situation, it can later be “known”, but the “Variable” nature, the symbolic, generic nature of “ x” is the key point.
If we need another Variable, we often use “ y” why. And if another is needed, it may well be “ z“. We often see this usage, not as fixed rules, but just as traditions. By the same token, tradition has us using “n” when the variable is one of Integers, whole numbers. And if we need another Integer Variable, one, we might use “m“.
Now in further exploring the traditional difference between “ x” & “ y“, again not strict rule, we can consider “Dependent” & “Independent” Variables; “Intensive” & “Extensive” Variables. The terms independent & extensive, & also dependent & intensive are used below in the following specific ways for “ x” & “ y” respectively.
independent – a measure of Time, Space. Angle. etc. that “roll on”, often “linearly”, unaffected by other influences.
extensive – a measure again, often as other than Time, Space. Angle. etc. The extensive Variable doubles & so on when other influences 2x, & so on. Twice as much Time may result in twice as much Mass appearing. for instance.
dependent – a measure of some result, changing with Time, Space. Angle. & that is affected by these & other influences.
intensive – a measure that does not double & so on when other influences 2x & so on. Temperature of hot water will not double, & so on, with a 2x increase on the quantity of the same Temperature water.
Δ x = B – A is typically the change in an independent, often extensive quantity. The evolution, the transformation, of that aspect of the path or journey often gives direction, in terms of to & fro on a 2-D graph. . . . .
Δ y = D – C is typically the change in a dependent, often intensive quantity. Often, over a Duration or Time interval, or a traversing a Distance or Displacement, the change in a dependent, often intensive quantity (or some similar linear measure of ongoing change in perspective, such as angle, and so on). This appears as ups & downs on a 2-D graph. D .
Δ y / Δ x is the “slope“, the “steepness” or “slant” of a rising (or descending) “curve” of y vs. x, even if it should happen to be a straight line. /
By looking at that ratio called “Delta y over Delta x“, the “rise over the run“, we weigh the recent history or progress of y over the span of x considered. Again, that span will be of Time or Distance or in most cases some other extensive quantity, be it Angle, and so on.
Putting the same ratio in terms of A, B, C, D, this slope becomes (B – A) / (D – C). Here we can see a “minus” as giving the change in going from A to B, or the evolution or progress of y as it went from A to B.
[For Analogy purposes: (B – A) can be the “imagined” span in unreal Time or Space over which an unreal objective change is envisioned. Then, (D – C) represents that unreal objective change.]
The ratio, putting the change in y over the change in the extensive variable x, from C to D or D – C, puts a scale, a calibration, to our measure of the change in y.
When the differences in y & x become infinitesimally small, the capital Greek “D” or Delta, Δ (for average Slope) is replaced by the simple lowercase Roman alphabet “dee” or “d” & the “ratio” of d y / d x is also called the “Derivative“.
Like many terms in Calculus, including the term “calculus” itself, the “Derivative” comes to sound scary, perhaps inherently so. But this is also due to the twinge of fear, in part due to the word, when used by early grade school teachers who 1st come to mention it. Some of these teachers are afraid of what they take to be a topic daunting to themselves. Imparting that fear, along with the strangeness of the word, complexity becomes associated with terms like “calculus”. The original word just means counting the little “stones”, as in an abacus, or the beads upon the wire in a pool hall, or the rosary for a pious Catholic. “Calculus” is just counting.
So it is with “Derivative“, the technical limit of this slope of Δ y / Δ x . This is the limit where the tiny interval of the considered changes become infinitesimal, designated d y / d x with the lowercase “dee” or “d”. This then is the 1st foundation of Calculus, the Slope, the Derivative. How are we to look at it, or what Analogy can we make ?
Some more selected verses from the Ramana Maharshi disciple Master Nome:
For Realization of the immortal Bliss of eternal Being, one should know oneself as the Knower alone, which is unalloyed, boundless Consciousness. In knowing the Self truly, one knows that Consciousness is never non-existent & never alters its nature. Consciousness is never an experiencer, never a thinker, never a sensory perceiver, never a performer of action, or an individualized knower since Consciousness is without an Ego.
Thus, one who knows himself truly, knows, “I am without a Body, & I am not engaged in bodily action. I am without Senses, & I am not engaged in any sensing. I do not have speech; & I do not speak. I do not have prana; & I neither live nor die. I do not have a Mind; & I never think. I am not an “I”, or an individual being & there is nothing I become.”
Such a Sage need not think that this is so. It is so, & expression have merely been given to these truths to indicate that which actually ineffable & of the nature of silent Knowledge. Since the eternal Self is always of the nature of Consciousness, it is ever without Ignorance. Similarly, the Self is without knowledge conceived as a state or mode of Mind. The Self has no states or phases, & therefore, is beyond both Ignorance & Knowledge. The only true Knowledge is the Self, itself.
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 have been available on:
[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/