NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 59:
Some Ramana Maharshi quotes:
Man is always the Self & yet he does not know it. Instead he confounds it with the non-Self, Body. etc. Confusion is due to Ignorance. If Ignorance is wiped out, the confusion will cease to exist & the true Knowledge will be unfolded.
The thought “I have not realized”, the expectation to become realized, & desire of getting anything. are all the of the workings of the Ego.
Be what you are. All that is necessary is to lose the Ego. That which is, is always there.
Even now you are that. You are not apart from it.
The degree of the absence of concepts is the measure of your progress towards Self- realization. But Self-Realization itself does not admit of progress, it is ever the same. The Self remains always in Realization.
The obstacles are concepts. Progress is measured by removal of obstacles to understanding that Self is always realized. So thoughts must be checked by seeking to whom they arise. Go to their source & they will not arise.
When one daily practices more & more abiding in the heart, the Mind will become extremely pure due to the removal of its defects, & the practice will become so easy that the purified Mind will plunge into the heart as soon as the Inquiry is commenced.
When you enter the inner stillness of Being, the heart-going Mind is called the resting Mind.
When unity is replaced by a variety of perceived phenomena, it’s called outgoing Mind.
Know that the Consciousness always shines as the formless Self, the true “I”.
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 39:
One of the earliest, but also the fullest, reviews of Henderson’s “Fitness of the Environment” appeared in Science (1913).
“This book is essentially a discussion of the nature & implications of organic adaptation, that is, of the relation between the living organism & the Environment, but is written from an unusual point of view, with the full identification of Carbon, Hydrogen, & Oxygen &their unique characteristics which make possible the production of living protoplasm.”
They demonstrate “the greatest possible fitness for Life”. Included was the transfer of the conception of Fitness from the Organic to the Inorganic Environment, which thereby achieves the reciprocal nature of biological adaptation. However, Henderson had not dealt with adaptation is, as a general condition or process nut not in detail with the organism itself & the interrelation between organisms & the Environment.
Of course, the Universe is a fit environment for Life because it continues to exist in it. Granted, systems having the properties of living beings could not have arisen had the properties of Carbon, Hydrogen, & Oxygen, & of their combinations, been other than they are. Most biologists would see the central thesis Henderson advanced as either self-evident or inherently unprovable.
Henderson said this World is the best possible Environment for the organisms that came to live in it, but what of other organisms in a different cosmos ? Biologists saw the book as an essay on the elements & compounds that form protoplasm, thus calling attention to often overlooked “facts & principles”.
Questions remained regarding the final significance of biological adaptations, Henderson showed surprise that the Environment & the organism possess similar characteristics. The surviving organic forms are those that have been able to maintain equilibrium with their Environment. If conditions change & organisms can’t compensate, they will fail. That, after all, is what Natural Selection is all about. The task of biological science is thus left where we found it: to account for the characteristics of organisms on the basis of the physico-chemical characteristics of their component elements & compounds & to demonstrate how these living characteristics are formed by the Environment. That means that Life was somehow potential or implicit in matter, in the Universe.
Such a statement can have little meaning, since it is remote from the possibility of verification. J. D. Bernal, the materialist, in his book The Origin of Life (1967) summed it up succinctly: all of Henderson’s evidence shows that “Life had to make do with what it had, for if it failed to do so it would not have been there at all.”
Is there a way out by postulating a Universe bio-centric from its inception ? Complexity, peculiarities, & stability of organisms would be unintelligible except for something of this sort. How then is it possible to reconcile Teleology & the existence of will & purpose in Nature with the existence of a physico-chemical determinism which appears the more rigid, the further scientific analysis proceeds ? This question would require biological knowledge for a solution – if one is ever achieved. Henderson’s book points biologists to the “importance & urgency of these questions.
Raymond Pearl, the population biologist, opened his 1913 review with reference to a metaphysical diversion “of my academic & intellectually irresponsible youth,” in which orthodox Darwinism was turned on its head. “Is there not quite as much justification, so far as the objective facts of Nature are concerned, for one to say that the Environment is adapted to the organism as there is for him to make the converse propositions ?”
Could natural selection, “or any other mechanistic hypothesis,” stand up to the task ? Before Henderson’s “Fitness”, no systematic efforts had been made to examine the fitness of the elements of the Environment for sustaining Life. Henderson’s own examination was in many ways a remarkable one. He showed “conclusively” that the known Environment of the Earth is better adapted to the needs of organisms than any other that could be constructed.
Henderson showed that “existing science” was unable to give any “satisfactory mechanical explanation” to the reciprocal Fitness of organism & Environment while not ruling out its possibility. Here was a Teleology in the form of a purposive tendency working steadily through the whole process of Evolution.
This tendency is not something which can be weighed or measured but is rather an original property of matter “assumedly not by chance, which organized the Universe in Space & Time.” In other words, it falls beyond the bounds of science. Pearl called “Fitness” a “logical sequel to the Origin of Species.”
Calculus for Yogis, part 2
Mentioned in last section regarding the traditional difference between Variables “ x” & “ y” we considered “Dependent” & “Independent” Variables; “Intensive” & “Extensive” Variables. Taking the pair 1st: intensive & extensive, we can note that extensive Variables compare to gross amounts, while intensive Variables can represent more abstract principles, less measurable like Qualia. In that sense these latter tend to be more “Non-Dual”, less gross & densely material. Where such an Analogy breaks down is along the dependent – independent axis thought to often run parallel to the “ y” – “ x” or intensive – extensive polarity.
In general, the Derivative is a projection from the recent Past pointing to the immediate Future. This is the way we navigate in life, taking the very recent Past, & projecting the expected Future. So the Derivative, as well as being a slope, is a prediction, a projection, a best guess as to the immediate Future behavior of y , given the immediate Past behavior.
What happened to y over the recent change in x becomes our best guess for what will happen to y in the next-most change. So the Derivative is all about our anticipation of the Future, our hopes & our fears, our guesses, with successful guessing balanced by reasonable projections. Since seeking Happiness, dictates all our choices, a projection in the immediate Present, pointing towards an estimated Future, like the Derivative is like an arrow aiming at, seeking, pointing to desired Happiness, at least in our Analogy.
The other shoe coming down under the foundation of Calculus, the twin counterpart to the Derivative, is the inverse of the Derivative. This inverse is called the Integral. The Integral, which we will also attempt to simplify, establishes a longer record of the previous Past, accumulating results, averaging to some extent, & establishing a base of Reality & Identity, again least in our Analogy.
One could almost say that the Derivative was a continuous reevaluation. our changing of our course. But actually the course is an issue of the curve itself, the Function. That’s the course over Time, or over Space, are over Angle etc. Applied to the Derivative, this is an ongoing perspective, how I look ahead, a viewpoint.
In that sense the Derivative does compare with the actual motivation for every changing course, every maintaining the course, every choice & decision. That motivation is the seeking of Happiness, & so that is one of the Analogies for which we can use the Derivative. The Integral on the other hand is more like the accumulation of Memory, of things learned, of opinions solidified, by accumulation over Time, or Space, or Angle or whatever.
An interesting feature in Math is a small raised number or Variable put immediately to the right of a number or variable such as 3 or x. This raised, small number is called the Exponent & it tells you how many times to multiply the number or Variable by itself.
So x to the 1, x1 means multiply x by itself just one time (1x) & so it just = x .
An Exponent of 2, as in x2 or x “squared” means we multiply x times x ,
If x happened to be 4, that latter would mean, multiply 4 x 4 = 16.
Continuing our elementary introduction to Calculus, we can look at the Derivative of any simple Term, which means a Variable to a given Power or Exponent, with a leading numerical Coefficient.
So a term like 7 x “cubed” or 7 x3 “to the 3” has a Derivative of d y / d x when y equals 7 x to the 3 that is simply found by taking the Exponent to multiply the Coefficient & then dropping the Variable to a Power or Exponent that is 1 less.
So the Derivative of the 7 x3 is 3 times 7 x2 = 21 x2 & this applies to every Power.
Now in our story of elementary patterns in Calculus, it is interesting to look at various Exponents or Powers of the number, or Powers of a Variable, including taking x to the 0 (Zeroth) Power & multiplying it by any Coefficient.
To multiply something by itself is 0 times does not leave you with 0. It curiously leaves you with 1.
For those a little more familiar with Algebra, this can be easily seen (without the distraction of fuller explanation for now) on the following:
1 = xa / xa = xa–a = x0
So no matter what be the number or Variable that is raised to the 0 power, the result equals 1. In that sense. when we put a number in front of x0, this is just that number times 1. So, 7 x0 simply = 7 x 1 = 7.
So we end up just with the Coefficient, the number, because x0 = 1. Inversely, 7 = 7 x 1 = 7 x0 so we can see that the Derivative of a constant number has us multiplying the Coefficient by Zero.
So when we take the Derivative of a simple number, we can first think of that as that number multiplied by 1, or that number multiplied by some Variable x to the 0 Power because the latter is simply 1.
So using the “Power Rule” exemplified above, the Derivative of 7 = 7 x0 will be 0 times the 7 & so = 0.
So a Constant number or a function like y = 5 has Zero or “no” Derivative. Seeing that its graph is a horizontal flat line, it makes sense that it has no slope.
Along with the Zeroth Power case, the First Power is another kind of “special” & simple case. First we note that the Power, 1, multiplies the Coefficient, leaving it unchanged. Then, dropping the Variable to a Power or Exponent that is 1 less, this reduces the First Power to the Zeroth Power, or the number 1. The Derivative then is just the Coefficient, the number when the Variable to the Zeroth Power equals 1.
So for the Derivative of a Term with the next higher power, 7 x = 7 x1 , we take the 1 & multiply the 7 by the 1 & drop the power of x to 0 which equals 1 so did Derivative of 7 x1 = 7×1 = 7. So the Derivative of a number times a simple x is just a number itself.
Some more selected verses from the Ramana Maharshi disciple Master Nome:
Consciousness is self-luminous. By the light of Consciousness, all appears. When Consciousness disappears, Consciousness is still the same. The known has no light of its own. Inquiring, one should trace the Light inward to realize that which is perpetually illuminating. That ever-shining colorless Light illumines the Senses & the Mind, but can never be seen by the Senses, or envisioned by the Mind. Knowledge, or direct experience of this Light consists of the Identity with that Light. Changeless, blemishless, ever-free, immovable, eternal, bodiless & imperishable, without Ignorance or Knowledge, the Self is of the nature of Consciousness alone.
Existence, the Self, is the sole, ever-enduring, Non-Dual Reality. The aspirant can know Absolute Being or Brahman, only if the aspirant is identical with Brahman. The aspirant cannot know That if That (Brahman) is different from the aspirant. The Self, being Non-Dual Consciousness, cannot know anything or anyone other than Consciousness. The Self, being the sole-existent Consciousness, cannot be known by another. The Self alone can know itself.
There would be no use for the countless descriptions of the Absolute by the Scriptures & the holy Sages if That, the Self, were other than one’s own Self. There would also be no use for the negation of all limited definitions if That, the Self, were other than one’s own Self. For what purpose would be served by speaking of something that was never experienced by those Sages, those authors of the Scriptures, something could never be experienced by all ?
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:
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[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/