NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 60:
Some Ramana Maharshi quotes:
Your duty is to be, & not to be this or that.
All that is required to realize the Self is to be still.
The Self is not now understood to be Truth, the one Reality.
The Truth of your Self alone is worthy to be scrutinized & known. Taking it as the target of your attention, you should keenly seek to know it in your spiritual heart. This Knowledge of yourself will be revealed only to the Consciousness which is silent, clear, & free from the activity of the agitated & suffering Mind.
Whenever you are disturbed by thoughts you need merely withdraw within to the Self This is not concentration or destruction of the Mind but withdrawal into the Self.
The Mind, turned outwards, results in thoughts & objects. Turned inwards, it becomes itself the Self. To ask the Mind to kill the mind is like making the thief the policeman. He will go with you & pretend to catch the thief, but nothing will be gained.
So you must turn inward & see from where the Mind rises & then it will cease to exist.
The Mind is only a bundle of thoughts. How can you extinguish it by the thought of doing so, or by a desire ? Your thoughts & desires are part & parcel of the Mind. The Mind is simply enhanced by new thoughts rising up. Therefore it is foolish to attempt to kill the Mind by means of the Mind. The only way of doing it is to find its source & hold on to it. The Mind will then fade away of its own accord.
It is with the inward-going Mind that you eliminate the outward-going Mind.
You do not set about saying there is a Mind & I’m going to kill it, but you seek the Source of the Mind. Then you will find that the Mind does not exist at all.
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 40:
The mechanism, Vitalism, & Teleology debates in the opening decades of the twentieth century had already been rehearsed in the responses to Henderson’s own attempts to reconcile the mechanical & the vital in a single system.
If the concept of “organism” had been the first major stumbling block for mechanism, psychology, or mind, raised the bar for mechanism even higher.
The structure of Henderson’s arguments was cast very much in the mode of Claude Bernard’s earlier use of levels of explanation. Henderson vigorously rejected Haldane’s claim that “all attempts to trace the ultimate mechanism of Life must be given up as meaningless.” Instead, he countered with his own stand:
“And for my own part I am obliged to say regarding Haldane’s statement, ‘The phenomena of Life are of such a nature that no physical or chemical explanation of them is remotely conceivable,’ that is true only in a sense quite different from its apparent meaning.” In having to confront the anti-mechanism of Haldane, Henderson further identified his own location as he attempted to reconcile the worlds of life and matter.
In 1917, Haldane noted that with the wide adoption of natural selection the nineteenth-century conception
of Teleology had largely dropped from scientific discourse. He further noted that Henderson accepted Natural Selection, yet wanted to maintain a version of Teleology based on the physical properties of matter in the Universe & the organisms existing in a functional relationship – the Teleological arrangement: avoids all.
The tools of modern molecular biology have given us an astonishing capability to examine, modify, deconstruct, & reconstruct the molecular components of cells to see how they respond to our tinkering. The simplest cells (such as those of the primitive intracellular parasite Mycoplasma genitalium appear to have
fewer than a thousand proteins. That number of catalysts is still very complicated, & we have as yet no conceptual tools for understanding a network of reactions of such complexity. But this level of complexity does not, in principle, seem unreachably beyond our understanding. A cellular network of a thousand proteins – catalysts & molecules that sense, signal, and control passage across membranes; act as the
structural skeleton; & perform many other functions) talking to one another in groups through the compounds they produce seems to be something that we will be able to disentangle. Certainly, those who call themselves “systems biologists” believe we will. Still, the path that scientists are now following in trying to understand the molecular basis of Life will test their creativity & strain their endurance: first, understanding the pieces of the networks as thoroughly as possible; then, perhaps, devising a computer model of a cell; and ultimately, in some distant future, validating the correctness of the principles suggested by this model by designing a set of reactions entirely different from those in the cells we now know. It is one thing to analyze a Bach fugue; it is quite a different thing to play one, or to write one, or to create the kind of communication between humans that we call “music.” We shall, I confidently believe, eventually analyze the fugue of Life – the interplay of metabolic processes in the cell – as a network of compartmentalized, adaptive chemical reactions that can, astonishingly, replicate repeatedly into identical, distinct, separate networks. This is a very difficult job, but one that we humans can accomplish. But where did the cell come from ? How did this wonderfully, astonishingly complex system come into existence ?
We do not know. If it is very difficult to understand the operation of cellular life as we observe it today, it is even more difficult to understand how it might have originated in the Past. Thoughtful, deeply creative people from a wide range of backgrounds have been captivated by the question of the Origin of Life. There is no shortage of ideas about pieces of this puzzle. We know how the surfaces of minerals might have
provided elementary, non-biological catalysts to start the process & how heat or sunlight might have contributed other reactions. We can guess why certain types of molecules & reactions tend to occur in metabolism. We understand how any number of plausible natural events occurring in a conceivable pre-biotic Earth – events that formed complex mixtures of chemicals in geothermal vents, in lightning, on impacts, & under intense solar irradiation – might have contributed relevant bits of chemistry.
But we do not understand how something as subtle & complicated as the network of reactions that we recognize the cell to be – a network both responsive & robust – might have emerged from these rudimentary processes. How could a chemical sludge spontaneously become a rose, even with billions of years to try ?
We can take two approaches in our research directed toward the Origin of Life: reasoning backward & reasoning forward. “Backward” starts with Life as we know & characterize it now – cells, DNA, RNA, enzymes, membranes, metabolites, membrane receptors, channels, & import/export proteins – & extrapolates back to simpler & simpler systems to try to infer an Origin. This approach has been spectacularly successful in “reverse engineering” Evolution, at least part of the way; but it has always been guided by examples provided by the types of cells that are now alive. Still, there seems little doubt that Evolution could proceed once there was a primitive cell, with RNA or an RNA-like molecule, & reactions that used RNA as a catalyst & also translated RNA into protein or protein-like catalysts that were part of the network of reactions.
Several hundreds of millions of tidal pools, together with enormous volumes of lakes & oceans, over several hundreds of millions of years provided many opportunities to produce cellular & organismic complexity. This part of the development of the complexity of Life no longer seems to be a serious issue, at least conceptually. And the anatomical & physiological structures that now so enthrall us – the eye, the ear, the kidney, tentacles, muscles – these all seem to me trans-fixingly interesting products of Evolution, but not ones whose origins are incomprehensibly improbable.
If we & the squid have the same camera eye, why not ? With enough tries, “best” solutions are bound to emerge many times. If some creatures walk on 2 legs, some on 4, some on 6 or 8 – again, why not ? Many solutions may work well enough to survive the rigors of Evolutionary selection.
Calculus for Yogis, part 3
Previously we noted that the Derivative of a Variable raised to a higher order n where the Coefficient was say 5 would get a Coefficient of 5 n & have the Variable brought down to n–1, as in 6 down to 5, & so on.
Thus the Derivative of 5 x6 , = 6 x 5 x6–1 = 30 x5
This Power Rule, makes taking the Derivative of a Polynomial simple.
When several terms with Variables of various Powers are added together [possibly to include minus signs], we can take Derivative of the resulting “polynomial”, term by term, separately. We can just add the Derivatives of the individual terms so that the Derivative,
d y / d x of y = 5 x6 – 6 x3 + 10 x + 4 becomes:
d y / d x = 30 x5 – 18 x2 + 10
This additive simplicity, & that of the “Power-Rule” sketched out above, encourage us to stick with Polynomials in this elementary discussion. Some other kinds of functions can be represented as “series”, which resemble Polynomials with an infinite number of terms. By taking the Derivative, or “differentiating” each term, we can explore the elementary Calculus of some other functions as well, such as the Exponential function & some Trigonometric functions.
Many of us know that π is a very special number. It’s called a Transcendental number because it has a specific value, but the decimal representation goes on forever, with no final repetition of patterns in the numerals. So we can never really represent the entire decimal of π. But we know that it is “there somehow”, a definite π that is the ratio of the Circumference of a circle to its Diameter. Now the Diameters is twice the Radius & the Radius is more useful in many discussions. So it’s often said that instead of the Circumference being π times of Diameter, we say it’s 2 π times the Radius.
Like π then, there are other special Transcendental numbers, a couple of which we will be mentioning. The 1st of these other numbers is named for a mathematician named Euler whose name began with e & so it is called e. And e is also conveniently the 1st letter of the word “Exponent”, so when we raise e to an Exponent, we actually call it the Exponential function as in ex which is also designated Exp (x). Convenient for our Analogies, “e” can also remind us of “Ego”.
As we indicate below, the Exponential function Exp (x) = ex , stands, as it were, “outside” of Time in that both the Future projection (Derivative) & the Past memory (Integral), in the simplest case, come back as ex itself, identical without change. This compares with taking close-ups of graph of ex.
First, we do well to consider the “diagonal” line: y = x , set to one square page such that the line spans the diagonal, from the lower left corner to the upper right corner. If we were to take a close-up of the line graph at any portion, & the blow that portion to fill another square page, the result will look the same, be the same as the original square page. Much the same be demonstrated for any other straight line, but such is not the same for almost all curves. But it is strikingly the case for ex.
We can again set ex or even et [t for time] similarly to one square page so that the “Past” tail arises from the lower left corner & approaches the upper right corner at the “Future” rising wall. For consistency of observation, if we “stand” in mid curve & look back on ex or even et , toward the “Past”, it always looks rather flat, like not much increase has occurred so far. If we look forward toward the “Future” rising wall it appears sheer & steep. “Past”, it always looks rather flat, like not much increase has occurred so far.
If we were to take a close-up of ex at any portion, & the blow that portion to fill another square page, the result will look the same, just like the straight line. This supports the earlier intuition & observation that the Exponential function stands “outside” of Time in that both the Future Derivative & the Past Integral come back as ex itself.
Some more selected verses from the Ramana Maharshi disciple Master Nome:
The negation of attributes & limited definitions of Brahman, as given in such spiritual instructions, must be understood to be the negation of attributes & limited definitions of the Self. If the instructions are to be applied to oneself, those instructions involve the negation of superimpositions, of what is not the Self, upon the Self.
The descriptions of the Self & the negation of attributes & limited definitions of the Self would be meaningless if they referred to some sort of other “Self” different from the aspirant’s own self. Such negations would further clarify that the Self is bodiless, non-sensory, without prana (“life force or energy”), free from thought, etc.
There are not 2 selves in the same one being (apparent person or human being). There is 1 Self, & when known as it is, the Self is known to be Infinite & Eternal, not a limited individual being, but just Non-Dual Being.
To realize this, the Knowledge of oneself as the Self, free from the Body & such, this Knowledge must become as certain & steady as the belief of a human being that he is a human being. No human being doubts this on any occasion.
When that human being determines by Self-Knowledge what, in Truth, that Existence is, that Being exists, then Absolute Being is known. And if that Knowledge is without doubt & without wavering, one has thus known what needs to be known, has experienced what needs to be experienced, & has realized what needs to be realized.
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/