Monday, August 20, 2012

'Vers'ification of the Universe

The universe is never static. Nothing in it ever is; from the Magellanic Cloud to subatomic particles, changes happen in ceaseless cycles. The universe itself is happening; everything in it is continually happening, without pause, thought, malice, or benevolence. It happens, within it things happen; in these happenings, another other happenings happen.

Pravin wrote:

I am reminded of "Across the Universe" song of the Beatles. It seems those who hallucinate get a direct vision and understanding of the Universe. Ask Paul McCartney:
Words are flowing out like
Endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me.

Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light, which
Dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.

Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me.
Limitless undying love, which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai Guru Deva.
Jai Guru Deva.
Jai Guru Deva.
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world"

My reply:

Paul McCartney, his clan called the Beatles, and their ilk all over the world, found dealing with life difficult, if not altogether impossible, and therefore found shelter under obfuscation of its complexity and incomprehensibility. That the Beatles were also creative was not the certain, ordained outcome of being stoned, but one of the outlets from which they profited, and so did the spiritualists of various hues who deigned to offer them guidance.

Anyway: Since, provably, the universe is not hallucinating, either we humans are, or have to, to deal with our quotidian, transient and minuscule concerns.

All of us humans survive because we can hallucinate, be it in self-deceit, self-aggrandizement, manic-depression, or in generating means for elation.

Incidentally, you may find this interesting:

-- a podcast in which the neurologist Oliver Sacks talks about how his drug experiences / hallucinations in the sixties affected his life and career.
Bhupen wrote:

I am sure I have heard the song without knowing the words.  Reading them, I find them interesting, except for the chanting of 'Jai Gurudeva, Om".

In the sixties drug culture provided escape into the altered state of mind in real time.  It was more than imagining, dreaming, fantasizing without any physical control and thus hellucinating. 

Since you mentioned scientist and others experimenting with LSD, here is another famous one.  He dropped out for a while, came back with a revived career in computer science, turned little crazy (he wanted to die on Public television).  Here is a brief of his early career.  

TIMOTHY LEARY WAS another early advocate of LSD experimentation. Leary taught psychology at Harvard and by 1960 was doing experiments with LSD and other hallucinogens, first on prison inmates and then on himself and his friends. LSD was not illegal at the time. In 1960, Allen Ginsberg, supervised by Leary, ingested psilocybin mushrooms, (under the influence of the drug, he phoned Jack Kerouac, identifying himself as God to the telephone operator), and began to spread the word about the new powerful psychedelic drugs. When Harvard dismissed Leary in 1963, he set up the Castalia Institute in Millbrook, New York, to continue his studies. Leary's approach to taking LSD was the opposite of Ken Kesey'sÐLeary believed in "set and setting," a practice of taking the drug in a controlled environment, as a safeguard against bad trips. He coined the phrase "Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out," and formed the "League of Spiritual Discovery," an LSD advocacy group. In the mid sixties, he began attending numerous musical events and public forums that promoted the use of LSD. Leary spent a number of years in prison for various charges related to drug possession.
My reply:

Your statement about hallucination raised the thought that a single strand of DNA is capable of hallucinating. An amoeba can hallucinate; plants. trees, flowers can hallucinate, as can fish, cats, cockroaches, etc.

If an animal or insect or plant ingests a substance which causes it to hallucinate, it will return to ingest that substance again.

In other words, it means that apart from its self-ordained purpose to only exist (survive by sustenance and reproduction), there is this slight unexpected aberration somewhere in that minuscule and first fundamental form of life. The unicellular DNA, whether in amoeba and its ilk, static or evolving, or in humans; but containing the fundamental potion that we call life, inclines towards hallucination, mostly without volition and ignorantly; sometimes even with literate knowledge, purposefully.

I will write separately, later,  about Timothy Leary, or, earlier than him, Albert Hofman, among people who consciously studied chemical, physical or biological agents, which created altered states of human (and perhaps other) minds.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


The Universe Within: The Human Brain

Our mental being, which is central to our existence and identity, would not function without neurons ceaselessly rushing, close to the speed of light, and communicating with every part of our biology, in respect of our endeavour, activity, even our sleep. They cease only when we cease. They communicate with each other via synapses. 

Just to mention our brain, which is the most evolved among all forms of life, imagine that it has roughly 1011 (one hundred billion) neurons, each of which has on an average, 7,000 synaptic connections to other neurons.  Imagine the universe of neurons: a 3 to 5 year old child has about 1015 synapses (one quadrillion). Significantly, this number declines with age, so that an adult is supposed to have from 1014 to 5*1014 synapses (100-500 trillion).

Here, I have to let my neurons rush to other synaptic terminals; this information being relevant only if your neurons have travelled with me thus far.


Anonymous wrote:
It has.
Thank you. 

Charu wrote:
With or without aging my synapse count has gone down to 10 to the negative power of 14 (Sorry, comments will not allow superscripts). At this infinitesimal level my brain and I barely exist. I should not be able to comment on this post at all………

Did you get into my brain to take that picture? So dead……….

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Largest Empire...

 ... that ever was or ever will be, in the history of man.

For 200+ years, the British subconscious has not unnaturally been unable to divest itself of the vestiges of what, in man's history, became the largest empire ever, which feat, given the logistic of human civilisation of today, will not or cannot be repeated till perdition comes.  The British are progressively getting reduced in their reach and influence in an exponentially changing political history, geography and demography of the world. 

It is not inconceivable, it is even forgivable, that they might have embedded in their subconscious the notion that America is still their colony; or that their island, due to tectonic plate movement, will somehow be pushed to abut the eastern coast of the United States and therefore and thereafter become part of it, if not the owner of it. 

Someone anonymously emailed the following, which I found funny without being sardonic, and completely devoid of malice. Here it is; I hope you enjoy it too:



To the Citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Greetings.

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.  A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.'  Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters,  and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.'  Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up 'vocabulary').
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S.English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of  '-ize.'
3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of  known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.  Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
11. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (wWorld dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

Charu wrote:
It is revealing that a post on an ex British colony, USA, on a downward slide is published along with another downturned ex British colony, India and a humorous, anonymous and certainly bogus letter of intent from her Majesty, the Queen of England, to take back one and not the other are all posted on one page!

BTW, I have my own items to add to that list should USA cede to England!

My reply:
Charu, that is an uncanny and brilliant observation you have made: USA, a former British fiefdom, which became the wealthiest and the most powerful democratic country in the world; and the other, India, also the most favourite of all British colonies worldwide, the so-called Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, which also remained democratic, and went on to become the world’s most populous country (not China, which is three times the size of India, and therefore its population by area is one-third that of India); for England, the notion of regaining India is not only remote but unthinkable. Bravo, Charu.

The Spirit of the Olympics

The world's most populous country of 1.3 billion people and counting, had to maintain its status among the comity of nations by sending the largest contingent to the London Olympics, 2012. India had a plan which has been revealed now by countless newspapers, magazines and screaming Breaking News on TV, which may actually have caused damage to the brittleness of the TV screen: "India Aims to Avert Bottom-Place Finish."

That is also a pursuit of the noblest of spirits, that of giving to others, and not being greedy or avaricious. We have a long history of this spirit of magnanimity.


Culturally, we are perfectly conditioned to fulfill our 'tryst with destiny.'

Charu wrote:
India is not at the lowest rung of the ladder! She has won six medals, five better than the lowest.

Let the reveling begin.

A Skeletal Rose, by Any Other Name

For those who have been to anatomy classes, or at museums demonstrating or displaying it, the human skeleton definitely looks extremely complex and intricate, evolving itself to become amazingly functional, over millions of years; but it is also a repulsive sight, which, for varying degrees of time, takes away our dreamy longing for the beauteous human form, culturally female but now also male, as the social mores rapidly change.

Charu wrote:
Thanks to our largest organ, skin, that hides all uglyness of our gut and gore along with fascinating mechanics.
 Thanks to clothes that hides all that even skin does not.

एक नूर आदमी सौ नूर कपड़े!

A man is enhanced hundred times with clothes on!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Home: Earth Disembowelled

How many years are left of its bounty?

Char wrote:
Boulder is glaring back at us askance, what did you do to me?!