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Subhash Kak At The Sages And Scientist Meeting
By Subhash Kak, April 2014 [[email protected]]

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Topic: Neuroscience, Quantum Mechanics, & Vedic Wisdom

We describe the confluence in the understanding of wholeness, paradox, and transformation from the perspectives of neuroscience, quantum mechanics, and Vedic wisdom.

'Our understanding of reality occurs in the mind and, therefore, it is a construction of the mind. According to quantum mechanics, we cannot know what reality is, we can only interact with it and speak of our observations. What the state function of a system or universe gives us upon probing depends on what the instruments can elicit. We are like individuals in Plato's cave who must infer the true forms from the shadows on the wall. Reality, at its deepest level, is a superposition of mutually exclusive attributes. At the experiential level this superposition is characterized by complementarity. In physics and biology this is summarized in the polarities of particles and waves, and the living and the dead; within the individual's heart, the polarities are that of freedom and subjection, grandeur and abjectness, Eros and Thanatos. Wholeness transcends complementary categories, and in our reductionist commonsensical conception, we see paradoxes. Self-transformation is the process in which we journey to greater wholeness from the fragmented views that we are conditioned into by materialistic culture, classroom education and the media. That mind constructs its reality is obvious considering people from other cultural areas and in extreme emotional states view events very differently, and autists perceive the world in their own unique ways. Sages and scientists provide us visions of the whole’.

Speaker Bio:

Subhash Kak is Regents Professor of Computer Science at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Born in Srinagar, Kashmir, he was educated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. His current research is in the theories of neural networks and quantum information. He has also worked on archaeoastronomy and written on history of science and on art. He has made the surprising discovery that the ancient Indians knew that the sun and the moon are approximately 108 times their respective diameters from the earth. This knowledge was coded into temple architecture, in the 108 poses of Indian classical dance, and the 108 prayer beads of the japa mala.

His work has been showcased in the popular media including Discovery and History channels, PBS, Dutch Public TV OHM, and in a documentary on music called Raga Unveiled. His writings on the philosophy of mind show how recursion plays a fundamental role in art, music and aesthetics. He is the author of twenty books which include six books of verse. The distinguished Indian scholar Govind Chandra Pande compared his poetry to that of William Wordsworth.
He coined the term quantum neural computing which is a theory of consciousness that is partly classical and partly quantum. In this theory, neural networks do conscious and pre-conscious processing whereas the virtual particles associated with the quantum dynamics of the brain are the ground for the unconscious.

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Also read
1. Astrophysics and why Mantras are chanted 108 times
2. Science and Religion – converging or diverging talk by Swami Atmapriyananda

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