Dr Chandra Mohan Bhandari

by Chandra Mohan bhandari

All that exists is real; this can form the starting point of a discussion on the theme of reality. However, as we proceed to look for more precise answers to our queries we come across a web like presence of various things, related processes and their relationships. The role of the conscious mind, instruments of observation such as the eye, the camera or light and their mutual relationships – all these have a say in the description of reality.
More than this the relative movement between the object and the observer could make a difference. Moreover, quite often this needs to be supplemented with logical deduction to arrive at a more meaningful description. And a look at the deeper reality brings forth a whole new world of possibilities.
Keywords: enfolding, unfolding, entanglement, analytical, logical, fractal, chaos, psychedelic, butterfly effect, biological evolution, possibility and actuality, road not taken, transpersonal, eco-perspective.
                          Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are
                          nothing in themselves.

-          Nagarjuna

Comprehending the World

Think of a tiny creature crawling on a surface such as a large sphere. Can we guess how does it view the surface it walks on, the surroundings and the world?
We can only guess taking clue from our own early experience of the planet that is our home. The earth looked flat, and if one kept walking any step beyond the edge could lead to the risk of falling down; else, one could think of an infinitely large planet eliminating that risk. A highly complex and developed brain, supporting a conscious mind and capacity to think differentiated us from the tiny creature. This too was not our doing or our achievement; all credit to the almighty or the evolutionary processes that planned brain’s evolution. The power of reasoning brought us to understand that the world was not flat, it was round somewhat like an orange. It also appeared three dimensional, or four, if time was taken to be the fourth dimension. Not satisfied with this science came to conclude that the world was eleven dimensional. No joke, they will give you a mathematical proof in case of doubt. If that be the case scientists will leave little for the poet and his imaginative skill. Poets too do not usually go that far. However, poetry survives; it is not in competition with science in either reasoning or imaginative skill. Poetry or for that matter literature is and shall always be complementary to science in fulfilling some specific needs of man, The compartmentalisation of all thought into various realms is a convenience that suits man, else the realities as displayed and conceived in our different concerns are intrinsically entangled taking shape on the same canvas, the mind.
Almost everything related to life seems entangled in more ways than one. It is this entanglement that created the experience in its totality; to appreciate it aesthetically has been one of man’s pursuits that led to various art forms. However, to analyse and understand it has been an altogether different proposition. This experience could not be understood or explained as such, for this you need to consider the analytical approach – by disentangling different parts and also the processes. One may place the experiences in three broad categories:
(A) Try to break the whole into bits and pieces as much as possible. That is the analytical method often used in the scientific or near scientific approach.
(B)  Some parts are disentangled but not all; the same could be done for the processes. Some therapeutic and medicinal practices lie in this category. Probably some art forms could find a place here.
(C)  There is very little or practically no emphasis on analysis; much of arts and literature could be placed in this realm.

World Unfolding
The drama of life and living constantly presents processes that enfold and unfold in myriad combinations and recipes. A seed is the enfolding of the entire tree; as it grows into a tree the reality is unfolded. The seed and the tree both are real and at the deepest level contain identical information, but they are not the same; yet both can be derived from one another. The drama has relevance only if there is someone to observe. A drama before empty benches is not real because reality must be manifest in the act of observation. This is another matter that at times the object and the observer may be one and the same. This is mostly the case when we try to understand our thought process. Philosopher-mathematician Rene Descartes is often quoted for his statement, “Ergo cogito, ergo sum” -- I think hence I am. This sums up nicely the dilemma of life and mind. I think and hence I am, the statement looks a little strange. If I exist only then I can think. But why should thinking precede being. Is it not strange?  My being was the cause of my thinking ability. However, without thinking my being will never be known. The mountain over there exists but only for me who can observe and think. Does the mountain know of its existence - does it exist for itself? Does the ocean know of its existence? Does the universe know?  Perhaps the universe knows as it is observing itself through it’s (humans and other living being) eyes. We are after all a part of the universe. ‘Tat twam asi” –thou art that, goes the Sanskrit saying.
Much of the entanglement arises due to the very unit that actively participates in the entire process – the mind. Perception is based upon an intimate interaction between observing mind and the object. Usually a visual observation of an object requires photons (light particles) scattered by the object interacting with our eyes. The information we receive with our eyes could be enhanced by using a camera. The view of the object would be different if the photon in question correspond to light, infrared red rays or X-rays. The same object is viewed by the same observer quite differently if the photons correspond to light, infra-red or X-rays. Which of these is real? All of these seem real. I see a star, one thousand light years away; what I observe is the light that started traveling a thousand years back. At the moment I observe the star of thousand years back, presently it may not be there at all; the reality of my perception at the present relates to a different time.
Invoking the relativistic concepts would add yet another feature to the notion of reality. Two observers moving with a constant velocity with respect to each other would find a difference between their observed results provided the velocities are comparable to that of light. This is true for both space and time.  
Cultural Journey: Modest Beginnings
Trying to comprehend reality as manifest in the world – that was what a thinking mind has been good at, and that it did in all possible ways at its command. To begin with, nature and its processes were objects of curiosity and study, followed by the queries pertaining to human condition. The answers to the earliest queries were totally speculative, bringing forth human experience in the form of various mythologies[R1] .
Gradually the observations led to explanations with an effort on incorporating elements of logic even though in a crude sense, and some kind of philosophical reflections began. However, in absence of clear cut answers an element of doubt always remained. The Hymn of creation in Rig-Veda [1] displayed this in no uncertain terms, and it seemed not very far from the beginning of scientific enquiry.
The urge to express reality has always been present along with an effort to seek answers to some fundamental queries. Among the first things that must have baffled man and triggered his imagination would have been the star-studded sky; both poetic and scientific queries began making their appearance. To the poet [2] it looked like a marriage procession of the moonlight with caravan of stars participating:

Marriage procession of the moonlight, Night at its fag end;  on its return trip

The caravan of stars Is about to move on.

The poet did his job well; the innate seeker in man was not idle either. He (she) started speculating the source of it all - real nature of stars and
other celestial objects, the day-night cycle, periodic changes in weather, the origin of all this and much more. Aristotle (3rd century BC) was among versatile thinkers who touched upon almost all aspects of nature. After his death his entire work was divided in two different categories: literature related to observed reality, which was referred to as physica, and that which touched upon areas beyond this, was called meta-physica. In simple terms the two categories could be referred to as the observed and the deeper realities. Deeper reality could not be easily accesses through simple observation; it often requires logical deduction and abstract reasoning.
Beside natural phenomena what interested man was his own well-being, which too required attention. Whereas the natural phenomena were later included in the domain of sciences, the other, i.e. the human condition, particularly his physical well-being was primarily the domain of medical sciences. The matters pertaining to mind were grouped with social studies and literature. This was an over-simplified compartmentalisation which was a historical necessity for the development of scientific method. As of today, neurological researches have brought forth significant information about mental processes which are now objects of scientific investigation.
Literature: More Than a Mirror
At an elementary level literature was often seen as a mirror of the society; in one of its broader definitions it could be seen partly as a documentation of man’s cultural journey. However, it is much more than mere documentation; in addition to reflecting ‘what is’ or ‘what has been’, it has the capacity to speculate the future trajectory in some diffuse manner, trying to guess ‘what should be’ and ‘what could have been’ [3]. It can sometime act as a lighthouse for future pathways in the cultural trajectory.
Needless to say the role of literature in the growth of culture is multi-dimensional, to the extent that mythological, philosophical and scientific pursuits were earlier included in its wider definition. However, modern science has come of age in a short time span of three centuries, and stands independently on its own. Mythological and philosophical quests, spiritual experiences, artistic presentations and scientific pursuits – a wide spectrum of human concerns have highlighted man’s forward march. Each aspect fulfilled some part of his quest and to that extent it became complementary to others. (Quote, Capra 4) “To paraphrase an old Chinese saying, mystics understand the roots of the Tao but not its branches; scientists understand its branches but not the roots. Mystical nature is necessary to understand the deepest nature of things and science is essential for modern life. What we need therefore, is not a synthesis but a dynamic interplay between mystical intuition and scientific analysis”.
The statement is as well valid for literary or artistic intuition. On the other hand, there is a branch of science fairly close to the roots -- quantum theory, and we shall take up some aspects of it in coming pages.
There have been times when intuitive understanding somehow came too close to scientific finding. One cannot miss to appreciate the intuitive understanding of the world in William Blake’s poem:

To see the world in a grain of sand

What the poet said intuitively in a beautiful artistic portrayal has been reflected in a different way by developments in astrophysics. A grain consists of several thousands of atoms and one wonders about the origin of these atoms. In the beginning there was only hydrogen which gradually collected in huge lumps due to gravitational pull leading to the emergence of a dense celestial body. The gravitational pull kept increasing till the central core became very hot reaching temperatures of a million degrees or more. That was the starting point of two hydrogen atoms fusing together to make an atom of helium releasing enormous energy; thus, a star was born. All atoms other than hydrogen were thus cooked inside stellar furnaces and bigger atoms took several lives inside different stellar cores. That’s how atoms of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen were born. A scientist cannot fail to appreciate ‘seeing the world in a grain of sand’, which in the final analysis is composed of atoms. As the saying goes sometimes reality is more amazing than even poetic imagination.

The Spirit of Science

Thus the whole of philosophy is like a tree: the roots
are metaphysics, the trunk is physics, and the branches that issue from the trunk are all the other sciences.”
     Rene Descartes
From seventeenth century onward science made a fresh beginning with philosophical quests and pursuits that put special emphasis on objectivity and logical deduction. Gradually it carved for itself a course by removing certain distractions and impediments. For physical sciences the assertion that anything not quantifiable must be excluded from its domain was a significant step forward. Other features were: an acceptance of the finality of observed reality and objectivity. Any theoretical argument could be subject to modification if it was not in accordance with the observation. Thus, unlike philosophical issues verification became a must for scientific pursuits. Analytical approach of breaking the system into bits and pieces was another factor that helped growth of science. However, the analytic method beyond a point had its own limitations and needed additional features to come closer to reality.
The emphasis on quantification, verification and analysis resulted in   enormous success of the scientific method. It was responsible for unprecedented growth of science, so much so that in a time span of three centuries it brought forth two revolutionary changes in lifestyle of man after the agrarian revolution few thousand years ago: the industrial and the electronic revolution. That was a great leap forward in more ways than one. In this short time span science started questioning its own paradigms.
Beyond the Boundaries
The enormous success of science did have its impact on sociological theories. Few centuries back science as we know it today was referred to as natural philosophy, the following centuries saw sociological theories referred to as social sciences. Just as all matter was thought to be composed of tiny individual units known as atoms, a society was made up of a collection of individuals. The analytical method of breaking a system into bits and pieces had its impact [5] on medical, economic and psychological disciplines.
Some of the path-breaking developments in sciences influenced our understanding of the world considerably. Some of these are: Information Technology, Neuroscience, Chaos Theory, Theory of Evolution (TE), Quantum Theory (QT). Arts and literature too have started feeling some small impact of these developments and in the centuries to come things would have changed beyond all expectations.
Neural Circuitry in Manifest Reality
Much of our perception of the world is strongly dependent on brain’s architecture and the neural circuitry. Divided into two hemispheres (left and right) each is subdivided into four regions or lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal. Each lobe has its specific functions. The two hemispheres are able to communicate with each other through corpus collosum (CC); if CC is damaged then the two sides cannot communicate, and this shows in a person’s behavior. The two halves then seem to behave as two separate individuals. The reality experienced by the two halves is not identical. Split brain experiments have provided some insight into the working of the two hemispheres. Around a hundred billion neurons are connected in a complex and intricate networking quite unlike the usual networking in electrical or electronic circuits. It is possible to identify locations in the brain that are responsible for different kind of abilities such as language speech, language comprehension, mathematical reasoning, visual numbers, use of metaphors, and abstract notions in addition to sensory perceptions. When a particular location pertaining to say language, comprehension is damaged in an accident or otherwise that activity is adversely affected.

Cross Activation and Beyond
Recent developments in neuroscience have thrown light on several peculiarities and abnormalities in human perception and behavior.
We may consider a particular condition referred to as synesthesia. Some people were reported to have seen colours when they came across numbers in black and white (black number in white background or white number in black background). For example, number 2 may appear red and 5 may appear green. In earlier times such claims were dismissed as cynical. Ramchandran and his coworkers devised an experiment to check the validity of this claim. Some persons with synesthesia along with others were given a simple test. On a white board 5’s were randomly displayed in black, and 2’s were arranged in such a way that they formed a geometric figure such as circle or a triangle. The persons with synesthesia reported the figure in a second whereas the others took as long as 25 seconds. For a normal person both 2’s and 5’s were black while they looked red and green to synesthetics and that explained the difference. It is now known that V4 region in the temporal lobe of the brain deals with colours and the area that deals with visual numbers is close to this. Certain genetic conditions may lead to cross linkage between these two regions leading to synesthesia.  
Use of metaphor is so common in literature especially in poetry and humour, and the same may be favourably or adversely affected by a cross linkage in neuronal circuitry. An abnormal connectivity between neurons may give rise to one kind of deficiency coupled with some kind of advantage [6]. The region of the brain where temporal, parietal and occipital lobes come closer is referred to as TPO junction and is crucial to our understanding of several features including language comprehension. At the TPO junction Broca’s area pertaining to language comprehension, angular gyrus pertaining to metaphor mediation and fusiform pertaining to colour vision come closer and present an entangled connectivity that is being investigated thoroughly.

The general statement that ‘all that exists is real’ is fine, yet unless perceived by a conscious observer this is incomplete. The normal perception in the reported experiment is as real as that of the synesthetics. Reality as seen by us could have several dimensions. Controlled chemical and electrical activations could produce sensations of desired kind; this includes meditative and spiritual experience. The spiritual experience can be appreciably enhanced by activating certain identified locations [7]. It is observed that brain generated music (BGM) with the help of computer and electrodes can induce deep meditative experience.

Fractal Shapes, Psychedelic Art
One often comes across situations when a chain of events can produce a totally unexpected situation, and surprisingly this can be treated with simple mathematical steps. Simple deterministic systems with recursion can produce unpredictable patterns that are so often seen in nature’s working [8]. The long-term unpredictability of weather is one of the things in question. Small fluctuations in certain parameters can lead to unpredictable situations such as hurricanes or tornados. Under favourable conditions a small change in one part of a system could get amplified to gigantic proportions. This is the basis of Chaos theory which is often stated in different ways. The butterfly effect is one such statement. This effect is based on the idea that small things could have a major impact on a complex system. This is imagined in terms of the flapping of the wings of a butterfly leading to a typhoon. As such this may look an overstatement, yet the small event in question may act as a catalyst for a bigger change. This kind of situation also features extremely sensitive dependence of an outcome on initial conditions.
Nature’s working, design and patterns range from simple to complex and innumerable shades in between. The patterns as seen in clouds, mountains, coastlines, sand dunes and plant structures show features that are appealing to an artistic mind. The complexity implicit in these irregular shapes can also be generated by a new simple geometry with the use of computers. Known as fractal geometry this can create astounding shapes and patterns that can mimic many of the patterns found in nature [9]. Mind and mental processes are among the most difficult to comprehend. If simple deterministic systems can be so unpredictable, then already unpredictable mind may possibly weave unusual patterns.
It is often stated that language is the most important function of human brain that brings much of the meaning to our existence. [Quote Capra 9] “The uniqueness of being human lies in our ability to continuously weave the linguistic network in which we are embedded”.
Some art forms too appeal due to their unusual patterns and abstract shapes bordering the fractals. Certain paintings are extremely appealing to some individuals who would be ready to spend a lot on them. This may have something to do with the neural connections and activation of specific neural centres. Psychedelic art became known around half a century back which had a striking similarity with the computer-generated fractal forms. This art was often inspired by LSD and other psychedelic drugs that acted upon specific mental processes.

Cyber Poetry
A computer programme can be designed that can write original poetry. This is based on a language modelling technique, and computer can create original poetry provided it is given some sample poetry to read. Based on the sample poetry read by the computer the cyber poetry can have different flavours.
Here we present such an example of cyber poetry produced by Ray Kurzweil [7] Cyber Poet (RKCP). The computer programme generated and used by RK was given to read different poems by various poets. Computer generated RKCP given below has been produced after the computer was given to read poet Wendy Dennis:

Shashay down the page
Through the lioness
Nestled in my soul.

There can be other versions of poetry created by the cyber poet by providing the desired reading material for the machine. One may well ask: is this kind of a poem real? One may as well go beyond this and ask: is poetry real? However, the reality (virtual one) experienced by the computer is not the same as that of a conscious living being; the nuances of life and living would be missing in that case. Whatever that be it is difficult not to appreciate the poetry written by the computer even though it is not directly based on the experience of a conscious being.
Without going into the ethics and usefulness of such machine created poetry one thing is clear; computers can be a great help to the poet by presenting innumerable patterns of word combinations thus making the job of the poet easier. Consider a scenario: I write a poem and give it to the computer to read. The computer then comes up with poems of its own based on my original version. I decide to make necessary changes and feed it back to the machine again to read. The machine presents another, somewhat more refined version of the original. After a few steps I may have a poem of my own with help from the machine and call it CMBCP. If scientists, engineers and others can use the machines to their advantage why not poets or writers?
This discussion is primarily intended to bring forth and highlight the issue that is the theme of the essay – entangled realities in life and literature.
The Possible and the Actual
One of the path breaking developments in physical sciences was the advent of quantum mechanics which was based on the basic axiom of ‘superposition’. Beside other aspects it often deals with possible-to-actual transformation. A rather oversimplified example of dice-throw is often taken where prior to the throw there existed six possibilities; after the throw there was one actuality. In quantum theory the state of the dice prior to throw is said to be a ‘superposition of the six base states’. In quantum theory it may not make much sense for the case of dice but a system like a molecule or atom could be better described that way.
This is essentially due to the waviness implicit in the micro-world. Interesting situations may arise that may challenge our common sense and perception. We shall return to some such details in the coming paragraphs. Interestingly literature too finds an echo of this possible to actual transformation often in the reverse sense where starting from the observed actuality the writer’s imagination creates a world of possibilities. A thinking mind is often fascinated by possibility that has not been realised which also motivates poetic imagination [3]. A writer’s mind could be a superposition of so many other minds who have been instrumental in designing its architecture. ‘Who are these figures that take residence inside our heads, to the point where we can feel them shivering inside us even when we want to “be ourselves”?’ [Quote,Pico Iyer 10] Most of us carry people inside our heads who design our thinking at that point in time – our parents, teachers, writers, actors or even some characters in a fiction. Our minds could be a superposition of all these minds and the scenario remains dynamic.

Darwin’s Legacy

Developments in biological sciences too had their impact on human thinking that could find reflection in literature. It will be of interest to discuss at some length the contribution of Charles Darwin, a naturalist renowned for his Evolutionary hypothesis. During his long voyages he gathered comprehensive information regarding various species and formulated his ideas on that basis. He had started with the assumption that all mankind was essentially one. The family of Darwin was among the enlightened ones with a liberal outlook. Slavery, the corner- stone of imperialism, was being vehemently criticized and in some cases had already been abolished by law. However, the change on ground was slow to come by. Darwin’s grandfather was an abolitionist, and so were his parents [11]. The entire family stood firm on this count. Why should a man be slave to other when all mankind was one?

Many believe that this liberal outlook could have been a starting point in Darwin’s long journey on road to the theory of evolution. If essentially mankind was one then the conditions as existed in different parts of the world could produce in course of time whatever differences we see between man and man including his physical features, such as colour of skin. The environment over a period of time could produce significant changes. This understanding of the possible changes in appearance due to different conditions could then be extended to the possibility of significant changes over a period of time. Even though his guess was speculative, in its essence, it was not far from being correct. Man, the great achiever, had the same modest beginnings as the rest of the animal world.

Man with all his exalted powers and great qualities still bears in his bodily frame the indelible mark of his lowly origin.

     Charles Darwin

The notion of equality among humans could have pushed Darwin to look for connectedness in natural world; notion of connectedness in a complex web of relationships. In a world that was in a state of constant flux, an ever-changing scenario in the living world could have possibly led to mutability of life forms.
It’s not that such notions had no precedence in human thought. In Indian philosophy as also in mythology there is a notion like re-birth in the next life as different species. In the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu: fish, tortoise, swine, boar, lion-man, man and so on – some hidden acceptance of connectedness is visible indicating an intuitive understanding. In one of the many verses while worshipping Mother Goddess one recites: ‘the Goddess who is present in all living beings as consciousness, or as mind.’ The observed world coupled with intuitive speculation of the possible was the hallmark of Indian mythological and philosophical literature. However, this wider acceptance of connectedness was not always reflected in real life situations.  

Road Not Taken


I shall be telling with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence,

The two roads diverged in a wood, and I

I chose the one less traveled by.

-          Robert Frost

Whereas the implication of Darwinian concept is easy to understand there are some very intricate situations where parallel notions work in literature and science in ways that require some special effort to appreciate. It deals with an interesting feature of the quantum world, about a possibility which did not materialise (being referred to as path not taken) in deciding the fate of actualised possibility (the path actually taken). Let us begin with a scenario:
A man wishes to travel from place A to another place B and for this he has two different routes. He can take one of the two routes, not both of them simultaneously. Let us speculate the situation when he can travel simultaneously in both; certainly, this is not possible. However, micro-objects like electron or photon (particle of light) can do so as they have a wave like presence as well. Comprehensive experiments known as ‘quantum interference’ have revealed strange happenings.
In these experiments the micro-object such as an electron or a photon   takes only one path but it has information of the other as well. If you try to find which path was taken you put a detector in its path. When detected in a detector it is always one whole unit and the interference is lost. The interesting thing appears now: when both paths are available even though only one path is taken by the particle the interference takes place. If only one path only is available, then no interference would be possible. Interference is a special feature of waves that leads to re-distribution of probabilities of being found at given locations. This may have implication in situations beyond science.
Presence of two different paths even though only one is taken at a time is of significance; the mere presence of the other possibility can alter the outcome in a shuttle manner. If a person has different choices available even though he or she finally chooses one at a time, the mere possibility of other choices signifies a different person than the one who had no other choice. That may mean that while the road actually taken is certainly important as an actuality, the road not taken too has a role in the final outcome. This can also be considered in the context of the possibilities that could not be realized. Between the road taken and that not taken there are innumerable shades and situations for the road less travelled.

Psychological Issues

In the complex web of relationships, it is not unlikely that these notions find a reflection in psychology. In spectrum psychology transpersonal level of psyche has gained importance, although in almost all traditions this was highlighted by men and women of wisdom as a means to deal with existential problems. Among the answers to some of the existential queries and problems was to emphasize on the need to transcend the self, focusing mind on objects other than the self. Ken Wilber [12, 13] is known for spectrum psychology where he emphasizes the need to incorporate into the spectrum of psyche the transpersonal domain along with others; the four regions or domains of psyche thus are: the ego, the bio-social, the existential and the transpersonal. It’s the ego level that is most difficult to manage and perhaps the biggest hindrance in a march towards the transpersonal. With the Darwinian declaration of man’s modest origins and acceptance of his (her) connectivity with other species the inflated ego of man has not shown a significant impact of these developments on an average.
Transcendental movements in the East and the West were essentially a reflection of the need and urge of the thinking human being to transcend the self which primarily means ego. Even more than two thousand years ago human mind could conceive of the unity in diverse life forms:
Those who see all creatures in themselves, and themselves in all creatures, know no fear.
(Isha Upanishad, Verse 6) [14]
This beautiful verse points to the domain of the transpersonal. A reflection on these verses displays philosophical reflection at the deepest level. Upanishadic and Puranic literature displayed the elements of transcendence in no uncertain terms.
In quantum interference referred to earlier the importance of road not taken in influencing the final outcome of a process seems to have a reflection in the verse. Transcendental or transpersonal has, it seems, a close connection with quantum notions. Presence of the notion of transcendence in early literature was intuitive, nevertheless based on observed reality coupled with experience. Buddha’s emphasis on
Karuna (compassion) is a manifestation of the transcendence made simple and practicable in everyday dealings.

At the end of the epic battle of Mahabharata that left a trail of destruction Lord Krishna tells Gandhari, the queen mother of the vanquished Kauravas: Every time a warrior falls on the battle field it is none other than myself. And this was undoubtedly communicated to Emerson and Thoreau during their study of Bhagwad Gita and other scriptures and was instrumental to some extent in influencing the American Transcendental Movement. Emerson is often recognized for his endeavour to appreciate non-western thought and to ‘elevate the spiritual landscape of the American psyche” [15].


In Conclusion

Those who quit after almost winning should have known the end from the beginning. - Lao Tzu

Scientific findings are not expected to favour or disfavour our notions about life, living and related concerns; they are value-free. The similarity between scientific finding and intuitive ways, if any, could be a coincidence. A very small chance may exist for this resemblance to be implicit in Nature’s grand scheme of things. No one knows for sure.
However, we may appreciate the drama being unfolded and the patterns that emerge in course of our cultural journey. We may, in our own interest, take a balanced view of things between intuition and reason and let things emerge in their usual course.
The notion implicit in stellar evolution connects the atoms that constitute us to the interiors of stars spread over vast spaces and time. In the theory of evolution, the connectivity with all other life forms has been a giant step in understanding ourselves and the life around. In quantum theory the role of various possibilities in influencing the outcome of actuality (the possibility that is realized), comes as a gift by default. Moreover, at the microscopic level the observer and observation are not totally independent of each other and that is the crux of the so-called Uncertainty Principle. The saga of connectedness [16] may find its culmination in ‘quantum entanglement’ which essentially refers to instant communication between two particles in specialized quantum states even if they were thousand light years apart. Referred to as ‘quantum nonlocality’ this is finding applications in teleportation and computation.
These are to my mind important developments in human cultural journey. We must grab the opportunity to play our small part in re-orienting our future trajectory by appreciating the nature of entangled realities and taking balanced decisions accordingly. I am of the opinion that this may include making a strong case [17] for the ‘transpersonal’. And if we as a race are mature enough the next step could be to widen the scope of the transpersonal to embrace eco-perspective [18- 20] beside others already on card.


[1]  Nasadiya Sutra, Rig Veda, Mandala 10, Hymn 129.
[2]  Song by Tanveer Naqvi in Hindi film Anmol Ghadi (1946).
[3]  C M Bhandari, Entangled Realities in Literature and Science, Muse India, July-August 2012
[4]  F Capra (Chinese saying quoted by author), Tao of Physics, Wildwood House, Great Britain, 1975.
[5]  F Capra, The Turning Point: Science, Society and the Rising Culture, Bantam Books, 1982
[6]  V Ramach  andran, The Emerging Mind, (Reith Lectures), Profile Books, Great Britain.
[7]  The Age of Spiritual Machines, Ray Kurzweil, Penguin Books (USA), 2000.
[8] James Gleick, Chaos: The Amazing Science of the Unpredictable, Published by Vintage, 1998.
[9] F Capra, The Web of Life, An Anchor Book, Doubleday, New York, 1996.
[10] Pico Iyer, The Man within my Head, Penguin India, 2012.
[11] Thomas Hayden, What Darwin didn’t Know, Smithsonian, February 2009, p 41.
[12] Ken Wilber, The Spectrum of Consciousness, M B Publishers Pvt Ltd, Delhi (2002), Published by arrangements with Theosophical Pub House, USA (1977).
[13] Ken Wilber. ‘Up from Eden: Transpersonal view of human evolution’, Quest Books, 1996.
[14] Eknath Easwaran (Introduced and Translated), The Upanishads, Nilgiri Press, Blue Mountain Centre of Meditation, CA, USA.
[15] Sardar M. Anwaruddin. Emerson’s Passion for Indian Thought,
        International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2013,
        pp. 1-6. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.2013010 1.11
[16] J S Bell (ed.) Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics, Collected papers on quantum philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1987.
[17] C M Bhandari, Transcending barriers; connecting trails, Setu Magazine,
Pittsburgh, Feb 2018.
[18] Arne Naess, “The shallow and the deep, Long-range ecology movement”, Inquiry 16:95-100 (1973).
[19] Warwick Fox, “Transpersonal Ecology”’pychologising’ ecophilosophy, Journal of Transpersonal psychology, 22(1), 59 (1990).
[20] C M Bhandari, Deep transpersonal ecology: Gandhian connection, Mainstream Weekly, October 3, 2009.

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