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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why do mechanistic bodies possess individualistic nature?

Why do mechanistic bodies possess individualistic nature? Why do we all react differently and individualistically to environmental situations? If we all are made of the same brain, heart, eyes, and organs, then why every human being is different in his or her character and nature. Modern scientists define life as combination of chemicals or biological functions. They say that we are merely DNA molecules evolving into more adaptive DNAs. Why cannot they revive dead bodies using chemical and mechanistic devices if we are merely combination of DNA? Despite their bold claims, scientists have not categorically created artificial “brand new” life in laboratories. As of date they have only created mutated versions from existing life forms. 

Let me illustrate with simple logic. For example, if we are highly evolved biological machines with the same sophisticated brain, heart and bodily functions, then per the mechanistic process of human bodies, we should react to environmental situations in exactly the same fashion. But let us say we ask a bunch of movie goers who watched the same movie in the same theater on the same screen on the same day about their experience. There is no doubt that every individual who watched the movie would have perceived it differently according to their mentality. Why the difference?

Another example was given by Srila Prabhupada in his lecture. He asks how it is possible for human beings to have different levels of intelligence despite having the same brain, blood, tissues, heart and other organs. In other words every individual perceives, stores, and processes information completely different based on their intelligence. One can argue the environmental conditioning of an individual might be different, hence the difference in intellectual capacity. But why then do students who start from the beginning in a same class in a same course score differently in tests? In other words, every student has different levels of intelligence even if they grow up in the same environmental conditions.

The above examples illustrate that the body might be a machine with mechanistic devices; however, every individual perceives reality totally different from his or her neighbor. Nobody can deny this fact. If we are purely chemical and biological machines, then we should not perceive reality differently from other biological machines, like a computer. Computers with the exact specification and configuration behave exactly the same. But we know that even identical twins with the same genetic material react differently to reality. Obviously there is something more that makes a human being individualistic.

Modern psychology and psychiatry answers that something to be the mind which is neither chemical nor biological. Then the question is what is the mind? - is it a product of the brain or chemicals within the brain, because anti-depressants or mood changing drugs alter the chemicals within the brain and thus also alter the mental state of an individual. So scientists ultimately connect mind to brain functions which again is biological and chemical. CT scans and other sophisticated brain imagery scans does exactly that – to detect the function of the mind based on the chemical functions and stability of the physical brain. Emotions, feelings, and individual sensitivity are not fully explained by modern science. It is still considered esoteric.

So we are back to the basic question that how come every human being is individualistic & different with different emotions, feelings and sensitivity despite having the same human body and bodily functions. The answer is very simple – we are not these physical bodies or the mind. We are not these chemical and biological machines as purported by modern science. We are not ultimately DNA molecules. We are spirit soul (or consciousness or life force) seeing through the eyes, listening through the ears, and touching with our hands. The soul is the individual and the physical body is a medium through which the soul communicates to the outside world to fulfill its desires (thus the individualistic nature). The soul is neither chemical nor biological nor empirically measureable by machines. In other words, if you dissect a human body or any body such as plants and animals, you cannot find the soul. It is beyond the perception of human senses. Its presence can be attested only through the symptoms it creates something like a black hole. A black hole in space cannot be detected by mundane vision or telescopes, but its presence is attested by the impact it creates on its surroundings. Similarly the presence of a soul can be attested by the symptoms it creates within the body like for example a body with soul or consciousness (alive) grows and a body without soul or consciousness (dead) decomposes.

An intelligent person seeking knowledge should inquire into the nature of the soul or consciousness.

Hare Krishna

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