The Atheist Disciple!

Image of the Eye of God
The Helix Nebula often referred to as the “Eye of God”

I have been with my master for the past 7 years and I believe I am his true disciple. I started training in spirituality and holistic healing under him since I was around 19 years old. As I had mentioned in my previous blogs: The Free Thinker and The Wishful Thinker, it was part of a “soul searching” process. I had the question in mind “What if there is a God?” and wanted to test it. And through the practice of these things, I felt more and more skeptical about the supernatural.

Even though there is some strange feeling in the hand when I try to “heal” someone, I don’t think it is because of any energy flowing out. Probably it is just the nerves on the palm giving me that feeling. But then why is it that sometimes, when we wish intensely, things work for us? I have been with my master for such a long time. And it was not until recently that I opened up and told him that I am an atheist. I had my own explanation to the phenomena called miracle since it was hard for me to accept that there is a God behind our desires and the results they produce because there are times when the desires don’t work and we are left out frustrated.

Image of Healing Energy
The Healing Energy Light used by Reiki Practitioners

During the years of my training, I used to get up at 2 AM and meditate for an hour everyday and practise Kung Fu in the moonlight. It gave a weird but good feeling to do that. I used to visit the graveyard at the nearby church to feel with my hand and test whether there is any energy inflow or outflow there. I used to go to the classrooms at night and through my “healing energy” heal the events that are going to happen the next day since I was told that energy can travel in time. I used to preach astrology, numerology and palmistry and was very famous in my college for that. Many of my friends used to come to me to interpret their dreams or get to know their future.

I used to create events for the future, especially for my examinations and relationships. But alas, it didn’t work. I flunked in many exams due to lack of preparation and I didn’t get many girl friends. Then I thought, can’t these things be just a coincidence? Or is it? Well, I kept asking this until one day I saw a movie, Dasavataram. It talks about Chaos Theory and Butterfly Effect. It is not the movie, but the concept that fascinated me. It was something I have been thinking for a long time but didn’t know what to call it and I got interested in the mathematics involved.

Image of Chaos Theory
Chaos Theory – The Butterfly Effect

When I told my master that I am an atheist, he said that it is okay with him because he respects the individual beliefs of his disciples. I was shocked because I didn’t expect him to say that. I thought he would say something like : “Pleasant, you have despised the Lord and you will be punished for this!” But he proved me wrong. And he heard me out and asked me what do I call God. I said, I don’t call it anything since I don’t think such a thing exists. Then he wanted me to explain how did the many solutions in my life happen whenever I told him my problems.

I told him that I am not sure about how it happened but certainly there is no God behind it. I mentioned to him the mathematical concept of Chaos and how it applies to dynamical systems. I gave a simple example. There was a teapoy in his room. I told him that if I shake the teapoy gently, it will vibrate and if I continue to do that for a very long time, it can break the teapoy. He agreed to that. Now that was for a small vibration. If there was a larger vibration, then the time it takes for the teapoy to break will be less.

Image of Spacetime Curvature
Spacetime showing Einsteinian Curvature in the presense of mass

Now coming to the problem solving part. I have been thinking deeply about quantisation of space-time for the past eight years. May be, the vibrations that we create through intense desire grow to immense sizes, capable of affecting everyday life. Probably that is what happened when I have desired certain things and confided them to my master and got them working. And this is what I explained to him. I told him that the vibrations propagate through the quantised space-time.

But there are counter arguments too that we can give as I mentioned before, intense desire doesn’t always work. Only at certain times it does. If we don’t want to believe that this is just chance, well I think the only rational explanation that can be given is that there is a way by which a particular vibration can propagate. The vibrations may be hindered because of other factors. Only the disturbances that grow above a threshold limit often called the “tipping point” might be capable of affecting our lives. Also the word disturbance is not a good one, since the effect that we see can be both positive and negative. It is just like letting a system undergo changes in a controlled manner thereby slowly increasing the effect over time.

Image of BBC - High Anxieties - The Mathematics of Chaos
BBC High Anxieties – The Mathematics of Chaos

So my conclusion is this: Either it is pure chance that good and bad things happen to us or there is a mathematical model that can be formulated to explain why they do. The disturbances created by thoughts might materialise into reality. The title The Atheist Disciple is apt for this discussion since the term disciple is often taken only in the spiritual sense. I have a very good relation with my master. He is my friend and philosopher and is glad that I have a different outlook about the world we live in. Very recently I watched the program in BBC Four : “High Anxieties – The Mathematics of Chaos” and I knew, here is a nice candidate for the theory of how things work in our lives. The reason I am with my master still is that he has never asked me to write anything down in stone and stick to it. He has always given very practical suggestions to issues than making statements like “Believe in God and you will see miracles” etc.

We live in a world that is unpredictable where the entropy always increases. None of the religious scriptures have predicated accurately the events in our worlds. And the more and more we advance in mathematics, we will derive better theories to arrive at conclusions as to how the many allegedly mysterious phenomena happen. Today, I thought of writing about this because I couldn’t help thinking that there was a different world than what we have perceived yet. Your comments and feedback is highly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

When it all began!

It was a warm evening in 1989. I asked a question to my mom about the way the Earth-Sun system works. She spoke about Copernicus and Galileo and the Solar System. She told about how much they sacrificed their lives to let the world know that what the church preached was wrong. I was just five years old but the impression stayed in my mind. Her description of how the day and night occurs was fabulous. She took a plastic ball and demonstrated how the Earth moves. She said that the Earth does not move around the Sun like motorcycle but rather it spins on its axis.Then she spoke about bacteria and as per her description, in “my world”, it was the smallest thing I could imagine. Especially when she told that a single dot can have millions of bacteria in it. But I still thought I could see them. I was seven when I learned from her that there is something called atom. I asked her what an atomic bomb is and that’s how she explained what an atom is and how scientists split it in order to cause Hiroshima and Nagasaki.I was impressed by that. I wanted to know more about it. I remember cutting down a grain of boiled rice using a knife to the smallest possible size and taking it to her saying that I found the atom. She smiled and said that it is far smaller than that. Something which I cannot see.

I was disappointed.

But I was determined to know more. I learned when I was 11 years old that the atom had an internal structure. Long before it was taught in school. I was fascinated by the world of the subatomic and I knew I had to know more.

I wandered around in the school library reading books on it. Fortunately I had a two close friends with whom I could discuss the subject. We used to discuss both the microscopic and macroscopic realms.

I then set up my own laboratory at home at the age of 13 and started doing chemical experiments. I think that is where it all began. The scientist within me was born and the curiosity continues till date!

PS: The titles “Emptiness and Form ” and “The Cosmic Dance” are not mine. I copied it from “The Tao of Physics” by Fritjof Capra. A book that has inspired me a lot.

E vs R?


Image of The Blind Watchmaker
The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins

Recently I watched Dr. Richard Dawkin’s 1987 TV Show “The Blind Watchmaker” which is based on his bestseller with the same name. In it, he speaks of a program he wrote to simulate what would happen if a character set is made to rearrange at random or use the principle of natural selection in order to finally form the Shakespearean phrase “METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL” from Hamlet.

Image of DNA

DNA

I obtained the C++ source code of the program from here and ran it. It demonstrates nicely how something can evolve by natural selection. Even though the biological evolution doesn’t know what is going to happen in future as compared to the program, it does try to predict the survival strategy of the the living creature in question and propagate the genes suitable for such a strategy. He further went on demonstrating the same using a graphical program with advanced features.

Image of Toc H Institute of Science and Technology

Toc H Institute of Science and Technology

I recall an incident that occurred few years back. My college was founded in 2002 and mine was the first batch and hence we didn’t have any seniors. But the following year, we started getting new students and hence juniors. There were many of us who tried to rag them but the management was strict about its anti-ragging policies and ragging in the college remained a fun activity than anything serious.

When the third batch came, the story repeated. However the new principal who had taken charge very recently came to our class one day and said:

Image of Passage of Time

Passage of Time

I know you will be interested to know your juniors and get acquainted with them and I appreciate that. But I don’t appreciate the way you have chosen to do that. If you look at history, there has always been two processes of development. One is a rapid advancement of a concept to bring forth notable changes within a short span of time. Such a change is called ‘revolution’. There is another way of development which is a very slow and gradual improvement on existing concepts that bring forth lasting changes over a period of time and that is called ‘evolution’. I suggest you follow the evolutionary way of getting acquainted with the new students.” Evolutionary way!

Image of Mutation

Mutation

It is a proven fact that given sufficient time, species change to ensure that their genes survive in the changing environment.  A recent article in Nature says that in every generation of humans, there are at least 100 to 200 mutations happening in the genes. Hence we may also evolve into a new species in another few thousand or million years. But I must add that along with biological evolution, human intellect has evolved too. We see rapid advancements in fields of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. Also we see human cloning as one of the emerging fields. We humans have become capable of artificial selection!

Let’s pause and think where this is leading us.

Image of Brain Chip

Brain Chip

I recall my friend saying: “Our generation is the one that struggles the most. In the past, there was very little to study and you could get any job after your 10th grade. In future, advancement in brain chips will make learning obsolete by creating babies who already possess, at the time of birth, all the necessary information for its survival on the planet!

I admire him for this accurate prediction because it was not based on intuition but on real facts that we see around. Indeed that’s what is going to happen. We will surpass the pace of evolution and start producing a new breed of humans who will be far superior to us in all aspects. If as mentioned in the opening paragraph, a simple program can be made to follow the process of selection, we may even create an artificial evolutionary process by which machines can evolve and finally make the human nature survive through those machines long after the human race has vanished!

Image of Survival of fittest

Fittest will survive!

The title of the post, “E vs R” as you might have rightly guessed is “Evolution vs Revolution“. The future will be a combination of both. We will revolutionize by conquering and controlling evolution! We won’t be left behind in the struggle for existence. There won’t be any more “the fittest will survive” motto since everybody will be equally fit and we shall all survive together.

Now whether this equality that we try to bring about is in the interest of our existence or not is something we need to wait and find out.

The Free Thinker!

I believe this is the right day to talk about atheism. Long time ago, when I was in my 11th grade, one of my teachers was teaching computer science. She was more eager to teach other stuff like “ignorance of law is an offense” rather than computers. One day she asked “How many of you believe that there is a force that governs everything?”. To this almost all members of the class rose their hands except three guys. I was one of them. She immediately asked “Why you three don’t believe?”. We started talking reason. We told her that there is no proof of an almighty and she was not ready to accept and was rather upset by it.

I was thinking why. My friends came up to me and asked “What man? Why don’t you have faith in God?”. My question to them was “Is it mandatory to have faith in God?”. I was so obsessed with reasoning that I stayed very close to my atheist friends.

Years passed and one day I thought “What if the theists are true?”. To test this, I spent many years studying a lot of stuff which I have mentioned in my previous blog “The wishful thinker”(http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/the-wishful-thinker). It was some sort of soul searching. What was the result? It reinforced my atheistic beliefs. I have always questioned the following:

1. God,
2. Devil
3. Religion
4. Life after death
5. Holistic healing
6. Dream control
7. Superstitions
………

And after my so called “soul searching” I still question these things.

My dear friends, free thought is great. It lets me look at life without rebuke. It lets me think perfectly because there is no self other than my biological self. There is no sense other than my 5 senses. There is no thought projection and ESP. What remains is the absolute biological brain intelligence which is great stuff if used properly.

I believe free thought has to be cultivated at a very young age. Children should be free to think and act without the barrier of religion in between their thoughts and their purpose. There are many people who hold on to scriptures and holding it up as cause bound truth. It is really that necessary?

We have evolved as the most advanced creatures on the planet. Does that mean that our species was created from no where and put on earth? Certainly not. Why should someone create a universe and earth and put living things in it and say that humans should govern all the other creatures? Is it some sort of time pass of God to sit and create and destroy stuff for no apparent reason?

Promotion of reason and free thought lacks rigor today because most atheists never come out in public. This mentality has to change. Since modern society is ready to accept any form of religion and many other concepts, I personally feel that atheists should start declaring within the public. It is very easy. All it takes is courage. We should let our friends know that we are atheists. At least some of our friends who are already atheists will open up and we can make them open up among their friends easily. When this happens, people will start thinking as to why many of us are atheists. Soon this wave will go viral and many people will leave their religions.

As I said, it requires courage. Because many religious fanatics are out there who threaten to cut our throats if we propagate atheism. But if we succeed in making at least one person leave his/her religion, it will be a great achievement for science and reasoning.

Such a revolution is necessary in this age where we see a lot of atrocities in the name of religion. There has to be more science being studied in the world than it is today. There has to be better understanding and fulfilment of life.

The Wishful Thinker!

Human Rationality
Human Rationality

In the following paragraphs, I would like to propagate rationality as a powerful tool for creating a new generation of human beings. Rationality as I know is the product of serious analysis and conclusions. Just as it is said about civilisation as the product of courage and innovation.

Lord Krishna as Arjuna's Charioteer
Lord Krishna as Arjuna’s Charioteer

At an early age it was easy for anyone to inject the concept of the supernatural into the mind since the child doesn’t know. I remember listening to how Lord Krishna masterminded the outcome of the war of Kurukshetra or how prophet Mohammed tried to unite the Arabs under a new understanding or how Jesus Christ died for the sins of others. I remember listening to how Buddha did this and Jain did that etc etc. There have been a lot among other things. Some enormously detailed to incredibly goofy. For instance stuff like if you bathe in the water of river Ganges, all your sins will be washed away etc.

Armageddon - A form of Doomsday!
Armageddon – A form of Doomsday!

I started questioning these things deep within my mind without letting it out in fear. But finally it had to come out. Science has become so advanced that it is practically impossible to conceive a concept of an almighty. There are millions of other possibilities for existence. Evolution for example is the best way of describing how life came about the way it is. Someone with proper sense can understand it. I started wondering why people stick so much to their religious beliefs thinking that on the D-Day someone is going to come and save them. As far as I know, everyday is a D-Day because we make so many decisions for our future all the time that each day becomes a Decision-Day. We know that the earth is 4.5 billion years old as compared to the creationist view of 6000 years.

Image of Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel by Raven

I used to pray during my exams. I used to pray hard. But what is the use if I haven’t studied a bit? There are stories about people who passed exams without studying a single word. They claim that some sort of guardian angel was there to help them. St. Don Bosco is an example. I must say that those claims are just claims without any scientific basis. Similar is the claims of miracle healing and alternative medicines. Just listening to it will make you ask how. People may ask then why is it found to be working. I ask them why it doesn’t always work? To this simple question I get an answer with a very confusing word in it. Faith! Now what is that thing? Belief without evidence? Belief without questioning? Or is it something else?

Image of Faith
Faith!

People say that faith will heal. People say that miracle healing occurs because the patient has faith in the healer. What kind of a medicine is that requires a patient to have faith in it to work? Let me quote a situation here. A person meets with an accident. He goes into coma. We administer medicines and put him in observation under modern medical equipments. After a few weeks he may or may not wake up. Now my question is did the person have any idea that he was being treated when he was in coma? The answer is no. He just revived because of modern science. Now if someone says that he prayed for him or did some stuff like Pranic Healing, the whole idea becomes hollow because they themselves have told in the first place that such things don’t work without the patient having faith! Similar arguments can be given for stuff like Faith Homes of the Pentecostal mission.

Image of Kirlian Aura Photograph
Kirlian Aura Photograph of a lady

Now coming back to other things like Kirlian photography. You place an object in a magnetic field and then expose a photographic plate and you see a field around it. It has been proven that it is not the alleged aura of that object. But people of alternative medicines say that it is indeed the aura. There are other systems of belief like the Silva Method. What they say about the mind is right. There are different levels of it. But what they say about ESP is not right. It is some sort of fluke that they arrive at conclusions. I have tried that thing myself. It has worked for me a couple of times but most often it does’nt work.

Image of Tai Chi Symbol
Tai Chi Symbol

In martial arts, we have a concept called Chi or Qi or Ki or Prana or Jeevan depending on the system of practice. It is another meaningless concept. We indeed regulate some power. But that power is not the alleged Chi. It is some sort of muscular force that hasn’t been examined thoroughly. People may ask what makes me an expert in all these. Well I must say that for the past 9 years, I have been involved in research into all these systems. I have learned different styles of Karate, Kung fu, Reiki, Acupressure, Numerology, Palmistry, Silva Ultramind ESP, some religious practices and little bit of astrology and so on and so forth. If I challenge something, it is because I have studied that in the first place.

Image of "The Creation of Adam" by Michaelangelo
“The Creation of Adam” by Michaelangelo

Evidence after evidence we have proven to the creationists that there absolutely is no God and that any belief system without proper scientific base is void and useless. My wishful thinking is that any established system should be analyzed using the best possible scientific approach available. If a system works, we need to know exactly why it works and what we need to do for that to always work. People who practice Tai Chi or Acupressure should find out what exactly happens at the level of muscles, bones, blood vessels and nerves rather then sticking onto concepts like Chi, Meridians, Vessels, Chakras, Channels and Pressure Points.

Image of Innocent Children
Innocent Children

My wishful thinking is that children are brought up outside the so called shelter of religion and belief systems so that they think rationally and understand the marvel of nature. I think atheism is a very good concept with enormous possibilities to awaken the human mind to its full potential. After all the brain is a biological computer. Why do we need an external programmer when we can manipulate its power ourselves? My wishful thinking is that the world soon undergoes scientific enlightenment and come up with stuff that works 100% so that we can nourish and nurture a new generation of civilized humanity!