Sprituality & Transpersonal

Śiva's Brainchild

Considered as one religion, Hinduism is the oldest religion on Earth. Modern scientific understanding, in contrast, is relatively very recent. It is only in this very recent mode of understanding that we have come to understand the basic material structure of the human brain is that of a supremely complex network. We don't find anything in the Hindu corpus that refers to this, or to the modern scientific fact that our experience of self and world as human beings, is a construct of the functioning of this vastly complex network. And yet Hinduism itself contains a cultural representation of a supreme understanding, through which the nature of the brain and the most fundamental fact of modern brain science comes into focus.

The point of Hinduism, like that of any of the great religions, is the discovery of God, and not the provision of entertaining stories about our origins. With this in mind, this book contains a steep but fast shortcut into the content of the Hindu corpus in such a way that is compatible with Western inquiry, whilst giving full due regard to its profound and spiritual nature.

It is all too easy to regard the pantheon of Hinduism as proof of its estrangement and disconnection from a religion such as Christianity. But such a judgement would be to overlook the one thing that all cultures and all religions have in common, and on which they depend for their expression in the first place. Which is none other than human brain function. In these pages the deeper content of the Hindu corpus and the single most fundamental fact of modern neuroscience, come together. They are exposed together, for anyone who is interested, to show how in a very 21st-century way, as well as in an ancient Hindu way, we are what Hinduism may might well regard as Śiva's brainchild.

The Nonsense Play

The Nonsense Play throws a critical spotlight on the zeitgeist of contemporary Western culture, covering, amongst other things, our ideas about climate change, recycling, who we are, social constructs, fairness, polarisation, where science is going, and the human brain. It observes accepted ideas about the world, in these and other areas, from a distanced perspective of a greater "scheme of things". Not least, it challenges the societal norm in its notions about the basis of liberal being, by juxtaposing its presumptions about who we are, with the reality of the transpersonal.

Being and Brain

We are living in the age of the scientific investigation into the human brain. Numerous theories and ideas have arisen regarding how it is that human brain function equates to our "consciousness" as human beings.

In this short introduction we look at the picture of the brain and the human experience of being, from a position that entirely accepts the fundamental scientific evidence from modern brain science. This is the evidence that what we experience as our self, together with what we experience as the material world we inhabit, is all a construct of brain function.

Complete acceptance of this scientific evidence, as distinct from the limited hypothesis that we experience an "internal, predictive, neural model" of an "external" material world, a world that in itself is not a construct of brain function, leads to a radically different way of understanding the world itself, that is alternate to the currently mainstream view.

The scientific evidence suggests a radical change of understanding is called for, in a way no less than was the case in the emergence of the facts of quantum physics, in the first part of the 20th century. Now, a century later, full acceptance of the fundamental scientific facts regarding the brain, promises the potential for science to once again challenge global preconceptions about the very nature of our constitution and situation, as human beings.

We can, however, only realise this potential if we are prepared to accept the challenges to our cherished personal notions about who we are, that are presented by the science.

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