Conquering the Brain (1995).
Towards the Essence of The Multiversity and the Akhanda Paradigm
Published by Conscious Publications, New Delhi. pp.282
Price: Rs.550/- USD 25 Review and Comments
The Dynamic Web of Supracortical Consciousness Or Neurobiology, Neuroscience & Neuropsychology of Twenty first century (1987)
Published by Conscious Publication, , New Delhi. pp. 167
Price: Rs.250/- USD 10 PDF Word Format Scanned PDF Image
Frontiers of Research for Human Biologists. Next Hundred Years (1985)
Published by Conscious Publications , New Delhi. pp 23
Price: Rs.50/- USD 01 PDF Word Format Scanned PDF Image
Review and Comments on-
Frontiers of Research for Human Biologists. Next Hundred Years (1985)
“This beautiful booklet is a call for scientists to explore further the interrelationship between biology and evolution on one hand and Philosophy and Science on the other, and probe deeper into the concepts of consciousness and love. This thought provoking source of instruction has opened vast and expansive fields of research on many challenging subjects.” - Reviewed in Journal of Ancient Science of Life,5 (2) pp 133-134, (1985).
“The unifying power of your consciousness, more exactly; of the cosmic consciousness incarnated in your psychophysical existence and communicating there with brain-stem, limbic-, cortical consciousness, creates a grandiose holistic view and combines traditional Indian religio-philosophical knowledge with modern neuroscience and genetics.” - Prof. Dr. Med. C. Scharfetter, Zurich.
Comments on The Dynamic Web of Supracortical Consciousness Or Neurobiology, Neuroscience & Neuropsychology of Twenty first century (1987)
“They are remarkable documents. Of course you are correct: Medical science must find ways of bringing mind and spirit back to the life sciences, for without them medicine is incomplete. Your work is an important step in that direction. The vast spectrum of material you synthesize is very thrilling, not many persons could do it. The way you have woven ancient and modern concepts together in a disciplined way deserves the greatest recognition.” - Dr. Larry Dossey, Co-chairman of the office of the Alternative Mdicine, NIH, USA.
“Pioneering landmark book on the Higher Consciousness, a spiritual bridge to the Cosmic Universe!”- Prof. Charles L. Spiegel, Unarius Academy of Science, USA.
“It is a monumental piece of work” - Prof. V.S. Vaidyanathan, University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
“the work presents a new revolutionary approach to the problem of consciousness and its relation to Physics ad Biology.” - Prof. Dr. hab, Janusz Slawinski, Institute of Physics, Poland.
Reviews and Comments on Conquering the Brain
Hindustan Times, Sunday Magazine, India, 5th May, 1996.
“Dr. Mukhopadhyay’s book comes at a time when Science is looking inwards. In very simple words Prof. Mukhopadhyay tries to establish a relationship between the cortex, the mind and the divinity. It brings visions of harmony between the space within and space outside.”
Ancient Science of Life, Journal of International Institute of Ayurveda, Coimbatore, India 15 (3), pp 242-243, 1996.
“The work sweeps through the mountaintops of Philosophy, Physics, Neuroscience, Humanity and even the Spirit which holds the universe. It touches various frontier areas and opens up numerous multidimensional research horizons for scientists, humanists and spiritualists alike. Though Dr. Mukhopadhyay does not have immediate objective and reproducible evidence in support of this conceptual build up it is expected that the work will eclipse many polar stars in the field”.
Frontier Perspectives, Center for Frontier Sciences, Temple University USA, reviewed in 6 (2), pp. 59-60, 1997.
“When readers see terms from quantum physics, philosophy and psychology in the same figure, they know they are in for a wild ride. This brave and promising attempt to link pretty much all major issues in human thought continue throughout the book”.
“……Reading this book is what it would probably be like if one were to come across a Text book from the future. It is very idea-dense - unlike some books which go on for pages without any propositional content, every sentence here expresses some claimed fact ……….I challenge the readers to read it and attempt one page summary of its main points.”
“It is not recommended if one is looking for a linear logical exposition of a limited scope theory. On the other hand, if one is up to the challenge of an almost psychedelic assault on stale categories of mental organization, one can hardly do better than reading this book (several times)."
- reviewed by Michael Levin, Harvard.
Journal of the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry, USA 12(18) pp. 16-17, 1998.
“Excellent and original work”……. “has a wealth of thoughtful philosophical, psychological and scientific concepts and information, organized into 38 chapters, with many diagrams, charts, index and other features. Every diagram and chart is beautifully and precisely drawn.”… “an exquisite work that harmonizes and unites all the different aspects of human experience and knowledge..”
“There is something here that speaks to almost every one in this book, whatever one’s field of research and study, be it physics, biology, psychology, philosophy, cosmology”.
“It is surely a seminal work”. - reviewed by James Vanderhoof, Editor, Telicom, USA.
The Statesman, India, 03-08-98, p6
“This book holds the view that the purpose of the brain’s evolution is to establish the identity of consciousness within and without, after which the brain acts as `transmissive’ for a purposeful scheme of the consciousness. The transmissive view of the brain had been nurtured in the East long before the West started keeping a chronological record. In this era of pluralism, the work talks about the existence of multiple universe. The most appropriate plural for universe has been chosen here as Multiverse. Multiple universe, the Multiverse, at the highest plane forms a system called the Multiversity. The Esssence of this Multiversity is Consciousness-Mother Nature. After a decade of metamorphosis, it is felt that one moves to form an identity with the Esssence, - by conquering the brain”
The Network, Scientific & Medical Network Review, No 73, Aug., 2000, p 58, UK.
“Since the days of Descartes, there has been a logical gap in Western philosophy between mind and matter. In the opinion of this reviewer, this book appears to bridge that gap." "....Mukhopadhyay explains how a super-conscious power of energy descends down into the brain to produce human psychology and physiology. He then fits this together with quantum physics and cosmology to produce a holistic spiritual existence."
"Mukhopadhyay is systematically clear about what he is doing. ...It has a clear index and a detailed contents plan; diligent cross-references can make initial obscurities clear and coherent”. ….“This book proposes an alternative paradigm of mind and brain, which could stimulate a lot of empirical research by reinterpreting in a new way a lot of what we already know."…. "The merit of this book is to show that the paradigm can be made at least as logically coherent and just as consistent with the insights of modern physiology and physics. …The system it proposes is an open system, which could grow from empirical verification or refutation”.
“The book is not an easy read. Each part is written in clear English, some of it indeed beautiful English, but the sum total of the argument is highly complex… At Rs. 550/, (corrected) it is a book for the University Library rather than the coffee table at home, but it deserves to be read. …What is important is that this book represents a new holistic way of looking at the area of science and the spirituality. …If one is optimistic, this could be the way forward for 21st century world culture”.
“Mukhopadhyay’s cosmology is very much like that to be found in The Life Divine of Sri Aurobindo and the works of Ken Wilber. ….He is the follower of a neo-Vedantin Guru and he adheres to the `Akhanda’ Paradigm”. - Reviewed by Max Payne, Chair, Network Board of Trustees.
The Noumenon Journal, Volume 6, summer 2000/2001, pp. 60-63, printed by The University of Durban - Westville, South Africa.
"A RADICAL VIEW OF THE BRAIN"
"One cannot simply write even a superficial overview of this book without giving some kind of background, however inadequate, of some of its basic terms and concepts. Conquering the Brain is based on a theory of 'multiple universe' for which author chooses the term `Multiverse', and whose essence he sees as 'Consciousness/Mother Nature".
"Where the scientific view of the universe is 'a cortical construct', the author sees the concept of 'Multiversity' as transcortical, transuniversal, supracortical and supracosmic. In 1985, he coined the term 'Supracortical Consciousness'. When one has established the identity of human consciousness 'with the essence of the Multiversity', he says, one is within a new paradigm, the Akhanda Paradigm".
……… "With particularly clearly devised sub-headings, the book offers immense amount of material. Many references to pioneering western thinkers will be familiar to readers of books on the new physics and some of the major thinkers of the 20th century, but whatever the moments of déjà vu, the concepts involved in the Akhanda Paradigm contain much that will be new to readers. The text itself, despite some un-English language structures, is perfectly readable for the western reader and the concepts are clearly explained, although a real grasp of the principles requires consistent focus".
…………….. "For those interested in speculating about the evolution of the brain and the true nature of consciousness in a purposeful universe, there is much to ponder on here. The writer has a considerable knowledge of both western and eastern thinking and moves freely between them".
"A new race, he says, is literally emerging from the present cortical beings out of conscious physical contact with the essence of the Multiversity. He sees six identifiable hierarchical levels emerging: the brainstem being, the limbic being, the cortical being, the supracortical being, the supracortical godhead and, the supracortical autonomy, and regards this hierarchy as an evolving version of the Great Chain of Being 'unfolding from a neurologist's perspective'".
"The entire work is an exercise in the 'process of Becoming' and leads towards the Akhanda Paradigm, which holds the new humanity 'inseparable from the spirit and [from] science". …. "Regarding the emergence of a new kind of human being, I am reminded of a theory of ichthyologist. Professor JLB Smith, that relatively few human beings actually qualify for classification as true homo sapiens, and that this species is, in fact, the next step in the evolution of our genus. Conquering the Brain attempts a detailed explanation, a trail-blazing document, of what constitutes this `new beginning' for mankind: the evolution of a new kind of human being."
"It needs to be said that I do not consider this to be a review in any real sense. It is more like putting a toe into the water to test the temperature… and then finding that an assessment requires total immersion!" - Reviewed by Shirley Bell, Director, Embambiswaneni Community Project, Durban
NAMAH, New Approaches to Medicine & Health. A Journal of Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Integral Health and Research, Volume 10 (1) 2002, pp. 39
“Not all silence is swallowing up of noise,
Not all stillness is engulfment of time,
Not all emptiness is the subatomic void,
Not all nothingness is absence of rhyme.
There is silence which broods Cause,
There is stillness, generating time with pause
There is void from which the universe is born,
Ananda shines when nothingness is torn.”
“The book apparently appears to be straightforward, but as one goes through, it requires a great mental effort to absorb all the biological, mental, spiritual, analytical and synthetic expertise.”
“The work is based on the purpose of the evolution of the brain. The author feels that this is to establish an identity of without with within following which the brain acts as a ‘transmissive’ for a purposeful manifestational scheme of Consciousness.”
“Divided into seven parts, thirty-eight chapters and a glossary, with 60 self-explanatory table an 46 innovative diagrams, it is an intellectual ascent from the level of the edge of the universe to the cerebral cortex. In a logical way it transcends and integrates the concept of Multidiversity. There is an inversion, reassortment and creative emergence of the existing philosophy, physics and neuroscience. It is an excellent effort in amalgamating the insight of Science, philosophy and metaphysics. Perhaps for an ordinary reader, a more simple book would be desirable.”
“A good approach for a hypothesis.”
- Reviewed by Dr. D. B. Bisht, Ex-Director, JIPMER, Pondicherry, Ex Director General Health Services, Govt. of India.
Prabuddha Bharata, or Awakened India, A Monthly Journal of The Ramakrishna Order started by Swami Vivekananda in 1896. Vol. 108, May 2003, p.287.
“Dr. Mukhopadhyay, a professional doctor on the faculty of AIIMS, has made a mark by his previous works entitled A Dynamic Web of Supracortical Consciousness (1987) and Frontiers of Research for Human Biologists (1985). According to information available in the present volume, both of these received appreciative comments from well-known writers like Larry Dossey. In fact, Prof. Gopinath of AIIMS says that ‘the author’s work is phenomenal.’
With this background, we have the present study with a thoroughly researched but sometimes despairingly technical study of the nature of consciousness in the context of modern science and cognitive theories. The book consists of seven parts covering areas such as ‘Death Experience’, ‘New Paradigms’, ‘The Responsivity of the Brain’ and ‘Revisiting Nature’. The final part entitled ‘Towards a New Formation’ seems to be the culmination of many of the arguments advanced in the course of the book. One helpful feature is the glossary for technical words provided by the author. Curiously, the glossary, at least a part of it, is in the form of questions we get quite often in a study of this nature.
The author says that he derived his paradigms from his guru Swami Swarupananda Paramahansa Dev, who declared that he came ‘to create a new history on this planet. To follow the beaten track is not my way.’ This sets the tone for the models and metaphors the author advances with obviously some interior awareness. He says that ‘the multiverse is born out of Interuniveral Essence of the Transcendental Essence/Transformative Essence/Essence of the Multiveristy. This Essence is Consciousness-Mother Nature, who imparts an absolute transparency in the system, makes it an ever-open process, and generates infinite pluralism.’ To put it in perhaps non-technical language, as the author himself does, this is ‘the ground of everything. It is everywhere, everytime and in everything - the Immanent.’ This is marked by capacity for infinite creations and variations. Perhaps this is indivisible awareness that goes beyond the purely physical, neurological models of the brain.
As far as I could follow, the tenor of the arguments of the Akhanda Paradigm has at their core what the mystics emphasize - Love. Dr. Mukhopadhyay coins a term, supracortical awareness, ‘which is exemplified in sacrifice and love one observes day by day is, in fact, the result of the successful expedition of SCC through numerous obscurities of the infrastructure of the nervous system.’
In short, this is an important contribution to an area where few venture. Highly technical, it is yet an honest attempt to work out an alternate model of the universe and consciousness, as a corrective to the Western paradigms.”
- Reviewed by Dr. M Sivaramkrishna, Former Professor & Head, Department of English, Osmania University, Hyderabad.
“I congratulate you; the modern world very much needs this kind of dialogue to correct its course away from disaster.”
"I especially appreciated your thoughts near the end about the implications if our medical profession and academic world were to adopt a new paradigm such as this. Also, your humility is refreshing (and so appropriate)".
"I hope this work is well accepted in your country. I doubt that many in this country are ready for it. It's partly a matter of experience, of course; one can't reason one's way into the new paradigm. We have been attempting to move things this direction by smaller steps; specifically, by challenging the epistemology of Western science, which has so entranced India as well as the U.S. and Europe. I hope you may find useful the enclosed report on the recommended `next step' which might begin to move science toward the kind of ontology and the Sadguru /Akhanda state of being you recommend." -Late Prof. Willis Harman, President. Institute of Noetic Science, U.S.A.
“As a scientist, you are true explorer of the scientific frontier and can stand proud knowing that your work plays a vital role in the progress of science.” -Nancy Kolenda, Director for the Center for Frontier Sciences, Temple University, USA
“Your strong point, of course, is that you are in the “know”…
“Wonderful beautiful book”.
“Your scholarly approach to the nature of Consciousness is highly commendable as it attempts to resolve the dichotomy of the mind/brain/body system, advancing the reality of Homo sapiens as more than the five senses, atomic body, which is used as a vehicle only, to learn of the spiritual principles of the Infinite Creative Intelligence”.
“Conquering the Brain will remain as an important statement of man’s essential purpose, and that is to become one with the Infinite”. -Prof. Charles L. Spiegal, Unarius Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.
“Very advanced book, it is innovative way of thought, compatible to the all-human transition to the Open World Society. …… Dr. A.K. Mukhopadhyay has presented the whole theoretical frame work”.
“We look for distinguished thinkers like you, because only distinguished thinkers – elite of the world – it is the avant-guard of the people solving the problems of tomorrow’s world.” -Dr. Jan Maria Szymansky, PhD., President, H.S.R.(Human Survival and Revival)
“Your work deserves to be recognised, which I trust will indeed happen ….. I feel a kindred spirit with you, because we are attempting to accomplish the same goal - you in the East, I in the West. I am sure that we shall succeed although the challenge is great”. -Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D., Author of several books on New Paradigm and Co-Chair Alternative Medicine, NIH, U.S.A.
“I enjoyed very much, reading your theories on brain and mind functioning and it seems to me that you have in a conceptual context, advanced or perhaps even more advances, than the rest of us are in our thinking. Congratulation!” - Dr. Robert J. White, M.D., Ph.D, Honorary Member, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican, Professor of Neurological Surgery, MetroHealth Medical Center, Ohio, USA.
“It will go through many reprints.”
“Your books will be recognized as historic contribution early next century.”
“I am sanguine that the next generation will look to your work as monumental! It will go in the pages of history as a great vision on understanding the brain.”
-Dr. Sampooran Singh, Ph.D., D.Sc., Chandigarh, India.
“It is not very often in the human history, that human ideas are challenged with new (? Strange) concept. But the history in her own time immortalizes once persecuted Galileo.”
“Your treatise is a challenge to our intelligence. I shall be grappling with it for the rest of life. Thank you very much for giving me such a challenge to feel young for ever.”
“Any conventional greeting for your monumental work will be belittling you. I shall always remember you as a beacon of New Light.”
-Prof. (Col.) R.N. Banerjee, Formerly Prof. and Head of the Dept. of Medicine, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Hematology & Nuclear Medicine, Safderjung Hospital, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
“Remarkable ….very remarkable,…when most biologists remain stuck in the Individual brain and are not dealing with global brain” -Robert Muller, Chancellor, UN University for Peace, Costa Rica.
“I cannot appreciate in word about the beauty of your work. Conquering the Brain will really be a guide book for the seekers of Scientific Spirituality. Both biomedical professional as well as aspirants will be benefited by your scholarly work.”
“Very comprehensive and a high quality book.” -Prof. Avshalom Mizrahi, Ph.D., Chairperson, Third Dead Sea Conference, Israel.
“The book synthesizes old and new knowledge in a very original and scientific way. ….The many subdivisions makes it easier to overview. Very ordered and enlightened.” -Dr. Lise lynge, Ph.D. Denmark, Special Projects Coordinator for ISPE.
Reviews and Comments on The Millennium Bridge IJP B - an international journal
BOOK REVIEWS Indian Journal of Physics 75B (2), 151-152, 2001
The Millennium Bridge
Towards the Mechanics of Consciousness and the Akhanda Paradigm An Equation of Scientific rationale and the Spiritual abstractionby Dr. A. K. Mukhopadhyay
Conscious Publications : New Delhi (2000);
Xx + 244 pages, illustrated; Price 30$, Rs. 650/ in India, Hard bound.
Those who think that it is possible to overarch, at least conceptually, quantum physics, cybernetics, depth psychology, neuroscience, phenomenology, human biology and a philosophy which the author calls the Akhanda philosophy (dealing with the divisions of the Indivisible), would find their feast in this work. The book, in short, deals with a fascinating subject describing whether one can link, connect, bridge the present paradigm in Science of classical and quantum worlds with the paradigm of Consciousness through an evolving brain. It raises hope that human kind eventually may become successful to work under such an overarching paradigm which can accommodate Science, Humanity and Spirit (consciousness) together. Affirmative in its approach the work stems the tide of uncertainties by proposing a series of integration (chapter seven) in an evolving brain. The brain, in this work, occupies the central throne. It is the phase-specific consciousness of the brain which develops state-specific theory and bridging elements to connect different domains of science.
The domain of science got separated from the domain of consciousness since Rene Descartes drew the boundary separating Matter and Mind. Probably it was a necessity, at that point of time, to keep the bigots from the respective domain at a distance. Further, it helped the respective domain to grow and mature within their respective boundary and thus to sharpen the relevant epitopes which are essential to develop this connection, link or bridge. More than three hundred years have passed and now those relevant epitopes of the respective domains are seen to be in sharp focus. On the Science front, the material and physical sciences have started recognizing a domain, which could be beyond / deeper to the plane of `quantum’. Acknowledgement of the existence of nonlocal communication in the realm of new physics seems to have radical bearings on information technology. Neuroscience, interestingly, has discovered `stem cells’ in the `marrow’ of the brain. Advanced phenomenological research has been helping to develop a science of `self’ which seems to accommodate cultural and religious pluralism. On the Spiritual front, the humanity has started appreciating the difference between the spirit (higher consciousness) and religious rituals. The mankind has started looking into the possibility of how each one of us can become and behave as an individual indivisible from the Whole. The concept of multiple universe forming a holistic system, The Multiversity, is a further conceptual advancement (chapter one) towards understanding of this Whole. At this point of time this work seems to build a remarkable canvas overarching these developments.
The buzz words for this century are information, genes and consciousness. If information technology appears to be the technology for today, genomic divide has been predicted to become more powerful than digital divide in near future. The wide spectrum and fantastic shade of human conscious experience is no less either. Information technology, Human genome project and Consciousness project are three grand macro ideas to reshape our destiny. The present work envisages the future of information technology in nonlocal communication Type I, II & III. It also proposes that genomes are scrutinized from a deeper plane of nature, plane IV (Mother Nature). Throughout the book it deals with the entire breadth and depth of human consciousness. This work, therefore, is a kind of work which has the ability to integrate information technology, human genome project and consciousness. To quote the author from the concluding paragraph of the last chapter of this book, "Love is cortical manifestation of supracortical consciousness. …. Love also has a genetic basis. One cannot love music or a flower unless one has genes for it. The biochemistry of love is intimately connected with molecular biology of gene expression. The missing links are to be found out." - a practical integration of Science, Humanity and Spirit.
According to this work, consciousness can be investigated from neuroscience point of view as well as from the viewpoint of materialistic science. In the latter approach the author proposes five planes having respective mechanics run by respective currency (chapter three). The pieces of puzzle, which can connect quantum mechanics with the mechanics of consciousness, are the mechanics of elementary phenomena (plane III, chapter five) and mechanics of Mother Nature (plane IV, chapter six). Mother Nature, according to author, is the nature of all natures and the kinetic front of consciousness as well. The work addresses systematically the anatomy and physiology of every plane. The properties of each plane have also been narrated in a lucid way. The constants under the umbrella of which the present science works are (i) the velocity of light for the classical plane (plane I in this work), (ii) Planck's constant in the quantum plane (plane II in this work) and (iii) the constant entropy barrier in the plane of irreversible processes (plane III in this work). According to the author, Einstein's constant excludes absolute simultaneity of events, Planck's constant excludes absolute continuity of events and entropy barrier excludes absolute identity of events. The author says that these three constants form the cosmological pleasure triangle of Mother nature. Could any reflection of this triangle be found in the construction of human brain? Yes, says the author. He builds up the concept of neurological pleasure triangle inside the brain at the level of limbic nuclei namely, midline septal nuclei and right and left amygdaloid nuclei (page 160).
A hierarchy of uncertainties (page 134) and of information (page 92), relating those to nonlocal communication type I, II, III (page 110), three levels of voids (page 110), and finally putting the whole canvas in the context of information processing in the brain and evolution of the being (page 127), - remains the charm of this work. We often hear that we are inseparable divisions of an indivisible cosmos. But the question remains how? This work answers this 'how' by defining our position in this cosmos in intellectual and perceptual realm.
The work is seen to make a dent in an ever-rocky terrain by a materialistic proposition that over the present composite Triune Brain (Reptilian, Mammalian and Human) of Homo sapiens sapiens, a new brain (chapter eight) is likely to develop to support a higher level of consciousness and nonlocal communication. Proliferation and migration of the stem cells from the brain-marrow to develop this new brain has been proposed to occur during passage of the brain through an extremely stressful situation, like death. This new brain, although small in size, is suggested to be robust in activity to execute its authoritative and homeostatic function over the existing brain. This message of vertical evolution of the brain is a remarkable gain while one tries to establish an equation of Science and Spirit.
In summary, this work tries to build up a bridge between the domain of present science and the domain of consciousness through an evolving brain. In the process, it holds consciousness as an irreducible constant and places three constants of present science under umbrella of consciousness. This which makes reinterpretation of various data possible in a wider context. As a result of this reframing our vision, there are three definite creative emergent in the field of ideas. First, the elements of depth psychology (page 38-40) emerge as components of elementary phenomenology (Love, Sex, Ego, Life and Death). Their relevance in the context of psychosomatic disease is worth exploring. Second, an extraordinary working association of Photon, Phonon, Conformon and Neutrino, which author relates to Life or Life-Force (page 166-8). Third, inter-convertibility of different currency in the five proposed planes, i.e., inter-convertibility of energy, field, form, information, causal currency and life (page 90).
What precisely one needs now for this conceptual framework is to put some aspects of this multidisciplinary idea-packed canvas in research perspective, to formulate research hypothesis and chalk out some experiments to collect data which can falsify or induct these theoretical ideas. Also worth would be to examine the creative emergent in this work from the point of view whether those were of any help to open the various locks of nature to explore her deeper and more complex planes. In this sense this is a new challenge for the scientists!
The work, although, appears to be studded with wild speculations, there seems to be a genuine attempt to make the presentation logically coherent. Sustainability of this bridge would be put to test as the people begin trading through it. The reinterpretation of data as a result of elevation of the position of the constant would be meaningful when the proposed paradigm can accommodate phenomena which have been hitherto neglected as `paranormal' or `anomalous'. The survival of the work would be determined by practical usefulness of its emerging ideas. Congratulation to the author! A welcome addition in the beginning of the new millennium.
T. P. Singh,
Department of Biophysics,
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110029
Journal of Personality and Clinical Studies, Sept, 2001, p.108 The Millennium Bridge. Towards the Mechanics of Consciousness and the Akhanda Paradigm.An Equation of Scientific rationale and the Spiritual abstraction
By Dr. A. K. Mukhopadhyay
Conscious Publications : New Delhi (2000), 244 pages, illustrated; Price 30$, Rs. 650/ in India, Hard bound, ISBN 81-900033-3-X..
This book makes a departure from all conventional views of consciousness known in the discipline of Psychology. Whether such a non-negotiable, inscrutable 'consciousness' can be subjected to research? A brain-quaking question! While the practitioners of western science think that consciousness is skull-bound and is an epi-phenomenon in the brain, the eastern mystics accept it as all-pervading. It pervades you, me and all. Being within it, how can one start research on this? This type of attitude, so far, has led the eastern thinkers not to take consciousness as an issue for scientific research. The West, having perceived a hint of it while doing quantum physics, has turned emphatically towards consciousness as a point of saturation has been reached in their materialistic accomplishment. The Millennium Bridge has been published during a period when both East and West are finding a convergence in their research interest, may be with different aim and for different objectives.
`Science investigates Nature, not consciousness'. However, consciousness is believed to have a causal aspect. Like all serious studies on scientific formulation of consciousness, the emphasis here is laid on this causal aspect of consciousness, which the author prefers to call Nature of all natures or Mother Nature (chapter 6). Consciousness, although a-priori, has connections with different depths or planes of nature through its causal aspect. These connections may not be operational for the trivial show of the world. However, those are surely switched on to action when a radical change like, transformation, evolution or a new formation is in demand. To put forward this view, the author synthesizes impressively from the disciplines of philosophy, neuroscience, physics, cybernetics and psychology. He proposes that every plane of nature has a specific mechanics (chapter 3) run by a specific currency. And, it is the efficacy of this currency conversion in the brain synapses (p 179), which holds the key for transition of ordinary awareness to an elevated or super-awareness. Extending this view he goes on to say that `Life is the currency through which consciousness plays its mechanics' (chapter 9). It would be interesting to explore this research frontier taking neurotransmitters as the basic classical currency.
The author, probably unknowingly, takes the knower-position, as if he knows what all are happening in nature. A flow of logic supports his views which, however, makes many conventional scientists uncomfortable. The play here is with ideas rather than facts. May be the `facts' are yet to be spotted in this field. The picture painted is a composite one. At best, this may form the starting point of a multi-disciplinary gigantic research project. Worst, it may be ignored by the conventional scientists. The readers of the book, in its Introduction, has been assigned the task to develop suitable methodology to gather and consolidate facts which may help in induction or falsification of the proposed hypothesis. A brilliant attempt which behooves only a pioneer. Therefore, this is a work which is a must-read for all who are interested in consciousness study. It is certainly a welcome addition for all libraries. -Prof. Surya Gupta, Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS
Network, The Scientific and Medical Network Review, August, 2001, pp. 49-50. By Max Payne
The Millennium Bridge, 2000
The Open Brain
A book which sets out to solve all the problems of morality, science and spirituality by reference to the workings of the brain is usually a somewhat gloomy piece of reductionism. One knows the argument: all emotion is nothing but the action of chemicals on the neurones, all thought is nothing but software within the hardware wiring of the cranium, and so on. It is therefore a relief to read a book which has exactly the opposite vision. According to Mukhopadhyay the surface layers of the cortex generate a coherent quantum state which puts it in touch with the zero point energy state of the quantum vacuum. In this state the brain accesses the infinite energy of creativity and unites with infinite power of total reality.
Such a sweeping and remarkable conclusion requires some explanation. Mukhopadhyay's justification is a wide ranging synthesis of quantum physics, brain physiology, and Indian mysticism. Neurones, neutrinos and chakras are linked together in a vast edifice of thought. In addition to a wide range of standard scientific and medical works, unorthodox thinkers like Capra, Bohm and Jahn are brought in. The result is an encylopediac perspective of turn of the century science and its fringes. Although it is clearly written and extremely well organised, this book requires almost as much breadth of learning as the author's. In order to grasp it, it is best to begin at the end. The last sections anticipate some of the questions a critical reader might ask, and the answers illuminate the complexity of the total structure of thought.
All descriptions of reality have to start somewhere, and the start usually determines the conclusion. Mukhopadhyay starts from the "Akhanda" paradigm which declares that the One Reality is indivisible but that thought has to divide it up in order to grasp it. (see previous review of his "Conquering the Brain" in Network). It follows from this paradigm that each division must reflect the whole to some degree, but that each division is inadequate in itself. The world of science divides into the mechanical universe and the quantum universe, and to these are added the inward phenomenology of experience, 'Mother Nature' or the world of meaning and ultimate consciousness. Each level mirrors the others in its model of operation.
It follows from this that there is no contradiction between scientific knowledge on the lower levels - horizontally as it were - and the vertical aspiration to reach higher levels. The higher and the lower must conform to each other. It is therefore possible to use quantum physics and neurophysiology to argue that the surface of the cortex can provide a uniquely sensitive location for the reception of the creative energies of the Divine One. From the point of view this is the quantum vacuum. In terms of yoga this is the opening of the thousand petalled lotus at the summit of the head. Mukhopadhyay terms this state the 'Open Brain'. This is the "Millennium Bridge" of the title.
In what way therefore can the brain be "opened". There are five modal points, Life, Death, Ego, Love and Sex, and the fringes of each represent possibilities at which the normal operations of the brain can be widened. Thus Near Death Experiences, the clash of deeply held opinions within the Ego, the right use of sexual energy, intense compassionate love, can all be used to open the brain. However the aim of the open brain is not to be pursued with careless optimism. Just as the discovery of sub-atomic energy led to the atom bomb, so any widespread knowledge of the techniques of opening the brain might have even more dangerous consequences. All power can be misused, and great power for good offers equally great power for evil. The open brain should only be sought by those who are committed to the highest moral aims.
Has Mukhopadhyay wrapped up all physics, morality, psychology and spirituality into one system? Even on his own terms of reference the answer has to be almost certainly not. At every point of his argument it is possible to imagine issues at which the expert theoretical physicist or clinical neurosurgeon might quibble. Yet if the unhappy and chaotic 20th and 21st centuries do finally lead to a unified world civilization with a synthetic spiritual view of the meaning of existence, then this book will be one of the prophetic texts. In the end everything does fit together, scientific knowledge, brute experience, our highest strivings, the meaning of existence, the lot. If this is not the final synthesis, then at least it points towards the sort of thing the final synthesis may yet be.
BOOK REVIEW Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 8, No. 12 (2001), pp. 87-88.
A. K. Mukhopadhyay
The Millennium Bridge: Towards the Mechanics of Consciousness and the Akhanda Paradigm
Conscious Publications : New Delhi (2000), 244 pp., $30.00, Rs. 650/- ISBN 81-900033-3-X. (hbk).
To appreciate the work of Dr. A. K. Mukhopadhyay in his book The Millennium Bridge, it is perhaps necessary to be familiar with certain key features of Indian thought, since much of the book is very difficult to understand, From Buddha to Sri Aurobindo consciousness is held to be a fundamental reality, irreducible to any other entity whether physical or not. The world therefore, is constituted of conscious experience, its contents (sensation, perception, emotion etc.) and associated material or physical events. These three causally interact to give rise to a universe (Loka), and it is the central task of an analytical philosopher to elucidate these causal processes. It is further asserted that not only are there several varieties of conscious experience, the causal interactions between consciousness, its contents and matter can have several modes each distinct from the other. The 24 Bridging Relations of Shakyamuni in the Abhidhamma was conceived primarily to delineate these modes. It therefore follows that there are several worlds each with a sublet of possible experiences coupled to a dominant causal scheme applicable in it. As the Copernican Revolution demolished the unique position of the Earth in the cosmos, Indian philosophy rejects the uniqueness of the universe we inhabit. There are many universes and we occupy only one of a whole series of distinct though connected worlds.
It is this many-worlds view which Mukhopadhyay calls the 'Akhanda Paradigm', which, he says briefly, 'recognizes the existence of multiple universes'. He then goes on to propose five distinct planes of existence: the planes of classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, elementary phenomena, Mother Nature and Consciousness. Each plane has its own dominant causal mode, which he terms its mechanics. The planes of classical and quantum mechanics are those where Newtonian and quantum laws hold in the physical sense of the term, whereas the plane of elementary phenomena deals with the meaning and purpose of events notably those related to love, sex, ego, life and death. The plane of Mother Nature is unique in that every possible causal mode of every potential or actualized universe has its genesis in this realm. Finally the plane of Consciousness or Being is wholly transcendental.
There are quite a few problems in the scheme proposed by Mukhopadhyay, even if it is taken for granted that the Akhanda Paradigm is essentially correct. Firstly, he does not compare his organization of planes with those of Buddha and Sri Aurobindo and justify why it is necessary to formulate yet another scheme. Both Buddha and Sri Aurobindo conceive a world-system primarily based on either the type of conscious experience prevalent in each realm (Kamavachara, Rupavachara, Arupavachara chittas of Shakyamuni) or the fundamental reality which exercises dominant causal control (Matter, Prana, Mind, Vigyana, Sat, Chit, Ananda for Sri Aurobindo). But Mukhopadhyay does not strictly follow either programme. To divide planes on the basis of classical and quantum mechanics appears somewhat artificial if not arbitrary. Again one cannot give full approbation to Mukhopadhyay in his method to substantiate his thesis. After making several statements which he believes to be true there follows a long succession of scientists, philosophers and mathematicians who apparently support his contention. It would have perhaps been better had Mukhopadhyay restricted his attention to the many-world systems in Indian philosophy and given a detailed discussion of his proposals in this context, instead of rapidly moving from one domain of knowledge to another, which serves only to confuse the reader. Secondly, the book contains a very limited discussion of first-person methodologies in order to gain access to these planes, though Mukhopadhyay does mention self-surrender as the only means to arrive at the realm of Mother Nature.
Finally, in the closing chapters of the book the question whether man is the last term in an evolutionary series is addressed. A strong case is presented that the human brain is still actively evolving to make contact or accommodate higher forms of consciousness. An interesting suggestion is made that the neocortical stem cells are in the process of forming supracortical structures to trigger the next phase of evolutionary activity whereby man will surpass his present day mental and physical capabilities.
All in all, The Millennium Bridge is an extremely interesting book, a veritable gold mine of engaging and fruitful ideas. Even a casual perusal through the book is sufficient to convince the reader of the erudition and sincerity of its author.
- Rahul Banerjee
BOOK REVIEWS The National Medical Journal of India 15(4), 237, 2002
The Millennium Bridge
Towards the Mechanics of Consciousness and the Akhanda Paradigm
An Equation of Scientific rationale and the Spiritual abstraction
by Dr. A. K. Mukhopadhyay
Conscious Publications : New Delhi (2000);
244 pp, Rs. 650
We learn from the author’s prologue that he headed the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. During his stint there, he met Dr. Wlodzimier Lugowski of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. While presenting a poster at a conference in Cambridge, England, he met Dr. David Lorimer, Director, Scientific and Medical Network. These two experts have written introductory notes to the book. The former wonders about how the ‘Scientific’ [quotes in original text] community will respond to the idea in this book, while the latter has no hesitation in proclaiming that this is an important book.
The first paragraph in the author’s prologue leaves me puzzled. I reproduce it to give you a feel of the text that follows on subsequent pages. ‘In the summer of 1995 when conquering the brain was published … it did strike my ego that following publication of this work, I would gain considerable freedom to fly independently in the sky and possibly I had not to come back any more to face the sorrows of the earth. I never realised that I had yet to investigate the hell. The circumstances beyond my control made me a victim of spiritual politics. I suffered from another discontinuity. For the fist time I became aware of the boundary of a defined system. I was found to stand outside the boundary of systems at AIIMS, outside the boundary of systems holism of a large autonomous institute. Everything for me stopped for a while. I understood that the boundary kept one sane. As soon as there is freedom from a boundary, one is on the verge of insanity. A clarion call for a living integrity indeed was heard. My innate consciousness reached the bottom of classical consciousness with a total lack of Will and Purpose. There were no phenomena, no event.’
The book abounds in terms such as ‘ontology of mechanics’, ‘epistemological pluralism’, ‘organismic biology and vitalism’, ‘quantum paradigm’, ‘elementary phenomenology’, ‘ontology of different uncertainties’ and ‘nonlocal communication’. We also have statements such as ‘Unless the brain is opened up, the bridge cannot be built.’ Or, ‘A bridge that has already been built cannot be noticed.’ (All these are form the prologue itself).
The prologue asks whether the author’s approach can be called scientific. Answering his own question he tells us: ‘The genesis of this work has started in an extraordinary situation when the scientific community, although keen to develop a science of consciousness, is seen to suffer from poverty of idea. The humanity, as a whole, is in danger although believed to be on the threshold of a new formation. The universal spirit (one may call it transuniversal or interuniversal consciousness as well) being perturbed by the situation, designed an experiment… The experiment has been done on the nature of the brain, by consciousness.’ (I have made no changes in the quoted text).
The 19 chapters carry titles such as ‘The paradigm of consciousness’, ‘The scientific paradigms of classical and quantum mechanics - their triumph and limitations’, ‘The dynamics of the Akhanda paradigm-the ontology of the mechanics as required for doing science of consciousness’, ‘Quantum phenomenology interface-experiential philosophy, metaphors and the science of self, developing a theory on elementary phenomena’, and so on.
The query uppermost in the reader’s mind is answered on page 2. ‘It is called the Akhanda paradigm since it handles the divisions of the Indivisible with deft and dexterity…. Divisions become apparent because of certain fundamental divisions in functional states of brain. There is a state of brain, really a unique one, when the existence of divisions cannot even be imagined. As soon as the brain, even from that unique state, begins expressing or manifesting, the divisions become apparent. The Akhanda experience is, therefore, concomitant to the highest evolutionary status of the brain…’
The author’s concept of consciousness is equally thought provoking: ‘Consciousness has been traditionally labeled as something transcendental. It has immanent properties as well variously qualified as Mother, kinetic facet or executive front of consciousness. The transcendental Essence is hierarchically immanent, is the dictum of Perennial philosophy…’
The ‘Akhandification’ (term used by the author) that pervades the book appears to follow insights from interactions with his Gurudev (Sri Sri Ma Moni Brahmacharini Samhita Devi?), his parents, relative, teachers, colleagues and friends. The book attempts to promote thoughts on philosophical, spiritual, mystical, divine, sacred and transcendental aspects of the brain, focusing on supracortical consciousness.
I remained greatly perplexed throughout the study of this volume. All my training in the neurological sciences, attempts at understanding philosophy and clinical experiences with patients over four decades counted for nought. The author’s sweeps of fancy, flourish of language and attempts as synthesis is widely disparate concepts left me benumbed.
If you are made of finer mettle you might like to wade through this volume yourself.
SUNIL K. PANDYA
Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Prabuddha Bharata, November 2005, p. 588
The Millennium Bridge
Towards the Mechanics of Consciousness and the Akhanda Paradigm
An Equation of Scientific rationale and the Spiritual abstraction
Dr. A. K. Mukhopadhyay
Conscious Publications : New Delhi (2000);
244 pp, Rs. 650
Professor Mukhopadhyay of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, is a familiar and formidable voice in consciousness studies. His earlier book, Conquering the Brain, has achieved wide recognition as breaking new ground in the interrelated areas of biology, psychology, neuroscience, cosmology and yoga. The present book is particularly relevant as neuroscientists such as V. S. Ramachandran (in the Phantoms in the Brain and A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness) are exploring, with characteristic postmodern openness, the apparently elusive areas of brain, consciousness and awareness.
‘I appreciate the timing of this work,’ says the Polish scientist, Lugowski, in his note on the book. The old paradigms ‘are exhausted’ and ‘a new holistic approach which takes a processual view of the world (you may call it a paradigm or Weltanschauung) has been much needed both for the further progress of science and for the common people to understand their place in nature and in society,’ he adds. He rightly identifies the uniqueness of the book: ‘It would be really interesting to see how the ancient Eastern (Indian) thinking responds to supposedly universal “Western science”.’
This openness is somewhat rare among Western scientists. Correspondingly, the task Dr. Mukhopadhyay set himself is fascinating but formidable, often frustrating. The willful one-sidedness of the pervasive Anglo-American and European explorer is enough to annoy even a sage. The Newtonian, Darwinian and Freudian hypotheses (they are no more than hunches), for instance, are so embedded that few can disengage themselves from their sway without irrationally writing them off. This delicate balance is held by the author in a remarkable way. He follows the methodology of scientific exploration without ceasing to highlight areas of consciousness which are not amenable to objective analysis.
The Akhanda Paradigm holds the various chapters together: beginning with ‘Consciousness-Mother Nature’, followed by a discussion of classical and quantum mechanics, the ‘Dynamics of the Akhanda Paradigm’, ‘Elementary Phenomena’, the phenomenological implications and the problems of integrating the brain, and the science of consciousness. Of the three concluding chapters, those on ‘Ananda, the Mechanics of Being’ and ‘The Open Brain’ seem exceptionally fascinating to me. At every stage, Professor Mukhopadhyay provides visual texts – diagram, graphs, etc. – which make the arguments come through clearly.
The author foresees the difficulty of the reader interested in but unfamiliar with the technical idiom (there is plenty of it). Hence, the extremely helpful glossary and the format of ‘Questions and Answers’ for basic insights into the arguments.
‘The Akhanda Paradigm is’, says the author, ‘the domain of Mother Nature as the kinetic extension of consciousness.’ In this ‘Systems Holism, Perennial Philosophy and Goethian science find a common place’, and this is ‘the paradigm designated for the third millennium’. In other words, this is ‘the paradigm of Consciousness-Mother Nature, the paradigm of Science, Humanity and Spirit’. But firmly rejecting a facile openness and endless relativism, the Professor holds firmly that ‘Consciousness-Mother Nature is the inviolable, irreducible, fundamental constant. All other constants, man-made or universal are regarded as flux in nature.’ With this constant, the Akhanda Paradigm grows into an open-ended theory of multiversity and supracortical consciousness.
The book is admittedly complex but is never abstract. The impression of complexity is just that, an impression. Human Being in Depth – the title of Rev. Ranganathandaji’s book on the same areas – is the area which Professor Mukhopadhyay explores. In effect, for its originality, authenticity, sincerity and, above all, depth and range, The Millennium Bridge remains an indispensable source book (Only one rider: Why not ‘Dynamics’ instead of ‘Mechanics’ of consciousness?)
Dr. M Sivaramkrishna
Former Head, Department of English
Osmania University, Hyderabad
"It looks like a fine collection of your foundational views." - Prof. H. Puthoff, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, Texas, USA
"I think this book is better written and more interesting than your previous book. There are many insightful points made". - Prof. Benjamin Libet, University of California, USA.
"It looks like another fine comment in the area of brain consciousness"
- Dr. Robert J. White, M.D., Ph.D, Honorary Member, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican, Professor of Neurological Surgery, MetroHealth Medical Center, Ohio, USA.
"Greetings from England and thank you for the book". …."It gives a feeling of intensity in the words." …"Are you still intensely gathering pollen from many sources in the process of going from flower to flower, trying to fertilize the ideas of different scientists? I wonder how many of them are brave enough to take an aspect of Consciousness/E-C into their own sphere, and run with it. But, as you say, they have to commit and work on themselves first in order to be into a position to make the journey required to experience directly. Has anyone yet asked you to help them do serious follow-up work in any areas? I hope so". - Julia Illiott, PhD, Peterborough, UK.
"Please accept once again my congratulations for being present with your book in "Science". Now you are known all over the world - at least our (terrestrial) world in traditional sense, and may be - also in the other worlds (i.e. in the Multiversity). ………the next Millennium has a chance to acquire self-consciousness - simply by reading your excellent book which - exactly by this reason - may (and should) be treated as a real bridge: between us (transitive material beings) and the Eternity (i.e. Cosmic Consciousness, or rather cosmic Self-consciousness).
….I must confess that after having the possibility to speak with you and after the lecture of your books - each of them is better than the former and "Millennium' of course the best - the process of my personal spiritual Akhandification has been considerably accelerated. Special regards for (the memory of) your Gurudev!" - dr hab. Wlodzimierz Lugowski, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.
"When your package arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see that you had produced a new book relating to the topic that is so close to my heart. In examining this fine manuscript, I can see that you did an excellent job in explaining consciousness and The Akhanda Paradigm".
"In addition to forwarding this book out for review, it will be listed in the volume 9 (2) issue of Frontier Perspectives under New Books received. It will also be added to the Center's library collection of distinguished manuscript". - Nancy Kolenda, Director, Center for Frontier Sciences, Temple University, USA.
"It solves a number of problems in the science-spirituality issue. ………The distinction between East and West has vanished." - Prof. S.C. Tewari, MD, DM, a Senior Faculty member at All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
"I admire your wide readership and the breadth of thinking. ………I congratulate you for having received wide acclaim for the present as well as the previous books from philosophers world over". -Prof. C. Kartha , Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Member, Editorial Board, Current Science.
"This is for the first time you emphasize in your work on brahmacharya, dwelling in consciousness, and connect this dwelling-in with bone marrow and brain marrow. … You are also seen to put emphasis on The Open Brain and The Brain of a brain. … Carry the ideas forward". - Ayachak (Sri Ashok. Kumar Roy), Retired civil servant, West Bengal, author of several books which guide readers towards the Akhanda World View.
"Your book has arrived in good order a few days ago. I have started to read it with much interest and appreciation. Thank you for sending it to me". - Ervin Laszlo, President of The Club of Budapest, Author of several books on New Paradigm.
"splendid thoughts contained in The Millennium Bridge and had hoped to have had time to respond with some intellectual content". -Prof. Allan Snyder, Director, Center for the Mind. The Australian National University.
"It is absolutely profound……..will take me some time to assimilate" - Asiananda, Prof. Debasia, Sri Aurobindo Centre for Human Unity
I have enjoyed reading the critique. You have really undertaken a mammoth task of establishing a unified theory from atom to universe with human brain playing the role of both. - K Hasanat. Asst Professor in Psychiatry at North Western University, Chicago, USA.
“I was intrigued to read the reviews and am fascinated now I see the book. I firmly expect to be extremely dissatisfied by your physics, yet hope to be inspired and perhaps stimulated to some new scientific endeavour on reading a work so clearly brimming with evidence of your intelligence, energy and zeal for truth.” – J. Andrew Ross, Technical Editor with the German Software Company, SAPAG