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During the bitter struggle for Stalingrad in the Second World War the Germans had the initial advantage but the element of surprise was worn thin by the indomitable courage of the Russians who were fighting for the Motherland. The Russians would not give up and were reduced to fight for every street. In this close combat snipers were an essential part. Vasily Zaitsev was a hero who killed some 300 Germans. He was awarded by the Party for his crucial role.
If one reads German invasion of Soviet Russia the siege of Stailngrad is reduced to a few pages and the role of Vasily may be told in a line at the most. Suppose we were to look at the whole WWII the role of Vasily, most certainly will be left out. In simplification some shift in focus is necessary.
It is like reducing the earth to the size of a golf ball. There shall be no Grand Canyon or the Himalayas. It will be smoother than the golf ball. We are all players in terms of history. Only that we don’t get written about. Our waking lives we may not have place for anything else but of ourselves. Yet we have become non-persons in the human narraive of time and place.
benny

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Remote control it is not, press I well
Surfing channels of reason, my eyes fail-
If Nature stayed true to will and please
My senses-Ah it would be worth my while.

In this age of instant gratification can Omar Khayyam be relevant to us? I believe the quatrain form could be used to convey our spiritual confusion or love for Immensities that comes in byte-size, only we call it passing time. Nature changes: seasons after seasons on the treadmill of Time, is the riddle that was poets of every age and clime had to come to terms with.
Who is using the remote control, by the way?
It is somewhat like the theatre of the Absurd. One who makes Nature keep renewing the face of the earth affects us as well. Lacking in time we require certainties and only certainty that we end up with is what one might call as Chance.
Thanks to our attention-deficit we also keep checking out what is all available whenever we want some entertainment. Instead we are inundated with bits and snatches of man’s art, news of the mart that would not even feed the appetite of a louse. Who is using the remote control and what for?
benny

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A Human Scale©
One evening a beggar approached Rabbi Benn Weiss and said that he was an angel in disguise.” Never mind these tatters, Rabbi,” he said in a conspiratorial tone, “I am indeed an angel sent down to find how many in this City of Peace are worthy to be called His own. So I shall ask you to buy me dinner.”
They were before sidewalk restaurant. “Of course!” Rabbi said and treated him to a hearty meal while he stuck to the usual. The stranger remained by his side even after he had paid the bill and wanted to go home.
It was late.
“I need a place to stay for tonight, Rabbi.”
“Try Wayfarer’s Lodge over there. It is free and clean.” ”You gave me dinner and why refuse me now?”
Benn Weiss interrupted him saying,” A poor man’s dinner is no bother, But to have you under my roof, is more than a man like me can afford.” “But I am an angel!”
“Go tell that to your archangel, my friend. He sent you didn’t he?”
Rabbi Benn Weiss walked on.
Moral:Truth when is stated in human terms must satisfy common sense and sound appropriate for the circumstances.
benny

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`I didn’t know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I didn’t know that cats could grin.’
`They all can,’ said the Duchess; `and most of ‘em do.’
`I don’t know of any that do,’ Alice said very politely, feeling quite pleased to have got into a conversation.
`You don’t know much,’ said the Duchess; `and that’s a fact.’
(Through the Looking Glass–Lewis Carroll)
More we understand cosmos we are faced with a world that begins to look more like the world through the looking glass. Just as well. We equated our material world as neat and precise as Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man. Our religion consequently delineated a divine connection between the human form and the universe. It is true depending on what we are looking for. Suppose we looked for our place in the universe in terms of thermal imaging the resulting picture would be altogether different. Would it not?
The Vitruvian man is as true as an infrared picture of man in its own way. Our rational world holds both as true. One we see with our naked eye and the other with special photography.
What of a portrait of man in terms of quantum physics? How do we account for the role of God, our moral responsibility and belief systems?
Enter Majorana fermion. The world of science is buzz with an elusive particle that is its own antiparticle may have been found, and, if confirmed, would be the first time a phenomenon predicted decades ago has been seen in a real system. In a paper published in the journal Science Thursday, Vincent Mourik and Leo P. Kouwenhoven said they were able to make the Majorana fermions appear by exposing a small circuit to a magnetic field.
Majorana fermions are so special because they are different from other fermions, which have antiparticles — particles that have the same mass but opposite charge.
Bosons, however, are particles that are their own antiparticle, and they don’t annihilate when they touch each other. Majorana fermions however act as their own antiparticles. Majoranas will annihilate when they meet their antimatter cousins.
Does this matter when we talk of our rational world and religion as a matter of certain practices? For each religion these ceremonies are vital. A pilgrim during the Hajj will ceremoniously stone ‘Satan’ and Pope will ceremoniously wash the Catholic pilgrim’s feet. All these ceremonies are alright. But is it all to religion? We in practice strain a gnat and miss out a camel. Five times you pray and it has a gnat’s worth of blessedness. But by slaughtering ‘infidels’ are you not losing a camel’s load blessedness in another way?
A little knowledge of Allah or of God from prophets and books drives man to make a distinction between infidels and believers; and fools determine who goes to hell and who to heaven. Neither do they in fact understand what is like.
If they had shown tolerance instead, it would have made their nonsense something lustrous like Lewis Carroll’s fantasy. Coming to the Cheshire cat it smiled unlike cats and it remained even when its body had disappeared. Our good sense, tolerance and compassion should likewise remain our calling card whether here or there.
benny

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The fruity smell of a banana is on account of a chemical substance, ester. It is distinct from that of a pineapple. Three carbons and six hydrogen in a molecular structure give its distinctive signature. Ethyl caprylate or amyl acetate is created when molecules are compounded in a correct sequence. With it each substance would have acquired its distinct personality or signature smell as well.
A geometrical recognition of molecules among themselves is implied for ester to be distinct from ethyl caprylate. A ‘virtual’ consciousness. Virtual in the sense it is imaginary and yet allowed. If ethyl caprylate is boiled in water, ester falls apart to produce alcohol and caprylate acid. Ester is insoluble in water. If every test follows predictably we must concede these molecules do carry some sort of awareness. A virtual consciousness.
My thoughts wing on the ubiquitous molecules of Cosmos and these are like bottled messages found floating but how I am found (or read) is not known. I know these fill out a profile who and what I am. The least I can do is to be consistent. Ethyl Caprylate is created when molecules compounded in correct sequence. Similarly my thoughts and actions do hint basic characteristics or ‘soul.’
Be not afraid of men who can only kill your body and not your soul. One may kill you in the name of prophet or religion another for the good of the state. They always find reasons for it. What a waste of effort! Killing Socrates or Stephen did not stop their cause. Freedom of thought is still preserved from harm. Stephen was the martyr for the Apostolic Church. Think what a disservice the Church later did when it became organized into a megalith and synonymous with every evil practice? Men cannot touch your soul and it shall speak in your defence or accuse you of selling you for a little pomp and earthly glory.
benny

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Cosmos and I are bound in ways no logic or reason can explain. To think a rational mind can think everything to its logical conclusion is a folly. Chemistry that makes me thrive does not reason but imposes its will on me nevertheless. I choose my way and if it is proved right way I have to thank only those invisible controls that work in Cosmos. As a caveat to this let me add in fixing the impressions that assail me my reason helps me to be relevant in terms of immediate circumstances and also finetune where it has fallen short.
ii
Coffee and basil do not complement each other. These have molecules that work opposite to each other. Coffee as a result will taste foul.

Our preferences for persons do not fall within what we would call rational behavior. Love at first sight? (Even before a woman has spoken a word man gets chemical messages: phermeron compounds set off to create signals in the brain.) VNO is located in the lower part of your nose much lower than olfactory cells and are tuned to receive such signals. What does the message say?’ I feel excited!’ Naturally you fall in love. Such chemical communication is intrapersonal and at unconscious level.
If body chemistry work should not I expect to bond with Cosmos in a permanent way? Is there some common ground?
Death of stars gives rise to new stars in cosmos: those elements spewed out of a dying star are what make up calcium in our bones and iron in the blood. Can we think of life on Earth without oxygen? Or for that matter carbon? These two also are by courtesy of a supernova.
In a manner of speaking we are ‘star children’ shaped by stellar events.
If all life forms as well as celestial bodies are evolved out of interstellar gases and dust do we have a specific centre? Every element in our body has been a wanderer among clouds of interstellar gas, and having come together by some sort of an arrangement should we not have been equally at home in cosmos as well?
To all intents and purpose we consider the Earth as our home and millennia of living here has shut out much of our cosmic ancestry; and in compensation we have acquired an ability to live on the Earth.
Our chemical ancestry is little understood and we think earth in terms of material aspects. Our thoughts ride on the wing of non material cues. If I smell chestnut being roasted around I am feeling homesick already of eating it in the special way mother baked for children. My thoughts are teased our by it. Time is compressed and also space. On the wings of chemical molecules homesickness spreads its wings. The fault is not in our stars but body chemistry. My body is shaped from Cosmos and my thoughts can leapfrog over reason despite what some skeptics might say. They cannot think straight and without the aid of material proof.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
benny

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If We aren’t Here We are There

In quantum physics no two fermions may occupy the same quantum state.
A little background information may be needed here. An atom has three types of particles protons,electrons and neutrons. The exclusion principle by Pauli will assign electrons under heightened energy states exclusion zones. In short electrons cannot all congregate as before. Consequently these will occupy higher energy states than those in the lower energy states. It causes atoms to take up spaces and not positions as we understand the term. What is the quality of space, which keeps fermions from one another must be consistent in the physical universe? Exclusion principle can give it room anywhere in the infinite space. Remember the frustum of the cone in the Golden Pagoda? When Prophet Isaiah speaks about being taken in spirit before the throne of God(Is. 6:1-5) think how it is possible according to the spirit of Science. (By the way I see no difficulty with Science in my belief of God.)
ii

Law of Entropy points to the tendency of large numbers of molecules of atoms left to itself to loosen up. It shows a lapse of time. Thus a luscious apple in course of time loses its shape, color and also taste. It is not a fruit anymore that you can bite into but has become mush. (It marks passage of time, mind you.) Now what we need to ask ourselves is this: how can an atom tend to disorder? No single atom can be in a state of entropy. It is timeless.
Our bodies, I mean their physical forms, are made up of atoms and our brains inefficient as they are, in a manner of speaking are, like phytoplankton in a sea of electro-chemical impulses. We are swallowed up by whales of Eternity. So what?
Timelessness of subatomic particles create a zone for our mind. Death is a low energy state and we being charged with higher state of life can only occupy another state. If we are not here we are there.
Our bodies take that low energy state called Death. According to law of entropy each molecule must part company from one another. What of our thoughts that caught fire? These electrical impulses I call divine fire since I chose to show some characteristics I associate with God. Love, compassion, fairness patience etc. (Thoughts spliced with action and emotions are three strand rope not easily broken. I got my metaphors mixed here!) According to exclusion principle these are before God.
benny

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First let me give opinions of an anthropologist and a biologist. ‘Our emotions make us unique 

While human aggression is a naturally evolved phenomenon we have in common with other animals, the difference between human and animal violence comes down to the complexity of the emotion driving it, said Elizabeth Cashdan professor of Anthropology of Univ. of Utah in 2009.


Aggression in few animals goes beyond protecting one’s territory, mates, offspring and food — there is some evidence that domestic dogs and chimpanzees do hold grudges, said Carrier, a Biologist also from Univ. of Utah — but human violence has evolved to stem from less typical sources.
“Humans are unique in the complexity of their social relationships and their highly developed social intelligence. Revenge and spite are quintessential social emotions and so are not likely to be found in many, if any, other species,” she said.
“For example revenge killings, and the cultural institutions that support and restrain it, 
shape human aggression in new ways,” said Cashdan. The intelligent reasoning that lets most of us override any innate desire to be violent also makes some people, such as parents that kill their children, as well as institutions justify violence illogically, experts say.
With our complex brain we splice frustration, fear for the future all the emotions violent and beautiful into shapes never thought possible. A chimpanzee can never commit hara-kiri a ceremony to wipe of dishonor. Whereas a man can flagellate for God or to show his intense sorrow for a dead saint.

Worry over the future



An understanding of the evolutionary roots of human aggression could help institutions make better policy decisions, according to experts.
“Evolution didn’t just shape us to be violent, or peaceful, it shaped us to respond flexibly, adaptively, to different circumstances, and to risk violence when it made adaptive sense to do so. We need to understand what those circumstances are if we want to change things,” said Cashdan.
Though conflicts like the ones that occurred in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s may seem a distant memory, the tipping point between peace and that sort of violence is a finer line than we think, said Carrier.
“My personal opinion is that Western society, as a whole, is in mass denial about the magnitude of the problem that violence represents for the future”.
In a caste riddled Hindu society breaking rules of gotra the village elders may punish man and woman with death. If we consider such acts can only occur in a primitive society think of Grimmer of Texas, America.
Rachelle Grimmer, 38, pulled a gun on the welfare office supervisor, Roberto Reyes, and her two children out of her frustration at being denied food stamps. The office’s other employees were able to safely evacuate the building, according to the San Antonio Express.
A SWAT team surrounded the building, and officers communicated with Grimmer throughout the ordeal.
But at midnight — shortly after Grimmer hung up on police — three shots were fired, causing the police to storm the building.
(abc Good Morning America-7 Dec.2011)Frustration in progressive society is over future and in a primitive society is over the past. While we speak of superstition and ridiculous beliefs of the other cultures how we feel about future rely on the brain that is less than efficient. Our emotions we may shape into new forms but cannot escape the forces that bear upon the brain.
benny

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What is evolution but adapting things that are already existing? Thus we have some primitive parts from lizards and jellyfish.As a result our brain at its best has to account for what it is built upon.
“Although the things it can do are very wonderful and impressive, its design is very poor engineering in many respects,” says David Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the author of The Accidental Mind.
These parts may have been OK for their original owners, he says, but they aren’t ideal for us.
Take brain cells, for example.
“They are slow. They are inefficient. They leak signals to their neighbors,”

We’re still using a communication system developed 600 million years ago by jellyfish.
Deep Down, We’re Lizards.
Jellyfish don’t have a brain, but they were the first animal to have any sort of nervous system. It’s a loose network of nerves called a “nerve net,” says Chet Sherwood, who studies brain evolution at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Evolution’s tinkering gave lizards the brain they needed to hunt and survive in a tough world, and our brains still have that ancient wiring.
The brain of an adult human is about three times the size of a gorilla brain.
In evolutionary terms big brain gave our human ancestors bigger volume for brain and it is still evolving and at the root of it we still have the reptilian brain.
ii
Brain has two halves like walnut. These are shot through two worlds: conscious and unconscious mind. our conscious self does not initiate all behaviours. Instead, it is somehow alerted to behaviours that the rest of the brain and body are already planning and performing. Also keep in mind conscious experience does play some moderating role. We think rationally and we speak as though we understand what we speak about. But do we?
Take the matter of religion.
Religion relies on mystery and requires certain rituals and symbols to maintain this mystery. People are ready to defend their faith to death. On the other hand what about the fascination with iPad or iPhone for which people are ready to kill themselves? Or do desperate things disproportionate to the intrinsic value of objects themselves, and sell their kidneys as one did in China only last week? People queue through the night, despite the inclement weather to be the first to grab when shops are opened for business. Are we not seeing Progress masquerading religion in this case? Some Nerd who cannot do anything else makes a jargon and creates applications into program and lo and behold, he is looked upon with wonder. He is a modern shaman. Craze for latest gadgets is controlled by which part of our being? Unconscious mind or Rational mind?
Our brain evolved over some 6 millennia as I mentioned earlier is not the best,- and communication system leaks, and we have no idea which part of it is triggering us?
Brain is our thinking part but it depends how we want to interpret external impressions that we see.
In an earlier post I wrote about Cosmic Mind. We make our experience as basis and draw necessary conclusions from these events around us. If we are thinking from our unconscious mind a little and from conscious mind we cannot tell.
When we look into brain we are going down in time,
benny

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Do we have a choice in striking out a path for ourselves?
Look at the manner we have described progress in which man’ deliberate choices connect with similar needs and choices made by others. The nameless inventor of wheel didn’t anticipate flywheel for a watch, gyroscope or wheels, which are as essential in flying. Our choices, deliberate these must be to fit with our needs at a particular point of time and place, would always have to negotiate with those of others. My responsibility is therefore of short duration and how it is adapted in future is beyond me. One example will suffice: our ancestor made flint blades by breaking flint. He could scrape flesh from animal hide and use the leather skins for his clothes. Suppose another used the flint blade to commit murder. Is he responsible that it became a murder weapon in the hand of another?
No, he cannot be held responsible for it.
Moral responsibility for murder must surely lie with the one who used it to commit murder.

let us now look at the kind of “decision,” the evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne talks about. Decision arrived at is merely a series of electrical and chemical impulses between molecules in the brain — molecules whose configuration is predetermined by genes and environment. Though each decision is the outcome of an immensely complicated series of chemical reactions, those reactions are governed by the laws of physics and could not possibly turn out differently. This has only validity where time is of essence and in the face of danger thinking is not an option. The question of fight or flee has been settled eons ago and it is what one may say knee-jerk reaction.
Free Will is where we make conscious choices and coolly and rational mind has determined it.
However progress makes connection of one with the other and it can go on infinite ways. The javelin hurled to fell an animal in hunt connects with arrows sent flying and to the sidewinder missiles that can sense the heat of the target and kill.
Free will is not consigned to molecular behavior of physiology but conscious choices we do to address a problem facing us.
Free will of Adam who on an impulse ate the fruit is an impulse. Those who are by nature impulsive would need an attorney called Restraint in order to move ahead.
ii
Progress is innovations of a few given their widest range.
The Peking man may have settled for a bamboo cut sharp for a weapon as flint tools in the west. How such use ties up around the world gives Progress its value.
Foresight is how man satisfies his need at a specific time and place. Is it not irony that in course of time it shows up its shortcoming? The Bronze Age showed how inadequate Stone Age was. Now a bronze artifact is but a museum piece.
Progress in one direction also creates great many necessities in its wake. It is invisible and is according to cluster principle of which I have explained in previous posts.
To sum: Progress of man on foresight is like having only one paddle doing the job. Funny that hindsight is nowhere in view! Trouble with Progress as a result will have so many gray areas to work upon. Like the Nuclear Age we ushered in without realizing the rogue nations also will get hold of nuclear weapons some day.
Wealth will create more need for wealth and no way Progress can be expected to stop at some point and say,” Enough, we have reached the level of satiety! We are happy!’
Progress coming to think of it must have been Satan’s crowning achievement.

benny

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