6 pm: I reach the venue (Hotel Leela, Andheri East) to find out that the gig is for a party thrown by German Consulate so lots of foreigners (“from 15 countries”) are around. The show is an hour away and the in-charge from client side tells me “No references to caste, religion, or slang words including ‘F words’.” I was told to cut down my set duration from 30 to 15-20 if that’s what it takes to take out the bad words. She confessed she had seen my videos on youtube (Sadma Awards i think) where I used lots of hindi gaalis. I promised I won’t use any Hindi or English gaalis, and no reference to caste or religion.
I wish I could hold you in my arms.
I wish I could see you smile again,
for you have forsaken joy and happiness,
I wish I could hold your hand,
to walk the long forgotten roads.
I wish I could make you smile again,
I know I have denied you the joy of life,
I know I have made you cry,
I know I have hurt you often.
I wish I could talk to you again,
and make you feel the one true love of my life,
I wish I could go back in time,
to mend the ways in which I hurt you so bad,
that you are about to leave me forever.
I wish I could hold you in my arms,
So that I can sing to you,
I wish I could hold you in my arms,
and make you forget the past,
I wish I could hold you in my arms,
and forget everything. — Dr. Yogesh. D
This is tribute to our planet earth, please do not be confused by the choice of words
Consciousness is a loosely defined or ill defined term in most instances. Here I would like to make my contribution to that confusion.
In almost all cases, when we try to define consciousness, what we inadvertently do is to think only about the human beings and their capacity for consciousness. Till date most leading philosophers and biologists have mostly failed to apply that concept to organisms other than primates at the most.
For the purpose of encompassing the experiences of all living organisms I would define consciousness as “The awareness of any organism to its surroundings”. This definition does not include the quantitative measure of consciousness and the levels of consciousness in any particular species.
What use does this definition have? By defining this way, I would like to point out the basic physiologic processes of consciousness in any species and this will in turn lead to applying the concept not only to beings with a brain but to all living organisms and cells.
I will give you a few examples to illustrate my point. Take for example a bacterium, it is a prokaryotic single celled organism which, can we consider this as capable of having any consciousness? Not if you define consciousness as a product of neurons.
Now let us consider what this individual bacterium does and how it interacts with its surroundings. A bacterium needs to feed, so it needs to correctly identify which is food and which is not, it needs to identify what is there in its’ surroundings in order to survive and replicate, so how does it achieve this?
The answer to that is in the multitude of chemical interactions that occur on the surface of the bacterial cell wall as well as inside this bacteria. Bacteria have numerous cell surface proteins and other molecules which help the bacteria in identifying different types of other molecules, including other bacteria and viruses and even many eukaryotic cells which it comes in contact with, thus leading to chnages inside this single celled organism either to gulp in the molecule, or to replicate, or to secrete toxins and so on.
Now, the bacteria is reacting to the external factors in its surroundings, even though its capacity to identify the other molecules is limited by the space and it being a single celled organism, but it still does interact with a variety of other molecules, all that is happening inside and on the cell surface of this bacterium is plain chemical interactions, it does not think as we do, but it does not need to do the complex thinking because it is a simple single celled organism, on the other hand complex, multicellular organisms need better capabilities than that because of the difference in supplying the required nutrition to the cells which are arranged in differing variations. The cells in us differentiate during embryo genesis to form particular types of cells with set functions. The work of supplying nutrition and other things are taken care by a different type of cells.
Even in multicellular organisms, each individual cell is aware of its’ surroundings through intercellular and many other types of interactions such as hormonal, neuronal interactions. They are aware of their surroundings with the help of same molecules that help the bacteria, in some cases a slightly different type of molecule with differing modes of working , this can also be called as awareness of the cell. As demonstrated in the case of cancers, where in the cells lose these particular molecules or their functions due to mutations.
Consciousness applies to single cells and it applies to multicellular organisms with brains such as humans, but the capacity varies based on the requirements.
We humans have highly evolved brains, which is a collection of neurons which have a particular function. That is cognition, memory, homeostasis, language, integration of sensory inputs and so on, this evolution has made it necessary for human beings to develop a process of thinking to survive and adapt efficiently to varying environments. This also gives us the capacity to think abstract things such as mathematics, cosmology and the very process of evolution that lead to such beings, capable of reflection and theorization.
A human being develops from two half cells which unite to become one cell and go on multiplying and differentiating to finally produce a complete organism, and throughout this process and till the time we die, all that happens in our bodies is chemical interactions and reactions to different stimuli.
Each species has a different capacity for consciousness dependent on the constitution of the body, be it unicellular or multicellular, there is no need for mystifying the concept of consciousness for all practical purposes, be it philosophical or medical.
First of all, let me just write the popular version of the myth and then let us see what is absurd and to what degree.
MYTHOLOGICAL FANTASY :HOW GANESHA GOT HIS ELEPHANT HEAD ?
According to a Puranic tale, once Parvati was alone in the houseand wanted to take bath. So taking the dirt from her body she created a boy and ordered him. “To keep a watch at the door, and don’t allow anybody to enter the palace without my permission. Thus instructing the boy. Mother Parvati went in to take her bath. Meanwhile Lord Shiva too arrived at the scene. He saw a boy sitting at the doorway, but ignoring him he proceeded to enter the palace. At that the boy stood up and stopped Lord Shiva and Said, “My mother has instructed me not to allow anybody to enter the palace without her permission. Hence, I will not let you enter the palace. First tell me who are you? Instead of answering, Lor Shiva asked, who are you? Who is your Mother? As no one was eager to answer first so the dispute grew to the point of a fierce battle. Ultimately cutting the head of the boy, Lord Shiva entered the palace. Seeing Him, Parvati asked surprisingly! “How did you enter? Has nobody stopped you?” At that Lord Shiva asked, “Who was that boy? I have cut his head.
Hearing this, mother Parvati began to cry and said, “He was my own son. Now you give him a new lease of life” Lord Shiva then ordered his Ganas to go out and bring the head of any creature they saw first. It was an elephant that the Ganas found first. So they cut its head and brought it to Lord Shiva. Putting the elephant head at the boy’s torso, Lord Shiva infused a new lease of life in him. Thus, Ganesha got the head of an elephant and came to be known as Gajanana Ganesha one with an elephant head.
Now, let’s see how coherent this story is..
1. why does a goddess need to take bath? How did she get dirty? can Gods also get dirty, gods are supposedly all powerful and stuff, I just can’t grasp the idea that a powerful goddess like Parvati was living in a house (Where is this house? isn’t her house Kailash, whatever that means) and why did she need to go anywhere to take a bath? couldn’t she just become invisible?
2. Why the hell did Parvati create anything from the dirt from her body? If all she wanted was to create someone, why didn’t she just create him from nothing? She created someone so large as to fit an elephants head later on, then one can only guess how much dirt she needed to create him and shows how filthy this lady was… no wonder she needed a bath….
3. Aren’t gods supposed to know past, future and present, then she very well knew her husband Shiva is going to come while she was taking bath and is going to kill her creation, then why the fuck did she even create him?
4. Now coming to Shiva and Ganesha’s fight, why did they even fight? didn’t Shiva know that this poor piece of dirt sitting at the gate was created by his wife and that wife of his was taking bath, how moronic can a story get or a god?
5. Why the hell did Shiva send his ganas to kill a poor animal and get its head? why couldn’t he pick up the severed head and fix it with some (quickfix maybe) of his magic? was he a moron not to use his magic? or was he just another mythical character who was over hyped???????
After all this, he shows extraordinary surgical skills and transplants an elephant’s head on to that poor product of dirt…
What an amazing story… This can only be believed in India..
As per the abrahamic religions if a judgement day ever comes, or as per Hinduism if I were to ever attain moksha (I should, as per the texts, because all I have done in my life is save people’s lives and be honest) and meet any of the gods, I will spit in his face and ask him,
1. How dare you create all the universe and animals capable of thinking just because you had nothing better to do and wanted to enjoy the misery of countless beings when you being all powerful and all knowing could have chosen either not to create anything at all or create a perfect universe filled with happiness.
2. If anybody has done anything wrong in their lives, it is not their fault because you chose to create them that way, so you are responsible for everything hence you deserve to be in hell not them.
3. I have better morality than you so it will be better for you as well every living thing in the universe if you gave all your power to me so that I can undo what you have done.
What do you say people, would this be a good opening statement with any “god”?