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31 luglio 2012

I Segreti di Arunachala


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Scritto da T. K. Sundaresa Iyer
Lunedì 04 Agosto 2008 18:16


"Quello è il luogo santo! Di tutti Arunachala è il più sacro. E' il cuore del mondo. Sappi che è il Cuore-Centro Segreto e Sacro di Siva. In quel luogo Egli abita sempre come la gloriosa collina di Aruna "- Skanda Purana.

Quale è la Via della Montagna? La montagna è Arunachala e ci sono due percorsi uno per la cima e l'altro intorno la base.

Arunachala splende come Paramatma, il Supremo Sé manifesto, il Sé di tutte le creature, non solo degli uomini, ma anche degli esseri Celesti. Questo Sé è Bhagavan Ramana che dichiarò, "Annamalai[1] è il mio Sè."

Questo implica che lui è il Sé e non i tre corpi, grossolano, sottile e causale pertinenti ai tre stati di veglia, sogno e sonno profondo, è l’Autoconsapevole Testimone di tutti e tre. In quello Stato Supremo egli è lo schermo sul quale viene proiettato il film dei nomi e delle forme; è anche la luce che Lo rivela e l’essere che lo vede. E' Arunachala, il Sè di tutto. Lo abbiamo visto qui, sulla terra, come Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi il grande tracciatore del sentiero.

Solevamo andare alla caverna di Virupaksha dove viveva, al boschetto di mango o ovunque si trovasse, perché lui era sia la via sia la meta e non c'era altra felicità comparabile a quella di essergli vicino ed assorbire la Sua grazia raggiante di benevolenza. Sul percorso verso la vetta, partendo dal gopuram settentrionale del tempio di Arunachalesvara, il primo punto di riferimento è la Caverna di Guhai Namasivaya, la dimora del famoso Guru che ebbe un discepolo ancora più famoso chiamato anche Namasivaya. Guru Guhai mandò il discepolo a Chidambaram per fondare un suo proprio centro, fu qui che il discepolo venne conosciuto come Guru Namasivaya.

Andando avanti arriviamo alla caverna di Virupaksha, che era già famosa prima che Sri Ramana la santificasse con la sua presenza. Vi visse il grande Maestro Virupaksha e si dice che alla sua morte abbia convertito il suo corpo in un Vibhuti Lingam. All’interno vi è un piccolo sacrario dedicato a lui. La caverna ha la forma dell'OM e si dice che sedendo all’interno, se ne ode il suono.

Poco sopra la caverna di Virupaksha c'è Skandashram, una caverna più spaziosa, dove Bhagavan si stabilì anni dopo. Fu qui che sorse, intorno a lui, il primo ashram con il cibo cucinato da sua madre. La caverna fu ampliata in seguito con una costruzione.

Fu intercettata una sorgente da cui, da allora, si è avuto un perenne approvvigionamento di acqua e furono piantati anche alcuni alberi. La manutenzione di Skandashram è strettamente riservata all'Ashram. E' uno dei luoghi che i devoti dovrebbero visitare.

Più in alto il percorso gira intorno al pendio est e, direttamente sotto il picco principale, da piccole crepe di un enorme roccia sgorgano le Sette Sorgenti da cui scorre perennemente acqua fresca anche nella stagione più calda.

Appena sopra le Sorgenti c'è l'ingresso di un’altra caverna, fresca e profonda, in cui Bhagavan si sedeva spesso con i suoi devoti. Anche Santi e Rishi vi avevano dimorato nel passato.


Da lì fino al picco principale c'è una ripida salita e ci si può impiegare tanto quanto tutto il percorso da Virupaksha alle Sette sorgenti.

Finalmente raggiungiamo la sommità, dove c'è una grande pietra piatta con su enormi piedi intagliati nella roccia. E’ qui che ogni anno alla festa di Kartikai viene posto un enorme calderone di ghee (burro chiarificato) per accendere la fiamma e onorare Shiva.

Qual è il significato dei piedi?

Sono i piedi di Arunachala. Andate sulla cima e li troverete: perché in Arunachala (il Supremo) non c'è né sopra né sotto, non ci sono parti, c'è solo totalità.

Sul pendio settentrionale, lontano dal percorso, c'è il luogo dove Arunagiriswara, il grande Siddhapurusha, lo Spirito di Arunachala, dimora sotto un enorme bajan. E’ il "Dio nella forma di Arunachala", adorato nel grande tempio di Tiruvannamalai.

Dice una antica leggenda: chi riesce a trovare la via di questo Saggio, o Spirito, della sua dimora, quasi inaccessibile, riceverà la Realizzazione. Solo Sri Ramana è riuscito a farlo, era già Realizzato. Si potrebbe riconoscerne il simbolo della diretta via della ricerca del Sé, che Bhagavan Sri Ramana sia sceso dal suo inaccessibile ritiro, ai piedi della Collina dove sorge l’Asram, per rendere accessibile a tutti la via senza bisogno di cercare l’antico Siddapurusha.

Bhagavan diceva che c’erano molti sentieri per la vetta. In verità soleva arrampicarsi fino ad essa, da Skandashram, spesso senza seguire nessun sentiero, ed era di nuovo giù in meno di un ora. Parlava anche di caverne e di Siddha o Saggi con poteri soprannaturali che vi dimorano. Ci sono leggende di città e giardini, e di grandi anime assise in perpetuo tapas che cercano di raggiungere l'Identità Consapevole col Dio Arunachala che è lo stato naturale e permanente di Bhagavan. Quando qualcuno, una volta, gli domandò se tutto ciò esiste solo nella mente, mosse la sua mano indicando intorno il mondo fisico dei fenomeni dell’esistenza quotidiana, dicendo, "Così come questo."

Stranamente ancor più enfasi è posta sul percorso intorno la collina. Bhagavan mostrava sempre interesse e guardava compiaciuto quando i devoti intraprendevano questo percorso, pradakshina (giro intorno alla montagna). Domandava spesso a che ora avevano iniziato, quanto avevano impiegato, e in quali luoghi si erano riposati. Poco tempo fà il Maggiore Taneja, un devoto del Punjab, che venne qui per primo durante la vita di Bhagavan, stava facendo pradakshina notte dopo notte, ed aveva intenzione il giorno seguente di arrampicarsi sulla vetta, ma quella notte sognò che stava in piedi davanti alla collina ed una voce proveniente di fronte gli disse: "perché dovresti andare sulla cima? Il mio fuoco è alla base."

Il cammino di otto miglia intorno la collina va da est a ovest, vale a dire che la collina deve restare sempre sulla propria destra, è un pellegrinaggio e presuppone che sia fatto a piedi nudi e ad andatura lenta, in un stato di rimembranza o meditazione. E’ detto che ciò che si desidera o si prega durante la pradakshina sia concesso, ma è detto anche che è meglio non desiderare, perchè è la via dell’assenza di desideri, ed ogni desiderio o preghiera, per quanto nobile possa sembrare, è un'affermazione del limitato falso-sé che desidera. Questo è un ostacolo alla realizzazione del Sé, che è privo di desideri.

La pradakshina viene fatta spesso di notte, specialmente di luna piena o quasi piena, perché per la maggior parte dell'anno fa troppo caldo per camminare di giorno.

La maggior parte dei devoti, oggi, iniziano dall'Ashram. Silenziosamente prima di partire cercano la grazia di Bhagavan. Secondo una antica tradizione Brahmina, un Brahmino dovrebbe partire dopo un bagno nell'Indra Tirtha o vasca, sul lato orientale della città. Da là dovrebbe andare fino ai cancelli dei grandi templi per prostrarsi, e poi avviarsi lentamente meditando sul Signore Arunachala.

Anche partendo dall'Ashram, ci si aspetta che si passi attraverso il tempio di Arunachaleswara, ma questo accade solo sulla via del ritorno.

Le otto direzioni dello spazio intorno il percorso sono segnate da monoliti che stilizzano un toro sacro , una vasca ed uno Siva Lingam. Sri Ramanashram è al punto più a sud accanto al mantapam o minuscola cappella di Dakshinamurthi. Nella mitologia indù Dakshinamurthi (Rivolto a Sud) è Siva, manifestato come un giovane circondato da discepoli anziani a cui insegna in silenzio. Il Guru è il polo Nord e per tradizione rivolto a sud. Bhagavan è stato associato spesso a Dakshinamurthi.

Verso ovest c'è la vasca sacra e il lingam di Unnamulai, vale a dire di Uma, la Consorte di Siva, che è venuta sulla terra, ad Arunachala, a fare tapas. Il tapas fu guidato dal Rishi Gautama[2] il cui Ashram è proprio accanto alla sua vasca. Il mito è questo: "Uma, una volta, per gioco, mise le sue mani sopra gli occhi di Siva. Questi, chiudendoli, fece si che tutto l'universo entrasse in pralaya o dissoluzione, poiché tutto esiste solo nella Sua vista. In penitenza, Uma dovette discendere e sottoporsi ad austerità su Arunachala, prima di essere di nuovo riassorbita come parte integrante di Siva."

Questi vecchi miti non sono sempre facili da interpretare. Secondo l’insegnamento indù una fase della manifestazione dell'universo è seguita da una fase di risoluzione, finché tutto è riassorbito nell’uniformità dell’indifferenziato.

Uma, la Consorte di Siva (conosciuta anche con altri nomi come Durga, Parvati o Kali secondo il ruolo che deve giocare), significa Energia Divina o Verbo. E’ Lei che crea, ma, poiché tutta la creazione contiene in sé stessa il seme della distruzione, l’espandersi della decadenza, l’apparire della morte, è anche lei che distrugge e conduce al pralaya. Durante il pralaya l'Energia Divina non è più manifesta come Consorte di Siva, ma subisce una purificazione per un nuovo ciclo di manifestazione.

Dopo aver completato il suo tapas si dice che Uma andò intorno ad Arunachala, nella notte di luna piena del mese di Kartikai, e fu riassorbita da Siva; ed è in commemorazione di ciò che la luce viene accesa sulla vetta della montagna ogni anno in questa data.

Nel corso del suo tapas, Uma ha dovuto lottare ed uccidere il demone Mahishasura, che l'aveva attaccata. Lo fece nel suo aspetto di Durga. Questa lotta con la forza del male è commemorata dalla vasca di Khadga e, accanto essa, dal Lingam Papanasa, quello è il lingam che distrugge i peccati. Una figura della Madre Durga, posta vittoriosa sopra la testa del vinto Mahishasura, si vede nel vicino tempio a Pavalakunru. Questo luogo è molto popolare fra quelli che chiedono la concessione di una grazia.

Anche Bhagavan da giovane dimorò per qualche tempo a Pavalakunru, qui c'è uno Sri Cakra che tenne nelle sue mani durante la consacrazione nel tempio.

Proseguendo intorno la collina, fra Gautamashram e la vasca della Madre Uma, c'è l'antico villaggio di Adiannamalai. Qui si trova un sacro e antico tempio e le persone che camminano intorno alla collina si fermano per onorare. E’ il tempio di Sri Manickavachakar, autore del Tiruvachakam, uno dei più estatici poeti-santi Tamil.

Girando dal lato est della collina, arriviamo al tempio e sacrario di uno Swami dei nostri tempi Isana Desina vissuto nel XVIII secolo. Era un santo dai grandi poteri che, si dice, abbia conseguito le ashtama siddhis mentre aspettava per fare la sua offerta. Si dice che è molto benevolo e concede la sua grazia non solo agli indù, ma anche a musulmani e occidentali che pregano nel suo sacrario.

Il percorso intorno ad Arunachala è un pellegrinaggio molto sacro. Come si può intuire la collina stessa è uno Sri Chakra, una Ruota Sacra. Non c’è giorno o notte senza che qualcuno gli giri intorno. Alcuni devoti dedicano un giorno fisso la settimana, alcuni tutti i giorni di luna piena, alcuni per un ciclo regolare di quaranta giorni consecutivi, alcuni tutti i giorni.

Naturalmente ci sono occasioni particolarmente auspicabili come quella della Sivaratri, la Notte di Siva, e Kartikai la notte in cui viene accesa la luce sulla cima del Colle. Santo in sé; il percorso è reso ancora più santo da tutti i grandi santi e Rishi che lo hanno calcato, persino dalla stessa Madre Uma.

E in tempi recenti da Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi che finché salute e vigore sono durati, ci andava qualche volta solo, qualche volta con un intero corpo di devoti. Si dice che il pellegrino è accompagnato da anime invisibili di deva e Rishi.

Questo esteriormente; interiormente la Via della Montagna è il percorso di Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, il percorso della ricerca del Sé, il sentiero che conduce all'esperienza "io sono l'Atma, non sono il corpo perituro".

Come ci è data questa esperienza? Dalla Grazia del Guru. Il Guru è sia la via sia la Meta. Arunachala è aperta a tutti quelli su cui è discesa la sua Grazia, come la stessa Ramanachala.

Possa Sri Ramana Arunachala tagliare il nodo dell’ ignoranza originaria e condurci attraverso la sua via, alla Meta finale.

[1] Annamalai è un altro nome di Arunachala, letteralmente 'Suprema Montagna'
[2] Non Buddha Gautama


fonte

26 luglio 2012

Copyright and Copyleft

Did Osho ever transfer His copyrights to others?


"Things can be copyrighted, thoughts cannot be copyrighted, and certainly meditations cannot be copyrighted. They are not things of the marketplace. Nobody can monopolize anything. But perhaps the West cannot understand the difference between an objective commodity and an inner experience. For ten thousand years the East has been meditating and nobody has put trademarks upon meditations.

Osho
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Assignment

No, He didn’t. Two documents have come to light that may (or may not) have been signed by Osho. These are publishing licenses for some of His books. (See 'What are the documents OIF is relying on to claim copyright ownership?' for the documents and a complete discussion of their legal effects.]

Copyrights are legal rights that must be transferred clearly in writing. They can’t be transferred through inference or oral statements. There has to be a valid written document that clearly transfers all legal interest in the copyrights. If such a document ever existed, which isn’t likely, we don’t have that document now.

The question of copyright ownership was part of the US trademark case, but none of the documents produced in discovery or in evidence in that case over nine years of litigation are assignments of copyright ownership. In other words, OIF appears to have no such documents to produce. (Since the Trademark Board did not have direct jurisdiction over copyrights, it could not decide whether OIF, Zurich owned copyrights, only how the claim to own them impacted the trademark claim.)

A copyright claimant for Osho’s copyrights has to have what is called a complete chain of title linking Osho to it. To really own Osho’s copyrights OIF would have to prove that Osho assigned copyright ownership to RF, RF assigned it to RFI, and RFI assigned it to OIF, Zurich. If any link in this chain is missing, OIF gets nothing. The weakest link in this chain is the first document of 1978 (Document 1), which not only can’t be authenticated, but is on its face a license, not a copyright assignment. Document 2 is essentially the same as Document 1 and could, at most, transfer publishing rights in unidentified works or the eight works for Document 1. (See What are the documents OIF is relying on to claim copyright ownership?)

This means that OIF does not own Osho’s copyrights by assignment, as it has claimed.

Work-for-hire

There is one other theory that OIF, Zurich has tried to use to justify copyright ownership. OIF filed copyrights for books and recordings of discourses given by Osho with the US Library of Congress for several titles of Osho’s work claiming that OIF owned copyrights through a work-for-hire agreement with Osho. (It’s important to remember that a registration is not proof of ownership and means nothing if OIF didn’t actually own the copyrights.)

Generally a copyright attaches to a creative work as soon as the work becomes “fixed,” for example, put in writing, recorded, music put into notations, photograph taken, or artwork made. The person creating the work is presumed to own the work he or she creates. If someone creates something on behalf of someone else and is paid for the work, the copyright might belong to the person financing the project. In the US this is true if, and only if, the creator of the project signs a work-for-hire agreement before the project is completed specifying that the rights in the work will belong to the financer.

Osho was never employed by any foundation, never was paid for giving discourses, and never signed a work-for-hire agreement with anyone. The two license agreements Osho was alleged to have signed both specified that Osho got to choose whether or not He included any discourse in the publishing license agreement (Documents 1 & 2) In other words, He kept control over His work and only agreed that He might grant limited rights (a publishing license) after the work was created (discourse recorded) and a copyright had been (attached) that belonged to Him.

Neither Theory Can Succeed

The only reason the RFI/OIF, Zurich would have registered copyrights in the US claiming a work for hire basis for ownership is because they realized that the documents allegedly signed by Osho were not assignments of copyright ownership, but license agreements. They may have hoped that they would have more luck passing off the agreements as work-for-hire agreements than as assignments of copyrights. In the US trademark case OIF opted to make the assignment of ownership argument instead.

In truth, neither of these theories can ultimately succeed. The license agreements allegedly signed by Osho clearly do not transfer any ownership rights in Osho’s copyrights. A transfer of ownership rights would have been just as necessary for a right-to-hire agreement as it would be for an assignment of copyright agreement, and there is no document that transfers ownership rights from Osho.

Osho’s Understanding

Though there is no existing original of the document allegedly signed by Osho in 1978 (Document 1), it is possible that Osho signed this very limited agreement with RF India. The language of that agreement makes it absolutely clear that Osho intended to reserve the rights to control His own work at that point in time. He set all kinds of conditions on the license He granted and reserved the right to withhold future work from the license and to revoke the license and give it to someone else. 


The fact that no original is known to exist may indicate that Osho decided to end that license and asked that the original be destroyed. That isn’t the kind of document that would have been lost otherwise.



One more thing is clear, and that is that no document exists that transferred Osho’s copyright ownership to anyone else. This means that Osho owned His rights during His entire life and OIF has no valid claim to copyright ownership today.

Two websites very popular among osho sannyasins have recently received notice from osho international foundation (OIF) for copyrights infringement. In the past few years many beautiful osho websites are pulled down by osho international foundation. This time the attacked sites are www.oshorajneesh.com and www.messagefrommasters.com

http://www.oshorajneesh.com/o.htm was attacked for freely sharing:
  • osho books
  • osho songs
  • osho meditation music
  • osho silver platter
  • osho photos
  • osho arts and osho signatures
the twist in this osho copyright controversy is the legal information provided by Osho Friends International (OFI) Holland legal adviser: Ma Deva Sangeet.

Ma Deva Sangeet is the sannyasin who won osho trademark case for us.According to facts made available OFI website about osho copyrights it is very clear that NO BODY OWNS OSHO COPYRIGHTS but unfortunately very few people knows real facts of osho copyright case and this ignorance of sannyasins about osho copyrights is being exploited by osho international foundation to shut down beautiful osho websites spreading masters message worldwide. so what can we do in spreading osho message worldwide just spread this pdf which explains that no one owns osho copyrights

spread this information worldwide to all sannyasins and osho centers so they become aware of the legal facts to osho copyrights and to osho trademarks and to their legal rights as osho centers worldwide for more details visit www.oshofriendsinternational.com


Osho International claims copyright on talks and images of Osho. I disagree. Osho is totally wild and absolutely free. That's why I made this clip. Osho International banned the clips I made on Osho from YouTube. But you can still watch them. 
Visit: http://www.osho.damin.nl You are most welcome!

 source

25 luglio 2012

L'azzeramento del pensiero


Zero è Nulla.
Il non esserci del muro che permette la porta.
Il vuoto primordiale che fa essere tutto. Il cerchio che finisce dove inizia. Zero è Tutto. Il posto liberato di ogni cifra. La cavità da cui le cose emergono.
Gli antichi non possedevano la cifra che rappresenta il posto vuoto di qualsiasi numero. Mentre i nomi di tutti gli altri numeri ci derivano dal latino, (UNUS, DUUS, TRES, QUATTUOR, QUINQUE, SEX, SEPTEM, OCTO, NOUEM, DEKEM),nIl nome dello zero ci deriva dall'arabo zifr, da cui proviene anche la parola che significa qualsiasi numero: cifra.


Lo Zero fu introdotto in Europa dal matematico e viaggiatore pisano Leonardo Fibonacci, che all'inizio del XIII secolo scrisse un libro (il Liber Abaci) in cui si insegnava secondo il metodo degli arabi a fare i conti senza il pallottoliere, cioè con la carta e la penna. Da questo libro ci provengono anche le parole arabe algebra e algoritmo.


Grazie allo Zero (e all'algebra), la Toscana del XIII secolo divenne la culla della finanza internazionale. Nel 1252 la città di Firenze coniò la prima moneta europea a parità aurea (il Fiorino d'oro), il cui valore nominale equivaleva, cioè, a quello del metallo che vi era contenuto.


Fino a quel momento, e dai tempi della caduta dell'Impero Romano (476 d.C.), le monete europee avevano misurato il loro valore in rapporto alle monete arabe o bizantine (le sole coniate in oro); da quel momento in poi, la finanza europea si rese nuovamente indipendente dal mondo orientale.


Graficamente lo Zero è rappresentato da un cerchio, che racchiude la cavità del vuoto, il nulla (o il tutto) originario.



La proprietà del cerchio è di finire dove comincia, come il serpente Ouroboros  ricorre spesso nelle raffigurazioni delle opere alchemiche, in quanto simbolo della ciclicità del tempo e del "Uno il Tutto" ("En to Pan"). 




Ouroboros, dal greco "ουροβóρος" (colui che si divora la coda) è un simbolo molto antico che rappresenta un serpente che si morde la coda, ricreandosi continuamente e formando così un cerchio. È un simbolo associato all'alchimia, allo Gnosticismo e all'Ermetismo.

Non ha lati, o ne ha infiniti. Come lo Zero, è tondo il mondo, la testa dell'uomo, l'uovo, l'occhio e tutte le cose circolari o cave.

Alla parola zero rassomiglia nero, cioè l'assenza di ogni colore.  In questo vuoto di colore accade la luce.
Lo Zero è il femmineo/androgino originario: non tanto la femmina, quanto la madre del maschio e della femmina.



Dallo ZERØ all'azzeramento del pensiero

Oggi pare che l'umanità, abbia paura della propria intelligenza e prediliga l'azzeramento del pensiero. 
Siamo immersi filosoficamente oggi nel nichilismo, oppressi dal nichil, dal niente. Anche l'economia è fondata sul niente: zero interessi, tasso zero... Eppure di questo nulla che tanto ci perseguita, nulla, appunto, sappiamo. 
Lo zero ormai è diventato un concetto morale: "Sei uno zero in questa società!", spesso sentiamo frasi di questo tipo. 
Lo zero, per il nostro pregiudizio è il simbolo anti Tutto per eccellenza, anche se lo zero ha una storia affascinante, ricca di Tutto. 
Da un punto di vista della fisica, sappiamo che da un Universo visto come pieno, composto di Etere, siamo passati al concetto di un universo "vuoto".  
Attraversando la storia del concetto di Vuoto attraversiamo anche la storia dello Zero (John D. Barrow "Da zero a infinito - La grande storia del nulla" Ed. Mondadori), essendo i numeri la conoscenza universale condivisibile con tutta l'umanità. 
Lo zero è stato scoperto dai Babilonesi, dai Maya, e dagli Indiani dell'India. 
Per i primi lo scopo dello zero era riservato all'economia, dai Maya è stato utilizzato con finalità estetiche, per gli Indiani lo zero aveva uno scopo in matematica e in campo filosofico. 
In principio per tutte e tre le civiltà, lo zero aveva la funzione di indicare l'assenza di una cifra, ma presto divenne anch'esso cifra. 
La parola zero nel linguaggio indiano e sanscrito ha diversi significati, viene rappresentato con un cerchio. 
Lo zero viene chiamato in India sunya, che significa letteralmente vuoto, ma in realtà esibisce una ricchezza di concetti incredibile.  
Nella filosofia indiana esso significa abhra, ambara, antariksha (atmosfera), akàsha (etere), ananta (l'immensità dello spazio), bindu (punto), gagana (la volta del cielo), jaladharapatha (viaggio per mare), kha (spazio), nabha (cielo, atmosfera), pura (completezza), randhra (buco), skùnya/sunya (vuoto). 
Lo zero rappresenta un Mandala, la meditazione che si compie guardando una figura per giungere al nulla, al vuoto. 
Lo zero esprime la dimensione mistica orientale, mentre l'antica Grecia seguì una dimensione filosofica logica dell'essere pieno: "la natura ha orrore del vuoto"; la civiltà greca non riuscì, infatti, a concepire lo Zero: i suoi più grandi matematici non vi riuscirono.  
La culla della civiltà occidentale, la Grecia, appunto, non concepiva il vuoto semplicemente perché non rientrava nella sua logica. Il sistema matematico decimale ci arriva dagli Arabi, i quali vi arrivarono attraverso lo studio del "Manuale astronomico migliorato di Brahma", un antico manuale indiano. Gli Arabi, dunque, concepirono un sistema numerico che, per la verità, dobbiamo più esattamente denominare "indo _ arabo". 
In Occidente, nell'Epoca Antica e Moderna, era pericoloso parlare del nulla, perchè si poteva rischiare l'accusa di eresia.  
Il vuoto venne indagato poi dalla scienza. Gli scienziati del Seicento cercarono di costruire il vuoto attraverso vari tentativi tra cui l'esperimento degli emisferi di Magdeburgo fatto da Otto von Guericke nel 1654. 
 
Ai giorni nostri due gruppi di astronomi, servendosi dei più potenti mezzi tecnologici, hanno raccolto prove convincenti sul fatto che il vuoto cosmico esista e che tale vuoto stia accelerando l'espansione dell'universo. 
La presenza del vuoto, a quanto sembra, è reale e pare condizionare le sorti di tutto l'Universo. Ma del vuoto, noi, che ce ne facciamo? Che posto occupa nella nostra vita affettiva e mentale? 
Oggi pare che il mondo abbia assunto, come principio categorico, l'impoverimento del mondo concettuale. Compresi i concetti che possono riguardare sia il vuoto che l'essere.

Oggi pare che l'umanità abbia paura della propria intelligenza e prediliga l'azzeramento di pensiero in virtù del quale può evitare di affrontare direttamente sia il concetto di vuoto che il concetto di Tutto.  
Da un lato le ricerche scientifiche e filosofiche tendono a una unitarietà tra pieno, vuoto, materia, spirito, essere, nulla, una unità che tenda ad una essenzializzazione della logica; dall'altro tutta la ricchezza del patrimonio umano pare spaventarci e la fuga da tale patrimonio, da tale ricchezza di pensiero, di intuizione, di informazione di cui disponiamo, iperalimenta il suo contrario: superficialità, stupidità, impoverimento di ogni contenuto, inintelligenza, barbarie. 
Dal pensiero dello zero siamo pervenuti così all'azzeramento del pensiero! 
Al di là del dato indiscutibile della presenza di "ombre", così come della presenza di risorse in ogni essere umano, ho notato come spesso, quando non riusciamo a trovare la nostra strada, quando non riusciamo a esprimere concretamente la nostra natura più profonda, la visione dell'umanità che ci invade è una visione di non libertà, di angoscia, di sofferenza.  
Senza negare le sofferenze del mondo, io penso che sia il nostro non sentirci liberi ad alimentare e produrre pensieri e visioni di illibertà. La proiezione contribuisce alla formazione sempre più potente di un circolo vizioso in cui si acutizza la percezione della nostra già limitata libertà. Quando invece respiriamo in noi stessi la libertà, anche la visione che abbiamo dell'umanità è visione di libertà.  
E tale vissuto diventa energia immediatamente circolante e arricchente la libertà e il pensiero del mondo. Il rapporto che ciascuno ha con se stesso, quindi, non è separato dal rapporto tra se stessi e l'umanità. 
La vita intellettualmente attiva, la vita dedicata ad alimentare la cultura, dedicata ad alimentare la relazione umana, alimenta e "perfeziona" la dimenzione affettiva, ed emotiva, perché la crescita e lo sviluppodella persona, quando comprendono la dimensione dell'intelligenza, comprendono tutte le dimensioni, non ne escudono nessuna. 
L'azzeramento del pensiero, ovvero agire la "banalità del male" che è appunto assenza del pensiero, alimenta una regressione affettiva, un'incapacità di vivere appieno anche la sfera emotiva, la sfera delle passioni. 
Mi sembra necessario soffermarmi sul fatto che solo sviluppando la facoltà del pensiero, alimentando la mente attiva, creiamo una vita attiva e possiamo arrivare a vivere una matura dimensione affettiva ed emotiva.  
Non il contrario; spesso la ricerca di vivere emozioni forti, nasconde l'incapacità o il blocco nel vivere appieno la facoltà intellettuale, condizione che ci consegna alla necessaria inevitabile e terribile ripetizione e sudditanza dai soli modelli istintuali della sfera affettiva ed emozionale, sfera che non possiamo conoscere e dunque neanche vivere se non con il mezzo della riflessione. 
L'azzeramento del pensiero ci rema contro, rema contro l'umano, ed è un atteggiamento in cui rischiamo tutti di cadere: rischiamo tutti di manifestare quell'assenza, quel nulla che anima inconsciamente il mondo; quel vuoto, quel nulla che non rientra nel complesso concetto rappresentato dalla storia dello zero, a sommi capi qui riassunta, ma concerne la logica della nientificazione che sa solo aggredire la dimensione soggettuale, schiacchiarla e ridurla a pura oggettualità. 
Ma se tutto è oggetto, tutto scompare, tutto si distrugge. Tutto si consuma.
No, così non sia.
Bibliografia:
JohnD. Barrow "Da zero a infinito - La grande storia del nulla" Ed. Oscar Mondadori

24 luglio 2012

What is Advaita or Non-Duality?



"So, Swami-ji, what would you say that Advaita is?" 

The eager young woman crossed her legs and sat expectantly, pencil poised above a pristine pad of paper.

"It simply means ‘not two' - the ultimate truth is nondual," replied the Sage, reclining in a large and comfortable-looking armchair and not sitting in an upright lotus position, as he ought to have been, for the sake of the photograph that she had just taken, if nothing else.

She continued to wait for further elucidation before beginning to write but it soon became apparent that the answer had been given. 

"But is it a religion? Do you believe in God, for example?"

"Ah, well, that would depend upon what you mean by those words, wouldn't it?" he responded, irritatingly. "If, by ‘religion', you mean does it have priests and churches and a band of followers who are prepared to kill non-believers, then the answer is no. If, on the other hand, you refer to the original, literal meaning of the word, namely to ‘bind again', to reunite the mistaken person that we think we are with the Self that we truly are, then yes, it is a religion. 

Similarly, if by ‘God' you mean a separate, supernatural being who created the universe and will reward us by sending us to heaven if we do what He wants, then the answer is no. If you use the term in the sense of the unmanifest, non-dual reality, then yes, I most certainly do believe in God."

The pencil raced across the paper, recording the answer for the benefit of the magazine's readers but, as the words clashed with previous ideas in her memory, the lack of a clear resolution of her questions was reflected by an increasing puzzlement in her expression.

He registered this with compassion and held out his hand towards her. 

"Give me a piece of paper from your pad." 

She looked up, mouth slightly open as she wondered why he could possibly want that. 

But she turned the pad over, carefully tore off the bottom sheet and placed it in his outstretched hand. He turned to the table at his right and deftly began to fold and refold the paper. After a few moments, he turned back and, before she had had time to see what he had done, he held the paper aloft and launched it into the air. 

It rose quickly and circled gracefully around the room before losing momentum and diving to meet a sudden end when its pointed nose hit a sauce bottle on the dining table. 

"Could you bring it back over here do you think?" he asked.

"So, what would you say that we have here?" he asked, as she handed it back to him.

"It's a paper aeroplane," she replied, with just a hint of questioning in her voice, since the answer was so obvious that she felt he must have some other purpose in mind.

"Really?" he responded and, in an instant, he screwed up the object and, with a practised, over-arm movement, threw it effortlessly in a wide arc, from which it landed just short of the waste paper basket in the corner of the room. 

"And now?" he asked.

"It's a screwed-up ball of paper", she said, without any doubt in her voice this time.

"Could you bring it back again, please", he continued. She did so, wondering if this was typical of such an interview, spending the session chasing about after bits of paper like a dog running after a stick. He took the ball and carefully unfolded it, spread it out on the table and smoothed his hand over it a few times before handing it back to her. 

"And now it is just a sheet of paper again," he said, "although I'm afraid it's a bit crumpled now!"

He looked at her, apparently anticipating some sign of understanding if not actual revelation but none was forthcoming. 

He looked around the room and, after a moment, he stood up, walked over to the window and removed a rose from a vase standing in the alcove. Returning to his seat, he held the rose out to her and asked, "What is this?"

She was feeling increasingly embarrassed as it was clear he was trying to explain something fundamental, which she was not understanding. Either that or he was mad or deliberately provoking her, neither of which seemed likely, since he remained calm and open and somehow intensely present. 

"It's a flower," she replied eventually.

He then deliberately took one of the petals between his right-hand thumb and fore-finger and plucked it. He looked at her and said, "And now?" She didn't reply, though it seemed that this time he didn't really expect an answer. He continued to remove the petals one by one until none remained, looking up at her after each action. 

Finally, he pulled the remaining parts of the flower head off the stem and dropped them onto the floor, leaving the bare stalk, which he held out to her. 

"Where is the flower now?" he asked. 

Receiving no reply, he bent down and picked up all of the petals, eventually displaying them in his open hand. "Is this a flower?" he asked.

She shook her head slowly. "It was a flower only when all of the petals and the other bits were all attached to the stem."

"Good!" he said, appreciatively. "Flower is the name that we give to that particular arrangement of all of the parts. Once we have separated it into its component parts, the flower ceases to exist. But was there ever an actual, separate thing called ‘flower'? All of the material that constituted the original form is still here in these parts in my hand.

"The paper aeroplane is an even simpler example. There never was an aeroplane was there? And I don't just mean that it was only a toy. There was only ever paper. To begin with, the paper was in the form of a flat sheet for writing on. 

Then, I folded it in various ways so that it took on an aerodynamic shape which could fly through the air slowly. The name that we give to that form is ‘aeroplane'. When I screwed it up, the ball-shape could be thrown more accurately. ‘Aeroplane' and ‘ball' were names relating to particular forms of the paper but at all times, all that ever actually existed was paper.

"Now, this sort of analysis applies to every ‘thing' that you care to think of. Look at that table over there and this chair on which you are sitting. What are they made of? You will probably say that they are wooden chairs?"

He looked at her questioningly and she nodded, knowing at the same time that he was going to contradict her. 

"Well, they are made of wood certainly, but that does not mean that they are wooden chairs! On the contrary, I would say that this, that you are sitting on, is actually chairy wood, and that object over there is tably wood. What do you say to that?"

"You mean that the thing that we call ‘chair' is just a name that we give to the wood when it is that particular shape and being used for that particular function?" she asked, with understanding beginning to dawn.

"Exactly! I couldn't have put it better myself. It is quite possible that I could have a bag full of pieces of wood that can be slotted together in different ways so that at one time I might assemble them into something to sit upon, another time into something to put food upon and so on. We give the various forms distinct names and we forget that they are ONLY names and forms and not distinct and separate things.

"Look - here's an apple," he said, picking one out of the bowl on the table and casually tossing it from one hand to the other before holding it up for her to examine. 

"It's round or to be more accurate, spherical; its reddish in colour and it has", he sniffed it, "a fruity smell. No doubt if I were to bite into it, I would find it juicy and sweet.

"Now all of these - round, red, fruity, juicy, sweet - are adjectives describing the noun ‘apple.' Or, to use more Advaitic terms, let me say that the ‘apple' is the ‘substantive' - the apparently real, separately existing thing - and all of the other words are ‘attributes' of the apple - merely incidental qualities of the thing itself. 

Are you with me so far?"She nodded hesitantly but, after a little reflection, more positively.

"But suppose I had carried out this analysis with the rose that we looked at a moment ago. I could have said that it was red, delicate, fragrant, thorny and so on. And we would have noted that all of those were simply attributes and that the actual existent thing, the substantive, was the rose. But then we went on to see that the rose wasn't real at all. It was just an assemblage of petals and sepals and so on - I'm afraid I am not a botanist! In the same way, we could say that the apple consists of seeds and flesh and skin. We may not be able to put these things together into any form different from an apple but Nature can.

"If you ask a scientist what makes an apple an apple, he will probably tell you that is the particular configuration of nucleotides in the DNA or RNA of the cells. There are many different species of apple and each one will have a slight variation in the chromosomes and it is that which differentiates the species. If you want to explain to someone what the difference is between a Bramley and a Granny Smith, you will probably say something like ‘the Bramley is large and green, used mainly for cooking and is quite sharp tasting, while the Granny Smith is still green but normally much smaller and sweeter'. But these are all adjectives or attributes. What is actually different is the physical makeup of the cell nuclei.

"But, if we look at a chromosome or a strand of DNA, are we actually looking at a self-existent, separate thing? If you look very closely through an electron microscope, you find that DNA is made up of four basic units arranged in pairs in a long, spiral chain. And any one of these units is itself made up of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, again arranged in a very specific way. So even those are not separate ‘things-in-themselves'; they are names given to particular forms of other, more fundamental things.

"And so we arrive at atoms - even the ancient Greeks used to think that everything was made up of atoms. Are these the final ‘substantives' with all of the apparent things in the world being merely attributes? Well, unfortunately not. Science has known for a long time that atoms mainly consist of empty space with electrons spinning around a central nucleus of protons and neutrons. And science has known for somewhat less time that these particles, which were once thought to be fundamental, are themselves not solid, self-existent things but are either made up of still smaller particles or are in the form of waves, merely having probabilities of existence at many different points in space.

"Still more recently, science claimed that all of the different particles are themselves made out of different combinations of just a few particles called quarks and that those are the ultimately existing things. But they have not yet progressed far enough. The simple fact of the matter is that every ‘thing' is ultimately only an attribute, a name and form superimposed upon a more fundamental substantive. 

We make the mistake of thinking that there really is a table, when actually there is only wood. We make the mistake of thinking that there is really wood, when actually there is only cellulose and sugars and proteins. We make the mistake of thinking there is protein when this is only a particular combination of atoms. Ultimately, everything in the universe is seen to be only name and form of a single substantive.

The journalist was transfixed; not exactly open-mouthed but her pencil had not moved for some time. 

Eventually, she asked in a small voice: "But then where do I fit into all of this?"

"Ah", he replied. "That again depends upon what you mean by the word ‘I'. Who you think you are - ‘Sarah' - is essentially no different from the table and chair. You are simply name and form, imposed upon the non-dual reality. Who you really are, however... well, that is quite different - you are that nondual reality. You see, in the final analysis, there are not two things; there is only nonduality. That is the truth; that is Advaita.


Thanks to Tawan for sending me this excellent article which articulates the inseparability of all things in existence, Advaita, the non-dual nature of truth. All pictures taken from Bob Seal's Non-Duality Cartoons


source

Limits of Human Perception


Limits of Human Perception


Figure 1 : The human eye has evolved to detect visible light in a very thin spectrum, and is functionally limited by density of photoreceptors and compression of visual data sent along the optic nerve.
Any discussion of psychedelic hallucination is a discussion of the spontaneous emergence of perceptual information within human consciousness. Human perception is limited by the capacity of sense organs (Fig. 1); the speed and architecture of the neural network; and the number of distinct perceptions the brain can analyze at any one time. Despite functional limitations, human consciousness is seamless, meaning that each perception and behavior flows smoothly from one to the next. When consciousness is stable perception and behavior is seamlessly integrated; when consciousness destabilizes perception and behavior loses cohesion until we are no longer in control of our thoughts and actions. Destabilization of consciousness can happen all at once, in the case of being knocked unconscious, but more often it happens incrementally as various aspects of consciousness enter into a low-power subconscious or unconscious state, as in going to sleep.
Psychedelics are unique in that they can both enhance and degrade perceptual limitations by orders of degrees; psychedelics can obscure and distort perceptual data or they can enhance resolution and generate expanded states of consciousness. These contrasting results may be dose dependent, but it is also possible that psychedelics simultaneously produce perceptual degradation and enhancement. Psychedelic hallucinations are often described as being beyond the limits of human imagination, a trait which is offered as de-facto evidence of expanded consciousness or supernatural origin. Since the boundaries of the human imagination can be modeled with some close degree of accuracy, any substantial discussion about the nature of psychedelic hallucination must therefore start with some basic assumptions about the limitations of human perception, and thus the limitations of expanded consciousness.
The Visual Spectrum

Figure 2 : The EM spectrum ranges from gamma rays, which have a very short wavelength and very high energy, to radio waves, which have a very long wavelength and very low energy. Visible light makes up a very small portion of the spectrum.
The human visual spectrum has evolved to work best in a small window of sunlight that penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere, comprising the white-light band seen in a rainbow (Fig. 2); roughly the 400-790 THz (terahertz) energy range, energy which oscillates on the order of hundreds of trillions of cycles per second. The smallest wavelength of visible light is violet, which is only 380 nm (nanometers) wide and travels with the highest frequency. Red, by contrast, is 750 nm long on the other end of the visible spectrum, and at twice the length it travels at half the frequency.1Unlike some organisms, the human eye does not see into ultraviolet or infrared rages, nor does it see microwaves, radio waves, x-rays, gamma rays, or anything that falls out of the visual spectrum. This applies to night vision and dark-adapted vision. The dark-adapted eye utilizes the rod cells as opposed to the cone cells of daylight vision; rod cells are more photosensitive and more numerous, but they lack the color sensitivity and detail resolution of daylight rendering.2

Figure 3 : A comparison of light waves and their formal properties.
Subjects on psychedelics often report increased luminosity and saturation of colors, as well as halos or auras of light surrounding objects. In closed-eye or low-light environments subjects report vividly saturated geometric matrices, often rendered in swirling palettes of fluorescent purple and neon green.3 All of these reports fall within the expected range of visible color spectrum, with the dark-adapted eye finding more sensitivity in the shorter-wavelength, higher-frequency, violet to green ranges (Fig. 3).
There is speculation that some aspects of psychedelic hallucination are the result of tuning the brain to receive radiation at a wider range than normal; bands associated with electromagnetic, metaphysical, morphogenetic, Akashic, or geomagnetic fields. The spectral argument posits that the human brain is like a radio receiver for consciousness, and psychedelics allow the user to tune the brain to new perceptual frequencies, possibly quantum or higher dimensional in nature. This metaphor may make intuitive sense, but no research exists to confirm any spectral advantage to psychedelics other than increased photosensitivity and some visual acuity at low doses.4,5,6 Subjective reports indicate that psychedelics may increase auditory or synesthetic sensitivity to background electromagnetic noise, and the perception of energy fields or auras emanating from living organisms is reported often enough to warrant further scientific scrutiny, but these claims have not been tested rigorously enough to be conclusive.7
Visual Frame Aliasing

Figure 4 : Comparison of EEG bands over one second of activity. Gamma (30-100Hz), Beta (12-30Hz), Alpha (8-12Hz), Theta (4-7Hz), and Delta (0-4Hz).
Seamless perception relies on rapid frame updating to render external changes in real time. Humans can render changes in reality at roughly 13-15 frames per second (fps, or Hz), which means that our perception of reality fully refreshes itself roughly once every 77 milliseconds (ms). Human frame perception is exploited by animation and film, which updates at 24 fps, and television, which updates near 30 fps. Computer monitors and high-definition televisions refresh at 60 Hz or higher, and at this rate human perception of motion is entirely seamless.8 The rate of human frame perception corresponds roughly to the alert Beta range of waking human consciousness (12-30 Hz) seen in EEG readings (Fig. 4).9 Any event which happens faster than 1/60th of a second (16.6 ms) falls between perceptual frames and is considered to be subliminal or imperceptible to human consciousness.10 Seamless frame rendering is also called temporal aliasing, and can be subverted by a variety of common phenomena, including stroboscopic lights which break motions into jerky snapshots, and wagon-wheel illusions where rotating spokes appear to stop or spin backwards.11,12,13

Figure 5 : Video feedback stacked as few as 8 to 16 frames deep is isomorphic of fractal recursion, visual echo, and nonlinear frame destabilization associated with psychedelic hallucination. Click for video.
In addition to retaining visual information, perceptual frames hold the totality of multi-modal sensory rendering. Smooth frame aliasing preserves semantic state information from one moment to the next, and retains fidelity of the limited information we keep active in our working memory. There is evidence that the brain can track multiple object layers for each frame;14 possibly corresponding to the number of distinct items we can normally hold in working memory, which is about seven.15 Frame rendering is a distributed cortical task modulated by the aminergic system. High aminergic modulation of the frontal lobe is a good indicator of external frame alertness. Any drug which interrupts the precise timing of the aminergic modulatory system will also disrupt the seamless nature of temporal frame aliasing in the same way that a strobe light disrupts the motion of a spinning wheel. Temporal aliasing hallucinations include frame stacking, frame delay, frame freezing, frame reverse, frame echo, and infinite frame regression; all of which are considered to be uniquely psychedelic (Fig. 5).16 The sensation of hallucinogenic frame stacking indicates that psychedelics may create a temporary frame decay buffer that allows for simultaneous multi-frame analysis and increased complexity of visual comprehension. Subverting or enhancing the functional limits of visual frame aliasing may be an indication of expanded consciousness.
Visual Frame Resolution
Human visual resolution is limited by a number of factors. The first limitation is the density and distribution of retina in the eye; 130 million photoreceptors feeding into 1.2 million optic projections, with a spatial compression ratio of roughly 100 to 1. Photoreceptors in the eye are distributed in rings with color-sensitive cones clustering towards the center and contrast-sensitive rods filling the periphery.17 Despite the large number of photoreceptors the actual field of vision is incomplete. Including the blind spot where the retina attaches to the optic nerve, as much as 20% of peripheral vision contains gaps that must be filled with progressive rendering. Incoming rings of visual data are then smoothed into completed lines and shades in the visual cortex; the image is then passed forward in two divergent projections for spatial and object analysis; and finally the finished image reaches multi-modal convergence in the PFC.18,19 This is a fair bit of signal juggling for a seamless process to handle at 15 frames per second.

Figure 6 : The peripheral drift illusion (PDI) is easily seen when the figure is in the periphery. Research suggests the illusion is based on temporal differences in luminance processing producing a signal that tricks the peripheral motion system.
Even though human vision employs elaborate compression and reconstruction techniques, the human eye can detect visual detail at resolutions into the micrometer range. From a meter’s distance the human eye cannot detect detail under 100 micrometers in length, making print resolutions of 300 dots-per-inch (DPI) entirely seamless. Some estimates put the detail of human visual resolution at 14 million pixels per the entire visual field; others limit vision by bandwidth of nearly 9000 kilobits per second; or by the 3D topographical field-rendering limit of 10 billion triangles per second, or 760 million triangles per frame.8 Human detail resolution is only reliable near the center of vision; many optical illusions exploit perceptual filling functions of the periphery (Fig. 6).20,21,22 Given the mechanical shortcomings of peripheral rendering, these estimates should be taken as visual saturation points as opposed to functional capacities.
The rendering of visual information may be the most complex and energy-intensive task of the human brain. Seamless visual perception requires precise neural firing. When perception destabilizes the visual field falls apart; the most commonly reported form of visual destabilization is diplopia or double-vision. Since visual rendering is so rich and complex it is potentially the easiest part of the brain to destabilize and the most ripe for exploitation. In other words, visual rendering is so elaborate it can be easily fooled by hallucination and illusion.
Dreaming, Imagination, Psychosis, Hallucination
While the information resolution of imagination and dreams is difficult to measure, it is widely agreed that dream perception is somewhat less resolved in detail than waking perception. Dreams are often incomplete; contextual state data is not retained from frame to frame; and thus the durability of dream data falls apart under close scrutiny. Sometimes dreams can be vivid to the point of being indistinguishable from reality, containing people and places and narratives that retain state information over many different sequences, but more often dreams are fleeting and half remembered, and last for only a few seconds before fading.
Visual rendering of human thought is more durable than dreams but generally of very low detail. Humans can imagine objects, people, and places in their minds, but human memory and imagination are not typically photorealistic. Human memory is more semantic than eidetic, meaning that waking thoughts are mostly verbal, emotional, and only minimally visual. Most humans can imagine basic shapes, silhouettes, and sensual concepts; a smaller percentage can imagine topographical maps and rotate 3D objects in their mind. Visualizing a simple object like a cube or a pyramid is a cognitive task that requires full concentration; and even at peak visualization the internalized form rarely rises beyond a blurry silhouette. The exception to this limitation is dreaming or daydreaming, when eidetic or photographic snapshots bubble up into consciousness almost fully-formed. The emergence of dreamlike eidetic information into waking consciousness is usually a spontaneous reflex; few people have full control over photorealistic rendering of imagination and memory.23,24
Having fully-formed visions spontaneously erupting into consciousness is sometimes called overactive imagination, daydreaming, vivid memory recall, eidetic memory, photographic memory, emergent ideation, hallucination, or psychosis. 
Each of these modes of internal visualization is characterized by a different intensity and duration of imaginary detail; the more intense and durable the phantom detail the less it looks like imagination and the more it begins to look like psychosis. Mediating hard transitions between external alertness and internal visualization is a baseline for perceptual stability; confusing the two would be problematic. 
The function of internal visualization is activated by the medial temporal lobe and modulated by neurotransmitter acetylcholine; psychedelics presumably activate this function spontaneously by interrupting aminergic alertness of the forebrain.25 If psychedelic hallucinations capitalize on the brain’s capacity to produce vivid dreamlike images, we would expect the detail of a psychedelic frame to match the information profile of a dream frame; low information resolution, softer attack, elongated decay and sustain, low formal durability from frame to frame. This means that state information such as identity, purpose, and context would also elongate and transition quickly from frame to frame.
If the quality of a hallucinogenic frame matches the formal quality of a dream frame, one could expect psychedelic visions to be of lower resolution than normal vision; but subjective reports indicate that multiple layers of dreaming and waking consciousness can overlap in a single psychedelic frame, creating a complex overlay of both real and imagined perceptions. Being unable to separate imagination from reality is the clinical definition of psychosis, but it also implies an increase in potential frame information density; which implies an expanded state of consciousness.
The Limits of Expanded Consciousness

Figure 7 : Fractals generated by computer programs and nature are isoforms of nonlinear psychedelic hallucinations.
If the human imagination is infinite, and if psychedelics can expand the capacity of human imagination, then psychedelics can paradoxically make the infinite even more infinite. This makes sense if you accept that infinity is a linear concept which starts at zero and goes in one direction forever; but if infinity is bent into a series of repeating loops and spirals then it begins to look more like a fractal than a line, and thus more psychedelic (Fig. 7). Human perception is linear, but humans live in a nonlinear system. Psychedelics destabilize linear perceptions of space and time to produce fractal states of frame layering, bifurcation, and infinite frame recursion. This allows perception to exist in multiple states at once, much like a quantum computer that processes multiple simultaneous probabilities. If normal human imagination is bound within the limits of linear infinity, psychedelic perception is expanded to the limits of exponential or fractal infinity. Psychedelic perception presents a progressive nonlinear bifurcation of recursive self-similar information corresponding to both internal and external perceptual space. The psychedelic layering, bifurcating, and regression of internal and external perceptions creates a timeless, transpersonal perspective of what might be called a nonlinear, fractal, or holographic rendering of time and space.26

Figure 8 : Mandalas and calendars representing universal harmony and knowledge. Top row: a Kalachakra time-wheel mandala; and a Mayan calendar. Bottom row: a mandala of the enlightened Buddha; and a mandala of the Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra, or samsara).
The perception of seeing all time and space unfolding in a single moment is a theme that has been reproduced in Eastern mandalas and Mesoamerican calendars for thousands of years, where a central figure sits in the center of concentric interlocking rings of reality (Fig. 8). In Sanskrit this great wheel of time is called Kalachakra (time wheel), and Kalachakra yoga emphasizes the interlocking self-similarity of body cycles and celestial cycles.27 The description of Kalachakra overlaps with Mesoamerican cyclical calendars and spiritual themes, expressed by Maria Sabina, the Oaxacan healer who first shared the magic mushroom known as Teonanacatl with R. Gordon Wasson. Sabina said, “The more you go inside the world of Teonanacatl… you see our past and our future, which are there together as a thing already achieved, already happened… I knew and saw God: an immense clock that ticks, the spheres that go slowly around, and inside the stars, the earth, the entire universe, the day, the night… He who knows to the end the secret of Teonanacatl can even see that infinite clockwork.”28 This is undoubtedly a reference to Kalachakra, the great wheel of time.
Witnessing the timeless infinity of Kalachakra can be compared to Western models of Hermeticism (“As Above, So Below”) where the pinnacle of mystical achievement is channeling the infinite wisdom of the universal spirit;29 or early Deist notions of a God as a great Clockmaker who set the universe in motion and let it run without intervention.30According to Maria Sabina’s report, the subjective experience of the infinite clockwork is an end secret of psychedelic vision; this is where you arrive if you follow the process of fractal information regression to the beginning and end of all time. The thought of experiencing Kalachakra as expressed by Maria Sabina stretches the boundaries of believability, but the subjective reports of a timeless, infinite psychedelic space where the size of the universe is revealed and everything in the past and the future has already occurred is common enough to conclude that this experience is not only possible, but that it might also be the final end-point of expanded human consciousness. 3

[1] WikiPedia.org, 'Visible spectrum'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[2] Robert E. Miller II, Col, USAF, (RET) and Thomas J. Tredici, Col, USAF, (RET), 'The Eye and Night Vision'. USAF Special Report, AL-SR-1992-0002, 'Night Vision Manual for the Flight Surgeon'
[3] Accounts of saturated green and violet colors seen in closed-eye tryptamine hallucinations are taken from subjective reports.
[4] Hill RM, Fischer R, 'Interpretation of visual space under drug-induced ergotropic and trophotropic arousal'. Agents Actions. 1971 Nov;2(3):122-30.
[5] Fischer R, Hill R, Thatcher K, Scheib J., 'Psilocybin-induced contraction of nearby visual space'. Agents Actions. 1970 Aug;1(4):190-7.
[6] Fischer R, Hill RM, Warshay D, 'Effects of psychodysleptic drug psilocybin on visual perception. Changes in brightness preference.'. Experientia. 1969 Feb 15;25(2):166-9.
[7] Accounts of seeing auras, electromagnetic noise, and other spectral artifacts are taken from subjective reports of psychedelic hallucination. Casual tests to predict the accuracy and frequency range of extra-spectral claims have been inconclusive.
[8] Deering MF, 'Limits of Human Vision'. Sun Microsystems Internal, 1998
[9] WikiPedia.org, 'Electroencephalography'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[10] WikiPedia.org, 'Subliminal stimuli'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[11] VanRullen R, Pascual-Leone A, Battelli L, 'The Continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion and the ‘When’ Pathway of the Right Parietal Lobe: A Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study'. PLoS ONE 3(8): e2911. August 6, 2008.
[12] WikiPedia.org, 'Wagon wheel effect'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[13] Bach M, 'Wagon-wheel effect'. From Michael’s Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena. Internet Reference, 2010.
[14] VanRullen, Rufin, 'The continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion is object-based'. Vision Research Volume 46, Issue 24, November 2006, Pages 4091-4095.
[15] WikiPedia.org, 'Working memory'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[16] See "Erratic Hallucination"
[17] WikiPedia.org, 'Retina'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[18] Gutkin, Pinto, Ermentrout, 'Mathematical Neuroscience: From Neurons to Circuits to Systems'. Journal of Physiology - Paris 97 (2003) 209–219.
[19] LeDoux, Joseph, 'Synaptic Self'. Viking Penguin, NY, 2002.
[20] WikiPedia.org, 'Peripheral drift illusion'. Internet Reference, 2008.
[21] WikiPedia.org, 'Grid illusion'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[22] Pinna, Baingio, 'Pinna Illusion'. Scholarpedia, 4(2):6656, 2009.
[23] The low rendering capacity of human visual imagination is taken from a survey of subjective reports. The quality of internal visualization can only be enhanced by closing the eyes for a few moments and falling into a state more like meditating or daydreaming than attentive wakefulness.
[24] Hobson, J. Allan, 'The Dream Drugstore: Chemically Altered States of Consciousness'. MIT Press, 2001.
[25] Hobson JA, Stickgold R, Pace-Schott EF, 'The neuropsychology of REM sleep dreaming'. NeuroReport: 16 February 1998 - Volume 9 - Issue 3 - p R1-R14
[26] A system can be considered holographic if each unit within that system contains a compressed representation of the entire system. For example, organisms are holographic because they contain DNA compressed within each cell. The universe is metaphorically holographic because the atom is isomorphic of a solar system or a galaxy, but this is not a true holographic construction because you cannot reproduce an entire universe from the information in a single atom. In contrast, fractals are systems that repeat instructions over and over to form recurring embedded patterns from microscopic to macroscopic scales. Just as an organism is a holographic representation of its DNA, a fractal is a holographic representation of its algorithm recurring through time and space.
[27] WikiPedia.org, 'Kalachakra'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[28] Schultes, Hofmann, 'Plants of the Gods'. Healing Arts Press, Vermont, 1992.
[29] WikiPedia.org, 'Hermeticism'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[30] WikiPedia.org, 'Watchmaker analogy'. Internet Reference, 2010.
[31] Exploring the mystical implications of Kalachakra, the great fractal time wheel, has filled many volumes and fueled many prophecies. There is a solid case to be made that Kalachakra is the pinnacle of all mystical achievement; the end of psychedelic exploration; and the ultimate endpoint of human consciousness. If the psychedelic Godhead is a transcendent state of infinite universal all-consciousness, it is doubtful that anything more complex or expansive can ever be experienced by the human mind, marking the functional end of expanded consciousness.
Citation: Kent, James L. Psychedelic Information Theory: Shamanism in the Age of Reason, Chapter 04, 'Limits of Human Perception'. PIT Press, Seattle, 2010.
Copyright: © James L. Kent, 2010. Some Rights Reserved. Please read copyright information before reproducing.