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Mind over matter

If we discern the scope of 'uncommon sense', we pierce atomic and mental restraints.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 23, 2004 17:12 IST

What is a human being? Mere atoms? Or do mind and consciousness possess attributes beyond those of atoms and molecules?

The Bhagavad Gita classifies mind as a principal element along with earth, water, air, fire and space (7.4) - more subtle than the others, but an element nevertheless. And since mind has been thus classified, it's understandable that it should be studied as minutely as all the other elements.

Thousands of scientific experiments, many by great thinkers, including Nobel Laureates, say there is something to life other than atoms and molecules and other materially specifiable components. Plenty have conducted highly-controlled and extensive experimentation to prove their point.

There has been, concomitant with the Age of Reason, a continuing scientific and popular preoccupation with mystic phenomena. That interest continues today.

A recent Gallup Poll showed that 49 per cent of Americans believe in extrasensory perception; 46 per cent said they believed in psychic healing, and one in four said they'd communicated with another person without using the traditional five senses.

For decades, Dr. J.B. Rhine, employed at the Duke University, one of America's top ten, was generally credited as the father of 'paranormal' studies — of clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, telepathy, precognition and psychokinesis. He conducted thousands of studies.

We're taught to think that each atom, even those making up stone and wood, are mostly the space between nuclei and electrons. This defies 'common sense'. If it were true, we wouldn't be harmed by sticks, knives, bullets, or grenades. But when we fly, or conquer appendicitis through surgery, we forget the illogic of atomic theory. Equally, martial arts and prayer emphasise how mind can control matter. Researchers are also convinced that scientific experiments verify that the mind can function unconnected to the activities of the human brain.

If we discern the scope of 'uncommon sense', we pierce atomic and humdrum mental restraints. This way we launch peace, fly with love, and conquer hate.

First Published: Feb 23, 2004 17:02 IST