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Darsana Five - Verse One

1/3/17

Bhana Darsana, verse 1

 

Present within as without,

constantly fluttering like a bee,

awareness is divided into just two kinds:

generic and specific.

 

Nataraja Guru’s translation:

 

Present equally within (and) without

In constant bee-agitation

Consciousness is of two kinds:

The generic and the specific

 

         Starting the class back up after the old year has ended is a momentous occasion. Last night’s was punctuated with ferocious wind and cold outside, warm fire and fellowship within. The setting gave us yet another opportunity to merge these apparent opposites—cited in the very first verse of the new darsana—in the heart of our understanding.

         As a “bonus,” we have been without power for most of the day after. It has put me off my writing rhythm, but here goes. The lights are back on. First there is a poem that probably should have been in the introduction, except that it only surfaced afterwards.

         Deb and I have been reading William Stafford’s poems before bed. Most of you know that Stafford was Oregon’s poet laureate. Harmony went to school with his grandson, and we’re still in occasional contact with members of his family, an extraordinary group for sure. The batch of poems from his last year of life is particularly excellent, including some of his finest achievements. He went out in a blaze of glory. The Way It Is is a gem among gems.

         The mala of darsanas—garland of visions—depicts a thread connecting everything. Stafford’s poem presents it in experiential terms, as a living tendril. I’ll include the brief introduction from the site where I accessed it:

 

William Stafford’s journey with words began most mornings before sunrise. This simple poem was written 26 days before he passed. The day before he wrote “Haycutters” and four days later on August 6, 1993 he wrote “November” in honor of Hiroshima Day.
One of his students, the poet Naomi Shihab Nye, wrote, “In our time there has been no poet who revived human hearts and spirits more convincingly than William Stafford. There has been no one who gave more courage to a journey with words, and silence, and an awakened life.” http://mondaypoem.blogspot.com/2012/01/way-it-is-by-william-stafford.html

 

The Way It Is, by William Stafford

 

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

 

         The other tidbit of preliminary material is that while Nitya calls the Bhana Darsana A Vision of Awareness, Nataraja Guru titles this chapter Normalization in his Integrated Science of the Absolute. Together it would be the Normalization of Awareness. After making our way through maya and all her attendant obstacles, it’s nice to feel we’re plunging into the normalization of consciousness at long last.

         Okay, on with the show. This verse is an astonishing one, which took on an additional meaning for me thanks to my parallel work on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in Nancy Y’s online study group. I have included a section of Nitya’s exegesis in Part II, and read out the last paragraph from it in the class. I know a lot of folks skip Part II, but it’s almost always nearly as important as the first part, being segregated mainly for organizational purposes. You can skip Swami Vidyananda’s convoluted comments, which are rarely helpful and are included for completeness, since they were approved by Narayana Guru himself, but check out the rest if you can.

         What struck me now about this verse is that the fluttering bee wings depict a quantum view of reality, a series of separate but related events that seem to move through time because of their sequencing, yet are essentially discrete as well. Distinction within homogeneity is yet another angle of view of the essential duality of maya. Quantum reality has yet to percolate into human consciousness, in part because it is invisible while the movement of the “bee wings” is so visible.

         Nitya does not want us to take this lightly, and in doing so fail to make the necessary quantum leap in consciousness. He promises, “After wading through some of the intricacies of the diverse aspects of maya, we closed the previous chapter on the happy note that the key to the enigma of maya could be found in the Bhana Darsana.” By now we should be well aware of the challenges we face, and have lost a measure of our faith in the “Hollywood/Bollywood version” of reality we have become accustomed to, where our mind’s eye projects an assembled interpretation for us to interact with. Some other game is afoot:

 

At the very outset, the Guru wants to caution us about this difficulty in discerning the placement of awareness as either internal or external, because of a dynamic movement which marks the main characteristic of consciousness. This is the pulsation of awareness as it alternates between the subject and the object in a centripetal and centrifugal movement.

   This pulsation of consciousness is so rapid that the Guru uses the analogy of the fluttering of the wings of a bee. The analogy is very apt: as a bee moves from flower to flower, so does awareness move from one interest to another. Even when the bee settles on a flower to extract the pollen, its wings continue to move with the utmost rapidity – so fast that we cannot fix the location of the wings at any given point. The oscillation of awareness between subject and object, and between all things within the sphere of consciousness (hypothetically considered to be placed “within” and “without”) is also very rapid.

 

We are being asked to do nothing less than alter our view of the world from an exterior impinging on an interior to a unitive point source expanding to produce both subject and object, interior and exterior, simultaneously. Doing so restores us to a participatory status in our life, what Nitya sometimes referred to as being co-creators with God. The world is not only happening to us; we are happening to it. In fact, we are the world, and we are happening.

         Science is gradually coming to terms with the illusory nature of what we perceive, although most scientists suffer the same kind of time lag as spiritual seekers striving to actualize their visions. In the above-mentioned Brihadaranyaka group, Gayathri shared a provocative article: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/the-illusion-of-reality/479559/, which includes a link to another provocation: http://cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/PerceptualEvolution.pdf. I’ll add the juiciest excerpts and my reactions in Part II as well. For now, the point is that it looks like Narayana Guru intuitively grasped quantum factors right around the time they were being discovered mathematically, at the beginning of the twentieth century. Adjusting to the implications is still pending, however. The author of the first article, Donald D. Hoffman, argues that neuroscientists are content to stick with Newton, 300 years behind the times:

 

The neuroscientists are saying, “We don’t need to invoke those kind of quantum processes, we don’t need quantum wave functions collapsing inside neurons, we can just use classical physics to describe processes in the brain.” I’m emphasizing the larger lesson of quantum mechanics: Neurons, brains, space … these are just symbols we use, they’re not real. It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain! Quantum mechanics says that classical objects—including brains—don’t exist. So this is a far more radical claim about the nature of reality and does not involve the brain pulling off some tricky quantum computation. So even Penrose hasn’t taken it far enough. But most of us, you know, we’re born realists. We’re born physicalists. This is a really, really hard one to let go of.

 

This is part of what’s behind Nitya’s thinking when he cautions us: “It may sound very simple to say that awareness is within the body and the objects of perception are outside it. But this is not true in fact.” The spiritual message is that we are ill served if we go by surface appearances alone. We have to add a buddhi-layer, an intelligent assessment, to disentangle ourselves from subjective-objective appearances and enter into quantum entanglement with the entire universe. While we have to do the lion’s share of the legwork, Nitya does offer encouragement:

 

In this study we should always bear in mind that the purpose of this book is to show us the path to the attainment of a constant state of happiness, and how to ward off what is inimical to such a state. The duality of happiness and unhappiness is to be thought of as arising from a more basic duality which causes the bifurcation of consciousness into the inner and the outer.

 

         The spiritual message has always been that duality masks unity. Here it is made clear that Newtonian physics bears the same relation to quantum reality; or say, perceived reality bears the same relation to mathematically comprehended reality. The “easy” versions are all masks, and until we take them off we will stay stuck in the past. That means we will be unconsciously playing the role of victims of fate instead of welcome participants.

         Deb noted that when we are caught up in specific details, we lose touch with their context, and this is where our framing can lead us far off course. On the other hand, corrupt framing leads us to mistreat specific opportunities. I asked the class to come up with some specific examples (a couple of mine are buried in Part II), as this can be applied to every arena of life.

         Paul mentioned his children, how he normally thinks of them as being just like him, part of his family, so he often takes them more or less for granted, and by doing so he sometimes misses addressing their specific needs and qualities that aren’t encompassed in his mental picture. Is that ever an understatement! This could be expanded to include everyone we come in contact with. Instead of listening closely to who they are, or who they believe themselves to be, we impose a predetermined idea and become upset if they don’t fit into it. Or we just ignore them, content with our preconceptions. Heck, we treat ourselves the same way. We have a vague concept of what a normal human is supposed to be like, and chafe that we don’t measure up to it. Paul thought we would be more flexible if we expanded our contextual understanding—another understatement. It’s a matter of being fully alive to the context, rather than going by habitual concepts.

         Religion, employment, and politics are classic fields where the context is more or less rigid and is forced upon all within reach, who are expected to conform or else. Such framing is the only unhappiness generator we need. In response to the pressure many surrender themselves, while the rest attempt to break away, rejecting the healthy connections along with the bitter ones. Unless we make a firm decision to counter the entropy, we are headed toward isolation and cynicism.

         On a lighter note, Paul also offered cars as an example. They are complex generalities made up of many specific parts, a number of which are essential and the rest nice to have for other reasons. There would be no point in putting all those items together if there was no finished product to unite them all. We just think of the end result as a car (house, town, etc.) but it nonetheless depends on lots of unnoticed specifics. At least in a car the general and specific aspects are well matched. It’s a good example to show how they can work together as a single entity.

         I related that my very first psychedelic trip effortlessly removed the dichotomy of inside and outside. It just disappeared. It might have been the influence of Beatles music, but otherwise I didn’t have any philosophical predilection for wanting to do away with duality—it simply vanished in a cosmic giggle. Of course it later came back, but never again baring quite the same ferocious fangs. I asked the class if they had had a similar response to their youthful follies. Most did not, though almost everyone had tried the forbidden fruit at least once. Interest in philosophy is clearly one of the side effects. Bill had been in a mind space where everything became pure vibrations, and that is certainly related. Vibrations are quantum effects made manifest: the flutterings of the holy bee wings. Sadly, propaganda that framed the insights of psychedelics as illusory convinced many people to not take them seriously, and so their transformative value was vitiated.

         Deb and Andy noted that our unity with other beings is more palpable than we realize. We routinely assess our environment through visual clues and intuitively, and not simply with conscious, verbalized intent. Those who insist on pure rationality (“just the facts, ma’am”) are leaving out most of their awareness without realizing it. I recalled my Psych 101 class with the good Dr. Zimbardo, where the textbook claimed that the verbal element accounted for only 7% of interpersonal communication. That may be a fluid number, but psychologists agree there is much more going on than just the words, which embody conscious thought. Several people noted how little communication took place in texting and the like, which is confined to that 7%, or even telephone conversations, which are dominant in many people’s lives. Could we be living vestigial existences? Very likely.

         Bushra added an unexpected and inspiring example of the general/specific dichotomy: breathing. We inhale and exhale a smidgen of air that we consider our own and need for our life maintenance, but it is an inextricable part of the totality that is shared by everyone. Deb added that we are mathematically supposed to be inhaling molecules that have passed through every other living person, and Bushra extended the metaphor to be sure to include all living creatures.

         One way Nitya keeps his focus on unifying duality is by avoiding any unnecessary contention about whether the universe is essentially physical or metaphysical:

 

We do not at this stage wish to raise argumentation to support either of the following propositions: 1) that consciousness is an epiphenomenon produced by the molecular functioning of organized matter; or 2) that the molecular organization is itself the result of a program created by the primary intelligence of the ever-individuating consciousness to produce the kind of awareness it desires in order to achieve its ends. What we can say is that we have made our own body a holistic system, thereby enabling us to think, move, feel, judge and evaluate. And in doing so we have drawn a line of demarcation between the “outer” and the “inner”.

 

         The two propositions boil down to the materialist viewpoint and the external deity viewpoint. Nitya is intentionally avoiding that distracting and unresolvable argument to address a problem common to all people no matter what we believe: the very act of individuation automatically and naturally bifurcates reality into a dual perspective whose most salient characteristic is the apparent division between our sense of self and our environment, or our inner and outer realities. We cannot avoid this, but we can add an intelligent understanding to it that upholds the unitive perspective undergirding all the pluralities. That’s what meditation and contemplation are for.

         The essential idea is that there is only one reality that for convenience we divvy up into opposing aspects. Again, this is fine, except if we forget the unity that conjoins the sides we are likely to lurch into conflict and confusion. Nitya expresses the relation very nicely:

 

Narayana Guru first turns our attention towards two other factors, both of which can cause a qualitative difference in our reactions to all the eventualities of life to which we are exposed: the general nature of consciousness, and its specific modulations. What is specific cannot find its place without sharing the quality of the generic. The generic may be understood as an inductive process of grouping the qualitative sameness of many specific modulations of consciousness, all of which are held together by an inherent homogeneity.

 

The implication is that by drawing a fixed line between our inner and outer experience, and thereby initiating the oscillation of consciousness, we sabotage any chance of abiding happiness. One thing is sure, as Bill reminded us form the text: “The effacement of the duality cannot be effected until one discovers the false criterion adopted to make this dichotomy.” Maya will continue to lead us on a merry chase until we decide to take a break from enfeebling falsehood and recover our sovereignty. It will take the entire Bhana Darsana (at least) to catch an unadulterated glimpse of where we go astray. Andy recommended verses 74 and 75 of Atmo, which he is currently studying with Nancy, as addressing the same perpetual dilemma, one that is such a delightful nut to try and crack.

 

Part II

 

         Swami Vidyananda’s commentary:

 

         That which is called consciousness is what constitutes the basis of all events and is of the form of a mental activity. This consciousness remains both outside and inside. In other words, it seems to be both outside as well as inside. (Yet) on closer examination it is neither inside nor outside. Because it has no stable state of existence it is called most changeful. Conventionally it is capable of being referred to as having generic or specific aspects. This will be explained later.

         For both consciousness and its basic counterpart, four grades of differences (are) known as the concrete (sthulam), subtle (sukshmam), causal (karanam) and Absolute (turiyam). Because it is difficult to grasp what constitutes the generic and specific aspects without first knowing the factors of consciousness and its basis, we have first to consider these and afterwards explain how the generic and specific aspects enter into them.

 

*         *         *

 

         Here is a brilliant excerpt from Nitya’s Brihadaranyaka Upanishad commentary. The last paragraph is directly related to the present verse, but the whole thing is wonderfully germane:

 

         In the wakeful world there are three areas of specific interest. The first is familiarization with all items by recognizing the differences in forms and assigning names to every form. That entails an analytical fragmentation of the world presented to us. In the modern world one tends to specialize until one insulates oneself within a highly mechanized world of name and form. While seeing the scheme of things and positions of items in the world of objectivity, you can also have a synthetic vision of the whole in which you know where you are and yet you are not devoured by the world.

         Another area of interest is that of communication, where you can put yourself in the position of a silent observer, making no comment, or you can be like a sports commentator, jumping at every issue, giving your verbal reaction to whatever you notice. Most communications which come to a person are uncritically made by people of little understanding. One does not lose much by paying no heed to non-authoritative pronouncements. This field also includes newspapers, published books and periodicals, radio and television broadcasts, and the enormous quantity of propaganda and advertisements.

         In this world of wakeful encounters, a wise person has to use discretion in formulating a hierarchy of transactional values with a view to relating oneself to one’s society with the least amount of social distraction. The third and most hazardous arena is that of action. Individuals as well as masses of people feel compelled to enter into activities by the sheer presence of situations which are not clearly examined or critically studied. It is in this field that the Upanishad cautions us to minimize our activities with the intention of having a vision of life whose transparency is not vitiated by undesirable motivations.

         All these belong to the consciousness of the wakeful, which has in it a fourfold division of the gross (sthula) and the subtle (sukshma), the general (samanya) and the specific (visesha). People who have superficial moorings may be impressed by the gross without understanding its subtle implications. Similarly, one who is impressed by the specific may mistakenly think that it is a rule for the general. Being in relation with the manifested world of the wakeful presents many snares and complications. This necessitates having safe guides and a code of conduct to safeguard us from getting into social confusions or self-deluding temptations. (481-2)

 

*         *         *

 

         I recently ran across these from Nitya’s Taittiriya Upanishad commentary:

 

The law of the universe is a hidden cause surfacing into the awareness of time and space in the form of proliferating effects. The effects in their turn become a cumulative state of becoming that can thereafter assert itself as an antecedent cause, repeating the process with evolutionary mutations.

 

Normally, between the knower and the object of knowledge there is a rapid oscillation of the illuminating light of knowledge which assumes alternating positions between the self and non-self, between the knower and knowledge.

 

*         *         *

 

         While working off a battery powered laptop while the power was out, I read over the first DM class notes, from almost exactly ten years ago. They’re not too bad. I thought I’d reprint some of it:

 

Intro (after relating a couple of excellent examples from Anita and Adam’s experiences):

 

         The annals of science are filled with tales of great discoveries made while resting or sleeping off the stress of mental gymnastics performed to solve the very problem. Recent research has also shown that we consolidate what we have learned only when we turn off our transactional mind and take rest. The conscious effort is essential to the process, but it is not the whole story. The effort must be followed by a letting go, which invites the involvement of a much wider spectrum of intelligence to join the fray. Such an attitude can be cultivated regularly, by replacing self-deprecating thoughts such as “I can’t do this,” or “I’m not smart enough,” with “I’m going to open myself to all the abilities hidden within me, and I’m sure they can rise to the occasion.” A simple change like this can harmonize many chaotic and disused forces, allowing them to imbue our steps with almost unlimited inspiration. That’s why one of the most important beginning projects in the spiritual search is to befriend yourself, to come to know that you are made of star stuff just like everybody else, and your potential is infinite.

         Nitya reminds us, “Individuals are like pawns on a chessboard. Yet there is a difference: there is no player who moves us about. The choice and responsibility of movement is on every occasion assigned to the pawn itself.” But he also wants us to know we are much more than pawns: we are sovereign kings and queens, with abilities that are naturally penned in at the outset but become more and more available as the game goes on. If we ignore our true worth we will imagine ourselves to be just meek and meager pawns, but if we engage our total being in the game we can achieve much more. Such is the doorway to the Bhana Darsana that the Guru invites us to enter.

 

from verse 1:

 

         The first division of awareness is into generic and specific, and it is here that we begin to go seriously wrong. The two categories should be complementary: the generic should express the truth of the sum total of specifics, and each specific should be an integral part of the generic understanding. Somehow they tend to be out of joint. Examples are legion of the disconnect between them, but here’s one that springs to mind. My family has a number of racists in it. They often make horrific statements about people of different color. But in their everyday experience they are kind and civilized with whoever they meet. Moreover, they are seemingly unaware that there is any ruptured relationship between their specific interactions and their generic attitudes. I’d like to generalize this idea and claim that many of us have highly suspicious and negative feelings about our overall concepts, while in our specific activities we have much more positive and sympathetic feelings. Why not adjust the generic to match the specific? This also works the other way around. If you have a positive general attitude, when you meet that one bad apple in the barrel you won’t be inclined to insist that every other apple must be rotten too.

 

         This verse invites us to take a hard look at our entrenched attitudes one at a time, and revalue them in the light of dispassionate wisdom. Each success is like pulling a thorn out of our foot. Why should we walk around our whole lives on all those sore spots? The effort is well worth the trouble.

 

*         *         *

 

         Lastly, the promised excerpt from my B U study group relating to the illusion of reality:

 

         In our Portland Gurukula class we have been undergoing a psychological reduction or deconstruction in studying the first half of Darsanamala. The idea is that beings emerge from a point source and expand to a periphery where they interact with their world. Very often we become so engrossed with wrestling with that surface environment that we forget the unbroken link to our original source in the Karu or Absolute. The pulsation model, as we call it, advises regular reconnection with the source, moving back and forth between center and periphery, which energizes a renewed and realigned relationship with the transactional world around us. It’s not that we are supposed to stay in the unmanifest, but that we use it as a touchstone, bringing our confusions and needs back to renormalization and then setting forth again to add what we’ve learned to how we live on a daily basis.

         The return from periphery to the source as pure potential is what Nitya is describing as negative. It’s true that sometimes disastrous lifestyle choices like addiction can throw us into something similar, but what a painful way to go! A good part of the wisdom the gurus are sharing is to help us accomplish this voluntarily, without coercion by ill fate. I think he is contrasting this with the kind of evolution that tinkers with our abilities, as if the solution was “out there” somewhere. This gives a corollary that all beings are truly equal in the sense that we never achieve a resting state of perfection—we are always grappling with circumstances. The solution is not an evolutionary arms race, where we get better and then everything is okay. The state of okayness is already in us, at every stage of our horizontal evolution, and we stay connected with the help of a negative take on externals.

         The periphery is always changing, and there is a perception of progress in the change that is called evolution. It’s an exciting business, fun to participate in.

         This section was all about neti neti, which is a positive (meaning balanced and self-directed) way to accomplish the negative reduction Nitya is talking about.

         I also read Gayathri’s suggested article (and one of the links), on the illusion of reality, and it is a very intriguing business. An excellent short read. I’ve been making essentially the same case for many years, but I think the author, Donald Hoffman, misses a valuable concept of Vedanta that throws him to the unwarranted conclusion that truth is an unhelpful goal, doomed to failure. What he’s really talking about is truth as an accurate representation of external reality, even though his conclusion is there is no external reality, it’s all consciousness. The Western idea that truth means an ever-closer assessment of the conditions of the horizontal world is hard for Westerners to shake off (since it demands a negative devolution of our point of view). In our studies, truth is an indefinable condition of being in the core, the potent source of all that is. Pure consciousness. Merely trying harder to examine actuality in detail is a distraction from the real truth of our essence as light and love or whatever you like to call it. The modern mind (and no longer just the Western mentality) conflates truth with sensory accuracy, but traditional wisdom considers that type of knowledge a sideline at best. Here’s a pithy quote from Hoffman’s article to set the tone:

 

On the other side are quantum physicists, marveling at the strange fact that quantum systems don’t seem to be definite objects localized in space until we come along to observe them. Experiment after experiment has shown—defying common sense—that if we assume that the particles that make up ordinary objects have an objective, observer-independent existence, we get the wrong answers. The central lesson of quantum physics is clear: There are no public objects sitting out there in some preexisting space. As the physicist John Wheeler put it, “Useful as it is under ordinary circumstances to say that the world exists ‘out there’ independent of us, that view can no longer be upheld.”

 

         Vedantins would agree with Hoffman’s ideas that perception is flawed and can even be dangerously deluding. But a Vedantin seeks truth in an entirely different direction, instead of concluding there is no such thing. It looks to me like this is one of the most critical junctures where rational thinking goes off course without realizing it (pun intended).

         One of the links is to a formal paper where various game theories were used to demonstrate that utility drives truth to extinction, based on some assumptions that reflect popular ideas about truth. In other words, rather dubious assumptions, which strike me as guaranteeing that truth will lose out. But the author makes a very good analogy of our conscious thoughts to the icons on a computer screen. The icons do not resemble the “truth” of the computer activities it accesses in the slightest. It summarizes them in a very handy way, so we don’t have to get bogged down in the “truth” of computing at all. We can just use it. And the excellent point is that our brain does something similar, presenting analogues rather than accurate images. Makes perfect sense, to me. Here’s how it’s put:

 

We find that truth can fare poorly if information is not free; costs for time and energy required to gather information can impair the fitness of truth. What often fares better is a relation between perception and reality akin to the relation between a graphical user interface and the hardware of a computer (Hoffman, 1998). The icons on a desktop guide effective interaction with the computer, but the colors, shapes and locations of the icons do not, in general, resemble any properties of the software or hardware they represent. An interface promotes efficient interaction with the computer by hiding its structural and causal complexity, i.e., by hiding the truth. As a strategy for perception, an interface can dramatically trim the requirements for information and its concomitant costs in time and energy, thus leading to greater fitness. But the key advantage of an interface strategy is that it is not required to model aspects of objective reality; as a result it has more flexibility to model utility, and utility is all that matters in evolution. [http://cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/PerceptualEvolution.pdf - J.T. Mark et al. / Journal of Theoretical Biology 266 (2010) 504–515]

 

It shouldn’t be a great leap to realize that this shows that truth is something other than simply the accurate display of the inner workings of horizontal factors. I imagine this realization is not too far away in the evolution of scientific thinking, and it will add another quantum leap to the refinement of our understanding, where the modern world discovers on its own what the ancients already knew so long ago.

         Actually, these scientists correctly state their underlying faulty assumption: natural selection is the whole ballgame. As Gayathri says, it’s a bleak picture. Throughout history we can see that the best and brightest are routinely assassinated by enthusiasts of brutality. Yet exceptional individuals keep popping up. Could there be additional factors involved? Surely. If truth is a potent reservoir at the core of life, then it will continue to fling out amazing examples of what is possible, no matter what happens to them once they arrive in a well-armed, paranoiac world.

         One plausible corollary to the natural selection aspect is that most of the selection against high intelligence has been directed at males. This could well account for the higher general intelligence of women, whose brain power has been largely ignored, and who have usually been smart enough to avoid lethal situations more often. Just sayin’. Have women been waiting for the species to become civilized enough to make high intelligence safe for them to express? The article Nancy included last time about her own development would seem to support this hypothesis.

         What I wrote separately to Gayathri boils down to: If Hoffman’s right, then he’s wrong. What I meant was, if he’s right, then searching for truth is a fool’s errand, yet he’s doing it. We all do it. Reframing along Vedantic lines would help make what he’s getting at clearer. The established idea of truth is that the one with the biggest armament will always kill off the smart ones in a conflict. The Vedantic ideal is that real happiness is the abode of truth, residing in the core of everyone, and strategies (game theory, etc.) are merely impediments to accessing it.

Scott Teitsworth

rsteitsworth(at)yahoo.com