Tuesday, December 29, 2009

To adapt and innovate is to survive and evolve
DEEPAK RANADE29 December 2009, 12:00am ISTText Size:|Topics:speaking tree

Belief in prefixed programmes or destiny provides us with back-end logic to arbitrarily occurring events. It absolves us of our contribution to To adapt and inovate is to survive and evolve
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failure or with having to deal with ‘effort to outcome’ incongruence.

Our evolution as humans has transported us from the jungles to the moon. It bears testimony to the human ability to analyse, strategise, adapt and progress. A belief in the preordained would be a discredit to evolution. It would discount phenomenal human endeavour which has always shone through the darkest clouds of despondence.

Has free will given us the power of adaptation? Adaptation is a dynamic process that delves into the deepest recesses of creativity. Overcoming adversity is what stimulates growth and development.

Failure lures the weak mind to succumb to fatalism and so one finds it convenient to give in to passive submission. Free will, if exercised, can empower. It provides us with the freedom to spread our wings; to endeavour to soar in the vast skies of achievement. To experience, to grow, to create. The indomitability of the human spirit has nurtured evolution and helped us overcome our limitations.

Facing situations squarely requires a realistic appraisal of the problem and assessing the entire spectrum of available options diligently. Assigning cosmic design or any form of inevitability to events would be defeatist. Evolution of the human brain has provided us with the power of intelligence and discrimination.

We can prevail over our hormones, instincts and beliefs. Free will is also a double-edged weapon that can breed fear and doubt. The flower never needed anyone to predict its ability to blossom. The hatchling is oblivious to any speculation of its taking flight.

The deterministic nature of a system does not make it predictable. This is what the chaos theory propounds. The `butterfly effect’ -- a very small variation in the initial starting conditions having a tremendous impact on the final outcome – makes any predictive pattern far less reliable. The butterfly effect makes a triviality such as which side one got off the bed cascade incomprehensibly to events far beyond the scope of any predictive system.

All predictive models are based on statistical analysis, and at best can quantify the probability of an event occurring. The quantum theory also predicts that any conceivable outcome, even of walking through a wall, has a probability of occurring. Till that event actually happens, the wave function of every conceivable event abounds. In the medical profession, too, statistics are at best deterministic. They give a general trend and are ineffective from a predictive standpoint in an individual case.

The desire to know and enforce specific outcomes stems from the ego. It assumes the ability to control the environment. Free will gives the freedom to alter and manipulate inputs. It does not empower us with any control over the outcomes. Having no knowledge of or control over the outcome is a pre-condition to expression of free will.

A prefixed scheme or destiny would render free will meaningless. All actions would be mere formality that has to precede the inevitable and foregone outcome. An act becomes meaningless only in retrospect once the outcome is known. Prospectively all action is meaningful.

Certainty shackles and stifles spontaneity. Uncertainty truly liberates. A limitless potential to unfold in limitless ways. It conceives the improbable. Achievements are preceded by dreams which thrive only in the realm of improbability and uncertainty.

The inability to control or predict outcomes makes free will thrive. Unpredictability emphasises the importance of action. It underlines the beauty of the journey rather than obsession about the destination.

The writer is a consultant neurosurgeon. Email: deepakranade@hotmail.com.
Blog: www.neuroconsciousness.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Publication: Times Of India Delhi; Date: Nov 9, 2009; Section: Editorial; Page: 16


Liberation Is Freedom From The Finite

Deepak M Ranade

Form is a wave perceived by the ocean of consciousness in an attempt to understand its own formlessness. This duality is imagined and the sense of am-ness crystallises as a discrete entity that thrives on other forms or cognising entities to assert its own form. It seeks cognisance from other forms to recognise its own transient form. What is eternal is the formlessness that is the precursor of form.

Form is obsessed with tangibility. The sense organs are mere instruments to reinforce this belief in form as the true self. The form continues to believe it is a discrete independent entity. It has total conviction in these deceptive sensory modalities of perception.

Relativity is based on the fact that perception changes as the observer’s state changes. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle also underlines the shortcomings of our sensory perceptive modalities, where the senses cannot determine the precise position and velocity of a particle simultaneously.

Sensory modalities can never fathom formlessness. Formlessness transcends the senses. When form has to decipher the formless it must first abandon the conviction of its own form. The brain has various centres which serve as destinations for perceptive inputs. It therefore has a strong discriminatory ability to separate the subject from the object. This discrimination is mediated via the sense organs and is the most powerful tool for effecting duality. Comprehension is totally a derivative of the sense organs.

There are many ‘silent areas’ in the brain whose exact function is not known. These areas could be mediating supra-sensory cognition, cognition that is not based on a subject-object dichotomy, cognition that uses itself to recognise itself. Awareness of the true self is beyond the mediation of conventional sensory modalities and the dichotomy of knower and knowledge. There is nothing like ignorance because ignorance also is a manifestation of awareness. Awareness itself manifests as knowledge or ignorance.

Consciousness exists as both personalised and impersonalised states. Impersonalised consciousness is supra-sensory. It just exists and does not need a cognitive entity as a medium to be aware of itself. It does not have any time space definitions because these are for the finite. The Infinite Unmanifest has the privilege of manifesting as the finite. But the finite has severe limitations in perceiving the Infinite. Its identity as a finite entity is based on amnesia of its infiniteness.

Creation is the dream of consciousness. There is no logic to this dream. Realisation is when consciousness awakes from its own dream. Till consciousness is in a dream state, illusion persists. The brain is a programme for effecting the dream of consciousness. Myriad forms of creation exist merely as functions of this cognitive programme.

Matter or form owes its existence to this programme of deception. This programme also has software that ensures total belief in the illusion that it creates. Any attempt to understand the self – as just a manifestation of the formless – is futile in the dream state. The entity that endeavours to do so is also part of that dream. Therefore, liberation is not of a person but from the person. Liberation is deliverance from the finite and its futile attempts to comprehend the infinite. It is when the infinite wakes up from the dream of being finite – cognition that can recognise itself as absolute and not resort to duality to assert itself.

The writer is a consultant neurosurgeon. E-mail: deepakranade@hotmail.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dont look too far for solutions

Don't Look Too Far For Solutions
Deepak Ranade16 October 2009, 12:01am IST
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Change is the inevitability of life. Our interpretation of change determines our attitude and approach to life. What is apparently beneficial is
accepted without any fuss. When it comes to accepting the inconvenient and the unpleasant, there begins conflict and resentment. However, the seemingly hopeless situations that are very painful to deal with are also instruments of change. ''What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly,'' wrote Richard Bach.

Every seemingly hopeless situation is pregnant with the potential to effect improvement. It's just that one usually looks at the problem in a way that's too upfront. That creates a myopic perspective in dealing with the problem.
Like Godel's theorem, which states that no part of a system can comprehend the system as long as it is an integral part of the system. As we distance ourselves from the problem, and have a bird's-eye perspective, we can begin to see the issue in another light. Anticipation of the problem always tends to magnify the event and imagine it to be much more frightful. Anticipation should prepare, not scare.

A rigid approach that expects things to happen in a specific way only makes matters worse. The ability to adapt is what can make things better. Rigidity limits available options. It severely handicaps creativity, which is considered the mother of solutions. Serendipity happens only because the mind is open and willing to look at the same thing differently.

An alternative viewpoint is critical to make the most of any given situation. The severest of problems have more often than not brought out the best from many individuals. Isn't it also said: "Necessity is the mother of invention"?

The process of strategising while solving a problem throws up many facets of ourselves that we never knew existed. Adversity has been a blessing often enough and ought to be respected rather than feared. Complications arise most often because we take things personally and too seriously. Surrender only destroys self-esteem. Fighting enhances it. The difference between the two is just a matter of attitude.

Helplessness is a state of the mind. Most successful businessmen and corporate executives are paid for their ability to keep cool in the most trying of circumstances. They probably begin where others stop trying. Fixing the blame is not what absolves one of failure. Fixing the problem is the only redemption.

Anger, fear, resentment and frustration only muddle neural networks. They are mere manifestations of the fight, flight or fright response. What is actually needed is a right, bright and trite response. This response can only be attained with a calm and controlled thought process. Knee-jerk responses are just reflexes without any form of cerebration. They are most often fruitless. A deliberate, conscious effort needs to be inculcated to programme a conditioned response.

A positive approach is a big help, as it tends to activate the right brain, the one that has great intuitive abilities. The most appropriate response to any problem would be whole-brained. That is with both the right and left hemispheres giving their inputs. The dominant half ^ the left brain in right-handed persons and right brain in left-handed persons ^ enables analysis, logic and assessment. It tends to be a fragmentary approach. The right has a more intuitive, subtle and holistic approach. A combined two-pronged approach is much more likely to bring out the best in adversity ^ and make it easier for the butterfly in you to take wing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Speaking Tree

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In moving images we see what is not
DEEPAK RANADE5 August 2009, 12:00am IST
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What is vision? We are able to see objects and other externalities because of our visual perceptive apparatus that has the attribute called as
In moving images we see what is not
In moving images we see what is not (Getty Images)
persistence of vision.

A motion picture is made up of a series of still pictures. When each of these still picture is followed by another in less than a sixth of a second, the brain interprets the sequence as a continuum. And so we see the sequence of images as a motion picture without realizing that what we think we see is just an illusion., a perception.

The continuum is implied. The continuum is enabled by a programme of the neurological apparatus. And we are actually deceived by "virtual reality." Each individual and his constituents are all the while in a state of change. Even the skeletal system that we believe to be hard and which forms the infrastructure of the body is constantly being remodeled. Absorption and reformation of the bones are a continuous process. So, when we all are constantly being reformed as it were, the perception of our own continuity is a mere hallucination.

Change is the only certainty. We all are constantly changing and so is the environment. So any perceived continuity or seeming constancy is just an illusion of our perception. If we wake up to the fact that every aspect of existence is in a constant flux, then the question that automatically arises is "What is unchangeable, permanent and eternal?"

The constancy is in the perceiver; it is in the act of observing. All creation is comprised of three distinct entities: The perceiver, the perceived and the act of perception All are manifestations of the same universal consciousness. Saint Dyaneshwara refers to this trilogy as 'triputi'. The perceived is all the while in a state of flux and change. So the perceiver is the only constant in this apparent variable equation of creation. What is perceived all the while is changing.

Quantum Physics expounds that if the observer does not observe an event, then it never happened. Out of the infinite possibilities, when the observer observes an event, then, all the other waves of possible events are squashed. Till the observer observes, all events are in a state of being possible. All perception is centred on awareness. To any observer, the universe exists only till the observer exists. Once the observer ceases to exist, then from his perspective, the universe also ceases to exist.

When ancient scriptures comment on the illusory nature of all creation, they are alluding to is the impermanence and deception created by sensory perception. The continuum of existentialism is only a mirage. We are not the same entity at two discrete points in time. We as well as the environment is continuously changing and any continuity is just an illusion of the perceptive apparatus. In deep sleep, there is a period of non-perception of the outer world. On waking, this world reappears and the show goes on. Despite non-perception of the external world there does remain a certain am-ness, that is aware and says that I slept well. That awareness is the witness and the unchangeable and permanent entity, the immortal Atman.

In death, that personalized awareness again becomes impersonal awareness. In the state of realisation, the trilogy of perceived, perceiver and the act of perception, merges into unity, into the Paramatman.

The writer is a neurosurgeon.
Email: deepakranade@hotmail.com.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Times of India

Speaking Tree

Exploring the nature of true realisation
28 Apr 2009, 0000 hrs IST, DEEPAK RANADE
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Whatever events unfold outwardly, there is a continuous passive act of observation of these events. This plain awareness is what animates the
Speaking tree
Exploring the nature of true realisation (Getty Images)
intellect, thoughts and every aspect of existence; it also gives rise to the illusory self, to the identification of each individual as a separate body form.

It also affirms this identity as the real self because the body is the most tangible proof of existence. We can touch, feel and react with this tangible instrument. The ego is addition of many layers of likes, dislikes, preferences and priorities to this mind-body form. The sense of separateness. Of being one of a kind. Of discreteness.

The more we endeavour to attain salvation, the sense of separateness only gets reinforced. All chemicals such as alcohol and drugs induce a state of disconnect. A fleeting disconnect with the surroundings. This disconnect is pleasurable as it blunts the sensibilities and makes the individual immune to any unpleasantness of daily living. But it also fortifies the sense of separateness. This feeling of disconnect and indifference is momentarily blissful. These chemicals are addictive because they give an illusory, fleeting glimpse of 'spiritual' experience similar to the state of realisation.

The so-called chemical disconnection is 'exclusive'. In the sense that it refurbishes the sense of separateness but isolates the individual. The state of realisation, however, is inclusive. This inclusive disconnection is an all-pervading sense of oneness, in which any connection is superfluous. Connection or disconnection is relevant only in duality or an illusion of duality. Once this illusion of duality vanishes, what remains is unity. An impersonal awareness.

Realisation shifts the identification of the self from the mind-body form to just plain awareness. Like a drop of the ocean. This drop, when separate from the ocean, will become acutely aware of its independent existence. The drop can see the ocean separately and this separateness gives not only itself, but also the vast ocean a separate identity as well.

When the drop merges in the ocean it does not destroy the physicality of the drop. The drop just merges and loses its separateness. It becomes one with the ocean. Till the point of impact, it still maintains its identity, but at the moment of impact, the drop seemingly disappears. That state of merger can thereafter not be perceived, because perception was of the drop. When the drop ceases to exist, who or what is there to perceive?

The disconnect that occurs by inclusion is everlasting, beyond any time-space considerations. Compassion for all life then becomes the effect rather than any imbibed virtue. The sense of unity is not even an experience because experience implies the existence of an experienced. And we all are conditioned to believe that realisation would mean probably seeing some divine light, or hearing some soulful music or a tremendous state of happiness and so on.

The merger automatically dissolves the ego. It also liberates one from all desires and lust for sensory gratification. The body will eventually live out its destiny, but there would be no sense of doer-ship. There would be just a residual observer who transcends even joy and sorrow. The unqualified awareness celebrates a sense of 'am-ness' unadulterated by expectations and longing.

The intangibility and dissolution of one's identity can scarcely be expressed by any means of communication. The final moment of oneness can be experienced only when all layers of misconception are peeled away and the real self is apperceived not as a separate identity but paradoxically the absence of any.

The writer is a consultant neurosurgeon. E-mail: deepakranade@hotmail.com

Monday, March 9, 2009



The medical field has made incredible advances in the fields of diagnosis, and management of a variety of Neurological disorders. The scope of this progress is however restricted to identify and subsequently attempt to rectify the underlying problem. The spectrum of disorders that can be treated range from degenerative disorders, metabolic disorders right up to trauma and tumors of the nervous system. There has also been significant progress in understanding the structure and function of the nervous system. However, areas like consciousness, are still beyond the scope of medical technology.
The known hierarchy of consciousness extends only to sub-optimal grades.- drowsy stuporous, semiconscious or then unconscious. Theoretically there has to be a supra-optimal grade of consciousness- “the supra-conscious”. Medical science has severe limitations in quantifying the optimal level of consciousness. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging can at best identify the degree and extent of blood flow to the different parts of the brain.
Consciousness can be defined as the ability of an organism to be alert and inter-act with the environment. It is being aware of ones own self and also having the ability to react with “non-self”-surrounding objects or beings. The unicellular organism is also a drop of consciousness bounded by a cell membrane. Higher forms needed an upgrade. Evolution provided segregation of this primitive cognition. The ability to focus this awareness to a specific object or activity. The ability to concentrate. So when a predator is hunting, he will necessarily need to focus all his attention on the prey. This is also coupled with an ability to defocus this awareness. Like the feel of the clothing on our bodies. They are touching us and the tactile apparatus is sending the appropriate signals to the brain, but still the brain has the discriminatory ability to keep this data below the horizon of cognition. But there is the constant “I AM” awareness that forms the background activity of consciousness. This I AM ness permeates all awake states. Intellect, thoughts are all derivatives of this I AM ness.
Further evolution takes place in the realm of elevating this consciousness.
Spiritual masters are the ones that mutate this consciousness to a supra-conscious state.
This mutation results in the “I” being deleted and what remains is just the Amness. Unqualified.This Amness is expansile and all inclusive because the restrictive ‘I’ is eliminated.
This universal Am ness is a state of supraconsciousness since it transcends a particular being. This Am ness is Advaita. To reside in that blissful state is the objective of all attempts at self realization. This term is a misnomer because in this state a separate self does not exist. Just unconditional beingness. And this entire illusion of duality was created because this universal Am ness could not perceive itself. There had to be a subject object dichotomy for acknowledging its own AM ness. Being ness has no beginning or end. There is no concept of time either. Eternity is in the moment. And the moment lasts an eternity. At that state identification with the physical form no longer remains. It is like the pot which is contained in space and also contains space. The consciousness permeates the form from without and also within, A state of wholeness, a state of oneness. Science is based on the act of observation. The seer, the seen and the process of seeing. But supraconsciousness is the state where this trinity has merged. So supraconsciousness is beyond the scope of scrutiny because it includes scrutiny.
The process of initiation by the master is probably starting the journey beyond just awareness of the mind body form. Therefore liberation is not of the person ,but rather from the person.
Dr. Deepak Ranade
(The author is a consultant Neurosurgeon and can be contacted at deepakranade@hotmail.com)
Learning to unlearn

Learning is as much a process of deprogramming as much as acquiring or acquainting with something new.
Learning something new, must be preceded by a process of deprogramming that eliminates pre-existing paradigms and misconceptions. Learning physiologically is a process of conditioning. It involves recruitment of neural networks or pathways, which after sufficient time and repetitions get established. Thereafter, conditioning works at a quasi involuntary level. A classic example is that of driving. Initially as a novice, every action is deliberate, premeditated and one has to very consciously focus on the activity. Later on as the reflexes get strengthened, the same activity becomes very effortless and gradually moves to a sub-conscious level. And soon we can engage in a conversation or even grab a bite whilst driving. Many of our belief systems and thought processes post conditioning work below the consciousness horizon. Once the template is set, these anagrams become an integral part of the individuals perceptive and thought processes. We scarcely realize that these deeply etched programs serve as major deterrents from learning anything new. That partly explains why adults need a longer while to learn a new skill like computers or a new language whereas kids seem to take to this new skill like a fish takes to water. That is because the kids hard disc is unformatted and can imbibe a new concept faster and better than an adult who first has to undo some hardwired programs. These established neural networks increase the resistance to accepting fresh thoughts and ideas. On deeper introspection we would realize, that most of our belief systems are just a legacy of our environment and upbringing. Religion, culture, behavioral patterns are a few such examples. This indoctrination happens subconsciously but has far reaching consequences.
Along with the passage of time, all such recorded programs spin a cocoon around the individual. Impermeable to newer thought process. All intolerance to new ideas is consequential to this rigid unyielding cocoon.
All revolutionary inventions have become possible only when the concerned person broke open this cocoon of conformist thought process. The person had to delearn conventional wisdom to make way for newer wisdom. Religion has always beckoned mankind along the ages. It still remains one of the most profound influences on our lives. Religion programs the thought processes and sooner than we realize, we align ourselves to one of the many ‘isms’. But the basis of all religion is to attain Godhood, or self-realisation or ‘swaroop saakshaatkar’ Various sects and religions have over the years programmed their followers along different lines. These regulatory protocols are ideally the means to the end but unfortunately have become the end themselves. The extreme obsession with form precludes any tryst with the formless. All spiritual pursuits are adulterated with preformed notions and are the scourge of liberation. It would be paradoxical to confine the omniscient omnipresent being to the narrow bandwidth of our perceptive focus . As a learned sage said, Liberation is not of the individual but from the individual. From the shackles of our thought processes. Self-realisation as a concept, is again a construct of our thought. But self-realisation transcends thought. Till there is thought, there is an entity that is thinking, and this separate entity that asserts its separateness is bondage. The finite can never perceive the infinite. It can only become infinite. And once that happens, who or what remains to perceive ?. It cannot be engineered, because all attempts made by the doer only underlines his separateness, which defeats the very purpose. Somewhat akin to the monkey, with its hand trapped in a cookie jar. Trying to get its hand out of the narrow neck of a bottle whilst holding the cookie. All efforts are in vain until the monkey releases the cookie and extricates its hand. This cookie of our belief systems and conditioning that we all hold on for dear life surely has to be relinquished. This delearning of all pre-existing programs and concepts is a precondition to self awareness.

Dr Deepak Ranade
(The author is a consultant Neurosurgeon and may be contacted at drdeepakranade@gmail.com)

posted by Dr. Deepak Ranade @ 1:16 AM
Importance of control and restraint

The wheel was a path-breaking invention. The wheel, however, might not have been as useful if not for the invention of brakes and gears that help us control movement. The wheel made locomotion plausible but brakes regulated this motion. The defining quality of any system is probably based on the degree of control one can exercise on it. In karate, up to the black belt stage, the discipline and regimen is for strengthening the body and speeding up reflexes. Thereafter, all subsequent degrees are attained by perfecting self-control and restraint. In evolution, life forms have been empowered incrementally as they progress through stages. Human beings have the power of control, of temperance and restraint, and the ability to think beyond the self. Physiologically, higher centres in the brain have been given the responsibility of inhibition to maintain restrictive control on lower centres of the brain and spine. In spinal injuries, when the lower motor neurons are disconnected from the higher centres and they fire without control, it leads to reflex movements of the limbs, spasm of the muscles and so on. Though movement occurs, it is involuntary, uncontrolled and purposeless. The evolved brain can store large amounts of data. The data helps in generating a response transcending reflexive and programmed patterns. The ability to rise above reflex behaviour seems to be the summit of the evolutionary pyramid. Olympian Carl Lewis once explained the reason for his spectacular achievement: "I have mastered the art of self-denial". Behaviour that rises above the primitive reflexes forms the essence of culture and sophistication. All religions have a set of behavioural restrictions like fasting, celibacy and observing silence. These restrictions help the individual increase his will power, temperance, self-control and discipline. Some religions talk about renunciation. But renunciation eliminates choice. So it is probably indulgence in abstinence. The swing of the pendulum in the opposite direction charged with the potential energy to swing back to indulgence. It may also reflect a subconscious fear of lack of self-control. Like the instance of the guru, who was invited for a meal by his disciple. Whilst the other devotees were served on plantain leaves, the guru was served on silverware as a mark of reverence. The guru however was offended and walked off as he was a renunciate. He may as well have eaten in the silverware. If he was no longer in any mundane bondage, there ought to have been no distinction between silver and leaves. In reproductive behaviour, too, human beings have the freedom to choose. Any control is self-imposed. This self-control is the evolutionary upgrade. It is as if the remote control which operates all other animals has been substituted by a sharp discriminatory ability which bestows free will. In Hindu culture, it is called vivek buddhi. The intellect of discrimination. Free will reflects the ability to restrain rather than indulge. If indulgence was the purpose, all actions would have been reflexive, with scarce regard to volition. Exercising restraint requires a higher form of intelligence. Indulgence required neither skill nor intellect. And renunciation relied more on extremism. Ailments like obesity, alcoholism, hypertension and diabetes, when they are lifestyle-related, point to the diminishing self-regulatory process. Affluence has given man the opportunity to indulge like never before. Austerity is facing extinction. Patience, contentment are no longer virtues but are relegated to mere words. All catastrophes like global warming, nuclear threat and poverty are merely a reflection of our ever-increasing inclination for indulgence.

(The writer is a consultant neurosurgeon.) Email:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Is realisation a chemical reaction?
5 Mar 2009, 0000 hrs IST, DEEPAK RANADE
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The thought process is a continuous activity. The development of specific neuronal networks may be responsible for the conditioning that occurs.
Speaking Tree
George Gurdjieff used to say that character is like a buffer. (Getty Images)
Belief systems
, behavioural traits and even temperament are all effects of conditioning.

There has also been speculation of whether there exists in the brain a God centre. A researcher revealed that when a person was subjected to pain stimulus before and after being shown the picture of a deity he had faith in, his tolerance to pain was significantly better than it was before seeing the picture. So was the increase in tolerance the result of conditioning?

Such a premise would imply that a similar outcome were possible if the patient was shown the picture of a mountain, if he had been conditioned to believe that mountains are objects of devotion. Does it mean that whichever deity one believes in, the final locus of God in the brain remains the same?

Then theoretically, if this God centre were to be stimulated, one could experience calm, bliss, even ecstasy. Would this imply that all spiritually advanced souls have, over a period of time, been able to devise an intrinsic mechanism to stimulate the God centre?

Are all spiritually advanced masters just those who, by repeated practice, develop the God centre further so that it can be stimulated at will? That would reduce realisation to a mere neurochemical phenomenon. It would then have some tangible parameters for either localisation or verification.

Meditation could be just a process that converts all eccentric thought processes into a concentric pattern with the God centre as the epicentre. All thoughts pertaining to mundane activities may be eccentric in nature. These eccentric patterns would be a deterrent to stimulating the God centre. Most explanations given by realised masters seem to defy all logic, which is the domain of the dominant hemisphere. The non-dominant hemisphere is concerned with intuitive and non-analytical networks.

So maybe, the God centre resides in the non-dominant hemisphere and realisation could effect a state of awareness that transcends the baseline neuronal activity of just being conscious. The advent of functional imaging techniques like the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may assist in the verification of such hypotheses. Probably, realisation could then be imaged and anatomically localised.

Happiness is most often cause-based, a consequence of perceptive modalities giving a positive feedback via established neuronal circuits. Familiarity, sensory gratification, and above all a very tangible cause-effect relationship permeates this sense of joy. But, if happiness could be devoid of a cause, it may explain the detachment that most masters talk about.

Happiness would then be independent of a cause and also stimulation of specific neural paths. It could become the background electrochemical activity, where any external object is not recognised as a separate entity and analysed and assigned relative values of joy or pain.

This Advaita or Oneness could be identified as the baseline firing of zeta neurons in a specified locus in the non-dominant hemisphere. It would create a perception shift. It could also deconstruct the "i" entity as having a discrete identity; the equivalent of dissolution of ego.

There would be no subjective element to any sensory stimulus. Which is why many masters seem to revert to a child-like innocence. Maybe, then godhood would be a neurochemical alteration in the milieu of the neuronal networks
, resulting in a perceptive variance. And spiritual progress could be monitored by an imaging modality.

The writer is a consultant neurosurgeon and may be contacted at deepakranade@hotmail.com