Tuesday, January 3, 2012

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   2 comments

At September 18, 2009 9:40 PM ,  dipti said...
sir, i am very much influenced n moralised by ur articles published in speaking tree. i want too read book having compilation of ur writings. kindly post the name of ur book. i,ll be highly oobliged. regards, dipti.
At May 8, 2010 9:05 AM ,  prakasam said...
You would not believe, my eyes seeks Deepak Ranade in the speaking tree column daily.

One of the best scientific and spiritual blend.

Sir,can u open a forum to discuss more lively. I have lot of spirtual questions,for which it may be the solution center.

It serves to the spiritual community as well....
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This is the first article that was featured in speaking tree.

Search For The Centre Of Consciousness

The brain's neurons are differentiated to execute specific functions. All sensory perceptions reach nerve centres that are specific for a particular sensory modality. However, all attempts to localise the centre for consciousness have failed..In an experiment, an electrode was implanted in the brain adjacent to the pleasure centre of a caged mouse. When a lever was pressed, a small current would be released which would stimulate the locus of neurons and the mouse experienced a sensation of pleasure. When the mouse realised that pressing the lever was the cause of the wonderful sensation, he endeavoured to keep pressing the lever tirelessly till he died of exhaustion.
Happiness is therefore just a matter of neurotransmitters stimulating specific areas resulting in momentary gratification a chemical reaction in the brain.
Duality is a warp in perception. In reality these partitions do not exist. They are just notional values assigned by the perceptive apparatus. They are actually variations in the intensity of only one modality. The experiment where light is made to pass through two slits to determine if light is a wave or particle form, pronounced that light simultaneously exists as wave and particle. This presented the scientific community with a paradoxical conclusion hard to fathom, a daunting task for the perceptive apparatus which is limited to comprehending only one of two possibilities.
Science is based on reductionism. Science teaches one to classify, make subgroups, and analyse all events as cause and effect. It programmes the brain to fragment, not assimilate. But observations in quantum physics show that subatomic particles behave in a way incomprehensible to classical Newtonian concepts.Similarly, dark and light, pleasure and pain, cannot have an either/or existence. It is our perception that triggers this dichotomy Events or people get classified by the intellect, which analyses the event, compares the event with its database or memory and delivers a threat or no-threat verdict. This makes the subject interact with the environment. This interaction is primordial in nature, in-built for survival. The categorisation of reality into subgroups such as pleasant or unpleasant, endeavouring only pleasant situations to prevail, causes unhappiness.Medically when there is a threat perception, there is a rise in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar, which keeps the individual in a state of combat with typical responses: fight, fright or flight. If the threat perception apparatus keeps getting stimulated too frequently then the body instead of shifting gears, often compensates by raising these parameters permanently. This causes high incidence of hypertension and diabetes where stress is a definitive cause. In the enlightened state, what changes is not the environment but the perception of the environment. Consciousness is just awareness. It is non-judgmental, with no reaction. There is no classification. It is just a witness. When perception eliminates all fragmentation, one becomes conscious, aware. Then we no longer get exhausted like the mouse did, trying to manipulate the pleasure-giving lever.

Dr.Deepak Ranade The writer is a neurosurgeon, is setting up Centre for Consciousness Studies. E-mail: drdeepakranade@gmail.com
posted by Dr. Deepak Ranade @ 1:06 AM   1 comments

At August 13, 2009 4:39 AM ,  Nilesh said...
Superb one!!

Good explanation you have given by taking a scientific examples.

As per my thinking, "Live a life by being just an observer". Thanafter, our real nature(SAT-CHIT-ANAND) will gradually manifested.

Am i true?
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