Saturday, March 17, 2012

Of Memory Templates And Free Will

DEEPAK RANADE, Sep 12, 2007, 12.00am IST

Thinking seems to be a constant involuntary drone in our waking state. Thinking often is also the root of many psychosomatic ailments. The process of thinking is essentially quasi-voluntary and spiritual seekers aim to reach a state of thoughtlessness.

There is no specific centre in the brain that has been identified as the originator of thoughts. It would be absurd to conclude that thoughts arise empirically and randomly. Logically there has to be some cause-effect basis of thoughts arising.
Perception of the outer world lays the substrate for thoughts, responses and actions. Hence perception and thought initiation must have some source code which is unique for every individual. Since computers closely mimic neural networks, we could analyse their functioning to shed some light on the working of the human brain.
The computer's Read Only Memory or ROM is a preset programme which cannot be modified. ROM has the blueprint of basic operations as well as anagrams for processing data. It ope-rates and controls vital processes. The computer also has a Random Access Memory or RAM, which is a storage device for data that can be erased and modified. Every human being also comes with an inbuilt ROM programme. This is the database of all past karmas and vasanas. Vasana is unmanifest thought; it is the substrate of thought. It pre-empts all thoughts and actions.
Thoughts are constructed on the infrastructure of vasana. This data is not deletable. Every individual is born with a unique ROM that contributes not only to thought initiation, perception but also to programme the responses of the individual. This explains why each individual reacts differently to the same external stimulus. The varying reactions are therefore also a function of the operative system. Every individual is also provided with a RAM, which records all events as they take place. It serves as input for subsequent encryption into ROM. ROM is then subsequently formatted onto the hard disc of the individual in successive births.
Vasanas precede thought and thought precedes action. Action thereafter generates further vasanas and this cause and effect cycle generates karma. So we are now dealing with an operating system that has an inbuilt programme, an encryption of all previous karmas and vasanas. However, we also have free will to ignore this inbuilt programme. We could script a new programme which subsequently gets transferred to the ROM. Free will represents the ability of each one to rebel against the inbuilt programme. Science could determine the past as it may have the ability to access the ROM, but no science can predict what is going to get written in the RAM.Mind is the effecter of ROM.
It generates all thoughts as a function of the unique source code of ROM. Unbridled execution of ROM results in impulsive actions. But volitional control can help us overcome the diktat of ROM. With intense determination and control, it can be forbidden to enforce the encrypted script. If efforts are not taken to counter this preformed template, life travels along the uncontrolled path determined by the sum total of the past. To script a new ROM is the aim of all sadhana, discipline and meditation. Life vacillates between surrendering to the programme and endeavour to exercise the free will.


Shripad Gudi said...

I happen to read from another great Prakarana Grantha by Sri Sachhidaanandendra Saraswathi Swamiji, who established Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya at Holenarsipura, Dist: Hasan in the state of Karnataka, that according to the great Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada, if Karmas and Birth are to be linked (you have stated that our thoughts depend on the ROM)the way it has been prounded in your blog, does it not amount to accepting the chain becomes beginningless process. I am afraid it also may amount to leaving no scope for noble progression. I crave to seek clarification and certainly do not challenge the observation.

William said...

Hello Deepak Sir.
Thanks to TOI, after long time i got the opportunity to go through your article today and also happen to view your profile. In the books section found I AM THAT as your favourite which is mine too. It completely unseated me and continues to do so. How amazingly a simple man of hardly any schooling could grasp and expound Highest Knowledge with such great simplicity that could stirr the souls across the world. Could give me the your observations and experience of reading that book.

Pranam - William

drdeepak said...

Nisargadatta maharaj was a turning point in my understanding and efforts to seek answers. He was just outstanding in his clarity and concept. Just that it is quite hard hitting and shakes the basic foundations of all our beliefs. Keep reading and deliberating. Another jewel is the Ashtavakra Geeta. Don't miss it.

shanti auluck said...

read your article on free will on your depicts the functioning of our minds in a very interesting and figurative way.

we can master our mind by questioning our thoughts and perceptions, in other words we have the potential to rewrite the software of our mind through reflective thinking.
consciousness beyond the realm of empirical thought is the biggest mystery and seeker's path is a lonely journey with diverse guide maps. shanti auluck

srinivasan said...

one understands vasanas as our tradition explains but, scientifically,how's ROM explained?could you please help