Sentry Post in Human Brain

Word, ‘Sentry’ means a soldier stationed at a place to stand guard: The place where the Sentry stands guard is called Sentry Post. The Sentry Post takes care of the place within its jurisdiction to prevent unauthorised entries. The purpose of keeping a Sentry Post is to protect the premises and to save its inhabitants.

The engagement of Sentry Posts has become a life-style requirement of modern society. The practice ought to have become necessary as a sequence of job diversification and individual-cum-collective engagements of modern social order. In ancient times, parents and elders used to keep guard of their family and property. There used to be no Sentries and Sentry Posts in those days.

Guarding safety of the clan can be traced as a biological trait of living organism. May be, it was one of the components of evolution of species. Ants and insects keep twenty four hour vigil around the holes and the leaves where their female partners lay eggs. Birds keep constant watch over their nests where eggs and chicks are housed. The same is the case with animals and monkeys of all types. The insects, birds, animals and monkeys take over themselves the charge of Guards along with their routine work for food and means of survival.

The sentry posts which we find around the living organisms including humans are located in the premises where they live. But, then, what about the individual physique where the need of sentry posts is equally important? Apart from the body itself, there are innumerable invaders from outside the body to turtle the balance and equilibrium of the physic. No doubt, for that too there exists ‘Sentry Posts’ in the brain; the sentry posts which are more vigilant and responsive than the sentry posts that human community deploy for its safety. Sentry Posts in human brain not only sends out alerts but it also nurtures memory for the safety of the physic.

During the year 1927, the great Physiologist, Dr. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov reached an irrevocable conclusion: It was about the existence of a Rapport Zone and certain points on duty in the zone:

While awake, the cerebral hemispheres of human brain represent a ‘system’. That system coordinates all parts of the brain with each other. The Coordination enables the sensory centres in the cortex to produce collective response to stimuli from external environs. The response helps bodily activities and cognitive functions to take place. When the process continues, the nerve cells start losing energy. Consequently, the cerebral areas become inhibited and the inhibition spreads to the entire brain and the physique as a whole. There thus happens what is known as Natural Sleep.

In the said brain activity there is yet another sphere of inhibition which produces partial sleep called Hypnosis. During hypnosis, the coordination of the System becomes absent. As a result, each segment of the brain responds to external stimuli isolatedly. With reference to the partial, isolated inhibitory phase, I P Pavlov wrote:

“The following phenomenon is often observed: Inhibition spreads over the cerebral hemispheres and sleep sets in. Nevertheless, certain points which I call points on duty or on guard in the rapport zone may remain active without being faded by inhibition. This is observed, for example, in the sleep of a miller who wakes up when the noise of his mill ceases, or in the sleep of the mother who wakes up at the faintest sound coming from her child but who is not disturbed by much louder sounds.”

The sentry posts get rapport with any or all of which are of serious concerns of the physic as revealed in the Pavlovian experiment. As explained by the Scientist, the mother sleeping with her loved, newborn child by her side seldom responds to calls for waking up even if one tries hard by shouting. But the moment her child starts crying, though the sound of crying is feeble, the mother abruptly wakes up. As for the mother, the safety of her child is the utmost concern: Here the sentry posts alerts the sensory centres in the mother’s brain. The impact of the alert was her sudden waking up. Such is the sensibility of the sentry post.

The duty of the sentry post in human brain is to keep a watch over sensory reactions to stimuli emanating from internal or external environs. If the reaction affects the interests of the physic, sentry posts send signals of alert to the sensory centres which are in partial inhibition. The alert signals excite the nerve cells for immediate action.

Turning to hypnotism, the most serious concern of sentry post in the nervous system of the person under hypnosis is the subject himself or herself. Therefore the sentry posts in the subject’s brain automatically build rapport with the Hypnotizer or the Hypnotist through temporary nerve connections called conditioned reflex. These temporary nerve connections are formed by the repeat suggestions made by the Hypnotist. Thus Hypnotist gets rapport with the subject or the hypnotized, through the activation of sentry posts. This basic brain activity is used for treatment of deranged mental conditions of patients.

Sentry posts keep suggestions made during hypnotic sleep in memory to be remembered and acted upon in accordance with the suggestions imposed by the Hypnotist. What is suggested to the subject during hypnotic sleep would remain in the subject’s memory unless removed through reverse suggestions.

Mental imbalances may take place due to brain damages caused by injuries and serious diseases. In such cases hypnotherapy has only very limited role to play. Where the imbalances are created by the influence of stimuli emanating from various sources of environs, hypnotherapy can bring back normalcy to the patients. In such cases, the imbalance has been produced by conditioned reflexes.  It is such imbalances and aberrations laid by reflex action that are viable for hypnotherapy. Because of the rapport retained in between sentry posts in the patient’s brain and the Hypnotist, repeat word suggestions for cure generate internal conditioned inhibition to deflect or redraw the conditioned reflex already formed which caused the earlier malady. It is the sentry posts in nervous system that helps therapists to cure the mental disorders through hypnosuggestion.

In the above background, the hypnotherapist needs to be one who is clean in dealings with a personality of nascent behaviour apart from being appropriately trained. Besides, the Hypnotist shall have to ensure the presence of one or two close relatives of the patient inside the therapy centre as witnesses.

There are possibly no chances of causing injury to the patients by the Hypnotist through ill-intent suggestions because the sentry posts may force sudden waking up of the subject to react strongly against any misbehavior on the part of the hypnotist. However, the Hypnotherapist, the Patients and their near and dear Ones have to be cautious as cautious and vigilant as the Honorable Sentry Posts are.

Beyond the Reach of Science

If something is projected as out of science or beyond the reach of science, including those which are within the human thoughts, then that something ought to have to be non-existent anywhere. It is because reach of science has no limits.

There is, however, a section of thinkers and pseudo-intellectuals who think otherwise: For them all beliefs and faiths in soul and spirits are beyond the reach of science. They claim that beliefs, faiths, soul and spirits are invisible and they have no physical existence and that therefore science has no say in these matters.

Visibility is a visual experience nurtured by brain. There are many invincible things in the universe like air and various types of gases. Simply because these are invisible to naked eye, they are not out of science and scientific studies.

The concept that there are things in the universe which are out of the reach of science has arisen because the beholders of the concept do not understand what science is.

Science is a systemic branch of knowledge; science is a branch of study based on the operation of general laws applicable in the physical or material world. Anything that exists outside the physical, material world, if such a thing exists, can be construed as being outside the scope of science. But then the question that arises in the context is as to what would be that thing which is outside the material, physical world?

All kinds of beliefs, faiths, beliefs of soul and spirits are created by human brain. No animals, birds and other living organisms except humans have any belief or faith in and about god, soul, spirits and innumerable other supernatural entities. The central nervous system of human brain reached limitless complexity enabling it to fathom deep into subjective imaginations pertaining to everything including beliefs.

Brain is an inseparable part of human body which exists in the material physical plane as part and parcel of Universe. Therefore imaginations and beliefs created and nurtured in human brain is within the reach of science; all sorts of beliefs, beliefs in god, spirits and soul are accessible to scientific evaluations and conclusions.

Ever since homo-sapiens species evolved on the surface of Earth, their brain activity of thoughts and actions started following a two-way traffic route. One of the routes they followed confined itself within the frame-work of subjective thoughts and ideas while the other one they pursued was based on objective reality. The path of Subjective thoughts is based on contextual imaginations made without tangible evidence. That process of subjective imaginations which the perceivers could reach out was easy and simple to postulate. On the other side, objective reality stands face to face with real objects where no imaginations are called for to find a position in the physical plane.

As far as science is concerned both the above mentioned two-way traffic routes followed by human thoughts are within the scope and reach of science. Today the Study of neuroscience is in a very advanced stage: Discoveries made by the great Physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov during the first part of the twentieth century have proved that all kinds of sensations, perceptions, conceptions and judgements are the product of brain cells which are facilitated by and through the working of unconditioned and conditioned reflexes with the aid of First and Second signal systems.

In the above said back ground, it can conclusively assert that there is nothing in the world which is out of science; which is beyond the scope and reach of science. Let therefore the gloom-dreamers continue their somnambulistic sleep walking carrying their beliefs, faiths in soul, sprits and other supernatural entities on their head: For optimists of objectivism, science is everything; science has no limitations. Science spreads light in every area of thoughts and actions of human brain.

Feminism – Essence and Aims

Feminism is a strategic movement which stands for equal rights and opportunities for women in line with those enjoyed by men in political, economic, social and cultural fields including education and employment. Feminism may also be described as an organized system of activities aimed at achieving women’s rights and preserving their interests. Feminism targets the global vision that men and women deserve equality in opportunities, personal treatments, mutual respect and all rights that men enjoy. Feminism therefore demands that social inequality based on gender and skin colour should be wiped out from the face of Earth.

There is no clear-cut evidence to prove as to when and where exactly feminism originated in the world. Some researchers have made vague presumptions that fight for equal rights for women could be traced to the Middle age period in the Middle East saying that early reforms in Islam allowed women to divorce and claim inheritance. But the presumption is questionable because female gender has been a tool for abuse and oppression in every religion throughout the history and the right to divorce and inheritance could never be regarded as achievements made by feminists in the Middle East in those primitive days. The stated rights in the matter of divorce and inheritance for women ought to have been made available to women by male religionists of the faith and it cannot at any rate be taken as an achievement made by the female.

References in some books written by early female writers show incidents of verbal defence made against sexual abuse and harassments meted out by males. The first such reported reference is in the book “Epître au Dieu d’Amour” penned by French writer Christine de Pizan (AD 1364 – 1430). In that reference, though it lacks clarity, it could be assumed that feminism as a stream of thought to fight for female rights originated during 14th or early 15th Century AD.

In advanced democratic societies, the organised system of feminism could achieve progress in social, cultural, economic, and personal matters as well as in the field of education and employment. Similarly feminist movements in secular-democratic Countries could garner support from various sections of people including male dominated social organisations which helped female genre to vote, to hold public offices, to earn fair and equal pay, to own property and also to achieve equality in matters of matrimony, protection from uncontrolled tirades of rape and sexual harassments.

Of late, certain section of feminist organisations appears encouraging male participation in their fight to achieve social approval and engagement for gender equality. As a result, in general, the present day feminism cannot be taken as a movement confined to females alone: The term ‘feminism’ cannot, in that context, be attributed to a movement of female gender. But some section of feminists furiously oppose the idea of male participation in the movement exhorting that male participation would end up in nauseating problems due to the time-born traditional patriarchy. However, taking into account the need for total security for females and transformation of the society in general,  it is essential that any organised or unorganised feminist movement shall have to go ahead as a united front consisting of both the genders. Then only the traditional practices of male domination including the age old patriarchy could be demolished.

Presently Feminist movement particularly in the Western Countries is divided in terms of Waves as First Wave, Second Wave and Third Wave. Each Wave deals with different issues related to feminism. The First Wave refers to the women’s movement which fought for right to vote during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Second Wave belongs to the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s. It fought for social and legal rights for women. Then the Third Wave is the resurgent operations for achieving what could not be achieved through the first and second Waves. The movement that carries on its efforts since the 1990s is called the Third Wave Feminism.

Whatever be the classifications, feminist movement could spread a strong message among various segments of the society and through it to the conscious of the authorities responsible for the welfare of the people. With the advent of Social Media like, twitter and facebook, the message of feminism could attract wide range of tech-savvy genre and engage them in the movement all across the world.  That forced the governments as well as non-government organisations to introduce pro-active measures for wiping out inequalities and sufferings facing the female gender both in developed as well as underdeveloped countries irrespective of their religion, caste, colour and culture. The achievements could undeniably be attributed to the modern feminist movement, executed by and through female-male participation. The joint-venture entrepreneurship has a long way to tread because of the strong religion-centric, deep-rooted caste system, colour discriminations and economic factors which still rule the roost in Countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, African nations and many other Countries.

As in the case of any other movement, feminism too needs the female-male participation as a gender-free neo-neutral Global Body. The reason behind that concept has rational basis: It is an undeniable truth that due to biological and procreative reasons there are differences between female and male genders. Though women have more communication skills, practical solutions for problems, emotion and empathy towards others and skill to manage stress-situations, the participation of men cannot be denied for men in the prevailing social, cultural and patriarchal domestic situations can do things and matters shrewdly employing muzzle and vocal skills.

All species consist of both male and female genders with an exception of a miniscule lot called the ‘transgender’; but transgender itself is a gender and therefore, it too belongs to the species of homo sapience:  Existence of the species in the survival track of Nature is a joint-venture enterprise carried out through female-male participation. Therefore, any movement to achieve its ultimate targeted growth, female-male participation is a must:  And there lies the global need for tuning ‘Feminism’ into a female-male joint venture entrepreneurship.

India of Science – A Verdant Verdict

Independent studies have revealed certain hidden historical truth about ancient India that is known as Bharat. The ancient India was the epicenter of a philosophy which was based on materialism. The people of the era discussed the materialist philosophy and practiced materialism in their day to day life. It was a scientific way of life that prevailed in those days of the past.

Historians have picked up threads of those thoughts and practices and they codified them under the title, “Charvaka Samhita” which gives a clear picture of the ancient materialistic philosophy that was the order of thoughts and actions of the people. The settlement of those people was centered on Sindhu and Gangetic river belts which formed part of ancient Bharat.

The materialist philosophy of Charvaka is reported to have developed during 7th Century BCE: That was the period when the saga of world renunciation started spreading among developing communities in different parts of the world.

Charvaka philosophy upheld strict materialistic perceptions: According to the perceptions, those matters which have no objective reality, does not exist in the universe. The Charvaka School of materialism was popular and was practiced by people of the clan for a very long time. The Philosophy rejected everything unless that could be proved as true through and by sensory experiences.

Charvaka philosophy stood as the most irreligious and skeptical ideology ever devised and practiced anywhere across the Globe, in the past. It was a highly developed civilization of ancient India and that civilized, materialistic society of scientific ideologies and pursuits is also known as Indus Valley Civilization. The valley covered areas including Indus river belt in the present day Pakistan and northwest India.

Things did not go smooth for the atheistic society of Charvaka thoughts: The scientific way of life that prevailed in the Indus Valley had to face the biggest body blow by BCE 15th century. That was the time of Aryan migration into the Indian sub-continent particularly the area covering the Indus Valley Civilization of the Materialist-Charvaka Society. The body blow was the biggest tragedy that wiped out science and scientific pursuits of ancient India. Many historians call Aryan migration as Aryan invasion, may be, because their arrival was not in search of livelihood but to capture power and to establish their supremacy.

Aryans belonged to ancient central Asia and Europe including areas covering Hindu Kush Mountains. Their belief system was called Zoroastrianism; Zoroastrianism was the belief system of Persia, the present day Iran. Zoroastrianism is believed to have been introduced by one mythological figure named Zoroaster in the 6th century BCE. He perceived the ideas of God, Heaven, Hell, Evil spirits et al which form part and parcel of every present-day Religion in the world.

By nature Aryans were a set of aggressive nomadic tribesmen and they were cattle herders by profession. They migrated to Indus Valley plains in large numbers. They vehemently let loose and forcibly spread their traditional beliefs and rituals in the Sindhu and Gangetic river belts eroding steadily the prevailing Indus Valley Civilization; alongside they thrust their rituals and ritualistic practices upon the local Charvaka community.

The culture and life style the invaders brought with them were entirely different from that of the original inhabitants. They converted the fertile land they occupied into prosperity with agriculture and trade. As years passed by, they the migrant Aryan-invaders began to call themselves as Hindus because of their proximity with the Sindhu River. The contextual reason for such a change is explained on the basis of a purported fact that there was no letter ‘S’ in Persian linguafranca  and hence the visitors replaced the letter “S” in the word ‘Sindhu’ with ’H’ and thus they became “Hindus”.

The Aryans codified their ritualistic practices under a caste system called “Chaturvarna Vyavastha”. The Varna Vyavastha, the system, was built on the criteria of skin color and supposed spiritual-knowledge-pool of the clan: They, then, thrust the Varna Vyavastha upon the local populace by force.

Under the Chaturvarna Vyavastha, Brahmins, the topmost layer in the system, were the custodians of a perverted intellectualism. Their intellectualism transgressed into total subjectivism replacing all materialistic thoughts at every level. Science and its application in social and cultural spheres of human pursuits were replaced by Brahminical spirituality pushing black-brown-skinned original inhabitants into the lower strata. The lower strata, accordingly, got de-classified, one after the other, as Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras keeping Brahmins at the top of all.

Brahmins established ultimate supremacy in every operational area for amassment of wealth, prosperity and authority. The process continued till the total annihilation of materialistic thoughts of Charvaka philosophy from the face of India almost altogether. Whatever vestiges of the materialistic philosophy remained, they are now scattered here and there under different names such as Humanists, Skeptics, Atheists and Rationalists.

Dangerously aggressive affiliates of Hinduism, today, have taken over the task of spreading all that is against science and scientific temper of the society. Except for a few intellectuals, almost all Indians today are under the cloud of this peculiar trend of the cloudy darkness which is totally opposite to the shiny light of scientific temper and scientific attitude of the ancient culture. Also, in the current scenario, under the guise of democracy, the aggressive affiliates of the post Aryan invader-clan broke into Political arena, as well: They are playing the fiddle of religious rhythms to attract the people towards subjective ideologies. Thus the ancient India of materialist philosophy is now tracking the path of the spiritualistic philosophy. The divide between the philosophical thoughts of materialism and the philosophical thoughts of spiritualism is widening steadily across Indian subcontinent as years pass by.

 

Nostalgia – The Bitter-Sweet Emotion

Human brain is so complex that no one can foresee where and how far human it traverses and how diverse conclusions it makes. Nostalgia is a subject which has fallen prey to diverse conclusions. As in the case of any other phenomena, nostalgia too has undergone many evaluations and judgments.

Right from common man to intellectuals, the meanings and explanations received by the word nostalgia are so many. The general opinion of the folks is that Nostalgia is a type of longing for pleasure connected with places, persons, experiences and events of the Past. But in specific terms the connotations of the word are divergent: For some, intense homesickness is nostalgia, for yet another lot, obsolete things are nostalgic monuments. For a few others romantic experiences are real nostalgia but in the field of Medicare zone, nostalgia is a melancholic condition.

In whichever way it passes by, nostalgia is an emotional  feeling  connected with personal experiences of the past. Those experiences may be of places, scenes or social and cultural situations.

In essence, nostalgia refers to a general interest of the past; nostalgia dwells in the past in terms of personalities, places and or events. In common parlance of common man, nostalgia is reminiscences of the “good old days”.

Nostalgia can rightly be classified as an precious human possession even if it would be unreasonable and or unscientific to claim that animals and birds are outside the net of nostalgic experiences relating to the past. Of course , there is no denying the fact that advanced animals like elephants, monkeys and dogs do undergo dreamlike states where flashes of imagery of the food they ate, mating they enjoyed, attacks they faced et al might be taking place as nostalgic experiences. But such experiences of the past for animals and birds cannot be as deep, continuous, frequent and frustrating as those human beings undergo. There is therefore, nothing wrong in the premise that nostalgia is  an experience of human thoughts and actions which constitute crucial existential potential of the homo-sapiens species.

Psychologists who reportedly conducted in-depth studies on nostalgia have come up with very many interesting revelations. They claim that the intensity of nostalgic experiences goes on changing in accordance with aging. Among the adult youth nostalgic experiences are at very high level compared to the middle-aged ones who face nostalgia significantly at very low rates. On the other hand, as people grow older and older they become prone to increased levels of persistent nostalgia, mainly nostalgia pertaining to the incidents and encounters they shared during their bygone past.

Recent scientific investigations have confirmed that nostalgia is not an unhealthy mental transgression but it has very many good postulations on personality development of the people. It impacts beneficially on human behaviour; it improves moods, self respect and it helps develop good social interactions. Nostalgia counter acts loneliness, reduces boredom and brings down anxiety. Nostalgia helps people to feel better about themselves with self-esteem and meaning in life. On many occasions, reminiscences of the past help people to become tolerant and to keep pleasant mood even in unfamiliar situations.

Memory is the basic structure based on which nostalgia springs up. Without the faculty of memory there cannot arise any nostalgia for anyone, anywhere. As for memory it is the product of sensory interactions to stimuli emanating from the environs, mostly the stimuli emanating from the external environs. The stimuli excite the sensory centers which then lead to arousal of Sensations, Perceptions and Conceptions and then on clearing the process of judgement the whole process end up in memory.

Traces of various sensory experiences of places, people, incidents, sceneries, occasions and socio-cultural encounters which individuals face or come across during their existential pursuits get posted in memory. As years pass by and changes in age and environs take place, during idle moments brain cells engage in tracing back the past experiences of various encounters stored in memory. That process is what is called nostalgia. The process of trekking the past is carried out by the pull of cell to cell nerve-connections nick-named as conditioned reflexes which excite the sensory centres in the cortex of the brain providing nostalgic experiences of the past.

Human existence is not a story of success in every step forward in the journey but it is intermingled with full of hardships and miseries and also with isolated cases of happenings involving happiness and joy. Probably therefore, nostalgia is a mechanism developed as part of evolution to ensure adaptability to the changing environs and thereby to sustain meaning and excitement in life.

Nostalgia is a complex phenomenon and the phenomenon is very often fascinating as well. Nostalgia need not and does not always be pleasant recollection of the past. Nostalgia is a bitter-sweet emotion but the end result of which turns life worthy and meaningful irrespective of whether it involves sweet remembrances or pain-filled thoughts.

 

Divine Miracles – How Best To Expose

Miracle is an event that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is  ascribed to divine or supernatural cause. That is how dictionaries define the word ‘miracle’. The dictionary meaning emphasizes two important requirements to help determine whether an event is a miracle or not.

Firstly, a miracle should have to be an event which surpasses human and natural powers; secondly, miracle should have to be an event ascribed to divine or supernatural causes.

Religious texts and Holy Scriptures are full of stories about divine miracles: Scriptures of Hinduism tell that divine entities could shut the mouth of wild animals, ride on tigers, dance with cobras, fly across the world incognito, and walk on water, live in fire, produce materials from nowhere and so on.

While on the other side, according to narratives in Islamic texts, the Prophet flew to heaven on a flying donkey; water sprinkled from the Prophet’s hands; dead girl was made alive; Allah turned many people into monkeys; Stone ran away robbing Moses’ clothes et al.

Religious texts of Christian faith are no exception: Prominent among the list of miracles is the birth of Jesus out of Virgin Mary without the help of a male partner. Another is the story of Abraham who kills birds, cuts them into pieces and makes them alive again.

In short, anything and everything can turn out to be a miracle provided it is an event which is beyond the range of human or natural powers and that the event itself is for the cause of divinity and supernatural powers. Based on the premise, it appears that there exist no rules, regulations and parameters for a miracle to happen. It premises that Miracle is an event or occurrence beyond the level of being objectively understood or deciphered by an individual or a group of individuals, at a given time or situation. That scenario was well-used by mischievous human elements among societies who wanted to shine in supernatural glow over living and non-living objects on the earth. Religious propagandists across the world, godmen, god women, spiritualists, priests, sadhus and sanyasis in the subcontinent of India had exploited the human society and they continue to exploit the gullible human beings through Miracles for material gains and supremacy over others.

Divine Miracles at the hands of nefarious elements under  different shades have destroyed the nascence of believers across India over the years. The innocent religious followers have become idlers, they have lost means of livelihood; the Country has seen drastic go-slow in economic growth due to loss of interest in production. Lack of creative engagement has become the order of the Nation-building Scene of India. Majority of commoners including the labor class with their family and neighbors go after various shrines, spiritualists and sanyasis, attracted by miracles. But benevolence of Divine Miracles never reach them, blessings of the divine entities never help them:  They remain lost in every area of material benefits subjugated in the misty clouds of subjective imaginations. What the Country needs today to lift the gullible believers out of the tragic situation is to educate them about the senseless exploitation by the spiritualists and to inculcate in them the scientific truth about divine miracles.

The best way to educate the believers about the exploitation is to organize campaigns across the length and breadth of the Country: The campaign programs should have to be ideal, attractive and interesting for the public so that the people at large will tend to absorb the principles of truth in their day to day life and free themselves from the clutches of obscurantism.

During 1970s, the Indian Rationalists Association set an example for successful conduct of a series of Divine Miracle Exposure Campaigns in various parts of the Country. Experience of miracles arises out of mental trauma caused by illusions and hallucinations. The IRA devised the divine miracle exposure programs based on the said mental transformation on the participating members from the audience. In this context, a review of the IRA program seems to be worthwhile for modelling such programs:

On the conclusion of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Indian Rationalist Association which was held in December, 1974 at Madras (the present, Chennai of Tamil Nadu, South India) , the Executive Working Committee decided to conduct a tour for miracle exposure by engaging the services of an expert magician to perform magic tricks of the miracle makers, a competent Hypnotist to conduct lecture cum demonstration of illusions and hallucination on subjects from the audience and a well-learnt Speaker of outstanding expertise to explain the nullity of divine miracles. Accordingly the Committee selected the renowned rationalist and retired lecturer of Thurston College, Prof. A T Kovoor of Sree Lanka (Ceylon), Magician Swaminathan of Tamil Nadu and well-known scientific hypnotist P K Narayanan of Nagpur in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra State to conduct the proposed Divine Miracle Exposure Campaign. The Executive Working Committee thereupon passed the following resolutions in that connection:

1. The programs shall be conducted under the banner of Devine Miracle Exposure Campaign short named as DMEC of Indian Rationalist Association.

2. The program shall include lecture and question answer by AT Kovoor for one to one and a half hours; Magic show of Miracle Busting by Swaminathan for thirty to forty five minutes and lecture-cum-demonstration of mass hypnotism by P K Narayanan for two to two and a half hours. It was further decided that for news and publicity, name of P K Narayanan shall be changed as Prof. Hypno and the hypnotic show shall be called Hypnorema.

3. The local Rationalist Organizations/Cultural and Social forums shall have to pay Rs.600 for each program to meet the travel expenses of the touring party; local transportation for the troupe shall be arranged by local organizers; the local organizing bodies may charge the public a minimum entry fee (ticket) in order to meet organizational expenses.

All the affiliated State Rationalist Associations, Atheist-Humanist Associations and Various Cultural Forums were informed about DMEC Program being organized by IRA. The first tour was scheduled to cover Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The second, third and fourth campaigns to cover the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. The IRA organized four consecutive campaigns beginning the first program at Tanjore (Thanjavoor) in Tamil Nadu on the fifteenth of March 1975.

The DMEC program of IRA was the first of its kind in the history of rationalist movement not only in India but elsewhere in the World. The campaign gave strong boost for the growth of Rationalist movement in different parts of the Country: Many new associations came up for the crusade against superstitions.

In the interest of the Country and in the interest of the society as a whole, miracle exposures are the need of the hour. Divine Miracle Exposure Campaigns are the best education program to uplift the people from the abyss of decadent beliefs and practices.

 

Sympathy – The Benefactor

‘Sympathy’ is defined as ‘ability of a person to share the feelings of another especially in sorrows and troubles.  In another context, sympathy is described as a relationship between persons and things where whatever affects one person, affects the other person, as well’. In essence, Sympathy is a specific mental attitude of agreement in feelings and emotions on the part of an individual with respect to those of another.

Sympathy in a person arises out of the capability of that person to understand another person’s surrounding situations, circumstances, point of views, thoughts and feelings, the state of mind of which is commonly known as empathy. Empathy and sympathy are closely linked with each other and both follow the same path.

Depending upon contexts, Sympathy has been interpreted in many ways: As per these interpretations, sympathy is sharing of emotions and sorrows of another person; sympathy is harmony of feelings between person and person; sympathy is mutual affection arising out of congeniality; sympathy is a condition of behaviour similar to that of another person’s behaviour; sympathy is feeling of loyalty and support for a cause or an idea. There is yet another context which relates to physiology where sympathy is mutual relationship between two organs.

The word ‘sympathy’ is said to have its origin in the Latin word ‘sympathia’ and the Greek word ‘sumpatheia’: These words stand for the mental approach of one human being to understand the distress of another human being and then to react to the distress of the other with a helping hand. The understanding and the reaction of the person emerge out of concern for the well-being of the other person which is well connected with the past or present experiences which the sympathizer has undergone.

Sympathy extends to other emotional states also where distresses and pains may not necessarily be the prime concerns. As for example, take the case of parents: They give total attention and care for the wellness of their children. However, the maternal-paternal sympathy for their off springs may have to be viewed as instinctive. Such instinctive sympathetic behaviour prevails even among animals and birds in the initial stages of birth and growth of their off springs. However, the so-called sympathy of animals, birds and even humans slowly disappears as the off springs grow up in passage of time.  No doubt, in a larger sense, the parental care and concerns may be termed as sympathy, but in precise terms, it is inborn behaviour trait which is not akin to sympathy felt in distresses and pains of others because sympathy is an acquired emotional behaviour, acquired after the birth of the living organism.

Sympathy develops in human brain through temporary nerve connections called conditioned reflexes. Neuroscience explains that a conditioned reflex is formed as a result of repetitive interactions of the sensory centres with stimuli emanating from environs. There are situations which make an individual to undergo experiences: These can be diseases, accidents, painful situations at home or in the neighborhood and turbulence of various nature. These conditions stimulate the sensory centres of the individual and repeat occurrence of the conditions ends in formulation of reflexes in the brain connected with the sensory centre in the brain. A person who himself has undergone severe pains when comes in contact with another who is in acute distress of pains will get moved deeply by the incident. That feeling of the individual for the other suffering person is a critical evidence of sympathy of the person concerned. The sympathy may force the person to do whatever is possible to help and thereby to alleviate the distress of the other person. Sympathy may even reach out to philanthropic movements, institutions and hospitals which devote their services for the cause of the distressed.

Crucial ingredient involved in the development of the conditioned reflex of sympathetic attitude is attention to the needs of others which may be either individuals or group of individuals. Unless a person diverts attention to the surroundings the individual cannot have even an element of sympathy in his behavioral attitude. Persons who are selfish and inward looking and do not give any attention to what is happening to others, to what is going on in the neighborhood and the society and do not recognize the needs of victims, can never feel sympathy for anything and anybody. It is because distractions limit sensory experience related to the situations as a result of which brain fails to build conditioned nerve connections for effective reactions. That is why attention becomes crucial for the development of sympathy. The attention to the needs of others enables individuals to experience the feelings of the sufferers and thereby it helps building up sympathy.

There is another area of sympathy which relate to the powerful helping the vulnerable. Discarded children, elderly who are disowned by their family and relatives and abandoned sick persons are examples of this category where those who can afford extend helping hand to the needy. Similarly, geographic proximity like neighborhood, citizenship of the country, racial and religious considerations generate feeling of sympathy. Such sympathy is based on the belief that people within the same group are inter-related and inter-connected with each other.

Sincere sympathy of a person or group of persons always follows action aimed at extending solace to the needy. In addition to the action, communicating the feeling of sympathy to others who are in dire need of the help is as important as the action itself. Sharing the sorrows by expression of soothing words, by facial expressions, by touch and occasional visits to inquire about the condition of the sufferer will lend enormous relief to the sufferers. That is where the first system of communication through signs and symbols and the second system of communication by spoken or written words become crucial and relevant in matters of sympathy and sympathetic behaviour.

Researchers are reported to have found that canines and other lower animals too feel and express sympathy. The findings appear to be of false premise. It is  common experience that when hungry stray dogs happen to pass by the vicinity of domestic pet dog’s habitat, the pet dog violently reacts to the presence of the stray dog with loud screams. It jumps over the stray dog, bites and drives the stray dog away from the vicinity. Similar is the behaviour even among the stray dogs when they face their physical and biological needs. Had there been a little bit of sympathy, the pet dog might have behaved in a better way and tried to help out the stray dog with love and compassion. The reported findings of the researchers seem to be untrue: It is basically wrong to conclude that the nerve cells of lower animals like canines are capable of building the reflexes for sympathetic behaviour.

Among the modern political and social scenario, many a time, vested interests utilize fake sympathy for the cause of popularity, influence and malicious gains. Even in such situations, the individuals or group of individuals who get help and solace for their distress remain beneficiaries of sympathy irrespective of whether the benefactors or the helpers are fakes or not.

Humanity the world over today faces enormous magnitude of turbulence and destruction. Religions, races, castes, communities, faiths, beliefs, rituals and related practices have divided the human race: Mutual distrusts and enmity have become the order of the day. Despite all these, the mankind survives and go ahead with tremendous achievements and progress in every area of existence. The major chunk of contribution for the survival and existence of humanity is Sympathy. But for sympathy, human race would have met the dooms-day cataclysm long before the dawn of civilization.

 

Animists – The Curse of Nations

Animists are set of humans whose behaviour is clouded in Animism. Animism is an acquired behavioral disorder which negates human values and culture. Animists are curse to the society; they viciously keep away from science and secular trends; they are idlers exploiting nation-country resources for their selfish motives.

Word ‘Animism’ owes its origin to Latin word ‘anima’. Anima means breath or soul both of which are believed to possess consciousness. Animism covers almost all religions because religions believe that it is soul that sustains life. According to the belief, humans sustain life because of soul and without soul survival of humans is impossible. Since ‘anima’ also means breath, it has to be assumed that animism pertains to living organisms which breathe air as its basic life sustaining mechanism. The concepts of soul, spirit and supernatural powers dwell in human mind: The concepts have no place outside human thoughts.

Since the concepts of the spirit world and supernatural powers have no objective reality in the physical realms of universe, they are subjective imaginations: All subjective imaginations can be classified as beliefs. Therefore animism and its attributes confine itself within the boundaries of beliefs.

As animism dwells in beliefs, the origin of belief needs a go through. Except for humans, animals and other living organisms have no ability to believe anything. Their brain cells are not capable of that activity. They have, therefore, no idea of god, spirits and other supernatural entities and therefore they are outside the periphery of animism.

The case of humans is different: Long before homo sapiens paved their way to reach the stage of civil society, what the wandering prehistoric humans, wandering for food and shelter in the dangerous terrain on the surface of the earth, feared the most was wild animals, thunder, lightning, rains and floods.  Illnesses, hunger and thirst supplemented their fears. Fear of death haunted their thoughts: Consequently, the prehistoric humans started believing that all the painful occurrences were the creation of unknown powers: The humans thereupon, started their search for identifying the unknown powers. The search moulded beliefs of soul, spirit and supernatural powers. The beliefs were born out of fear: Animism is therefore a part of the belief system. When modern religion evolved as a system of beliefs in supernatural entities, the religions and its followers became the thresholds of animism.

According to belief, spirit world belongs to different categories of spirits: A section of the spirits are the souls of the diseased, others are inherent in nature. The nature-inherent spirits are intermediaries between humans and the omnipotent god who is the supreme hero of the spirit world. Followers of different religions then devised system of prayers to seek the help of the intermediaries for benevolence of the spirit world: Their prayer-formulations were set in different directions according to the scopes and aims of benevolence from the spirit world in matters of human needs and for help on occasions of illnesses, natural furies, wars, harvests, childbirths, marriages, studies, jobs and other conditions where human efforts are believed to be beyond its reach and where interference of the spirit world is unavoidable. Alongside, sections of believers went after the disembodied soul of the diseased to get their whims satisfied by invoking the ghostly spirit world. For the purpose, they created rituals and sorceries including sacrifices as a part of their belief system to satiate the hungry ghosts.

Animism has undergone significant changes as time passed on: One of the changes that took place was removal of the concept of soul, spirit and the spirit world from animism. For the modernists animism is associated with extraordinary preoccupation with physical appetites and body-needs rather than spirits and souls. Animists today are the naughty ones who exploit others for satisfying their needs, for filling their stomach and for amassing wealth by resorting to all available tactics which include dubious propaganda and annihilation of the opponents. Spiritualists, spiritual gurus, religions, religious followers, sorcerers, ritualists and organizations working for the cause of spirits, souls, ghosts and other supernatural powers  in some way or the other are epicenter of animism.

All believers are therefore animists. Similarly all humans who are addicted with excessive thirst for amassing resources for physical needs are animists.  Animists are shame to society.  Animists are exploiters of national wealth. Animists are enemies of secular social order: Animists are factually the curse of Nations.

 

Humanism – A Magic Wand

Humanism is defined as a system of thoughts in which human interests and human values are taken to be of primary importance: The definition reveals that humanism is not an individual human posture because humanism ought to have to be a system. System stands for a group or combination of people forming a unified whole. In that context a person who nurtures human interests and human values and who being a part of the group is bound to be a humanist but the individual cannot itself constitute humanism.

Ancient and modern thinkers had expounded so many explanations for humanism. One of the explanations is that humanism is a branch of philosophical thought. The philosophical thought is based on the concept that humanism is a world view covering a system of beliefs. The main concerns of the beliefs are centered on values, needs, nature and abilities of human beings. Another view which is the latest in the row and which has no takers, is that humanism pertains to a particular branch of psychology directed at the study of human nature and human values. However, many a think tank of the present, takes it for granted that humanism has only two branches, one based on beliefs and the other which belongs to secularism. The theory of psychology lacks credence and it tarnishes the image of humanism.

According to the proponents of the psychological theory, human behaviour is linked to the inner feelings of the mankind. On the basis of that concept, during the latter part of the last century (1970s and 1980s), a set of psychologists came forward with procedures for psycho-analytical studies of humanism. Psychologists of humanism, rather humanistic psychologists, are of firm opinion that in psycho analysis, objective reality is less important than subjective perceptions. They therefore reject scientific methods bracing experiments and researches where their psycho-therapy is concerned.

Humanism based on beliefs aims at understanding human nature, human values and perspectives through supernatural and transcendental domains.  These domains are more important for believers even if they amount to denial of human needs and values here and now for the sake of life after death.

Secular humanism is the most sought after philosophy especially by the self acclaimed intellectuals of the modern age. The track of secular humanism is manifold:  For the intellectuals, secular humanism is the only viable solution to develop knowledge of the living world as opposed to dehumanization tendencies of the belief system; human values, human nature and human experiences can be studied and understood through rationality of materialism and therefore humanism necessarily is atheistic; in fact humanism is the most important principle of Rationalism and Atheism; – thus goes their interpretations.

Humanism means many things according to the fancies of the beholders. The first and foremost among the fancies is that god created the humans in his own image and that therefore humanism embraces the system of beliefs in the supernatural. According to rational beholders, humanism is a system which does not believe in gods and deities or the system does not care for gods and deities. For them, excellent human behaviour is possible by following the path of reason. They propose that humans created thousands of gods, goddesses in their own shapes where the question of supernatural do not arise at all. The pursuers of the latter system confide that they are concerned about human rights and equal opportunities for all; that they are liberal in matters of abortion, gay rights, lesbianism, transgender, same sex marriage, assisted suicides and separation of church from state matters.

On generalization of all what are attributed to humanism, it is possible to conclude that humanism belongs to three major groups. The first one is Philosophical Humanism which came into existence by the end of the middle ages. The second group is Religious Humanism which is based on religions and religious beliefs.  The third and the most popular humanism is the non-religious philosophy which promotes humanity through secular practices.

The explanations about humanism as briefed herein above give credence to the conclusion that humanism has no specific ideology, no specific line of thoughts and no line of action. Even on taking it as a branch of philosophy, humanism lacks specific system of beliefs embracing any set of doctrines.  The term ‘humanism’ therefore remains as a magic wand in the hands of fence-sitters of the intellectual cauldron to induce illusions and to get applause of the innocent human beings, the world over.

 

Pregnancy and Childbirth Management – Role of Hypnosis

Engage and procreate progeny’ is a biological trait ingrained in every living organism. The trait ensures existence of the species. The ingrained trait follows sex act which results in pregnancy of the female. Pregnancy ends in birth of the progeny of descendants among vertebrates. Pregnancy and birth of progeny are natural processes. For living organisms except for humans, the biological processes of pregnancy and giving birth to the descendants are no concerns of worry and pain.

Though in the beginning humans too maintained the same stature, as years passed by and as human thoughts started expanding due to the complexity in brain development, they started worrying about pregnancy; they started nurturing concerns about child birth related problems. In educated societies with higher degree of knowledge about everything around, women and their counterpart became victims of unpleasant imaginations built around pregnancy and childbirth.

Pregnancy related worries which haunt the modern educated women assume greater dimensions on account of the physical disturbances associated with pregnancy. Bleeding, vomiting, morning sickness, antenatal depression, sleep disorders and nightmares are common disturbances among pregnant women. These disturbances build up stressful situations; childbirth scenario turns out to be horrific experience. Some of the pregnant women become victims of unwanted imaginations:

“How sad it would be if there is a miscarriage; what a tragic situation it would be if the child is born with birth defects; how serious it could be if premature child birth takes place; how bothersome it would be if the new born is too small or too big and if the new born looks deformed and ugly”.

Thus goes the worrisome episodes of imaginations. In addition, every pregnant woman fears too much about labor pain that precedes the childbirth.

In order to deal with the situation, obstetricians and gynecologists and also general medical practitioners selectively give counseling to pregnant women to keep them confident. Wherever needed, they prescribe medicines for health related problems.

Counseling is appropriate and essential for all pregnant women and also for the expectant fathers. But use of medicine for pregnancy related worries and depressions is not advisable because it may adversely affect the health of the new born child as well as the mother in some way or the other. In the overall situation, therefore, clinical hypnosis turns up as the alternate system for pregnancy and childbirth management.

Use of Hypnosis is the most effective solution for pregnancy related worries, depressions and stresses. Hypnotherapy ensures the pregnant woman healthy and pleasant child birth. The benefits of hypnotic child birth are many: It reduces anxiety, tension, fear and worries; it enables the expectant mom to convert labour pain into pleasant feeling; it shortens the first stages of labour; it allows control of painful uterine contractions. Hypnotherapy avoids or limits the use of pain medication. Besides, hypno-suggestions help greater baby-mother bonding. Hypno-suggestions can also help proper upbringing of children and maintenance of congenial family atmosphere.

Hypnosis is no longer a mysterious supernatural power as propounded by spiritualists. Hypnosis is an induced relaxation phase of central nervous system akin to natural sleep. The British and The American Medical Associations, The US National Institute for Health and The Professional Affairs Board of the British Psychological Society, have confirmed through detailed studies that hypnotherapy is effective in clinical applications for mental disorders and for pregnancy related traumas without affecting the normal course of labor.

Hypnotherapy is also free of side effects. While using hypnosis for childbirth, the Hypnotist shall have to be extremely careful to employ suggestions through select words which do not convey out of the context meanings to the subject. Similarly, it should be ensured that the Hypnotist is one who is appropriately trained in the profession. The Hypnotist should possess skills to analyze and sort out the problems which require adequate skill in suggestion-therapy. Correct diagnosis is always a must before starting the session for hypnotherapy.

In America, Great Briton and some European Countries, there are institutions and individuals who apply Hypnotherapy for childbirth. But in India, the system is yet to be recognized.  No obstetrician, no gynecologist is known using Hypnotherapy as a general practice to retrieve pregnant women of child birth problems. The scenario necessitates restructure of the course of Medical Education by including clinical hypnosis as a specialized subject. The matter has to be closely examined by Governments and Recognized Private Bodies with the support of experts in the field and to devise norms and guidelines on Clinical Hypnosis for general practice as well as for pregnancy management and Childbirth.

Though hypnosis is a valid and trouble free system for childbirth management, it is important to take precautionary measures while employing hypnotherapy for the purpose: First of all, the hypnotist should be a well trained person; if obstetricians who are well trained in hypnotization are available, one of them may attend the pregnant woman for pre-delivery sessions. Otherwise, an appropriately trained Hypnotist may have to be engaged for the purpose. During pre-delivery hypnotic sessions, apart from the Obstetrician the presence of two or three witnesses including the husband and or close relatives of the pregnant woman should be ensured in the clinic; a written statement showing the details of the pregnant woman and the summary of the hypnotic suggestions given, may be got signed by the witnesses as a measure of legal protection for the Hypnotherapist:  These measures cover the essential precautions  to be taken care of while employing Clinical Hypnosis for Childbirth.

There are also other important measures to be taken care of if hypnotherapy has to be effectively introduced for pregnancy management and pleasant child birth, free of side effects:

With the ever increasing number of patients who opt for modern Medicare, obstetricians and gynecologists hardly find time to devote for clinical hypnosis which requires close attention over long period of time. The same is the case with general practitioners of medicine.  It therefore becomes the need of the time to devise schemes for engaging trained Hypnotherapists for the purpose in various hospitals and clinics, both public and private, across the Country. Another important step is to popularize the significance of clinical hypnosis among the general public.