Is Universe the Ultimate Free Lunch: Cosmic Inflation to Intellectual Inflation ?

Last week, as I was browsing a news report, an advertisement of a car appeared on the right-hand column. Its caption read ‘space re-defined’ and then it instantly struck me – all the three kinds of news that I had come across by then related to inflation (or some sort of that) banged on my thoughts with a hint of some inter-connection.

Here is the list of those inflations:

Economics inflation.

Cosmic inflation.

And the mysteries of the human mind, its quest, its challenges  and expansion of our thoughts, which I refer here as Intellectual inflation.

Last year, President Barack Obama highlighted innovations as an important factor to boost the American economy and unveiled “the next great American project“- a $100 million enterprise to probe the mysteries of the human brain. At the august gathering of top scientific dignitaries of America, he also affirmed the power of philanthropic science.

I myself now borrowing, scaling up and transforming a few ideas from the above bit of news, hope to present in the forth-coming analysis how this Intellectual inflation, quite expectedly, acts like a window of perception with regard to the other two types.

The first one- I need not elaborate it as everyday, we either personally confront it or see it in the newspapers or hear it on the television. What I need to mention is that the third type, our ever-changing or expanding ideas can further influence those graphs that feature significantly in the internal world of business and commerce. Terms in economics like demand, supply, costs, profit, loss, etc. finally boil down to various human needs and achievements across demographies and are also changeable over time.

Now, let us focus on the second type of inflation which has been the workhorse of cosmology for 35 years. Before I relate this to the third type, let me first highlight the newly discovered spectacular findings or evidential proofs as a result of the undaunted perseverance of man.

Describing in very simple terms, Cosmic inflation means when the cosmos or the universe, just after the Big Bang, underwent an exponential gush in its first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. According to British scientist Dr Jo Dunkley, it could be when “everything that is important, everything we see today – the galaxies, the stars, the planets – was imprinted at that moment”! Since then, space has continued to expand for nearly 14 billion years and will endlessly continue to blow up here and there (multiverse). Scientists opine that coupled with a few other factors, a phenomenon as this has perhaps also rendered an evenness to the sky.

Researchers from the American BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) team believe they have detected the residual signal (B-mode polarisation) left in the sky by this super-rapid expansion of space or Cosmic inflation. To seek this “smoking gun”, they have been using a telescope (basically a giant superconducting thermometer) at the South Pole to make ideal observations of a small part of the thin, cold and dry sky. This residual signal was observed to have a distinctive twist pattern, now believed to have been caused by gravitational waves. The discovery of this particular polarization of the cosmic microwave radiation was thrilling because it means ‘the light waves had a slight preference to vibrate in one direction rather than another’. These patterned spirals were detected by measuring infinitesimally small differences in the temperature of the microwaves.

So far, so good.

The BICEP2 data does not talk about what this magical-sounding inflating energy is. Einstein’s concept of anti-gravity or dark energy was revived 15 years ago along lines that it is ‘giving a boost to the expansion of the universe, albeit far more gently than inflation did’.

Let us take a look at the four forces of Physics at work in the world today: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. But Physicists have long suspected that ‘those are simply different manifestations of a single unified force that ruled the universe in its earliest, hottest moments.’ Since men interpreted these forces, the laws of Physics have evolved and can definitely evolve further whenever or until the cosmos ‘super-cools’.

Though the BICEP2 group’s data is subject to intense peer review, there is an all-high possibility that this new observation may make certain existing theories or models indefensible and set up a completely new regime of Physics or even science.

In the exalted and equally humble words of Prof. Alan Guth, a leading pioneer of the theory of Cosmic inflation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to the BBC: “I have been completely astounded. I never believed when we started that anybody would ever measure the non-uniformities of the CMB, let alone the polarisation, which is now what we are seeing…I think it is absolutely amazing that it can be measured and also absolutely amazing that it can agree so well with inflation and also the simplest models of inflation – nature did not have to be so kind and the theory didn’t have to be right.”

Amazed at the enormity and ways of the Cosmic inflation, he further mentions: “It’s often said that there is no such thing as a free lunch,”…”but the universe might be the ultimate free lunch.” 🙂

But scientists do admit that ‘we might never know what happened before inflation, at the very beginning, because inflation erases everything that came before it. All the chaos and randomness of the primordial moment are swept away, forever out of our view.’

And this is perhaps where, in my opinion, the eternal and imperishable Bhagavad Gita would come in as a form of Intellectual inflation to bid defiance, in a way, to the boundaries set by Cosmic inflation.

An article in The New York Times bears this comment regarding the ever-changing state of the cosmos and consequently, the changes in laws of Physics: ‘As the universe cooled, according to this theory (a special break point in the evolution of the universe), there was a fall from grace, not unlike some old folk mythology of gods or brothers falling out with each other. The laws of Physics evolved, with one force after another “freezing out,” or splitting away.’

Now, recall the chapter in Bhagavad Gita in which Lord Krishna bestows the divine eyes to Arjuna and asks him to behold the countless manifestations of the entire cosmos in His majestic, inconceivable, indestructible, expansive, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, all-sustaining, all-pervading and transcendental Form. This Holy text extols – if the glory of thousands of suns were to blaze forth all at once in the sky, even that would not resemble the glory and prowess of that exalted Form – the Adhiyajn or ParBrahma or Ishvar (Super Being or Ultimate Consciousness) from which multifariously emanates the animate, the inanimate, the smaller than the smallest and the bigger than the biggest in these eternal cosmic phenomenon since time immemorial. In other words, it means that the entire cosmos is a manifestation of that Super Being.

Then there is a chapter which deals with the cyclic nature of creation and eternal transcendental existence. In the cyclic creation, one day and one night of the Brahma (Aadi Prakriti or primary material nature of Ishvar), each, lasts one thousand Yugas or one Kalp (4.32 billion years). At the beginning of such a day of the Brahma, all mortal beings are born again and again; and they are annihilated when such a night falls. These beings are said to be under the control of Gunas (Modes) of Prakriti or Maya (Nature). Interestingly, I wonder if these Gunas are those forces (comprehensible by the mortal being) that Physicists have so far deciphered and defined after years of perseverance !!

Only in the transcendental existence, can one rise above Prakriti and attain Param Dhaam or Vaikuntha (Supreme Abode); such beings do not take birth again. Only a steadfast Yogi who is aware of that splendid Form both in his inner psyche (contemplation) as well as in his Karma (actions) and devotionally meditates on the Ishvar, can seek Him and His endless cosmic vision. According to the philosophy of Bhagavad Gita (and even Vedas), seeking the Supreme Guru or Ishvar should be the ultimate aim of a true Seeker of knowledge. This knowledge is the most sacred and is in conformity with Dharma (Righteousness) and can be perceived by instinct gliding on the wings of Faith. Perhaps this Yogic manner of seeking the Ultimate Realization or Truth has been symbolically represented by Lord Krishna’s grant of divine eyes to Arjuna, who knelt in humility and in Faith, and prayed to the Lord to reveal His cosmic phenomenon !

Thus we, the human-beings, see how subtle yet how vast, how deep is the relation between the spiritual inner psyche and an outward urge for rationality. It is indeed amazing to realize how the Bhagavad Gita or the Vedas, composed thousands of years ago, contains so many golden mantras intensively relevant for the entire mankind, even today !!!

Whether metaphysics or science or spiritual beliefs, after all it begins with Faith and humbly continues with man’s unfathomable quest of knowledge. Whatever we do, we must surrender it in all good Faith, as an offering to the Lord who seems to pervade everything in this cosmos. Therein, we behold the beautiful balance of the intellectual and the spiritual worlds, and always a dramatically unfolding picture of the infinite Creation. The day either our Faith or our humility or our quest ends, we as human-beings, shall fall from grace.

Aamjunta – what do you say?

Collision of Egos to Joy of Giving

While taking a glance through the “Times of India” this morning, I got curious when I saw some thing with a heading “Collision” in the regular space provided for the regular articles/columns on “The Speaking Tree“. Being into a profession which deals with the word – collision (Packet/Frame Collision) at-least 100 times a day, I could not hold my nerve to wait; read the entire article in a flash. The theme and overall presentation of the article was enough to provide the necessary thrust to my concious and sub-conscious mind and to come out of a collision between to write a post and not to write a post, occuring in my mind for the last couple of weeks.

In the world of networking, one condition for successful transmission and reception of packets lies on the fact that packets should be transmitted in a collision free environment. Of course, one will advocate that there are advanced techniques, which ensures successful decoding of packets even if there is a bit of collision between the transmitted packets. Yes it is true, but only when the collided packets have different energy, not every time.

Now coming to the theme of this article, there are strong good wills surrounded by broad vision and there are egos in our everyday life. When egos of different people collide with each other, then natural as well as unnatural problems arise, be at home or in work places. Problems of these kind can never be sorted out in general, or can never be overcome by a stronger ego over a lighter ego; rather get multiplied into many folds – can be fatal in some cases. In addition to this, with egos of high order, preservation of self image and self identity gets contaminated with stubbornness, selfishness, unwillingness to compromise, unwillingness to forget and forgive others; does not matter how small or big the preservation is. Unless the person differentiates between the ego and strong will, he/she runs into a vicious circle of the self and the other, me – mine and you – yours; resulting in no respite in/from life. To come out from the jaws of egos a strong will is required, and one who exhibits tolerance and endurance and power to vanquish or punish the opponent, should also choose to forgive and forget instead.

Like the use of various collision resolution mechanisms or collision avoidance and collision detection mechanisms in networking to increase the throughput and successful transmission/reception of packets, there are definite needs of collision resolution/avoidance/detection mechanisms in the case of egos. A strong will with a broad vision is of course needed as a collision resolution mechanism or a means to overshadow the ego or to transform the failures into success and problems into solutions. Some times, it is the sheer acceptance of the facts and a solution there after, required to bring some one from the trauma of so called destruction or failure.

In some sense, one can say that it is the joy of giving or joy of being with/for others or joy of recognizing a life with full of uncertainties or the joy of responding to a cause in the society. But, one can argue with intellect that how and why should I give or respond or recognize or compromise?, or why me? Yes, these are absolutely right questions? And, yes, it is true that no answer will completely satisfy the “self” or the “I“. Some time it becomes a matter of survival also; quite impossible to accept though. But, what else do we have to offer – a debate is certainly inevitable! But, don’t you think most of the problems resulted out of ego or stubbornness or selfishness can simply be solved by the above means. Some times the little smile on our face or a small thank you or excuse me does the wonder for the other and hence for the self.

The joy of giving is obviously not related to give some thing in kind all the time. One can experience the joy of giving by simply accepting some thing or putting our legs on their shoes or showing some interests related to some facts or recognizing a cause. This not only brings smile on many faces, but also brings a means to live; to bring some one out from frustrations, including ourselves. Just remember how many times you were frustrated because your achievements and efforts went unrecognised. Same thing happens with others too. Can’t we help them by simply recognizing their good works or by gifting them a smile or praising for their achievements? These things of course are free of cost; then what forces us not to give and not to enjoy!

Some says, do not believe strangers, and I say all my friends were strangers; and yours too :). But, then where does the enemy come from? Enemy was there, and it will be there, in the form of ego, hate, frustration, dis-interest, non-recognition and many more and within the self and the other. It comes, collides and destroys our families, relationships, work place and society in large and creates the wide distinction and differentiation between the self and the other.

Aamjunta, what do you think? – opting joy of giving! or colliding with egos 🙂

A strong personality exhibits tolerance and endurance. It has the power to vanquish and punish an opponent, but chooses to forgive and forget instead. When we are egotistical, on the other hand, we demonstrate our weakness by answering a pebble with cannon.

PS: Interested readers can browse the original article Collision of Egos, published in the Times of India, dated: 24th Aug, 2010.

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