Sunday, September 17, 2006

limit {mind(x)} as x--> infinity

No, this is not any math question. I just read a question that was asked to someone: "Why doesnt the earth fall?"

Most answers were something like: "God holds it so that it doesnt fall!!" or "Thats the beauty of God's creation". Yeah right.. Just think of this: God spent so much time to design an earth like this and for having created it, this poor guy has to hold it also!! He certainly wouldnt have wanted to! (By the way, I am not an atheist)
Anyways, we always attribute anything that we do not know and anything that we do not want to know to "God"(whoever created this word 'God', hats off to him! The human mind just utilises this word so perfectly at times) When something goes wrong, we blame it on God. When we can't answer some question or cannot think of something, we say: "Well, God doesnt want me to know". When we ask any question about the creation, we say that God created it. But when something great happens, what do we say? We say: "Yes! Finally 'I' acheived it." The God concept disappears all of a sudden then!

Anyway coming back to the question that I mentioned in the beginning, one of the replies was: "Where should the earth fall?"!!

Yes, it is in an infinite space, as it were, and in infinity, where should it fall? Does infinity have dimensions? Is there an upward or downward or directions associated with it? Does the word "fall" make any sense at all? Because 'fall' mostly means 'down', and where is this 'down' in infinite space?

Our basic problem is that the 'mind' cannot imagine anything infinity. It tries to give a 'form' to the infinity which is ridiculous! It is not the fault of the mind. Because mind itself is within this limited space and time. It obviously cannot imagine anything further. People say that you can imagine something beyond this limitation of space and time. But I feel that this statement itself is wrong. Because, 'imagination' is referred to the mind and the mind cannot go beyond this space and time. And if it does, then it will no longer be called a mind. Rather, it would no longer exist.
So, the statement itself was wrong.

Anyway, the meaning behind the title of this posting is that, we might try and imagine any thing infinite through our minds, but again and again, we imagine the infinity as a 'thing', as a 'form'. But infinity cannot have a form! However, the mind cannot help but think of it as a form, as a thing. We say: "An infinite thing"- like I mentioned a few sentences earlier. The sentence is wrong. It (be it whatever) cannot be an 'infinity' and a 'thing' at the same time!

So, the limitation is really the mind. What we see is but the infinity within this limitation called mind. Everything that we see and enjoy is within this limitation and we refuse to go beyond/think beyond. We can think of it this way: "If within this limitation of 'the inifnity', we apparently seem to see so much happiness, how much happiness will we find in that infinity!"
Do we ever think of this? We dont. "Because our mind doesnt let us think beyond. We will never be able to go beyond. I will die here in a pitiable fashion. I cannot help it", is our answer. But this is no answer. It serves more as an excuse than an explanation, an excuse that we are trying to give ourselves, because we really dont want to find an answer. We refuse to think of it just because we do not want to think of it. It is nothing but an excuse. Why cant we find something if we 'really' want to find it?

And one another famous saying: "The society will not support us. The society will laugh at us if we talk this way".
I care a damn for the society. I would rather say, that I will stand aside and laugh at the whole society!!

If someone or all of the whole world tells me: "I am gonna laugh at you because you are different", I will tell them: "I am gonna laugh at all of you because you all are the same"!
Now, thats attitude. Live it, if you believe in it. Change yourself to live what you believe in. Thats what I would call, a "complete life" or what people generally say: "Living life to the fullest". But unfortunately, it has just remained a jargon, "good to hear and acknowledge" kind of a thing. Whats the point in believing in something that you would love living, if you are not really able to live it? Dont call yourself a believer anymore. Go sit in a corner and cry to the wall that you are a believer of something that you cant practically live. That wall will also probably try and cry along with you after sometime, out of pity!!

Only either of these two can happen: "Live in the society and face it or flee away from the society which doesnt care for the truth". What good is there in the society which doesnt support the truth?
But still we continue to live here.

And is this what we call: "A practical life"?
A practical life!! Ridiculous! It is high time we start laughing at the replies we give... Let us see how long we will continue to apparently defend ourselves with our excuses, one after the other.

Anyway, to wrap it all up, the math in my title can never have a solution, because the question/problem statement itself is wrong!


unforgiven said...

The mind is blocked only by the limits that we impose on ourselves.

We are too pragmatic and shall not allow unbridled wandering of this oh so precious mind.

Sad, isn't it?

Ankur Sakhuja said...

well i do indulge in discussions on "analytical philosophy" and the like, hence thought about commenting on your post. let me attempt to justify the statement: "you can imagine something beyond this limitation of space and time." - that you disagree with.

there are two aspects to the above statement that require attention. firstly, it has to be interpreted symbolically rather than literally (as you seem to). secondly, you seem to be erring in not making the distinction between brain (the physical entity in space-time) and mind (which refers to something beyond the physical).

in your initial paragraphs, you make the observation that we humans exhibit a peculiar habit of attributing to "God" anything that we are unable to comprehend. well speaking qualitatively, this in itself, if thought about, explains the unlimited ability of the "mind". by doing the above, the "mind" is essentially exhibiting the ability to acknowledge and "identify" with a name something that it "does not know" for the time being. or rather in a practical sense, it's circumventing the problem of the unknown by first recognizing it as some abstract entity (by giving it a concrete name) and then later hoping to discover a more "plausible" explanation through, say, scientific investigation.

i think the above behavior of the mind, if thought about carefully, is nothing short of an "infinite" behavior.

i gave the above explanation qualitatively. to put it quantitatively, i'd just simply object to your mathematical expression of the mind as a function of 'x' - "mind(x)". the point is, this has an implicit assumption of the mind being a "formal system". well, if not disproved, there is no sound basis to assume the mind to be a formal system; rather the behavior as explained above seems to indicate a "higher" ability.

i hope i've made some sense;) i'd welcome any further enlightenment on this :).

Nanditha said...

@ankur: Well, I am not sure what made you feel I am not differentiating between brain and mind. I dont explicitly call that out, but I thought that was obvious. When I say-'think' I am of course not referring to the brain.

Of course, the mind goes to think of something beyond- lets call that infinity. And lets say it calls it God with some form- some concrete form. So, whats the mind doing here? It is essentially bringing that infinity down within the limitation(of time and space). Because the mind itself is within this limitation. But I am afraid,thinking of infinity as God(concretised form) is not an infinite behavior. Certainly not!! If it was, you would know what infinity means. Do you know? I certainly dont know. Your imagination of infinity could be more than my imagination of infinity- but that again is only as far as your mind can go, as far as the thought can reach, as far as you think you can imagine...

Go beyond that- and thats infinity. That infinity cannot be sensed, that infinity cannot be thought of(by your mind or whatever), that infinity cannot be felt, that infinity cannot be seen, cannot be explained..cannot be, cannot be, cannot be...

Of course, the mind tries to do a bit by trying to imagine infinity. But it can go only as far as it can go and beyond that it wouldnt exist.