Thursday, May 01, 2014

Six string pheno papers

It's the first of May: time to read the Czech children's most memorized poem, Karel Hynek Mácha's romantic 1836 poem "Máj". Try the translation by Edith Pargeter or James Naughton or the translation to some other languages (including some audios).
May Day turned out to be a busy day on the arXiv, especially when it comes to papers on string (and string-inspired) phenomenology. I will briefly mention six papers, including three articles on string inflation.

First, Savas Dimopoulos, Kiel Howe, and John March-Russell of Stanford-Oxford (a perfect rhyme, indeed) wrote about
Maximally Natural Supersymmetry
which argues that models involving both SUSY and one large, multi-\({\rm TeV}\) dimension are realistic. Somewhat similarly to Hořava-Witten heterotic M-theory models, there is a \(S^1/\ZZ_2\times \ZZ_2\) compactification. The two \(\ZZ_2\) groups break the theory from \(\NNN=2\) to \(\NNN=1\) SUSY in two different, mutually incompatible ways, so that no SUSY is left in the effective theory. Alternatively, you may say that there's no good \(\NNN=1\) 4D effective field theory because the Kaluza-Klein scale coincides with the SUSY breaking scale: the breaking is effectively of the Scherk-Schwarz type, by antiperiodic boundary conditions for the fermions.

The model proposes light \(650\GeV\) top squarks, \(2\TeV\) gluinos, and a new massive \(U(1)'\) gauge boson \(Z'\) – all of these should be accessible to the LHC13 or LHC14 run that will begin next year. Despite the large fifth dimension, they say that they produce strong enough gravitational waves for BICEP2 if the dimension is small during inflation. I have a problem with the sudden growth of the dimensions (i.e. with the usage of different sizes of extra dimensions for different epochs) but maybe it is just a psychological prejudice.

Nana Cabo Bizet, Albrecht Klemm, and Daniel Vieira Lopes show that they are hardcore string algebraic geometers. In their 150-page-long paper
Landscaping with fluxes and the \(E_8\) Yukawa Point in F-theory,
they study F-theory models with the \(E_8\) extended gauge symmetry point living at one "Hawaiian" fiber of the base. Recall that this paper by Heckman, Tavanfar, and Vafa managed to obtain a realistic mass matrix for the neutrinos – one that was soon confirmed by experiments. In the new Bizet et al. paper, they exploit some advanced mathematical tools and determine some superpotential for the first time.

The third non-inflation paper I want to mention is
New String Theories And Their Generation Number
by Arel Genish and Doron Gepner. Gepner is known for his "Gepner models", clever combinations of minimal model CFTs into realistic "string-sized" compactifications of extra dimensions in perturbative, especially heterotic string theory. Here they are doing something similar. Aside from the minimal models, they are adding a nonstandard parafermion SCFT by Babichenko and Gepner (2012).

Surprisingly for me, they may generate infinitely (countably) many new \(D=4\) heterotic string theories belonging to five infinite classes – where elements are labeled by one or two positive integers. For example, the elements in the first class are denoted \(\{N_1\}\) where \(N_1\in\ZZ^+\) is a positive integer. You could think that the search through the infinite zoo of new theories could be hard and time-consuming. After all, some of the stupid people think that even the search through as little as \(10^{500}\) vacua is hard. How many good candidates to describe our Universe are there in the Genish-Gepner list?

It turns out that they have some wonderful news: there is only one viable candidate in the set, namely the theory \(\{6\}(13,18)\), which is the only one that has three families of quarks and leptons. Wow, quite a candidate for a theory of everything. ;-) They're far from confirming that the theory has everything it needs to be realistic. For example, it yields an \(E_8\times E_6\) gauge group and it is not clear whether the \(E_6\) may be broken down to the Standard Model with the available field content. It would also be interesting to know what is the corresponding Calabi-Yau manifold.

Now, the three string inflation papers

All of the three papers sort of focus on the need to get trans-Planckian changes of the inflaton field, as Liam McAllister was emphasizing in his guest blog.

First, Ido Ben-Dayan, Francisco Gil Pedro, and Alexander Westphal talk about the
Hierarchical Axion Inflation
which shows that one may get very natural inflation – compatible with BICEP2 – using two axions with very different (hierarchically separated) decay constants. Be ready for some nice pictures of potentials \(V(\phi_1,\phi_2)\) for these two fields – which mostly look like waves in one of the two directions. Non-perturbative effects are enough to produce a slow-roll inflation with the trans-Planckian shift of the inflaton field.

They briefly discuss the embedding of this paradigm within type IIB string theory on a Calabi-Yau manifold (with a 3-form flux) where the two fields come from the axion-dilaton field \(\tau\).

Finally, there are two inflation papers co-written by Liam McAllister. In the first one,
A New Angle on Chaotic Inflation
written together with Thomas C. Bachlechner, Mafalda Dias, and Jonathan Frazer, they show that the mixing of the several axions' kinetic terms – the "kinetic alignment" – actually makes the effective decay constant larger than previously thought. If the decay constants are \(f_1,f_2,\dots , f_N\), you would expect the overall effective decay constant to be the Pythagorean hypotenuse \(f_{Py}=\sqrt{N}f_{RMS}\) where \(f_{RMS}\) is the root mean square of the decay constants.

However, due to the kinetic alignment, you actually get \(\sqrt{N}f_{N}\) instead – the average one is replaced by the largest one. It's a technical observation but if correct, it shifts the people's expectation about how hard it is to get the high effective decay constant in \(N\)-flation. The order-of-magnitude estimates were not quite enough. So if the paper is right, it's much easier to get the right numbers in stringy \(N\)-flation.

This new alignment of theirs doesn't need fine-tuning as the alignment by Kim, Nilles, and Peloso.

In the second, related new paper
Aligned Natural Inflation in String Theory
written with Cody Long and Paul McGuirk, Liam returns to the original Kim-Nilles-Peloso picture and presents a more specific example of how type IIB string theory with two axions manages to produce a large effective decay constant. Magnetized or multiply-wrapped D7-branes are needed (pretty pictures of ropes wound around a doughnut are included). They contain gauginos that undergo condensation which destroys the discrete shift symmetry of some fields while preserving others.


  1. New string theories paper is listed twice in red.

  2. Kashyap, thanks for the reply. I agree that consciousness must be qualitatively the same across individuals, but I sure wouldn’t agree with “it is the same in all humans”. I define “exterior reality” in this context to include one’s body, so I take body type as a major contributor to consciousness. Great athletes will inhabit, in my view, very different mental states from average people, as will, of course, Hollywood hotties. I regularly practice yoga myself, purely as workout, but I definitely experience very different mental states depending on my level of practice. As far as how far down consciousness goes, check out my cousin Jack.

  3. Dear Lubos, You write, "I have a problem with the sudden growth of the dimensions (i.e. with the usage of different sizes of extra dimensions for different epochs) but maybe it is just a psychological prejudice."

    I was glad to read that you might have psychological prejudices! ;)

    My own -- infinitely (?) less informed -- favor string gas cosmology. :)

  4. kashyap vasavadaMay 1, 2014, 4:27:00 PM

    Since your questions are not related to the main topic "Science and Religion" I will answer them little bit later.Short answer is: yes Hindus are after all human beings! They have all the usual frailty. There are occasional disputes between different believers.But eventually they settle before too long.There are social problems also tied up with these.

  5. kashyap vasavadaMay 1, 2014, 4:33:00 PM

    Thanks for your comment.

  6. In the end, to be a truly reductionist, maybe they are right. See, the Ones who really thinks in Universe are the quantum fields in interaction ... once Universe is an isolated system, information can not be lost, it becomes entangled with other degrees of freedom of those quantum fields ... thus, sufficiently complex quantum computers, as our brains, maybe can suffer the delusion of self-referenced conscience, free-will, and, even stranger phenomena ... as reported by Ian Stevenson et. al that Hindus call as reincarnation!

  7. Given any two irrational numbers 'x' and 'y' it is always possible to find integers j, k, m, n such that |(j)(x^m) - (k)(y^n)| < epsilon, where "epsilon" is arbitrarily small. One should not be impressed by such a relationship since one could find an arbitrarily large number of relationships as good or better by picking any other irrational number, like the Napierian base 'e', Euler's constant gamma, the Golden Ratio, any irrational square root, etc.

    For quantum gravitation...Feigenbaum's constant, for all is chaos.

  8. kashyap vasavadaMay 1, 2014, 4:47:00 PM

    Well. Amit Goswami and perhaps others have pushed the idea before that reincarnation is quantum entanglement in space and time.We see human bodies burnt to ashes or eaten by bugs in the ground. But Atman (soul) may carry quantum information
    about our Karma. Some may say that this is pseudo science. At this point we have to reserve our judgement.

  9. Daniel Vieira LopesMay 1, 2014, 4:48:00 PM

    Dear Lubos,
    it's cool to see our paper mentioned here. But you pasted the wrong link :)

  10. Thank you for the thoughtful article. I agree with Tom--consciousness is internal. A reason that it seems similar in all humans has to do with evolution and natural selection, which has both interior and exterior effects.
    A problem in your text (to me) is in the use of the words "consciousness" and "God"--a strict definition of each is impossible to pin down in users.
    Both Hinduism and Buddhism seem to have many attractive attributes, but both also support Vitalism--that every object is animated and has a life force...a view much out of favor in the West (properly imo). In Western terms, this seems Leibnizian, which is ok, if you believe in his views. I am certainly ignorant of specifics of both religions, but you must admit that there also is a huge spectrum of belief in both---eg Buddhism as seen in the West is largely dogma-free---but it can be as rule and dogma-laden as fundamental Christianity in some forms.
    BTW an entertaining Sci-fi novel by Roger Zelazny is based on Hindu gods--"Lord of Light".

    Yes, there are remarkably prescient passages I have seen in ancient Hindu writings, but interpreting them wrt modern knowledge about the universe may be somewhat like giving credence to Nostradamus' predictions.

    Once again, thanks for the blog post. (This is from a variety of "atheist"(==another word that is elastic.)

  11. kashyap vasavadaMay 1, 2014, 5:00:00 PM

    Thanks for your comment.Congratulations on practicing Yoga for over 20 years. Although, I do other exercises to stay fit, unfortunately, I have not done yoga practice.I have heard lectures on Patanjali's Yogasutras though but that is theoretical! I hope to read about "proof" of reincarnation some time. My guess is that it has to go a long way before it is acceptable as a science.

  12. kashyap vasavadaMay 1, 2014, 5:14:00 PM

    What you are saying is the *essential* difference between Abrahamic (which I call western) and Non-Abrahamic (eastern) religions. I tried to point out that science *has not* answered the question which is right and probably will never answer it with the scientific method used today.

  13. Dear Daniel, thanks and congratulations to your paper!

    LOL, fixed. Svik was mentioning the error but didn't formulate the error clearly so I thought he was just trolling and deleted his comment! So apologies to him, too.

  14. Tx, sorry that I originally deleted the comment - the URL and title matched so it looked OK. A co-author had to post the same complaint for me to understand what you meant.

  15. Lubos writes: "It turns out that they have some wonderful news: there is only one viable candidate in the set, namely the theory {6}(13,18), which is the
    only one that has three families of quarks and leptons. Wow, quite a candidate for a theory of everything. ;-)"

    My feelings exactly. I want one theory. Please, nature.

  16. kashyap vasavadaMay 1, 2014, 6:00:00 PM

    Now that science-religion blog is published and comments are under control, I can return perhaps safely to asking science questions!! Admittedly my knowledge is not enough to take side in SGC or inflation debate, I remember my question to Dr. Brandenberger about flatness as a problem for SGC. His answer was "In order to address the flatness problem we need to add further inputs." I think inflation model's big success was explaining flatness. I would like to know if you or Lubos think, this may be crucial for SGC.

  17. For brazilians, at least, reincarnation is much more than an interesting hypothesis, see for instance:

  18. I would vote for multiple wrapped Donut Branes split and rotated over three axes.

  19. Sorry. I'll try to write proper English next time.
    And use "quotes" too. ;-)

  20. The "max natural Susy" paper is exciting. Sounds like KK theory on steroids xxx I mean strings. I just looked up the KK a couple days ago wondering what happened to it. This may breath new life onto it.


  21. So the new TOE 6.13.18 should flood the science news rags anytime now. Stand back!!!!

    Looks like this has room for the physics as well so calculations can be made. Double wow. Much better than the surfer dude E8 which just had the particles but no physics. Hey but adding an E6 should buy you something.

    Maybe they can squeze in a little E4 to fine tune it to match the SM.

  22. Well, given Gepner's previous paper's having 1 citation after 2 years, I wouldn't bet on it - but I think that much more attention would be appropriate.

  23. Does the 3 generations of particles include the Susy sparticles and various ions??

    Don't have enough juice left on my Korean phone to download it just now!!!!! ;-)

  24. BTW, Dear Lubos, do you know if the Reeh-Schlieder theorem also applies (in any generalized form) to string theory? Thanks!

  25. Nana Geraldine Cabo BizetMay 1, 2014, 11:57:00 PM

    Dear Lubos,

    Thanks for mentioning us! It is always a pleasure to read your blog.

  26. Dear Prof. Vasavada

    Thank you for the kind comment. Thank you as well for the wonderful essay and kick starting a long overdue discussion. Please feel free to get in touch if you wish to collaborate.

    Best wishes,


  27. Hello Kashyap,

    I never doubted your *factual" point about scientists.
    I used the *..* for emphasizing that I made it explicit that I did not and still don't doubt there are religious scientists - including some famous and/or good ones with important discoveries under their belts.

    What I could have and possibly should have disclosed in my comment was my opinion (hardly humbly held) that the well respected status (or the profession) of scientists and of Science [~ a knowledge accumulating, ideally truth-seeking, or at least as far as realistically possible rationally explanatory (plus ‘technology potentials realizing’#) process] was by you INADVERTENTLY## made to contribute (as were other aspects of your article) to maintain the status quo of ignorance about - or, IOW, that this point (and the article) contributes to the inertia of - the many sorts of “train[s] of thought” that preclude a demystifying or an *atheistic enlightenment* promoting thinking about (thus in a sense also an effectively philosophy terminating insight into) the evolutionary, individual-historical, and functional roots of all sorts of religions.

    By "religions" I here mean one of several other aspect of our uniquely human - but largely represented in rudimentary forms in many other animal species - characteristics.


    # Quite apparently, “technology potential” are far more easily realized than are "first principle based prophylactic social policy potentials”. Perhaps it is so that - or it might even be that not only Brahman knows something about how %} - the latter "kind of potentials" are in principle ‘far fewer’ and/or 'far less realizable’.

    ## There is no doubt in my mind about this your inadvertency or lack of deliberation. Hence, no serious, completely stupid and blatant neurotically motivated blame is put by me on you; Not that I think it would or should bother you even if I did.

  28. Dear Numcracker, the theorem says something about the field algebra. String theory is - as far as we know - no local field theory (a theory of quantum gravity cannot be one) so it doesn't have a field algebra (at least not in a precise form), so the theorem in the normal form cannot apply to it. It still applies to all non-gravitational approximations and "morally". Such things are difficult.

  29. kashyap vasavadaMay 2, 2014, 2:50:00 PM

    OK! I will now try to answer your questions, although these do not have direct connection with the topic under discussion.
    (1)Yes. Hinduism is very flexible, cafeteria type. In fact there is no rigid requirement to even go to temple. It is ok to say prayers in
    your house with or without deity. There is no place where Brahman is absent!! In our family we do not go to temple every week. Many groups have prayer meetings where they sing hymns, religious songs etc.Most religious people have pictures and
    statues of deities in their house. Many people say prayers in the morning
    before going to work and in the evening before dinner or going to bed. In the rituals you can offer deities anything, water, leaves, flowers,fruits, grains, whatever. Usually after offering these to deities, you eat (or drink) these (except flowers!) as an offering from God. You can worship sun if you want . (There is a yogic exercise called salutations to sun). Only requirement is sincerity. In that sense it is fluid. Of course some people are more rigid and orthodox than others. There are rules, but they allow large discretion.
    (2)Yes. There are sects, followers of different deities, who sometimes fight like various denominations of Christianity but usually they compromise and get together. Worship of particular deities usually runs in the families from generation to generation. India is a big country. So some deities are more
    common in some states than others. In India there are many individual temples for deities in cities or villages. But the trend in U.S is to put many deities together under one roof to satisfy Indian immigrants from different states in India. Building temples is very expensive in U.S. So supporters of each deity have to raise funds. But most Indians are doing well financially in U.S. because of their education and venture spirit. So raising funds for temples is possible. In the Hindu temple being built in Indianapolis, there will be seventeen, yes seventeen (!) deities for their followers. The total cost will be about 10 million dollars! Specific temples in Chicago and New Jersey cost upward of 50 million dollars! There is a big temple close to London also.
    (3) Historically caste system has left a black mark on the culture. The way it started in ancient time was to organize society according to professions: Brahmins-educators and scholars, Kshatriyas-fighters,
    Vaishyas - businessmen and Shudras -, cleaning, menial work etc. But changes between them were allowed depending on the education. At some point it became rigid and corrupted to run into families even generations after generations. After 1947, in independent India, the caste system was declared illegal. There are special quotas in colleges for backward classes and in some jobs. Inter caste marriages are happening frequently. In big cities it is practically gone. In small villages it is gradually on its way out.
    (4) In the scriptures, non-violence is mentioned as a commandment. But somehow abortion is not mentioned. Currently the birth rate and the total
    population are already high. I think, that may be the reason why there is not
    much public discussion on abortion. Abortion is considered a private matter Large
    parts of society are conservative. There is not that much of a problem of single mothers like U.S. anyway.

  30. Having read this post as well as Don's essays, I've come to the conclusion that I'm an incurable Westerner.

  31. kashyap vasavadaMay 3, 2014, 2:49:00 AM

    For some reason,many of your words did not come out properly. There are all kinds of unreadable symbols. Again, you are entitled to your opinions.That is OK with me.Anyway I would say that hardly anyone would call quantum mechanics, relativity and modern cosmology *rational*. Our everyday experiences define what is rational and what is irrational for us! The sole justification for these ideas is the agreement of calculations with experiments we can perform. If they did not agree with experiments every one would have called these ideas crazy! My point is that mathematics of modern physics is rational and logical but not when you try to express its meaning in human languages.Admittedly, the ideas about consciousness are not at that mathematical stage.It is not clear if they would ever be.But as I said you cannot demand higher standard of *rationality* from religious,metaphysical ideas than from ideas in modern physics!! If you hate mysticism,sorry we are stuck with it presently! When people say particles are at different places at the same time and they do not have *any* property before you measure them, if that is not mysticism,then I do not know what it is. Sages say they are in the same indescribable situation as far as ultimate reality is concerned! My guess is that scientists who are religious must think that science has limitations and religion shows them a different side of the universe.

  32. kashyap vasavadaMay 3, 2014, 4:14:00 AM

    Thanks for telling us your interesting life story.Yes India is a complex country even for Indians! As I said in the article, science has done extremely well by using the *scientific method* and it should continue. My point is that there are questions for which science has no answer now.It is possible, for certain questions, scientific method will eventually hit a brick wall. But I am not sure when.As for worship of Kali, I am also not comfortable, but some scriptures tell me that destruction is part of life as natural as creation. Birth and death go together. If there was no destruction, how will there be new creation?!!

  33. The ten Avatars of Vishnu, where indeed I see a fish and a turtle character:

    Now don't discount the classic Greek religion either which in its day coexisted with atomic theory, a round earth and the makings of the scientific method itself.

  34. “You can worship sun if you want .”

  35. kashyap vasavadaMay 3, 2014, 4:53:00 PM

    Thanks for the picture of 10 Avatars of god Vishnu! About psychoactive drugs and meditative experience: I have heard this before. But there were and are clean sages, in my lifetime,who were definitely not on drugs and yet talked about mystical experiences while in meditation.

  36. kashyap vasavadaMay 4, 2014, 3:26:00 AM

    Thanks. Interesting way of looking at the two

  37. Kashyap,

    Again off topic, but I just remembered this: Is God a Taoist? by Raymond Smullyan. I read it years ago in one of his popular books so I was glad I could find it just now on the internet.

    I found it a fun read. I'm not sure how deeply it's connected with Eastern thought though as it seems to contain a lot of Western type angst. Still... :) By the way, no pressure to read it.

    Meanwhile, I won't mention Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance. Oh! I just did!

    Tsk! :)

    Thinks: Gosh, that was a long time ago — forty years or so. I remember enjoying that one too but I was much younger then and that's about it. Maybe it had a hint of the East but not much more?

    A friend pressed his copy of a The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche on me about twenty years ago and it's probably more on the mark but I never got around to reading it. Maybe some day. Maybe tomorrow. :)

  38. kashyap vasavadaMay 4, 2014, 9:20:00 PM

    Right now I am concentrating on keeping up with fast developments in physics and Hindu scriptures (there are lot of them which need life time or many lives to understand!!!) So I cannot tell you much about Taoism. In general Taoism has many similarities to the stuff I talked about like superposition of opposites etc. Fritz Capra, a Berkeley physicist wrote an excellent book in seventies "Tao of Physics". Though it is little bit out of date,in the sense that part of his fundamental particle physics theory (nuclear democracy) is no longer in fashion, it still has good description of new age physics and eastern philosophy. Amit Goswami also has written a number of books emphasizing role of consciousness. If you google you will find lot of this stuff.

  39. Well, someone has to do it! ;) Thanks for taking a look. Best, Don

  40. Thanks again. Actually I wasn't necessarily expecting you to reply. I just threw that last one in.

    "So I cannot tell you much about Taoism."

    Again, I wouldn't expect it. Besides, it's even further off topic.

    I had completely forgotten about The Tao of Physics but I read that one too. Indeed there seemed to be a spate of such books in the 1970s, early 1980s maybe. Gary Zukav's Dancing Wu Li Masters was another. I'm amazed I remembered the title. These were books a friend pressed on me. I quite enjoyed them at the time. Light holiday reading, of necessity as most of mine was in those days. Of these two I recall preferring Zukav's. Every time I saw his name I couldn't help but think of Zhukov, the Red Army and their T-34 tanks, which oddly enough for Russian stuff at the time struck me as rather stylish in design if not finish, aesthetic, much better looking than ours or the Americans' in my view. I wouldn't want to kiss one though.

    The mind wonders... :)

    Thanks for the tip about Amit Goswami.

  41. And not to forget, Abdus Salam, as one of the prominent physicists who was also a believer

  42. kashyap vasavadaMay 5, 2014, 1:29:00 PM

    Thanks NIKFromNYC for the pictures of 10 Avatars of Vishnu. As the blog was already becoming too big, I skipped all these details. There is a Wikipedia article which describes these in detail : Your picture is clearer than the one given there. For other readers,briefly
    the 10 Avatars are (1) fish-completely sea animal (2) Tortoise (Turtle) –partly
    sea, partly land animal (3) Boar- big land animal (4) Half human-half lion-intermediary between humans and animals. Modern theory of evolution shows this as half ape-half human (5) Dwarf
    (6) Parashurama- the warrior-hunting man
    (7) Rama – representing humans living in community, beginning of civil society
    (8) Krishna - humans practicing animal husbandry, politically advanced societies
    (9) Buddha or Balaram (who came before Buddha)- humans finding enlightment
    (10) Kalki - advanced humans with great powers of destruction.Yes.Destruction is part of life!
    “The order of Vishnu's ten main avatars has significance in the sense that the avatars evolve from simplistic life forms to more complex life-forms in a definitive order. Therefore, it is speculated that the
    Dasavatara story is a symbolization of the modern theory of evolution."

  43. kashyap vasavadaMay 6, 2014, 5:00:00 PM

    Yes,true.I understand he suffered in Pakistan because of his religious beliefs and the particular community in which he was born.

  44. Interesting to try to draw these parallels between modern science and Hinduism. On the topic of Hagelin, he used these parallels to try to support the conclusions about the experiments on the "Maharishi effect". For example,

    Hagelin, J.S., et al, 1999. "Effects of
    group practice of the Transcendental Meditation program on preventing
    violent crime in Washington D.C.: Results of the National Demonstration
    Project, June-July, 1993."

    Social Indicators Research, 47(2): 153-201.

    Unfortunately, I think these studies are rather fraudulent, or at least very biased. See, for example Fales and Markovsky's "Evaluating Heterodox Theories", for some analysis

  45. kashyap vasavadaMay 9, 2014, 1:43:00 PM

    Thanks for your comment.I agree, the examples you mention do not prove anything about unified field. But "fraudulent" is too strong a word. I think, Hagelin is sincere. He has published some genuine theoretical physics papers on SU(5) etc. I believe he could have had a regular physics professor's job at a place less known than Harvard. He took this job because he was interested in Maharishi's program of using Hindu philosophy in a practical way, I think, Transcendental meditation does work for individual who is doing it. But whether it has effect on other people (world at large) is not clear.

  46. I'd like to think that Hagelin is sincere in his belief that doing the TM style meditation directly influeces others in some action at a distance type way. However, my conclusion after looking into it is that there is a fraudelent element to some of these studies. But, yes, he did write some well received and substantial theoretical physics papers. This is what makes people take his words seriously, and I wish he would be more careful, and take on more skepticism and questioning that I think are important parts of the scientific enterprise.

  47. Sorry professor for my late 2e question: Could you give me the Veda text of the refelecting mirror consciousness phrase please?

  48. proposal for Mirror consciousness symmetry in the CP super symmetric raspberry myltiverse and the search for real 3D strings:

  49. Gary EhlenbergerMay 28, 2014, 9:36:00 PM Take a look.

  50. kashyap vasavadaJun 2, 2014, 4:45:00 PM


  51. I know Hagelin and the paper you are referring to was very thoroughly planned and really adherent to the scientific methods. Otherwise what would have been the use of such a "Demonstration Project". Please read a rebuttal here:

  52. Read mo0re here:

  53. all theories using quantum theory to explain consciousness are simply nonsense, there are no significant quantum effects on the level of neurons

  54. Gary EhlenbergerJun 16, 2014, 5:12:00 PM

    does not trump reason, and can lead to shallow thinking, where opposing
    facts are filtered/distorted to enforce the original belief. Most
    people, as well as politicians, are good at it. However, as in
    science/logic, reason will generally prevail. Time fills in the factual
    holes and the story becomes more true or false. Not adjusting to facts,
    full on beliefs, ultimately, leads to conspiracy theories, religions,
    myths, fantasies, etc.

  55. Kashyap I have no intention of convincing you about TM. I think about in scientific terms and I think 40 years of extensive research have amply validated and verified its benefits. But that does not mean that I intend to convince or or anyone about the TM program. Why should I? Do I have any personal benefits from it?

    But the demonstration project in Washington was a project that was very thoroughly prepared to secure rigorous scientific validity because it was very well known that the program would alert all the doubters. I think there is hardly any study, particulalry in the sociological field, that was so scrutinized than this one.

    You need not accept it or defend it. I don't accept that.

    Talking about philosophy and religion is baseless for me without meditation, a scientific path to any spiritula accomplishment able to be validated with brain research and other kinds of research. If this path is not used, I consider religion and t6alk about religion pretty uninteresting. This is because the face and reputation of religion has been soiled so much and those protagonists of many religions have so utterly failed in so many respects. Isn't religion causing utter suppression of women, suidiced attacks, ethnic and other rivalries, attenuation of social, economic, educational etc. developments still in so many countries. Religion in eyes in many cases can be seen as the enemy of development in many cases. Don't sing the glories of any religion to me if you can't show that it really helps. All these sentimental praises of religions, be it christianity and, yes, even hinduism - if religions have caused any progress, than on which basis? And haven't they caused even worse attenuation of progress, bias and prejudices, enmity and suppression?

    This is also because organized religion had had such a downfall for me during the holocaust where even a pope collaborated with Hitler.

    You have bneen writing this article with glowing terms abvout the anaologies between science and religion. There could be many articles that associate religion with all the downturns in society.

    Best regards.

  56. Obviously not on the level of neurons. But I think you haven't dealt really with the topic thoroughly to have such a superficial viewpoint. Consciousness can be understood as conscious experience, then related to brain, and localized events, structures in space and time, or as a non-local, abstract field of pure consciousness, pure wakefulness, totally self-referral, not related to spacetime. You take the viewpoint of classcial physics denying the reality of quantum physics - because you can't see particles in terms of quantum fields as mere excitations - quanta of excitation - of fields. Since conscious experience is identical with events, localized in space and time for you, you can't imagine non-local totally self-referral consciousness without any objects to be conscious of, consciousness per se - as such.

  57. kashyap vasavadaJun 16, 2014, 9:46:00 PM

    Yes. I know about all the problems brought by blindly adhering to religions. You
    just have to watch evening news! So also science has brought in new problems
    for mankind while solving some old ones. Invention of weapons of mass destruction is just one of these. My main point, as I
    mentioned in the blog, is seeking a balance between science and religion. Both have limitations and both are useful for mankind if properly used. Personally, in my association with religious people in temple, my experience has been nothing but positive. Violence in the world is caused by baser animal instincts in the human beings which one has to get read off eventually. As for religious beliefs causing violence, it is only partially true. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pat etc. were not religious people. If you take the ratio of no of people killed in 20th century for religious reasons to the no killed for non-religious reasons it will be extremely small. My guess is that even if there was nothing like religions, wars would go on all the same. People will find one excuse or another to hate other people or justify taking someone’s possessions. In fact just look at murders in U.S. every day. More than 99.9 % have nothing to do with religion!
    I emphasized Hindu religion in the blog for several reasons. (1) I am most familiar with it (2) In my opinion (biased of course) it is closest to science, among all religions, mainly because metaphysics, philosophy, Yoga etc. are integral parts of it, in addition to rituals. (3) It is very liberal. Variety of beliefs are acceptable and tolerated. As I stated in the blog, I am quite comfortable with other religions also at the commandment level. Although you do not have to be Hindu to believe in Yoga or TM for sure, it is an integral part of how Vedic
    Hindu religion came up.
    I am sure TM program is beneficial to individuals. What I am not sure is its influence on the society members who are not practicing it. That may take a while to

  58. I agree that Indian Vedic Science has shown high compatbility to many concepts in qunatum physics. That is why quite a number of founding fathers of quzantum physics have actually been referring to the Upanishads or Bhagavad Gita or advaita literature or even been gone to India and visited great living exponents (saint) of that tradition like Ramanaya Maharishi, Shri Anandamayi ma and others and discussed even some of the peculiarities of the new physics and an udnerstanding of the role of consciousness with them. Transcenddental Consciousness beyond the subject-object dichotomy, the pure advaita state, the content analysis of which has yielded absence of time, absence of space, and absence of body
    sense (Travis and Pearson, 2000) can not really be understood very well from a viewpoint of classical physics. Even from quantum field theory which still seem pretty classical (within spacetime) it seems pretty hard to understand that completely unified, utterly abstract and nonlocal level - ātmā - of consciousness - maybe at best compared with the quantum vacuum state. So, yes, it needs modern physics to real approach those expereinces and the theory of advaita.

  59. Since you talked about effort: Effort by the way (putting your individuality and effort into it) will not lead to the advaita state at all. Because it is all about reducing your individual interference and effort and letting almighty nature do. I agree that healthy living and keeping your nervous system free from toxins is a necessary thing. But effort is contraindicated in meditation. It makes the path longer than shorter.

  60. Source of consciousness is transcendental - advaita / nondual, but not out of the reach of a human being. It is turya, the fourth state of consciousness, called transcendnetal or pure consciousness - other than waking, sleeping and dreaming, a state whose charcteristics are "absende of time", "absence of space", absence of body sense" , abensece of thought or any kind of mental activity, - consciousness completely self-referral, only open to itself, therefore non-dual, no object. Consciousness open to itself only. It expereinces itself as pure wakefulness.

  61. kashyap vasavadaJun 17, 2014, 4:32:00 PM

    @maggiemargot :
    Regarding all your previous comments: I think we have more agreement than disagreement. I agree 100 percent that meditation may be the way to access extra sensory world which may very well exist. Unfortunately I have no personal experience to back this up, but it looks like you have. As for effect on others who are not meditating, I am not as sure as you are.
    We have disagreements about utility of religions. Of course, my view is colored by the fact that I was brought up in Hinduism where Yoga (including TM), metaphysical ideas of super consciousness etc. are taken for granted. But in general at the
    commandment level, I believe, there are many good points in most religions e.g.
    ethics, morality, love, compassion etc. Mankind would need these to survive if
    not for betterment. The problem, of course, is that some people, not everyone
    thankfully, misinterpret the scriptures and resort to actions which the basic
    tenets of their religions would forbid. Science is amoral and cannot provide
    any guidance about these. There is not a single law of natural science which
    says anything about these. In fact Darwin’s theory of evolution, survival of
    the fittest, says exactly opposite. Although science has made our lives more
    comfortable, it is debatable whether we have better and happier life. There are so many misuses of science that misuse of religions pales in comparison. Invention of
    weapons of mass destruction is just one major issue. But there are countless
    other smaller issues e.g. texting and talking on cell phones while driving, too
    much reliance on drugs etc. You can find dozens of such misuses. So, as I
    mentioned in the blog, I am seeking balance between science and religion. Mankind should follow best parts of both.

  62. @kashyap - although I was a little provocative I do pay respect to the life and teachings of the great prophets and saints of different religions. I am not against the values religions hold hight, but I question their efficacy in particularly the present times with so much of media and electronic input. I do agree that the ancient Vedic antecedent of hinduism has lots of valuable knowledge and techniques to connect individual life with Natural Law and might be thus more far advanced than other religions. I am a little sceptical regarding the lip service to which religion has degenerated in many cases today and the clerical organization of religions and their handling of minorities and women. My words were admittedly a little harsh. But religion in my understanding is very rarely practiced with more consistency other than Sunday services today and as such does not transform the mind, behavior a lot. Mother Theresa and other such role models do of course make a difference and are exceptions from the rule. Again, I am a little harsh in my judgements. But this has reasons having been a victim of such superficialities in religious udnerstanding myself at times.

  63. Hello Maggie,
    Thanks for the comment.
    I have read this material before and am not convinced by it.