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I think, therefore I am June 29, 2011

Posted by Ragesh G R in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

When we think of “I”, what do we interpret it as? We think “I” am an entity, a human being, an autonomous free willed organism. Oh really? Let’s see. Let’s travel, let’s start in the middle, at the organism level.  A person is a set of cells, each carrying out its own responsibilities. What controls these cells? Our brain! Is it? or is our brain controlled by the cells in the brain. So who am I? Am I my brain? is my brain controlling me? or do I control my brain? These two questions are absurd because there is an inherent problematic vague entity here; “me”/”I”. If we take that “me”/”I”  out, our questions are not that absurd. Millions of cells work together, each doing its own job, just like a dance pattern shown in World Cup inaugural ceremony. It only leads to a situation, where “me” or “I” don’t exist. We don’t exist per se. What if the cells suddenly decide to stop working in tandem, and diverge and fade away into the vast space?

We are able to perceive organisms because we are at that level, where we are able to distinguish between the millions of molecules that make up a person and the molecules in the air surrounding the person. But that’s just a convenient abstraction. At the molecular level, most things are different and exhibit different properties. At the atomic level, they become more similar. One may not be able to distinguish between the Nitrogen atoms in air and the Nitrogen atoms in ammonia. So at the atomic level, you can’t make out if this atom is a part of what molecule.

Let’s go deeper. perceive at the subatomic level. Everything starts looking similar. For that, imagine, an observer who is small enough to perceive at the subatomic level and since he is so small and limited, he can comprehend only subatomic levels.  We are sitting on top of an electron, and in a distance we see another electron. Now since we perceive only subatomic levels. we don’t know if the other electron is part of the same atom? or it’s part of another atom of the same molecule? or it’s part of an atom of a different molecule ? or it is part of an atom of a molecule of a different element? compound? cell? organism? You see, at the subatomic level, we can’t distinguish anything. It could be that we are sitting on an electron inside a person and the other electron you saw was of an atom in the air molecule, see we didn’t find the difference between person and air, we didn’t know where person ended and air started. And you see, most of an atom is empty space, the empty space could be inside a person or outside.  The observer sitting at the subatomic level suggestion seems absurd, does n’t it? No, let’s make an analogous counterpart, assume  a normal person is perceiving the sky. He sees a bright light, he does n’t know if the light is a satellite of the same planet, or a different planet, a star? a solar system? a galaxy? See!, just like our subatomic observer could not distinguish between atoms, we can’t distinguish between the location of planets, stars, solar systems galaxies etc, we can’t comprehend them. If we start  at the subatomic level, electrons revolve around nucleus, and at the top, satellites revolve around planets, planets around starts, starts around black holes, and probably even galaxies are revolving. So we see a fractal like pattern emerge.

So at the subatomic level whole universe is identical. Hence we all are a set of electrons and protons. At a high level, our universe might be a part of a universe set, at the lower level, the electrons could be galaxies themselves. Probably I am not writing this blog, my cells in my body are sick of their ‘unsung hero’ status and want to show who the boss is. I could be just a hostage to my cells, who work at their whim. But hey, why worry, I don’t exist anyways, he who executes functions on a null pointer gets an exception! Take that! you over smart cells!



1. swathi - June 30, 2011

whoa!!! watta post in the middle of the night!!! such profound thoughts circling ur brain.. no wonder u couldnt sleep rags! Ahem… could this be the beginning of rag’s spiritual journey? a realisation of his higher self… ?? or is it jus another rambling of the scientist in him… mmmm…..

2. Ragesh G R - June 30, 2011

he he thanks Swa it’s exploration of truth of our insignificant (non)-existence via scientific inquiry. he he

3. anuthati - June 30, 2011

hey.. so finally you are back after 2 years.. i realised that there is a pattern in your writing.. u kind of think in philosophical way.. and search for an example from science..or maths..to explain them.

4. Ragesh G R - June 30, 2011

Hey dude, yes, good analysis, actually I am thinking in both philosophical and scientific way, and brought the places where they concur and re in-force each other. In fact this piece, I started by thinking scientifically, and in the end I found it coincides with a philosophical path/milestone as well 🙂

5. mithblogsin - June 30, 2011

Hey, super cool post! Actually this post bears a relation to your pseudo R buddies post as well. At the sub atomic level,there are no differences and discrimination.So your post is not just scientifically and philosophically significant, but also socially significant.These thoughts were always there in you even during your college days and finally manifested itself into a post after a long long break. Great come back! Looking forward for more 🙂
And, functions on a null pointer throw an exception it seems!

Ragesh G R - June 30, 2011

Thanks dude, ya these thoughts were always there and everything seems smaller and sense less. And that makes it beautiful. Well, although in the realm of this thought society kind of dissolves, yes you are right, from social perspective, we all are identical (coz the whole universe is identical). We are the universe, a part of it, just like a cell is a part of the our body.

6. Ravi - July 1, 2011

BBT effect.. vera edhuvum illa.. so few cells of “me” was able to read the light emitted from the cells on the screen of my computer as characters and words of a language and rewrite back as characters & words which in turn are transmitted n displayed as cells to u :P.. probably u should watch other serials too

Ragesh G R - July 1, 2011

Lol nice try! No this has been in my mind for long, I had tweeted abt these electrons and protons long before I saw BBT. he he he

7. Ravi - July 3, 2011

dude btw title kum postu kum enna sambandham, other than u talkin about “I” as a cluster of cells

Ragesh G R - July 3, 2011

Did you expect some obvious title? It means I am (exist) only because I think I exist, else technically I don’t exist. We assume we exist

8. Ramya Ramesh - July 17, 2011

Anna that article about who we are is REALLY AWESOME and the way you have interpreted sub-atomic level is too good .
this article can actually lead to ” the String theory” in proving the existence of higher dimensions.The smaller we are , the more number of dimensions we could perceive.As in the case of your example , sitting on top of an electron we can actually feel the roundness of the electron ,whereas observing an electron under a microscope or something, it would be dimensionless, just a point.Philosophy and science are really inter-connected .

Ragesh G R - July 17, 2011

Hi Ramya!,

Thanks for the encouragement! Wow! you too are interesting in String Theory et al eh? I am flattered you are comparing my article with String theory, Great interpretation by you too. 🙂 Yes, philosophy and science are really interconnected

9. Nivedita - August 11, 2011

LOL @ null pointer exception. Nice perspective. How about this. “You” are a set of thoughts plotted against time in a graph.

10. dhaneshspeaks - March 22, 2012

Profound article man. Really enjoyed reading it. Btw check on your spam. Like the comment above.

Delete it 🙂

Ragesh G R - April 16, 2012

Thanks a lot dude! Glad to know u liked it.
Oh ya spam, i guess i didnt get the notificstion or missed it, thanks. Also generally spammy or comments with links will line up for my moderation. Anyways deleted it, thanks

dhaneshspeaks - April 17, 2012

Its cogito ergo sum in latin. Funny i wrote exactly on it sometime ago.

11. Ragesh G R - April 17, 2012

Ya dude, i had read that post of urs too cool!

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