Is there a higher level of being? Or are
we merely a collection of atoms - more dust spinning around the
center of the galaxy?
For me, that someone was Eliot
Stellar, Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and Chair of
the Human Rights Committee of the National Academy of Sciences.
This feeling brought me in medical school to compile a book indicating suggestions for necessary changes, thus offering a multifaceted picture of where science stood and where it intended to go.
I invited the Secretary General of the
UN, the World Health Organization, and Nobel laureates, among
others. The response was overwhelming, dispelling any doubt I had
about the need for the book.
The Dean of Students was convinced the project would fail and upset a lot of important people.
But to my mind it wasn't his concern. I said that in his office when he ordered me to send out letters to the contributors. When I refused, he told me I wouldn't graduate if I didn't comply. I told him I already got what I came there for - a medical education, not a piece of paper.
When the conversation got heated, he said,
I stood up (and finger pointed) responded,
He told me I'd better find a faculty
member to defend me. So I went to Eliot Stellar.
I was in deep s---, but Stellar stood behind me.
One night Stellar called me at home.
He was putting out the fire, and told me I deserved the MD degree.
At that point I heard his wife, Betty, say in the background,
Many years later I was riding a trolley into the city and took an empty seat next to a well-dressed woman.
She turned to me and said,
Eliot Stellar died in 1993, my mentor,
and one of the greatest physiological psychologists ever to live,
and arguably the most decent human being I ever met.
One can't but come closer to God or Heaven than to merge oneself with the universal order of things.
Eliot Stellar had become part of a greater reality.
This isn't idle philosophy. Science, too, is beginning to grasp the non-linear nature of reality.
Heisenberg, the Nobel physicist whose uncertainty principle transformed our understanding of the world, once commented:
Alas! The evidence has the weight of a boulder.
Shall our vision forever flow around it?
Experiment (PhysRevLett 49, 91, 1982 -
Experimental Realization of
Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Bohm Gedanken Experiment - A New Violation
of Bell's Inequalities) after experiment (Nature
459, 683, 2009 -
Entangled Mechanical Oscillators)
continues to show that entangled particles act as if there's no
space or time separating them, a result that's intelligible only if
we assume the mind transcends the existence of things in space and
Heinz Pagels, the esteemed theoretical physicist, once stated:
Although Pagels' conclusion is right, it's not just your consciousness that's the only one, it's ours.
According to biocentrism, the mind transcends space and time in that they're its tools, and not the other way around.
This conception of reality dissolves away human individuality.
The walls of space and time are illusory. We're all ephemeral forms of an individuality greater than ourselves, eternal even when we die.
This is the indispensable prelude to immortality, and its highest form; we're forced to recall the words of the English poet John Donne,
Years after graduating from medical school, I ran into the Dean in the hallway.
He shook my hand and said,
He congratulated me for my book "Medical Science and the Advancement of World Health," which I dedicated to Eliot Stellar - who taught me that there's more to life than the dance of atoms described in our science textbooks.
I miss him...