Schrödinger to Irrfan –Uncertainty to Contemplation of One with Cosmos


By Dr. Sastry Putcha

Reading recent blog “From Irrfan on “battling cancer, the only thing certain was the uncertainty” has been a profound experience. This heart wrenching sobering and yet uplifting piece transports the reader to the “magical side of life”. What is the power behind this blog?


Whether Irrfan knows or not, he touches a raw nerve of Uncertainty

Irrfan himself answers that Uncertainty in the form of Cancer struck him. One of the most brilliant freethinking actors, wise as he is, recognizes that Cancer is just a manifestation of Uncertainty—the one and only one invincible force in life. He stares at the terrible Uncertainty and then ponders beyond mortal life through transcending the physical existence. Beyond pain, shock and anxiety, he tastes “the magical side of life.” Now Irrfan finds joy in looking at every piece of nature from macro to micro existence. He meditates his “confidence in the intelligence of cosmos became absolute.” He is liberated and feels one with the Cosmos as we all should too.
Can ordinary mortals avoid the iron grip of Uncertainty like Irrfan?

Physicists unraveling Uncertainty rebounded into the ocean of ancient Indian Spirituality

Dissection of the anatomy of Uncertainty does belong to the esoteric, rigorous branches of intellectual fire power like philosophy, physics and mathematics and to such other allied fields. The fathers of advanced physics of Quantum Mechanics have dealt with Uncertainty and developed theories that paved the way to the development of modern technologies. History tells us that these Nobel Prize winning geniuses, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg contemplated on the ancient Hindu spiritual traditions that offered the Vedanta system eons ago. The forays of Heisenberg and Schrödinger moved beyond Nobel Prize and Theoretical Physics into metaphysics. But why?

Can one speculate that these extraordinary formulators of new physics having delved so deep into the ocean of Uncertainty (in the form of unlocking Nature’s mysteries) had to contemplate on the Indian ancient Philosophy of Oneness with Cosmos?

No need to speculate. Here are some excerpts from history where their inner quest to further unlock Nature’s secrets landed them

In his book ‘What Is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches’ Schrödinger talks about the core Hindu Philosophy: Tat tvam asi,(‘This is you’/‘I am That’). Schrodinger further commented that “you can throw yourself flat on the ground, stretched out upon Mother Earth, with certain conviction that you are one with Mother Earth and she with you.”

Fritjof Capra’s book “Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations with Remarkable People (1988),”  details about how Heisenberg marvels at the Indian philosophy of impermanence as “fundamental aspects of physical reality. That this thought that had been so difficult for himself and his fellow physicists, was the very basis of Indian spiritual traditions truly fascinate Heisenberg, a Noble Prize winner at the age of thirty-one. (

How are ordinary mortals influenced by the strike of Uncertainty?
Does dealing with Uncertainty fundamentally transform average people or only exceptional individuals like Irrfan, Heisenberg and Schrödinger? Engineered by evolution for survival purpose, humans falsely convert the raggedy trajectory of daily routine into one smooth path. That’s what Ajit Varki-Danny Browerin their book “Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of Human Mind” allude to. But this may not be exactly true.  Either gradually or suddenly Uncertainty jolts every one of us.

In day today life, at any given moment someone somewhere in the world (most probably many people in many parts of the world) would be uttering in innumerable languages when Uncertainty strikes in some form: ‘one can never tell what happens in the next moment.’ May be this thought leads everyone for self-expression in their own way. In the words of Nobel Prize winning writer let us “ believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.” Let us hope so.

(Dr. Sastry Putcha has undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. He is frequent contributor to India Tribune. Dr. Putcha is a consultant and lives in Dallas, Texas. He can be reached at

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