Thursday, August 16, 2007


In 1907 Dr. Duncan MacDougall conducted experiment on 6 patients who were on the verge of dying and concluded that the man loses 21 grams of weight after death or in other words the weight of the soul is 21 grams. I was really amazed to learn about the experiment and the extent to which the thinking of man can take him to prove that even the proverbial, immortal, conceptual soul is nothing but 'matter’ which according to definition is anything which occupies space and has weight and volume. The film 21 grams (starring Naomi watts, Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro) based on the similar concept ends with beautiful lines when the images of the characters are flashed for few seconds along with the ups and downs which they face during their journey of life – how much is lost? How much is gained? How much is actually lost? How much is actually gained? It seems to laugh at the concept and says that life is not a mathematical equation. Both sides can’t be equal every time. All the facts and calculations in which we remain bogged down throughout our very existence on this earth seem to lose their meaning when life comes to an end and then when one tries to calculate the net loss and profit he made in his lifetime, he actually laughs at his foolishness which he carried all along.

Do we still need a similar experiment?