Thursday, 30 November 2017

advaita vedanta

Advaita Vedanta's rejection of theism is a consequence of its insistence that “Brahman [ultimate reality] is without parts or attributes…one without a second.” (Shankara [traditional attribution], second half of the 8th century: 101) If the Brahman has no properties, it necessarily lacks the properties of omniscience, perfect goodness, omnipotence, and personhood, and cannot therefore be understood as God.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

My thoughts on Naturalism in Ancient India


The phenomenal world-A human sees a green leaf. A cat sees a grey leaf. Thus the phenomenal world of experience is a function of the genetic system of  a particular biological species. It is impermanent according to advaita vedanta adherents or advaitins , since it changes from one species to another.

Advaitins ascribe to the "universal conscious principle" underlying it all. To my mind the first thing that comes with the word "universal" in the light of present day  theories in the realm of scientific investigation are "entangled energy fields", which vibrate to give rise to particles, which interact to give rise to higher orders of emergence. 

The word "conscious" implies in normal terms "aware". How can energy fields be aware. Awareness arises from emergence. 

The word "chit" of sanskrit has been "translated" to consciousness/awareness. "Chit"means "being"/ presence". So "Brahman" the universal energy field is universal presence, which when confined to an individual "living species" is the individual emergent self/ "atman". What advaita claims-through the experience of meditation, when the mind calms/settles down, is Atman=Brahman. 

 To me it implies there is resonance between the energy fields of Brahman and Atman.

 This reminds me of the concept of fractals:
  1. "a curve or geometrical figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. They are useful in modelling structures (such as snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth and galaxy formation".

  2. Resonance occurs if Brahman and Atman are at the same frequency. This can occur if the individual emergent self (Atman) is a fractal part of  the underlying universal energy field (Brahman). The postulated mechanism is as follows : The smaller fractal part - Atman resonates with the whole-Brahman, at the same frequency but has a larger amplitude. On the whole the predicted frequency is very low as this occurs during a calm mental state. As the Atman loses the "rough edges"of  fractal complexity  it begins to  resemble the simpler near equilibrium universal energy field- Brahman.

Meditation (there are many types and levels of depth) gives an altered view of reality as the attributes of the mind changes. A non-meditator has an comparatively unsettled/more vibratory mind while a meditator having a calmer mind reflects Brahman.  Hence the conclusion by advaitins is that the phenomenal world is an experience of the unsettled mind, hence individual identity/vibrations i.e ahamkara , intellect i.e buddhi, manas i.e memory bank/impressions  and chitta i.e being limited by identity arises. In Yoga psychology these 4 form the nature of the mind/prakriti and atman/purusha, is enveloped by prakriti.

Nivritti (Moving inwards via meditation from the outward environmental experience of the world towards the inward self i.e. Atman and further into Brahman) is an inward process towards simplicity. Eg. as practised by the advaitin/non-dual energy oriented naturalists.

Pravritti (Moving outwards towards the environment  via physical and mental work) is an outward process of the self/Atman towards complexity. Eg. as practised by  the atomists/materialist naturalists Carvakas.

 Pravritti is a  complex process towards outward fractal complexity and functions through cogitation/intelligence. This in in contrast with  the simpler process towards inner  fractal simplicity i.e.  Nivritti  which functions through non-cogitation/meditative processes.

Hence the Carvakas who consider the world of experience to be real/final  are atomists. Thus under Western context of naturalism which implies physical nature, Carvakas are true naturalists in their epistemology (mechanism) and ontology (being) while advaitins are naturalists in their epistemology but not in their ontology. Both reject the notion of "God" in the traditional sense.

 In other schools of vedanta i.e dvaita school Brahman has being equated to or having a reflection in the ishvara/inner controller, which can be anthropomorphised and worshipped as in Hinduism. 

Energy Barrier

Is the directional arrow of time due to an energy barrier ?  Analogy: Uncatalyzed reaction. May be a catalyst-like invention could revers...