Science has, since its inception, suffered from the mind-body divide that Descartes created. The divide forced sciences to pursue an ideology of matter as opposed to the existence of the mind, which makes an understanding of the mind impossible. Attempts in current science to explain sensations, mind, and intelligence based on matter have failed. An alternative view of matter compatible with the existence of the mind is needed, to solve the myriad problems of their interaction.
Such an alternative ideology is found in Sāńkhya philosophy, which constitutes the Vedic theory of matter. In Sāńkhya, mind and matter are not two fundamentally different kinds of realities. They are rather the successive stages of development of meaning, that are abstract and contingent. The original primordial meaning is the most abstract reality. This reality expands into more contingent realities. The mind is one of the many levels of this expansion, as is the body. However, the bodily expansion follows the mental expansion, so, the mind is more fundamental than the body, although it is not the most fundamental.
All these abstract and contingent realities are expressed as symbols of meaning. Such symbols are akin to the words in a language, although this language is not the speech we hear and speak–which is phenomena. The language here is the fundamental form of meaning that consciousness can potentially understand and expresses to externalize itself as an artist expands the ideas in his mind into works of art. According to Sāńkhya philosophy, during the manifestation of the universe, the original primordial meaning is gradually expanded into morals, intentions, judgments, concepts, sensations, and, finally, external objects.
To understand the relation between the body and mind, science needs two important changes. First, matter should be described as symbols, not as things; in modern science, this entails that objects should be known as types rather than as quantities. Second, the interaction between material objects must be understood as the interaction between types involving the laws of type interaction rather than forces of modern science.
These basic applications of Sāńkhya have wide-ranging implications for science, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. In mathematics, this requires a new way of thinking about numbers as types instead of quantities. In physics, objects need to be seen as symbols rather than physical properties. In chemistry, molecules have to be seen as semantic propositions rather than merely physical complexity. In biology, these propositions produce a functional and intentional system so living beings must also be described as functional and intentional systems rather than just objects. The semantic view dramatically changes our approach to thinking about matter in science.
The motivation behind my work lies in Sāńkhya philosophy, and I hope to bring its insights into modern science. To bring new ideas, we must identify the problems in modern science where new ideas are required. The description of such problems requires no reference to scripture; they just require a deeper understanding of science beyond the facade of successes. Once these problems have been identified, we must also understand the history of attempts to solve them, which have failed. At this point, it is possible to introduce a new idea that overcomes the problems and sidesteps the issues with previous failed attempts. The new ideas are inspired by Sāńkhya philosophy, but they can be presented in response to questions that science poses rather than questions that were previously asked by spiritualists.
To an extent, the understanding of meaning cannot be completely obtained by studying the external world, even though there are meaningful objects in the external world too — such as music, art, books, and science itself. To better understand the nature of meaning, one also looks “inwards” rather than just “outwards”. In short, the new insights in science will come not from the study of objects through experiments. They will rather come to those who have a better understanding of senses, mind, intellect, ego, etc., or the perceptual apparatus. To study this apparatus, one must withdraw their consciousness from the external world inwards, and those who can do that are better suited for developing alternative sciences. Their results will be accessible to those who study the external world, but their insights won’t be.