Table of Contents
- 1 The Process of Creation in Bhāgavata Purāṇa
- 2 How the Creation Process Affects Science
The Process of Creation in Bhāgavata Purāṇa
The Three Stages of Material Creation
The 3rd Canto of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa describes a process of creation that is almost never discussed and hence it can be said that it is almost never understood. In this post, I will describe this process and then discuss one aspect of this process whose realization completely transforms the idea of science.
- The spiritual component
- 3.5.24 states that the Lord was the only seer before creation.
- 3.5.25 states that the material energy is cause and effect.
- 3.5.26 states the Lord impregnates the material energy by His glance.
- The subtle material component
- 3.5.27 states that the mahattattva manifested along with the universes.
- 3.5.28 states that aṁśa-guṇa-kālātmā manifest (units of space and time).
- 3.5.29 states that in each of these units, an ego is manifested.
- 3.5.30 states that this ego is transformed into the mind.
- The gross material component
- 3.5.31 states that from this mind the senses are manifested.
- 3.5.32 states that from the sense of hearing, the ether manifests.
- 3.5.33 states that from the ether, the element of air manifests.
- 3.5.34 states that from the air, the element of fire manifests.
- 3.5.35 states that from the fire, the element of water manifests.
- 3.5.36 states that from the water, the element of earth manifests.
The often discussed aspects of this process of creation are the spiritual component and the gross material component. The subtle material component that joins these two is almost never discussed and hence never understood. I will focus this post on the subtle material component and what it indicates about the gross material component studied in modern science as “matter”.
The Development of Reality from the Ego
The above description presents two easily discernable components of the subtle reality called the mind and the ego. The mind is all the thoughts, feelings, and activities and the ego is the self-image, or the picture of the self. The ego represents what we think about ourselves. Naturally, by and large, everyone has a high opinion of themselves. Therefore, the ego or the self-image is also called pride or arrogance.
However, a positive self-conception is not always true. Many people suffer from shame. They don’t have a high opinion of themselves. When this self-picture or self-opinion is not good, then a person falls into depression, demotivation, and despair. To lift the person out of this negative state, we have to give them self-confidence again. We have to inspire, motivate, and encourage them. We have to tell them that they should not be ashamed of themselves even if there are some questionable traits in them. We might tell them that even if there are bad things in them, they can conquer them using the good things in them. The process of motivation, inspiration, and encouragement may not always revive a person’s self-image. It depends on how negative the self-image is. Some people remain depressed despite our efforts.
Therefore, there is no reason to always equate the ego to pride. Generally, in most people, ego means pride. But it is not always the case. Ego simply means our self-conception, self-image, and self-portrait. This image, portrait, or conception is initially a self-construction and over time it is also socially constructed. For example, initially, a person may have the pride that he is an intelligent man and over time he can earn reward and recognition for his intelligence and by that process, his self-conception on being intelligent would be enhanced to include the external social validations that he has received. Therefore, the ego is sometimes called aham-mameti (“I and mine”) or self-created pride and socially constructed pride. It may also be self-created shame and socially constructed shame. Both are included as a part of the ego.
Once we understand what the ego is, then it is easy to understand how the mind is produced from the ego. If we have a self-portrait that makes us feel proud of ourselves, then we have positive thoughts, positive feelings, and positive actions. A person who has a positive self-conception tries to make the world better for himself and for those who are part of the socially constructed self-conception (e.g, family, friends, network of interests, compatriots, humanity etc.). Conversely, if we have a self-portrait that makes us feel ashamed of ourselves, then we have negative thoughts, negative feelings, and negative actions. A person with a negative self-conception tries to make the world worse for himself and for those who are part of the socially constructed self-conception. Those who have been shamed by parents, teachers, and society try to kill their shamers before killing themselves.
The development of the senses from the mind is also easily understandable after we understand how the mind develops from the ego. An ordinary day looks sunny to a person with a positive self-conception and it looks gloomy to a person with a negative self-conception. Laughing people become a source of pride for a person with a positive self-image and they become a source of shame for a person with a negative self-image. Those with positive self-images become extroverts and those with negative self-images become introverts. The mind goes inward and outward depending on a person’s ego.
The outward expansion of the mind is the elaboration of thoughts, feelings, and actions into sense-perceivable realities. For example, if the thought is apple, then the sense-perceivable reality can be red, round, and sweet. If the action is running, then the sense-perceivable reality can be the back-and-forth movement of the hands, the legs, and the torso. If the feeling is positive, then the outward expansion of the mind would also be into bright colors, sharp tastes, and strong smells. The actions will be bold and clear. But if the feeling is negative, then the outward expansion of the mind would be dull colors, muted tones, bland tastes, and weak smells. The actions will also be hesitant, tentative, and undecided.
The Development of Ego from Mahattattva
While the development of the body from the senses, the manifestation of the senses from the mind, and the production of the mind from the ego is fairly straightforward, the development of the ego—from something called the mahattattva—is not so easy to grasp. We can ask: Why do some people have a positive or negative self-conception? Why are some people naturally optimistic or pessimistic? Why do some people always see a light behind a dark cloud while others always see a dark cloud covering the light?
The answer is moral virtues. There are many kinds of moral virtues such as truthfulness, charity, hard work, discipline, compassion, austerity, cleanliness, courage, patience, forgiveness, modesty, restraint, dutifulness, responsibility, sincerity, perseverance, and so on. All of these moral virtues come from the basic idea of being a true, right, and good person. Even those who lack these qualities understand the meaning of a true, right, and good person. They innately know that they are not true, right, and good.
The optimistic outlook toward life comes naturally to a person who has moral virtues and the pessimistic outlook toward life comes naturally to a person who lacks moral virtues. A person with moral virtues becomes trusting, hopeful, confident, and fearless while a person without such qualities becomes cynical, skeptical, suspicious, and fearful. Therefore, mahattattva means moral virtues. The literal meaning of mahattattva is the “essence of greatness”. Those who have these essences of greatness develop a positive ego and those who lack these essences develop a negative ego. The person with the negative ego mostly comes across as a cynical, skeptical, suspicious, and fearful person while the person with the positive ego mostly comes across as a trusting, hopeful, confident, and fearless person.
A person with a positive ego mostly prioritizes his duties over his rights while a person with a negative ego mostly prioritizes his rights over his duties. For the positive person, the domain of duties is huge and the domain of rights is small. For the negative person, the domain of rights is huge and the domain of duties is small. I have earlier discussed at length the two interpretations of mahattattva as duties and rights. When duties are prioritized, then the rights are reduced to the right to perform one’s duty. When rights are prioritized, then the duty is reduced to the duty to ensure that one gets all their rights.
Therefore, one can make a long list of duties—what they will give to others—and just list one right, namely, that they have the right to do all their duties. Similarly, one can make a long list of rights—what others will give to them—and just list one duty, namely, that they have a duty to receive all their rights. Since duties and rights are just mirror images of each other (duty is giving and right is taking), therefore, the same thing can be called a duty or a right depending on a person’s attitude toward giving or taking. Then we can define a moral person as one who is dutiful and an immoral person as one who is entitled.
The irony here is that the moral, virtuous, and dutiful person develops a positive ego while an immoral, evil, and entitled person develops a negative ego. The moral person is generally happy, satisfied, trusting, hopeful, confident, and fearless. The immoral person is generally unhappy, dissatisfied, cynical, skeptical, suspicious, and fearful. Therefore, if one wants a positive and constructive life, one just has to become a moral person. Start acquiring moral virtues. Focus on the duties. Don’t worry about whether you will get anything in return. You will derive great happiness from just being a moral person. Your self-image will be so positive that your mind, senses, and body will be positively affected by it. But if you are immoral, then you will always be negative and destructive. You will not focus on your faults but always look for faults everywhere else. You will always be unhappy, cynical, skeptical, suspicious, and fearful.
The Ideas of Space, Time, and Universe
Once this basic idea of morality, ego, mind, senses, and the body is understood, then the conception of the universe becomes very easy. The universe is nothing but many moralities, egos, minds, senses, and bodies. Each planet in the universe is a collection of certain mutually compatible types of moralities, egos, minds, senses, and bodies. Thus, living entities that live in different parts of the universe are also living entities with different moralities, egos, minds, senses, and bodies. These different types of living entities are classified based on the three gunas of material nature called sattva, rajas, and tamas.
SB 3.5.28 calls each universe aṁśa-guṇa-kālātmā–aṁśa means parts, guṇa means qualities, kāla means time, and ātmā means the self. Each self is a part of the universe, wrapped up in some type of morality, ego, mind, sense, and body for a certain limited duration of time. This means that living entities with different moralities, egos, minds, senses, and bodies also live for different durations of time. Their qualities of life are different, their places of living are different, and their lifetimes are different.
By space, we simply mean a unique class of morality, ego, mind, sense, and body. By time we mean the duration for which this unique type of morality, ego, mind, sense, and body exists. By part, we mean that there are other individual ātmā—injected within the material energy by the Lord in SB 3.5.26. Since the ātmā has a choice, therefore, the injection of the ātmā into a certain part of the material energy is putting the ātmā into a certain wrapping of morality, ego, mind, sense, and body based on its choice. Every ātmā can choose to go to a different part of the universe and be a different kind of living entity, for a different duration of time. The place of living, type of life, and duration of life are decided at injection. Of course, the ātmā decides by its actions the subsequent place of living, type of life, and duration.
How the Creation Process Affects Science
The Necessity of Non-Binary Logic
All problems of modern science began in Greek times when the philosophers of the time started modeling the body without any understanding of the senses, mind, ego, morality, or soul. Even as Greeks spoke about the elements they called Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, no Greek philosopher talked about how these elements emerge from the senses. The property of Earth was solidity (not smell), the property of Water was liquidity (not taste), the property of Fire was heat (not form), and the property of Air was movement (not touch). Space and time did not exist apart from these substances. There was no understanding of sound, how it encodes meaning, how meaning comes from the mind, which comes from the ego, which in turn comes from morality, chosen by a soul.
After talking about four kinds of substances, the Greeks developed a system of reasoning for objects. By object, we mean something that exists independent of all observers. Knowledge of this object had to be observer-independent. Two observers could not disagree on the nature of the object and hence each object was only one thing universally, contrary to the ordinary fact that almost all things seem different to each observer. Due to Greek universalism, nothing could be light for one person and heavy for another, hot for one person and cold for another, sweet for one person and bitter for another. To support this idea, contrary to observed facts, the observer had to be removed from the discussion of objects and their subjective opinions of light or heavy, hot or cold, sweet or bitter had to be considered false.
As this flawed system of reasoning was picked up for religion, new problems were created because God too had to be described in terms of observer-independent claims. This turned out very problematic because God had to behave consistently in all situations. For example, one universalist postulate was that God was omnibenevolent. He could not be kind to some and unkind to others. But since religion did require heaven and hell, God was sending some people to heaven and others to hell, contrary to his omnibenevolence. As new contradictions emerged through the use of a flawed system of reasoning, ever-new complicated theories were constructed, which then led to more complicated contradictions.
Everything rooted in the ideology of Greek times, including philosophy, religion, and science, is riddled with unresolvable contradictions because the original system of reasoning is flawed. The solution to this problem requires us to discard the Greek system of reasoning along with all historical intellectual developments based on it. A new system of reasoning—based on sense percepts, senses, mind, ego, morality, and the soul—is necessary.
In this system, we have to draw a distinction between the ideal, the possible, and the impossible. For example, ideally, a pen is used for writing and not playing. While it is possible to use the pen as a toy, the pen will be less effective than something meant for playing. Finally, certain things are impossible for a pen. For example, we cannot use a pen for flying. The ideal, the possible, and the impossible give us three ways to define the truth. The ideal use of something is the highest truth about that thing. The non-ideal but possible uses of something are lower truths, given in contrast to other things (such as a toy) that are ideally meant for that use. And the impossible uses of something are the non-truths.
By the tripartite method, we get a hierarchy of truths from the ideal to the non-ideal, to the impossible. This is not binary true vs. false distinctions. It is a range of progressively better and worse truths with one ideal and perfect truth, many non-ideal and partial truths, and ultimately many outright falsehoods.
We have to note that this tripartite method of defining something is the result of subjective uses of a thing. The introduction of the senses and the mind into the world of objects changes the logic by which the world has to be modeled. The use of universal objectivity is a false idea because, without the senses and the mind, nothing can be known. When the senses and the mind are reintroduced into the truth, we have to begin by discarding the system of binary true-false claims and replacing it with a non-binary reasoning system in which there is one perfect truth about everything, many semi-truths, and many falsehoods. The semi-truths are neither fully true nor fully false. They can only be occasionally true and occasionally false.
The claim that “a one-legged man is a man” is a semi-truth—to the extent that he can function as a man. It can be occasionally true or false. The claim that “a car with a punctured tire is a car” is neither fully true nor fully false. It can be considered partially true. Our world is filled with non-binary partially true claims, and very few claims are perfectly true. Most of the common claims are just semi-truths that are taken as truths as long as the exceptions are not encountered. We cannot live without those semi-truths. Modeling a world of semi-truths in terms of binary true-false conditions removes most of the world.
Observer-Dependent Idea of Reality
The ideal truth of a pen as a writing instrument is not a truth independent of the senses and the mind. It is also a truth that depends on working senses and minds. If the person who uses the pen doesn’t know how to write and uses the pen as a toy, the ideal truth would be falsified. It can be true only with people who know how to write. Only the denial of tasks that the pen can never do—e.g., flying—are universal truths because no sense or mind can put them to such use. Hence, only the impossible is the universal truth independent of the senses and the mind. Conversely, both ideal truths and semi-truths depend on the senses and the mind. If we try to rely only on universal truths independent of all senses and mind then we can only arrive at all the things that are impossible, not those that are fully or partially true.
Therefore, there can be no positive universal conception of reality—i.e., a reality that exists independent of the senses and the mind. All universal conceptions of reality—i.e., those that are independent of the senses and the mind—must be negative. They can only say what is impossible and not what is possible. Hence, universal laws of modern science can only tell us what cannot happen, instead of saying what can happen or what does happen. For example, there can be a law of conservation of energy that says that the total energy cannot increase or decrease. But there can be no law that says how this total energy would be distributed among different particles or how a system will transition from one state to another because that lies in the realm of what is possible rather than what is impossible.
There cannot be a “positive science”—that indicates the positive truths about something—if it relies on universal truths because (a) if it denies the existence of senses and minds then there is no possibility of knowledge and (b) if it relies on the senses and the minds to know then there can be no universal truth.
The only positive science possible with senses and minds is that which relies on ideal truths and possible semi-truths (along with impossibilities). The idea of an “objective science” is false because it relies on a universal true-false condition independent of observers when all true claims are observer-dependent and the only kind of universally true claims are those that are false for all observers. We have to throw away the idea of an “objective positive science” and replace it with an “observer-dependent positive science”.
This is the import of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa saying that Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether are embodiments of sense-perceivable qualities of smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound. The world cannot exist without the senses. The senses cannot exist without the mind. The mind cannot exist without the ego. The ego cannot exist without morality. And morality cannot exist without the soul. Therefore, even Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether are not objective realities because they cannot exist if the senses don’t exist.
There can be no observer-independent positive conception of reality. Only an observer-independent negative conception of reality can exist which can assert what the observer-dependent reality will not be. That negative assertion is simply that if we try to conceptualize an observer-independent reality, then it will be nothing. In short, if we remove the observer from the world, the result is nothing. This nothingness is realized when consciousness is removed by putting the observer into a deep sleep. That state of nothingness is the observer-independent conception of reality. It is precisely nothing.
The world we see as sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell has been produced from our senses. It is a world within us, and yet, just as the moral sense distinguishes itself from its values, the ego distinguishes itself from its identity, the mind distinguishes itself from its thoughts, and a sense distinguishes itself from its sensations, similarly, the sensations distinguish themselves from their perceived world. To understand this idea, we have to understand dreams. The world we see in dreams is within us and yet it seems separate from us. That separation is a construction of the dream residing in the senses and the mind.
It doesn’t mean: (a) there is no world, or (b) we cannot know the world. It just means that what we know as the world is produced from our morality, ego, mind, senses, and sensations, due to interactions with other types of moralities, egos, minds, senses, and sensations. If our morality, ego, mind, senses, and sensations are contaminated, then the world we experience is not necessarily the truth. To get the correct understanding of reality, we have to purify our morality, ego, mind, senses, and sensations.
Therefore, reason and observation are methods of knowing the world but they are useless unless the morality, ego, mind, senses, and sensations are purified. All methods of knowing fail if the perceptual, conceptual, and judgmental apparatus is contaminated. All methods of knowing work if the perceptual, conceptual, and judgmental apparatus is purified. Purification of the observer is the preliminary step to knowing. The descriptions given in texts such as the Bhāgavata Purāṇa can be confirmed by a pure person. Hence, there is no need for blind faith. But one must have faith in the process of purification.
The Semantic Conception of Reality
This process of distinguishing the observed from the observer can never be described in terms of objects because the observed thing is still within the observer and yet it appears to be distinct from the observer. The distinction between the observer and the observed can only be described in terms of concepts because the contingent concept is distinct from and yet within the abstract concept.
For example, the concept of yellow is distinct from the concept of color, and yet the concept of yellow is a part of the concept of color. The concept of cow is distinct from the concept of mammal and yet the concept of cow is a part of the concept of mammal. We can understand the process of expansion of reality only with a semantic conception of reality. No physical conception of reality will help us grasp this process. By a physical conception, we mean that something is either inside or outside. It cannot be both inside and outside. By a semantic conception, we mean that something is at once inside and outside.
The semantic conception of reality is also called the Bhedābheda philosophy. Nobody can conceptualize Bhedābheda in terms of physical ideas. But we can conceptualize Bhedābheda using concepts. When the process of creation distinguishes something without separation, then concepts are the only method to understand it. We can also understand this process in terms of dreams. An original person dreams of many persons, each of whom dreams of many persons, each of whom dreams of many persons, etc. The dreamed personas are simultaneously within the dreamer and yet distinct from the dreamer.
Western philosophers can say that dreamt reality is not truly realism. It is rather an idealism. We can agree to that because by “realism” Western philosophy means an observer-independent conception of reality and by “idealism” they mean an observer-dependent conception of reality (although idealism in Western philosophy also means a world confined to a single observer). The Vedic system has no observer-independent conception of reality. Therefore it has no “realism” in the Western sense. Western philosophies have imagined observer-independent realities along with a mind-body dualism. They cannot explain how the world becomes an experience and how our experience is used to create a world. Before we can accept their “realist” conceptions, they need to solve their mind-body interaction problem. Without it, they are talking about a reality that just cannot be known so how do we know that it even exists?
By realism, we mean something that we cannot fully know and control. If I see a dog barking, I don’t know what the dog is thinking and feeling. I just know his barking. Even if I could know what the dog is saying, I would still not feel what the dog is feeling. I will just know that he says he is feeling something. Likewise, I cannot always prevent the dog from barking. The dog is distinct from me because I cannot completely know and control the dog like I could know and control myself. Factually, to the extent that I cannot know and control my body, even my body is distinct from me, in the same way as the dog.
However, the dog’s body is more separate from me than my body because I can know and control my body more than I can know and control the dog’s body. Similarly, my body is more separate from me than my mind because I can know and control my thoughts and feelings more than I can know and control my digestion, circulation, and immunity. Thus, from my perspective, my mind is less real, my body is more real, the dog’s body is even more real, the dog’s mind is even more real, and so on. The less I can know and control something, the more it is real for me. The more I can know and control something, the more it is ideal for me. Realism is distance from me (the farther we go from me, the less I know and control it). Idealism is proximity to me (the nearer something is to me, the more I know and control it).
Therefore, both idealism and realism are true in the Vedic system and defined consistently by the precise notions of distance and proximity to me—i.e., the extent to which I can know and control something. The rejection of the Western idea of realism as observer-independent reality and the Western idea of idealism as reality confined to one observer isn’t the rejection of realism and idealism per se. It is just the rejection of bad ideas of realism and idealism. Idealism for the Vedic system means that everything I know and control is in my awareness. Realism for the Vedic system means that everything that I do not know and control is beyond my awareness, although it is within someone else’s awareness. Thus, all knowing and controlling is observer-dependent although it is not dependent on me. This is an observer-centric conception of reality in which “realism” means the existence of observers distinct from me.
Realism and Idealism in the Vedic system are not binary positions either. There is always something that I can know and control, and that is part of me. There are always things that I cannot know and control, and they are distinct from me. Therefore, the binary realism-idealism distinction is replaced by non-binary grades of realism and idealism. The original person has everything within His knowledge and control, therefore, idealism is a universal truth for Him. For us, many things are outside our knowledge and control, and therefore, realism and idealism are partially true for us. The notions of realism and idealism are also observer-dependent rather than observer-independent.
The Hierarchical Process of Causation
The hierarchical creation from morality to ego to mind to senses to sensations to sense objects also implies a hierarchical causation. It means that the body is moving because the senses are moving, the senses are moving because the mind is moving, the mind is moving because the ego is moving, the ego is moving because the moral sense is moving, and the moral sense is moving because the soul is moving.
This process of hierarchical causation can be realized by anyone who seriously performs meditation. In the initial stages, when we sit for meditation, the body keeps moving. There are pains and aches all over the body. The body cannot sit in one place for any significant length of time. But as we perfect the process of meditation, slowly, the senses, mind, ego, and moral sense come under our control, and then the body also comes into our control. When the mind is not moving then the body stops moving. The same body that was previously agitated and uncontrollable is quietened and controlled by mind control.
In the Western scientific models of causation, one body moves because of another body. We can call this horizontal causation from body to body. But in the Vedic scientific model of causation, each body moves because of the hierarchy of movement in the senses, mind, ego, moral sense, and soul. We can call this vertical causation from the soul to the moral sense to the ego to the mind to the senses to the body. Horizontal causation is triggered by mechanical forces but vertical causation is triggered by ideas and choices. An alternative science therefore appears due to the appearance of an alternative causation.
Some people might ask: What is the evidence of this alternative causation? The answer is simple: Try to perfect your meditation and get the body in control by controlling the mind. When the mind is out of control, then the body is out of control. Therefore, the mind is necessary to control the body. When the mind is in control then the body is in control. Therefore, the mind is sufficient to control the body. Since the mind is both necessary and sufficient to control the body, therefore, it is complete causation.
Now we don’t need many kinds of theories for many kinds of movement. The economy is not moving due to some “laws” of economics. The economy is a body moving under the control of some mind. The society is not evolving due to some “laws” of sociology. Society is a body moving under the control of some mind. The planet is not moving due to some “laws” of cosmology. The planet is a body moving under the control of some mind. The ecosystem is not moving due to some “laws” of ecology. The ecosystem is a body moving under the control of some mind. The molecules are not moving due to some “laws” of physics. A molecule is a body moving under the control of some mind. The cells in my body are not moving due to the “laws” of biology. The cell is a body moving under the control of some mind.
Thus, we don’t need many kinds of subjects called economics, sociology, cosmology, ecology, physics, or biology. We need just one subject, namely, the study of how the mind moves to in turn move the body. The surface-level movement of the body is the byproduct of deeper-level movements of the senses, minds, egos, moral senses, and souls. If we know all these tiers of movement, then we have a complete theory of reality that includes all subjects. One theory suffices for knowing all subjects. In fact, as we learn more about the movement of the deeper reality, we know more about all subjects at once. The power of the Vedic system is that it unites all subjects into a single coherent study of reality.
When the real model of causation is vertical, then all horizontal models of causation are false caricatures of reality. There is no force exerted by one body on another to make it move. The body that I think is exerting a force on me is also within my mind. And the real body outside my mind is also moving due to another mind. Therefore, whether we talk about the body within me, or the body outside, both motions involve vertical causation by the mind. The horizontal causation is also between the minds that in turn affect the body.
The empirical evidence of the falsehood of horizontal models of bodily causation is that such models are always inconsistent and incomplete. Incomplete means that there are exceptions to every law of horizontal causation which disprove the law. Inconsistent means that many such incomplete models of horizontal causation are mutually contradictory and hence they can never be mutually reconciled.
Inconsistency and incompleteness arise as a result of trying to reduce mental causation to physical causation. Mental causation follows non-binary logical principles while physical causation follows binary logical principles. Mental causation treats the body and the world as ideas within a dream while physical causation treats the body and the world as observer-independent objects. Mental causation relies on the Bhedābheda principle of whole and part (in which the world we see is a part of the senses, and the senses are part of the mind) while physical causation relies either on the principle of Bheda (two things are independent) or the principle of Abheda (two things are identical). When two things are simultaneously distinct and inseparable, then a logic that treats them either as independent or as identical things creates inconsistency (because the truth is not either independent or identical, but both and neither) and incompleteness (because the either-or thinking has to be replaced by both-neither thinking).
We can see the necessity of an alternative to horizontal causation by studying the inconsistency-incompleteness pattern of all horizontal causation theories. We can see the sufficiency of the Bhedābheda idea of vertical causation by understanding how it resolves the inconsistency-incompleteness problem of horizontal causation. When something is both necessary and sufficient to solve all problems then it is also the perfect truth.