Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Overview Research

The Scientific Study of Consciousness

Vedic texts divide experience into the seer, the seen, and the seeing. We can also call these the knower, the known, and the knowing. What we commonly call ‘consciousness’ is the process of seeing or knowing. This seeing or knowing is a property of the soul—the seer or the knower—but it operates under the knower’s …

Philosophy Religion

Consciousness Has a Gender

In the previous post, we discussed how matter is also consciousness, although a different type of consciousness. We identified three types of consciousness—God, soul, and matter—and discussed their natures. This post extends that discussion and identifies three genders associated with the three types of consciousness—masculine, feminine, and neutral. God has a dominantly masculine gender; His …

Philosophy

Consciousness is Rooted in Inner Conflict

This post discusses how choice arises from conflict, in the act of conflict resolution. The nature of this conflict, how conflict resolution leads to compromises in which one side goes dominant and the other subordinate, and how the dominant-subordinate structure is later reversed, producing a cyclic change, are interesting consequences of this idea. This also …

Philosophy

Study Consciousness in Science?

In this post I will explore some philosophical ideas from Vedic philosophy and try to describe what consciousness is and argue that we cannot reduce consciousness to matter, but we can study matter using consciousness as the model. In short, we begin by assuming the soul, and then explain matter. This scientific study of matter—based …

Philosophy Religion

The Four Tiers of Reality

The previous post discussed the meaning of sat, chit, and ananda—i.e. consciousness or relation to things, the search for meaning, and the search for happiness. The search for meaning creates a personality—i.e. how others know you. The search for happiness creates an individuality—i.e. what kinds of pleasures one enjoys. The relationship to the world also …

Philosophy Religion

The Pursuit of Meaning and Happiness

“The pursuit of happiness and meaning are two of our most central motivations in life” but “there can be substantial trade-offs between seeking happiness and seeking meaning in life,” writes Scott Barry Kaufman in a thought-provoking Scientific American post. In a stereotypical sense, the pursuit of meaning is one that involves connecting our lives to …

Overview Philosophy Psychology

The Mechanisms of Choice

When John von Neumann introduced the idea of the “conscious collapse” into quantum theory, he committed a heresy—or at least something that would have been considered a heresy up until that point—by introducing a causal agent called “consciousness” within science. Science until that point had worked explicitly to keep mind and consciousness out of the …

Philosophy Physics Research

The Problem of Measurement in Science

It is commonly assumed that science describes objective facts about the world, which are discovered through measurements of physical properties. The problems in this measurement are generally not understood, and this post describes them, highlighting two key issues of circularity and recursion in the definition of measurement. How these problems are addressed in Indian philosophy …