• Philosophy

    Is the Material World an Illusion or Reality?

    Several people have asked me in recent days about the nature of māyā. This made me realize how little this concept is understood, and prompted me to write the following long post describing the problem of illusion, the various problems arising from its solution, and the nature of the correct solution.

  • Philosophy,  Religion

    Dreams, Misperceptions, Hallucinations, Illusions, and Ignorance

    All students of epistemology cite many categories of experience that are not knowledge, in order to distinguish them from knowledge. These categories are different in Western and Vedic systems of philosophy. In particular, in the latter, dreams are not considered false, although there are other categories that are false. This post discusses the difference between the various categories that are considered “not knowledge”.

  • Overview,  Philosophy,  Physics

    Quantum Motion – Elevators vs. Escalators

    While going down in an elevator, it recently occurred to me that the elevator doesn’t move unless we indicate the floor it has to go to, quite different from an escalator which keeps moving regardless of whether anyone has anywhere to go to. This difference is a useful way to understand how quantum “motion” is different from classical motion. This post explains the difference using the elevator vs. escalator analogy. The motion of the elevator explicitly employs meaning and purpose, while the motion of the escalator doesn’t. The difference helps us see why addressing many scientific problems needs a revision to our analogies about nature, and what such analogical shifts…

  • Philosophy

    A Solution to the Problem of Hallucination

    The problem in any kind of existence begins from a very old distinction between appearance and reality. Appearances are obviously how things seem to us in our perception although not everything that we perceive does really also exist. How things seem to us is a property of our perceptual apparatus—senses, mind, brain, etc. Reality, on the other hand, is supposed to be independent of this perceptual apparatus. Therefore, how do we know that what appears to us is also real? Could it be that we are hallucinating or dreaming and what appears to us does not in fact exist?