Science has, since its inception, suffered from the mind-body divide that Descartes created. The divide forced sciences to pursue an ideology of matter 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 successive stages of development of a primordial reality, which can best be called language at this time. This language is not the speech we hear and speak. It is rather fundamental forms of meanings that consciousness can potentially understand. During the manifestation of the universe, language is gradually objectified as values, intentions, propositions, concepts, sensations and, finally, things.
To allow the mind and matter to connect in this way, 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 in terms of types rather than in terms of quantities. Second, types in matter will also be manipulated by choices rather than deterministic laws of force; choices have to be viewed as modifying information rather than modifying matter through mechanical forces.
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 propositions rather than physical bonds. In biology, these propositions produce a functional system so living beings must also be described as functional and intentional systems rather than just material objects. The semantic view thus dramatically changes our approach to thinking about matter in science.
While the intuitive basis for the work collected on this site is in Sāńkhya, the reader need not believe in these ideas to find the work here useful. Semantic problems can be described and understood without reference to scripture, although they require a deeper understanding of the observer. To the extent that an understanding of the observer requires the observers to look “inwards” rather than “outwards”, inward looking philosophies can be useful starting points for understanding meaning.