• Philosophy,  Physics,  Religion

    The Four Ethers of Sāńkhya Philosophy

    Sāńkhya describes four ethers—vaikhari, madhyama, pasyanti, and para—which are successively deeper aspects of the material world and contain different phenomena. The understanding of the successive ethers depends on the understanding of the previous ether. In that sense, there are four tiers of causality and each such tier must be fully understood to obtain a complete understanding of material nature. This post attempts to describe these four ethers and their respective differences. I will begin with the problems of causality in the grossest ether called vaikhari which comprises material objects and their sensations, and use it to develop an understanding of the higher ethers. This, like the previous post, is a…

  • Philosophy,  Physics,  Religion

    What is Prāna?

    Sāńkhya divides matter into manas (mind), prāna (life force), and vāk. In the previous post, we discussed the nature of vāk and manas as the relation between word and meaning, or between matter and mind. This post elaborates on the third aspect of matter called prāna. The post discusses the role prāna plays in the motion of material objects, in the creation of bodies, and in the transmigration of the soul. The topic is fairly complex, so reader patience is essential to get through to the end. I will begin with a discussion of the problems of motion in mathematics and physics, because grasping these problems is essential to laying…

  • Philosophy,  Physics,  Religion

    Why Sāńkhya Is Important for Quantum Theory

    This post discusses the relevance of the idea of “gross” and “subtle” matter in Sāńkhya to the problems of prediction in quantum theory, highlighting the solution using everyday examples. I also discuss how the attempts to divorce “gross” and “subtle” matter, or reduce “subtle” matter to “gross” matter, lead to the widespread proliferation of alternate “spiritualities”, which are thriving on the misconceptions about the quantum problem: wherever you look, you can find impersonalistic or voidistic “spirituality” based on a flawed interpretation of the quantum phenomena. The post discusses why a solution to this problem based on Sāńkhya would not only produce a scientific theory and advance science to a newer…