Many people currently view a guru as a classical particle, which interacts with other classical particles through a physical contact like a billiard ball collides with another billiard ball. The advocates of such a theory claim that it is necessary for a person to be physically in touch with a guru, in order to seek instructions, obtain advice, and receive knowledge. This conception of guru is not entirely wrong because billiard balls do indeed collide with other billiard balls and cause them to move. And yet, this conception of interaction becomes very limited when we understand a new kind of cause called “quantum entanglement” in which two distant objects can interact instantaneously.
That quantum theory tells us something new about the material world, as compared to classical physics, is undisputed. The dispute is regarding what the new thing is that quantum theory is telling us. Accordingly, there are numerous interpretations of quantum theory, some even by those who claim to follow the Vedic traditions. However, in none of these interpretations do we find a clear articulation of the nature of free will, how this free will interacts with matter, the question of right and wrong action, which then leads to moral consequences, and how such consequences shape the future experiences. The crux of Vedic philosophy is not a theory of matter, but how consciousness interacts with matter, how this interaction is judged right and wrong, and how that judgement produces new circumstances, in which the living entity is successively trapped. When these central ideas are ignored or marginalized, then the interpretation constitutes a heresy. In this post I will discuss how quantum theory can be seen as a theory of moral causality.