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.
Table of Contents
- Quantum Theory and Music Recitals
- Understanding the Quantum Problem
- Quantum Signal Processing
- The Semantic Solution to the Quantum Problem
- Relative vs. Absolute Space
- The Creation of Ordinary Experience
- Material Cause and Efficient Cause
- Two Kinds of Hierarchical Spaces
- The Second Mind-Body Problem
- The Question of Questions
- Desiring and Deserving
- The Nature of Material Causality
- The Natural Theory of Morality
- The Advancement of Science by Religion
Quantum Theory and Music Recitals
Current quantum theory describes the quantum objects probabilistically, which is like describing a musical composition in terms of the relative probabilities of finding a particular tone. Quantum theory cannot predict the next quantum, which is akin to the inability to predict the next tone in a song. Now, most people believe that the reason we cannot predict the next tone is that music is beyond the tones. But what is that could exist “beyond” the tones? How do we understand and measure such a thing?
Some physicists—such as John von Neumann—argued that maybe the missing ingredient is the mind of the performer or listener. For example, we might say that music is in the mind, and we cannot predict the order of tones because that order is not an objective property of the material world, but resides in the musician’s mind. This view of the mind-body interaction has been reinforced by experiments—e.g. by thinking different alternatives we can change the outcomes of experiments, which is like a musician who dynamically adapts a possibility of tones to a particular sequence of tones. The mind’s involvement in experiments is now widely accepted. Nevertheless, such an approach doesn’t help science because in order to predict what the experiment is going to do, we have to not just study the experimental setup but also the mind which might be potentially interfering with the result. And the interfering mind could in turn be tampered with by other minds—who are trying to influence the mind that is influencing the experiment. Ultimately, we seem to require an unknown number of minds to explain any one event.
A completely different problem—called the Quantum Measurement Problem—is that you can record the music recital on a tape or CD, and listen to it even after the musician has passed away. Clearly, it now seems that the musician is long gone and their mind cannot interfere with the musical recording. In fact, the quantum uncertain world has now become the classically certain world simply because the original recital by a musician can be recorded and later played in a repeatable manner. The ability to repeat entails the ability to predict the occurrences. And the ability to predict entails that we have now overcome the problem of probabilities—we can predict exactly what is going to happen.
Many physicists mix up the former “quantum” problem (called “collapse”) and the latter “classical” problem (called “measurement”). The fact is that they are not the same because even if the mind is involved in a musical recital, the mind is not involved in the recording replay. Once we are able to distinguish between quantum and classical performances, it is now time to rub some salt into the wounds: the musical recital and the musical recording are observationally indistinguishable and if you were only listening to the music, you would have no way to distinguish between a recital and a recording. Given that the recital is quantum physics, and the recording is classical physics, it appears that there should be an equivalent classical mechanical description of the quantum phenomena.
And yet, the now infamous Bell’s Theorem forbids such a conclusion. It tells us that we can never succeed in finding a classical mechanical explanation for the quantum phenomena although the events can be predicted after they have been recorded. This is an amazing result because we know that by recording the events we have overcome the problem of “collapse” as the outcomes are now fixed. Then, what is Bell’s Theorem truly talking about? The theorem tells us that even though we can classically predict the quantum events, we cannot classically explain them. In essence, we cannot summarize the recording of quantum data into a formula, shorter than the data. The data itself is the shortest formula that predicts the observations, and it cannot be shrunk any further—e.g. into a law.
Understanding the Quantum Problem
The ability to record an event sequence resolves the problem of predictability but it doesn’t resolve the issue of explanation. In other words, we now have the data of what actually happened, and we have to find the simplest explanation for why that data occurred in exactly the same order as it did. If we can explain the event order (not just predict it) then we have solved the quantum problem. If we can’t explain, then we will again resort to the idea that this order is random—i.e. that it was produced due to probabilities.
The order in musical tones is explainable if we can understand how music is stored in our memory. We might think that music is stored in our memory as the succession of tones, but practical experience negates this idea. For example, some people can remember the words but not the melody, while others can remember the melody but not the words. Some particular sounds are foreground in our heads while other sounds become background. The psychology of music indicates that the song is actually processed as many independent tracks—which has now been incorporated into the process of recording music such that each microphone is given a separate track, and these tracks are later “mixed” and given different degrees of importance. Mixing is akin to layering one type of sound on another—i.e. music becomes hierarchical after the mixing is done.
The first step in understanding music, therefore, is to separate out the tracks—e.g. instruments vs. voice, background vs. foreground, string vs. wind vs. percussion instruments, male vs. female, etc. The human mind does it quite well, but classical machines cannot. Once we separate the tracks, then we can understand the numerous layers of periodicities inside each of the tracks. Our minds store music horizontally as many tracks and vertically as layers in a track. What you hear, however, is a sequence that collapses the vertical layers and merges all the horizontal tracks into one.
Quantum Signal Processing
This entire process of decomposing a succession of events into multiple tracks and layers in a track is called Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Indeed, a number of tracks that were previously recorded using classical machines, are now remixed using digital machines where the sound is separated into tracks, and then mixed to get the song back. DSP can be performed on quantum events too. The process involves a “Fourier Transform” on the observed data which is meant to break the time-domain signal into multiple tracks and multiple layers of information within each track. The result of DSP is that we end up with two kinds of descriptions of the same phenomena—time-domain and frequency-domain descriptions. Both these descriptions exist in different “spaces”. The time-domain space is the space of our ordinary phenomenal experiences, while the frequency-domain description exists in another space—which is unlike the world we experience.
The frequency-domain space has music separated into many tracks and many layers. If we know what these tracks and layers are, we can predict the order of events. Our brains store the music in the frequency-domain and not in the time-domain. Which is why if some of the frequencies are missing, we can still recreate the song, although partially. When the music is played, then the frequency-domain representation is converted into the time-domain representation. In short, the “mind” of the reciter is in the frequency-domain, while the phenomenal experience is in the time-domain. If we are looking to understand quantum reality, then we must understand the frequency-domain—i.e. how the musical experience is produced by combining multiple tracks and multiple layers.
The Semantic Solution to the Quantum Problem
My proposed solution to the quantum problem is that the space of quantum reality is not the phenomenal space of ordinary experience but the frequency-domain space. The real time is also not phenomenal time, but the frequency-domain time. Space in this context means that which allows us to separate tracks and layers in a track. Time in this context simply means a repeating pattern—i.e. what we normally call a “wave”.
The universe in this description is all the possible tracks and layers—the tracks are “objects” and the layers in a track are different “deeper” levels of periodicities in an object. However, selectively some such tracks and layers are combined to create a song—i.e. a phenomenal experience. The causality is therefore neither in the tracks nor in the layers—the tracks and layers are simply “inert” matter—which just exists. The causality is how these tracks and layers are combined to create a song. In short the observers who enter the universe have access to a library of sounds. They can combine them in many ways to create songs. To understand the universe, we have to understand how the library is organized—i.e. which sounds are located on which floor, rack, and shelf of the library.
Once we understand how the library of individual tracks is organized, then we can understand how different musicians who enter the library can combine these tracks in their own way. Once we understand this ability to combine, then comes the natural law—which musician has accesses to which musical tracks, which musicians are allowed to share their tracks with other musicians, and what kind of music should be composed for a given type of time, place, circumstance, and for a given type of audience.
Relative vs. Absolute Space
It’s noteworthy that we cannot know how the library is organized by observation because observation is time-domain while reality is frequency-domain. So, potentially, it is possible that there are infinite methods or organizing our library—such that each method produces the same time-domain experience. However, note that we are also talking about a law of nature in which experiences are produced by mixing different tracks obtained from different parts of the library. If we arbitrarily change the location of the tracks in the library—e.g. by defining arbitrary coordinate systems—then the law of nature which mixes these tracks together would also have to vary with each such coordinate system choice.
If we simply change the track locations, while keeping the law of mixing unchanged, then the law will mostly produce noise rather than music. In fact, the existence of such a law is indistinguishable from a totally random method of combining tracks. Therefore, for even a natural law to exist, there must be a fixed space and time reference frame in which we can formulate the law of track mixing. This fixed space and time contradicts Einstein’s premise of relative space and time, but note that we arrive at the opposite conclusion starting with the same premise—i.e. that the form of the law must remain unchanged. The key difference is that we have reconceived the natural law: in Einstein’s theory the natural law is how every particle interacts with every other particle all the time, and in quantum theory we are trying to conceive a natural law that involves choosing which particles must interact.
When every particle in the universe is in the same space—i.e. always interacting with each other—then each observer has their personal coordinate system. But if the law of nature involves deciding which particle must interact with which other particles—then which is more important than where. If you simply go by where, and the coordinates of space denote different locations, you can only get randomness. In short, the premise of Einstein’s relativity—i.e. the laws of nature must remain the same for all observers—is unchanged. However, we arrive at the opposite conclusion than Einstein because we changed the notion of our lawfulness from deterministic forces to choosing particles that can interact.
The Creation of Ordinary Experience
There is an important lesson: if our law is deterministic forces, then all reference frames are equivalent, but if our law is intelligent choices, then there is a universal reference frame. The problem of quantum theory is no longer why quantum A arrives after quantum B; as we saw above, this problem can be solved by proposing that the quantum order is produced by a set of multilayered musical tracks. The real question is: Why are some specific musical tracks being combined to produce a new kind of musical composition? Or, why is a musical track being heard by a particular listener? Both problems involve observers, but they are as different as recording a recital and replaying a recording.
If we fix the space-time of the library which holds all the individual tracks, then the recording only needs to refer to these tracks by their location in the library—the recording doesn’t actually have to copy the tracks themselves. For example, your musical composition can be a combination of tracks 59 and 43, while my composition can be a combination of tracks 15, 94, and 65. If I destroy my composition, tracks 15, 94, and 65 will still continue to exist in the library, and may even be used by others.
Therefore, I don’t own the tracks, but I can create my personal compositions. A composition doesn’t comprise of tracks because it only refers to them. Each observer can thus mix the tracks in new ways. They can also share their tracks with others who are also mixing tracks in the library. While listening to such tracks, you might think that you are listening to a specific object, but you are listening to different sounds that originate from different locations in frequency-space, which combine to create an experience.
Material Cause and Efficient Cause
In current quantum theory physicists believe that the musical composition itself is random and uncertain. In the new approach, we can say that the musical composition is fixed, but we don’t know how it was composed. In the former approach, I’m looking to fix the order of sounds on my tape. In the latter approach, I’m trying to find the correct references to preexisting library tracks. In the former approach, my composition is actually material—e.g. notes of the music. In the latter approach, my composition is simply numbers—i.e. how I refer to the tracks in a preexisting library by their location on a specific floor in the library, specific row on a floor, specific rack in a row, specific shelf in a rack, etc.
With this solution approach, I can give a new definition to my creations (not matter): my creation is a combination of references—each reference is a hierarchical number (floor, row, rack, shelf, etc.). Such references are like branches of a tree, and each musical composition can be one or more such branches. The real material object is some musical track kept in a specific location in a library, and this library has been indexed by natural numbers. My composition, however, simply references the tracks by the numbers.
We can now distinguish material causes from efficient causes. The material cause is the musical track at some location in the library. The efficient cause is the combination of the tracks into a song. The material cause is not created by us; it is produced by the librarian who made the collection of all the tracks and indexed them properly in the library. The efficient cause—i.e. the songs—are actions that combine the tracks. This approach provides a viable solution to the old mind-body problem regarding the interaction of consciousness and matter. The solution is that we are not actually interacting with matter. We are rather creating numbers that reference the material object. Consciousness neither creates matter, nor does it mix it. Consciousness creates and mixes numbers that in turn refer to matter. Consciousness is thus interacting with numbers, not matter.
Two Kinds of Hierarchical Spaces
The material and efficient cause distinction helps us construct two kinds of trees—the tree of objects and the tree of references. The tree of objects is universal, but the tree of references to such preexisting objects is personal. Both trees involve a root, and many branches, culminating in leaves, fruits, and flowers. The difference is that the material tree has a universal root, but the efficient tree is rooted in each observer.
The material tree is produced from the has-a relationship due to which a big object contains a small object—e.g. “a man has a hand”, “a hand has a finger”, or “a finger has a nail”. The efficient tree is produced from the is-a relationship and constitutes what we call “roles” by which a class hierarchy is built—e.g. “a sergeant is a police officer”, “a police officer is a state employee”, or “a state employee is a citizen”. Together the is-a and has-a trees constitute a person’s individuality or the ego, which has two aspects: “I am” and “I have”. The term “I am” is the root of the is-a tree—e.g. I’m Indian, American, Employee, Man, Woman, Intelligent, etc. Similarly, the term “I have” is the root of the has-a tree—e.g. I have a body, my body has two legs, each leg has five fingers, each finger has a nail, etc.
It’s noteworthy that these two aspects of the ego are called aham or “I am” and mameti or “I have” in Sāńkhya. Therefore, the aham aspect manifests the is-a tree while the mameti aspect produces the has-a tree. The interaction between aham and mameti leads to the transparency of intentional states because of which I know that I am experiencing an external world, and not experiencing something inside my brain. For example, if your skin is itching, you don’t feel that the itch is in the brain, even though that’s what neuroscience tell us. How does my consciousness “reach out” in the material world to give me transparent access, without a real interaction between consciousness and matter? The answer is that consciousness interacts with the aham which in turn interacts with mameti. Due to aham I think I am experiencer. Due to mameti I know what is being experienced. The aham is the is-a tree, but the nodes on this personal tree point to the nodes on the has-a public tree of objects. This is a very hard problem for the materialist because material objects are never descriptions of reality. Therefore if you suppose that the world is represented in the brain, then the natural conclusion would be that if my skin is scratched, then I must feel the scratch within some part of my brain—which is clearly false.
Based on this understanding of the ego, and what we have seen earlier, we can see how the material body is created when we start with the “I am” idea tree in which I’m an Indian, I’m a man, I’m an employee, etc. and the is-a tree automatically selects the material objects on the has-a tree—i.e. I automatically acquire a body with body parts, senses, mind, intellect, etc. I am the composer in the library of musical tracks, and I want a song that sings “I’m an Indian, I’m a man, I’m an employee” and when this criteria is specified, sound tracks are automatically selected from the library of sounds to create my life’s song.
We all think that the parts of my material body are “mine”—e.g. that I have a hand, I have a leg, I have a head, etc. But these parts are not mine. These parts are actually existing in different locations in the universe, and they have simply been sourced temporarily via references to them. Therefore, I don’t truly have a body of hands and legs. I just have a desire to be a Man, Indian, Employee, etc. and that wish is being fulfilled by nature when I’m allowed to reference and access a particular object in the universe.
The Second Mind-Body Problem
That naturally leads to the all-important question: Why are all of my wishes not fulfilled? Why can’t I acquire everything that I want, simply by wanting it? This question is never answered in atomic theory even when consciousness is used to explain the observation. The question is: If consciousness can collapse whatever alternative it wants, then it can potentially create reality just by free will. But that clearly never happens. We so suffer from desperate situations in which reality is against or different from what we want it to be. So, the hypothesis of a conscious collapse simply begs a bigger question: If the world is created by my consciousness, then why doesn’t it conform to my free will?
Without the free will, quantum theory is incomplete. But with the free will, it is still is incompatible with the commonsense notions that we are not free in all situations. The consciousness postulate therefore represents an advancement of classical materialism but it is far from complete in itself unless we completely explain the nature of the interaction between the two, how one constrains the other, and how both exist without a contradiction. The interaction between matter and consciousness comprises of two distinct problems: (1) how do consciousness and body interact, and (2) which body interacts with which consciousness? We addressed the first question above by describing that consciousness doesn’t interact with matter directly; it interacts by creating references to matter due to which our awareness is drawn into matter. We still need to answer the second question of why a particular consciousness is tied to a particular body.
The material world provides the possibility of so many objects, but only some objects are accessible to the consciousness. Why are we limited to certain objects rather than others?
Classical physics believed that material objects are moving in space deterministically but we cannot extend this ideology to atomic theory. The correct way of thinking about atomic theory is that there is a space of possibilities through which consciousness is moving. As new objects are found in material space, modern science asks: “How does this object work?” “How was this object created?” etc. But we could also ask: “Why this object, and not some other object?” In current science, we ask why an object is such and such. And in a new science we could ask: Why I am experiencing this object? In short, “Why am I here, when I could potentially be anywhere else in the universe of possibilities?”
The answer to this question holds the key to a different approach to scientific explanation in which the material objects are not moving in space. Rather, the observer is moving through different possibilities. Space is no longer the phenomenal world of objects. Space is rather the possibilities that create the phenomena. As we saw, reality is not the time-domain world; it is rather the frequency-domain world. Therefore, the law of nature is not about the motion of objects; it is about the motion of the observer. The world you see, or the body you have, exist as possibilities eternally. The question is not how the body works. The question is: Why am I in this particular body and not another kind of body?
The Question of Questions
This is the point at which practically all Western thinking becomes irrelevant, because for the last two thousand years, Western philosophy has been asking questions such as “What is this world?” “What is it made up of?” “How do things change?” “How can we know the nature of material objects” etc. The Western philosophers almost never asked questions such as “Why am I here?” “Why can’t I be wherever I want to be?” “Given that I’m here, could I be somewhere else after this life?” There are questions in which you try to solve the problems of this life. There are questions in which you want to seek a different life.
These questions were rejected in Western science and philosophy because they were previously associated with religion although religion was incapable of answering those questions by itself. Therefore science came along and said – “You are wasting your time on useless questions. I will tell you what the real questions are.” And science changed all the questions. Those who think that science defeated religion actually don’t know what science did. What science did is not answer the questions that religion was asking. Rather, science changed the questions themselves. It also scoffed at religious questions.
This is forgotten vista through which Vedic philosophy can hold our hand and walk us through. It asks the same questions that religions have asked forever, but this time, it also provides the answers. The question is still “Why am I here?” But the answer is now scientific: the observer is moving in the space of possibilities, and the law of nature is how this observer goes from one alternative to another. You are here because of what you have done in the past, and you can change the future by changing your present. This kind of question and answer follows from a deeper understanding of atomic theory, but these are not new questions anyway. To do a new science, we have to first change our questions back to what they were originally—before the advent of modern science. For instance, we don’t ask why the object is moving. We rather ask why the observer is moving. We don’t ask why the object has a definite position in space. We rather ask why I am here.
Desiring and Deserving
When we change the questions, we then seek new answers. These answers will seem incompatible with modern science, but that’s because science isn’t asking the most relevant questions. Vedic philosophy gives us new insights on why we are here. We can take that answer and explore its ramifications. We will find that these answers constitutes a different science. One of these answers is that the reason I’m here and nowhere else is not just because of desiring but also because of deserving. The world has to be divided into two kinds of space-times. First, there is the universal space-time which undergoes evolution and creates new possibilities. Second, there is a personal space-time which also evolves due to which some desiring and deserving is manifest at different times. The universal and personal time are meant for the material or has-a space and efficient or is-a space, respectively. Accordingly, there is a universal reality and a personal reality.
The purpose of personal time is to manifest a combination of desiring and deserving, which will then automatically pick a material object from the universal space, and place it in our experience. If the universal object changes, then everyone’s experience of that universal object will change. By separating the universal and personal realities there is always a universal or objective reality, and there is always a personal and subjective reality. The subjective reality always refers to the objective reality—if we view the world from the standpoint of an individual observer. If, however, we consider the universe itself as a single observer, then the evolution of the objects is within the observer’s consciousness.
This leads to two kinds of observers. For the universal observer, the reality is always inside the consciousness. For the individual observer, the reality is always outside the consciousness. The individual observer has a personal space-time, but it constitutes the efficient cause and not the material cause. The laws of nature—i.e. deserving and desiring, and how they are created—are the efficient cause controlling the observer.
The Nature of Material Causality
The observer’s evolution in material space doesn’t involve the material cause at all; it only involves the efficient cause of the individual observer. That is, the universe will evolve according to time in a predetermined manner but that is not a particular observer’s motion through the space of all possibilities. The law of observer’s evolution rather involves the interaction between desiring, deserving, and what is possible (universally).
Desiring, deserving, and possibility are all indeterminate separately. The observer can see that the world affords some possibility, but that affording doesn’t guarantee an encounter. Similarly, one might desire something and that desire might not be fulfilled. And one might be entitled to receive and give, but that entitlement is not always manifest. So, from the standpoint of the individual observer, it appears that everything is uncertain. However, their combination is not indeterminate. The study of causality involves deciphering how desiring, deserving, and possibility combine to produce experience. As with many other things, in Vedic philosophy these three things are combined hierarchically.
At the top are the universal possibilities—i.e. all that is possible at the present time. Under these possibilities are what we desire. And under that desire is what we are entitled to give or receive. Therefore, we can desire whatever we like, but it cannot be fulfilled unless we are also entitled and the universe affords it as a possibility at the present moment. But even if we cannot fulfill our desires, nothing stops us from desiring it. Also, the universe can force events upon us due to deserving even though on might not truly desire the event.
The deserving presents a limited freedom. Within that is the observer’s free will to choose one of the outcomes. There is hence three things involved in this process—(1) the collection of all entitlement, (2) the ideal or expected behavior, and (3) the actual choice or desire that chooses an alternative. The correct use of free will is to align the choice to the expected behavior. The incorrect use of free will is when the choice deviates from the expected behaviors. The free will comes with an accountability—because the “expected behavior” is objectively defined. Therefore, we can also speak about the consequence of the misuse of free will. This “interaction” of choice and freedom constitutes a new kind of causality in which there are consequences of actions beyond the causes and effects.
The first consequence of an action is that all actions are habit forming; if you do something once, you are likely to do it again. The second consequence is that depending on whether the action exceeded expectations or fell short of expectations, there is a result that will put the actor in a new situation—i.e. new expectation. Thus, a living entity is forced to take their old habits into new situations. In the new situations, many of these old habits are not useful and therefore forgotten, while new habits are learned. Similarly, the result of previous actions are destroyed with every action, while new effects are continually created. The living being is thus creating new habits and forgetting old habits. The living being is also creating new situations and forgetting about the previous situations.
The Natural Theory of Morality
Since the advent of Newton’s physics, natural scientists have pursued an agenda in which the universe is evolving deterministically—although they sometimes felt guilty about having undermined free will and choice—and tried to mitigate the problem by recognizing a mind that is outside the laws of nature. Quite separately, social scientists have aimed to deliver happiness by defining justice based on principles such as equality, fraternity, liberty, opportunity, etc. Both attempts have failed to deliver on the promise they started out with—natural science on determinism and social sciences on happiness.
Vedic philosophy shows how both can be achieved. The universe as a whole is evolving deterministically, but this is only the material cause, and the living entity is not the material cause—i.e. the body or mind. The living entity is rather a soul, covered by desiring and deserving due to which it obtains a material body and mind—due to the habit formation of desiring and consequences of such desiring. To become happy, we have to know the ideal behavior, so that we can end the consequences of actions.
In this picture of reality, matter is not moving according to force. Matter is rather moving according to time. The forces of guna and karma act on the living entity—under the influence of time. The soul is thus tied by guna (or ropes) and karma (or pāśa, also known as a leash). The leashes restrict our freedom, and the ropes restrict our free will. It is a waste of time trying to understand matter if the soul doesn’t understand how he has become a pāśu or animal bound by ropes and and leashes—dragged by time.
The Advancement of Science by Religion
Sāńkhya is part of a religious philosophy and described in Vedic texts. But this religion is neither opposed to a scientific understanding of nature, nor is it contrary to its purposes. In fact, Sāńkhya is the true description of reality that includes not just sensual observations, but also a mental existence, and the law of nature is not just physical effects but also moral consequences. Sāńkhya tells us that what we know through modern science is inadequate, and also indicates why it is inadequate. It provides a way of thinking which can be used to understand the world compatible with (1) the facts of modern observation, (2) the intuitions of everyday life, and (3) the imperatives of religion and morality.
Sāńkhya, however, also requires us to redefine scientific concepts. In this post we have discussed the revision of a few. I redefined space as a tree, and time as cyclic repetition. We redefined change not as the motion of material particles but as the transmigration of consciousness over possibilities. We altered the nature of causality from cause and effect to cause, effect, and consequence. I redefined atomism as not particles or waves, but as symbols of meaning. We saw how the world is split into two kinds of space-times—universal and personal. We noted how the two space-times result in the notion of different kinds of observers—universal and individual. We saw how different kinds of laws—material and efficient—apply to these space-times. Finally, we discussed how such a viewpoint is not about physical interactions but about choice and responsibility.
We don’t need to continue seeing the world through clichéd categories like ‘religion’ and ‘science’ which tend to bias us one way or another. We must move towards a new conception of both religion and science in which religion is as much concerned about natural processes such as matter and force, while science would be equally well involved with transcendental questions such as meaning, choice, purpose, and morality.