Six Causes




The development of science has generated a strong debate between creationists and evolutionists. While evolutionists claim to have reason and empirical data on their side, the creationist view is based on revelation and hence often decried as regressive. This book hopes to undo some of that misunderstanding especially with regard to Vedic theories of creation by describing how the Vedic ideas are not just modern, but also relevant to current scientific problems in many cases.

In Vedic philosophy, creation is modeled as the creative activity of consciousness. Creativity itself is not alien to us, although we may not fully understand the mechanics behind it. Vedas describe a theory of creation in which meanings in consciousness are objectified in matter in acts of creativity. This theory of matter is different from the one provided by current science, and it illustrates a new way of looking at reality which can be useful to both science and religion.

The science-religion controversy is, from a Vedic standpoint, founded on two different theories of matter, not based upon a divide between reason and faith. A better understanding of the Vedic view of creation and matter can shed light on how theories about matter can be compatible with the existence of mind, free will, morality, consciousness, and God.

The book is meant for the educated lay person, and it doesn’t expect knowledge of Vedic texts, or of the Sanskrit in which these texts were originally written. This English expose is meant to bring some obscure topics in Vedic philosophy to those who are interested in the question of origins. The theory discusses not just the origin of objects, but also how these objects are perceived through senses, mind, intelligence, ego and consciousness which are different kinds of “senses” capable of creating and consuming meanings.

The idea of Six Causes is not originally a Vedic concept, but a spin from the Greek notion of Four Causes. To those educated or familiar with Western philosophy, this might be a useful way to understand the otherwise difficult, and sometimes obscure, ideas.