Episodes from the Podcast
This episode discusses how space and time are treated as trees of three kinds of meanings in Vedic philosophy. The idea of tree of meaning has been described at various places in Vedic texts, as well as in other religions such as Christianity and Judaism. The relation between this tree and ideas of form and substance in Greek philosophy are relevant to this coversation. The episode also talks about how the higher level branches and trunks are visible from the level of the leaves, but cutting down the leaves doesn’t cut those branches and trunks. In the same way, the higher level realities such as the mind, intellect, ego, and the soul are manifest in the body, but the death of the body doesn’t destroy the deeper realities.
In this episode we talk about the problem of incompleteness in science and how this problem is not limited to physical theories but goes way deeper into mathematics and logic itself. The root cause of this problem is traced to the fact that nature has duality and opposites, but inducting opposites creates contradictions in science. The problem is also caused by the existence of figures of speech in ordinary language which are missing in mathematics and logic. Finally, the problem is also related to the existence of choice by which the same world can be described scientifically in new ways, so there is an explicit for the observer in observing nature. The episode discusses how these problems manifest in many areas of modern science in different forms and possible strategies for overcoming them.
This episode talks about an alternative model of evolution based upon the notions of matter derived from quantum physics rather than classical physics. In classical physics, a particle established continuity between successive states, but in quantum physics there are successive states but no continuity. The episode discusses how in Vedic philosophy this continuity is established by the presence of the soul due to which even though the bodies are changing through birth, childhood, youth, and old age, the soul remains the same. Also, unlike classical physics where only one state is possible and real at a given time, in quantum physics all the states are possible but only one state becomes real. So, when these material states are understood as different kinds of bodies, then all the bodies are possible at all times but only some bodies become real at a given time. It follows that the species are not evolving into other species. Rather, the soul is evolving through the various species. The episode goes on to discuss three definitions of the species in Vedic philosophy, and how they appear in language as first, second, and third-person experiences. Modern science only studies third-person experience and therefore body is also defined only in terms of third-person properties. But in Vedic philosophy, the body is additionally described in terms of first- and second-person experiences and properties.
In this episode we talk about the nature of karma and how it is created. We discuss how karma is created a consequences of actions, different from cause and effect, and to the extent that science only deals with causes and effects, it is incomplete. The episode goes on to talk about how how time only creates possibilities out of which our desiring (guna) and deserving (karma) create actual events for an individual observer. So karma is a natural concept and morality that deals with consequences of actions is a natural law. The episode talks about many questions surrounding karma such as why we don’t remember the past lives when karma created, how can we punished for deeds even when we don’t remember our actions, and why sometimes some people remember their past lives. We talk about how karma is just like money—it can be earned and spent, and the method of earning and the method of spending can be different. This means that based on how karma is reaped cannot tell us how it was previously earned.
In this episode we talk about the semantic view of atomism. Semantic atomic theory or the semantic interpretation of atomic theory is the idea that atoms are symbols of meaning and instead of the classical physical properties such as energy, momentum, angular momentum and spin, these atoms possess semantic properties which are called beauty, power, wealth, and fame. Once we change the properties by which matter is described, we also change the nature of forces. Instead of the mechanical push and pull forces we have to now use the forces of consistency, competition, cooperation, and completion that operate between the meanings. So there is a different idea about material properties and a different idea about material force, and this is what I mean by semantic atomic theory. Once we understand this new kind of atomism, we can also talk about different kind of technology which can emerge from the understanding of this atomism.
In this episode, we will talk about the problem of epistemology or how do we know. We will go over some historical material regarding the methods of knowledge prevalent in Western philosophy and then look at the same problem from the perspective of Vedic philosophy. We discuss the problems of rationalism and empiricism in Western philosophy and then the metaphysics by which these problems are resolved in Vedic philoosphy making empiricism and rationalism valid methods of knowledge. We then talk about the use of authority to discover knowledge which is then verified by empricism and rationalism, and how discovery and verification are two different uses of reason and experience. Finally, we talk about the dogma of materialism within which modern science operates and how this dogma is guised as the preference toward reason and experience.
In this episode we talk about a number of unique problems that arise in trying to make Vedic philosophy more rigorous in a logical and mathematical sense. I have been presenting some of these ideas while discussing the theories of creation, cosmology, linguistics, the nature of space and time, etc. But there is no single place where we have collected them so far. This is what this podcast achieves to do.