• Law,  Philosophy,  Physics,  Religion

    Quantum Theory and Human Experience

    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…

  • Philosophy,  Religion

    The Four Tiers of Reality

    The previous post discussed the meaning of sat, chit, and ananda—i.e. consciousness, the search for meaning, and the search for happiness. The search for meaning creates a personality—i.e. how others know you. The search or happiness creates an individuality—i.e. what kinds of pleasures one enjoys. The individuality and personality create many conflicts, because what you enjoy may not be meaningful, and what is meaningful may not be enjoyable. We all know that we need both meaning and happiness, and doing one or the other would not suffice. The conflict between meaning and happiness is resolved by a third category—consciousness—which, as we have seen before, exists as choice. The resolution is…

  • Philosophy,  Religion

    The Pursuit of Meaning and Happiness

    “The pursuit of happiness and meaning are two of our most central motivations in life” but “there can be substantial trade-offs between seeking happiness and seeking meaning in life,” writes Scott Barry Kaufman in a thought-provoking Scientific American post. In a stereotypical sense, the pursuit of meaning is one that involves connecting our lives to something larger than our life—e.g. society, nation, race, the universe, or God—thereby broadening our consciousness to what exists beyond our small, temporary, and irrelevant existence. The pursuit of happiness, however, in a stereotypical sense, narrows that focus to our body and mind, and often much smaller subsets of it—e.g. sexuality, romance, food, drink, or music.…