30 Apr

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 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.

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08 Apr

The Cycle of Guna and Karma

The term guna indicates what we desire, and the term karma indicates what we deserve; both exist as possibilities, but their combination in time produces the cycle of birth and death. This is the essence of the Vedic science discussed in an earlier post where guna, karma, and kāla were described as three laws of nature. This post takes that description forward and elaborates on the unique role played by karma and its significance in the creation of experiences. The post also discusses the law of karma at length and describes how the consequences of our actions are produced through an interaction between guna and karma, which produce one another, and their interaction creates a cycle.

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15 Nov

The Vedic Perspective on Free Will

My two previous posts explored the flaws in the materialist reduction of free will to rationality and discussed the use of free will in science. The second post concluded by arguing that every conscious experience involves choices, and these may be good or bad―depending on whether they are successful. This post extends the above arguments to incorporate our everyday notions about morality―i.e. good and bad―in the context of science. The key claim is that what we call a “working theory” is not just one that is compatible with all the observable facts, but also one that frees us from the consequences of the choices. A “non-working theory” is one that which creates consequences. The difference between a working and a non-working theory is called karma in Vedic philosophy, by which our false notions about reality bind us to the world.

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