This is a follow-up to the previous post, which discussed the nature of space in Śrimad Bhāgavatam (SB). The goal of this one is to describe the ideas of “manifest” and “unmanifest” states of matter. Matter in the Śrimad Bhāgavatam (and indeed in many other Vedic literatures) is described as originating in an “unmanifest” form, which essentially means that it cannot be known and observed, although it exists. From this “unmanifest” state, a “manifest” state of matter is produced, which can be known and observed. This post discusses how we must understand these states of matter, and how this understanding is related to the observer’s knowledge.
How we perceive taste, smell, touch, sound and sight is a fact about our perception, but it has never been properly understood in biology, psychology, or philosophy. The problem is that we suppose material objects to be length, mass, charge, momentum, energy, temperature, etc. How these physical properties become taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight remains a mystery because the sensations have qualitative properties (and are described as types) while the objects do not. If eyes, nose, ears, skin and tongue are material objects, then they could only have physical properties, not qualities. How can then we perceive qualities?