Reply To: The Physical basis for meaning

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Ashish Dalela

I haven’t yet come across a Western philosopher who said that changing your thinking will change the world. In short, by your mind, you can control the world. When Descartes created the mind-body problem, he did not even ponder the problem that changing your mental state could change your own body. Today, when you are sick, every doctor will tell you to relax as it will help the body in healing. But they are unable to go forward and say that if the mind can change my body, how about other bodies? Can you control the world through the mind, just by thought?

Underlying Sāńkhya is the idea that you don’t need machines and industrialization. You can change the world with your mind. There is a science behind this, but we don’t understand it very well because the theoretical underpinnings are not understood, and the minds are not advanced. People think that modern society has become ‘advanced’ due to industrialization. How could people in the past have been advanced when they did not have machines? The answer is that they had advanced minds. They did not need machines. They did not need factories.

We have already discussed one example in which you look at a face-vase picture, and depending on how you draw the boundaries, something is either a face or the background of a vase. So, we know trivially that by changing our perspective we can change the mental representation.

The question is — can this change in the mind also affect the world? That’s what is tangentially referred to in these books. A better book to read in this regard is Sāńkhya and Science.