Can an ideal computer compute?

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    Sai Saurab

    Hi Ashish! Hope you are doing well.

    So, take the example of a computer. Correct me if I’m wrong here – the idea of a computer(which I’m calling the ideal computer) which can be percieved by the mind, is logically prior to the physical computer which can be percieved by the senses. And a physical computer is produced by addition of details to the ideal computer.

    But there is a significant difference between these two in the sense that I can use the physical computer to make computations/calculations but I can’t use the ideal computer directly. It is immanent in the physical computer, but on it’s own it seems to be useless. Is that actually the case?

    Same is the case with an ideal apple and a physical apple. One can satisfy the hunger whereas the other can’t?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Sai Saurab.
    Ashish Dalela

    Ideals have activities and power inside them, and they can be manifested. But it requires a special kind of person to understand the power, activity, and potential inside the idea. Those types of people can create new things, while everybody else will stand, watch, criticize, and question. Ultimately, the person with the vision of the ideal converts that mental vision into a perceivable reality. So, that ideal has immense power and it produces an activity, but that is only for a few people.

    The idea of a computer in your mind is not the same as the idea of a computer in Turing’s mind. In his mind, there was a full display of potentiality, which then transformed into an activity. In your mind, a ‘computer’ just a name for a certain class of perceived objects. So, what you are seeing is not what Turing was seeing. But you can use the same name or word to call those two things.

    The names or words are the preliminary vision. Then, from the name manifests a form, then from the form manifest qualities, then from the qualities manifest activities, and then from the activities manifest many byproducts. Since they manifest from within the idea, therefore, the idea has a power that can transform a person, produce new things which were previously not visible.

    The same thing is true of God’s name. Initially you just utter the name. But that name becomes a form, then quality, then activity, and then paraphernalia. Just from God’s name, everything is manifest. That name has immense power, but not for everybody. Those who cannot see will say–this chanting is just mumbo-jumbo. Or there is an idea, but there is no activity, no power, and it cannot produce an effect. That’s because they don’t have the capacity to see the potential within.

    Right now, when you use the word ‘computer’ you just have a name. You don’t understand the taste and smell of the idea; even the picture of the idea is not there. What you have is a sense perception picture of a desktop or laptop or server and not the picture of computing. When you use the word ‘computer’, it is just a word. It has no power, no activity, and it doesn’t excite activity. But the same word has an infinite power for many people, who can see those things inside the word itself.

    You are just using the same word. That doesn’t mean that you are seeing the same thing.

    The thought ‘Krishna’ makes a devotee dance with joy, laugh, and cry. So the thought has immense power. But that is because in that sound there is a form, there are qualities, there are activities, and there are many byproducts. However, those forms, qualities, activities, and byproducts are not for everyone. So other people might think: This is just an idea and it cannot do anything, but they don’t know.

    The power inside an idea is that it can manifest many things. The power in the idea ‘computer’ is that it can manifest a computer. That is the computing power inside the idea. The power is not to compute but to produce the computer, and that production is also computing. So, creative and intelligent people find ideas very useful, but others will say: What is the use of the idea? I need a real computer to do some real things. So some people are dull and others are intelligent.

    Sai Saurab

    This is very profound Ashish. Thank you. I can see the causal powers that ideas have and you’re right that my idea of a computer is only a pale approximation (even if that) of what Turing’s idea of a computer was.  Do you talk more about this somewhere?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Sai Saurab.
    Ashish Dalela

    I talk about it everywhere. The “power of ideas” is a basic principle of manifestation from the unmanifest. It is present in every book, and often on every page. And every single book talks about manifestation from ideas. We have to read these things more carefully to understand. The medicine is there but we have to accept it.

    Sai Saurab

    I am reading but it is true that I am stuck in the bodily thinking. I understand I need to be a better reader. For eg., I realized that this doubt is related to the essence/existence distinction and form/substance distinction that dualists make. You have shown the problems with that position and how Sankhya avoids that problem in many places including here but somehow I just fall into thinking the same way again.

    I read the first 3 chapters of Mystic Universe, where you cover the ideas of sankhya but I wanted to understand it more in depth so I picked up Sankhya and Science.

    About taking the medicine, what is the way though? Is it just repetition of reading? Or are there ways to make it more effective?

    Ashish Dalela

    There are three things–knowledge, detachment, and devotion. Knowledge is like a boat; some boat is capable of crossing the ocean of this world, and some boat is incapable. If you don’t have a boat, then you will drown. Of course, a capable person can swim across the ocean and doesn’t need a boat. Both most people will need a boat. Knowledge is that boat. The boat that will help you cross the ocean is spiritual knowledge. And the boat that will break down in the middle of the ocean is material knowledge. You can make some technology with material knowledge, but you cannot solve the problems of life. Therefore, getting the correct boat is very important, but not enough.

    If this boat is tied to the shore, then you cannot cross the ocean, even if you have the boat. Therefore, we have to cut the attachment to this world, which is like cutting the rope that ties the boat to the shore. For example, by Vedic knowledge, we can create some material technology, but doing that would be just like tying the boat to the shore. So those people who are using Vedic knowledge to create material technology are using the boat to stay afloat in water, but not cross the ocean. Their boat is tied to the shore, so all their efforts are ultimately a wastage of time. Detachment means trying to understand that the boat is meant to cross the ocean, not just to keep you afloat.

    Then after you have a boat, and the rope to the shore has been cut, you have to row the boat. That rowing of the boat is the application of knowledge and is called devotion. All practice is a devotional practice. In devotion, there is knowledge, and there is detachment. That devotion requires serving God by whatever ability we have. There are three kinds of service: by our words, by our mind, and by our body. By the words means chanting the names of God. By the body means engaging our wealth, property, material resources, etc., in the service of God. By the mind means that the service is mindful, not doing something for the sake of it. When our words, body, and mind are engaged in the service of God, then the process is called devotion. This spiritual process is rowing the boat.

    There are many ways in which knowledge, detachment, and devotion are presented in Vedic texts, but the basic principle is not changed. So, if a person tries for knowledge alone, then he may get a boat, but it remains tied to the shore, and even if some spiritual practice is performed, but the rope is not cut by detachment, then it is just like rowing a boat that is tied to the shore. It has no effect. Likewise, if someone gets a boat, but doesn’t practice devotion, that is just like a boat used to stay afloat rather than cross the ocean. Therefore, all each of the three principles are necessary.

    When all three are performed collectively, then each one reinforces the other. Thus, as you cut the rope of attachment, the boat becomes stronger. If you row the boat correctly, the boat becomes stronger. If all the three are not happening simultaneously, then something is wrong. Either the boat is tied to the shore, or there is no rowing of the boat, or the boat is material knowledge.

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