May 10, 2022 at 3:24 pm #13980
First of all I would like to thank you for your works. Your books and articles have been a big help in my purification and have increased my conviction in the Supreme Lord.
Recently I started reading your books on Godel’s theorem and quantum physics. I have encountered these ideas before in popular science books although I could never really understand their implications. I was just a layman fascinated by these ideas and trying to seek meaning.
I have read and gathered understanding of some of your non physics topics but the above two I can’t really understand. Is there any way to describe these ideas in an intuitive way? I know these are really technical topics and a simplification of these ideas might lose the meaning of the underlying idea but I am genuinely trying to understand your works.
I value your time and I know you have already written books on the above but could you write an article explaining what the quantum physics is really about as per current western science keeping a layman reader in mind? Your analogies and metaphors are very good and helpful for a layman like me. If not Mr. Ashish can somebody else explain these topics comparing Ashish’s interpretation on the same?
Thank you.May 10, 2022 at 3:33 pm #13982
In particular I am trying to understand the implications of double slit experiment, quantum wave function, entanglement, collapse of wave-function. Once I have a basic intuition of these topics I wish to understand the semantic interpretation of the same through his book.May 10, 2022 at 4:40 pm #13984
Yes, there is an easier way. You can look at the world as a book instead of seeing it as a ball. A book is a thing, but it also represents something other than itself, called the book’s meaning. But a ball is just a thing, and it doesn’t represent anything other than itself, so it has no meaning.
Modern physics and mathematics are based on the idea that the world is meaningless objects. But the world can also be seen as a symbol of meaning. A symbol is also a thing, but a thing is not a symbol. So, if reality is symbolic, then the thing-like modeling of reality must always be incomplete.
That incompleteness is precisely described by Godel’s theorem on incompleteness. Hence, there is a connection between semantics and incompleteness of a quantitative worldview. Similarly, the incompleteness of physical theories is connected to the modeling of matter as things rather than symbols of meaning. Hence, there is a connection between semantics and incompleteness of the physical worldview. Quantum probabilities are one such kind of incompleteness.
This could help you follow the books, but I doubt if it is going to be easy. They are not meant for laypeople. You have to know all these subjects, and hence they are only meant for experts.
Modern atheism is rooted in the idea that religion has little to say about the present world. To change that, we have to redo all the subjects and establish how religion is relevant to everything. Religion was made irrelevant by separations like mind vs. body, soul vs. matter, and God vs. the world. However, if the world is treated as a book, then it is not identical to God, and yet, God’s persona is reflected in the world, quite like an author’s persona is in the books he authors.
You can know an artist by their art, a musician by their music, a poet by their poetry. The book, art, music, or poetry has a certain character because of the author, artist, musician, or poet. Their persona is embedded in their creations. In the same way, God is immanent in the world, although He is transcendent to the world. The person is transcendent, but the persona is immanent.
This persona is the answer to all the ultimate questions of science. For example, why is the simplest explanation the best explanation? Why is nature rational? Why does space only have three dimensions? Why is life possible in this world? And so on. All these ultimate questions have one answer: God’s persona. The book is rational because the author is rational. The book is elegant because the author is elegant. The book is organized because the author is organized.
So, semantics is a very powerful tool, by which every subject can be redone as the study of a different kind of meaning, as opposed to a different physical thing. Then, by that study, we can answer all the ultimate questions of that subject. Finally, we can connect all these answers to God’s nature.
The books on mathematics and physics are focused on those subjects. The hardship is not because of what I have done, but because of how convoluted mathematics and physics have become, because science tried to model a meaningful world as meaningless things, failed in all those attempts, but refused to accept the failures. It instead proceeded to add complexity, which also failed to stem the problem, but the process of complexification to perpetuate the false assumptions continues.
When you have bandaid upon bandaid, you have to know all those bandaids. I cannot overlook those bandaids. I can only show why each bandaid was necessitated to stop the bleeding, and why adding it did not stop the bleeding and required yet another bandaid. This is complexity, which I did not create, although I have analyzed it. You have to know the complexity to appreciate the simplicity. You have to see why the alternative is simpler, more rational, and more elegant.
Sometimes, we appreciate something good only after we have endured something bad. If we have not undergone that bad situation, we don’t appreciate what is really good. Even if we are presented that good thing, we ask: “What’s the big deal about it? I think my idea is better.” So, we have to undergo the painful journey to reject modern science, before we accept Vedic philosophy.
This is not absolutely necessary. For example, someone can be given a good thing, and he or she may accept it immediately. Then, the painful journey is not necessary. But since most people don’t accept something good immediately, therefore, they have to be shown the painful thing prior. By comparison, they begin to appreciate. The analysis of modern scientific subjects is to expose their painfulness, and then present the alternative, so that you can appreciate the alternative. If I take away the painfulness of the present science, then you may never appreciate Vedic science.May 10, 2022 at 6:37 pm #13985
Thanks for the clarity Ashish.
I totally agree on how science in its atheistic and impersonalist approach has complicated everything and you are just undoing them in your books. I myself was a subject of these atheistic and impersonalist ideas. I wish to undo those ideas within myself and you have been of great help in that endeavor. Thank you.
Based on your explanation, is it right to say that a subatomic particle like electron is not a thing but can be viewed as a symbol with meaning. Just like a letter which gets meaning after completion of the word in which it is used. An electron becomes meaningful in context to its atom and atom in context to its molecules, element and so on. Is this understanding flawed or correct?
In your book sankhya and science from the chapter on vedic theory of matter there is an alternate explantation on origin of elements. This seems to be based on conscious experience. However just like you mentioned people will have a hard time understanding what ether is and I did. I have indeed read your explanation on the same in this forum under a different topic. If it’s not a big ask do you any more everyday examples left to explain to us? I know I was not really the target audience but I feel this particular chapter on vedic theory of matter is very important for my further studies on sankhya philosophy. Any clarity on the same I will accept with utmost gratitude. I urge fellow readers to do the same.
I have read and reread your articles and books that are comprehensible to me, I wish to improve semantic thinking even more. What would you suggest?May 11, 2022 at 3:03 am #13986
We have to revise our idea of distance such that there are many kinds of distances. For example, Japan and China are geographically close, but Japan is ideologically close to US although geographically far from it, while China is both ideologically and geographically far from the US. Similarly, Australia is geographically far from the UK and US, but ideologically close to them, whereas Venezuela is geographically close to the US although ideologically far. Hence, geographical distance is one type of distance, whereas ideological distance is another type of distance.
In modern science, the ideological distance is causally irrelevant because only geographical distance matters. But actually the ideological proximity of Australia to US and UK means that ideological changes in the US and UK will also have an influence on Australia. However, ideological changes in the US will have less or no effect on Venezuela. Effectively, two things that are geographically far can have greater influence on each other, while two things that are geographically near can have lesser or no influence on each other. Therefore, you cannot model causality based on geographical distance alone, because there will be numerous contradictions and exceptions to this modeling.
In quantum mechanics, there is a problem of non-locality in which two things geographically far apart seem to be “entangled” which is like saying that Australia and UK are entangled, although they are geographically far apart. We cannot understand this entanglement if we limit ourselves to geographical distance; we have to understand how Australia and UK are ideologically entangled.
There are many such kinds of entanglements, which create many types of distances and proximities, that we cannot perceive by our senses, but they are real in the sense that they have causal effects. All these causally efficacious distances, which cannot be perceived, constitute many layers of subtle realities. To explain their effects, one has to go beyond the sense perceived idea of distance.
Using quantum mechanics, we can say that our idea of geographical distance is highly restrictive. But we cannot solve the problem using quantum mechanics itself; for that, we have to study Sāñkhya, which means understand various kinds of distances. If two lovers, who are geographically separated, look at the moon simultaneously, they get emotionally connected. If two people, who are geographically separated, read the same book, they get ideologically proximate. If two people, who are geographically separated, join the same company with geographically far apart branch offices, they automatically come closer. So, your acts of looking, reading, joining, and leaving in your geographical proximity are having effects far away, although you cannot perceive them.
In the same way, there is distance to God. You can be in this world, and yet very close to God, although everyone else around you can be far from God. You can see God because you are close, while others may not, because they are far. This seems difficult to understand because A and B are close, B and C are close, and yet, A and C are far. For example, one person can see God because they are close to God, while another person cannot see God because he is far from God, and yet, geographically these two people are close to each other. Without the notion of multiple kinds of distances you cannot declutter this problem. Hence, the idea of distance has to be nuanced.
If you have only one type of distance, then if someone cannot see God, they can say: If I don’t see God, then God doesn’t exist. But if there are multiple kinds of distances, then they cannot say that, because it is understood that they are far from God, and you cannot see faraway things. To see God, they have to reduce their distance to God, which means “come close” to God, in order to see.
Therefore, all of religion becomes science, in which there are many kinds of distances, and change in one type of distance affects the other distances. Meanwhile, modern science fails, because using one type of distance is flawed even for things we can see (e.g., the proximity of countries). Thus, we can summarize the science-religion problem: Modern science based on the idea of one type of distance is incomplete, and incapable of most predictions, while a Vedic science that presents multiple types of distances and their interrelationships is complete, and capable of every kind of prediction.
The starting point is to grasp the simple idea that two things that seem close may not always be causally close and two things that seem far may not be causally far. Semantics enables this. Beyond this starting point, there is a deeper study of various types of distances, and their interrelationships. If we can do that, then religion is an alternative science, better and superior to modern science. Better in the sense that it can explain the present world better. Superior in the sense that it can help us transcend the present world. All these things become real by studying Vedic philosophy.May 11, 2022 at 10:57 am #13990
Thank you Ashish this helped in clearing the woo of quantum entanglement. This understanding was what I was looking for. I will go through your articles on semantic space and distance once again. Very nicely written.
Similarly I was looking for semantic explanation of other quantum topics like the collapse of wave function, wave particle duality, uncertainty principle, exclusion principle. Like I mentioned earlier, I have spent some time on these topics, getting a rudimentary understanding of them through popular science books and videos. I would like to see them in semantic view and this view seems to be both consistent and complete. I will definitely go through your books again. For now an explanation like you wrote above would suffice my curiosity.
If I am stretching your limits, please feel free to abandon this discussion. Once again goes without saying I am grateful for your ruminations on Vedic philosophy.
Thank you.May 11, 2022 at 11:52 am #13991
The book Quantum Meaning covers all these topics one by one. The second chapter (if my memory serves me right) lists 6 distinct problems, and then the next chapter discusses each of them from a semantic viewpoint. You can read these things in the book. It would better that way.
To note the problem of probabilities at a high-level, you can think of ordinary macroscopic observations like that of food. If a plate of food is kept in front of you, your consciousness moves rapidly between the sensations of taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. Within each of these there are many sub-sensations, such as shape, size, and color for sight, hardness, roughness, and heat for touch, etc. All these individual sensations need “detectors” for distinct properties. However, our consciousness moves rapidly between these “detectors” to gather a full grasp of food.
The relative probabilities of this movement depend on three things: (a) the nature of the observer, (b) the nature of the observed, and (c) the relation between the two. For example, some people dwell more on smell than on taste, some dwell more on color rather than smell, etc. Depending on how much an observer dwells on a certain type of sensation, there is a higher or lower probability for a certain kind of property measurement. Then, the perceived objects (e.g., food in this case) themselves have some properties more prominent than others. For example, if the food has a strong smell, but a light color, then you will dwell more on the smell and less on the color. Finally, based on the context, you might focus more on one property over another. For example, if you cook food for yourself, then you focus on taste, but if you have guests, then you focus on how it looks.
Accordingly, the probabilities of measured properties change, due to the relative predominance of qualities in the observer, in the food, and based on the context. Despite this predominance, consciousness is always moving; it just happens to iterate over some sensation more than others. Probabilities also change with places and times. Quantum mechanics simplifies this extremely complex problem by (a) replacing the observer with a battery of detectors, (b) fixing the relation between observer and observed as a fixed number of slits, and (c) reducing the observed system to a simple black body heated to radiate. Physics also assumes that all space and time locations are identical. Thus, by removing the observer from the causal picture, eliminating space and time variation, fixing the observer-observed relationship, and simplifying the observed system, we get a simpler problem that an object has many properties but these are not detected simultaneously. Rather, detectors in the slit-experiment click one after another in some order. We can’t predict that order. We can only give relative probabilities to the detectors, which is failure of determinism.
This so-called failure of determinism can be understood if we grasp how our consciousness moves rapidly from one sensation to another. Due to this movement, we can make approximate predictions about an observer: E.g., that he or she prefers taste over smell, or color over taste, etc. We can even assign probabilities to these preferences. That is what quantum mechanics is also doing. However, they are thinking that some “particle” is moving, however, for us, consciousness is moving.
How consciousness moves is yet another topic, that is not directly relevant to diagnosing the quantum problem, but requires us to understand the modes of nature. These modes are always oscillating (dominant and subordinate), and if we don’t understand how the modes are oscillating, then we can only measure probabilities of finding a system in a particular mode, but we cannot predict the sequence of modes. For example, we can say that a person is predominantly in sattva, or rajas, or tamas, although he or she may not always be one of these three modes. Basically, we are assigning a higher probability to one of the modes, but there is a sequence between the modes.
So, the basic science is that of the modes of nature going dominant and subordinate. Based on that various perceptions are created, which cannot be modeled according to any numerical law, which leads to the collapse of determinism. To understand the quantum problem, one has to understand how modes of nature are going dominant and subordinate. But even before that, we have to model the quantum measurement as the movement of consciousness from one percept to another, rather than the movement of particles or waves. That modeling of conscious movement is easy: We can see that even our consciousness rapidly jumps from one sensation to another in observing the same object, although that movement is not deterministic, although we can assign probabilities.
So, is the quantum problem limited to microscopic particles? No. It is equally applicable to macroscopic objects like a plate of food. This is the first serious mistake in physics: They restrict quantum mechanics to microscopic particles, which deprives them of everyday intuitions by which the problem can be solved. Then, they treat the world as physical quantities, rather than as taste, touch, smell, sound, sight, which reduces all their measurable properties to just position in space. Finally, they see these successive positions, but they cannot formulate a mathematical law to explain or predict it, such that all classical ideas of predictive laws of trajectory have collapsed.
It will take you a while to understand all these issues. The problem is that we keep thinking in terms of particles, waves, and equations, rather than how our consciousness moves from one experience to another. If we develop that introspective attitude, then the quantum problem is very easy. We have to meditate to see how consciousness moves from thought to thought, sensation to sensation. If we can slow down this movement, then we can understand how and why it is moving. That movement is not random. But it is also not based on a mathematical law formulated as a calculus equation.May 11, 2022 at 12:54 pm #13992
Thanks, wonderfully explained. From this understanding, I hope I can follow your ideas in ‘quantum meaning’. I do remember encountering the same ideas in many of your articles but now through this discussion has helped in its consolidation.
Ever since I had encountered the so called ‘hard problem of consciousness’, I had given up giving importance to modern western science as a method of arriving at knowledge. I kept thinking on how a qualitative science should emerge to solve the many contradictions in science. Little did I know that Sankhya philosophy which I had encountered in Bhagavad Gita dealt on these issues. Now your works are a bridge to that treasure trove of knowledge and to God. Thank you.
Just one clarification before I end this discussion. Is a Soul none of the triad of observer, observed and the observing? Are the observer, observed, observing nothing other than the three modes of nature sattva, tamas and rajas. So if a person responds that he is the ‘knower/enjoyer/Ananda’ to the question ‘Who am I?’, does that mean he is attached or identified to the mode of Sattva?
Thank you.May 11, 2022 at 2:25 pm #13993
The soul can be all three. For example, when you use the term self-awareness or “I”, there is an observer, there is an observed which is also the self, and there is a relation between the observer and the observed, which is also the self. Hence, the self is the observer, observed, and observing in self-awareness. This self-referencing property is supposed to make consciousness intractable, which is why in Buddhism the self or “I” is believed to be logically paradoxical, and hence non-existent!
There is a famous Buddhist paradox which goes as follows. Let’s divide the universe into two groups—friends and non-friends. Now, is the self a friend or a non-friend? By definition, the self cannot be a friend, because the friend has to be separate from us. Likewise, if the self were a non-friend, then we would not have self-preservation tendencies. The problem is that friend and non-friend are mutually exclusive (in the binary conception of logic) so the self must be either a friend or a non-friend. But supposing either of these leads to logical problems. Hence, the self is logically inconceivable. What is logically inconceivable, must be outside discussion. That means we have to reject this logically paradoxical construct called “self”.
All these conclusions have arisen due to a non-modal conception of reality, under which a thing is either X or not-X, and cannot be neither of the two nor can it be both of the two. The fact is that the self is a friend of the self, and yet, the friend is not separate from the self. The friend is the observed, the self is the observer, and the observer and the observed are different modes of the self. The friend mode of the self can be turned-off and then a person becomes self-destructive. It can be turned-on, and then the person becomes self-preserving. In either case, the self is trying to preserve the self or destroy the self, so the destroyer or perserver is distinct from the self, and yet still the self. This necessitates the use of modalities.
This problem is solved by breaking classical logic and postulating a category called non-difference. The preserver or destroyer of the self is non-different from the self. That means, you cannot say that the destroyer and preserver are separate from the self, and you cannot insist that they are identical. Such non-binary logical categories necessitate the use of modes of the self, under which the self can be the observer, observed, and observing, although they are not universally or always so.
Logical contradiction arises from universality, or a single meaning of the “self”, but modality solves that problem. So, it is not logically contradictory to say that the self is an observer, observed, and observing in a modal conception of reality, but in a non-modal conception, you will always get a logical contradiction.
Such contradictions have been discussed formerly in Greek philosophy too. A classic example is that of Epimenides paradox, also called the Liar’s Paradox, which states: “All Cretans are liars”. Since Epimenides was a Cretan, therefore, the statement amounts to: “I am a liar”. Now, if I am a liar, then my statement “I am liar” must be false, and hence I must be telling the truth. But if I am truthful, then the statement “I am liar” must be true, which means that I am a liar. Either way, you get a logical contradiction. This is due to the inherently problematic nature of the word “I”.
The resolution of this paradox is also modality, namely that when I say “I am a liar” I have dissociated myself from myself to identify truthful and liar natures, such that the observer is truthful, the observed is a liar, and the observing is that these two are the same person. Due to the observer-observed distinction as truthful and liar, the two cannot be called identical. But due to the observing that the observer is the observed, we can also say that these two are not separate. Thus, the resolution of the paradox also requires non-difference: neither identical nor separate.
The conclusion is that modality is not limited to the problems of matter; it is also essential to solve the problems of the self. Since modality exists in matter, hence, even matter is inconceivable in terms of binary logic. As per the above problems, the self is also similarly inconceivable. The solution to both issues is modality.May 11, 2022 at 3:55 pm #13995
Oh the soul can be all three, that’s a new revelation to me. I have read zen buddhism stories wherein self is said to be illusion. The doctrine of Bhedabhed is actually new to me. I haven’t fully digested what you wrote above. I need to do more research and meditation on the same. Thanks for all the pointers.
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