• Aslishtam Sanatana Dharma Embracing Science                                                                                                                                                  

 

·         WHAT IS SCIENCE?

·         EXPERIENCE & BLIND BELIEF

·         FAITH

·         RECONCILIATION

·         SANATANA DHARMA in SCIENCE

·         jantünä- narajanma durlabham

·         LIMITATIONS OF OBJECTIVE PERSPECTIVE

·         vidyä dadäti vinayam

·         MISERY OF MODERN MAN

·         LIMITS OF REASON

·         WESTERN CLASSICAL SCIENCE

 

 

·         WHAT IS SCIENCE?

  • Pure science, with its passion for truth [brahma jijñäsä] and human welfare [dharma jijñäsä], still always remain as one of the noblest pursuits of man.  Sw. Ranganathananda

  • Two aspects to this discipline: The first is ‘pure science’ [ lucifera – science as light], science which tries earnestly t understand the truth of nature through a dispassionate inquiry; and the second is ‘applied science’ [fructifera – science as fruit], in which the truth discovered by pure science flows as technical inventions for the enhancement and enrichment of human life.                                                                                Sw. Ranganathananda

  • The classification of facts, the recognition of their sequence and relative significance, is the function of science, and the habit of forming a judgement upon these facts, unbiased by personal feeling, is characteristic of what may be termed the scientific frame of mind.
  • Karl Pearson in Grammar of Science
  • The earnestness of the search for truth is one of the delightful and commendable features of the Upanishads. –American Christian missionary Robert Earnest Hume in The Thirteen
  • Principal Upanishads.
  • Science is not wrapped up with any particular body of facts; it is characterized as an intellectual attitude. It is not tied down to any particular methods of inquiry; it is simply sincere critical thought, which admits conclusions only when these are based on evidence. We may get a good lesson in scientific method from a businessman meeting some new practical problem, from a lawyer sifting evidence, or from a statesman framing a constructive bill.
  • J. Arthur Thomson in Introduction to Science

 

·         EXPERIENCE & BLIND BELIEF

  • “My predilection is to see… because only by seeing a man of knowledge know”
                                                                                                       Yaqui mystic Don Juan
  • Experience is the only source of knowledge. In the world, religion is the only science where there is no surety, because it is not taught as a science of experience. This should not be. There is always, however, a small group pf men who teach religion from experience. They are called mystics, and these mystics in every religion speak the same tongue and teach the same truth. This is the real science of religion. As mathematics on every part of the world does not differ, so the mystics do not differ. They are all similarly constituted and similarly situated. Their experience is the same; and this becomes law…        Swami Vivekananda
      
  • The foundations have been all undermined, and the modern man, whatever he may say in public, knows in the privacy of his heart that he can no more “believe.” Believing certain things because an organized body of priests tells him to believe, believing because t is written in certain books, believing because his people like him to believe, the modern man knows to be impossible for him. There are, of course, a number of people who seem to acquiesce in so-called popular faith, but we also know for certain that they do not think. Their idea of belief may be better translated as “not-thinking-carelessness”.  Vivekananda

  • Is religion to justify itself by the discoveries of reason through which every other science justifies itself? Are the same methods of investigation, which we apply to science and knowledge outside, to be applied to the science of religion? In my opinion, this must be so; and I am also lf opinion that the sooner it is done the better. If a religion is destroyed by such investigations, it was then all the time useless, unworthy, superstition; and the sooner it goes the better. I am thoroughly convinced that its destruction would be the best thing that could happen. All that is dross will be taken off, no doubt, but the essential parts of religion will emerge triumphant put of this investigation. Not only will it be made scientific-as scientific, at least, as any of the conclusions of physics or chemistry- but it will have greater strength because physics or chemistry has no internal mandate to vouch for its truth, which religion has.                                                                                     Swami Vivekananda

  • The true Vedantic spirit does not start out with a system of preconceived ideas. It possesses absolute liberty and unrivalled courage among religions with regard to the facts to be observed and  the diverse hypotheses it has laid down for their coordination. Never having been hampered by a priestly order, each man has been entirely free to search wherever he pleased for the spiritual explanation of the spectacle of the universe.
                                                                                                         Romain Rolland [LV]

·         FAITH

  • Faith, in India, did not mean a cosy belief to rest by, but a torch to set the soul on fire with a longing for spiritual realization. In the absence of this longing and struggle, the belief of the faithful does not differ from the unbelief of the faithless. Belief with most people is simply another name for mental laziness. Religious earnestness with people of this class means…Jehads  and crusades.                                               Swami Ranganathananda

  • At the end of his intellectual tether, man has never ceased to become religious.
  • J. Arthur Thomson in Introduction to Science
  • All knowledge begins and ends with wonder; but the first wonder is the child of ignorance; the second wonder is the parent of adoration.                                     J. Arthur Thomson

·         RECONCILIATION

  • To this great task of reconstructing the mental life of modern man by bridging the gulf between faith and reason, on the basis of a unified view of man and a truer conception of the spiritual life, the contribution of Indian thought is unique and lasting. Ranganathananda

 

  • There are two worlds, the microcosm and the macrocosm, the internal and the external. We get truth from both of these by means of experience. The truth gathered from internal experience is psychology, metaphysics, and religion; from external experience, the physical sciences. Now, a perfect truth should be in harmony with experiences in both these worlds. The microcosm must bear testimony to the macrocosm, and the macrocosm to the microcosm; physical truth must have its counterpart in the internal world, and the internal world must have its verification outside.                                            Swami Vivekananda

  • It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet. These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.
                                                                                                            Werner Heisenberg                
  • Religion deals with the truths of the metaphysical world, just as chemistry and the other natural sciences deal with the truths of the physical world. The book one must read to learn chemistry is the book of nature. The book from which to learn religion is your own mind and heart. The sage is often ignorant of physical science, because he reads the wrong book – the book within; and the scientist is too often ignorant of religion, because he, too, reads the wrong book – the book without.                                                Swami Vivekananda

  • We have discovered that it is actually an aid I the search for knowledge to understand the nature of the knowledge which we seek.       Mathematician-astronomer Sir A. Eddington
           
  • Clash of doctrines is not a disaster it is an opportunity.                             A.N.Whitehead

  • The general notions about human understanding… which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of, or new. Even in our own culture they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place. What we shall find is an exemplification, an encouragement, and a refinement of old wisdom.                                          Julius Robert Oppenheimer                 

 

  • For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory… [We must turn] to those kinds of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted, when trying to harmonize our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.                                                                                 Niels Bohr

 

  • The great scientific contribution in theoretical physics that has come from Japan since the last war may be an indication of a certain relationship between philosophical ideas in the tradition of the Far East and the philosophical substance of quantum theory.               W.H.

  • The combination of mathematics and theology, which began with Pythagoras, characterized religious philosophy in Greece, in the Middle Ages, and in modern times down to Kant… In Plato, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz there is an intimate blending of religion and reasoning, of moral aspiration with logical admiration of what is timeless, which comes from Pythagoras, and distinguishes the intellectualized theology of Europe from the more straightforward mysticism of Asia.     Bertrand Russell

  • The great extension of our experience in recent years has brought to light the insufficiency of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary interpretation of observation was based.                           Niels Bohr

  • All things in fact begin to change their nature and appearance; one’s whole experience of the world is radically different… There is a new vast and deep way of experiencing, seeing, knowing, contacting things.                                                                         Sri Aurobindo
  • I am not among those who think that, in the search for truth, all aspects of human experience are to be ignored, save those, which are followed up in physical science. But I find no disharmony between a philosophy, which embraces the wider significance of human experience and the specialized philosophy of physical science, even though the latter relates to a system of thought of recent growth whose stability is yet to be tested.          Eddington

 

  • Do you not see whither science is tending? The Hindu nation proceeded through the study of the mind, through metaphysics and logic. The European nations start from external nature, and now they, too, are coming to the same results. We find that, searching through the mind, we at least come to that Oneness, that universal One, internal Soul of everything, the essence and reality of everything. …Through material science, we come to the same Oneness.                                                                               Swami Vivekananda

  • It seems to me that the two great pillars upon which all human well-being and human progress rest are first, the spirit of religion, and second, the spirit of science - or knowledge. Neither can attain its largest effectiveness without support from the other. To promote the latter we hove universities, and research institutions. But the supreme opportunity for everyone, with no exception, lies in the first.   R.A.Mallikan in AutoB

·         SANATANA DHARMA in SCIENCE

  • Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.                  Psychologist William James

  • Today, scientists tell us that they were not happy titles that Darwin chose for his famous books: The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. Sir Julian Huxley suggests that those could have been more appropriately titled: The evolution of Organisms and The Ascent of Man. [Evolution after Darwin]                                                         EVFCS

  • And once again, as new horizons open, we become aware of old landmarks. The experience of homeostasis, the perfect mechanical calm which it allows the brain, has been known for two or three thousand years under various appellations. It is the physiological aspect of all the perfectionist faiths-nirvana, the abstraction of the Yogi, the peace that passeth understanding, the derided “happiness that lies within”; it is a state of grace in which disorder and disease are mechanical slips and errors.                    Grey Walter
  • In space the universe engulfs me and reduces me to a pinpoint. But through thought, I understand that universe.                                                     Mathematician-mystic Pascal

  • The Upanishads of India discovered the finite man as but the outer crust or layer of the infinite and immortal man within. In his finiteness, he enters, and is entered into by, the finite world of myriad changes around him. In this, he is a speck of dust in the vast immensity of space in which ‘the universe engulfs me and reduces me to a pinpoint’, in the profound words of Pascal quoted above. But in his infinite dimension as the imperishable Self, he understands the universe and also transcends it.                         Sw. Ranganathananda

  • In the eyes of the physicist, nothing exists legitimately, at least up to now, except the without of things. The same intellectual attitude is still permissible in the bacteriologist, whose cultures [apart from substantial difficulties] are treated as laboratory reagents. But it is still more difficult in the realm of plants. It tends to become a gamble in the case of a biologist studying the behaviour of insects or coelenterates. It seems merely futile with regard to the vertebrates. Finally, it breaks down completely with man, in whom the existence of a within can no longer be evaded, because it is the object of a direct intuition and the substance of all knowledge.       Paleontologist the late Pere Teilhard de Chardin

  • It is impossible to deny that, deep within ourselves, an “Interior” appears at the heart of beings, as it were, seen through a rent. This is enough to ensure that, in one degree or another, this ‘interior’ should obtrude itself as existing everywhere in nature from all time. Since the stuff of the universe has an inner aspect at one point of itself, there is necessarily a double aspect to its structure, that is t say, in every region of space and time-in the same way, for instance as it is granular: coextensive with their without, there is a within  to things.                                                                   Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man

 

  • Today, Nature looms larger than ever and includes more fully than ever ourselves. It is, if you will, a machine, but it is a partly mentalized machine and in virtue of including ourselves, it is a machine with human qualities of mind. It is a running stream of energy – mental and physical – and unlike man-made machines, it is actuated by emotions, fears, and hopes, dislikes and love. [r1]               Neurologist, Sir Charles Sherrington in Man on His Nature

  • Once greater fulfillment is recognized as man’s ultimate pr dominant aim, we shall need a science of human-possibilities to help guide the long course of psychosocial evolution that is ahead.                                                   Sir Julian Huxley in Evolution after Darwin

  • Alone, in the silence of the night, and on a score of thoughtful occasions, we have demanded: can this self, so vividly central to my universe, so greedily possessive of the world, ever cease to be? Without it, surely, there is no world at all! And yet, this conscious self dies nightly when we sleep, and we cannot trace the stages by which in its stages it crept to an awareness of its own existence.
    Personality (centred in the ego) may be only one of nature’s methods, a convenient provisional delusion of considerable strategic value. …
     He escapes from his ego by this merger [identification with and participation in a greater being], and acquires an impersonal immortality in the association, his identity dissolving into the greater identity. This is the essence of much religious mysticism, and it is remarkable how closely the biological analysis of individuality brings us to the mystics.
    The Western mystic and the Eastern sage find a strong effect of endorsement in modern science and the everyday teaching of practical morality: both teach that self must be subordinated, that self is a method and not an end.     The Science of Life – a voluminous digest of modern biological knowledge by
                                                                        H.G.Wells,
    G.P.Wells, and Julian Huxley                                             

 

  • Manifestation, and not creation, is the word of science today, and the Hindu is only glad that what he has been cherishing in his bosom for ages is going to be taught in more forcible language, and with further light, from the latest conclusions of science. Sw. Vivekananda

  • Books about nature, upholding the Indian vision and quoting Upanishadic passages, are coming out in the West more and more. One such recent book is The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, the sub-title of which reads: Astounding discoveries about the physical, emotional, and spiritual relations between plants and man.                                                                                                                  EVFCS

  • I have shown you this evening, autographic records of the history of stress and strain in the living and non-living. How similar are the writings! So similar indeed that you cannot tell one apart from the other. Among such phenomena, how con we draw a line of demarcation and say, here the physical ends, and there the physiological begins? Such absolute barriers do not exist.
    It was when I came upon the mute witness of these self-made records, and perceived in them one phase of a pervading unity that bears within it all things-the mote that quivers in ripples of light, the teeming life upon our earth, and the radiant suns that shine above us-it was thin that I understood, for the first time, a little of that message proclaimed by my ancestors in the banks of the Ganges thirty centuries ago: “They who see but one, in all the changing manifoldness of this universe, unto them belongs Eternal Truth-unto none else, unto none else.”  Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose quoted in The Secret Life of Plants

    Giving a sample of the Western reactions to these revolutionary scientific revelations presented by Bose during his trips to Europe in 1919 and 1920, the authors quote, what they term, the ‘usually reserved’ Times of London (ibid.):
    “While we in England were still steeped in the rude empiricism of barbaric life, the subtle Easterner had swept the universe into a synthesis and had seen the one in all its changing manifestations.

  • A fixed interior milieu is the condition for the free life.[r2] 
  • French Physiologist Claude Bernard
  • Consciousness is never experienced in the plural, only in the singular…. Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown; that there is only one thing and that, what seems to be a plurality, is merely a series of different aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception (the Indian mäyä)          Nuclear Physicist Erwin Schrodinger in What is Life?
      

·         jantünä- narajanma durlabham

  • Man’s evolution is not biological but psycho-social; it operates by the mechanism of cultural tradition, which involves the cumulative self- reproduction and self-variation of mental activities and their products. Accordingly, major steps in the human phase of evolution are achieved by breakthroughs to new dominant patterns of mental organization of knowledge, ideas, and beliefs-ideological instead of physiological or biological organization.
    All dominant thought organizations are concerned with the ultimate, as well as with the immediate, problems that the thought of the time is capable of formulating or even envisaging. They are all concerned with giving some interpretation of man, of the world which he is to live in, and of his place and role in that world-in other words, some comprehensive picture of human destiny and significance.                      Sir Julian Huxley
  • in Evolution after Darwin
  • In the light of our present knowledge, man’s most comprehensive aim is seen not as mere survival, not as numerical increase, not as increased complexity of organization or increased control over his environment, but as greater fulfillment-the fuller realization of more possibilities by the human species collectively and more of its component members individually.                                                                                                         Ibid.

  • Thus the mechanisms of the brain reveal a deep physiological division between man and ape. …If the title of soul be given to the higher functions in question, it must be admitted that the other animals have only a glimmer of the light that so shines before men. …The nearest creature to us, the chimpanzee, cannot retain an image long enough to reflect on it, however clever it may be in learning tricks or getting food that is placed beyond its natural reach. Unable to rehearse the possible consequences of different responses to a stimulus, without any faculty of planning, the apes and other animals cannot learn to control their feelings, the first step towards independence of environment and eventual control of it
  • Neurologist Grey Walter in The Living Brain

  • For mammals all, homeostasis meant survival; but for man, emancipation.
                                                                                                                        Grey Walter
  • The acquisition of internal temperature control, thermostasis, was a supreme event in neural, indeed, in all natural history. It made possible the survival of mammals on a cooling globe. That was its general importance in evolution. Its particular importance was that it completed, in one section of the brain, an automatic system of stabilization for the vital functions of the organism-a condition known as homeostasis. With this arrangement, other parts of the brain are left free for functions not immediately related to the vital engine or the senses, for functions surpassing the wonders of homeostasis itself. Ibid.

 

·         LIMITATIONS OF OBJECTIVE PERSPECTIVE

  • Let us suppose that an ichthyologist is exploring the life of the ocean. He casts a net into the water and brings up a fishy assortment. Surveying his catch, he proceeds, in the usual manner of a scientist, to systematize what it reveals. He arrives at two generalizations”
                       1. No sea-creature is less than two inches long;
  • 2. All sea-creatures have gills.
          These are both true of his catch, and he assumes tentatively that they will remain true
  • however often he repeats it. …His generalization is perfectly true of the class of creatures 
  • he is talking about-a selected class perhaps, but he would not be interested in making
  • generalizations about any other class. Sir Arthur Eddington [The Phil. of Physical Sc.]

  • If we find that the ascertainment of the order of nature is facilitated by using on terminology or one set of symbols, rather than another, it is our clear duty to use the former; and no harm can accrue, so long as we bear in mind that we are dealing merely with terms and symbols…
    But the man of science who, forgetting the limits of philosophical inquiry, slides from these formulae and symbols into what is commonly understood by materialism, seems to me to place himself on a level with the mathematician who should mistake the x’s and y’s with which he works his problems for real entities, and with this further disadvantage, as compared with the mathematician, that the blunders of the latter are of no practical consequence, while the errors of systematic materialism may paralyze the energies and destroy the beauty of a life.  Thomas Huxley, the agnostic and collaborator of Darwin [after terming materialism ‘an intruder’ earlier in his book Methods and Results.] 

 

  • When studied narrowly in himself by anthropologists or jurists, man is a tiny, even a shrinking, creature. His over-pronounced individuality conceals from our eyes the whole to which he belongs; as we look at him, our minds incline to break nature up into pieces and t forget both its deep inter- relations and its measureless horizons. We incline to all that is bad in anthropocentrism. And it is this that leads scientists to refuse to consider man as an object of scientific scrutiny except through his body.                 Pere Teilhard de Chardin

  • The time has come to realize that an interpretation of the universe – even a positivist one – remains unsatisfying, unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.                        
  • Paleontologist the late Pere Teilhard de Chardin

  • The more intelligent and comprehensive man’s picture of the universe has become, the more intolerable has become his concentration on the individual life with its inevitable final rejection. The Science of Life – a voluminous digest of modern biological knowledge by
                                                                        H.G.Wells, G.P.Wells, and Julian Huxley                                             


  • The old philosophy ceased to work at the end of the nineteenth century, and the twentieth-century physicist is hammering out a new philosophy for himself. Its essence is that he no longer sees nature as something entirely distinct from himself. Sometimes it is what he himself creates or selects or abstracts; sometimes it is what he destroys.
    Thus the history of physical science in the twentieth-century is one of a progressive emancipation from the purely human angle of vision. Sir James Jeans
  • in The New Background of Science 

·         The nineteenth century developed an extremely rigid frame for natural science, which formed not only science, but also the general outlook of great masses of people. This frame was supported by the fundamental concepts of classical physics, space, time, matter, and causality; the concept of reality applied to the things or events that we could perceive by our senses and that could be observed by means of the refined tools that technical science had provided. Matter was the primary reality. The progress of science was pictured as a crusade of conquest into the material world. Utility was the watchword of the time. … This frame was so narrow and rigid that it was difficult to find a place in it for many concepts of our language that had always belonged to its very substance, for instance, the concepts of mind, of the human soul, or of life.         Werner Heisenberg in Physics and Philosophy

·         It is in the quantum theory that the most fundamental changes with respect to the concept of reality have taken place, and in quantum theory in its final form the new ideas of atomic physics are concentrated and crystallized. …But the change in the concept of reality manifesting itself in quantum theory is not simply a continuation of the past; it seems to be a real break in the structure of modern science.                                   Ibid.

·         The theory of relativity has passed in review the whole subject matter of physics. It has unified the great laws, which, by the precision of their formulation and the exactness of their application, have won the proud place in the human knowledge which physical science holds today. And yet, in regard to the nature of things, this knowledge is only an empty shell – a form of symbols. It is knowledge of structural form, and not knowledge of content. All through the physical world runs that unknown content, which must surely be the stuff of our consciousness. Here is a hint of aspects deep within the world of physics, and yet unattainable by the methods of physics. And, moreover, we have found that, where science has progressed the farthest, the mind has but regained from nature that which the mind has put into nature. We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the footprint. And lo! it is our own.                 Eddington in Space, Time, and Gravitation
  

·         vidyä dadäti vinayam

  • The most difficult problem… concerning the use of language arises in quantum theory. Here we have at first no simple guide for correlating the mathematical symbols with concepts of ordinary language; and the only thing we know from the start is the fact that our common concepts cannot be applied to the structure of the atoms.                           W.Heisenberg

  • The contradiction so puzzling to the ordinary way of thinking comes from the fact that we have to use language to communicate our inner experience, which in its very nature transcends linguistics.                                                                                      D.T.Suzuki

  • The problems of language here are really serious. We wish to speak in some way about the structure of the atoms… But we cannot speak about atoms in ordinary language.  W.H.

  • If it were not laughed at, it would not be sufficient to be Tao                        Tao Te Ching

  • Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.              Niels Bohr

  • I don’t like it, and I am sorry I ever had anything to do with it.             Erwin Schrodinger

  • I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘But how it be like that?’ because you will go ‘down the drain’ into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped.           Richard Feynman

  • It is known to him, who thinks he does not know it. He, who thinks it is known, does not know it. It is not understood by those who understand it. It is understood by those who do not understand it.                                                                                         kenopani·ad

 

  • It seems hard to look in God’s cards. But I cannot for a moment believe that He plays dice and makes use of  ‘telepathic’ means (as the current quantum theory alleges He does).
                                                                                                                    Albert Einstein
  • I remember discussions with Bohr which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair; and when at the end of the discussion I went alone for a walk in the neighboring park I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?            Werner Heisenberg

  • The violent reaction on the recent development of modern physics can only be understood when one realizes that here the foundations of physics have started moving; and that this motion has caused the feeling that the ground would be cut from science.   W. Heisenberg

  • The universe was a mystery to man in the primitive stage; it has not ceased to be so for civilized man even in this twentieth century. We find scientists like the late Sir James Jeans writing books on the scientific view of the universe with such titles as The Mysterious Universe.                                                                                                             EVFCS

  • Physical science set out to study a world of matter and radiation, and finds that it cannot describe or picture the nature of either, even to itself. Photons, electrons and protons have become about as meaningless to the physicist as x, y, z are to a child on its first day of learning algebra. The most we hope for at the moment is to discover ways of manipulating x, y, z, without knowing what they are, with the result that the advance of knowledge is at present reduced to what Einstein has described as “extracting one incomprehensible from another incomprehensible”.  Scientist Sir James Jeans in The new Background of Sc.

  • … Scientists in the West are slowly turning their attention to this great mystery, that of Man, the Unknown, in the words of the American scientist the late Alexis Carrel, apart from that of man, the known, which is the subject of the positive sciences like physics, chemistry, biology and behaviouristic psychology.                                                  EVFCS

  • In the evolution of scientific thought, one fact has become impressively clear; there is no mystery of the physical world which does not point to a mystery beyond itself. All highroads of the intellect, all byways of theory and conjecture, lead ultimately to an abyss that human ingenuity can never span. For man is enchained by the very condition of his being, his finiteness and involvement in nature. The further he extends his horizons, the more vividly he recognizes the fact that, as the physicist Niels Bohr puts it, “We are both spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.” Man is thus his own greatest mystery. He does not understand the vast veiled universe into which he has been cast for the reason that he does not understand himself. He comprehends but little of his organic processes, and even less of his unique capacity to perceive the world around him, to reason and to dream. Least of all does he understand his noblest and most mysterious faculty: the ability to transcend himself and perceive himself in the act of perception.
  • Lincoln Barnett in The Universe and Dr. Einstein

 

·         MISERY OF MODERN MAN

  • We are in the middle of a race between human skill as to means and human folly as to ends. Given sufficient folly as to ends, every increase in the skill required to achieve them is to the bad. The human race has survived hitherto owing to ignorance and incompetence; but, given knowledge and competence combined with folly, there can be no certainty of survival. Knowledge is power, but it is power for evil just as much as for good. It follows that, unless men increase in wisdom as in knowledge, increase of knowledge will be increase of sorrow.                  Bertrand Russell in The Impact of Science on Society

  • All men who are secure from want and care, now that at last they have thrown off all other burdens, become a burden to themselves.Schopenhauer in The World as Will and Idea                                 

 

  • A broad classification of science into physical, biological, and social corresponds with three levels of organization of matter and energy, and not levels only, but also quite distinct kinds of organization. The three are sharply increasing orders of complexity, and each includes the lower grades. Vital organization is more intricate than physical organization, and it is added to and does not replace physical organization, which is also fully involved in vital organization. Social organization retains and sums the complexities of both these and adds its own still greater complexities.              -American biologist George Gaylord Simpson
                                                                                            
    in The Meaning of Evolution

·         The machine as an object of adoration is the modern form of Satan, and its worship is the modern form diabolism.
Whatever else may be mechanical, values are not, and this is something which no political philosopher must forget.
            Bertrand Russell in The Impact of Science on Society

·         LIMITS OF REASON

  • He who pursues learning will increase every day;
    He who pursues Tao will decrease every day.                                                      Lao Tzu

  • The map is not the territory                                                 Semanticist Alfred Korzybski

 

  • Fishing baskets are employed to catch fish; but when the fish are got, the men forget the baskets; snares are employed to catch hares; but when the hares are got, men forget the snares. Words are employed to convey ideas; but when the ideas are grasped, men forget the words.                                                                                                     Chuang Tzu

  • A finger is needed to point at the moon, but we should not trouble ourselves with the finger once the moon is recognized.                                                                   A Zen Buddhist

 

  • The most extensive knowledge does not necessarily know it; reasoning will not make men wise in it. The sages have decided against both these methods.                       Chuang Tzu

  • A dog is not reckoned good because he barks well, and a man is not reckoned wise because he speaks skillfully.                                                                           Chuang Tzu

  • Disputation is a proof of not seeing clearly.                                                     Chuang Tzu

  • On reason we must have to lay our foundation; we must follow reason as far as it leads; and when reason fails, reason itself will show us the say t the highest plane.   Vivekananda

  • The reason of formal logic rose beyond its own limitations by developing int the reason of classical physics with its stress on induction and verification; the reason of classical physics similarly transcended its own limitations by growing into the reason of twentieth century physics.                                                                                                        EVFCS -234

·         WESTERN CLASSICAL SCIENCE

  • “Cogito ergo sum” – “I think, therefore I exist”                                    Rene Descartes

  • It seems probable to me that God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them; and that these primitive particles being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them; even so very hard, as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God himself made one in the first creation.
  • Isaac Newton in his Opticks

 

  • An intellect which at a given instant knew all the forces acting in nature, and the position of all things of which the world consists – supposing the said intellect were vast enough to subject these data to analysis – would embrace in the same formula the motions of the greatest bodies in the universe and those of the slightest atoms; nothing would be uncertain for it, and the future, like the past, would be present to its eyes.     Pierre Simon Laplace

  • When Laplace presented the first edition of his work, Mecanique Celeste, to Napoleon, Napoleon remarked, “Monsieur Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.” To this Laplace replied bluntly, “I had no need for that hypothesis.”

 


 [r1]Our utilitarian perspective is such that we don’t find anything existing without any purpose behind it. If we find a rational explanation for the existence of something or for a happening, we are happy. Otherwise we name it ‘humanistic’, since we find many aspects of human life related to emotion, irrational. This is one such explanation for nature’s activities.

 [r2]sthita prajña : ätmanyevätmanä tushtaha sthitaprajñastadocyate