What is Real? Discussions with Ranga.

Sun, Jun 17, 2007 at 4:21 AM

After a lot gap, I took a look at your summary. Here are my comment…

Absolute Reality

There were 2 major arguments that I had put forth on the above: one was more of a tactical argument and another was based on a deeper question with regard to the notion of “Absolute Reality” itself.

The first one was that the notion of forms or events that cause our perception (that you call absolute reality, not the same Absolute Reality that Kant, Schopenhauer and the Upanishads talk about) are themselves within the purview of our perception. The notion of space, time and causality are themselves due to our representation of the world.

Schopenhauer wrote: “The world is my representation” It then becomes clear that I do not know a sun and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels the earth; that the world around me is there only as representation, in other words only in reference to another thing, namely that which represents, and that is myself. If any truth can be expressed a prior, it is this; for it is the statement of the form that is more general than all others, than time, space and causality, for all these presuppose it.

With this in view, trying to model an absolute reality as following Classical Physics or anything else for that matter is putting it right back into our perceptual world. I did not say that you cannot and should not speculate on it. You could as people from time immemorial have done. I have said before that people may have subjective ?insights? into what this reality could be in terms of Samadhi or even Vishwaroopa Darshana, but that remains in the purview of metaphysics, theology or whatever else; anything else but Science, as you are trying to frame, as it is defined with respect to verifiability and falsifiability (Karl Popper), because the methods and results of science are again within the sphere of our perception and intellect.

My second point is on the deeper question of what Absolute Reality could be. Immanuel Kant was, in fact, the first to coin the term Noumenon as the AR . Kant called the objective reality as the “the thing in itself”, that means an absolute reality that exists beyond the perceiver and even in his absence. Schopenhauer questioned this simplistic notion and superseded it, and later found his concepts strikingly similar to the Vedas and Upanishads. To quote his book: ?The fundamental tenet of the Vedanta school consisted not in denying the existence of matter, that is, of solidity, impenetrability, and extended figure, but in correcting the popular notion of it, and in contending that it has no essence independent of mental perception; that existence and perceptibility are convertible terms. I would not want to repeat his work here, but the main point here was that the object and the subject are deeply intertwined, and one cannot exist without the other. The subject-object relation that brings about the notion of causality, and hence space and time in our perceptual world are wonderfully painted in his seminal book “The World as Will and Representation” (I urge you to read this book). With this deeper understanding, I would not speak about modeling an absolute reality in your vain anymore.

I see that what you propose arises out of a misunderstanding of the notion of absolute reality and its implications, and this has to be seriously looked at.


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