Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sri Aurobindo and the New Millennium

The compulsion of accepting the within-dimension becomes more and more imperative as we rise to a higher and higher degree of organisational complexity.
But then can at all the within be made a subject of scientific investigation? No, this cannot be so, for the simple reason that it would make that within itself an object of the without; the within cannot be its own object. While this might be so, there is still a question: can it at least come in the purview of what de Chardin calls as “true physics”? Can it belong to its domain? Even this may be a doubtful proposition if we are to retain the otherwise most fruitful methodology of physics. The tools of observation and perception in the two worlds are, in their strictest sense, entirely different from each other.
Whatever be the shortcomings of physics, it must be admitted that it has given a certain kind of solidity to our understanding of the physical world, made that understanding secure on an unprecedented scale in the history of knowledge. It has even made an entry into the occult depths of matter as is clear when we see it beginning to tap that matter itself for the undiminished supply of energy. No physicist would like to abdicate its gains, nor should it be allowed to fritter away the gift that has come to us. The hard-core physics may be too rigid, too dogmatic so to say, but it is also a gainful way of doing things in the material world.

While delineating the evolutionary phenomenon of man Teilhard de Chardin has a compulsion to make the stuff of the universe as its starting point. Pre-life emerging from the atom is the foundation for the future appearance of thought or consciousness as it is generally understood. Awareness cannot arrive unless there is an organised material structure. In fact, “To think, we must eat.” But then this may give the impression that the awareness which we have acquired is after all a property of, to extend Teilhard’s coinage, complexificated matter which is in the process of “convergent integration”. Strictly speaking, however, this is not so.
For example, thought is not a property of the brain which is a material apparatus, though it cannot manifest here without such an apparatus, without a cerebral gadget or outfit. To our proximate or superficial view there may seem to be some content present in the statement that a certain functioning of the biologically organised matter is itself thought and thinking the other way round may even be dubbed non-scientific, that it simply is no thought. The hiatus between the true physics which hopefully will one day include man in its description and the professional physics as is practised today is therefore pretty bewildering and there is no immediate scope or chance of its being filled. In that respect Teilhard de Chardin appears to be standing quite far from science. In the very reckoning of science itself the Teilhardean cerebration is therefore far from scientific.

In the strides of the current professional physics there is no doubt that we have moved quite a distance from the uncompromising stiffness of the classical physics. The Laplacian determinism, and with it all the materialist’s arrogance, has certainly weakened today. But then there is nowhere the desperate sense of abandonment of such a fruitful methodology that has been the shining logo of its gainful achievements. As a matter of fact, there is a much strengthened belief in it, a conviction that that will govern our destiny itself, open for us post-human prospects.
Thus there is nothing uncertain, for instance, about the Uncertainty Principle which is one of the strong pillars of its structural edifice. That also means that the probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanics does not provide any scope in it for the play of freewill. It will be far-fetched to say that it does allow the electron to behave either like a wave or like a particle depending upon its choice and that that choice is an attentive choice. The ‘observed’ duality exists not so much because of that character of its, but essentially because of the limitations of mathematical formulations; its roots are in them.
We should rather maintain that duality is really not material but conceptual. What is therefore necessary to do at this stage is to attend to the issue concerned and remove the limitations, remove the conceptual formulations into which are trapped, remove the difficulty arising from them, arising from our differential notion of things, from artifacts of the differentials. Instead, what we have started seeing because of them are the strange mystagogical aspects in the material universe. The results are weird and we hail them as the entry of physics in the mystical realms. Anthropic extrapolations leading to the eerie notions of multiple universes is in a way a kind of haste towards some strange and mystifying happiness... Keywords: SriAurobindo, Spirituality, QuantumTheory, QuantumConsciousness, Quantum, Physics, Mysticism, Evolution Science, Culture and Integral Yoga

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