Hinduism and Quantum Physics: Experiential vs Mathematical view of the Conscious Reality

When I listen to the debate in the West on Evolution vs Creationism, I am often amused.  Both the ways, heated camps in their own right are either incorrect or incomplete.  For, such a debate is not even possible – nor warranted – in the Eastern Spiritual circles – fashioned as they are by the Dharmic (or Hindu) Spiritual viewpoint.

It is true that material world has improved and progressed over the millenia to a point where human beings have reached the peak of existence as it is today.  No more “evolution” of human beings is possible.  If at all, the inventions and discoveries will take us downhill, because we will forgo the use of our body to its fullest.  Our body, however, is at its peak level of instrumentation.  If used properly.  Nothing can be improved in terms of its configuration or components.  Adi Yogi (First Yogi) Shiva said this – per the Yogic lore – around 15-20,000 years back.

How about Creation?  Well, there is no “Creation”.  And that is where the entire spiritual view differs.

Existence / Universe, rather everything seen, is called “Srishti” in Sanskrit.  It comes from the root word Srijan, which is used to describe the manifestation of a tree from a seed.  The seed does not “create” a tree.  The tree is within the seed, in an umanifest form.

The Sanskrit word for Creation is “Kriti”.  It has deliberately not been used by the Sages and Monks.  Because there is no Creation.  Only manifestation.

As the Physicists of the last century stumbled upon the Quantum and struggled to live with the disruptive impact of that knowledge to the “Physics” that had been held dear by the scientists.  The modern world – which had mocked the Hindu view of “Maya” and “Consciousness”; suddenly came face to face with their ideological enemy.  A world of “No Matter”.  Of One Conscious Energy.

Creator is “Intelligent”, but not in the way a human being is.  It’s intelligence is the sub-stratum of the whole material world.  Material world is but a vibration in the vast ocean of consciousness.  Creation, Sage Vasistha said, is a Vibration in Consciousness.  Modern Neuro-scientists and Quantum physicists, who conceptually understand their own life’s work, couldn’t agree more.

Was that just some poetic nonsensical assertion by some in the Yogic past?  Or arbitrary statements?  Well, the entire philosophy and experiential Spiritual heritage – which Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism used and enriched in their own way – of Hinduism is centered around the assertion of “Maya” and the “Conscious, Unborn, All pervasive Intelligence” – which for the ease of consumption was later called “God”.

If Yoga is the House…  then unmanifest, non-material Consciousness is the “atoms of bricks and cement” in this house.  Every action, every breath and every moment of quietude in Yoga is pregnant with the understanding and realization of the One Unmanifest Consciousness.

It is clear to the one who has understood the meaning and scope of concepts-but-reality of Naadi, Chakra and Prana.  Yoga works.  We all know that.  But it works in ways that we don’t know of.  What we see of it and what we make of what we see from its impact is like getting excited by drinking droplets of water from the steam collected in a pressure cooker, while a sumptuous dinner is being cooked in it.  We aren’t even making water in a pressure cooker.  But for one if that is all you know it provides and that is all you know about it, then a Pressure cooker is a water maker!  Just like Yoga is an “exercise” alternative to Pillates.

While the Modern Scientists have been grappling with the question of how the “Wave Collapsed” from Infinite possibilities to a material Finite; Religions have been struggling with how God created the Creation.  The Sages in India not only looked at this question – of how Finite came from the Infinite – but also found ways and methods – and perfected them – to experience the Infinite while in a Finite manifestation.  The “bridging of the gap” – between Finite and Infinite – was experientially the lifework of every Spiritual seeker. We, at Drishtikone, had explored this in the post – Eternal Illusion and How Observer Creates His Own Reality

Science’s endeavor was thus more about the Knowledge – which was, in itself, an estimation as opposed to the search and enunciation of the truth. For Truth was not available in our current paradigm. This new paradigm brought more questions than answers – questions that go to the very heart of our existence – daily, indeed momentary, existence!
Falsehood (or Illusion) – collapse of the brain-wave or mind-stuff as Vasistha was fond of calling it – meets falsehood (another Illusion) – the collapse of the observed’s wave. How does the mind escape this interplay when it is the originator and the affected? Was this then the cause-and-effect Maya that Vedantists kept referring to all the time?

So, who am I then? A Collapse? An Illusion? A thought of the Cosmic Creator? Or more appropriately, an Illusion in the “Mind-stuff” of the Cosmic Creator “Himself”?

The official photograph from the 1927 Solvay Conference in Belgium. The greatest collection of brilliant minds ever assembled up to then, and up to present. (Courtesy Flickr/Ted Buracas)

We went onto further look at the convergence of Theory of Relativity with the Quantum Mechanics and the entry of the idea of Consciousness in Physics.  How, we are now listening to the Vasistha-speak from the mouth of Modern Physcists – Creation is a Vibration!  We explored that as well in Creation is a Vibration.

This topic of convergence of Hindu Thought and Quantum Mechanics is covered by a Theoretical Physicist Jay Lakhani in his rather long but extremely enriching lecture on “Science and Spirituality”.  It is not just a coincidence that the “Fathers of Quantum Mechanics” – Schrodinger, Heisenberg, and Bohr – were also deeply into Vedanta.  Unless you are comfortable with the world as described by the Sages whose work was encapsulated in Vedantic writings; you can never step confidently into the world of Quantum Mechanics and make sense of it.  For, any remnants of fetish with Material Existence and Deterministic Science can make you a great Mathematical genius, but a conceptually weak Quantum Physicist.  This has been brought about by Lakhani in this lecture in a beautiful way.


(Featured Image courtesy: shiny star leaf fringed weirdly in tarry moongate by Flickr/Karl-Ludwig G. Poggemann)

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