Conferences, Fourth International Conference "SCIENCE AND SCIENTIST – 2016"

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On Visiting Reality: Enigmas and Certitude
S. R. Bhatt, Ph.D.

Date: 2016-08-27 09:45 AM – 10:25 AM
Last modified: 2016-08-17


Right from the dawn of human cognitive enterprise the reflective mind has been concerned about the nature of Reality , proximate and ultimate, empirical and trans-empirical. This has been caused by curiosity as well as practical necessity. There have been varied conceptions and theories in this regard but the demand for some kind of universally acceptable conception is one which thoughtful mind cannot help making.  Unfortunately no two human minds have ever fully agreed with each other in their pronouncements. In the west right from the Greek times the dominant trend has been to distinguish between, and separate, mind ((Consciousness) and matter. This position was sharpened by Descartes but this led to severe and serious objections and problems. Darwin tried to reduce mind to matter and put forth materialistic theory of evolution which had a great following in natural and social sciences which were made bhaviouristic and reductionist. But in the present quantum era this position has been challenged and the idea of consciousness transcending matter has been mooted.  However there is no finality about the verdict of science. In the field of science there cannot be finality of judgment because of the very nature of its methodology and empiricist bias.


In India, on the contrary, barring the materialistic school and some thinkers belonging to it, no one has entertained materialistic hypothesis.  Either there is dualistic position or spiritualistic monism.   However, there is predominance of spiritualistic stance which is the keynote of Indian culture. A clear distinction is drawn between empirical and transcendental forms of Reality. In a dualistic framework the distinction is between living and non-living but in the empirical state the two are experienced to be conjoined. Here the basic problem is how and why do they get conjoined. In spiritualistic monism consciousness alone is the ultimate Reality. Existence without consciousness is meaningless. Consciousness alone is self-existing and self-revealing. It is the presupposition of all experiences. Through consciousness existence as well as non-existence of a thing is cognized. Conscious is self-cognizing.  No doubt at the empirical level existence is wholesome continuum of animate and inanimate but at the transcendental level inanimate is transformed as pure consciousness. It is a spiritualistic theory of evolution.

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