Science of the Absolute







Humanity remains as much unknown to itself as the universe to which it belongs. This is true of the cosmonaut in outer space as it is of the yogi meditating under a tree. This double strangeness in which man has found himself and still finds himself placed, is the justification for a Science of the Absolute. Ironically the mystery of the universe has become evermore deepened in proportion to the aids to vision or observation that modern science has made available. Whether this twin mystery is attributed to the observer or to the observed, together they present a master problem to be solved intelligently, now as ever before.

After classical science gave place to modern notions, one would have expected some of the mystery attached to the universe to have been reduced. Yet judging from the vast amount of scientific literature that is now being produced in the post-Einsteinian world of science, such a vast range of variety of points of view about the universe is presented that the world in which we live at present is becoming more complex than the one known to our forefathers. This is because the Relative and the Absolute have not yet been put together into a common unitary form.

Note: For Text in transiliteration and with commentary pp. 227-238.




If the classical physicists were rejected because of their tendency to be rigidly absolutist in their conception of space and time, the present attitude to the same universe can be said to have fallen into an opposite error of a loose relativism more confounding still. This is a note of warning that has been sounded even by some of the most modern physicists, such as Heisenberg. One of the striking features of post-Einsteinian science is the fact that the observer and the observed now belong to one and the same structural context. The implications of such a structuralism have not yet been fully worked out. The present study is meant to be a contribution in this direction.


Certitude, whether scientific or philosophical, consists of relating causes with their proper effects. As far as the physical universe is concerned it is out of fashion for a modern physicist to think in terms of a total cause corresponding to a total effect which must be the visible universe. When asked to explain scientifically even a simple effect such as the colour green, the scientist is satisfied when he can give us the number of vibrations per second which to him is the cause of such an effect. He will also fit the colour green into its total context as belonging to the spectrum resulting from the spectral analysis of white light. While he is thus interested in fragmentary aspects of the phenomenal universe, sometimes analytically and sometimes synthetically, the totality of universal phenomenalism is normally outside his world of research.




Even so, "cosmology" still comes within the scope of science, being defined in the Dictionary as "the science of the universe as a whole: a treatise on the structure and parts of the system of creation." (1)


Outside of sometimes referring to God as a Mathematician, no scientist, strangely enough, seems to be interested in specifying a causal principle for the universe. We have elsewhere referred to Bertrand Russell as an advocate of this kind of fragmentary or trial-and-error approach to science. A.S. Eddington himself goes one step further than this modern leader of Empiricism. He reveals himself as fully conscious of the claims of a Unitive Science (2), yet seems keen to hold the hands of his fellow scientists. He is the first to be able to state the case for a Unified Science as follows:




"It seems to me that the 'enlarged' physics which is to include the objective as well as the subjective is just science." (3)
And yet he is hesitating when soon after he seems to take notice of the grudging acceptance from his fellow scientists of the claims of such an extended science when he writes:
"I expect I shall be accused of exaggerating the epistemological element in modern physical theory .... Thus although scientific epistemology has always been part of the domain of physics, the physicist had left it so long uncultivated that, when at last he turned attention to it, his right-of-way was questioned .... My impression is that the general attitude (among leading physicists) might be described as grudging acceptance." (4)

Even Bertrand Russell, whom Eddington sometimes quotes approvingly, wavers between the rival claims of metaphysics and physics even when revised in the light of an epistemology. A revision of epistemology, now agreed upon as necessary by scientists, is now allowed to encroach from nowhere as it were, into the strict preserves of experimental thinking. Without discussing the general basis of such revision we find Russell uncompromisingly taking his stand on a piecemeal approach, while accepting the possibility of a correspondence between domains as removed from each other as quantum physics and cosmology.





This hesitation to take into account total causes or effects in respect of the microcosm can therefore be traced to the same source of scientific conservatism or orthodoxy referred to as "grudging acceptance" by Eddington above. This is not less objectionable than the religious orthodoxy of the superstitious believer who is the dialectical counterpart of this kind of grudging sceptic.


We can gather from these hesitations that an absolutist approach to wholesale problems is repugnant to the closed loyalties that still prevail within the scientific world at present. One would have expected this world of science to be more open than religion in adopting a bolder and more dynamic line of thought. Here it is that we are obliged to part company with scientific orthodoxy insofar as it insists on taking a partial or asymmetrical position, however slight it might be, between the worlds of perception and conception into which. we have divided the respective domains of physics and metaphysics.


Sir Edmund T. Whittaker was an eminent scientist of England and a close admirer and teacher of Eddington as well as a fully accredited representative of his philosophy of Science. As a Fellow of the Royal Society, his awareness of the full requirements of normalized or standardized scientific thinking is beyond suspicion, although the favours which he accepted from the Pope, who appointed him a member of the pontifical Academy of Science as well as conferring on him the Cross "pro Eccelesia et Pontifice", might make us suspect in him a religious bent of mind.




All the same, his attitude to the way in which even theology could be brought into relation with scientific thought is particularly interesting to us as it supports our own view of theology and science as capably of unitive treatment. Whittaker, writing on this subject, says the following:
"In the laws of nature, known and unknown, we recognize a system of truth, which has been revealed to us by the study of nature, but which is unlike material nature in its purely intellectual and universal character and which, if the conclusion we have reached are correct, is timeless in contrast to the transitory universe of matter. Material nature has made manifest to our understanding realities, greater than itself, realities which. point to a God, who is not bound up with the world, who is transcendent and subject to no limitation. The principle that matter exists not for its own sake but in order to help us in bridging the gulf that separates us from the divine, may be expressed in theological language by saying that nature has a sacramental quality, a principle that has long been recognized in religion and can now be admitted to be not alien to the philosophy of sciences." (5)





We have already quoted Hilbert's definition of mathematics as a game played according to rules or conventions. God has been sometimes compared to a mathematician by modern philosophers of science. The mathematical cause of the universe has therefore to respect all that belongs to the game of mathematics. If God is placed on one side of the question, what he created and what is produced should be jointly placed on the other side. The rules of the game of transposing factors from one side to the other, or in removing plus or minus signs to replace them with others, or even including or excluding sets or elements under different grades of brackets, involve not only the rules of the basic computing operations of addition, subtraction multiplication and division; but also of the distribution and association of mathematical elements. Abstract generalized elements must belong to the same homogeneous grade even as such. Apples cannot be multiplied by pears.

When thought of realistically, the God responsible for painting the wings of a butterfly or designing the tail feathers of a peacock could not be a mere mechanistic mathematician. He would rather correspond to an artist. Even as an artist, we have still to distinguish the different attitudes of God when he created a rhinoceros or a hippopotamus and then a lotus flower or a butterfly. The tiger "burning bright" with his "fearful symmetry' in a dark jungle must have been in the mind of a God who understood not only lyric but fully tragic effects as well.





Thus we have to match each kind of maker with what he can reasonably be expected to make. Modern instrumentalists like Bergson, as we have been, turn the tables on the notion of a creator and reverse the equation by daring to say that "the essential function of the universe .... is a machine for the making of gods. (6)


All the implications of groups (ensembles) of one-to-one correspondence between structural aspects, topological axioms, and axioms of projective geometry as belonging to correlates in vectorial or tensorial contexts, have to be kept in mind when we try to explain cosmogony or cosmology. A man who plays a game of tennis inside a court meant for such sport cannot behave as if on the football field. Two rival players have a status as belonging to ensembles or groups, involving an either-or relation. Two forwards on the same side in football are not allowed to kick the ball forward between them. There are other varieties of ifs and buts constituting the whole range of propositional calculi entering into the structure of the game. When we think of cosmogony we have to think of a cause, maker, or God as outside the Creation, as an inventor of a game must be thought as distinct from the game itself. He must be thought of as fully enjoying the spirit of the game of Creation without necessarily participating in it. He can also take part as one of the many players on either side. In cosmology we think more




With the mind of the man who is himself in the game. Cosmology and cosmogony together represent a total situation in which all the structural peculiarities, whether inside the mind of man or inside the cosmos itself, have to be kept in mind together.


Besides this kind of compatibility which is structural or mathematical, we have also to think of grades of abstraction or concreteness. Vedantic writers are sometimes in great difficulties when trying to derive an actual world from an absolute creator made of the thin stuff of pure consciousness. The problem here is to explain how the hard material "thing" can grow out of something so logically thin or subtle. We see in some Vedantic textbooks how the difficulty is explained away by an analogy of grass and herbs growing from the hard earth, or even of hair growing on the body. Sometimes they even rely on a more ingenious example, of a spider and its web, both of which are solid, the latter being said to be reabsorbed when dissolved by the saliva of the same spider be made again into a liquid within its stomach. Whether this alternating process is strictly correct biologically or not, the intention of the Vedantin is to be respected. He only wants to say that the process of creation involves a reversible reaction, and the projection of the universe alternates with its reabsorption, taking place between the creator and the created, both being situated in the total overall structure at the core of the Absolute. Time can absorb space. Thus such ideas, though antiquated, are seen even in physics compatible with the most modern version of the origin of the universe. The gravitational red shift belonging to what is called the 'Doppler effect" implies a reciprocal complementarity.




The recent conference of top-ranking scientists in New York even seriously envisages the possibility of reversing the direction of time's arrow, hitherto considered fully irreversible. Some of the questions asked by the learned members of the American Physical Society were, "Does time flow only "forward"?" Dr. John A. Wheeler, Professor of physics at Princeton university and incoming President of the American Physical Society, said:
"This expansion may ultimately reverse itself. The universe would then fall back together, drawn into a mass of incredible density by its own gravity," and asked: "Will time reverse its direction of flow once the expansion shifts to contraction? Will biological processes run in the other direction? Will the dissipation of energy reverse itself? This is one of the greatest mysteries." (7)


The expanding universe is here thought of as possibly capable of contracting into a central mass of high density. Thermodynamics has given to cosmology, through Carnot and the consequent equations attributed to Boltzmann, this idea permitting us to think of a universe where forces of order or disorder alternate in psychic rather than in physical terms, along a kind of logical parameter, passing through the universe conceived quantitatively, as a whole. The will as a positive factor is implied in the vertical plus side of this structural scheme of the universe. We now quote Olivier Costa de Beauregard from his book "The Second Principle of the Science of Time" as follows:
"Observation, as we said, is related to the causal laws of the universe of Carnot. The finalized law of anti-Carnot, that of putting back into order, cannot be attained except through action. They are therefore hidden within the cognitive-consciousness and could not be evident except to the volitional-consciousness." (8)




He continues:
"It would seem to me that everything is passing as if the universe were a gigantic cybernetic machine in which psychic factors draw elements of information which would permit them to reorganize the world on another plan, orienting them in directions which are more and more improbable. And the most surprising of the final states would be exactly the contrary of a causal explosion, that is to say, a final implosion, analogous to a swarm of small planets engendering a big one. For me the end of the world so solemnly announced in the Gospel should evidently be a formidable implosion of finality which is the reabsorption of the world at an "Omega Point" of a spatio-temporal order. It is in this sense that the excellence of the heavens shall be shaken up, that each one would feel his biological life dissolving itself in terms of its own absolute opposite, while the heavens will be folded up like a cloth of a tent." (9)

Here the great physicist of Paris envisages even the possibility of what he calls an integrating "implosion" taking place in the universe, by which the disintegrating explosion or even expansion is revealed as taking place peripherally, in the outermost space where galaxies recede further away as demonstrated by the red shift. This red shift, through its indirect and inferential status, tends to be more conceptual than perceptual. This is now fully accepted by physicists and cosmologists. Even anterior to present day physics, the Big Bang cosmological theory was seen to exist side by side with the de Sitter model as well as the Steady State or Continuous Creation theory of Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold. (10)





In all this we see how important it is to respect inner and outer compatibilities in cosmological and cosmogonic theorization. Creation and creator could belong together to the same context of cosmology or cosmogony. Looked at from an axiological perspective, a good God cannot be responsible for the problem of Evil, the existence of which no scientific philosopher can easily explain away. Leibniz put forward the theory that we live in the best of possible worlds as the corollary of his theory of sufficient reason. This dictum finally became the butt of ridicule when Voltaire referred to the Lisbon earthquake where innocent women and children, created by God, were consumed in the flames, while the "good" God looked on as the universal Benefactor of mankind. A scientific God must be responsible for both good and evil or be beyond both. Likewise, a scientifically conceived cause of the universe cannot escape the charge of being as much responsible for bad as for good. God must be good and bad at the same time to have a fully absolutist status, and this point comes into view strikingly, perhaps for the first time in Verse 8 of the first chapter of the Darsana Mala, where God is referred to as capable of creating even a world full of tragedy. Even so, the God of this chapter is represented as being as wonderful mysterious as His own creation is meant to be.





The osmotic interchange of liquids is a double process known as exosmosis and endosmosis respectively. This permits us to think of a process like cosmic respiration used figuratively in the Upanishads. Such a cosmic respiration finds its modern counterpart in the universe of the red shift where physicists sometimes imagine an alternating process of recession or concentration of elements constituting the universe. Such elements are light or heavy, but in spite of their further complications, they always have hydrogen as a basic element, which might have particular surrendering of energy at different levels within a scheme not unlike that of the solar system. Microcosm and macrocosm can be thought of under the same structural pattern when we forget the measurable space between them.


The Schrodinger equation refers to a geometrical pattern revealing the same broad structural outlines, which are also implied in Cantor's theory of groups and its further implications, as worked out in modern mathematics. The visual image which is the structural form and the theoretical invisible pattern of proper and improper elements belonging to different groups, belong together to one and the same schematic unit. We should keep in mind all the different departments or disciplines referred to in our preliminary remarks in order to be able to apply the implications of absolutist structuralism to cosmology and cosmogony. Both these disciplines are dialectical counterparts referring inclusively and reciprocally to each other as mathematical ensembles




To bring out further details of the structural reciprocity here, let us once again refer to an analogy taken from the world of sport, and take as an example a Master Sportsman, representing the inventor and player of all forms of organized sport, such as football. Let us also think of a kind of guiding line, reference, current or string, or just a parameter of a logical order passing from one goalpost to the other, and continuing on both sides to infinity. We place the inventor, the Master Sportsman, beyond the top Omega point on this line or vertical axis, and imagine him as facing towards the plus side of infinity, where Cantor would place the product of all numbers possible as one class of all classes or ensembles. For purposes of clarification we have established an analogy here between God as the Creator and the Master Sportsman. Now imagine the man turning right about from the plus side to the minus side, which is the opposite goalpost. Let us suppose for convenience that this latter goalpost is more interesting or real to us than the one on the plus side. Such an imaginary Sportsman would come first to the goalkeeper of the plus side of the situation, then to the full back and then to the centre forward. Here he would attain a neutral point between the two opposing centre forwards. Finally he could continue in the same direction until he passed the minus side goalkeeper. We can further imagine this Master Sportsman passing beyond the goalpost even out of the field. It is the parameter or "Ariadne's thread," which this Sportsman would have traversed. As we have already said, such a logical parameter could belong equally to the world of thermodynamics or cybernetics, from both of which we have seen modern physicists and even evolutionary paleontologists like the theologically-minded Teilhard deriving so many idioms such as Omega point, Alpha point etc.




When the Master Sportsman is outside the field and not participating in it, but just passing through, he can be compared to a cosmogonist; otherwise he would be considered a cosmologist, belonging more directly inside the cosmos or field. The world of machines, unitively treated at the logical parameter, passes untouched through such a world vertically, in thin and pure terms of information with the status of a Logos or Nous depending on whether it passes from the world of concepts to the world of percepts. It thus bears a strict analogy to the same parameter that we have related to the game of football. As cybernetics distinguishes vertical information from horizontal "noise", we have to distinguish the pure principle from the actualities of the game. God as the Creator of the universe can be considered as an effect of all possible effects. Beyond the Omega point of the vertical line, as the Master Sportsman descends nearer and nearer to the goalkeeper of the plus side, we can imagine him able to conceive mentally of the game into whose field he is about to enter. Creation in a strictly cosmological sense does not yet exist for him. As soon as he reaches the goalpost he is at the Omega Point of the situation, where his status gets changed from that of a cosmogonist to a cosmologist. When after this point he proceeds downwards in the same direction, he attains to different degrees of involvement in the actualities of the game. This involvement becomes most actual, both vertically and horizontally, when he stands between the two rival centre forwards.




In the Brahma-Vidya-Pancakam (Five Verses on the Science of the Absolute) by Narayana Guru, there is a pointed reference to creation taking place first in nature: this refers to the minus side of the football field which is that of the home team. Such a home team in nature has to be created first with all its natural ontological and existential implications in order for God to breathe life into the pluralistic elements constituting the actual or horizontalized versions of the universe. From between the rival centre forwards the Master Sportsman can be imagined as entering into his own creation backwards, in the same way as a motorist would back his car into his own garage. If he pushes further in the same negative direction the parameter will lead him to the domain of the square root of (-1) of complex numbers. This, like Brahman in the Upanishads, resides at the tail-end of Bliss when structurally analyzed in terms of the Quaternion. The reality here is more concentrated, though in finite terms, than at any other point in the field. The home goalkeeper is all important. God himself can be made to take his position whether at the Omega, Neutral (Zero), or Alpha points: the last being that of the home goalkeeper in the total situation that we are here examining by using the analogy of the football field.
Some analogies are more suitable and fit certain contexts better than others. In the theological context, Narayana Guru, when composing by request a set of ten verses to be used as a common prayer for the inmates of his ashram, stated the relation of interdependence between God and man in as simple terms as possible. Even so, we find him resorting to an analogy that fits well into a modern cybernetic context, involving the same logical and actual parameters as in the case of the football game that we have just examined.




 The Brahma-Vidya-Pancakam describes the relation between the captain of a ship and the passengers seeking to cross the sea of phenomenal being (samsara-sagara), which refers to uncertainty in the process of life progress through which the relational reference passes. The passengers are linked together by a subtle reciprocity. They depend collectively for their safety on the captain and thus the prayer fulfils the requirements that a revalued piety and theology might make desirable. What is most important here is the vertical bipolar relationship between the Captain and the passengers.


In another analogy of a world regulated by a pragmatic philosophy, God can be the foreman. Each worker with his horizontalized relation with the other workers gains primacy over the more conceptual parameter in the previous analogy.


Each type of philosophy could have its own analogy without violating sound structural requirements. If we now scrutinize all the ten verses of the first chapter of Narayana Guru's work we find that only in the first and last verses are there any theological implications. The other verses fit into logical, psychic, aesthetic or even simple biological pairs of counterparts, with each pair having a bipolar reciprocity in the overall context of cosmogony or cosmology. We notice in the very centre of the chapter, at the end of the fifth verse, that the two counterparts belong together to almost the same aesthetic context of pure phenomenology. On the other hand, when we reach the last verse the degree of reality becomes very pronounced. The seed and the fig tree are both tangible actualities in nature, they are not mathematical abstractions or entities of a merely logical order, as is the case when we consider the very first verse. In the first verse the pure mathematical vision of God as pre-existing creation looms large over his own creation, which epistemologically has only the status of the stuff of dreams.




Such a creator must himself have the same epistemological status as his creation because we cannot violate the overall law of parity, homogeneity or one-to-one correspondence between origin and product. In Vedanta this principle is called samana-adhikarana. The same God visualized in the realistic terms natural to the last verse is compared to a tiny seed, after the manner of the mustard seed of the Bible. Ramanuja's Vedanta, which admits all specific plurality of qualities representing the Absolute, can easily be fitted into the realism applicable to both the counterparts, homogeneously as in the case of the seed and the tree. There is also a vertical symmetry of structure between the first and last verses, as well as a bilateral symmetry as found in a simple mirror image in the actual world.


The characteristics of the other verses not referred to here will be discussed in the commentary shortly to follow. We shall also reserve some other cosmological aspects referring to the source, cause or beginning of the world in our concluding remarks, so as to keep what is strictly acceptable to modern scientists on one side, while on the other side referring to scriptural or other theories where a priori reason prevails and scepticism gives place to belief.


Before entering into the scrutiny of the text it is in place here to refer to the position of cosmology as understood by some modern writers like Hermann Bondi, who has summed up admirably the full bearings and implications of both cosmology and cosmogony treated together. Inevitably, as in all sciences, the a priori and the a posteriori have to correct each other. Theories have to be verified by observations and vice versa. Bondi refers to the four basic assumptions of the German astronomer and so-called founder of modern cosmology, Heinrich Olbers:




"Olbers made the following four assumptions about the nature of distant regions:  
  1. Viewed on a sufficiently large scale, the universe is the same everywhere, i.e. it is uniform in space.
  2. Similarly it is unchanging in time.
  3. There are no major systematic motions.
  4. The laws of physics as we know them, apply everywhere through out the universe." (11)
According to Bondi, Olbers' assumption 1. is known as the "Cosmological principle" and assumptions 1. and 2. together are the "perfect cosmological principle. Bondi continues, showing the difference between the Big Bang or evolutionary theory and the Steady State or continuous creation theory:
"The difference between the two theories arises from the attitude they adopt towards Olbers 'assumption 2. The so-called steady-state theory accepts this assumption of the unchanging appearance of the universe and considers the pair of assumptions 1. and 2. (also known as the perfect cosmological principle) as fundamental. Even assumption 4. (the applicability of the laws of physics) is regarded as secondary compared with the perfect cosmological principle. In the other theory assumption 2. is dropped, assumption 4. being considered the basis of the theory." (12)


When the Steady State theory is scrutinized it is not difficult to see that the adherence to Olbers' "perfect cosmological principle" must have an absolutist status, while the second theory gives primacy to mechanical events within a universe governed by physical laws but does not think of any "perfect cosmological principle". This second theory must be considered relativistic.




Thus there are at present in the cosmology of modern science two complete positions both of which are respectable in the eyes of physicists, mathematicians and cosmologists. The former is fully speculative and a priori, while the latter tends to be observational and a posteriori, although it does recognize a universal law of physics. There is no violation of principle when we put these cosmological visions into a unitive scheme treating the one as being complementary to the other.



The professional language of the modern physicist is filled with letters of the Greek alphabet put together by means of an ever-increasing number of signs for operations or functions with which mathematics tries to explain the nature of the physical world. Every advanced physics lecture room is provided with successive large blackboards, with pulleys making it easy to push them up each time one gets filled with equations. Although experts beyond geographical frontiers are able to decipher such a highly complex language it has now been pushed to such limits that the language of mathematics meant for public precision has become esoteric. Thus communication between the expert and the laymen is completely ruptured. Eddington's figure representing the number of protons and the same number of electrons in the universe runs into eighty digits. (13)




This number evidently makes no meaning to the common person, or even to the unsophisticated outsider interested in science. Meaningless expressions can be considered as good as not being expressed at all. In making this statement we are glad to find at least one modern cosmologist, Hermann. Bondi, who says:
"Intuitive reactions, such as the difficulty of imagining various strange and remarkable features of a theory (in astronomy and cosmology these include temperatures of millions of degrees, creation of matter, enormous velocities, etc.) and are of secondary importance." (14)

It is also important to point out that in the domains of both physics and cosmology it is particularly true that the failure of experiments gives more information than their success. A striking example of this is the Michelson-Morley experiment which, by its failure to confirm the existence of a ponderable ether, gave room for Einstein's theory of relativity to get its initial impetus. Generally experiments cannot be conducted in outer space and when possible turn out to have only an indirect and inferential status as in the case of the red shift, proving Hubble's Law and the recession of the galaxies. In all other matters, theorization in cosmology strangely resembles metaphysical speculation rather than empirical validity, Herman Bondi admits the negative value of experimentation, especially in cosmology, when he writes:

"Of course this step does not imply that the perfect cosmological principle is correct; but its fruitfulness is self-evident, since the principle leads without further assumptions to predictions susceptible of observational disproof." (15)




Further on, Bondi continues: "Theories must not only agree with the facts; they must be so constructed as to facilitate attempts at empirical disproof." (16)

The merits of mathematical and scientific language when pushed to extreme limits can defeat the purpose of language altogether. Eddington points out in an admirable paragraph how common sense has necessarily to part company with a scientist when he begins to describe even simple events in strict scientific language:

"I am standing on the threshold about to enter a room. It is a complicated business. In the first place I must shove against an atmosphere pressing with a force of fourteen pounds on every square inch of my body. I must make sure of landing on a plank travelling at twenty miles a second round the sun - a fraction of a second too early or too late, the plank would be miles away .... To step on it is like stepping on a swarm of flies. Shall I not slip through? No, if I make the venture one of the flies hits me and gives a boost up again; I fall again and am knocked upwards by another fly; and so on ....
Verily it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a scientific man to pass through a door." (17)
We have said enough here to show that there is nothing much to choose between the old fashioned language of mythology, in which most cosmological statements are made in many of the wisdom texts of the world, and the strictly scientific jargon now emerging into view in scientific literature. Except for its communicability to serve experts across frontiers, it has an irritating feature. Edna Kramer speaks of this when she refers to the "spinners of popular-science yarns in the early days of relativity,"  (18) who were recognized to be wrong later, in the light of revised epistemology. Thus the myth-making instinct in man is never at rest even within the so-called preserves of science.




As for our own attitude in this study, we always refer to a normative notion, whether we examine a scientific statement claiming to use mathematical language, or when we find a statement in some ancient text which happens to be wearing a mythological garb. How to distinguish between these two languages we shall explain presently.




As promised at the end of the Preliminaries, we have here to explain how we intend to draw the line of demarcation between what we propose to include as properly belonging to the Prologue and Epilogue of each chapter. Our own position is to give equality of status to both the a priori and the a posteriori.


We know that Francis Bacon and Auguste Comte insisted on a certain new attitude in the ordering of modern progress in human understanding. The very name Novum Organum is meant to support Bacon's claim that he takes a different point of view from the Organon of Aristotelian Philosophy and science. Accordingly, Comte on the continent of Europe felt the same need for revising an approach into what he called "positivistic" thought or philosophy By the term "positive" he meant that the merely theological and metaphysical methods of previous generations must give place to a more scientific attitude. This attitude would permit one to formulate laws, not necessarily absolutist in character, but which nevertheless would include analytically within their own scope many phenomenal aspects of the universe. A "matter-of-fact", a posteriori and analytical approach is implied in the protest made by these two more modern thinkers. We concede that there is some justification for their feelings in the matter, but we cannot agree that one can afford to be completely new or "positive" in the sense claimed by both Bacon and Comte.




The greatest name in cosmology of the last 250 years is that of Isaac Newton. Newton is in some respects a positivist, breaking away from his classical scholastic background, when he boldly takes a revised stand of his own. Yet we find in his formulation of the theory of gravitation that all his originality in cosmology depends merely on the fact that he happened, one day, to be sufficiently stimulated by the simple event of an apple falling from a tree. The event enabled him to make use of the astronomical and mathematical tradition he had inherited from Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, and others. Newton once remarked that in formulating his theories and laws, he was helped by "standing on the shoulders of the giants of the past."

His own share in the discovery of the infinitesimal calculus along with Leibniz gave a highly abstract mathematical picture of the universe, whose implications he visualized and also calculated so as to be able to offer attractive theories about questions such as how the moon could keep to its orbit around the earth instead of flying off at a tangent. A large body of mathematical knowledge pre-existed in the mind of Newton. Newton could also be said to be a positivist even before Comte, if his mathematics were to be considered as having a positivist character. In our own days we know that if one should take away the framework of mathematics, modern cosmologists would find themselves completely helpless. Mathematics has now attained an elaboration, complication and perfection of its own, sufficient to lend itself to be the basis of epoch-making is theories of the universe, whether macrocosmic or microcosmic, such as those of Einstein and Max Planck.

The structure of the universe outside the consciousness of man is now seen to conform to the same structure within the observer.



Thus the observer and the observed belong epistemologically to one and the same unified or unitary context. Mathematics as a science tends to be, at least implicitly, a model for all sciences, thus tacitly attaining to the status of a Science of Sciences. When, side by side with this, we consider that mathematics is essentially a logic or a language with full semantic implication, it is not hard to see how the language proper to a Unified Science of the future has necessarily to be built around, or at least with the help of, mathematical scaffoldings. Such an edifice is still to be erected but at present we could assert that the basement of it has already been laid.
As previously mentioned, we have elsewhere devoted a monograph to this possibility of an integrated language wherein visible and intelligible mathematical elements can characterize each other so as to make a language for science possible. This was the unaccomplished dream of Leibniz. Such a mathematical language when fully explained and elaborated would help us to discriminate properly between the domain of scientific literature, which has been subjected to mathematical and thus truly positivist analysis or synthesis, and the large body of extant traditional and "negative" or scriptural literature proper to different cultural backgrounds, whether Semitic, Greek, Chinese, or Hindu.


Each of these growths has its own favourite idioms and ideograms, often coloured by myths, fables, allegories or parables of their own. Comte would naturally not call such mythology "positive", in fact he condemned it as primitive and as belonging to the infantile stage in the progress of human understanding. We do not, however, agree with him completely because it is possible to interpret even the most complicated of primitive myths in the light of their own pure intentions necessarily having a common human origin. What is natural to humankind cannot be wholly untrue or unscientific.




Comte himself indirectly admitted such a possibility, as we see from his biography, showing how he established a church dedicated to Humanity with his own ecclesiastical order, and a ritualism closely resembling that of the Roman Catholic Church. (18)

 Blind ritualism cannot be more excusable than reliance on mythological language. Both might call for sympathetic intuitive understanding. It is possible to fit rare specimens of speculative cosmological descriptions or visions into the same normative frame of reference which we ourselves recommend here. Thus there is a positive and a negative side recognizable in philosophical literature within whose rival limits a strict scientific language could properly belong. We shall, for our purposes at least, consider such a scientific language as positive. To the extent that a literature or its language relies on the figurative language of parables or allegories we can characterize it as negative. We have to remember however, that even these forms of expression could be interchanged and understood as belonging to a revised proto-linguistic context. This context would recognize the four possibilities implied in the total structural situation of a new scientific language based on the ancient notion of the quaternion, which was known even to Milton, who referred to it as running through all the elements when he wrote: 

"Ye elements, the eldest birth of nature's womb, that in quaternion run"

 When we say that mythological language is negative, we have to bear in mind how it is so only in a fully verticalized immanent-transcendent context as in the Transcendental Aesthetic of Kant.





The positive side of the horizontal axis, on the other hand, refers to the actual, as in the world of simple experiments, in terms of which Francis Bacon begins to explain scientific method when he reduces all fruitful scientific activity to the simple pattern of taking apart or putting together two objects. We read from Bacon: 
"Towards the effecting of works, all that man can do is to put together or put asunder natural bodies. The rest is done by nature working within." (20)

Einstein distinguishes the gravitational field from the inertial field and has for the former a verticalized version of reality including time. This was not necessary for his limited theory of relativity which concerned itself only with the inertial field. Thus both the Aristotelian and Newtonian notions have been bypassed by him, making the position for scientific thinking not as simple as Bacon or Comte imagined.


Further, why should humanity deprive itself of its own rich heritage of wisdom merely because it happens to be only superficially clothed in a language that does not at present suit the taste of the modern mind? Taste might swing back again to older models, but the basic reality that should interest true scientists who are able to see behind the incidental externals must always be the same. It is therefore only for convenience based on linguistic considerations that we propose to divide our comments on each chapter into a Prologue and an Epilogue. When we pass the middle of the work the positivism of the earlier part will yield place to negation, giving primacy to the a priori which has to depend upon a general wisdom heritage mainly coming to us from a scriptural context, sometimes referred to as "Perennial Philosophy." In every case we shall be careful throughout our citations to apply our own precise normalized standard in judging the validity of the truth or fact that is stated. This standard is implied from the standpoint of a unified language of sciences, which favours no particular variety of language, whether mythological or mathematical, if it does not conform to normal requirements.



The main object of this Prologue has been merely to draw the attention of the modern reader to some of the latest features of cosmology such as the Big Bang and Steady State theories which exist side by side with more general ones depending on the red or violet shift, indicating a universe that extends or contracts on a neutral basis or field of modern physics.


Before beginning to examine the actual verses of this chapter on cosmology, as written and commented upon by Narayana Guru, the reader will do well to note how in this, as well as in every chapter to follow, Narayana Guru adopts a strict and structurally perfect order with an inner structural symmetry of its own. In each chapter the numerator aspect cancels out with its own denominator aspect. A mathematical god implied in the first verse has thus a creation with the status of a dream as its normal counterpart. God as an artist of whom creation is the art, is a similar self-consistent analogy given a central place in the series. The last pair of analogies touches the point where realism vertically understood passes into horizontal pluralistic actualities.






[1] "Chamber´s Twentieth Century Dictionary", Bombay: Allied Publ., Rev. Indian Ed., 1966.


[2] On this matter we quote Russell: "I believe, however, that the elimination of ethical considerations from philosophy is both scientifically necessary and -- though this may seem a paradox -- an ethical advance. Evolutionism ... fails to be a truly scientific philosophy .... A truly scientific philosophy will be more humble, more piecemeal ....". From: "Mysticism and Logic", pp.29 & 32, resp., quoted in our article., "Search for a Norm" (Ch.l. "Some Background Aspects" Values, Vol.11: no.3 (Dee.1965), p.89 n.4.


[3] Eddington, Phil. Phys, Sci., p.68. Eddington,


[4] Phil. Phys. Sci., pp.52-53,( our words in parentheses)


[5] Whittaker, pp.34-36.


[6] Bergson, Two Sources, p.275.


[7] The Hindu (Newspaper) Madras: 10 Feb. 1966, P.8.


[8] From "Réalités", Paris: June 1965, p.79, our translation.


[9] "Réalités", p.79, our translation.


[10] We read the following about the Big Bang or Evolutionary Theory of Continuous Creation from J.A. Coleman, "Modern Theories of the Universe", New York: New American Library, 1963, p.204: 
"The major question in cosmology today is which of the two theories is the correct one - the evolutionary theory or the theory of continuous creation. The history of science has shown that the speculation of one age is the scientific theory of the following age and the common scientific knowledge of the succeeding one. Cosmology and cosmogony, too, are not without their speculative ideas. We should not, then, assume that either one of the two contemporary theories is necessarily the correct one, at least in its present form."


[11] H. Bondi, "Astronomy and Cosmology," from: "What Is Science?" edit. J. Newman, New York: Washington Square Press, 1961, p.89.


[12] Bondi, pp.94-96.


[13] Eddington's number is
044,717,914,527,116,709,366,231,425,076,185,631,031, 296. From: Phil. Phys. Sci., p.170. 
Also, Isaac Asimov states that: "A proton's width is about 0,000000000001 centimeter. Flying mesons are travelling at almost the speed of light, which is 30 billion centimeters a second .... The pi-meson will be within the influence of the nuclear force for only about 0.0000000000000000000001 second (.a hundred billionth of a trillionth of a second." From: The Intelligent Man's Guide to the Physical Sciences, New York- Pocket Books Inc., 1964, p.230.


[14] Bondi, P.101.


[15] Bondi, p.96.


[16] Bondi, pp.100-101.


[17] Eddington, Nat. Phys. World., p.328.


[18] Kramer, p.298.


[19] For a short summary of Comte's "Worship of Humanity", see B.A.G. Fuller, "A History of Philosophy", New York: Henry Holt,


[20] J. L. M. Robertson (edit.), "The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon", London: Routledge, 1905.






What follows here is a transliteration and translation from the original Sanskrit of Narayana Guru's Darsana Mala. It is followed by a short commentary by his disciple Swami Vidyananda who took instruction each day from Narayana Guru so that he could strictly adhere to his own commentary. Each day the Guru had the commentary read back to him for correction and approval. Those phrases which happened to be extraneous were rejected while the rest of the commentary received his approval.
The present writer has been an eye-witness to this cooperative effort between Narayana Guru and his disciple. The feature of teacher-disciple collaboration undoubtedly enhances the value of the commentary, however brief it might seem to anyone trying to understand the Darsana Mala. Narayana Guru also tacitly indicates the double-sidedness of the responsibility for his work by a verse he wrote as envoi for the commentary which reads:
"Let this commentary called didhiti (gloss)
Coming from my disciple Vidyananda
Be looked upon graciously by the wise
As belonging to one of tender years."
The Guru's own hand is clearly visible in just those phrases where subtle epistemological or methodological aspects have to initially glossed over, at least tentatively, in view of further clarifications such as what we are attempting in this book. The rest of the commentary has only an incidental value for us, and is not so important. We have taken some liberty with it, taking care however, to put whatever additions we make within brackets. On the other hand, when we suspected Narayana Guru's own handiwork, we have tried to keep as close to the original as possible, so as not to spoil the perennial value of the interpretations and intentions coming directly from him.
I hereby recognize my deepest gratitude to Narayana Guru also my indebtedness to my fellow disciple, the late Swami Vidyananda, whose permission for following the broad lines of this commentary can now only be sought by way of courtesy. Wherever further clarifications have been felt to be necessary, the present writer has taken care to throw some light on them, either in the prologue of each chapter or in the epilogue.
In the present commentary translated by us, we have tried to adhere as strictly as possible to Narayana Guru's own words expressed through Swami Vidyananda. Swami Vidyananda, as he openly states in the preface to the Malayalam edition, claims no credit for himself in the matter of being responsible for this commentary and attributes almost the whole of it, even the naming of the title, didhiti (meaning "throwing light"), to Narayana Guru. He especially states that the Guru made the comments and these, when put on paper, were then corrected more than once by him. In the light of these circumstances, it would be safe to assume that the purport of these comments, though not the presented form, belongs to Narayana Guru himself.



1. asidagre' sadevedam bhuvanam svapnavat punah sasarja sarvam sankalpamatrena paramesvarah
In the beginning, there was
Non-existence indeed!
Dream-wise then again, by mere willing
Everything existent created He, the Lord supreme.
AGRE, in the beginning (before creation),
IDAM BHUVANAM, this world
ASAD EVA, even as nothingness (as non-existence, indeed)
ASID, existed,
PUNAH, thereafter (at the time of creation),
PARAMESVARAH, the supreme Lord,
SARVAM, everything
SANKALPAMATRENA, by mere willing,
SVAPNAVAT, like a dream,
SA-SARJA, (he) created




In the beginning (i.e. at its upper limit which has to be distinguished together with other similar limits), there was non-existence. Posteriorly to this (in pure time), the Supreme Lord (Paramesvara) when creation was to begin, by His mere willing created all this (i.e. gave it a conceptual status different from what was merely nominal), just as in the case of a dream (having its own virtuality within consciousness).
The stuff that dreams are made of is admittedly unreal to the extent that they belong to the world of ideas. In the same manner the world can be said to be unreal to the extent that its stuff is of the same order as His will. Whatever reality there was at this limiting point can be attributed to The Supreme Lord, rather than to his creation. The Taittiriya Upanishad supports this twofold point of view. The world as objectively manifested apart from the Lord was there equated to nothing, tentatively accepting the principle of contradiction between existence and non-existence.
In Vedantic parlance the upper limit set by the term agre (before creation or in the beginning) corresponds to the paramarthika or ultimate reality (i.e. the vertical), while puna (thereafter) refers to the vyavaharika or workaday practical reality (i.e. the horizontal).
It should be noted that according to Sanskrit convention a work of this kind has to indicate the subject-matter, and also imply something by way of adoring the most high value of the Absolute. This requirement is only tacitly fulfilled by virtue of his beginning the very first verse with the letter "a", which, according to the Bhagavad Gita (X.33), is equated with the Absolute: "Among syllabic letters l(i.e. the Absolute) am the A..."
The first word of the verse moreover, refers to something existing, because the word asid suggests something existent (in the ontological sense of sat). Because of referring to sat, this word, occupying the very first position in the verse, can also be considered as fulfilling the requirements of an auspicious beginning required by the same convention referred to above. Moreover, the verse later on equates existence with the Supreme Lord, and further confirms and complies with this same requirement.




2. vasanamayamevada vasididamatha prabhuh asrjanmayaya svasya mayavivakhilam jagat
In the beginning, in the form of incipient memory factors,
(All) this remained. Then the Lord,
By his own power of false presentiment, like a magician,
Created all this world (of change).
ADAU, in the beginning (at inception, before creation),
IDAM, this (visible world),
VASANAMAYAM EVA, in the form of incipient memory factors, (i.e. as samskaras, deep apperceptive masses in consciousness),
ASID, (remained) existent,
ATHA, thereafter (at the time of creation),
PRABHUH, the Lord,
SVASYA, (by) his own
MAYAYA, by (his power of) false presentiment,
MAYAVIVA, like a magician,
AKHILAM JAGAT, the whole world,


At inception this visible world was in the form of vasanas (incipient memory factors). Thereafter, the Great Lord, by His power, which was of a non-existent (or merely conceptual order), after the manner of a magician, created all this phenomenal universe. Before creation this world had merely the status of pure samskaras (deep apperceptive masses in consciousness). The sankalpa (willing) mentioned in the previous verse is only an active version of the same vasana. At the time of creation the Lord created all this by his illusory power. This is like the magician, who while remaining all alone is able to make us believe there are multitudes of other things around him. There is in reality nothing apart from the magician, who is capable of manifesting visible things. Actual entities are not there, but only entities having the status of memory factors are not to be considered real. In the same way, there is nothing in the universe which is other than the Lord. What is in the Lord is only a certain power of specification or qualification called maya (the principle of false presentiment), having no (real) existence of its own. By the example of the magician, it has been shown that the phenomenal world is false.




3. pragutpatteridam svasmin vilinamatha vai svatah bijadankuravat svaysa saktireva'srjatsvayam
This (world) before creation was
Latent within Himself,
Thereafter, like a sprout from seed,
From Himself, by His power, by itself it was created.
IDAM, this (world),
PRAKUTPATTEH, before creation,
SVASMIN, in Himself (in the self, in the Lord),
VILINAM, was latent,
ATHA VAI, thereafter,
BIJAD ANKURAVAT, like sprout from seed,
SVATAH, from himself (from the Lord),
SVASYA SAKTIH, his power,
SVATAH EVA, by itself,
ASRJAT, created.


Before creation this world was only potentially present in the Lord. Thereafter, at the time of creation, His power, which was in Him by its own self-potence, created all this manifested world like a sprout from a seed. This power is capable of shrinking into nothingness, as well as expanding into elaborate sets of manifested entities. It is only the potent virtual entity which is present within the seed and is capable of manifesting itself as sprout, stem, branch, leaf, flower or fruit. Likewise, it is a potent power within the Lord who created this world. But the Lord is not subject to any process of becoming. It is that power alone, which is dependent on Him, that can be transformed (vikara) and is capable of creating this world.


4. saktistu dvividha jneya taijasi tamasiti ca sahavaso'nayornasti tejastimirayoriva
The power, however, as of two kinds
Is to be known, as the bright and the dark;
There is no co-existence between these two,
As with light and darkness.




SAKTIS TU, this power, however,
TAIJASI TAMAS ITI CA, and thus made of light and darkness,
DVIVIDHA, two kinds,
JNEYA, is to be known,
ANAYOH, as between these,
TEJASTI MIRAYOR IVA, so with light and darkness,
SAHAVASAH STI, there is no co-existence.
The aforesaid power of the Lord, however, is to be understood in two distinct ways: (first) as taijasi, or belonging to the light (i.e. heliotropic); and (secondly), as tamasi, as belonging to darkness (i.e. geotropic). We can divide the (specificatory) power of the Lord into two (ambivalent) divisions referring respectively to light (tejas) and darkness (tamas). Light and darkness cannot co-exist. It is the same with these two (ambivalent and specificatory) factors or powers of the Lord.


5. manomatramidam citramivagre sarvamidrsam prapayamasa vaicitryam bhagavan citrakaravat
In the beginning, this world,
Which was in the form of mind stuff, like a picture
Achieved with all this picturesque variety,
Like an artist, the Lord.
AGRE, in the beginning (before creation),
MANO MATRAM, in the form of mind-stuff (as made of mere mind-stuff),
IDAM, this (world),
CITRAM IVA, like a picture,
SARVAM IDRISAM, all this as such here,
VAICITRIYAM, (with its picturesque variety),
PRAPAYAMASA, achieved,
CITRAKARAVAT, like an artist,
BHAGAVAN, the lord.
The terms sankalpa (willing), vasana (incipient memory factor), and sakti (potent power), have been employed so as to be considered equivalent (vertically), each in itself, to the mind (manas), which occupies the central position in this verse. This world was merely of a mental status before creation. Just as an artist creates in respect of his painting, so the Lord also accomplished all this artistic variety (seen in the world). Before creation this world remained in the form of virtual mind-stuff. If it should be asked how; we say, it remained like a picture in the mind of an artist, before the picture was accomplished. In the same way it was in the mind (manas) or the willing (sankalpa) of the Lord that all this potentially resided. It is possible for an artist to produce works of art with many and varied elaborations or varieties. In short, the entire manifested world is only an (artistic) expression of the mind of the Lord.




6. asit prakrtirevedam yatha'dau yogavaibhavah vyatanodatha yogivasiddhijalam jagatpatih
Potentially, what even as Nature remained
Like the psychic powers of Yoga
Like a Yogi did He, the Lord of the world, work out
His varied psychic powers thereafter.
ADAU, in the beginning,
YATHA YOGAVAI BHAVAHA, as (in the case of) psychic powers,
IDAM, this (world),
PRAKRTIR EVA, as nature (itself),
ASIT, remained,
ATHA, thereafter,
YOGI SIDDHI JALAMIVA, as a yogi with his varied psychic powers,
JAGAT PATIH, the Lord of the world,
IDAM, this (world),
VYATANOD, worked out.
In the beginning the world was prakriti (nature), having the same status as the psychic powers of a Yogi (mystic of unitive inner experience). Thereafter, at the time of creation, the Lord made manifest his own nature in the same way as a yogi makes manifest his powers. The psychic powers of a yogi are in reality only incipient memory factors within himself. What we meant here by prakriti only refers to tendencies capable of functioning as contraction or expansion, which could be merely mental in status; or, otherwise stated, it is mind itself which is referred to as none other than prakriti, as we should here understand. All the manifold manifested powers of a yogi are only innate tendencies in his mind, belonging to his own nature, and later on to be expanded and elaborately manifested. In the same way it is prakriti that is virtually present in terms of mind-stuff that becomes transformed into this expanded universe as presented to our vision. What has been discussed so far under the terms of sankalpa (willing); vasana, (incipient memory factor), sakti (potent specifying power), manas (mind) and prakriti (nature) have one and the same meaning. The term avidya (nescience), to be used in the next verse, also falls into the same (verticalized) series. It is possible to refer to this same factor in many other ways. In view of simplicity and for the student's (apodictic) clarity and understanding, we have merely followed a graded series of terms with different designations.




7. yada'tmavidyasamkocastada'vidya bhayankaram namarupatmana'tyartham vibhatiha pisacavat
When Self-knowledge shrinks,
Then prevails nescience fearful;
Ghost-like, taking name and form,
In most terrible fashion looms here.
YADA, when,
ATMA VIDYA SAMKOCAH (BHAVATI), knowledge about the self shrinks,
TADA, then,
AVIDYA, nescience,
NAMA RUPA ATMANA, taking name and form,
PISACAVAT, ghost-like,
ATYARTHAM BHAYANKARAM, in most terrible fashion,
IHA, here,
VIBHATI, looms




In this verse it is pointed out how, because of the absence of right knowledge (avidya) about the Self, all beings find creation to have a terrifying aspect. When such knowledge is absent then nescience (lends support) to the appearance of name and form (nama-rupa). (This plurality of) name and form (entities) seem ghost-like in a most terrifying fashion, presenting themselves as appearances.
It is only because there is lack of Self-knowledge (atma-vidya) that the whole of the universe seems to be the seat of all fear and suffering. When the correct knowledge about the Self prevails, all apparent sufferings and their sources (in the world) disappear. There will not be any cessation of suffering until one realizes the true knowledge resulting from the realization of one's own self. Self-knowledge is the most superior of all means for release. In the same way as in cooking the only means is fire (or heat), so there is no salvation without Self-knowledge. This is what Sankaracharya has taught.
By this verse the man who is desirous of getting release from suffering, resulting from lack of Self-knowledge, is to be considered an adhikari (a person fit to study this science), and that the subject-matter of this present work is atma-vidya (the Science of the Self). Furthermore, between atma-vidya and this work there is the relation of subject-matter and object-matter. The final release from suffering due to nescience and the attainment of the goal of full Self-knowledge, is the aim and utility of this work as required by Sanskrit convention.
Suffering and ignorance apply not only to people in this world but to all created beings, whether seen or unseen, wherever they be in the universe. In principle this applies to all of them. (It is to be remembered that) even the creation undertaken by the Lord involves the same wonderful and terrifying elements of this very kind.




8. bhayankaramidam sunyam vetalanagaram yatha tathaiva visvamakhilam vyakarodadbhutam vibhuh
Terrible and empty of content
Like a city infernal,
Even as such a marvel
Did the Lord make the whole universe.
IDAM, this (visible world),
VETALA NAGARAM YATHA, like an infernal city,
BHAYANKAR IDAM SUNYAM (CA BHAVATI), terrible and empty of content both (remain),
VIBHUH, the Lord,
AKHILAMVISVAM, the whole universe,
TATHA IVA, even as such,
ADBHUTAM, a marvel,
This visible world is just like an infernal city, empty of content (sunya) and terrible (bhayankaram) in this most wonderful manner, with visible and invisible aspects referring to all possible worlds created by the Lord. Because the Lord is all-powerful and capable of accomplishing anything He was able to create something which had no basis in reality, but still could be seen as a wonderful appearance, because it is at once empty of content and terrible, though describable as a marvel (adhbuta).
The term vibhuh employed in the verses refers to the omnipresence, omnipotence, and everlasting eternity of the Lord. (vi, before; and bhuh, what exists: because it existed before, it is called vibhuh).


9. arkadyathakramam visvam tatha naivedamatmanah supteriva pradurasidyugapatsvasya viksaya
If from a sun in graded succession
This world came, such was not the case at all.
Presented as if out of slumber,
At one stroke, all came to be.




IDAM VISVAM, this world,
ARKAD, from the sun,
YATHA KRAMAM, as in a gradual manner,
PRADURASID (ITI CET), it is unmanifested (if it should be said),
TATHA NA IVA, thus not at all,
IDAM, this (world),
ATMANAH, from the self,
SVASYA, (by) its own,
VIKSHAYA, regard (i.e. will),
SUPTEH IVA, as if from sleep,
YUGAPAD, at one stroke,
PRADURASID, all came to be
If it be said that this world came to be in gradual steps out of a primordial sun, we say it is not so at all. From the Self, as if from sleep, all come into being at one stroke.
There is a traditional belief that there was an original sun and from that sun, by successive steps the universe was produced; the sky was produced, and from the sky the atmosphere, from the atmosphere the fire, from the fire the water, and from the water the earth.
This view is not correct. This world with all its features that we experience in practical life came by the willing of the Self out of the Self, coming out together all at once. Before creation, the Self had the character of being itself or alone (kevalam). When one wakes from deep sleep (sushupti), the whole world becomes presented all together. In the same way at the time of creation, by dint of the will of the Self all is manifested together, and projected from out of the Self. There is also the Upanishadic dictum which says, "The one Self thought "Let me be many!"." By this verse the theory of gradual creation (kramasrishti) is repudiated and that of instantaneous creation (yugapad-srishti) is upheld. What is implied herein is that the power of the Lord is so great that it could create all this world at one stroke.




10. dhanadiva vato yasmat pradurasididam jagat sa brahma sa sivo visnuh sa parah sarva eva sah
He from whom, like a fig tree as from seed
Came out this world manifested -
He is Brahma, He is Siva and Vishnu,
He is the Ultimate, everything is He indeed.
DHANAT, from a seed,
VATAH IVA, like a fig tree,
YASMAT, from whom,
IDAM JAGAT, this world,
PRADURASID, manifested,
SAH BRAHMA, he is Brahma,
SAH VISNU, he is Vishnu,
SAH SIVA, he is Siva,
SAH PARAH, he is the ultimate,
SAH EVA SARVAH, everything is he indeed
Just as from a (minute) seed a (large) fig tree arises (so too), that Lord from whom this whole wonderful universe became manifested. He is Brahma, He is Vishnu, He is Siva, He is the Supreme Self (paramatma), and He is everything indeed. By this Brahma, the creator (in the Vedic context) of the (Vedic gods) Indra and Varuna and others, as well as Vishnu who is the Lord of the Vaishnavas and Siva who is the Lord of the Saivites, and the Supreme Self of the Vedantins, are all treated as one and the same. Because of this reference to the threefold gods (trimurti), it is indicated that this world originates from the same Lord having this threefold character, and that it originates in Him, endures in Him and dissolves into Him once again. Further, by the statement that He is everything, it is affirmed that there is no world outside of the Lord. It further states that by the words, "sa parah" i.e. "He is the Ultimate," it is indicated that the Lord is not subject to any kind of transformation (vikara), and that he is without any kind of specific attributes, being Himself the Supreme Self. The world is only seemingly present in the Lord and it is indicated that the instrumental and material causes (nimitta-karana and upadana-karana are none other than the Lord.




In fact, the attribution (wrongly thought of) by the mind of the phenomenal aspect to that which is non-phenomenal is what is referred to as "superimposition" or "supposed position" characterizing this chapter called Adhyaropa. All gurus (spiritual teachers) and sastras (texts) are known traditionally to indicate and take an initial supposed position in respect of their subject-matter, before giving instruction about the attributeless Absolute (nirguna-brahman). Following the same tradition, the section on Adhyaropa has now been terminated. In the next vision of truth (darsana), the apavada (i.e. neutralizing this supposition) is to be dealt with.






From what we have said in the Prologue it must be sufficiently clear that there are at present drastically differing cosmological theories, difficult to fit into, or refer to, any normative notion. Without such a normative notion, however, they fail to have a fully scientific status. Truth cannot be multiple. If there are two rival theories this is due to the defects of tautology or contradiction. Tautology is an evil because it implies a petitio principii or begging of the question. When we fall into the opposite error of contradiction we recognize two rival truths at one and the same time, which on the very face of it is unthinkable. For a Science of the Absolute the necessity of avoiding both tautology and contradiction by transcending paradox is imperative, although the laws of thought may be formulated or applied less strictly for utilitarian or relativistic branches of information or opinion.


The reader who has now examined the series of ten verses of the first chapter of the Darsana Mala will see and recognize in them one and the same normative reference. This is so true that one who reads them can even suspect that Narayana Guru is unnecessarily repeating himself in every verse. What he is actually doing in each of these verses is juxtaposing two reciprocal aspects of cosmology. One pertains to the side of the effect and the other to the side of the cause.




We also see him always choosing a compatible pair of dialectical counterparts. If God is the cause, the visible world is the effect of that cause, both being treated as mathematical ensembles. Of these ensembles one is finite or proper and the other is infinite or improper, like the two sets of elements understood in the mathematics of Cantor or Hilbert. When we think of these two counterparts in the most abstract of terms, as we have once already done, using the analogy of the Master Sportsman in a football field, it is then possible to think of more than one legitimate starting point for fully normalized cosmological discussion.


Within the vertical range of the possible structural patterns referring to the purely logical parameter, each of the ten verses could be recognized as having three distinct stable structural variations recognizable by the reference in each to a definite and familiarly acceptable source or cause such as God's will, artist's art, or seed of sprout. The series of verses in their implied epistemological movement from the negative to the positive poles can be seen to have three fixed positions. The last verse marks the negative limiting instance. The word agre occurring in the first and middle verses cannot be justified except when we concede to Narayana Guru the intention of treating each verse as an independent jewel in the garland with an absolute self-sufficiency of its own. The relation between each verse is similar to the monad of Leibniz and his monad of monads. Thus there are three limiting verses in the series of ten. The first, which paradoxically begins with an. apparently untenable statement, seems to show how that something was created out of nothing. (This is a glaring contradiction in terms.) We have to imagine this as referring to a structural limiting case, wherein contradiction, horizontally understood can exist side by side with a logic, or rather a dialectic, which takes a vertical view of reality. In this latter view of reality there is no exclusion of the middle terms as we have explained in the preliminary remarks.


Sankara, treating of cause and effect in his commentary on the Brahma Sutras (II.1:17), remarks:

"If by the non-existence of the effect previous to its production is not meant absolute non-existence, but only a different quality or state, viz. the state of name and form being unevolved, which state is different from the state of name and form being evolved. With reference to the latter state the effect is called (previous to its production) "non-existent", although then also it existed identical with its cause.

 It follows from all this that the designation of "non-existence" applied to the effect before its production has reference to a different state of being merely. And as those things which are distinguished by name and form are in ordinary language called "existent", the term "nonexistent" is figuratively applied to them to denote the state in which they were, previously to their differentiation." (1)

To the simple question: "where was God standing when he began to create the world?", we have to answer that both the world and the God who created it had an equally thin or pure, abstracted or generalized status. He resembled mind rather than gross matter. Mind and matter when understood in the most ultimate of nominalistic or conceptual terms, closely resemble complete nothingness. It is true that no philosophy significant to human beings can begin with complete nothingness as the starting point. Philosophy must be worthwhile to man and even the most abstract knowledge must necessarily have at least a value-significance. It must be worthwhile to communicate it to fellow humans. Cosmological discussions must therefore have at least a minimum axiological starting point. God and goodness are the same axiologically. This is also found in Plato's philosophy.


Even in the language of thermodynamics the Omega point reached by negentropic order is a positive limit. This limit is understood in the context of a universe constantly tending to a chaotic state of zero entropy. This is found in both the theory of Carnot as well as in the anti-Carnot theory of Boltzmann's famous equation. The Omega point is the positive limit of the level of disorder. If the reversibility of the arrow of time is added to this picture emerging out of modern scientific theorization, it would not be illegitimate for us to think of God as the teleological first or final cause of the universe. The term "God" could have its equivalents in other contexts than theology. This most useful word "God" need not be rejected except for good reasons, as its prevailing usage all over the world and in all kinds of cultures recommends it for adoption all the more. An impartial scientist should have no prejudices for or against words in full use, especially when fully composable and compatible with a Science of the Absolute. It must be for these reasons that Narayana Guru uses this time-honoured word, having different grades of factual or logical truth, in the verses accommodating within its range all representative equivalents or alternative notions.

Thus one may visualize God as an interesting mathematical entity, but not without His mysterious or mystical value natural to the mind of man. Scientific myth-making can even be permitted and God can be imagined as a Great Fisherman standing in the Milky Way, with a structural net in His hand, and His body consisting of concentrated galaxies trying to run away peripherally to the outer limits of the perceptible universe. He need not necessarily be only anthropomorphically thought of, if such a view is repugnant to those who can dispense with all geometrical forms whatsoever. Whether God is an algebraic type of mathematician or a geometrical one, he has a truth-value that cannot be overlooked even by the most sceptical of scientists. Mind and matter meet in him neutrally, as would be approved of even by a pragmatist.


The translation of the Sanskrit term agre (at inception or in the beginning) has its drawbacks because time is eternal, and must be bound with a "before" and "after," from eternity to eternity. To avoid infinite regression or progression in time we have to treat it in the same way as Plato does. Thus we have to think of an eternal present or moment marking the core, as it were, of the progress of becoming. Such a core corresponds structurally to the central core of origin to be treated as a fresh beginning (agre), as Narayana Guru does in the fifth verse. A middle-beginning is thus as much justified as a beginning-beginning, or an end-beginning turning away from the eternal present and including any number of a chain of more prior beginnings imaginable on the negative side of the vertical axis, produced infinitely; only, we have to remember how negation when it is duplicated has the strange habit in our mind of becoming at once an assertion. Double assertion does not become a negation at any time.


These are fundamental structural features at the core of the Absolute which we are compelled to admit as basic to any language, and fully permitted and confirmed by mathematics. Negation negates itself finally at its lowest level of ontological limits, while at the positive limit it touches non-existence. The reference to non-existence in the beginning, before any question of Creation was involved, whether in the mind of man or God, is thus legitimate. This paradox is referred to in both the Taittiriya and Chandogya Upanishads, where we see that even within one and the same Upanishad (i.e. Taittiriya) differing points of view are permitted. Quoting first from the Chandogya Upanishad (III.19.1-2), we read:


"In the beginning this world was merely non-being. It was existent. It developed. It turned into an egg. It lay for the period of a year. It was split asunder. One of the two eggshell-parts became silver, one gold. That which was of silver is this earth. That which was of gold is the sky. What was the outer membrane is the mountains. What was the inner membrane is cloud and mist. What were the veins are the rivers. What was the fluid within is the ocean." (2)

It is interesting to note that the egg or andam, more precisely known as the Cosmic Egg, finds its parallel in the cosmology of Lemaître who in 1927 put forward the theory that a tremendously dense 'cosmic egg' exploded and gave birth to the universe. (3) We now quote from the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.6. and 2.7.) where these two different views are presented:

"Non-existent (asat) himself does one become If he knows that Brahma is non-existent. If one knows that Brahma exists, Such a one people thereby know as existent. In the beginning, verily, this (world) was non-existent, Therefrom, verily, Being (sat) was produced. That made itself (svayam akuruta) a Soul (atman). Therefore it is called the well-done (su-krita) (4)



Whether we read a modern scientific book on cosmology, or an ancient one belonging to any part of the world, we find equally interesting cosmological pictures. Some of them will claim to put observed or observable facts before theorization while others are more avowedly speculative in their approach, often even lapsing more easily into some sort of language natural to children's books. This latter way lends itself admirably to describing such an overall subject as cosmology or cosmogony. It is hard to determine therefore, where legitimate speculation should be halted, and where findings based on inferential and experimental data should be allowed to proceed. The picture of the universe presented by Giordano Bruno is a bold speculative one:

"I hold to an infinite universe, to wit, the effect of the infinite divine power, because it has seemed to me unworthy of the divine goodness and power, when able to create other and infinite worlds, to have created one finite world: so that I have declared that there are endless finite (particular) worlds like this of the Earth, which with Pythagoras I take to be a star, like the moon, and other planets and the other stars. These are infinite, and all these bodies are worlds, and without number; they make up the infinite Universe in an infinite space .... Then, in this universe I place one universal providence, through which everything lives, flourishes, moves and stands in its perfection. And I understand this in two ways, first that in which the soul is present in the body all in all (tutta in tutto) and all in any given part, and I call this natura, the shadow, the footprint of the deity; next in the ineffable way in which God through essence, presence and power, is in all and above all, not as part, not as soul, but in a way that is inexplicable." (5)


Bruno's great vision of the universe turned out to be no mere fantasy, as we read in the following by H.Taylor:

"His imagination worked along lines of truth. Long afterwards slower and surer processes of the investigating reason were to reach many a position to which Bruno had boldly leaped" (6)

On the one hand the picture of the universe revealed by Eddington, Hoyle or Bondi is one within which inferences made from the study of the Red Shift (or the Violet Shift) make for possible varieties of interpretation. We have thus a variety of theories, some containing more elements of popular myth than others. Nowadays, we come across very interesting and sensational pronouncements, covering a wide range of points of view, by experts who mostly belong to the post-Einsteinian school of cosmogonists: some are physicists, some are philosophers, and some are both.


The Press of the present day seems to enjoy giving publicity to some of the wildest and most fantastic of theories, which we can either believe or disbelieve according to our pleasure. Neither space nor time permit us to go into the merits of them all but we can briefly review some of them in order to bring contrasts into relief, or to find common points of resemblance between them. We also want to show how Narayana Guru has been strictly satisfied with adhering to methodological, epistemological, or structural features considered as the minimum requirements for a normative, integrated and scientific study of this subject. He has kept in his mind only the broad outlines of a vertico-horizontal correlation at ten different epistemological limits, always adhering to the pattern of the quaternion in which we see, as we start from the top, the same Absolute referred to by cosmology, theology, or psychology. As we have said, anthropomorphism must be overlooked by stricter scientists although it can be tolerated by more liberal-minded supporters of a Unified Science.


The four limits are always evident in each verse, two of them vertically viewed as existing without contradiction, and two of them presented as exclusive rival elements implicitly or explicit. Our verse-by-verse review below will show this, and the student must therefore train himself throughout this work to look for the same structural elements which alone give scientific validity and the certitude of proof at every stage throughout the discussion.



We have just said that the cosmos as revealed through the Red Shift gives us the boldest basis so far known for the speculator in cosmology. It was Einstein who with his relativity theory first badly shook up and boldly questioned even the cosmologies implied in Euclid's Elements and Newton's Principia. What was acceptable and even venerated till then, began to be thrown into the melting pot. There emerged three cosmologies which were like three immiscible liquids in the same bottle. Einstein could not square the limited theory of relativity with his own general theory. The space of one, some suggest, corresponds to the time of the other. Further complications set in when electromagnetics and quantum mechanics were brought into the same situation. A search for a unitary field where these rival elements could co-exist became the dearest problem to both Einstein and Schrodinger.


Meanwhile many theories have replaced in quick succession the classical pictures that older scientists had learnt at school. The Planetesimal Hypothesis of Laplace and the Nebular Theory soon receded into the background. The de Sitter theory and two other interesting ones called the Steady State theory of Bondi and Gold, and the Big Bang Theory of Gamow, began to catch the imagination of the public. The tidal wave theory of James Jeans made its weak contribution, which did not hold the field as successfully as the others. All these theories excel in their speculative boldness, wherein only a fraction of verification by a reasonable number of observed facts enters in minimal doses. We are intrigued by the possibility of these rival theories which sometimes seem to be so diametrically opposed, as for example the Steady State and the Big Bang, even of co-existing as sufficiently tenable in the world of modern science. Without an overall absolutist notion, inclusive of all these theories considered as partial points of view, each within its total scope, such cosmological theories can make no consistent meaning to anyone. The following extracts will suffice to reveal the nature of the puzzlement in which we are caught at present, The following is from Sciences, (Paris, 1964) entitled, "An Interview with Fred Hoyle", by Roger Louis, in which Hoyle says:

"A theory therefore is a mathematical construction based at its starting point on statements which are acquired, which in passing disturb certain laws that hinder it or create new laws by the force of its internal logic; for the universe conforms to logical reasoning. Einstein used to say that he could not believe that God had played dice with the universe; this is the conviction of all cosmologists and the basis of all their work".


Later on he continues, explaining the permanent creation of matter:

"The universe has no origin. It is eternal. Matter creates itself locally and manufactures itself permanently in the same rhythm at which it disappears .... But globally considered the universe is at an equilibrium which is eternal and permanent .... The crucibles where its elements are formed, where they form themselves even today, and where they shall form themselves eternally, are the stars .... Each star during its existence goes through a cycle in the course of which there succeed certain states of equilibrium of long duration, separated by brief states of instability. The equilibrium is maintained when the nuclear reactions which develop in the interior of each star exactly compensate at each point, the pressing force of gravitation…."


In the above interview from which we have extracted only a few points that are of special interest here, Hoyle refers to a new order of cosmological fields which he baptizes as "field C." He also refers to a new order of stars which have a quasi-stellar status, as their name implies. "They are neither stars because they are too massive, neither are they galaxies because of their excessive density and compactness." Such stars are supposed to be, according to Hoyle, "ten times more distant than the least visible star, and a thousand-fold more powerful than what was imagined and therefore impossible to classify under their system of reference."


Gravitation, which is a mathematical construction, makes him happy because he finds this more elegant than the mathematical constructs of Einstein. He is reported as saying:

"As long as it is sufficient to refer to books for making calculations, it is relatively easy; but what is more exalting is to invent a new mathematics which ends by making conceivable that which seems to be inexplicable or impossible."


Thus we see that liberties are possible to the scientist even in mathematics, and if facts are impossible to explain they reserve the right to invent theories to fit the facts, rather than work them out a posteriori. Thus a priori sm enters science with full force by its own right, although it is now reported that Hoyle has disowned his own theories. Nevertheless, the interest his words still hold for us continues to be valid.



Let us now turn our eyes for a moment in another direction to see how some of the ancient peoples of India speculated. Much weeding out of the extraneous as well as a reinterpretation is necessary so as to fit into the total picture many structural factors, especially those of axiology. This is necessary for comparison or contrast of all of them within the normative or neutral cosmology and cosmogony of Narayana Guru. We read, for example, The Song of Creation found in the Rig Veda (X.129):

"There was neither non-Entity nor Entity,
There was not atmosphere, nor sky above.
What enveloped (all)? Where in the receptacle of
What (was it contained)? Was it water, the
Profound abyss? Death was not then, nor
Immortality; there was no distinction of day nor
Of night. That One breathed calmly, self-supported;
There was nothing different from nor above it.
In the beginning darkness existed enveloped
In darkness - All this was indistinguishable water.
From what this creation arose, and whether
(anyone) made it or not - He who in the highest
Heaven the ruler,
He verily knows or (even He does) know." (7)


It is remarkable to note how these ancient Vedic speculators resembled modern scientists in their note of agnosticism or scepticism, as shown in the Rig Veda above. They did not spare even God from the possibility of being ignorant of certain aspects at least, of His own creation, which, in its enigmatic immensity of possibilities, must have been too much even for Him. This bold touch of disbelief in the omniscience of God puts the Rig Veda in a class similar to that of modern science and philosophy, wherever speculation enters in.



We can similarly consider the more familiar cosmogony presented to us in the Bible, if we remember that the creation which takes place in seven days is related to seven grades of axiological worlds of value with seven horizontal gradations between them. We can easily recognize the family resemblance existing between these seven grades and the ten grades into which Narayana Guru divides his own cosmogony. We can also see that graded mechanistic evolutionism is not found in the Bible, as is also the case with Narayana Guru.


Absolutist cosmology cannot tolerate such a one-sided mechanistic picture. When God is reported to have said at each stage of his creation, that he "saw that it was good," we have to interpret this to mean that the value-factor was dominant in His mind at every stage of creation. The seventh day was meant to fuse all creative activities together into one, where activity itself became negated by an overall double negation in the Absolute. This same point of saturation of value reached here corresponds with what we find indicated in the 10th verse of the Darsana Mala. The graded scale of values implied in Genesis is not unlike that of Jacob's Ladder where the angels ascended and descended, as referred to elsewhere in the Bible. This picture was further embellished by Goethe in Faust. We leave the reader to find for himself other points of contrast.



Let us halt here to scrutinize closely the epistemological status and structural implications of the fifth verse of this first chapter. It has not only a key position within the scope of ten verses but, on closer examination we shall find that it brings into view the structural correlation running through the ten chapters. These ten chapters together form the one overall garland meant to reveal the Absolute, when equated to the self of the student.


It is natural to ask, at this stage, why Narayana Guru is in need of so many analogies to prove the same simple bipolar relation between dialectical counterparts which, in this chapter, always refer to either God or his own creation. In the verse now under scrutiny the nature of the counterparts and their very quality of homogeneousness of epistemological status are patent enough. The artist conceives his picture subconsciously before accomplishing it overtly. There need not be any actual time duration supposed to be existing between these two events taking place within the consciousness of the artist. These two ambivalent aspects can be easily fitted as dialectical counterparts in a slightly subjective structural pattern of the content of the absolute, so as to exist side by side without any conflict, referring to the conceptual or the perceptual aspects of the same eidetic and two-sided presentiment treated as one whole. God is compared to the artist's conception and creation to its own perceptualized counterparts. The relation is a pure one of a subjective order.


Subjectivism is admittedly now a factor recognized in the epistemology even of physics as understood by Eddington. The conceptual image in the artist's mind has a one-to-one correspondence with its own perceptualized version. Here the case is symmetrical and simple enough, and seems quite believable and convincing even in the daily experience of ordinary humanity. In respect of other analogies, however, such as that of the magician or the yogi, a modern man might legitimately ask why Narayana Guru is fond of such out-of-the-way examples.


Very few sceptics believe in the possibility of magic, and it takes a lot of believing to imagine that a yogi contains, in his own subconscious, all those psychic powers so easily attributed to him by Narayana Guru. How the yogi is capable of overtly manifesting such latent psychic powers in a way comparable to God's own creation of the world, which necessarily must contain stones or other very concrete materializations, also takes some imagination to understand. When we remember that the Guru intends these out-of-the-way examples to correspond to equally out-of-the-way grades of epistemological factors taking the place of causes or effects, his efforts to press into service unfamiliar analogies becomes excusable. He does it in the name of the principle of samana-adhikaranatva (homogeneity of content), where alone this kind of one-to-one correspondence resides without any mutual incompatibility. We cannot efficiently solder gold and silver together with lead. They have to be fused with solder of an almost equal fusibility to themselves. We have once referred to the favourite out-of-the-way example that Vedantins have been driven to adopt; the case of the spider and the web, both of which, as cause and effect, have the same degree of concreteness. Because of the difficulty of respecting the rule of samana-adhikaranatva, a good God cannot similarly be responsible for an Evil world or vice-versa. This is one of the overall laws to be respected in absolutist epistemology at the cost even of having to use out-of-the-way analogies. At least one of the counterparts involved in the analogies employed will be sufficiently familiar, as in the case of the visible yogi or magician. By the parallelism established between God and his creation as constant counterparts kept in mind in each of the verses, a degree of clarity is attained which otherwise is impossible to attain. Thus, by means of a four-fold quaternion structure implied in each verse, two limbs of the quaternion which happen to be unfamiliar could gain clarity by the two other limbs. The four limbs together give enough certitude about the content of the Absolute. Dialectical and apodictic certitude thus compensate to make for an absolute conviction.


In our review of some of the extant cosmological theories, some more modern than others and some belonging to scriptural contexts, we have gathered enough evidence to make it sufficiently justifiable for Narayana Guru to deal with cosmology as he has done in this very subjective, structural, selective and schematic way. This is proper to the Science of the Absolute when normalized. According to Fred Hoyle we have been how the universe has a logical status, and it is even permissible to change mathematics to suit observational enigmas. There is always a cyclic process involved even in the life-history of stars. There is also an overall principle of compensation recognized when Hoyle boldly asserts that the universe was not created at all. This last agrees strangely with the ajata-vada (principle of non-creation) of Sankara's Advaita Vedanta.


With Costa de Beauregard, whom we have also examined, we find recognition for some structural features such as the Omega point, where a maximum orderliness prevails in the universe together with the idea of implosion as against the explosion implied in the Big Bang theory of the cosmological process of positive or negative becoming. All our references to new or old cosmological literature tend to justify or support the extreme and almost cryptic schematism adopted by Narayana Guru. Vertically we find a series of equations of different grades of concepts such as memory factors, apperceptions, eidetic presentiments, etc. The subjective becomes interchangeable with the objective at the point of origin, where the artist-analogy is aptly used in the fifth verse. After this verse we see that negation gains ground. Nature, negatively viewed in the psycho-physical subconscious of the yogi, is given primacy over the visible world.


The turning of the tables in this epistemological sense, takes place very subtly with the fifth verse, which fact it is important for the keen reader to notice once and for all, so as to keep it in mind for use in his critical study of the rest of the work. Negation by its own duplication tends to a degree of possible materialization, as we can see implied in the last verse. Such materialization should not fall outside the scope of the possibility of a "concrete universal" fully within the purview of any notion of the Absolute, as admitted by Hegel in his philosophy. Thus when we attain to the last verse we find it marking the first or final Alpha limit, where the principle of the negative is most richly concentrated, as in the square root of minus one known to the context of complex numbers. Here the Absolute attains to its fullest status as recognized even by the Upanishadic analysis of bliss (value factor or ananda) found in the Taittiriya Upanishad (11.5), where, as we read below, it is the tail end of the situation that fully answers to the Absolute (i.e. Brahman):

"Verily, other than and within that one that consists of understanding is a self that consists of bliss (ananda-maya). By that this is filled. That one, verily, has the form of a person. According to that one's personal form is this one with the form of a person. Pleasure (priya) is its head; delight (moda), the right side; great delight (pra-moda), the left side; bliss (ananda), the body (atman); Brahma, the lower part, the foundations" (8)


Although normally and neutrally conceived, the Absolute has, in principle, a fully reversible relation implied in whatever process is attributed to its content. There are, however, positive and negative limits, such as those of the Alpha and Omega points, that we have here tried to explain. We shall have occasion to clarify these features in other contexts as we proceed.



Cosmology can be viewed both statically and dynamically. Without a living and breathing dynamism it is merely a logical or mathematical skeleton. The factual aspects of cosmology, as given to direct observation through the senses, have a more or less self-evident status. Here the theoretical proofs have the least scope for being employed whether by the physicist or the philosopher. Facts can be considered real, or in a more philosophical language, as having a rich ontological status.


When we think of truth, as distinguished from mere facts, we are placing ourselves on the ground of logic which depends on ratiocinative reasoning. We can easily recognize the factual status to which the seed and fig tree of the last verse of this chapter belong. Similarly, we recognize what is in the mind of the artist and what he might accomplish in his art, not as a fact but as something more of a truth, acting as a link between the conceptual and the perceptual. We see that Narayana Guru gives a central place to such a truth in his series. We have in cosmology not only room for facts or truths thus more or less evident to everyone, but also for subtler verities having the status of theories. These theories result from the instruments of reasoning often called intuition, but whose kinship with dialectics or with equations in pure mathematics is evident. In thinking of the dynamism proper to cosmological processes we have to take care not to mix brute fact with subtle truths of a theoretical status, or in any way violate the consistency of treatment between gradations and abstractions to which each fact, truth, or theoretical value-significance must belong. (9) This would be like trying to kill a mouse with a large iron club, or rather, like a fat man trying to sit on an abstract chair.


God can only create a world compatible with his own nature. The best recommendation for this series of cosmological verses by Narayana Guru is his respect for inner consistency and outer continuity at each stage of his cosmological speculation or observation.
The "Lord Supreme" (paramesvara) of the first verse is to be thought of as being alone, or as Plotinus put it, "a flight of the alone to the Alone" (10). The Brahma referred to in the last verse, as a conventionally concretized member of the Hindu pantheon of gods, enjoys as real a status as in the analogy used by Narayana Guru in the last verse, where the seed and the fully grown fig tree belong, together with its creator, to this same grade of reality. There can be as many cosmologies as there are grades of realities, and the most central of them must also be considered the most normative.


Even the idea of a process, as implied by the words "In the beginning," and "thereafter," which are employed or implied in every verse of this chapter, presents a principle of change and becoming. How pure or actual it might be depends on the merits of each of the contexts touched upon. A process may have merely a semantic status, as when we refer to a semiosis. Alternatively it may be thought of as a process of actual change as when a child grows to be an adult. The "flight of the alone to the Alone" can also be brought under the category of a process in its purest sense.

Facts, truths and theories belong together to one and the same context of the Science of the Absolute. The limits of the subject, vertically or horizontally understood, are incumbent on both the philosopher and scientist to determine. We see that almost all modern thinkers, especially in the West, could be divided into two camps: those who take their stand on some sort of evolutionism, and those who adhere to such a context as implied in the "let there be light, and there was light, etc." attitude of the Bible.


Although the famous Scopes' Trial of Tennessee is past history, the lengthening shadows of the same "original sin" which was at work dividing the believing sheep from the non-believing goats is still at work today. It is time that evolution was given its due place within the scope of the Absolute which should avoid having a merely axiomatic or empty mathematical status. For the Absolute to be meaningful or significant it must be viewed from both the limits of the real and the theoretical. It is therefore surprising to see that even some of the leading evolutionists are not sufficiently conscious of this basic epistemological distinction between what is factual and what has a theoretical status. Sir Julian Huxley, for example, often speaks of the theory of evolution as the fact of evolution. On this hard fact wants to build a rival religious movement known as Humanism. (11)


A scientist when he is asked to state his article of faith sometimes prefers to call it a fact, so that his own status as a sceptic can be guaranteed. A believer on the other hand will tend to put his faith in something attainable only to high speculation. A normalized Science of the Absolute has to include both these positions without conflict or incompatibility at its core. It is in the light of this wrong normalization from the factual and re-normalization from the theoretical, that we have to scrutinize the status of each verse of the Darsana Mala series.


If we turn to the most time-honoured of traditions in respect of the Science of the Absolute in the Vedantic context, we can refer to the second string of aphorisms on the Absolute of the Brahma Sutras composed by Badarayana. Here it is clearly laid down that the source of the universe is to be attributed to the Absolute. This has presented a major challenge to Vedantic speculators because of the difficulty of deriving a real phenomenal world from something believed to be of the order of the Logos, to which context, as in the Vedas, the notion of the Absolute properly belongs by origin. We find rival commentators of this particular sutra (aphorism), such as Sankara, Ramanuja or Madhva, all hard put to bridge the gulf between the real and the transcendental aspects of the Absolute. There is evidently a deep chasm separating these orders of verity. We have elsewhere tried to bring to light the nature of this gap between the horizontal and the vertical aspects of the Absolute that must structurally belong together in one unified whole having both a physical and meta- physical status at once. We have no wish here to lapse into endless repetitions of these arguments. Any theory involving process or evolution with any duration, whether measurable or only intuitively experienced, must belong to one or the other of these two axes of reference which we have tried to distinguish as clearly as possible. Somehow a factual and a logical or theoretical process have to find place together within the total content of the Absolute if our cosmological picture is to be complete.



When Sir Julian Huxley and other evolutionists refer to the process involved in evolution as a fact, they are placing this fact necessarily outside themselves. If we should visit the biological section of a museum and inspect the various exhibits arranged so as to show evidence for the process called evolution we should see that all the skeletons or specimens are in a graded series which is said to represent the various states through which evolution is supposed to have traced its course.


The process is imagined to go from a simple amoeba through many modifications leading to man as homo sapiens. There might even be "missing links" to be found later, to fill any existing gap in this kind of interpretation, based on visible and objective specimens. All that is observed are discrete stages represented by dead specimens. If one should inquire: "did Darwin actually see a monkey change into a man?", as Narayana Guru once asked quite pertinently in a most unsophisticated manner, the answer must be in the negative.


Evolution is therefore not fully a fact, as Huxley wants us to believe. Some kind of theoretical interpretation arranged in a graded series has to be admitted before the meaning of evolution, which must refer to some change or becoming, can even be thought of. Grains of sand can be arranged in a graded series, based on their complete or incomplete crystalline forms. If they are observed under the microscope this will never prove that the first in order has evolved to produce the last. The theory makes meaning only when some element of our own interpretative consciousness enters into the context of brute facts. If we now think of some sea animals, like the hydra fuchsea or the starfish, that can regularly regenerate into two wholes when any part of it is broken off, we have an example of a more living change and becoming proper to biology. But to understand fully even this change, the integrated consciousness of that living being has necessarily to be presupposed.


Consciousness cannot be understood fully even when present in an amoeba viewed under the microscope, but only in the subjective terms of our own consciousness. Theories of evolution have to depend on brute facts on one side, and the common consciousness of all life on the other. Between these two limits, a bilaterally conceived or balanced theorization can be constructed without the duality of mind and matter.


All extant theories of evolution, the most mechanistic of which is that of Darwin, can be arranged in a vertical series wherein these compensatory factors of matter and mind enter into primacy or subordination.


The three doctrines basic to Darwinian evolution are:
  1. the struggle for existence,
  2. the survival of the fittest, and
  3. natural selection.
These three doctrines can be seen to be mostly mechanistic except for the last one, wherein some qualitative factors, not altogether quantitative, are assumed. Natural selection is a slow process, taking thousands of geological time-units or years, which divide each stratum paleontogically. Orthogenesis has to accumulate momentum in a certain direction, through infinitesimal intermediate steps till it sometimes leads to a blind alley of possible evolution of phylogenesis, or else succeeds in continuing to survive along the same line. If we should ask a factual evolutionist what it is that evolves, we should not expect an answer because he is usually reluctant to speak of anything other than observed or observable facts. Thus there is something basically impossible in this case for us to understand even the broad outlines of what is meant.


It was Bergson, in one of his earliest and most famous works, "Creative Evolution", who brought clearly into evidence the mechanistic status of Darwinian evolution even when presented in a revised form by others. Bergson's own version, in contrast to that of Darwin, gives primacy to vitalism rather than to mechanism. He takes the striking instance of the resemblance between the vertebral eye found in man and the eye found in mollusca, although each has followed widely divergent lines of "evolution" through the same degree of complexity or specialization. The doctrines of "struggle for existence, or "survival of the fittest" are seen to be inadequate here. (12)


Bergson supports his position, partly at least, by some of the arguments used by Lamarck and De Vries. Lamarck relies on deeper individual instincts in each animal to direct its evolution, rather than on merely horizontal factors of competitive selection for survival. The mutation theory of De Vries came also as a setback to Darwin and remains even now incapable of being fitted correctly into the context of Darwinism. Neo-Lamarckians are said to have gone further in tracing the deeper levels of animal instincts and improved on the first impetus given to a more verticalized version of the theory reaching down to primary instincts in all living beings, thus tending to become vitalistic rather than mechanistic. Bergson adduces many examples taken from the latest discoveries of his time, especially in the context of the evolution of the organ of sight. He not only traces modifications taking place due to deep-seated vitalistic sources inside each species of animal, but sees in heliotropism, common to almost all living beings, an overall principle for the vital energy to flow outward. This energy is guided by overall external factors given to life in general to develop many and more perfected organs for each animal. To seek out the best advantage to fulfil its own purpose to the fullest extent possible is the basic vertical line traced here. Bergson's version of evolution refers thus to a kind of pure motion distinguished by the word "creative" belonging to the same status of pure action or the pure act (actus purus), or the "Unmoved Mover" postulated by Aristotle.


In his writings we find Bergson consistently referring to a verticalized version of action consistent with his schéma moteur. This pure motion transcends the paradoxes of Zeno before it attains to this fully verticalized status. We have discussed those matters in other contexts so that here we can briefly say that "creative evolution" is a verticalized process to be understood in pure terms of flux or becoming, in the context of the Absolute.


The factual mechanistic counterpart of this vertical process would refer to the horizontal version of the same, to which factually-minded evolutionists might consciously or unconsciously adhere.


Whether one wants to be factually-minded or to give free rein to fanciful theorization is one's own lookout. But whatever speculation a philosopher or a scientist might undertake he should always respect the rules of the game. Exceptions can prove the rule and many freak instances considered as representing a high degree of probability in the actual world could occur. These alternatives, taken unilaterally, are strictly untenable. A frog with five legs cannot be placed in any correctly conceived line or scale of evolution. It could not be fitted into any consistent total world of facts, and freaks and monstrosities are relegated to corners of biological museums, not to be treated seriously by theoreticians.


The discovery of mutation in Oenothera Lamarckiana, although it has supported the claims of a rival Theory of Mutations, has not succeeded in putting Darwinism out of commission. In the matter of classifying animals or plants and putting them in their proper place for taxonomic and classificatory purposes, the evolutionary pattern is still accepted all over the world. Darwinian methods of approach have been justified by the discovery of such animals as the okapi, which is intermediate between the zebra and the giraffe. This animal was predicted as possible by zoologists, even when its existence was only thought probable and before it was actually seen. Thus possibility can support probability and vice versa.


The credit for this must be given to Darwin, and if theories or facts are treated in a manner respecting all the rules of the game there would be no room for complaint. When methodology and epistemology are conceived without a normalizing frame of reference, and one degree of abstraction or generalization is applied to observed fact, violating the epistemological compatibility of groups of elements, things or realities, and logic-truths and fact-truths are arbitrarily mixed up, or transcendental values are mixed with non-transcendental or immanent ones, we have the strange phenomenon called the emergence of a pseudo-science or of a so-called heretical theology.


Innocent people like Bruno are burnt at the stake when such confusion is allowed to prevail. Charlatans thrive on a large scale, freely exploiting the gullibility of simple people. Believers are as much to blame as so-called sceptics when chaos prevails in the world of thought. Normalized thinking with correct frames of reference must be treated according to the tacit or overt rules of the game if such disasters are to be avoided. It is exactly in such a cause of putting orderliness into thought that a Science of the Absolute becomes highly desirable. Wolves can appear in sheep's clothing or vice-versa. We do not ourselves wish to take either the side of factual evolutionists or of wild speculators. What we plead for is a correct unified method. A theory of knowledge and a scale of values consistent with the overall requirements of the game of speculation have always be kept in mind.


If someone should claim that in a very high aeroplane flight he entered heaven somewhere in outer space, or that Holy Mary being the Mother of Christ was the Wife of God, the inconsistencies become evident. Yet there are inconsistencies which by their very obscurity of absurdity, misguide and confuse human judgments. It is in this sense, as the familiar adage puts it, that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."


In the Isa Upanishad this same danger is referred to more pointedly when it says:

"Into blind darkness enter they
That worship ignorance;
Into darkness greater than that, as it were,
They that delight in knowledge." (13)

What is robbed from Peter is unconsciously paid to Paul, leading to double absurdities where simple facts would have been better than vague theories. If for example, one says that all possibilities are equally probable, or conversely that probabilities may prove some kind of unique possibility; the same kind of violation of the rules of speculation is involved. This is due to the promiscuous mixing up of the requirement of adhering to one or the other of the two axes of reference which we have distinguished as the vertical and the horizontal in the total context of the Absolute, and of not respecting homogeneity of abstraction or generalization in unified thought.


Scientists must necessarily have a factual axis of reference to adhere to and leave to correct philosophers the task of theoretical speculation. David Hume has stated categorically that if in a library one found a book that contained neither experiments nor calculations it could safely be consigned to the flames. To put this in our own words, we could say that if any speculation based on physics or metaphysics does not respect the normative requirements of a vertical and a horizontal axis treated unitively, such speculation can safely be treated as belonging to the limbo of the absurd. The mixing of these two roles in one and the same thinker are highly questionable and even dangerous. Both sides can cry out, "beware of false prophets" just as even a thief can himself raise the cry, "Stop thief!" Without trying to judge here lest we ourselves should be judged, and by way of returning to our subject, which is the place of evolution in a normalized cosmogony, let us now discuss the merits of some lines of modern speculation.


Although the Einsteinian attitude to science tends to include the observer and the observed of the physical world as belonging more intimately together in a common scientific context, this new way of treating science did not take any further tangible forward steps after its originator left the scene. Notions such as the "universal observer" and the "world line", which like a fourth dimension, is an amalgam of time-like and space-like elements, had not yet fully fused together into one unitive concept, and left room for much pseudo-scientific literature, which is only just beginning to be discountenanced by stricter scientific philosophers.


In more recent times it is interesting to find a new adventure in cosmological thinking, in which man's welfare as a living being is directly and experimentally related to the immediate cosmological set up as well as to the less immediate world of distant galaxies in outer space. Cosmology is now directly significant to man and conversely, man's interest in cosmology becomes less theoretical in status. Such new vistas as have been opened up by the recent researches of G. Piccardi, a Florentine bio-climatologist, set new standards while still belonging to the larger red- or violet shift universe. In Piccardi's own words:

"Inorganic chemical tests have been instituted, capable of giving variable results in the course of time, with all experimental conditions (temperature, pressure, etc.) remaining constant. These chemical tests carried out each day at the same hour during ten years have shown, with a surprising precision, that there occurred effects of solar phenomena of electromagnetic fields of the lowest frequency, and of certain secondary phenomena engendered on the earth. The behaviour of these chemical tests have suggested to us a working hypothesis according to which the helicoidal movement of our planet in the galaxy would have to be considered as an important phenomenon, susceptible of producing notable effects. On the occasion of the International Geophysical Year, chemical test were instituted at different points in the northern and southern hemispheres. The results obtained confirmed the predictions of our hypothesis" (14)


Jacques Bergier continues:

"The Earth turns round the Sun at an average speed of 30 kilometres per second. At the same time, as we have said, the Sun moves on towards the constellation Hercules at a speed of 19 or 20 kilometers per second. The combination of these two movements determines a course of our planet which can be calculated.


This calculation shows that:
  1. During the month of March - and only during the month of March the movement of the Earth is in the same plane as the equator.
  2. During the month of September the earth moves almost parallel to its own north-south axis.
  3. The total speed of the movement of the Earth varies during the year, and passes its maximum in March (45 kilometers per second) to a minimum in September (24 kilometres per second).
  4. The Earth always moves with the northern hemisphere in front, except during a small part of the month of March.
If there exist in our Milky Way fields of force which the Earth cuts across while moving, there should thus be effects of these forces variable with time. This is what the experiment confirms. It remains for us to fix the nature of these galactic fields of force. It is here that the Portuguese physicist Antonio Gião intervenes. This physicist working on the experimental results of ]Piccardi, was able to demonstrate that there exists an unexpected solution for the equations of Einstein, and this solution leads us to recognize the existence of these fields of force" (15)


Regarding the effects of the galactic fields of force on what pertains to human life, the writer says:
"It means the following: a great number of chemical changes whose effects extent as much in the biological field as in that of human psychology and in sociology (from the hardening of cement to diseases, to psychosis and to war) are all influenced by these forces having an extra terrestrial origin." (16)

The features that interest us in the above researches are:
  1. There is a maximum and minimum alternation of time and space factors involved between March and September, depending on the verticalized or horizontalized relation of our so-called refractory planet as it progresses, in helicoidal fashion, heading onwards in the field of force belonging to the Milky Way, with an arrow pointing towards the constellation Hercules. The structural features implied here will be seen to bear out fully what we have ourselves developed more speculatively in these pages.
  2. Einstein's field equations become solvable or verifiable on the basis of the working hypothesis derived directly from 250,442 experiments carried out under the direction of Piccardi. Thus Einstein's equations or theories are not to be considered as outside the scope of normal human interests related to the very purpose of a happy human life.




We have taken some special interest in Piccardi's researches because of their feature of combining a cosmological hypothesis with experimental verification. When we think of other theories such as the Steady State or the Big Bang, the axiomatic and experimental implications of such a cosmological picture do not come together to support each other as closely as is the case with Piccardi. We already know the extreme instance of the theory of universal gravitation of Newton, who related by his mathematically supported speculation the simple observed falling of an apple limited at a given place and time, to a generalization which concerned any part of the infinite universe. Most other theories seem to be less bold. Speculation or calculation might outweigh available experimental data when a theory is bold in its speculative side. Experimental data could, on the other hand, be gathered by innumerable repetitions. With Piccardi we see that he conducted over 200,000 experiments to support his theory. Thus he attempted both a priori and a posteriori validity, We have already stated the law by which certitude in scientific knowledge must necessarily reside at one of two poles; whether at the pole where events are actually observed, or at the pole where valid axioms without other proof could lend support to certitude. Between these two limiting poles human understanding has to move up or down to find stable ground in some sort of "moving image of eternity" (17).
Probabilities and possibilities approach from either side of the situation to yield degrees of apodictic or dialectical certitude. Often such certitude is feeble and established by interested thinkers even by violating the strict rules of the game.


It becomes very difficult either to reject such positions outright or to accept them, and we are often obliged to damn them with faint praise or more complacently and patronizingly to say that they are good as far as they go.


Many theories have low certitude value. By way of citing a recent example of such theorization which has attracted the attention of even trained thinkers like Olivier Costa de Beauregard, a scientist and philosopher, let us refer here to the evolutionist theories of Teilhard de Chardin. His writings are neither based on experimentation nor on hard facts, as was the case with Darwin. Being a paleontologist attached to the University of Paris, he seems sometimes to be in favour of a form of creative evolution, rather than a mechanistic or factual one. In this domain of incertitude, between the rival claims of axiomatic and experimental thinking, the theories of Teilhard de Chardin are laboriously elaborated. There are many features of his theorization which are due to his own personal genius. We read at the beginning of his work:

"It is not necessary to be a man to perceive surrounding things and forces 'in the round'. All the animals have reached this point as well as us. But it is peculiar to man to occupy a position in nature at which the convergent lines are not only visual but structural. The following pages will do no more than verify and analyze this phenomenon. By virtue of the quality and the biological properties of thought, we find ourselves situated at a singular point, at a ganglion which commands the slow fraction of the cosmos that is at present within reach of our experience. Man, the centre of perspective is at the same time the centre of construction of the universe. And by expediency no less than by necessity, all science must be referred back to him" (18)


Further on, the original terms that he employs become still vaguer, and scientifically questionable:

"Man only progresses by slowly elaborating from age to age the essence and the totality of a universe deposited within him.
To this grand process of sublimation it is fitting to apply with all its force the word "hominisation". Hominisation can be accepted in the first place as the individual and instantaneous leap from instinct to thought, but it is also, in a wider sense, the progressive phyletic spiritualization in human civilization of all the forces contained in the animal world." (19)

Of course we cannot grudge any author the liberty to use any expression he likes, whether coined by himself or not, as long as he is careful enough to clarify it. We must also admit there is much suggestive thought-provoking material in "The Phenomenon of Man" especially when we remember the author's avowed purpose of building a bridge between orthodox church doctrines and the findings of science.


The new tradition which Teilhard de Chardin has opened up would be of much value to Unified Science if it had respected more strictly the rules of normalization required to make his statements have a greater content of certitude. All opinions with good intentions have to be received with generous approbation by liberal minded men but when there is a major discrepancy which can be clearly pointed out we should be failing in our duty not to do so.


We refer to the part where de Chardin says "man progresses by slowly elaborating from age to age," etc. Here it is not clear if the writer speaks of "pure" or "practical" time. Any philosophy that claims to spiritual status must necessarily treat of Time sub specie aeternitatis. This means that the idea of an Eternal Present or Moment should not be ruled out to give time its non-pluralistic status. Duration and simultaneity have to be first reconciled. Particular events at fixed localities or times when not given a generalized or schematic status can only refer to brute facts or events outside the scope of anything spiritual. Slow progression always implies as its corollary the heavy weight of inertia tending to disorder or entropy. Negentropy is the life element of order. Between these opposing tendencies the slow elaboration from age to age is hard to fit.

Another version of Evolution as understood in the Bergsonian sense is found in the writings of Nicolas Berdyaev. Supporting his own ideas with a vertical-horizontal scheme of his own and standing for a ''creative movement" which is vertical and dynamic, we read the following:

"The spiritual world is like a torrent of fire in its free creative dynamism. But in the natural world the movement of the spirit is retarded and takes the form of evolution. A true creative movement is always vertical in direction, a movement from the depths to the heights. It is only projected and objectified as a horizontal line upon the surface of things. Moreover, the source of creative development is always to be found in the depths of the spirit. The movement becomes horizontal because the point towards which the vertical movement is directed is change. One of the saddest mistakes of evolutionism has been to seek for the origin of movement and development in external factors.


Nineteenth century evolutionism was always unable to penetrate to the heart of being, and failed to see in it the energy which produces all development. Evolutionist methods consist in more and more attention being paid to the surface of things, and in placing the origin of life in something outside itself, in a principle which bears no resemblance to it whatever. But even when the origin of life and movement has been traced to something external, the inner cause of it all has still to be discovered. And then one must go further and further afield in order to find something external by which to explain the development. The theory of evolution only touches upon a secondary, not upon an original sphere, and can therefore account only for the projection and not the initiation of the creative process" (20)


The stress on the slowness of evolution cannot be considered as compatible with any unitively conceived process of eternity or moment in Time. Duration in nature can. be actual as when a snail crosses a measurable length of a foot of Euclidean space. In tensorial space proper to the structure of cosmological space, measurables and countable actualities become abolished in favour of a qualitative version where immanent and transcendent time or space factors enter into intimate fusion or participation. We are reserving the next chapter to examine the further implications of such a seemingly sweeping statement. Meanwhile we want to say in advance that if any process of evolution in a unitive context of the Absolute is to be understood, it has necessarily to belong to the Eternal Present or Moment as found in Plato's Parmenides.

It is thus that the Big Bang theory is compatible with a relativist cosmology proper to Einstein, and de Sitter's Steady State theory properly belongs to the other cosmology which is more absolutist in a sense opposite to that of Einstein's own starting or limiting point.


In respect of these two limiting cases we read from an eminent mathematician, O.G. Sutton, the following: "We can regard both these models as limiting cases, Einstein's representing a possible initial state of the real universe in the very remote past, and de Sitter's the state in the equally remote future, when expansion has proceeded so far that every nebula or group of nebulae have been deserted by all except by members of its own system." (21)

As we have said at the start, facts have to be distinguished from theories except when facts are generalized and abstracted, treated as universal and given a structural status. Factual evolution can exist clearly and unquestionably even in a man who stubbornly refuses to believe in any form of evolution at all, say because of his faith in Biblical cosmogony. Yet he will be obliged to admit in spite of his belief that the milk in his own kitchen can undergo change overnight and become sour. Belief and fact can exist in common experience side by side, but not in a correct 'theory' or notion of evolution.


We have gone into this discussion of evolution for the specific reason that we find in the text of Narayana Guru, in Chapter I, Verse 9, that he takes special care to deny categorically the possibility of accepting any cosmological or cosmogonic theories involving actual or merely mechanistic time. This is because time has necessarily to belong to the dialectical context of the eternal moment within a unified frame of reference consistent with a Science of the Absolute.



Before leaving this present chapter, called Cosmology in a most general way, we have still to gather some loose ends so as to round off our discussion, in order to view them not only in the proper perspective of our own lines of thought, but also to relate them correctly to the text adopted by us as our basis for all discussion. The title of this chapter as given by Narayana Guru, which differs from the overall title of this chapter given by us: is Adhyaropa Darsana, or Vision of Supposition. Such a chapter is proper to and traditionally belongs to Vedantic convention and needs some explanation from the standpoint of modern Western thought. Both these words, adhi (referring to) and aropa (supposition), refer to the same subject-matter in the overall sense of a supposition proper to the epistemological status of the chapter which is characterized by a degree of subjectivity proper to it. Ontological or epistemological stress on the objective side of knowledge is not however, discarded yet. Jneya (what is to be known) is the technical term in Vedanta referring to the positive non-Self aspect of the total knowledge-situation, while parijnata is the term applicable to the subjective side of the Self which is more easily evident and understood by the non-philosophical contemplative. Jnana refers to the neutral knowledge resulting from the equation of the other two counterparts of the Self and the non-Self.


One has to travel from the known to the unknown in any writing in order to clarify a philosophical or even a merely informative subject. Trained teachers have to follow this rule in lessons. It is therefore that, in the Science of the Absolute, Narayana Guru begins by first recognizing the importance of the cosmos into which all men are born. The most basic or fundamental enigmas, wonder, or problems are meant to be explained or solved here in bold wholesale fashion.



No hesitant or faltering speculation is compatible with such a total or global starting point. If the visible world is an effect, no true scientist will ever admit even the distant possibility of its not having a cause. A total effect must necessarily presuppose a total cause of the same epistemological order by way of respecting inner compatibility in any scientific discussion. It is not therefore unjustified that, in almost every verse of this chapter, Narayana Guru has the notion of the Lord employed by him as a vague common denominator, standing for the mysterious cause of an equally mysterious universe. Such a seemingly theological reference might seem outmoded or unscientific to moderns in the West, but the true scientific spirit will have no prejudices, either for or against any prevailing linguistic usage. To depart from prevailing linguistic usage is itself a violation of the true scientific spirit, whose intention is to be publicly as convincing as possible in the context of any particular time or place to which such usage might pertain.


We can think of a cause which can be used interchangeably with the term the Supreme Lord (paramesvara) of the first verse, or with Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, the Ultimate, or the Totality, all of which are indifferently employed as equally good by Narayana Guru in the last verse. It is not the name that matters but what is meant by the name. Starting from a Cause belonging to a de Sitter Steady State universe, where there is no matter but only pure motion in terms of an Unmoved Mover, we have in the context of the first verse to think of a God who comes nearest to a mathematical entity, referable to a kind of Omega point in the vertical axis, if one should prefer such a term.



Likewise, the same God belongs to a psychological context in the second verse, a biological context in the third verse, an operational context in the fourth verse, a phenomenological context in the fifth verse, a naturalistic context in the sixth verse, an epistemological context in the seventh verse, an ethical context in the eighth verse, a creative context in the ninth verse, and a causal context in the tenth verse. All these contexts are to be fitted into the general context of cosmology. The terms beginning (agre) and thereafter (punah) must be understood only as structural limiting points and not as implying a real duration. There is no real duration involved between agre and punah, except in the last verse. On the other hand the Big Bang cosmological theory of Lemaître can only be inserted horizontally into the structural context before percepts meet concepts as would be compatible with the sixth verse. In good vernacular in any part of the world, God can best be referred to as "God Himself," in the same spirit as calling a spade a spade. In India where Vedanta originated and where a large body of literature is found ranging from antiquity to modern times, Narayana Guru's work must naturally and necessarily use the proper terms. A reference to a Triple Godhead (trimurti) can also thus be easily understood in a different context, just as permissible, wherein the individual Gods are treated separately or fused into one. It is only, as in Verse 10, meant to symbolize the triple aspect of creation, preservation and dissolution respectively. It is here that any cosmic process becomes necessarily implied, though only in a pure context of becoming, for purposes of linguistic communication. When considered as fused together the polytheism implied becomes excusable. If such a popularized level should be repugnant to more sophisticated spirits, even in India, Narayana Guru provides us in the same last verse with an alternative by which we could think in more philosophical terms of an Ultimate of a more absolutist context. He even shows us that he is willing to go further in the same direction for the sake of anybody capable of completely shedding all anthropomorphic predilections.



When he says sarva-eva-sah, or "everything is He indeed", he puts the world-ground thus as a cause within a circle, to be treated as a First or Final Cause of the universe, resembling the Hegelian concept of a weltgrund. The notion of Brahman touched upon here is in the neuter gender and not in the masculine, as in the case of Brahma, who is only the creative demiurge. Thus the chapter is finally capable of referring to the subject matter of this work more conclusively than by a common denominator vaguely called "the Lord", resorted to in the first nine verses. What the denominator precisely implies hereafter will be elaborated later in the work and should be sought in the chapters that follow. For the present Narayana Guru has only accomplished the task of initially fixing the notion of the Absolute, so as to get started properly with no prejudice in favour even of the objective.


The next chapter is also meant to further delimit and clarify more precisely, not only the subject-matter but its full scope, methodological implications and content. These two chapters, Adhyaropa and Apovada, together constitute the conventionally required preliminary steps called in Vedanta vastu-nirnaya (fixing the scope of the subject-matter) as laid down by Sanskrit convention.


Cosmology, chosen by us as an overall title of this chapter, covers from the western standpoint, though initially only in this chapter, the various philosophical points of view such as Empiricism, Positivism, Realism, Functionalism, Operationalism, or Instrumentalism. All of these viewpoints imply either an operator or a function, or both, behind the physical world which calls for some sort of objectively or analytically conceived explanations. For the purpose of adhering to a unitive science, we have to brush aside all piecemeal, factual, and trial-and-error approaches to science, which refuse to delve deeply into fundamental problems but remain satisfied with superficial scientific findings such as that of explaining colour phenomena merely by their corresponding vibrations.



When approached in a wholesale fashion, sub specie aeternitatis, we arrive at the perspective proper to this chapter, where the universe is treated together with its cause in each of the verses in the same graded order, respecting a method and a theory of knowledge equally respected in the rest of the work.


In principle, therefore, we have covered in this chapter all those positive and analytic branches of modern philosophy, whether qualified as empiricist, positivist or sceptic, which love analysis for its own sake, and to whom all a priori reasoning or synthesis is anathema.


Before going on to Chapter Two, the reader should now note more closely some of the structural features kept in mind by Narayana Guru when composing each of the verses, in order to normalize the purpose of the whole chapter. This will bring out a unitive and integrated cosmological vision with a fully scientific status given to the notion of the Supreme Lord (paramesvara) passing throughout the ten verses at least as a parameter of logical reference. That such a Supreme Lord is both a common denominator as well as numerator equated with His own creation, will become fully evident on careful examination. By way of bringing out such detailed indications the following features are enumerated in verse order:


Verse 1. The Supreme Lord depends on nothing outside Himself for his pure act of creation (the word asad, nothingness or non-existence, indicates this). Compare the other verses where a beginning and a continuation are implied.


Verse 2. The act of creation takes place in and through Himself in a self-sufficient manner, without any duality between the agent and the action. This is indicated by the term saktir.


Verse 3. Here note that God's initiative is directed to both externalizing and internalizing Himself within the total situation within which he remains with his own neutral epistemological status. In Verses Six to Ten internalization gains primacy. All ten verses taken together could be seen as giving a constant, uniform, and neutral epistemological status to the Supreme Lord, preparatory to a full vision of the Absolute in later chapters.


Verse 4. The arrow of pure becoming implicit in each verse gains primacy both in a forward and backward direction at once. For example, time is neutrally viewed in Verse Nine where the process is referred to as pradurasidyugapad (all came to be manifested at one stroke). Measured or measurable time is thus ruled out as not consistent with the Unique Absolute Time of this chapter.


Verse 5. He transcends paradox by being an Unmoved Mover in the Context of the pure act. See Verse Seven where vidya (knowledge) and avidya (nescience) are referred to. He also transcends both Good and Evil by being a mysterium tremendum. See Verse Eight where adbhutam, (marvel) is referred to.


Verse 6. He remains in the total cosmological situation, whether as a common denominator or numerator, a constant placed neutrally between cause and effect. See Verse Ten where He (i.e. the Supreme Lord) is the Ultimate (parah) and the Totality (sarvah)


Verse 7. He can be fitted into the different contexts we have enumerated by the choice of analogies belonging to representative branches of knowledge, ranging from a pure to practical one in the series. Verses One to Five could be called "pure" and verses six to ten "practical".


Verse 8. Whatever might be the familiar pairs of analogies used to explain His mystery, one limb or other of the quaternion where He structurally belongs, helps to give the total certitude a sufficiently apodictic, dialectic, or scientific character. This applies especially to the analogy of the yogi, who is the visible, and his powers as manifested, which are mysterious and invisible.


Verse 9. When all four aspects are brought together in each verse, it is the same Absolute that stands revealed. In Verses Six and Seven they are psychologically and cosmologically brought together. This applies to all other verses in whichever aspect they might be viewed.


Verse 10. All possibilities proper to the chapter are here put together so as to include even the concrete universal. Saha-eva-sarva (everything is He), with which the chapter ends, touches the real or concrete universal because the cause compared to a seed, and the creation compared to a big tree grown out of the seed, both belonging to a concrete, yet universal biological order.



[1] Ved. Sut. Comm. Sank., Vol.1, pp.333-334.


[2] Hume, p.214.


[3] Asimov, p.45.


[4] Hume, pp.286-287


[5] H.O. Taylor, "Philosophy and Science in the Sixteenth Century", New York: Collier Books, 1962, p.117.


[6] Taylor, p.114


[7] J. Muir 1870, p.356.trans., "Classical Original Texts: Rig Veda", Oxford:


[8] Hume, p.286.


[9] For clarification of this point see our third article, "The Problem of Transition from Existence to Subsistence," in the series entitled "Vedanta Revalued and Restated", in Values.


[10] S. McKenna (trans), "The Essence of Plotinus: the Six Enneads", Oxford: 1948, p.222.


[11] See, for instance, the following statement from J. Huxley, "New Bottles for New Wine", London: Chatto & Windus, 1957, p.149 italics ours: "Whether he wants to or not, he is in the point of fact determining the future direction of evolution on this earth. This is his inescapable destiny, and the sooner he realizes it, and starts believing it, the better for all concerned".


[12] Bergson,Cr. Ev. ,pp. 71-94.


[13] Hume,p. 363


[14] from: J. Bergier, "L'Extraordinaire Decouverte de Piccardi", Planete, Paris: 1962, No.5, p.84, our translation.


[15] Bergier, p. 86


[16] Bergier, p. 84


[17] Plato, "Timaeus", 1949, p.19 Trans. B. Jowett, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,


[18] P.T. de Chardin, "The Phenomenon of Man", London: Collins, 1960, pp.32-33.


[19] Chardin P. 180.


[20] N.Berdyaev, "Freedom and the Spirit", E.G. Geoffrey, London:1960. trans. O.F. Clarke,


[21] Sutton, p. 23.







Epistemology, methodology and axiology presuppose one another in the total sense of the term "Methodology". As applicable to this chapter, this term requires some explanation. Each discipline or branch of scientific thinking aiming at certainty presupposes a methodology. There should be an agreement between the object of research and the subject who conducts the enquiry along the most fruitful and significant channels of research. There is a subject-matter and an object-matter which have to be put into a direct bipolar relation if the methodology is to be correct.


In the present work we are concerned with a Science of the Absolute and the wholesale methods of attaining the truth of the Absolute. The modern tendency is not to stress this wholesale aspect but to be less ambitious and to seek truth by piecemeal methods of trial and error. Logical positivists prefer to look upon scientific method in this fashion. As each discipline must have a proper method for attaining the knowledge which is its object, it is fully scientific even in a modern sense, to think of a wholesale approach to the study of the Absolute. Therefore we shall dispense here with the usual inductive and deductive approaches proper only to specific branches of knowledge. The detailed subdivisions of method, such as the inductivo-hypothetical, the historical or genetic, the descriptive or the analytic approaches, when unilaterally understood need not concern us here. The bilateral dialectical and axiological approach agrees with the methodology of this chapter, where a negative or descending reduction or cancellation of counterparts, tending to abolish plurality and relativity in favour of a unity and an absolute resultant certitude or validity are to be kept in mind.


In the first chapter it was supposed that the outer world, as given to the senses, was real. Here the relation between subject and object tends to become more subjectively verticalized. The two counterparts belong more closely to each other, as the Absolute can neither be conceived pluralistically nor dualistically because of the tautology or contradiction that would then result.




The first task that we have to undertake in the present chapter is to reduce relativity and multiplicity so as to abolish them in the name of the One Absolute. The relativistic features seemingly tolerated in the first chapter have now to be revised into unitive and absolutist terms. This task is mainly one of reduction by the well-known method of the Upanishads called neti-neti (not this, not this) or Nivritti Marga. This is known in the West as the negative way and is very often used by the mystics. When the process of reduction has been fully accomplished, there is an element of reconstruction of the finalized position in respect of the central subject-matter of the work. Such is, in broad outline, the scope and content of the present chapter. The methodology belonging to such a context has not only to be wholesale and subjective in approach, but also one that belongs to the context of directing human understanding along lines that yield the greatest clarity and certitude in respect of the totality of truth and reality.



The definition of methodology found in Rune's Dictionary of Philosophy is as follows:

"The systematic analysis and organization of the rational and experimental principles and processes which must guide a scientific inquiry, or which constitute the structure of the special sciences more particularly." (1)

Further on we read:

"Thus, methodology is a generic term exemplified in the specific method of each science .... In the last resort, methodology results from the adjustment of our mental powers to the love and pursuit of truth." (2)


From a perusal of this apparently sinuous definition it is evident that the clarification itself needs further explanation. Besides being related to epistemology, there is the question of structure, a term which is becoming popular in the West at present.


This reference to structure is made in more than one context in the definition of methodology. The final summing up of the position unmistakably points to the necessity of relating the subject and object as counterparts that belong together to one and the same total knowledge-situation. We shall not be too far removed from the correct meaning of methodology when we state here that there is both an objective structuralism implied in positive truth as well as a corresponding negative structuralism in the mind of the person who seeks to find the truth. Methodology is concerned with the correct way of research in making the Self relate itself to its own counterpart, the non-Self. It is in the overall context of the central, neutral and normative Self always acting as a reference that a correct methodology, as understood in the above manner, attains its purpose, which is that of a certitude given at one and the same time to intuition as well as to reason or common sense.


Before passing on to other philosophers we shall devote some more space to a closer examination of the implications of Cartesian methodology. We shall not enter into an enumeration of all the aspects of method indicated in Descartes' "Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy". Descartes was an expert in optics, mathematics and logic. As the father of modern philosophy, all his elaborations follow an overall vision of reality, revealing the same structural implications, whatever might be the particular discipline by which he proposes to examine the absolute substance he is always concerned with. The two broad divisions of Cartesianism are known as res cogitans (thinking substance) and res extensa (extended substance). They belong to one and the same substance having its own structure represented by the same correlates.

Whether Descartes had the intention of applying a more general and extrapolated version of this structural plan of correlates to the larger domains of philosophical speculation has not been sufficiently clarified in his writings. Yet the so-called rationalist philosophers like Spinoza, Leibniz and others can easily be recognized as continuators of the Cartesian tradition, at least in the matter of postulating something like a thinking substance or monad. The schematismus of Kant can be traced back to the correlates when it is more mathematically and statically understood, and forwards to Bergson's notion of the élan vital which submits to a schéma moteur serving as the basis of his creative evolution. The schematismus attains finality in. the hands of Eddington where the new epistemological structuralism of the philosophy of science is introduced. We have examined elsewhere this movement underlying modern thought. (3)


It was Cartesianism that set the ball rolling in this direction. Descarte´s method is misunderstood as accepting rather arbitrarily and artificially a form of dualism between the mechanistic and the living aspects. This was because he did not properly explain how they could belong together. A more careful study of his writings reveals that the main implications of his philosophy have always remained the same fundamental features of the structuralism originally implied in his correlates. Spinoza also defined absolute substance treated with its accidents or attributes on similar lines. This in turn gave place to the Monad of monads of Leibniz. Kant's ding-an-sich is not different from Descartes' absolute susbstance and could be taken to refer to the same.


The broad features of this structuralism are however, sufficiently evident in Descartes' writings. Besides these notions of substance there is also the tabula rasa of Locke and Hume's phenomenological reality. All these are meant to be normative notions of the Absolute viewed from possible cosmological, psychological or philosophical angles. The particular point of view of Descartes in respect of this normative notion is such that his epistemology and axiology provide a clear-cut methodology with its structural outlines fully in evidence. It is time that this particular structural methodology was more fully used.



It will be convenient for us to start with the notion of animal spirits, which Descartes recognized as a kind of mental substance or emanation wherein psychological and cosmological factors co-exist. This makes for the interaction of the body and the mind. In his cosmology the same absolute substance is the basis for what he called vortices which express their divisibility, figurability or mobility so as to bring into existence various objective entities. A kind of thinking substance similar to Spinoza's is implied here, although Descartes works out the cosmological implications in greater detail so as to make his position a continental rival to the more rigidly or radically conceived cosmology of Newton.




Instead of straight lines and laws of motions, we have in Descartes' view curvatures of space, without which his vortices could not be thought of. These vortices have at least the curvature in common with what other philosophers, like Bergson, have referred to in terms of a vermicular spiral which shares the features of a logarithmic spiral. Bergson also refers to a helicoidal movement involving space and time. Whatever the shape involved, the cosmology of Descartes lays the foundation of the notion of an absolute substance which could be referred to in terms of his two correlates These correlates have unmistakable structural implications whose epoch making significance is proved by their growing use in every department of modern science.


Whether Descartes himself established a direct relation between these correlates belonging to the context of his analytical geometry and his two famous divisions of reality (i.e. res cogitans and res extensa) or not, it is nonetheless quite legitimate for us to recommend their extrapolated use in the manner we have outlined.

The thinking of the Absolute substance is referable to the vertical axis which answers to all possible cogitations of the mind, while the other correlate refers to pure a priori space schematically understood, as with the philosophy of Kant where extension constitutes a self-evident or a priori essence of reality where extension has a horizontal reference. Thus res extensa refers to the horizontal spatialized essence while res cogitans refers to its verticalized counterpart, combining mind and matter into one absolute reality. This would not have been possible if Cartesianism implied a merely dualistic philosophy which did not postulate such an absolute thinking substance.


Descartes is content to call this substance a form of animal spirit and in doing this his position is not radically different from that of Bergson who insists on the fluid character of the substance in his notion of the ' élan vital '. The process of creative becoming is more important for Bergson, but the status of the animal spirit of Descartes remains, in principle at least, the same as his own ' élan vital '. Descartes was more of a mathematician whereas Bergson was more of a biologist. Such differences of bias however, are not important for us in our present task of extracting the broad features of structuralism common to the methodology of both these philosophers. For both of them there is a neutral and monistic substance which can be submitted to the two basic references of the cartesian correlates. The process involved in the participation of space and time, or extension and thought, reveals the same kind of vermicular spiral or figure-of-eight, not unlike the vortices mentioned by Descartes.


Overlooking the details that such a structure represents, we can, even at this stage, see the broad outlines of the structuralism anticipated and presupposed by Descartes.


If we keep these features in mind, it will be easy for us to fit into the same picture the three basic types of ideas implied in Cartesianism which are: the innate, the adventitious and the factitious. The first mentioned class of all self-evident ideas belongs naturally to the bottom of the vertical axis, and the last one to the top of the same axis, because facts must also have a horizontal reference because they constitute what is called sensa or sensible realities "out there" with a spatial rather than a pure inner reference.


The status of the second type of idea (i.e. the adventitious) has been questioned or doubted by the critics of Descartes who thought there was something ambiguous or uncertain implied in it. An uncertainty principle is in fact inevitable even in modern scientific thinking. Therefore the questionability of the adventitious ideas of Descartes can no longer be considered a weak point in Cartesian epistemology. Uncertainty is an. admissible form of scientific certitude at present. When we admit into our logic the principle of non-contradiction, without the principle of the excluded middle, we make room for entities that are not definable from one point of view or its opposite. Vedanta recognizes this as the principle of non-predictability (anirvacaniya). Non-predicability is therefore a strong point rather than a weak one in Cartesian methodology.


When Descartes says that his three categories of ideas are self-evident he merely underlines their a priori status, just as Kant does in his notion of schematized space. It is a conceptualized version which. counts here, and Eddington readily recognized this when he said it was concepts rather than percepts that matter.


The animal spirit as an absolute substance is where innate a priori ideas belong. It has a schematic status which alone is capable of abolishing the paradoxical element of duality. Descartes' critics think that by comparing the body to a machine and the mind to some kind of superior soul-substance he committed the philosophical error of admitting a duality between mind and matter. This charge altogether fails when we see that the absolute animal-spirit-substance is the common basis both of thought and extension which are the two main expressions of life referable to the two intersecting coordinates which have to be treated together as belonging to the same structurally conceived substance.


Coming now to questions more directly related to method, there is the notion of methodic doubt. Descartes recommends this for the correct guidance of human understanding in its search for truth and certitude in clear apodictic terms. This clarity is not necessarily experimental, yet it shares with science the spirit of scepticism which refuses to believe before sufficient clarity for belief has first been guaranteed by proper methods of investigation. Certitude according to Descartes lies within oneself. It is neither to be one-sidedly attributed to a posteriori thinking nor to the conceptual a priori side.


The understanding has to be guided properly along lines of maximum certitude, starting from the core of the total knowledge-situation which necessarily lies in human consciousness and not anywhere outside. The famous Cartesian dictum, cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am) puts its finger on this central and neutral meeting point of all certitudes. Superficial critics have fallen into the error of treating this dictum as a compressed form of syllogism and some of them have tried to extract the converse of it so as to prove its absurdity. In whatever familiar logical form this dictum might be stated, it is meant merely to refer to the structural zero point of the knowledge-situation which any systematic philosophy must postulate if it is to follow some definitely conscious method. On the plus side of the vertical axis, cogitations lead us to factual ideas, and innate ideas constitute a kind of rearguard in consciousness. Adventitious ideas necessarily bring up the flanks and imply an element of strangeness and accident, lacking full reality.


Descartes believed in God as a guiding factor for his moral conscience but this belief did not exclude his correct scientific attitude which depended on the right to doubt one's thoughts when they were not sufficiently clear. He accepted, side by side with a God, the Aristotelian notion of an 'unmoved mover,' and his scepticism started with methodically graded doubts in order to guide his instinctive dispositions and save himself from the pitfalls of error.

He was thus a true believer and a sceptic at one and the same time. This made him a puzzle to the Roman Catholic Church authorities who suspected him of heresy even though he openly avowed his belief in Catholic doctrine. Although not condemned as a heretic there is still a touch of martyrdom involved in his fears of Papal persecution which lent itself to be thought of as being both for and against the Church authorities.



Cartesian methodology consists of directing human understanding by intuition along what Descartes calls "right lines". How is it possible by instinct or intuition to attain a knowledge of discriminating between what is right and what is wrong? Here we have not only matters of logical judgment but also the entering into the picture of value appreciation. Morality involves an axiological certitude where the notion of God, the Good, the Ultimate Goal etc., are the final causes for guiding conduct. It is here that the conscience comes in, and a moderated conscience characterized by wholehearted affiliation to the Good through a passionate love of truth has to correctly help in guiding human understanding.


The general idea of Goodness, Truth, Reality or God must descend to confirm the ascending reasonings built up by methodic doubt, starting with the legitimate scepticism that we have already referred to. Thus there is an ascending and a descending dialectic moving on a vertical parameter among higher spiritual or lower moral values. Existence, subsistence and value blend and neutralize one another yielding that whole-hearted and passionate search for truth which is the motive for the right conduct or human understanding. Words like whole-heartedness and "passion for truth" are meant to underline the absolutist nature of the complete morality of Cartesian philosophy. While remaining a priori and conceptual and even schematic in his approach, Descartes has a fully scientific methodology in its demand for certitude at every stage of its progress. Adventitious self-evident ideas pertaining to the matrix of the absolute substance called animal spirit, are first to be reduced and referred to in pure unitive terms, bringing them under the purview of res cogitans by an ascending or a descending process of methodic doubt or possible degrees of value certitudes.


In the domain of res cogitans with its origin implied in the dictum cogito ergo sum Cartesian methodology reduces and constructs its speculative findings freely and methodically, complying always with the requirements of mathematics, logic and experience. The rightness or wrongness of a certain line of thought or action is determined always by the self-evident truth-quality given to the intuitive mind at every stage of the double dialectical process. There is an orthogonal principle involved and necessarily implied here in the correlates which intersect at right angles. A right angle is so because it is more "right" than any other angle. Human intelligence relies on this primary orthogonal justification even in measuring simple lengths and breadths of objects.


Descartes is aware of such a rightness given to intuition for the guidance of human understanding, not only within the limits of the visible sciences, but also for guidance in choosing between alternative courses of conduct and value appreciation. There is a subtle interdependence between perceptual and conceptual rightness.


We read the following in his "A Discourse on Method" (Part III Maxim II):

"My second maxim was to be as firm and resolute in my actions as I was able, and not to adhere less steadfastly to the most doubtful opinions, when once adopted, than if they had been highly certain; imitating in this the example of travelers who, when they have lost their way in a forest, ought not to wander from side to side, far less remain in one place, but proceed constantly towards the same side in as straight a line as possible, without changing their direction for slight reasons, although perhaps it might be chance alone which at first determined the selection; for in this way, if they do not exactly reach the point they desire, they will come at least in the end to some place that will probably be preferable to the middle of a forest. In the same way, since in action it frequently happens that no delay is permissible, it is very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine what is true, we ought to act according to what is most probable; and even although we should not remark a greater probability in one opinion than in another, we ought notwithstanding to choose one or the other, and afterwards consider it, in so far as it relates to practice, as no longer dubious, but manifestly true and certain, since the reason by which our choice has been determined is itself possessed of these qualities. This principle was sufficient thenceforward to rid me of all those repentings and pangs of remorse that usually disturb the consciences of such feeble and uncertain minds as, destitute of any clear and determinate principle of choice, allow themselves one day to adopt a course of action as the best, which they abandon the next, as the opposite." (4) 


Put in common-sense language, the above maxim can be looked upon as tantamount to asking a person to follow the dictates of his conscience through his intuitive understanding. It is also capable of being understood in the light of Cartesian analytical geometry where a vertical parameter implies an orthogonal reference to possible horizontal errors of judgment. Doubt and indecision are great enemies to a whole-hearted pursuit of truth as understood in Cartesianism.


Absence of doubt does not necessarily mean belief in a hypostatic God, but rather combines with the scepticism that is its natural and necessary counterpart. Certitude thus is a point that moves up or down along the vertical parameter given to intuition. Even in cybernetics an orthogonal matrix is involved for the thinking machine to arrive at a stability of output having a maximum truth value. Thus the Cartesian method fully respects the logical structure that science is coming to recognize more and more in all precisely understood disciplines, hitherto divided and relegated into the distinct compartments of physics or metaphysics. It is now possible to treat them both as belonging to one and same integral structural context.



After roughly understanding the implications of the vertical reference of res cogitans it is not impossible to recognize its own horizontal correlate. Here it is the attitude of the subject, when interested in outward objects, persons or personified ideas understood in the axiological context, which become correctly referable to this horizontal axis. The emotional states of man arise from his love or hatred of things. This results in happiness, suffering or morrow.


Descartes enumerates such states as passions and lists them as wonder, love hatred, desire, joy, and sorrow. There is a circulation of interest here beginning with wonder and ending with Sorrow.


This alternating process tends to repeat itself in a cyclic figure-of-eight, referable to the plus and minus sides of the horizontal correlate in pure self-evident conceptual and a priori terms and always having a schematic status. The methodology comes in when we understand the process as operating alternately in a necessary order of succession natural to normal man. Passions can be discarded when, by long repetitions of this alternating process, a point of surfeit or saturation has been attained by the person wholeheartedly seeking truth. In principle, however, the horizontal axis is never totally abolished as long as its use for guiding understanding is present.


The contemplative methodology in the context of a passionate search for absolute truth is seen to follow the broad lines of our structuralism. The essence of this methodology consists of a schematic reduction and verticalization of the self-evident factors involved under the overall categories of existence, subsistence and value. This essential feature is also adopted by Narayana Guru in this chapter. The negative movement of speculation started in this chapter is maintained up to the end of the Fifth Chapter. Thereafter what follows is not a reduction but a construction, still retaining however, its unitive and more positive tendency. In the last Chapter this tendency is finalized in the perfection of the man of nirvana.



We have just seen how Cartesianism implies the beginnings of a structuralism which affords us a means by which not only can time and space be treated as correlates, but also one which can act as an instrument of research extended into the whole range of philosophy. A total philosophy, structurally conceived, will include rationalist and even value-factors, ethics, and aesthetics. All can be discussed in a structurally unified and integrated fashion. The barriers that have kept physics and metaphysics apart can now be treated in a unitive fashion. Physics and metaphysics have been enabled now, by the common structure underlying both, to be treated as one and the same integrated whole in the context of a total truth.


The most epoch-making event that has taken place in our time is the formulation by Einstein of his Relativity theory. No other theory in modern times is so much talked about. Although Einstein took particular care not to erect a philosophy by characterizing the world of physics as a reality based on a sufficiently radical concept of relativity, still his theory has not failed to shock common sense.


Relativity as first formulated by Einstein within the scope of the Restricted Theory does not admit of any unique or universal Time which common sense tacitly assumes and which absolutist philosophy always presupposes. There are many frames of reference possible to a relativist and pluralism, as one of them, goes better with relativity than any unified notions of an absolutist nature.


The plurality of times is thus a corollary directly derivable from Relativity Theory. When the plurality of the reality of time is conceded philosophical pluralism is tacitly assumed. In spite of the care that Einstein took to keep his theory within the bounds of physics, we now find that it has become the fashion among modern thinkers to put pluralistic or relativistic notions on the pedestal as a sort of article of faith in order to uphold such a theory before the public eye in the name of progress, technocracy or civilization.


The spectacular triumphs in modern science have added their large volume of support to this technocratic attitude. As a result there is now a serious disruption of the sense of right values. It is therefore highly desirable that this lopsided approach to truth be rectified by a full formulation of the Science of the Absolute where both physics and metaphysics can coexist without conflict. The epoch-making step taken by Einstein in formulating his Theory of Relativity is not however a step taken in the wrong direction. On the other hand, Einstein started a new tradition in physics, implying a revised epistemology and methodology that no more emphasizes experiment and observation as unilaterally understood, but instead relies on the observer and the observed as correlated counterparts. The new physics relies more on mathematics than on mere observable laboratory experiments. It represents an attempt to bridge the gap between axiomatic and experimental thinking. The Cartesian correlates play an important part in relativity theory where they are treated as time and space belonging together to one and same continuum. Whatever the term "continuum" might mean, we enter here into a new kind of physics where time, that is not visible, and space, that is evident only through visible objects, are treated together as belonging to one and same knowledge-situation, whether that of physics or metaphysics. Thus physics and metaphysics come together and overlap in the post-Einsteinian version of the expanding or contracting universe with its red or violet shifts.


The more radical mathematical view of the universe of cosmologists like Kepler, Galileo and Copernicus has also been found inadequate by Einstein, although it is not very easy to determine at present where exactly we stand in respect of the physical world presented to us by modern physicists. One thing is certain however; that many conventional notions have been put into the melting pot. The physical world that we are now asked to accept for the common purpose of intelligently guiding human life is full of inconsistencies, improbabilities and impossibilities. The way out of this impasse consists, not in retracing our steps from the point to which relativity theory has taken us, but in going forward boldly to face the fullest implications and consequences of relativity. It goes without saying that relativity as a guiding characteristic of all physics must necessarily presuppose its opposite of absolutism so as to have any linguistic validity at all. Thus we are faced with the problem of putting relativity and absolutism together in the name of an integrated Science of the Absolute.


When one says that there are absolute and relative truths, one unconsciously creates in the mind two rival entities answering to the requirement of what is called truth. These two rival truths are two limiting instances of a more neutral and central notion which combines in its scope these two possible variations. Thus we have, in the context of the two antinomies referring to the absolute as plus or minus limiting notions, one which can be pluralistic and another which will not admit of any pluralism. What admits of pluralism can be placed subjectively, for purposes of linguistic clarity, at the bottom of the vertical axis. What does not admit of pluralism as a concept more positively understood finds its place as a limiting case on the plus side of the vertical axis. The normative Absolute will have its structural position at the very centre of the total knowledge-situation. This means we have a relative of an absolutist context and an Absolute of an absolutist context. They are positive and negative limiting cases of a normative Absolute which implies normalizing with reference to the two others.


Such are some of the semantic and epistemological implications which we have to keep in mind in. order to avoid confusion in the matter of understanding all things sub specie aeternitatis.


The methodology and structuralism tacitly presupposed in the Darsana Mala imply both a reduction and a construction by which multiplicity is first reduced to negative unity in the first five chapters. Both plurality and duality get abolished by a method of elimination of what is doubtful and unessential.


Having touched the rock bottom of ontology by this negative reduction, the last five chapters aim at a more positive construction, implying the normalizing of existence with its own rational subsistence. There is a construction implied in the method here by which ontology gets transformed into a value world where teleological first and final causes gain gradual primacy. Even at this stage of reconstruction there are always the Self and the non-Self involved as irreducible counterparts related by complementarity, reciprocity and cancellability. We shall explain these later on. Here we have only to remember that the methodology of this work has to be treated together with its own epistemology and axiology.


The methods of mathematics and the rules of logistics or semiotics could be looked upon as operating from one limb of an equation, and the resultant understanding could mean the same truth seen from opposite sides of a total knowledge-situation. These methods and rules are not outside the world of discourse proper to an integrated Science of the Absolute. They have to be thought of as legitimate features of the methodology which we are here concerned with. Pluralism might be admissible in a merely utilitarian philosophy. Axiomatic certitudes of mere idealism might support only one Truth. The modern scientific tendency which gives to percepts and perceivable realities a place more important than concepts and conceivable realities takes a one-sided position. It goes without saying that such preference for the perceived is a partiality of the scientist which cannot be admitted in a normalized integrated Science of the Absolute, where all realities are to be viewed in an impartial and neutral light. No philosopher should have any "private axe to grind" as Bertrand Russell rightly asserts. Bergson puts the same requirement in better form when he says he proposes to follow the rule as one "of not accepting anything which cannot be accepted by any philosopher or scientist, nor accept anything that is not already implied in all philosophy and science". (D & S, pp.87-88).


Even Eddington revised scientific epistemology for his Philosophy of science, as we have already pointed out. He wants to give concepts a more important place than scientists have hitherto given them. He takes his position as a non-experimentalist and categorically asserts that it is concepts that matter.


Concepts and percepts belong to the same total knowledge-situation when they are accommodated under one and the same schema. Bergson does not find any objection to such an inclusion of conceptual and perceptual factors, and says: "they could be represented by the same schema". (D & S, p.84)
We also read the following from Bergson:

"I can also conceive that all the points of the universe that are mathematically related to the present and to the past - that is to say, the future unraveling of the inorganic world can be represented by the same schema." (D & S, p.84)

We have here to remember that the actual time that passes has a perceptual status and future time has a conceptual or metaphysical one. Our inclusion of both these aspects in one and the same schema is justified by thinkers like Bergson, who have improved on the schematismus of Kant on lines we have already explained. The two correlates schematically referring to the time and space of Einstein, the res cogitans and res extensa of Descartes, and the natura naturans and natura naturata of Spinoza can all be fitted into one schema.


We can even extend the application of these same correlates into the domain of Vedantic thought where reference to the horizontal as the world of effects and to the vertical as the world of causes is found. In the language of the Bhagavad Gita one can think of the same correlates as representing the field (kshetra) and the knower of the field (kshetrajna). The latter is the vertical because of its attenuated or refined status, referring to the same universe of Einstein wherein the observer and the observed have to belong together to a context common to the liquidity of matter and the fluidity of mind.


Newtonian physics is a limiting instance of modern post- Einsteinian Physics which insists on characterizing itself in its own deliberate way as relativistic in outlook.


Absolutism thus implies relativism and it is by giving to these terms their proper places in a normalized schematic totality that ambiguities and confusions can be avoided. Such a schema is what we have suggested all along.


In this present chapter it will be seen that Narayana Guru relates the world of effects to the world of causes. This implies a negative reduction of horizontal factors into vertical terms. This gives a mathematical or dialectical reduction of counterparts wherein the visible world is absorbed by gradual steps through reasoning into its existential or ontological residue of absolute reality. Even when reduced in terms of existence it continues to be characterized by subsistence. Its rationalist status and value belong to the world of aesthetic or ethical significance pertaining to axiology. Finally characterized by existence, subsistence and value, this Absolute as seen from a total philosophical or scientific standpoint. We have thus to first arrive at the ontological Absolute by the method of reduction. A positive mathematical construction would then yield place to this negative methodic reduction. The present Chapter is meant to explain in broad outline the implications of this negative methodology.



Common sense takes it for granted that there is a unique and universal time having its reality in the minds of animals and man. Whether this duration is precisely measurable with the help of clocks or only understood in reference to sunrise, sunset etc. such a common experience of time is a matter that is not usually put into question. Even in such matters vouched for by common sense there is a possibility at present of two rival positions between sceptics and believers.


Modern scientists or empirical and positivist philosophers prefer to call themselves sceptics who have no use for any unique or universal notion of time. Such a time according to them would have an absolutist status. Because relativism and pluralism are now in fashion, in the name of a scientific tendency treating all metaphysics as nonsense and excluding belief in any God or even in a godlike entity, it is only to be expected that the relativistic outlook does not tolerate the unique time of common sense. Relativity puts the observer and the observed together at various points of universal space and every observer relates himself to the observed belonging to his particular pluralistic frame of reference. Time is thus measured preferably in piecemeal fashion rather than in any wholesale manner by relativists. Relativity results from the interaction of many possible observers placed at various points in space, each with a corresponding event in the universe he is observing , with or without the help of instruments.


When the counterparts of the observer and the observed are brought into interrelation, participation or interaction, the resulting relativist universe does not admit of one time but only of a time that is multiple. Light being independent of both space and time and of any movement of its source can, in principle, yield simultaneity and not duration.


Even such a natural position is not presupposed, at least by the "restricted" theory of Relativity. It is easy to see how this theory recognizes and gives primacy to spatialized factors, referring to the horizontal axis, in the structure of the Absolute.


In the General Theory of Relativity time and space enter together to be treated as a continuum. Here we begin to have the vertical correlate representing time coming into the picture side by side with space. The fragmented time implied in the Restricted Theory of Relativity is one that has shocked both common sense and ruled out the philosophers´ belief in absolute time. Sceptical philosophers favour this kind of time as against the absolutist a priori time which metaphysicians glorify sometimes, putting it on a pedestal and giving it equal footing with a theological God. Descartes could be cited as representing such a philosopher who speaks of pure duration as given to intuition as a divine factor. He did this in order that his occasionalism could operate.


Time could either be related to mechanistic or to creative evolution, and there are philosophers like Julian Huxley who admit time into their metaphysics, yet claim to remain empirical scientists. There are, however, various brands of evolutionism, some mechanistically biased and others conceived on a more fluid basis and called 'creative.' To the extent that time is included as a pure duration given to intuition, strict scepticism may be said to yield place to some sort of belief.


Between scepticism and belief history has produced many instances of martyrs who have suffered the highest penalty for believing truths unacceptable to orthodoxy. Even Descartes had to withdraw his book on cosmology which was being printed at the time when Galileo was being condemned for heresy. Bruno was executed for not believing what the authorities wanted him to believe about the universe. Some of those who first suffered because of the Church have later become acceptable and some, like St. Joan, have even been canonized. A Science of the Absolute has to recognize both kinds of martyrdom with equal fear or favour as the case may be. It cannot take sides. The same applies to the question of accepting or rejecting the claims of a unique or universal time.


This means that the Science of the Absolute cannot altogether refuse to give due importance to the practical reality of time or duration. To do so would be to take the side of those who deliberately wish to do violence to common sense. The question of duration which is so directly within the scope of human experience can be scientific even when we decide to take the side of believers as against sceptics. It is a neutral and normalized position that is proper to any correct Science of the Absolute. In the light of the prevailing vogue in the scientific world of not recognizing universal time or the duration that presupposes it, what is the position that we should take? Is there a correct scientific methodology whereby we can arrive at a unique and universal time while starting from the relativistic position in respect of time implied in the limited theory of Relativity?


Does such a methodology take account of the modern scientific equations and experiments? It is these alone which give strict scientific status to the reasonings and calculations of this new methodology required to admit a unique and universal time on a par with its own relativistic counterpart belonging to the same total knowledge-situation? If they are put together under the same schema combining physics and metaphysics are we able to attribute a homogeneous epistemological status to both of them together? What is the nature of this neutral monistic substance or stuff in which time and space exist without contradiction, participating in matter and mind at one and the same time? Does this neutral substance resemble the animal spirit of Descartes or does it rather answer to the structure of non-Euclidean geometry where, losing its radical rigidity of uniform motion in straight lines as in classical physics, this neutral stuff accommodates the notion of a space-time continuum. When treated as neither mind nor matter , irrespective of the observer or the thing observed, do we not attain to the position of postulating what Narayana Guru in this chapter calls chaitanya, or vital consciousness?


Such are some of the questions that we might be called upon to answer when we are concerned with a methodology for the Science of the Absolute. In the present chapter moreover we are concerned with effecting a transition from the world seen as an effect or a presentiment, to one where causes and effects can be treated together on a more neutral and homogeneous ground.


A Science of the Absolute cannot tolerate an inner tautology or an outer contradiction. Besides methodology, as we have already said, such a science must have its own epistemological and axiological presuppositions or implications consistently belonging to it. We have to avoid at any cost being merely conventional in such matters, whether in the name of traditionalism or of progress. When we keep all these questions together in our mind it will be seen that there is hardly any literature available at present which takes the correct impartial position between the two disciplines of physics and metaphysics. Starting from what is known through the senses and thus naturally with realities that depend on space, we can travel step by step to attain a notion of pure time that is not directly given to the senses. Thus we have to travel from rigid objects in space to the pure flux presupposed by absolute time. The limiting instances in such a journey that we can understand mentally are precisely those of classical and modern physics. The steps of such a transition from a rigid or radical universe to a universe that is recognized as affiné or refined, together with a notion of time proper to each of them, have been worked out in great detail, without omitting any experimental or mathematical details, by Henri Bergson in his Durée et Simultanéite.


Strangely enough, Bergson withdrew this work in the year 1922, Even though he pleaded for a time that is given to the common sense of all men irrespective of scepticism or belief, Bergson had to be cautious and circumspect. It was not however in the name of the prevailing values of any orthodox religion, but strangely in the name of scientific scepticism that he acted. Concerned as we are with the methodology proper to the reduction of the relativistic or horizontal multiplicity of pluralistic factors or elements into unitive terms, we are also interested in supporting our arguments fully with experimental and mathematical notions of modern science. Bergson's work comes admirably to our rescue here. We cannot enter into minute examination of all the implications found in Bergson's suppressed work, but we will rather only concern ourselves with those parts of the book which directly support our own arguments. Bergson says he wrote the book for the following reasons:

"We have undertaken this work exclusively for ourselves. We wish to know to what extent our conception of duration was compatible with Einstein's view on time." (D & S, p.v)


Bergson was also interested in Einstein because, according to Einstein's way of thinking, "science and philosophy are different disciplines but are made so as to complete each other." (D & S,p.v). Thirdly, Bergson considers that there is a paradox that spoils the clarity of time as understood by Relativity. He explains its nature as follows:

"We have had to call special attention to the paradox of the theory of Relativity, to the multiple Times which flow with greater or lesser speed, and to the simultaneity which could become succession and the succession which could become simultaneity when one changed the point of view".(D & S, p.v)

He continues:

"The general theory of Relativity comes to place itself on the side of time when it wishes that one of its coordinates would effectively represent it." (D & S, p.viii)


These three features can be understood with their various implications only when we keep in mind the questions we have suggested above (pp.298-299). It will be further helpful for the reader to begin to think in terms of the schematic language that we have developed, in order to follow more easily those preliminary remarks of Bergson. Let us also say here in advance that we shall hereafter take the liberty of relying more and more on the structural language of our protolinguism. If such a linguistic device proves in any way helpful to the reader, that itself would amount to its justification and add to its validity because of the useful purpose it serves.



Bergson is interested in making philosophy a discipline that can be treated with physics in order that both physics and metaphysics could form one integrated or unified discipline. This can be called a science or a philosophy as one prefers. What results is a philosophy of science or a science of philosophy, or even a science of sciences. In our view this is no other than a Science of the Absolute.


In India, brahma vidya is referred to as the science (vidya) which is the foundation of all sciences (vidyas). It deals not merely with "truth" but with the Truth of truths, the light of lights, or the Value of all values. The Absolute is the natural and normative notion around which this science was built. When stated in such a wholesale fashion the Science of the Absolute becomes repugnant to the spirit of modernism because it appears as a seemingly totalitarian discipline. Totalitarianism in politics and religion has left a bad taste in the mouth of most Europeans, who prefer a humbler piecemeal approach to truth. In spite of such an understandable objection, this is in itself another form of prejudice not necessarily justified with equal force in other contexts, outside religion or politics.


Bergson's hesitation to characterize his attempt to give time its legitimate importance and place in a more broadly conceived science than hitherto, is thus quite understandable. He has said openly in his Preface that he was interested in seeing how far the time of common sense corresponded to the time of Relativity. Each observer of a given system has his own time reference independent of his rival in another system. Such was the basic presupposition of Relativity, legitimate only in the context of physics as a discipline distinct from metaphysics. This kind of time shook commonsense as well as the philosophical notion of a unique and universal time that metaphysics always assumed.


Bergson is interested in showing that there should be a time that could be viewed as both perceptually and conceptually valid with equal force. In taking a central normalized position in respect of time, Bergson is in reality arguing the case for a Science of the Absolute. The time that interests Bergson is therefore a fully normalized version of absolute Reality, perceivable, and conceivable at one and the same time. He fits such a time into a common schema that is independent of relativistic physics and pluralistic philosophy.


It is therefore not wrong to assume that the unique and universal Time that Bergson is interested in is no other then the absolutist version of the pluralistic time of Relativity. We have already said that it is possible for the purposes of this Science of the Absolute to choose any one of the basic categories that find place in the totality of the structure of the Absolute so as to revise and restate its status and give it a neutral, central or normalized position for the clarification of the content of the Absolute.


In this chapter Narayana Guru refers to the notion of cause rather than of time. Whether cause or time is used, for our purposes of clarifying methodological aspects here, the resulting steps of the argument involving the reduction that we have spoken of remain unaffected. It is therefore no less useful for us to follow the steps of the scientific reasonings of Bergson, even when we should be thinking of cause and effect rather than universal and unique Time. The first and final material cause of the universe must have an absolutist status in the same way as the multiple time of Einstein must presuppose more philosophically an absolutist concept of Time. It is in this light that it is interesting for us to pay some attention to the five main objections of Bergson to the pluralistic time of Einstein.



Bergson's five objections are as follows:

"It is because of not having defined with rigour the terms employed, it is because of not having been sufficiently habituated to see in relativity a reciprocity, it is for not having had constantly present before the mind the relation between radical relativity and attenuated relativity, for not having been cautioned against a confusion between the two, and finally for not having pressed sufficiently together the passage from physics to mathematics that one so seriously erred on the philosophical meaning of the considerations of time in the theory of Relativity." (D & S, p.52)

Even before formulating these charges so boldly and categorically, Bergson explains in the Preface that a major paradox is hiding at the core of the problem and is responsible for all these errors. In our own words we can say that this paradox consists of whether one should take a horizontalized and spatial view of the universe or a verticalized and temporal one.
In Bergson's own words:

"The confusion of this basic paradox is in the mind of those who erected this physics as such into a philosophy. Two different conceptions of Relativity, one that was abstracted and the other imaged, one that was incomplete and the other achieved, coexisted in their minds and interfered with each other. In dispelling this confusion one made the paradox fall."
(D & S, p.vii)


The task of making the paradox fall as Bergson proposed to do is tantamount to the task of abolishing relativism altogether along with its implied pluralism. Whether such pluralism implies time, space or both, it is nonetheless understood that a non-pluralistic notion of the Absolute should be attained. Bergson as a philosopher who denounces conceptual or conventional metaphysics cannot be expected to say this as openly as we do here. An examination of his laborious work is sufficiently convincing on this point all the same.


A process of becoming or flux understood in terms of life is the ultimate absolute reality for Bergson.. In the present work, as in all his other works, he seeks to find support for this flux of the élan vital at the basis of creative evolution. Spatialized time is converted and understood in terms of a time that correctly represents this unique and universal Time for which Bergson's philosophy stands. The duality of time and space found in the Cartesian analysis of absolute substance is abolished by Bergson. He does this in terms of a dynamism that is ever in the process of a creative becoming. He however takes care to present a schéma moteur more dynamically conceived and without a Cartesian fixed frame of reference. The logical and semantic purpose or use of correlates is not discarded by Bergson. If we keep these features of Bergsonianism in mind it will be easier for us to follow clearly his own line of attack on relativity theory.


Bergson's main task is to give a unique and universal status to time by ridding it of its spatialized and pluralistic prejudices. In order to accomplish this difficult task he makes use of the same mathematical equations which Einstein used. The contraction of Lorentz supported by Fitzgerald depends upon a mathematical transformation taking place between the terms of an equation. We know elsewhere from analytical geometry that equations can answer to lines on a graph and vice versa. There is a rigour, adequacy and a possible homomorphism to be presupposed between them. The two proofs of the Pythagorean theorem refer to the same central truth which can be looked upon in a formalized and logical, or a structural and geometrical fashion. They belong together to one and the same mathematical entity.


The Lorentz equations answer to the correlates or vice-versa. Both obey the same relational laws in nature, logic and the propositional calculus. Schematism can be treated either protolinguistically or metalinguistically.


We have explained these possibilities at length elsewhere. Bergson in following up his revaluation and restatement of the relativity theory without its paradox, next turns to the equations of Lorentz. When schematically understood they reveal the same structural pattern based on the reciprocity between timelike and spacelike factors in the physical universe which are both gross and subtle at once. The Lorentz equations apply to an attenuated and refined universe wherein contractions and expansions involve distances to be expressed by six decimal points, observable only indirectly through red and violet shifts or by the aid of a tentative mathematics based on a priori postulates and axioms. Strictly speaking these postulates and axioms have only a hypothetical and non-experimental status of their own. The validity of some of the remaining assumptions are left to be fully verified by future observations of the micro- and macrocosms.


Bergson however is on safe ground when he bases his objections on the very same equations that Einstein used in his theory of Relativity. In his work under reference here Bergson has used the same mathematics as Einstein and also the same frame of reference implied in the Michelson-Morley experiment. Light affords an absolute frame of reference and the failure of the Michelson-Morley experiment to show any fringe effect further proves the fixed, immobile and absolutist status of the space in which no ponderable ether in motion is found.


Both the equations of Lorentz and the observations made by modern physicists have, in the structure of space in terms of the velocity of light, an absolute frame of reference. Newtonian space and motion have a rigid status and are considered absolute by Einstein in the sense that they are treated as independent of the observer. Classical physics is not however altogether dispensed with by Einstein. It is often referred to as a limiting case for the world in which the relativity theory operates. We cannot enter into all these implications of absolutism or of relativism that enhance or detract from the value of the relativity theory. It is therefore safer for our purposes to follow the same line of reasoning as Bergson.


By doing so, as he says, the case for a unique and universal Time still remains valid and fully justified even according to the mathematical equations of modern physics.
He writes:

"To know this (that is to know what interests the philosophers rather than the physicist) we have taken the formula of Lorentz term by term and have searched for the concrete reality and the thing perceived or perceptible that each term corresponded to. This examination has given us an unexpected result. Not only did these arguments not contradict themselves, they also confirmed and accompanied the commencement of the proof of the natural belief of all men in respect of a Time that is unique and universal." (D & S,


Bergson here is evidently interested in giving to time a universal and unique absolutist status. We have to remember in following his methodology that the same can be applied in an extrapolated manner to the question of a unique and universal principle of causation. The change from Time to Cause would change nothing in the methodology. It will only be an additional case where the Absolute would become once again reaffirmed.



In the enumeration of his five objections against relativity theory, Bergson puts the first one as, "not having defined with rigour the terms employed." In the first two chapters of his work he uses terms such as "demi-Relativity" and "unilateral Relativity". He also refers to reciprocity as a more suitable term than what he refers to as "incomplete Relativity". He also uses the phrase "complete Relativity" for his revised version. It is important to see how far he is justified in thus revising or applying his correction to the Theory of Relativity as presented by Einstein.


Einstein speaks in the name of physics and he is perfectly correct in doing so. Bergson on the other hand as a scientific, philosopher is speaking in the name of a unique and universal Time of common sense, free from the mere world of particular physical distances and events mechanistically understood in multiple time.

We are not merely interested in such a philosophical view of Time as a flux with an absolute Reality, but in the larger context where duration and distance are both included within an absolute principle of causality. We have elsewhere made some general remarks about such matters in order to clarify our position (see p.916 below).


In taking up one by one the five objections raised by Bergson, we are making an effort here to clarify the position afresh. Scientific truths can be stated in simplified fashion so that men of commonsense will feel their rightness even when they have no technical training. We are not against any notion that resembles the Absolute . We keep an open mind in this matter and understand why modern science finds it repugnant to think in terms of one absolute truth and avoids anything resembling the a priori approach. We have already explained elsewhere the origin of such prejudices which cannot be continued into our own attitude in respect of an integrated Science of the Absolute. Let us now try to restate the position of physics and Bergson's approach.


The Michelson-Morley experiment has given Physics a mathematical and structural frame of reference involving the Cartesian correlates and the equations of Lorentz. A new way in physics was thus opened up by Einstein. In this new physics the observer and the observed belong to the same spatio-temporal frame of reference. Distances in space are more easily perceivable than intervals in pure Time. Relativity must refer to both Time and Space as belonging to the same homogeneous matrix or basis. To make them belong together thus was a philosopher's task rather than that of a physicist.


Thus, when the Michelson-Morley experiment failed, the average undaunted physicist started to theorize about space-time relations within his own arbitrarily postulated closed systems where a physicist observer interested in perceivable realities was supposed to live within what he was observing. This was at first crudely accomplished either with mechanical clocks or by the measurable distances of the moving system. Refinements were introduced stage by stage resulting in the "restricted", "general" and "unified" views of Einstein. Such is the basis of the relativity theory erected by Einstein as a revaluation of Euclid and Newton. The ensuing convulsions and sensations in the world of general philosophical thought rudely shook all previously held notions about the physical universe. It was at last given to Bergson to bring forth his arguments in order to salvage at least the case for a unique and universal Time.


The denunciation of absolutism seemed to gain some unduly exaggerated initial momentum at the time when Bergson thought fit to intervene to save Time from the permanent damage of being forever discredited. His arguments seen in this light more clearly reveal their validity and force.


We are concerned here specially with his first objection which is that of not defining the terms with rigour. He means that the term "relativity" as used by Einstein only amounts to a demi-Relativity or an incomplete or unilateral Relativity. In justifying this charge Bergson points out certain innate inconsistencies presupposed especially by the restricted theory of Relativity where Space rather than Time is treated as more important. The familiar example that is given when one tries to explain the implications of this theory is that of a train moving at a speed approximating the speed of light. It moves in a direction that is horizontal and at right angles to a fixed source of light placed somewhere to serve as a reference. The length of such a train when travelling in the direction of light is supposed to shrink into nothingness when the speed corresponds to the velocity of light. Such is the theoretical assumption of the Lorentzian equation, implying a Fitzgerald contraction in the context proper at least to the Restricted Theory of Relativity.


If the common man should ask such a relativist whether this contraction is observed or observable he would say that such observation is only possible if the observer could be placed within an immobile and independent frame of reference. The possibility of such a perceivability in science together with the theoretical conventions proper to it is the basis of the validity of the contraction. These conventions are accepted only to the extent necessary to justify the truth of relativity as a physical and not a metaphysical reality.


The assumption of the physicist is that even though the Michelson-Morley experiment failed, the actual physical medium in which space and time are to be interrelated through velocities and intervals such as that of the motion of the earth around the sun, is still within the scope of a possible perceivable calculability. This is accomplished by the cooperation of postulates, axioms and conventions in modern mathematics on the one side, and on the other side by possible recorded observations or verifications. Many of the implications of the three tentative theories are still to be verified.


Such is the thin, attenuated and highly refined world situated at the point where rigid realities are made to melt and blend with a world to which the red shift legitimately belongs. The status of such a universe is at present exceedingly vague and questionable, even in the eyes of strictly trained physicists.


Is it any wonder that the philosophical instinct is rudely offended by some of the easy assumptions of prevailing relativistic thought?

 We do not feel competent to enter into the merits of this discussion which requires a more mathematically trained mind. Also we do not wish to part company, if we can at all help it, with the claims of physicists when they are found valid from the standpoint of a future Unified Philosophy of Science. We shall therefore rely on some direct quotations from Bergson to show how, without violating the requirements of a scientific methodology still based on acceptable mathematical conceptions of our time, he is able to reveal to us some of the errors and anomalies of relativity theory. The following quotation is from Bergson's first chapter, entitled "Demi-Relativity":
"We wish to manipulate all the transitions between the psychological and physical standpoints, and between the Time of commonsense and the Time of Einstein. For this we have to place ourselves in that state of mind where we one can find oneself at the original point when one believed in an immobile ether in absolute repose, while at the same time explain the Michelson-Morley experiment. We shall thus obtain a certain conception of Time which is half relativist by one side only and which is not yet that of Einstein, but which we think is essential for us to know. The theory of Relativity may not take any notice of it in its deductions which are scientific in their proper sense: we believe it is subjected all the same to its influence as long as it stops short of being a physics that wants to become a philosophy. The paradox that frightened some and reduced others so much, seems to us to come from this. It depends upon an equivocation. It is born from the fact that two representations of Relativity, one that is radical and conceptual and the other that is attenuated and imaged, accompany each other in our unconscious mind arising from the fact that the concept is subject to the contamination of the image." (D & S,pp.2-3)

On examination the above paragraph brings into relation two aspects of absolute Reality which Bergson has distinguished clearly. He has elsewhere tried to apply other predicative attributes to it. In doing this, Absolute Reality becomes a paradox both to the physical theorist and to the scientific philosopher.


In our structural language it is fully legitimate to refer to these aspects as the verticalized and horizontalized versions of the same absolute Reality which can be attained when the implicit paradox is dissolved. Bergson also clearly recognizes this.


Newtonian physics with its laws of motion is the horizontal version of spatialized reality, while time treated as a continuum with space as found in Einstein's General Theory is the vertical correlate belonging to the same paradoxical content. It is in this sense that Bergson, in the concluding sentence of his work, sums up the position of Einstein when he says that "Einstein is the continuator of Descartes." (D & S, p.241)


Descartes' two categories of res cogitans and res extensa correspond to his correlates. These correlates represent by their intersection space-like and time-like aspects of absolute substance and the principle of universal causality can also be located at the point of origin of the four-limbed quaternian structure. These are matters we have already elaborated sufficiently in their logical, semantical, structural and schematic implications. A logarithmic curvature of space and time can find its place at the same point in the vertical axis. We have already quoted (see pp.154-155 above) more than once from Bergson's "Durée et Simultanéite" where he graphically elaborates the structural implications of a complete theory of Relativity. As a result of all these discussion carried on term by term and stage by stage, Bergson is able to give to Time a unique and absolutist status.


There are two footnotes in Bergson's work which are of special interest to us, and since we are still concerned with demi-Relativity we shall quote them. The first footnote refers to the common sense question which is concerned with the contraction of the length of a body when it moves in the direction of light. The question can be asked, "What happens to the height or the breadth of a body, if any, which cannot shrink because of being at right angles to the direction of the propagation of light?" This objection is referred to by Bergson as follows:

"It seems, in the first place, that instead of a longitudinal contraction one could as well have supposed a transversal dilation, or one or other at one and the same time, in the correct proportions. On this point, as on many others we are obliged to leave aside the explanations given by the theory of Relativity. We limit ourselves to what interests our present research."
(D & S, p.8)


Such incompatibilities arise from the violation of the basic laws of epistemology and methodology necessarily implied in mathematical equations and their corresponding visualized or structural versions, between which modern structuralists postulate a homomorphism. We shall now pass on to some other aspects of Relativity that reveal the incompleteness of the theory as pointed out by Bergson. In his second interesting footnote we read the following:

"It is important in effect to remark (one has often omitted to do this) that it is not enough that we take the contraction of Lorentz for establishing the point of view of the ether, the complete theory derived from the Michelson-Morley experiment performed on the surface of the earth. One has to join to it the lengthening of Time and the dislocation of simultaneity, all of which we shall come back to presently, after transposing them into the theory of Einstein. The point has been put into proper light in an interesting article of C.D. Broad called "Euclid, Newton and Einstein" (Hibbert Journal, April 1920)"
(D & S, pp.9-10)

It is evident from the above remarks that many aspects of relativity remain to be revised and completed in the light of a unified methodology and epistemology. Bergson takes the trouble of following up the broad assumptions on which the theory of Relativity is based so as to bring in, stage by stage, the corrections needed in the equations and the applied visible aspect belonging to the form of the equations. Here Bergson may be said to anticipate modern structuralists who see a common structure implied in all the laws of physics. When properly formalized or schematized they reveal a common homomorphism. At the time when Bergson wrote this the structural interpretation of the laws of physical nature had not yet become as acceptable or nearly accepted as it is at present.


Bergson is next seen to manipulate the Lorentzian equations conforming to the same axioms and conventions acceptable to the mathematicians of his time. In doing so he adopts the device of speaking of different time-space systems or schematized versions which represent the results of the Lorentz equations when applied to situations real or imaginary.


The first reference to such a rival system is to be found in the following quotation which is self explanatory. Moreover to speak of a proper frame or system of reference belonging to each observing physicist is not inconsistent with the overall position acceptable to the theory of Relativity. We read the following:

"Generally speaking, let us call S an immobile system and S' another sample of the same system, as its double, which in the beginning was one with it and which detached itself afterwards in a straight line and with a speed V. As soon as it departed S' contracts in the direction of its movement. All that is not perpendicular to the direction of the movement participates in the contraction. If S had been a sphere, S' would have the form of an ellipse. By this contraction the Michelson-Morley experiment is shown to give the same result as when light had a constant velocity and equal to C in all directions."
(D & S, p.8)

We are here concerned with three different aspects of reality. The first belongs to the immobile ether where the Michelson- Morley experiment reveals the velocity of light to be a constant. In the second we have a system S wherein an imaginary physicist named Peter is situated before any motion effects a contraction of space. Finally there is a system S' which is a double of the system S, subject to the contractions and dilations directly derivable from the Lorentzian equations. System S´ is occupied by an imaginary physicist, Paul. Both Peter and Paul have mechanistic clocks to refer to in each of their systems. When the implications of the equations are fully manipulated we get a more complete picture of Relativity than envisaged by Einstein. The manipulation of the equations and the visible implications of the same, (i.e. the mathematical and physical versions), are brought together by Bergson in the following way:

"In brief, the system S´ envisaged in Space and Time is a double of the system of S which is contracted in respect of space in the direction of its movement, which has dilated in respect of time in each one of its seconds, and which finally in time has dislocated in terms of succession all simultaneity between two events of which the distance is retracted in terms of space. But these changes escape the observer who is part of the mobile system. Only the fixed observer can see it."
(D & S, pp.20-21)

The incompleteness of the approach of Einstein is here initially exposed.



Bergson's second objection arises because "of not having been sufficiently habituated to see in Relativity a reciprocity." He points out that the term "Relativity" only means a unilateral and incomplete demi-Relativity. This is because the full implications of the equations of Lorentz have not been taken into account by Relativity theory. Bergson passes on in the second chapter to a closer examination of what he calls "Complete Relativity". His objection is more positive in so far as instead of merely correcting definitions and revising the terms of the equations, he rather proposes an alternative theory of his own. This theory is strictly based on the same equations and theoretical intentions of Einstein.


According to Bergson, relativity of movement implies a reciprocity when we think in terms of the distance between two points in the universe increasing or decreasing. One has no right to prefer to this two-sided standpoint a relation to motion which is taken only from any one of the points, because of the unilateral view of the distance involved. When we take a bilateral view we come closer to a complete theory of Relativity. Even Einstein as a physicist who is interested in measurements only because his theory claims to abolish the classical theory of physics and replace it with something applicable to the whole of the physical universe should, as Bergson thinks, agree to this. As soon as reciprocity is admitted by the physicist as the only legitimate point of view to take he will move from demi-Relativity to a complete Relativity theory. Ultimately he must do this because he already adopts and uses an axiomatic method when he manipulates mathematical equations.


Physicists who are content to verify their theories occasionally when some astronomical event or spectral shift is observed may not be interested in stating the theory in its correct and complete form. The practical laboratory physicist is content to travel from one working hypothesis to another. But a philosopher is interested in the status of Time in the theory of Relativity and his method is not limited to the experimental method. Bergson too fixed his vision. on visible and perceptual aspects of reality, as he is first a pragmatist and operationalist philosopher. It is possible for him to guide his own speculations along mathematically valid lines. This is exactly what he does when he boldly proceeds in his second chapter not only to reveal the position of radical Relativity known to Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and others, but also to reveal what he calls "Attenuated Relativity".


For the Newtonian scientist it was natural to think in terms of straight lines from some point of origin ending at some other point in infinite space. An outside force was needed to change the course of this straight line. Such a classical universe presupposed a Euclidean structure of space. Einstein's Theory of Relativity put these classical or radical features into the melting pot and boldly started a new way in physics. Bergson's complaint now is that, even having discarded classical physics, the new way has not been completely or consistently developed. Interested as he is in the status of absolute Time given both to philosophy and common sense, he also refers to the question of absolute movement and puts the relative movement already envisaged by the classical astronomers side by side with absolute movement which is no other than the verticalized version of relative movement in practical horizontal space. Pure or absolute movement belongs to the context of an attenuated theory of the universe and is more timelike than spacelike. This is because of its a priori mathematical character. Thus we have two limiting cases to keep in mind when we try to follow closely and intelligently the arguments advanced. This builds up into a surprisingly realistic picture of a colourful universe as contained in pages 42-52 of Bergson´s work and which we have quoted previously. (see p.148-153 above).

It will be easier for the reader to familiarize himself with this completed version of Relativity as understood in the light of Bergsonian philosophy before trying to follow further the system S and S' into which he has been able to reduce the implications of relativity theory at the end of his first chapter. These independent and closed systems, each with a frame of reference of its own, need not be thought of as big or small. Furthermore, they are independent of each other and interchangeable in status, although still belonging to the world of observing physicists who can look at their own systems without inconvenience or contradiction Each closed system is not unlike a monad of Leibniz, and does not preclude the thought of a system of systems like a Monad of monads.


Keeping these remarks in mind, let us now proceed to examine a few selected passages from Bergson. The first one refers to reciprocity as against demi-relativity.


We read the following:

"The 'Reciprocity' of movement is therefore a fact of observation .... science refers to measurement and measurement applies to lengths, and when a length grows or decreases there is no reason to treat one extremity as privileged: all that can be asserted is that the gap becomes greater or diminishes between the two."
(D & S, pp 36-37)


Bergson continues:

"Thus the relation between the two systems already mentioned as doubles of each other is treated as reciprocal. Reciprocity also implies a subtle philosophical aspect which was first outlined by Descartes where internal (felt) and external (measured) reciprocities are brought together into the same picture."
(D & S, p.37)

Further alluding to such a reciprocity, Bergson continues:
"Certainly it should be that all movements could be reduced in such a way as to be capable of being perceived in space. By the side of the movement that we can observe only from outside, there are those that we can also feel internally, as being produced. When Descartes spoke of the reciprocity of movement, it was not without reason that Morus replied: 'If I should be seated quietly and another on going away a thousand paces from me, should be red with fatigue, it is I who have been resting."
(D & S, p.37)


Here Bergson explains how it is possible for one or the other person involved in the situation described by Morus to decide to move, when we could even say that the ground moves away from the man or the man moves away from the ground. Animals and non-metaphysically minded men might treat the movement as unilateral. Movement thought of in itself has an absolutist character about which Bergson says later:


"He (i.e. the metaphysician) should penetrate into the interior of things, and the time essence, the profound reality of movement could never be better revealed to him than when he accomplishes the movement himself, even when he perceives it from outside, as in the case of every other movement, but appraises it as an effort from inside, where the trace also was visible.
The metaphysician obtains this direct perception, which is both internal and certain, only for the movement that he accomplishes for himself. From this alone he can guarantee that they are real acts, constituting absolute movement. Already for the movement accomplished by other living beings, it is not by virtue of a direct perception, but by sympathy; it is for reasons of analogy that he would give them the status of independent realities."
(D & S, pp.38-39)


The passage from physics to metaphysics is here accomplished without violating the requirements of the absolute reality of movement. The position involved is summed up strikingly by Bergson:

"The movement that it (i.e. science) studies is therefore always relative and cannot consist of anything other than what is reciprocity of displacement .... Descartes marked with precision the point of view of science .... He went even beyond the science of his time, beyond Newtonian mechanics, beyond ours, formulating a principle to which Einstein gave a demonstration."
(D & S, pp.39-40)

In this last sentence of Bergson´s he is only reiterating what we have already quoted him as saying before about Einstein being the continuator of Descartes. The relation between space and movement is brought out by Bergson as follows:

"Descartes stated that everything relevant to physics was spread out in space. By this he gave the ideal formula of a universal mechanism."
(D&S, p41)

Thus placing the demi-Relativity of Einstein, Bergson is able to bring us to the point of accepting an idealist and universal mechanics which is basically the same as what modern physics could legitimately accept. Relative motion in the visible world and its inner and outer vibrations and movements when related to discrete bodies can be realistically visualized, irrespective of the requirements of physics or metaphysics. The structure of universal space when viewed as it were from inside can also be reconstructed by us without violating epistemological laws or norms.


Whether we think of a universal observer with measuring instruments seated at the apex of a pyramid-like structure or situated at every point of space, the vision of relativistic space will be on the lines elaborated by Bergson, which we have already quoted on pp.148-153 above. This long quotation deserves examination once again so as to enable us to realize all its real and structural implications. Likewise reciprocity, when fully understood, does not reveal the same picture as unilateral Relativity. The reader could reread with profit here our quotation from Bergson found on pages 148-153 above.



Bergson's third objection to Relativity theory is that the physicist does not have "Constantly present before the mind the relation between radical and attenuated Relativity." At the end of the previous section we have seen how Bergson was able to arrive at the notion of absolute movement in space as proper to a universal mechanics in terms of what is compatible with the philosophy of science. The res extensa of Descartes corresponds to the horizontal and is given recognition by Bergson. This correlate is a reference for all physical motion when understood in terms of the pure and universal mechanics implied here.


Having settled the question of space by bringing the discussion to the highest degree of abstraction and generalization, Bergson now proposes to give to time and its nature the same kind of philosophical and scientific treatment. He examines time from the two perspectives of what he calls "Spatialized Time" and "Pure Time". Spatialized Time has a horizontal reference and Pure Time a vertical one. Simultaneous instants of time do not refer to real time at all, but represent conceptualized ideas of time which are metaphysical rather than physical. Simultaneity of two instants when verticalized as two points in two distinct fluxes with a "before" and "after" can be represented as continuous lines. This represents time more in the light of a succession of juxtapositions of instants rather than as simultaneous points in time. Spatialized Time is not the same as Pure Time based on our inner sense of duration. This duration is one that is within the common experience of all human beings and is more directly given to perception than the conceptual points of spatialized time on which the theory of Relativity relies.


The fourth dimension derived from such a time is, according to Bergson, nothing but a spatialized metaphysical and conceptual entity with no perceptual element implied in it. The fourth dimension borrowed from Minkowski by Einstein thus falls outside the scope of physics and the paradox which underlines the acceptance of such a space-time continuum is the result of a confusion between pure and specialized time.


Bergson's third objection is therefore to be understood by us as referring to the confusion between. what he calls radical and attenuated Relativity. Radical Relativity refers to the horizontal aspect and attenuated Relativity to the vertical version of the same. Simultaneous instants are proper to the radical view and succession based on continuity of duration, implying a "before" and "after" in a process of flux and involving memory or future virtual possibles is the verticalized version. Each person can privately feel time as a general murmur of an eternal duration within him in subjective and abstract psychological terms. He can represent it as a measurable positive content in a spatialized and schematic form. Both times can be included under one and the same schematic representation.


Pure Time can be represented as a vertical line in which the past, present and future organically belong together. Subjectivity and objectivity can be cancelled out into a sense of actual duration in which the experienced past and the virtual future have between them a complementarity and reciprocity. The Pure Time of Bergson is an abstraction and generalization of spatialized time with its own horizontal counterpart. It is not necessary for us to bring out the subtleties of this analysis of the nature of pure Time where Bergson tries to abolish the paradox between the radical and attenuated viewpoints of Relativity theory. We cannot do better here than to give a string of striking quotations so as to confirm what we have just said.


Bergson wants to escape the charge of being called a metaphysician. To him reality is as important as it is to the physicist. He does not want to decide whether all reality is perceptible or not. He only wants to maintain that time as a reality is at least on par with what can be perceived. It is the Theory of Relativity that Bergson accuses of being metaphysical by its acceptance of a fourth dimension, which as he points out, has a conceptual rather than a perceptual status.



As for his own position as a philosopher of science, he takes care to remark:
"We have besides to distinguish between the point of view of philosophy and of science: the former considers the concrete as real, as altogether charged with qualities; the latter extracts or abstracts a certain aspect of things and retains only what is size and what is in relation to size. Happily we have not ourselves to be concerned with anything in all that follows, except the one and only reality, namely time. In these conditions it will be easy for us to follow the rule that we had imposed on ourselves in the present study, which is not to accept anything which cannot be accepted by any philosopher or by any scientist, not even anything which is not already implied in all philosophy and in all science." (D & S, p.34)


Bergson takes a stand which is common to both physics and metaphysics. This is unequivocally clear in the above quotation. It is thus that his methodology fulfils the requirements of an integrated Science of the Absolute.


In the next quotation, Bergson seems to imply that the essence of time implies a "before" and "after" and not absolute simultaneity.

We read:

"To tell the truth, it is impossible to distinguish between duration, however short it may be, which separates two instants, and a memory that relates one to the other. For duration is essentially a continuation of what is no more into what is. This is the real time which I want to say is perceived and lived. Duration therefore implies consciousness and we place consciousness at the basis of things by the same reason that we attribute to it a time that endures." (D & S, p.62)

Bergson here explains that a schematic representation of duration by a line has not the same reality as pure duration. He clarifies his position in the following way:

"Listening to a melody with the eyes shut, thinking of it only .... one finds it undivided, the melody or the portion of the melody which you would have replaced in pure duration. In other words, our interior duration, envisaged from the first to the last moment of our conscious life, is something similar to this melody. Our attention can turn away from it and as a result from its indivisibility; but as we try to cut it, it is as if we passed a blade across a flame we would be dividing space only." (D & S, p.62)


We cannot examine in detail this minute analysis of Bergson on the question of the two ways of schematizing time as pure duration and as spatialized time. Instead we will give the most important quotations dealing with this subject.

We begin with the following:

"If I should pass my finger on a piece of paper without looking at it, the movement I accomplish, seen from inside, is a continuity in consciousness, and something of my own flux, that is to say, duration." (D & S, pp.63-64)

The flux is of four different grades. This is clearly seen in the example given below where simultaneity in the Einsteinian sense presupposes an absolute time, which is strictly speaking outside the scope of relativity theory. The fourfold structural pattern is reflected here where we read the following:

"When we are seated on the bank of a river the flow of the water, the gliding of a boat or the flight of a bird are three different things to the uninterrupted murmur of our deeper life, or (they can be) one alone according to our wish. We could interiorize everything, thus having to do with a unique perception in its courses which entrains or drags behind it in a confused fashion the three fluxes; or we could leave the first two outside and divide our attention between what is inside and what is outside: or better still, we could do one or the other at a time, our attention relating together or separating the three flowings, by virtue of the singular privilege which it possesses of being one or many. Such is our first idea of simultaneity. We call something simultaneous because the two external fluxes occupying this same duration where they belong, the one as well as the other, to the duration of an identical third one, which is ours: This duration is nothing but our own when our consciousness is directed only to ourselves, but it becomes equally theirs when our attention includes the three fluxes into one individual action."
(D & S, pp.67-68)


Bergson now goes on to define real time and explains that it has no instants.

We read:

"The instant is that which terminates a duration if it should stop. But it does not stop. The real time cannot furnish us the instant; the latter results from a mathematical point, that is to say from space. But all the same without real time the point could not be anything but a point and there would not be any instant. Instantaneousness thus implies two things: a continuity of real time, that is to say, of duration, and of time spatialized, which described by a movement becomes a symbol of time: this spatialized time which consists of points rebounds on to real time and makes the instant jump out of it."
(D & S, p.69)

Bergson continues further on:

"Simultaneity in the instant and simultaneity of the flux, are things quite distinct, but they complete themselves reciprocally. Without the simultaneity of the flux, we should not be able to consider the one capable of being substituted for the other of the three terms: continuity of our interior life, continuity of a voluntary movement which our thought prolongs indefinitely, and continuity of any movement whatsoever traversing space. Real duration and time spatialized would not therefore be equivalent.
(D & S, p.79)


All these above quotations refer to the two perspectives. One of them is vertical and the other is horizontal. Time can therefore be viewed either as measurable or as something that is felt within. Bergson now arrives at the notion of time as a fourth dimension. He does this by mathematically schematizing it without a reality of content. The fourth dimension of Einstein comes to have a mathematical rather than a real status. We read the following:

"Immanent to our measure of time there is the tendency of time emptying itself of its contents into a space of four dimensions where past, present and future are juxtaposed or superposed for all eternity." (D & S, p.79)

Bergson is full of hesitation. when it comes to speaking the proper language of an integrated Science of the Absolute. In company with thinkers of his own generation he avoids the a priori method as well as absolutism as starting points in his speculation. Much of the obscurantism that we find in his arguments arises from this desire to keep company with realistic pragmatists and operationalists.


What is valuable to us however is the fully scientific methodology developed stage by stage in the chapters of his book. A vertical axis of reference implying past, present and future, and absorbing within its scope the possible dimensions of physics is what he is able to arrive at by the end of the third chapter. It is at this point that we are concerned with the correct relation between radical and attenuated time. Attenuated time has a vertical reference. The status of future time is a virtual and conceptual one. The world of objects and events implying a future that is still to unravel itself is thought of by Bergson as entering our consciousness backwards rather than forwards. Such delicate distinctions remain to be clarified in the Chapters to follow.



Bergson's fourth objection is that the relativity theory has not "prepared the mind against a confusion between the two" (i.e. between radical and attenuated relativity).


The interaction and interference of the two kinds of Relativity, described by Bergson as the radical and the attenuated, have to rely on the physics and philosophy of Galileo, Kepler and Newton, presupposing a Euclidean space and as well as a Cartesian cosmology and the mathematical space-time correlates. Bergson has to agree and differ alternately with each or both of them. The argument that he adopts becomes delicate and closely knit, replete with personal examples and equations, manipulated with expert ease. He brings in microbial and sub-microbial clocks and beings, and speaks of rival systems belonging to Peter and Paul who are physicists, the latter accepting philosophy only under the very special circumstances of being shot into outer space within a ball. There are also flat, one-dimensional beings who are used as literary devices by Bergson and who are represented as speaking to each other as "blood brothers." Besides Peter and Paul there are also John and Jack who belong to the horizontal structural poles of reciprocity in terms of spatial perspectives, while Peter and Paul belong to the context of expanding, contracting or multiple times acting as simultaneous instants or dislocated into successive continuities in more deeply perceived time.


All these difficulties presented by Bergson arise from the fact that he does not straightaway adopt the metaphysical notion of the Absolute substance as Descartes did. He is also not willing to accept the full implications of the static, formal and general structuralism of post-Hilbertian mathematics. The Bourbakians are still to be accepted in respect of their extreme structurally-minded predilections. It is therefore no wonder that Bergson relies on his own intuitive genius and originality in developing without a conventional a priori method the argument by which he comes to state finally at the end of his book that Einstein is a continuator of Descartes.


His closely knit arguments and equations are essentially inimitable and we cannot do better than attempt to give the gist of what he wishes to say. In doing so we have to rely on a series of quotations following the order of the book. We do this without trying to add more confusion to his delicate thought by rearranging them in any way ourselves. The reader is sure to find such an abridged text very hard going but in order to preserve these methodological and epistemological contributions of Bergson we feel justified in doing this.


The interference of classical physics with modern notions in physics is a question full of many assumptions and presupposition and Bergson's last three chapters are concerned with meeting this question. The reader has the task of seeing Bergson's own standpoint separately from all others that he incidentally discusses. The overall conclusion of an absolute time will then emerge.


With these remarks we shall now examine the contents of the fourth chapter called "The Plurality of Time." The famous episode used by relativity theorists of a man shot into outer space in a ball who on returning finds his counterpart on earth has aged by 200 years while he has aged only two years falls within the scope of this chapter. It is by replacing unilateral Relativity with a bilateral reciprocity that Bergson is able to restate and revise this famous and rather tall claim. He does this in order to abolish the paradox in favour of a fully common sense view acceptable to both philosophy and physics. We now present the important parts of Chapter Four in summary fashion.



Bergson opens Chapter IV as follows:

"Let us finally arrive at the Time of Einstein and let us gather together all we have said by supposing in the first place an immobile ether. There is evidently the world moving in its orbit. The instrument of Michelson-Morley is there when one performs the experiment - one repeats it at different periods of the year and as a consequence for the variable speeds of our planet. Always the ray of light behaves as if the earth were immobile. Such is the fact. Where is the explanation?"
(D & S, p.91)


Continuing with this theme we read:

"In the first place what have they to say about the movement of our planet? Would the earth be, in an absolute sense, in movement across space? Evidently not; we are in the hypothesis of Relativity and there is no absolute movement in it. When you speak of the orbit described by the earth, you are placing yourself in a point of view chosen arbitrarily, which is that of the inhabitants of the sun (in a sun which has become inhabited). It is at your pleasure that you adopt this system of reference. But why should a ray of light thrown on the mirrors of the Michelson-Morley apparatus take any notice of your fantasy? If all that is produced in effect is the reciprocal displacement of the earth and the sun, we could take for a system of reference the sun or the earth or any other observatory. Let us take the earth. The problem disappears for it (the earth). There is no occasion to ask while the fringes of interference conserve the same aspect, why the same result is observed at whatever moment of the year. It is just simply because the earth is immobile."
(D & S, p.92)


Bergson explains how between the observer on the sun and one placed on the earth there is a question of having somewhere a reference which is not his own. Each of these physicists would put the question of movement with reference to what he is not (The man on the sun chooses the earth as a reference and the man on the earth chooses the sun). Peter and Paul, when placed in two systems S and S´ as before, Bergson explains, would each have a reciprocal recognition of some system of reference:

"Now there is no more absolute movement, and as a consequence there is no absolute repose of the two systems which are in a state of reciprocal displacement. Each of them would be immobilized in turn by the degree which would raise it to the status of a system of reference." (D & S, p.93)


The two physicists in S and S' conduct the Michelson-Morley experiment and derive from it some information about light and its velocity representing only half its total reality. The paradoxical situation between the two physicists, each of them treating their own system as immobile and real and the other as a mere reference, is brought out by Bergson in the following way:

"But the physicist in the system S´ would proceed in exactly the same way. Declaring himself immobile he would repeat from S all that his fellow physicists placed in S would have said about S'. In the mathematical representation of the universe which he would construct, he would treat exact and definite the measurements he would have taken in the interior of his own system, but he would correct according to the formula of Lorentz all these measurements taken by the physicist attached to system S.
(D & S, p.95)


Bergson continues:

"Thus two mathematical representations of the universe would be obtained, totally different from each other, if one considered the numbers that figured in each but identical, if one should take account of the relations which are indicated by them as existing between the phenomena, - relations which we call the laws of nature. What is more, this difference is the very condition of their identity. When one takes diverse photographs of an object by turning round the object, the variability of the details does nothing more than translate the invariability of the relations which the details have between them, that is to say, the permanence of the object."
(D & S, p.95)


Bergson now sums up the definite implications of Relativity when reciprocity is fully recognized:

"We are thus brought back to a multiplicity of Times, to simultaneities which will be successions, and successions which will be simultaneities and to lengths that should be considered differently according to their being considered at rest or in movement. We are now facing the definitive form of the theory of Relativity." (D & S, pp.95-96)


Bergson now compares the status of the time taken by systems S and S' as understood by the respective physicists within each system. The reciprocal movement between the two systems can be thought of as taking place horizontally, while the measurement of time can be thought of as taking place vertically.


Bergson refers to this perpendicular reference (the vertical axis) as follows:

"We shall suppose therefore that the physicist is only interested in the line of light ....placed perpendicularly to the reciprocal movement of the two systems." (D & S, p.96)


He then goes on to say that both the physicists concerned belong to system of reference which have between them an interchangeable status:

"But if S' is a double of S, it is evident that the Time lived or acted by the second physicist during his experiment in system S', judged by him as immobile, is identical to the Time lived and acted by the first physicist in system S, equally considered immobile because S and S' once immobilized are interchangeable. Therefore the time lived and counted in the system, the time that is anterior and immanent to the system is the real time and is the same for S and S'." (D & S, pp.96-97)

Bergson further discusses time that is considered paradoxical and mathematical time. He compares and contrasts the times of both the "physicists":

"Thus, in summary, while the time attributed by Peter to his own system is the time lived by him, the time that Peter attributes to the system of Paul is neither the time lived by Peter nor the time lived by Paul, nor a time that Peter conceives as lived or one that could be lived by Paul as a conscious and living being. What would it be other than a simple mathematical expression, destined to mark that it is the system of Peter and not the system of Paul which was treated as a system of reference" (D & S, p.100)


Bergson now resorts to a striking and familiar example of two men painting a picture of two persons placed at a distance. The perspective in the painting corresponds to the distance. The person nearest to the painters appears bigger than the other person. The change of perspective by the painter and the consequent change of size will not really affect the size of the persons concerned. This is also true with the times recorded in their pure mathematical systems. Returning to the two systems, the one mobile and the other immobile, Bergson says:

"But by immobilizing my system I have mobilized the others; I have mobilized them diversely. They have acquired different speeds. The more the speed, the more it is distant from my immobility. It is this greater or lesser distance of their speed to my speed, which is zero, that I express in my mathematical representation of the other systems when I count their times as more or less slow which are always longer than mine, in the same way as it is the greater or lesser distance between Jack (the shorter subject of the painter) and myself which I express by reducing his height.

The multiplicity of times does not exclude the unity of real time; it would rather presuppose it, in the same way as the diminution of height with the distance of a series of canvases where I would represent Jack, more or less distant, would indicate that Jack conserves his own size.
(D & S, pp. 101-102)


Bergson now examines the claim often put forward by followers of Einstein who say that a man shot from a cannon at a very high speed into space, on returning to Earth will find his friend to have aged by 200 years while he aged only two years. When the reciprocity between Peter and Paul is fully accorded, Bergson says such a claim is then untenable.

We read:

"The movement being reciprocal, the two personages are interchangeable. (D & S, P.103)

Bergson goes on to explain how physicists and philosophers are naturally obliged to take a differing point of view, even when faced with the same data. A physicist is more interested in the real rather than the theoretical aspect of the situation. He is obliged therefore to treat individually Peter and Paul as real and never theoretically. Bergson, speaking about the physicist says;

"If he is with Paul he will concede to him the time that Paul himself counts. That is to say, the time which Paul effectively lives; and to Peter the time that Paul would attribute to him. But once more he would necessarily choose for Peter or for Paul."
(D & S, p.104)


Bergson continues:

"In effect both Peter and Paul have to do with the same physics. They observe the same relations between phenomena and in nature they find the same laws. But the system of Peter is immobile while Paul's is mobile. As long as we have to do with phenomena attached in some manner to a system defined by physics in such a way that the system in motion is considered as having them as a consequence, the laws of these phenomena should evidently be the same for both Peter and Paul: the phenomena in motion being perceived by Paul are animated by the same movements as they are immobile to his eyes, and appear to him exactly as they would appear to Peter in the phenomena analogous to his own system. But the electromagnetic phenomena present themselves in such a manner that one can never, when the system where it is produced is considered to be moving, consider them as participating in the movement of the system. However the relations between these phenomena and their relations with the phenomena consequent on the movement of the system are still for Paul what they are for Peter.


If the speed of the ball (the man referred to earlier as being shot into outer space) is really what it is supposed to be, Peter could not express this persistence of relationships except by attributing to Paul a Time a hundred times longer than his own, as one could see according to the equations of Lorentz. If he counted otherwise, would he not be inscribing in his mathematical representations of the world that Paul in movement finds between all phenomena, including electromagnetic phenomena, in the same relations as that of Peter in repose would affirm implicitly that Paul as one referred to could become Paul referring; for why should relations be conserved for Paul, and why should they be marked by Peter or Paul in such a way as they appear to Peter, if it is not because Paul would describe himself as immobile by the same right as Peter? But this is a simple consequence of the reciprocity which he notes, but not reciprocity itself. Once more he makes of himself one who refers, and Paul is nothing but one who is referred to. In these conditions the time of Paul is a hundred times longer than that of Peter. But it is a time that is attributed and not a time that is lived. The time lived by Paul would be his Time as referring and not a time referred to: it would be exactly the time which Peter comes to find." (D & S, pp.105-107)

Bergson now shows how to distinguish real Time from fictitious Time:

"What in effect is a real Time if it is not a Time that is lived or which could be lived? What is an unreal, auxiliary and fictitious Time if it is not that which could not be effectively lived?" (D & S, p.107)

The origin of the confusion between these two Times is now explained by Bergson. Mathematically speaking there is a freedom of choice between two systems of axes by actually choosing one of them in preference to the other. What is chosen becomes a privileged system. Bergson explains:

"In the mathematical usage that one adopts, it is indiscernible in an absolutely immobile system. Thus we see why unilateral relativity and bilateral relativity are mathematically equivalent, at least in the case which concerns us. The difference exists here only for the philosopher, it reveals itself only if one should ask what reality, that is to say, what thing perceived or perceptible is implied in the two hypotheses. The older one is of a privileged system in a state of absolute repose, and will end in posing multiple and real Times.


Peter, who is really immobile, would live through a certain duration; Paul, who is really in movement, would live through a duration which is slower. But the other, which is that of reciprocity, implies that the slower duration should be attributed by Peter to Paul, or by Paul to Peter, according to whether Peter or Paul are referent or reference. Their situations are identical; they live one and the same Time, but they attribute reciprocally to each other a Time that is different to the former and they express in this manner, according to the rules of perspective, that the physics of an imaginary observer in motion should be the same to that of a real observer at rest. Therefore in the hypothesis of reciprocity, one has at least as much justification as commonsense in believing in a unique Time: the paradoxical idea of multiple Times imposes itself only in the hypothesis of a privileged system. But once more, one could not express oneself mathematically except in the hypothesis of a privileged system, even when one has commenced by proving reciprocity."
(D & S, p.107-109)

While the physicist Paul adhered to his own privileged point of view, Bergson remarks:

"Basing his belief on such a physics, Paul will enter into the ball. We will see while en route that philosophy was right. The hypothesis of the traveler enclosed in a ball who lived only two years while 200 years were passed on Earth, was put forward by M. Langevin in a communication to the Congress of Bologna in 1911. This hypothesis which is universally known and quoted everywhere is mentioned in particular in the important work of M. Jean Becquerel on page 52 of "Le Principe de la Relativité et la Théorie de la Gravitation". Even from the point of view of pure physics it is raising certain difficulties, for we are, in reality, no longer confronted with the theory of Restricted Relativity. From the moment that speed changes its direction there is acceleration and we are confronted with a problem of Generalized Relativity.


In any case however, the solution given above removes the paradox and suppresses the problem. We are taking advantage of the opportunity offered here to say that it was the communication of M. Langevin that earlier drew our attention to the ideas of Einstein. It is a known fact how much all those who take an interest in the theory of Relativity owe to Langevin, his works and his teaching."
(D & S, p.109-110)


Bergson explains the theoretical position of the relativist and points out that he has a right not given to earlier physicists which consists of treating his own system of reference as being equivalent to all other possible systems of reference.

He emphasizes this as follows:

"It is exactly because his method of research and his procedure in notation assures him of an equivalence between all the presentations of the universe, taken from all points of view, that the has the absolute right (hardly afforded him in older physics) to hold on to his personal standpoint and to relate everything to his unique system of reference."
(D & S, p.110)


Bergson further explains that in the light of the limited theory of Relativity there is a system of reference treated as independent of the system belonging to observed things. By interaction these two give rise to a confusion which he brings out in the following way:

"What is real is measured by a physicist who is real; what is false is represented in the thought of the real physicist as measured by the false physicist."
(D & S, p.110-111)

Bergson says the physicist has to be a man with a consciousness of his own before being a physicist. Thus Peter might concede to any number of other physicists the right to exist as physicists in relation to their own system of reference at any and all points of the universe. We read the following:

"Inasmuch as he is a physicist he is anterior to the system where he takes his measurements and to which he relates all things. Like himself they are also physicists again and, as a consequence, conscious like himself they would be, strictly speaking, men attached to the system: they construct in effect with the same numbers the same representation of the world taken from the same point of view; they are also referring. But the other one would not be anything but referred to; they could not now be for the physicist anything other than empty puppets. If Peter should concede to them a soul he would lose at once his own; from being referred to they could be referring; they will be physicists and Peter would have to make himself a puppet in his turn."
(D & S, p.111-112)


Bergson points out that the two systems S and S' which he has been considering as duplications, are more compatible with a theory of Relativity rather than with the physics anterior to it.


This he considers paradoxical:

"The two persons in S and S´ could be brought by our thought to coincide together as two figures which one could superpose. They should coincide not only in respect of the diverse modes of 'quality' because their interior lives have become indistinguishable .... Let us simply say that the two observers in S and S´ live exactly the same duration and that the two systems thus have the same real Time."
(D & S, p.114)

Bergson now asks a question:

"Is it the same even in respect of all systems in the universe?"
(D & S, p.114)


If the reciprocity between a series of systems is considered, the principle of immobility implied might have "different intensities of immobilities." But this according to Bergson would not change the overall position. He takes a simpler case:

"Even when one simply accepts the hypothesis that one ordinarily makes when one makes an imaginary observer walk across the world and when one judges oneself the right to attribute to him everywhere the same duration, and understands by this that he sees no reason to believe the contrary .... In other words, the idea of posing a plurality of mathematical Times never came to the mind before the theory of Relativity; it is therefore uniquely to this latter notion that one would refer in order to doubt the unity of Time."
(D & S, p.115)

The equality of status even in this universalized context enhances the value of the theory of Relativity instead of detracting from it; Bergson says:

"Let us conclude when all is said in what concerns the universality of real Time that the theory of Relativity does not shake the admitted idea (of a universal Time), but tends all the more to consolidate it."
(D & S, p.116)

Coming now to the question of succession and simultaneity in time, Bergson points out that when two clocks are adjusted to record the same time it has to refer to an event anterior to it. Intuition comes into play when. tallying an event and a clock, P"


In this connection we read:

"Or, the simultaneity of an event with the indication of a clock which gives the time depends on no adjustments of events on clocks; it is absolute."
(D & S, p.116)


Further implications are now explained:

"If simultaneity were only correspondence between indications of a clock and if it was not also and above all a correspondence between indications of a clock and an event, one would not build clocks and nobody would buy them."
(D & S, p.117)


Bergson now points out that it is possible for a theoretician of Relativity to admit an intuitive simultaneity. In a footnote on page 118 he postulates a microscopic being who constructs his own clocks so as to bring into evidence the fact that even if the distance between two clocks should be small there would be room for error as when they are at a distance. In a previous footnote Bergson meets the objection put forward by a scientist when he says we can think of two clocks and two guided microbes placed together at short distances and even sub-microbes with corresponding clocks. Such arguments Bergson points out are only consistent with pre-relativistic physics such as that of the Greeks, and are not proper to a relativism which insists on accepting nothing if not based on direct statements of fact. Simultaneity can be verified by an observer placed at the centre of a system taken to be immobile, both by intuition as well as by indications of two clocks at equals distances from the observer. Thus two kinds of simultaneity, one called scientific and the other intuitive, can exist without contradiction. Bergson further clarifies the systems S and S´ where clocks verify simultaneity of events or vice-versa. When a system is adopted as a system of reference it is immobilized by the very act. The two simultaneities therefore confirm each other.


Further on we read how succession and simultaneity between two systems S and S´ become interchangeable. One is "conventional" (i.e. conventionally idealistic or metaphysical) and the other is not. By arranging the two clocks perpendicularly in S' instead. of horizontally, conventional simultaneity accords with visual simultaneity as between clocks.


Bergson further establishes a correspondence between four simultaneities of events in the two systems of reference S and S´. He does this by postulating a "supreme conscience capable of sympathizing instantaneously or of communicating telepathically with the two consciousness," (D & S, p.122) and concludes:

"It is evident there is nothing against it .... one can therefore continue to imagine as in the past, instantaneous sections of a unique Time, and of an absolute simultaneity of events."


Bergson takes note of the fact that when physicists give primacy to only one system of reference, the argument about two sets of simultaneities crumble. Although the physicists might be guided by two clocks adjusted to show simultaneity within their own system of reference, Bergson says:

"This does not hinder the two systems S and S' from having simultaneities that are lived, real and which are not regulated by the adjustments of clocks.


We have therefore to distinguish two kinds of simultaneity, two kinds of succession. The first of them is interior to events, it is part of their materiality, it comes from them. The other is just affixed on to them by an observer exterior to the system."
(D & S, p.125)

Further on we read:

"The first expresses something of the system itself; it is absolute The second is changeful, relative, fictitious .... There is an apparent curvature of simultaneity in succession ....This curvature is just what is required so that the physical laws, in particular those of electromagnetism could be the same to an observer inside the system, situated so to say in the absolute, and for an observer outside of whom the relation to the system could vary indefinitely."
(D & S, pp.125-126)


Continuing on the same lines for the next 33 pages, Bergson finally concludes:

"The two systems are in a state of reciprocal displacement, being interchangeable, because S' is a duplicate of S ' the vision an observer in S has of AB is found to be identical by hypothesis to the vision the observer has in S' of A´B´. How to affirm more rigorously and more absolutely the equality of the two lengths of AB and A´B´"? Equality has an absolute sense only, over and above all conventions of measurement, except in the case where the two terms compared are identical; and one declares them identical from the moment one considers them interchangeable. Therefore in agreement of the limited theory of low Relativity extension cannot anymore really contract than Time can slow down, or simultaneity can dislocate itself effectively. But when a system of reference has been adopted, and by that very fact is immobilized, all that passes in the other systems should be expressed perspectively, according to the distance, more or less considerable, which exists in the scale of size between the speed of the system referred to and the speed which is zero by hypothesis of the referring systems. Let us not lose sight of this distinction. If we make John and Jack stand out fully alive in the picture where one occupies the foreground and the other the background, let us take care not to let Jack have the height of a dwarf. Let us give him, as we would also give to John, normal height.


To sum up, we have only to take up again our initial hypothesis of a physicist attached to the Earth, performing and re-performing the Michelson-Morley experiment. But we shall suppose him above all to be preoccupied with what we suppose as real, that is to say, what he perceives or could perceive. He remains a physicist, he does not lose sight of the necessity to obtain a coherent mathematical representation of the togetherness of things. But he wishes to help the philosopher in his task; and never does his interest detach itself from the moving line of demarcation separating the symbolic from the real, and the conceived from the perceived. He would therefore speak of 'reality' and of 'appearance' of 'true measure' and of 'false measures.' In brief, he would not adopt the language of Relativity, But he would accept the theory. The translation which he is going to give us of the new idea in an older language would make us understand better in what measure we could conserve and in what measure we could modify what we have previously admitted. Therefore turning his apparatus at an angle of 90 degrees, at no period of the year does he observe any displacement of the fringes of interference. The velocity of light is thus the same in every direction, and the same for all velocities of the Earth. How to explain this fact?"
(D & S, pp.158-169)

Bergson now makes the physicist answer first from his own standpoint. He says the problem arises only because the earth is in movement. Bergson asks:

"What is this movement related to?" And the answer is given: if any such point exists it could only be arbitrarily chosen. I am free to decide that the Earth shall be this point, and to relate it in some fashion to itself. When it becomes immobile the problem vanishes.
(D & S, pp.159-160)


According to Bergson, the physicist supposes an actual point, say among the stars, which is a system of reference. This means a fresh difficulty arises. By a physicist's notion he has to admit that he has no right to speak of the equal velocity of light in any direction. The physicist would defend himself by saying that although the spectator from the star should judge his premises false there would not be any fundamental difference between the physics revealed to him and the physicist on earth. Units of measurement might be different, the relational laws remaining the same. The theoretician of Relativity, Bergson continues, resembles a person who presses his eyes so as to produce a certain type of double image. By relating everything to his own particular system of reference, and at the same time wanting to create a universally valid physics, the physicist runs the risk of having to face up to this, at least under some circumstances. Although there is a deformation of spatio-temporal relations due to the choice of the system of reference, the relational framework of the laws do not change. There are certain articulations and relations which are intrinsic to the laws of Nature. They can be verified even by wrongly supposed frames of reference.


Bergson further maintains that the physicist should take care to remember that all observers except himself result from fantasy. They can evoke as many phantoms as they wish and there will be as many as there are velocities in other words, an infinite number. The physicist will discover that all the other observers have fundamentally the same relational structure with slight distinctions The physicist would then be satisfied to continue in his own observatory without being troubled by the others. Bergson asks:

"Was it at all necessary for the theory of Relativity to invoke such rival observers". And replies in the affirmative: "It has served a very good purpose in letting scientific thinking take a forward step."
(D & S, p.165)

Bergson concludes this chapter by asserting that the theory of Relativity enables us to think of two independent systems having an interchangeable status between them. This enables us to claim philosophically a finer degree of certitude that no philosophy could have had without the theory of Einstein. He further points out that the very basis of Relativity depends upon abolishing any one privileged system as preferable to another: "Therefore this theory far from excluding the hypothesis of a unique Time depends on it and gives it a superior intelligibility."
(D & S, p.165)


Bergson has now replaced relative Time with a unique and Universal Time having an absolutist status. We now go on to Bergson´s fifth and final objection.



Bergson´s fifth objection is that relativity theory has not "pressed more closely together the passage from physics to mathematics." Mathematics and physics have to be more intimately pressed together into a unified or integrated whole. This is so that the absolute Time principle will have its necessary setting arising even from the theory of Relativity.


In the fifth chapter we find Bergson bringing together a reference to lines and geometrical figures of light, as well as just plain figures consisting of lines belonging more strictly to pure mathematics. The Theory of Relativity is directly concerned with the limiting constant of the velocity of light. It is in a universe filled with light where relativity tacitly assumes the contraction or expansion of time and space. Visible light is given to the senses and belongs to the perceived and perceptible world of physics. When we speak of the contractions or expansions of visible light or their velocity in terms of time we enter into a kind of abstraction and generalization belonging on one side to the laws of nature implied in the equations of Lorentz. On the other side we are visualizing figures of light subjected to disfigurations or distortions due to expansions and contractions of space and time treated together as reciprocal counterparts. There is an implied structural frame of reference to be presupposed before the formal and structural aspects belonging to the equation and the correlates answering to them can be kept in mind together.


Logistics and semantics are in league with formalized mathematics and a structurally understood Cartesianism. We are called upon to think of absolute Time. This is the underlying philosophical reality as presupposed in language, logic and mathematics based on a priori axioms and postulates. Pressing together the visible physical reality in terms of lines of light with its own a priori counterpart conceived in terms of mathematical lines, is a legitimate stage in our enquiry.


When properly understood in this epistemological and methodological light, truth is revealed by the agreement between physics and mathematics. To put it more simply, we have to remember for the purposes of following intelligently the arguments put forward by Bergson that the Lorentz equations answer to certain geometrical lines presupposing a structural correspondence between visual figures and mathematical formulae having a one-to-one correspondence. Hilbert's formalism is anticipated by Bergson as being capable of going hand in hand with a Bourbakian notion of structuralism.


By his desire to press these two aspects together so as to yield one and the same conviction about the absolute status of time, Bergson reveals himself to be an axiomatic or dialectical thinker who relies on the form or structure of thought language or laws of nature reflected in the equations of Lorentz.


The Lorentz equations are meant to explain laws of nature conceptually and perceptually. The same laws of nature are reflected in the structural figures of light. These figures of light can be pressed together or allowed to expand vertically or horizontally. To use Bergson's own terminology they can expand transversally or longitudinally.


Reciprocity exists in both these two senses and the lines of light are to be treated as elastic to the extent and manner that the application of the Lorentz equations belong to worlds having a Newtonian or Einsteinian limit. Physics is right in being more interested in these variable figures of light. Conventional or traditional metaphysics is right when pure mathematics, not necessarily interested in the realities of life, is axiomatic in content. Neither of these gives us the total picture of absolute truth where life and thought meet without contradiction.


The methodology and epistemology proper to an Integrated Science of the Absolute are present in the arguments of Bergson and are found in this chapter. Bergson gives to Absolute Time a central position in the discussion and this does not detract from the validity of the same arguments when extrapolated and applied to the larger context of a fully integrated Science of the Absolute.


We have also to notice in this chapter that Bergson refers to transversal and longitudinal effects having a bearing on the reality of time. He says they are both derived from the same equations of Lorentz and, after treating them separately, Bergson puts their implications together into one and the same formalized and structural whole. In doing so he has performed one of the neatest of intellectual feats that a scientifically minded philosopher could be expected to perform. He has done this without trying to tamper with or distort pure reasoning for fear of adding further confusion.


For our own interests we shall follow as carefully as possible the steps he takes in the fifth chapter which help to lead to his final conclusions. There is already a vertical line of light representing time rather than space partially emerging to view with at least its negative implications. This is fully clarified by the end of this chapter. Further completion and classification of the notion is found in the remainder of the book. The interchangeability of space and time will also become further evident when we take into account the final verdict of Bergson at the end of the book where he gives Einstein the position of being the continuator of Descartes.



Bergson opens the chapter as follows:

"This way of envisaging things will permit us to penetrate more into the theory of Relativity. We have just shown how the theoretician of Relativity evokes, from the side of the vision he has from his own system, all the representations that could be attributed to all the physicists who would see the systems in movement with all possible velocities. These representations are different, but the diverse parts of each of them are articulated in such a way so as to ascertain in the interior of these latter the same relations between them, and to manifest in this matter the same laws. Let us now press together more closely these diverse representations. Let us show in a more concrete fashion the growing deformation of the superficial image and the invariable conservation of the internal relations to the content that the velocity is thought of as increasing. In this manner we shall be taking in living terms a view of the genesis of the plurality of Times in the Theory of Relativity. We shall see the signification as designing itself materially before our eyes. At the same time we shall disentangle certain postulates which this theory implies."
(D & S, p.166-167)


Bergson now makes allusion to the Michelson-Morley experiment, bringing in lines of visible light superposed over the mathematically rigid lines which cross over at right angles at a point C to mirrors at A and B, and then come back to point C. When the apparatus is at rest double lines of light coincide with the rigid mathematical lines, as Bergson points out:

"As soon as we suppose them to be in movement the two figures would dissociate."
(D & S, p.168)


Only the figures of light get deformed and not the rigid lines. The lines of light become broken up and that which goes upwards at right angles to B instead of coming straight back forms an angle when returning. The figure of the horizontal line of light remains the same. Bergson now imagines two possible rival positions, both based on the Michelson-Morley experiment. One is pre-Relativist and the other is post-Relativist.


The pre-Relativist admitting the a priori method treats the rigid lines as real and says, as Bergson puts it:

"It is the rigid figure of space which imposes its conditions on the figure consisting of light."
(D & S, p.169)

The post-Relativist reverses the proposition. It is the figure of light which imposes its conditions on the rigid figures. In other words, the rigid figure is not reality; it is only a construction of the mind; and from this construction it is a figure of light, the only one given, which should furnish us the rules."
(D & S, p.169)


Bergson now says that the physicist who is attached to the Michelson-Morley experiment, if he also remains attached to his own system, has no escape from its direct consequences. Only if we allow him to place himself in an imaginary system outside the one where he is actually present can there be any possibility of distortions in figures of light implying contractions or elongations of times or lengths. Three kinds of possibilities of such distortions are shown by Bergson:

"First, in the transversal effect which corresponds as we shall see to what the theory of Relativity would call a prolongation; the second is the longitudinal effect which is for it a dislocation of simultaneity; the third is the double transversal-longitudinal effect which would be 'the contraction of Lorentz.'"
(D & S, pp.170-171)

In a sub-section entitled "Transversal effect or "dilation of Time"", Bergson now asks us to imagine an infinite series of figures of light starting with the original case where the rigid lines coincided with the figures of light. Such an infinite series of figures of light are possible when we suppose that the observers in system S´ who have a fictitious status can be as many as one wants to imagine, depending on the velocity of the movement of S' along a horizontal line. He gives the example of the opening and closing of a telescopic arrangement and refers to a kind of children´s' toy where one may pull out two rods in opposite directions so as to produce a number of soldiers. When pushed inward they fit into a single soldier. The figures revealed when they do not coincide with the rigid lines are many gradations of distorted visions seen in terms of lines of light. It is when these are again referred back and understood as tallying with the rigid lines that they have full reality. Bergson confirms that there is one real time that acts as a standard even when the figures of light and the rigid lines do not coincide, because of the different velocities of one or the other of the systems.


He says:
"We see by this how the theory proceeded as if we had taken for a standard scale of time the double course of the going and coming back of a ray of light between two determined points. But if we should then see intuitively at once the relation of multiple Times to the unique and real Time, not only do the multiple Times evoked by the theory of Relativity not break up the unity of real Time, but also imply and maintain it. The real observer placed inside the system in effect is conscious both of the distinction and the identity of these diverse Times. He lives through time that is psychological and with this Time mixes up all the mathematical Times more or less dilated; for, to the extent that he separates the articulated rods of his toy - that is to say, to the extent he accelerates by his thought the movement of his system, - the lines of light lengthen; but everyone fulfills this same duration that is lived. Without such a unique duration that is lived and without such a Time that is real and common to all mathematical Times, what meaning would it have to say that they are contemporaneously taking place at the same interval? What sense could anyone find for such an affirmation?"
(D & S, pp.:172-173)

Bergson explains how psychological time and visible time, in terms of a line of light, remain identical when a system is at rest. When acceleration gives to the system different lengths of visible time, the observer would still be conscious that the lengthening line only represents time in a conventional sense. As soon as he is aware of such a conventional status it becomes abolished for him in favour of real time coinciding with psychological time.


We read:

"Therefore in short, the argument of Relativity signifies here that an observer placed anteriorly to system S representing to himself the system in movement, with all the possible velocities, would see the mathematical time of his system lengthen according to the increase of the speed of his system, if the time of this system would have been confused with the line of light OB, 01, BI, 02 B2 .... etc. All these different mathematical Times would be contemporaneous as much as all of them would belong to the same psychological duration, that of the observer in S."
(D & S, p.174)


Such multiple time according to Bergson cannot be lived by anybody. It would have been the same time merely because the first of the series had a real time reference. One has to forget that all these times took place in the same duration if one should give to the multiplicity of times any separate reality at all. On this question Bergson concludes:

"Retaining for them the name of time I do agree: they would be by definition conventional Times because the measure is of no real or possible duration."
(D & S, p.174)

Examining the further implications, we read: "Let us see in the first place - in contriving to make of Time a line of light, the second effect of the deformation of the figure."
(D & S, p.175)


Bergson's next sub-section is titled "Longitudinal effect or 'dislocation of simultaneity'. He says when an observer in system S says that time is dilated he only means that the clocks do not change but time in the abstract changes. This is further explained:

"They (i.e. the clocks) are found to be in the mind of our observer, retarded more and more in relation to one another to the measure that his imagination accelerates the movement of his system."
(D & S, p.176)

It is only by definition that the two clocks showing the same hour are said to be simultaneous, we read:

"What I wish to say is that it was what originally was equal that has become unequal to what has come to glide in between the two clocks, they themselves not having moved at all."
(D & S, p.176)


Bergson further elaborates the distinction between real time and conventional time. The latter can be telescoped backwards so as to coincide with real time. He explains:

"All these dislocations, all these successions, are therefore virtual; simultaneity alone is real. And it is because all these virtualities, and all these varieties of dislocation take place in the interior of this simultaneity really perceived, that they are capable of being mathematically substituted for it. This does not prevent that on one side there is the imagined of what is purely possible, while on the other side it is the perceived and the real." (D & S: p.178)


We read further on:

"But the fact that consciously or not the theory of Relativity substitutes for time the lines of light, puts into evidence one of the principles of the doctrine."
(D & S, p.178)

Bergson now cites Ed. Guillaume who said that the main contribution of Relativity is to substitute the time of the propagation of light for time derived from the earth's rotation. Bergson also cites Edouard le Roy who thinks that when measurement methods are changed in science great steps forward will be taken in the progress of scientific thinking. Bergson. sums up the significance of such a substitution when he says:

"And as it is of the essence of physics to identify the thing with its measurement, the line of light would be at one and the same time the measurement of time and time itself."
(D & S, p.179)

The plurality of Time conditions Relativity because Time is measured by the propagation of light and varies according to the motion of the system. Plurality of time is therefore a condition natural to Relativity. Bergson says Relativity insists on abandoning any kind of time which has only a virtual existence.

It would be more correct to think of such time in terms of differing lengths of light-propagation within differently moving systems.. This choice has a paradoxical element because, as he points out:

"Real duration continues to haunt us. But this is because it is on the contrary very simple and altogether natural, if one should take for a substitute for time an extensible line of light, And if one should name simultaneity and succession the cases of equality and inequality between lines of light of which the relation between them evidently changes according to the state of repose or movement of the system."
(D & S, p.181)


Bergson now comes to the question of putting together transversal and longitudinal aspects of time. Both might lengthen or contract according to the direction of the movement of the system:

"But these considerations on the lines of light would be incomplete if we should limit ourselves to the separate study of the two transversal and longitudinal effects. We have now to be present at their being composed together.


"We are going to see how the relation which should always subsist between the longitudinal and transversal lines of light, whatever be the velocity of the system, brings with it certain consequences in what concerns its rigidity, and as a result also of its extension. We shall be taking a view in living terms of the interlacing of Space and Time in the theory of Relativity. This interlacing does not clearly appear except when one has reduced time to a line of light. With this line of light which is of time but remains stretched out in terms of space and lengthened in accordance with the movement of the system and gathering itself along its course the space with which it makes time, we are going to understand in concrete terms, in the Time and space of everybody, the initial and very simple fact which translates itself by the conception of a Space-Time of four dimensions in the theory of Relativity."
(D & S, pp.181-182)


Bergson's third sub-section is called "The transversal-longitudinal effect or 'the contraction of Lorentz.''' He works out in detail the implications of the Lorentz transformation. Though it is to be understood in terms of lines of light, it also has its distinct longitudinal implications. He brings out these implications with the help of the Lorentz equations. Simultaneity and succession refer to one or the other of the transversal or longitudinal axes. Bergson concludes this chapter as follows:

"We find once again in this manner 'the contraction of Lorentz.' One sees what contraction signifies. The identification of Time with the line of light results in the movement of the system producing a double effect in time: dilation of the second and dislocation of simultaneity .... In one case as in the other one could say that Time alone (the fictitious Time) is what we are dealing with. But the combination of effects of Times gives us what one calls a contraction of length in Space.


One seizes in its very essence the restricted theory of Relativity. In familiar terms it expresses itself as follows: 'given at rest a coincidence of a rigid line in space with a supple line of light, and given, on the other hand an idealist dissociation of these two figures by the effect of a movement which thought could attribute to the system, the successive deformation of the supple figure of light by differing velocities are all that matter; the rigid figure of space would arrange as best it could.'


"By means of facts we see that if the movement of the system, the longitudinal zigzag line of light should conserve the same length as the transversal zigzag line because the equality of these two times is all-important. As in these conditions the two rigid lines of space, the longitudinal and the transversal, could not themselves remain equal, and it is space that should give in. It will give in out of necessity. The rigid trace in the lines of pure space being considered as nothing but the recording of the global effect, produced by the diverse modifications of the supple figure, that is to say, of the lines of light."
(D & S, pp.185-187)

From the italicized lines of the above sentences it is clear that Bergson still adheres, up to this stage of his discussion, to the restricted theory of Relativity, where Space has primacy over Time. The Time coordinate will be fully inserted in the next chapter. The italicized words above are meant to mark the transition from a spatially understood Relativity to one in which Time and Space belong more intimately together as a continuum and not an amalgam. This we shall presently come to see. We now go on to summarize Bergson's sixth chapter.



Bergson now examines in detail the epistemological homogeneity, methodological correctness and the mathematical validity of the arguments involved in arriving at a pure notion of a Space-Time of four dimensions which is the title of this chapter. He finds it difficult to justify a jump from the Space-dominated status of the restricted theory of Relativity to one where the Time factor as a physical reality is legitimately inserted without ambiguity, paradox or error.


He comes to close grips with the basic paradox between radical and attenuated Relativity and has attempted to dissolve them in favour of a unitive time acceptable to both common sense and Philosophy. The more we approach the paradox the more subtle, vague and generalized are the physical and mathematical factors involved. Einstein himself, as we have seen in speaking of a unified field theory, thought of this task as one belonging to a bold and imaginative scientific speculator.


The transition from the restricted to the general theory of Relativity is open to question on strict grounds of a unified and homogeneous status for the fields involved in each separate theory. The restricted theory respects the contractions and transformations of Lorentz for possible observation. This is made by physicists for whom time is more Space-like than Time-like. In the general theory the Space-like character of Time is not completely abolished, because as Bergson points out, measurement is the very essence of modern physics, and measurement can only be thought of in spatialized terms. To derive the fourth dimension from the three other dimensions requires the intervention of calculus, trigonometry, conics and analytical geometry. They all refer to the same basic laws of nature relationally understood and reflected in the various terms of equations.


We shall spare the reader the difficulty of following all the arguments based on these considerations in detail. Even we are not fully competent to enter into the mathematical argumentation with sufficient certitude. Bergson refers to a Superman's consciousness so as to derive the fourth dimension representing time by interposing such an imaginary one or by the device of two- and three-dimensional animals as carrying on successive dialogues between themselves. He is able to give us a simpler picture of the transition from a two-dimensional to a three- or four- dimensional situation. He does this by simplifying the situation schematically and assuming a paper and pencil world for the purpose of representing successively the additional dimensions through mathematical reasonings. The two schematic images developed by Bergson within the scope of this chapter refer to a helicoidal spiral with a vertical reference and to a more strikingly original one where a vermicular consciousness is represented as being attached to a vertical parameter representing Time. This last schematic image interests us because Bergson holds it in so high a regard that he wants it to be used as an instrument of research.


Bergson also speaks of a tetrahedron with a conscious observer at the summit. It is legitimate for us to suppose that he came very near to visualizing in general the same kind of structuralism that we have ourselves developed in these pages so far. We have referred to this structuralism in the name of linguistic communicability, stressing that it has no reality of its own. A fully formalized semantics, logistics and mathematics will answer to the same structure reflecting laws of thought and nature.


Such is the position we have to presuppose throughout the pages that follow in order to give a methodological and epistemological unity to the present study. Time, causation or any other topic of philosophical import can be given the same treatment as Bergson has done here with the notion of duration.


We can also think of specific or generic times without basic contradiction between them. According to Bergson, as we shall soon see, Time in the most generalized terms as a fourth dimension, requires the consciousness of Superman, who resembles a clever mathematician. Sub-human animals easily appreciate the world of two dimensions and humans the world of three dimensions.


Such are some of the presuppositions in the rest of the work. We shall extract only those points that interest us directly, while avoiding the intricacies natural to the subject.


Bergson opens Chapter Six by leaving aside the figures of light and the distinctions made between the multiplicity of times and psychological time, which opened the door to us for a closer examination of the nature of Space-Time. Let us now take up his considerations in the matter.


Passing on to the notion of Space-Time as understood by Minkowski, and pointing out a subtle distinction concerning the relation of things to their expressions, Bergson explains:
"The thing is what is perceived; the expression is what the mind puts in the place of the thing so as to submit it to calculation. The thing is given in a real vision; the expression corresponds at the most to what we call a fanciful vision."
(D & S, p.189)

Bergson now shows how, when one thinks of a fanciful figure, such an idea is built around something more real at its core, but the way of thinking in Relativity gives to the thing and its expression the same epistemological status. When we are asked to think of the Space-Time continuum of Minkowski is it a metaphysical rather than a physical entity that is implied? Bergson asks how this idea originated.


He next enters into a strenuous and elaborate discussion supported by different equations justified by the Lorentz transformation. He is conscious of the heaviness of the reasoning involved. His main purpose however is simple. He places an observer in system S´ who witnesses two events within the system separated by two points A'B'. In doing this he takes care to respect the mathematics already accepted in respect of Lorentz´s transformations. Bergson is able, when putting the system S´ in relation with the original immobile system S, to arrive at an invariant factor implied between them. Having established such a common factor, Bergson continues somewhat apologetically:

"Our calculation should have appeared somewhat awry. It is really so. Nothing would have been more simple than to have stated straightaway that (x2-x1)2 plus (y2-y1)2 plus (z2-zl)2 – c2 (t2-tl)2 does not change when one submits the transformation of Lorentz to the terms composing it.. It would have amounted to putting on the same rank all the systems where all the measurements are supposed to have been taken. The mathematician and the physicist have to do this because they do not seek to interpret in terms of reality the Space-Time of the theory of Relativity, but merely to utilize it. On the contrary our own subject is this very interpretation." (D & S, p.195)


Bergson next states that whatever is observable to a real physicist in S´ has necessarily to be given a central position in relation to all others which represent an endless variety of distortions or alternations of lines of light. We read: "Alteration and deformations coordinate between themselves in such a manner that certain relations among the measurements remain the same."
(D & S, p.195)


"Now if we fix our attention on this central observer in S´, we have to concede the necessity of establishing, as Bergson says, "a distinction between the case where an observer in S´ would, perceive as simultaneous the events in A' and B', and also the case where he would note them to be successive."
(D & S, pp.195-196)


This double feature is important to recognize because by treating these two cases as mere disjunct particular instances chosen from among possible ones the signification of these two views for purposes of our own desire to clarify the four-fold structure of Time-Space would have been lost.


The pre-relativist three dimensional space relations are now considered. Bergson shows by elaborate calculations how a fourth dimension can be legitimately introduced as required by the theory of Relativity. He relies on the differential calculus and imaginary numbers such as the square root of -1, corresponding to the Time axis. He further justifies a sort of Space-Time amalgam good enough for relativity theory, By further use of the integral, differential and infinitesimal calculi, Bergson is able to permit the notion of Minkowski's Space-Time continuum, treated as an interval of spatialized time moving along an imaginary axis which is timelike, as having the status of what is represented by the square root of -1.
We read:
"We have come to see how the notation of a fourth dimension gets introduced, so to say automatically, in the theory of Relativity. From it undoubtedly comes the opinion often expressed that we owe to this theory the first idea of a fourth dimension englobing Space and Time. What we have not yet sufficiently noted is that a fourth dimension of Space is suggested by all spatialization of Time, it has therefore always been implied by our science and by our language. One can even extract it out in a more precise form, at least in a more figured way from the current conception of Time, than from the theory of Relativity. Only in the current theory the assimilation of Time into a fourth dimension is understood, while the physics of Relativity is obliged to introduce it into its calculations. This comes about from the double effect of endosmosis and exomosis between time and space, resulting in the reciprocal stepping over of one into the other, which seems to translate the equations of Lorentz. It becomes necessary here to situate and to implicitly indicate its position in time as well as in space. It remains no less true that the Space-Time of Minkowski and Einstein is a species of which the common spatialization of Time in a space of four dimensions is the genus.


The course that we have to take is therefore completely traced. We should commence by asking what it is that signifies in a general manner the introduction of a context of the four dimensions which would reunite Time and Space. Then we would ask what we add to it or what we take away from it when we conceive of the relation between spatial and temporal dimensions after the manner of Minkowski and Einstein. Even now we get a glimpse of the question of whether the current conception of a Space accompanied by a Time spatialized naturally takes in the mind the form of a context with four dimensions. If this context is fictitious in that it simply symbolizes the convention of spatializing time, it would even be so for the species, for which the context with four dimensions would be the genus.


In all cases species and genus would have without doubt the same degree of reality and the Space-Time of the theory of Relativity would probably not be more incompatible with our older conception of duration which is not anything more than a Space-and-Time of four dimensions, symbolizing at once the usual Space and Time spatialized. Nevertheless we cannot dispense with considering more specially the Space-Time of Minkowski and Einstein when once we would have occupied ourselves with a general Space and Time of four dimensions. Let us attach ourselves to this first of all."
(D & S, pp.199-200)

In examining the merits of the fourth dimension introduced by Relativity as an artifice adopted for purposes of calculation, Bergson now proposes a simpler way of introducing Time as a dimension into Space. He wants to simplify the side of Space, by treating it as two-dimensional as on a piece of paper with two lines crossing at right angles. Bergson explains as follows:

"We have much trouble imagining a new dimension if we take our start from a Space with three dimensions, because experience does not show us a fourth one. But nothing is more simple if it is a Space of two dimensions to which we endow from our side this supplementary dimension. We could bring to mind plain living beings living on one surface and conferring themselves in it, knowing nothing other than two dimensions of space, one of them could have been conducted by his calculations to postulate the existence of the third dimension. Superficially in a double sense of the word, his congenital brother would refuse to follow him; he would not succeed in imagining what his understanding could have conceived. But we, who live in a Space of three dimensions would have the real perception of the fact that it would be simply represented as possible; we would take account exactly of what should have been added in introducing a new dimension. And as it would be something of the same kind that we would be doing ourselves, if we supposed, reduced into three dimensions as we already are, that we are immersed in a context of four dimensions we would be nearly imagining in this manner the fourth dimension which appeared to us in the beginning as unimaginable. It is true it would not be altogether the same thing, because the space of more than. three dimensions is a pure conception of the mind and could not correspond to any reality, while the space of three dimensions is that of our experience.


When therefore in what follows we make use of our Space of three dimensions really perceived, to give a body to representations of a mathematician subjected to a flat universe - representations conceivable to him but not what could be imagined - that would not amount to saying that there exists or could exist a Space of four dimensions capable in its turn of being realized in a concrete form from our own mathematical conceptions when they transcend our world of three dimensions. That would be to play too well on the side of those who would interpret at once metaphysically the theory of Relativity. The device that we are going to use has for its unique object that of furnishing our imaginary support of the theory, so as to render it more clear, and by that to enable us to see better the errors into which our hasty conclusions would make us fall."
(D & S, pp.200-201)


Bergson comes back to his starting point by saying that to the two lines at right angles Relativity adds a third perpendicular line:

"To this world of two dimensions the theory of Relativity endows an additional dimension which is meant to be Time .... Surely this additional dimension is altogether of a special nature."
(D & S, p.202)

After positing the special nature of the fourth dimension Bergson once again explains that the theory of Relativity does not give importance to it. We read:

"If it (Relativity) had recourse here to a device, and if it had assumed an imaginary time, it was precisely so that its invariant could conserve the form of four squares, each having the coefficient of unity, so that the new dimension could be provisionally assimilated to the others."
(D & S, p.21)

Bergson goes on to examine what this additional dimension adds and takes away from the original two dimensions. Distinguishing two kinds of Space related to Time, he says:

"The mathematical Time could be treated as an additional dimension of Space."
(D & S, p.203)


Bergson then goes on to develop a complete schematic representation of time understood actually as well as imaginatively:

"Let us suppose a superficial universe reduced to a plane P, and let us consider on it a mobile plane N which describes any kind of line, for example a circumference starting from a certain point which we shall treat as the origin. We who live in a world of three dimensions could represent to ourselves mobile M and drawing with it a line MN perpendicular to the plane and of such the variable length would measure at each instant the time that has passed since the origin.


The extremity N of this line will describe in the Space with three dimensions a curve which would be, in this present case, of a helicoidal form. It is easy to see that this curve traveled in Space of three dimensions would reveal to us all the peculiarities of a temporal nature of the changes that have taken place in the space of two dimensions. The distance of any point from the coil to the plane P would indicate in effect the movement of Time with which we are concerned, and the tangent to the curve at this point would give us by its inclination to the plane P, the velocity of this mobile at that moment. In this way one would say 'the curve of two dimensions' does not sketch more than a part of reality stated to be on the plane P, because it is nothing but space in the sense that the inhabitants of P give to the word. On the contrary the curve of three dimensions contains this reality entirely: it has three dimensions of Space; it would be of a Space-and-Time of three dimensions for a mathematician of two dimensions, who would inhabit the plane P, and who, because he was incapable of imagining the third dimension, would be led by the experience of the movement to conceive it and express it analytically. He could afterwards learn from us that a curved dimension exists effectively as an image.


Once we have posited a curve of three dimensions, which would be Space and Time at once, the curve of two dimensions would appear to the mathematician of the ordinary universe as a simple projection of the latter on the plane which he inhabits. It would be nothing more than the superficial and spatial aspect of a solid reality which should be called Time and Space at once.


In short, the form of a curve of three dimensions informs us here both about the plane trajectory and the temporal peculiarities of a movement taking place in a Space of two dimensions. More generally that which is given as movement in a Space of a certain number of dimensions could be represented as a form in a Space having one more dimension.


But is this representation really adequate to what is represented? Does it correctly contain what the latter contains? We would believe it in the first instance as we have just explained. But the truth is that it includes more by one side and less by the other, and if two things look as if they could be interchanged it is because our mind cuts out surreptitiously from the representation what there is in excess, introducing no less surreptitiously that which is lacking.


Let us commence by the second point. It is evident that the so-called future has been eliminated. That is to say, science has no use for it in the present case. What is its object? Simply to know where the mobile would be at any given moment in its course. It transports itself invariably at the extremity of an interval already severed; it occupies itself only with the result that has been once arrived at: if it could represent at one stroke all the results acquired at all moments in a manner whose result corresponds to such and such a moment, it would have gained the same success as a child who has become capable of reading instantaneously a word instead of spelling it out letter by letter. This is what happens in the case of our circle and our coil which correspond point to point. But this correspondence has no signification except when our mind follows up the curve and occupies its successive points. If we can replace the succession by a juxtaposition, the real Time by a Time spatialized, that which is becoming with what has become, it is because we conserve in ourselves the becoming which is the real duration. When the child actually reads the words at one stroke it spells it out virtually letter by letter. Let us not therefore imagine that our curve of three dimensions reveals to us, so to say crystallized together, the movement by which is traced the plane curve and the plane curve itself. It has simply extracted from the becoming that which interests science, and what is more, science cannot utilize this because our mind will re-establish the future which was eliminated, or it will feel capable of doing so. In this case the curve with N plus I dimension all traced out which would be equivalent to the curve of N dimension in the process of being traced would represent really less than what it claims.

But in another sense it represents more. Cutting out from here and adding on to there it is doubly inadequate.

 We have obtained it (i.e. the curve) in effect by a well-defined procedure by the circular movement in the plane P of a point N, which drew with it the line of a variable length MN, proportional to the time that has elapsed. Thus plane, circle, line and movement are the perfectly determined elements of the operation by which this figure was traced. But this figure when completely traced does not necessarily imply this mode of generating. Even if it still implies it, it could be the effect of the movement of another line, perpendicular to another plane of which the extremity M would have described on this plane with quite a different velocity, a curve which was not a circumference."
(D & S, pp.203-207)


Bergson further elaborates in a few paragraphs the implication of the coil in relation to the two-dimensional surface. He shows how there is a plus and minus compensation of perceptual and conceptual factors between them, offering infinite possibilities within its total scope. The child who spells letter by letter and the one who is able to read the word at one stroke belong to complementary or reciprocal aspects of this helicoidal projection which is an amalgam of Time and Space. In this connection we read:

"In adding a dimension to the Space where we find ourselves we could without doubt figure to ourselves by a thing in this new Space a process or a becoming as being present in the old. But as we have substituted something ready-made for what we perceive as being made, we have on the one hand eliminated the future inherent in Time, and on the other hand introduced the possibility of an infinity of other processes by which the thing could have been equally well constructed."
(D & S,p.208)

After discussing what is the more real of the alternative times, Bergson sums up:

"In brief, we forget that, in Time that is measurable, being necessarily symbolized by Space, there is at one and the same time a plus and minus in the dimension of Space taken to be a symbol rather than in Time itself."
(D & S, p.209)

Bergson now brings in the analogy of the cinema (see also Creative Evolution, Ch. 4) by way of referring to two aspects of presented Time. One belongs to the symbolism of science and the other is given to experience. He sums up:

"Certainly the role of absolute determinism in this universe is great; it is precisely because of this that a mathematical physics is possible. But what is predetermined is virtually what has already been ready-made and it does not endure except by its solidarity with what is being made, with what is real duration and what is succession: we have to take account of this interlacing and one would then see that the past, present and future history of the universe could not be considered capable of being globally given along the length of a film."
(D & S, p.211)


Bergson sums up the point of view of two inhabitants of a world of two dimensions extending infinitely. The first is scientifically minded, but the second, having some creative imagination, is able to predict the future. His own standpoint we notice tallies with the latter.


The following extract sufficiently reflects his position:

"We could suppose that it has a third dimension which our senses do not reach and across which our consciousness could travel precisely when it unravels itself in 'Time'. By virtue of this third dimension of Space, all the images constituting all the past or future moments of the universe are given at one stroke with the present image, not disposed as one in relation to the another as in. a photograph along the length of a film (for this in effect would then not be any place), but arranged in a different order, which we would not be able to imagine but which we could however conceive. Living in Time consists in traversing this third dimension, that is to say, to detail it, and to perceive the images one after another which permit themselves to be juxtaposed .... We believe that the images are created to the extent that they appear, just because they seem to appear to us, that is to say, to be produced before us and for us, and come to us. But let us not forget that all movement is reciprocal or relative: if you should see them coming to us, it is also true to say that we are going towards them. They are in reality there; they wait for us in a line: we pass along the front. Let us not say therefore that either events or accidents happen to us - it is we who arrive at them. And we could experience this immediately if we knew the third dimension as we know the others.

Now let us suppose that I am taken as an arbiter between the two camps. I will turn towards those who have just spoken and would tell them: 'let me first congratulate you for having no more than two dimensions. For by this you are going to get for your argument a verification which I would vainly search for myself, if I make a reasoning analogous to yours in the Space that fate has thrown me into. I find in effect, that I inhabit a Space of three dimensions; and when I agree with such and such a philosopher in the matter of there being a fourth dimension, I say something which is perhaps absurd in itself, although mathematically conceivable. A Superman who in my turn I would treat as an arbiter between them and myself would perhaps explain that the idea of the fourth dimension is obtained by the prolongation of certain mathematical habits contracted in our Space (absolutely as you have obtained the idea of a third dimension), but the idea this time does not correspond and could not correspond to any reality. There is nevertheless a Space of three dimensions, where precisely I find myself: it is a good fortune for you, and I am going to be able to give you more information.


Yes, you have justly guessed in believing it possible that the co-existence of images like yours, each one extending on as infinite 'surface,' while it is impossible in the Space cut off where the totality of your universe seems to you to take place and to be contained in each instant. It is sufficient that these images - named by you 'planes' - are piled up as we say one over the other. There they are piled up. I see your universe 'solid', according to our manner of speaking; it is made up of piling together all your plane images, past, present and future. I also see your consciousness traveling perpendicularly to these superposed 'planes,' never taking notice of anything but what it traverses, perceiving as the present, and afterwards remembering the one that is left behind, but ignoring those in front which enter turn by turn into their present to come quickly to enrich their past.

Only this is what still strikes me:

I take any image whatever, or better the films without images in order to figure out your future which I do not know. I have in this manner piled up on the present state of your universe the future states which remain for me blank: they make a counterbalancing weight to the past states which are on the other side of this present state, and which I see as determined images. But I am not at all sure that your future coexists in this manner with your present. It is you who say so, I construct my figure based on your indications, but your hypothesis remains a hypothesis. Do not forget that it is a hypothesis and that it simply translates certain properties of altogether particular facts, cut out of the immensity of the real, in which the science of physics is interested. Now I could tell you by making you the beneficiary of my experience of the third dimension, that your representation of time by means of space would give you at once more or less than what you intended to represented."
(D & S, pp.212-215)


Bergson now pleads for a double-sided correction to be applied to the fourth dimension of Time before it could escape the charge of being merely metaphysical or mathematical on the one hand, and on the other hand, one that is given to the intuitive experience of a superhuman observer. His imaginary superman now speaks:

"I, who am inserted in the world organized by my body, by the world made conscious by my mind, I perceive the onward march as a gradual enrichment, as a continuity of invention and creation. Time is for me what is most real and what is most necessary; that is the fundamental condition of action - I say it is action…."
(D & S, p.216-217)



Further on, Bergson says:

"Do not take me for a metaphysician, if you would call the man of dialectical constructions by that name. I have constructed nothing, I have only stated facts .... what is immediately given should be taken for real as long as one is not convinced that it is a simple appearance; it is up to you therefore if you see an illusion to bring a proof to bear on it."
(D & S, p.217)


Continuing in the same vein, he says:

"The metaphysics of the greater part of the metaphysicians is nothing but the law of the functioning of human understanding, which is one of the faculties of thought, but it is not thought itself."
(D & S, p.218)


In very clear terms Bergson now sums up the nature of Time, as follows:
"It matters little, however, whether you express yourself in one of these ways or in another: in either case there is a plane P - that is Space. -- and a displacement of this plane parallel to itself - that is Time - which makes out that the plane traverses the totality of the block, posited once and for all."
(D & S, p.219)


He finally sums up:

"Such are the two points (viz. of construction or destruction by an architect who is supposed to begin from the top or the base the latter being positive and the former negative) which one should never lose sight of when one joins time to space, in endowing the latter with an additional dimension." (D & S, p.221)


He further underlines this in the following way:

"Whoever does not bring to bear here a double corrective would risk being led to error on the philosophical significance of the theory of Relativity and of erecting a mathematical representation as a transcendent reality."
(D & S, p.222)

Bergson leaves behind the considerations connected with Time joined with Space and treats there both as an amalgam. We read:

"But now we should occupy ourselves with the special aspect which the fourth dimension takes in the Space-Time of Minkowski and Einstein."
(D & S, p.223)


The fourth dimension cannot anymore be considered on a par with the three others. The fourth dimension would be affected by the velocity of light having a different status. Mathematics recognizes the imaginary nature of the fourth dimension. If we finally put them together giving a particular form of Space and Time we get to know this as an amalgam. In the beginning, the theory of Relativity seemed to accept a plurality of Times, but when we look at its implications we find Bergson telling us otherwise:

"On looking at it at closer quarters we have never found anything but one real Time, that of the physicist who constructs science - the others are virtual Times, that is to say, fictitious, attributed by him to virtual observers, that is to say, fanciful. Each of these fanciful observers becoming animated all of a sudden, would place himself in the real duration of the older real observer, who has become fanciful in his turn."
(D & S, p.224)

Thus both the mobile and the immobile observers have a virtual status proper to, and most suited for, explaining electromagnetic phenomena through the equations of Lorentz. The physicist who is actually experimenting has to abandon his place in favour of a physicist imagined to be experimenting before a proper mixing of Time and Space can take place even for the purposes of Einstein´s relativity. Bergson says:

"That is to say, he would not know how to abandon it without installing himself in another system: the latter which is thus at rest will have a Space and a Time clearly distinct from ours. In the same way Space could swallow up Time, and Time which in its turn could absorb Space, are Time and Space always virtually and merely thought of, and never actual and realized. It is true that the conception of such a Space-Time will act on the perception of actual Space and Time. Traversing Time and Space which we have always known to be distinct and by that very reason amorphous, we shall be able to see as if by transparency an organism of Space-Time articulated. The mathematical notation of these articulations effected on a basis that is virtual and carried to its most high degree of generalization will give us an unexpected hold on reality. We shall then have in our hands a powerful means of investigation, a principle of research which we can predict even from the present as one that the human spirit will not renounce, even when experience should impose a new form to the theory of Relativity.


To show how Time and Space do not begin to interlace at the moment when either one or the other becomes fictitious, let us return to our system S´ and our observer, who placing himself effectively in S´ transports himself in thought into another system of S.


Now immobilize it and suppose S' to be animated by all possible speeds. We wish to know in the theory of Relativity what signifies the interlacing of Space and Time considered as an additional dimension.. We shall be changing nothing in what results and we shall be simplifying our exposition in supposing the space in our systems S and S' to be one unique dimension which is a straight line, and that the observer at S´ having a vermicular form occupies a portion of this line."
(D & S, pp.225-227)

The relation between pure Space which is real with an amalgam of Space-Time which is bound to be virtual is also explained:

"But this reality could be virtually reconstituted by an amalgam of virtual Space and Time. This Space and Time as imprinted on the system by the observer who idealistically detaches himself from it, lengthens to the extent that the virtual velocity increases. In this manner we obtain an infinity of amalgams of Space and Time, as merely thought of, all equal to pure and simple Space, perceived and real.


But the essence of the theory of Relativity is to place on the same rank the real and the virtual visions. The real world would not be other than a particular case of the virtual." (D & S, p.229)


Further clarifying the relation between real Space and Space-Time we read: 
"We are thus brought back to our earlier conclusions. We have been shown that to the person who observes them in the interior of his system two simultaneous events would become successive for the one who would represent them from outside the system in movement. We have agreed but we took note of the fact that the interval between the two events which have become successive, could well be called time, and could contain no event.
This we have said was 'nothingness dilated.'"
(D & S,p.230)

In concluding this chapter Bergson finally explains the nature of Time and Space interpenetrating each other:

"For this Space and Time which interpenetrate are not the Space and Time of any real physicist or even conceived as such. The real physicist takes his measurements in the system where he finds himself, which he mobilizes in adopting it as a system of reference. Time and Space rest distinct therein, impenetrable to each other.


Space and Time interpenetrate only in a system that is in movement where the real physicist is not present, and where only the physicist imagined by him lives - imagined for the greatest benefit of science. But these physicists are not imagined as real or as capable of being so: to suppose them to be real and to attribute to them a consciousness would be to erect this system as a system of reference, to transport oneself there and to confound oneself with them; in any case to declare that their Time and Space have ceased to co-penetrate.

We come back in this manner by a long detour to our starting point of Space convertible into Time, and of Time reconvertible into Space, and we simply repeat what we already have said about the plurality of Times, succession and simultaneity, taken to be the same thing in the two Cases. The invariance of the expression dx2 plus dy2 plus dz2 minus c2dt2 immediately results from the equation of Lorentz. And the Space-Time of Minkowski and Einstein does nothing other than symbolize this invariance, just as the hypothesis of multiple Times and simultaneities which are convertible into successions do not do anything more than translate these equations."
(D & S, pp.234-235)

The application of the Lorentz equations to the varying mathematical and physical reciprocal velocities of the systems do not affect and change the two-sided structural status. Bergson's epistemology and methodology agree with our own. If Einstein's position is enlarged upon and extrapolated into more generalized philosophical terms by Bergson, we on our part can extrapolate by the same token the revised double status of time into the general context of an Integrated Science of the Absolute. There is no violation of principle in doing this.


In Bergson's "Final Remarks," we find an attempt is made to put together the restricted and general theories of Relativity. This is done so that they can belong consistently together correctly, for a more complete and absolute thinking substance referable to the two structural Cartesian correlates. All the other arguments justifying the pressing together of physics and mathematics recommended by Bergson need not be gone into here. The loose ends of his developing arguments are ultimately gathered together by Bergson himself in his "Final Remarks," which we now quote in full.



"Here we are at the end of our study. It had to refer to the Time or the paradoxes concerning Time which one ordinarily associates with the theory of Relativity. It will be limited to restricted Relativity. Do we remain for this reason in the abstract? Certainly not. And we would have nothing essential to add on to Time if we introduce into simplified reality, with which we were occupied till now, a gravitational field. According to the theory of general Relativity, we cannot in a gravitational field define the synchronization of clocks nor affirm that the velocity of light was constant. As a consequence, strictly speaking, the optical definition of time disappears. As soon as we wish to give a sense for a time coordinate we would necessarily be placed in the conditions of a restricted Relativity in going according to need to see for it in infinity.

At each instant a Universe of restricted Relativity is tangential to a Universe of general Relativity. On the other hand we have never to consider the velocities comparable to that of light nor the field of gravitation which would be intense in proportion. Therefore in general terms we could, with a sufficient approximation, borrow the notion of Time from restricted relativity and conserve it as it is. In this sense Time pertains to the Restricted Theory of Relativity as Space does to the General Theory of Relativity.

Much is needed to bridge the Time of restricted Relativity and the Space of general Relativity for each to have the same degree of reality. A profound study of this point would be singularly instructive to the philosopher. It would confirm the radical distinction of nature which we established once before between real Time and pure Space, unduly considered as analogous by traditional philosophy. And perhaps it would not be without interest for the physicist. It would reveal that the restricted and the General Theories of Relativity are not animated by exactly the same spirit, and have not altogether the same significance. The first has besides come out of a collective effort, while the second reflects the proper genius of Einstein. The former brings us above all to a new formula for results already acquired; it is truly in the proper sense of the word a theory and a mode of representation. The latter is essentially a method of investigation and an instrument of discovery. But we have not here to institute a comparison between them. Let us say only a couple of words on the difference between the Time of one and the Space of the other. This would be returning to an idea many times expressed in the course of the present study.


When the physicist of General Relativity determines the structure of Space, he speaks of a Space where he is effectively placed. All that he advances, he would verify with appropriate instruments of measurement. The parts of Space of which he defines the curvature can be as distant as one could wish: theoretically he would transport himself there, and theoretically too he would make us witness the verification of his formula. In brief, the Space of General Relativity presents some peculiarities which are not merely conceived and which could be as well perceived. They concern the system where the physicist lives.

But the peculiarities of time and notably the plurality of Time in the restricted theory of Relativity, escapes not only in fact the observation of the physicist who posits them: they are unverifiable in principle. While the Space of General Relativity is a Space where one is oneself, all except one of the Times of Restricted Relativity are defined in the manner of being Times where one is not present. One could not be present there, because one carries with oneself wherever one goes, a Time that chases the other, like the torch attached to a man who walks, making the mist recoil at every step. One does not even conceive oneself as being there, for to transport oneself by thought which, in one of the dilated Times, would be to adopt the system to which it belongs, to make it one's system of reference; at once this Time would contract and would become again the Time that one lives in the interior of a system, the Time which we have no reason at all not to believe to be the same in all systems.

The dilated and dislocated Times are therefore auxiliary Times, interlaced by the thought of the physicist between the point of departure from calculation which is real Time and the point of arrival which is the same Time again real. In this latter Time one has taken measurements in which one operates; to this would apply the results of the operation. The others are intermediaries between the enunciation and the solution of the problem.

The physicist puts all these on the same plane and calls them by the same name. He also treats them in the same manner. And he is right. All are in effect measurements of Time; and as the measurement of a thing is in the eyes of physics that thing itself, all should be Time for the physicist. But in one case alone among them - we think we have shown this - there is succession. One alone among them endures as a consequence, the others do not endure. While the former is without doubt a time placed back-to-back to the length which measures it, but is distinct from it; the others are nothing but lengths.


More precisely, the former is at one and the same time a Time and a 'line of light'; the others are nothing but lines of light. But as these last lines are born from a lengthening of the first and as the first was stuck on to Time, one could say of them that they were Times lengthened. From this arise all the Times in an indefinite number of restricted Relativity. Their plurality, for from excluding the unity of real Time, presupposes it.

 The paradox commences when one affirms that all these Times are realities, this is to say, things that we perceive or could perceive, as one that is lived or could be lived. They have implicitly admitted the contrary for everything except for one only: when one has identified Time with the line of light. Such is the contradiction which our mind can guess, when the mind does not see it clearly. It is not attributable either to the physicist as such: it will only come into view in a physics that would erect itself as a metaphysics. To this contradiction our mind is not equal. We were mistaken to have attributed its resistance to a prejudice coming from common sense. Prejudices disappear or at least become weakened on reflection. But in the present case reflection reaffirms our conviction and even ends up rendering it unshakable, because it reveals to us, in the Times of restricted Relativity - one alone among them excepted - Times which are without duration, where the events would not be able to succeed nor things subsist, nor beings grow old.

Aging and duration belong to the order of quality. No effort of analysis would resolve them into pure quantity. The thing remains here distinct from its measurement, which applies however to a Space representative of Time, more than to Time itself. But it is quite different with Space. Its measurement exhausts its essence. This time the peculiarities discovered and defined by physics belong to the thing and not any more to the view of it taken by the mind. Let us rather say; they are reality itself, the thing is now relation. Descartes brought matter back considered within the instant - to extension; physics in his view attained the real to the extent it was geometric. A study of General Relativity parallel to that which we have already undertaken of Restricted Relativity, would show us that the reduction of gravitation in terms of inertia has just been an elimination of readymade concepts, interposed between the physicist and his object, and between the mind and the constitutive relations of things, obstructed physics from being geometry. Viewed thus, Einstein is the continuator of Descartes."
(D & S, pp 236- 241)



Recently, I was presented with a typescript containing a course of lectures entitled: "Rigour, Adequacy and Vigour in Axiomatic Physics". This course has just been instituted at the University of Lyons by Prof. Janin. There was a sentence in the typescript which I found intriguing "To find Bourbaki as being irreplaceable does not rule out the possibility of finding him irritating on first contact."


The attitude contained in this sentence reflects the general state of mind in France when confronted with a certain new and heterodox way in scientific thought. Irritation and interest seem to be the rival reactions most men feel about Bourbaki at present in Europe. Hilbert had formalized mathematics so as to justify the notion of a chose mathématique (a mathematical thing). Side by side with the progress of such formalization there was taking place from the side of the geometry of algebra a process of schematization which presupposed the visible rather than the logical and the perceptible rather than the conceptual aspect of thought.


These two legitimate ways of mathematical abstraction and generalization refer to one and the same central Reality whose scientific certitude is in question. The Pythagoras Theorem represents such a central certitude obtained from visible geometrical construction as well as from algebraic formulation. Formalism and schematism have a rigour, adequacy, and vigour, as referring to axiomatic certitude. This way of thinking is beginning to find its place in a revised scientific epistemology and methodology. One also hears of such expressions as the 'beauty' and 'power' of the new structural notions such as the Gaussian curve of statistical probability.


A one-to-one correspondence between ensembles belonging to a quaternian structure of complex numbers belongs to the same context of axiomatization. A close scrutiny of the passages cited above from Bergson reveals that he was a forerunner who happened to anticipate somewhat prematurely this new way of structural axiomatization.


This new vogue is finally being ushered in by some of the most modern of scientific thinkers, of whom Prof. Janin, whom I met, is an example. The fourfold or fourth dimension comprising them, the double correction, and the endosmosis and exosmosis are meant to take place between physics and mathematics when closely pressed together and more fully integrated as recommended by Bergson. We know that mathematics implies logic and axioms. Mathematical definitions also have a semantic link between them. Laws of nature have an internal structure stated in the form of the logistical language of the propositional calculus. Thus sometimes, mathematics, logic and structuralism can all be considered to belong to the context of this new way of axiomatization in scientific thought.


The Bourbakians are suspect at present and the term has the effect of a nickname rather than that of a respectable school of modern thought. Hence the irritation and hesitancy evidenced by modern nuclear physicists like de Broglie when they had to speak of the epistemological status of the particle or the wave belonging together to a common structural context. The direct disciples of de Broglie, M.A. Tonnelat, and T. Destouches-Fevrier have written about the structural and axiomatic implications of the laws of physics.


Heisenberg and Niels Bohr have their own way of referring axiomatically and structurally to the relation between the a priori and a posteriori aspects of reality. Once the mutual absorption of physics and metaphysics is shown to be possible and legitimate, axiomatization can be considered a natural consequence of the unhindered trend of modern thought. We have already had occasion in our preliminaries to refer to these features initially.


When structuralism is admitted in an integrated manner into a limited laboratory context, it can. be extrapolated and applied to larger and larger fields of thought as the extrapolation passes from the species to the genus of any system of thought.


Time, space and causality can be subjected to such an axiomatized way of thinking whether one is interested in. the unified field of physics or the universally valid field of philosophy. Both can refer only to the same absolute truth.


Dialectics, known to the world from ancient times, is a form of axiomatic thinking where the vertical counterparts absorb or cancel each other without contradiction. When the perspective is turned at right angles some kind of orthogonality and exclusion is implied. This seems to be an inevitable concomitant of structurally based axiomatization. When as Bergson recommends, mathematics and physics are pressed together, a totality results in a kind of homomorphism referring to a common structural pattern wherein conceptual and perceptual aspects of schematized truth coexist without contradiction. In the context of cybernetics, homomorphism is to be replaced with homeostasis which is a kind of equilibrium belonging to a normalized and re-normalized state. We also have thermodynamic equilibrium where entropy and negentropy balance each other. These are some of the idioms referring to aspects of modern scientific thinking which we have to keep in mind throughout this work.


We cannot do better here than to cite at random some extracts from modern axiomatic thinkers. We wish thus to show that the methodological approach of Narayana Guru is the same as that of these thinkers, and above all banish any lingering prejudice about his being some strange oriental mystic quite different from modern thinkers. When Narayana Guru equates cause and effect and equates the Self and the non-Self as cancelable into an Absolute Self of existent-subsistence-value as found in the last verse of the present chapter, he is merely adopting the same structural axiomatic and dialectical approach beginning to be recognized in the modern West. A comparison of his approach with the approach revealed in. the following extracts shows the common basis. A common methodology and epistemology for an integrated Science of the Absolute is thus sighted.


The nature of mathematical reasoning is basically axiomatic. This is referred to in the following way by a modern French thinker, Paul Foulquie:
"Mathematics is concerned with total abstractions It attempts to liberate itself completely from experience and to axiomatize itself; that is to ay, to constitute itself into an independent system, freely posited by the mind and sufficient to itself." (5)


The relation between a definition, semantics and an axiom, is brought out by Poincaré, as quoted by Foulquie:

"In this sense an axiom is a disguised definition. Constructing semantics is the same as constructing axioms." (6)


The double reference from model to structure and vice versa is under reference in the following extract from Prof. Janin's paper:

"In the stage of research the thought of the mathematician goes from the model to the structure .... On the contrary, a didactic exposition of the theory will take place in the form of an abstract axiomatization, the model being given as an application .... if one might say, it is the structure itself that becomes the model."


In regards to the validity of extrapolation, in axiomatic thinking, Prof. Janin says:

"We can thus distinguish many stages in the construction of mathematics, stages which are not clearly separated, overlapping in time and corresponding to modes of thought which coexist in the same time." (7)


The dialectical and axiomatic view of science is clearly brought out by Foulquie:

"Scientific thought is in the first place a dialogue between the a priori and the a posteriori. Philosophers have engaged themselves in polemics for centuries on the problem of the origin of knowledge. Those among them to whom the philosophic spirit was important have attributed to man ideas independent of experience, that is to say by the contact of things themselves through the intermediary of the sense organs. Before the contemporary epoch, scientific thinkers were hardly preoccupied with such problems which were being fought out between philosophers; but certain mathematicians were excepted, they ranged themselves practically within the second case and took all knowledge to have an empirical origin.


According to the dialectical conception of science, on the contrary, no knowledge is totally given either in an a priori or in an a posteriori fashion; it results from a dialogue between the a priori and the a posteriori" (8)


In Narayana Guru's work as a whole this axiomatic approach with its epistemological and methodological implications have to be kept in mind because one necessarily presupposes the other.


It will be found that there is revealed a reduction from a formalized and mechanized model to a structural living reality in this second chapter. This is carried on stage by stage in. every other chapter until we come to the end of chapter five. This second chapter could be characterized as an ontological reduction of reality.


From the sixth chapter onwards is the reverse process of a teleological construction from the living structure to the mechanistic model of reasoning, through logic, logic-physics, and semantics. The dialogue between these two reversible processes refers to the complete methodology of the work as a whole, implying both a normalization and a re-normalization. in axiomatic thought for the purposes of a Science of the Absolute. We shall have occasion to mention more detailed implications of this two-sided methodology at each stage of our discussion.


One more word before concluding this prologue of Methodology:
We have traveled from schematic structuralism, the elements of which were laid in the Cartesian correlated or coordinates. Spinoza, Leibniz and Kant had these or similar conjugated correlate or coordinating features in their minds, to which Bergson only added his touch of vital dynamism.


A relativist dummy was needed to give to the Absolute its fully independent or non-relativist status, as Eddington pointed out in recommending his selective and subjective structuralism. Our own attempts to build up a protolinguistic language for Unified Science, adopted the readymade structure available in the colour solid to which we referred in the Preliminaries. A colourful expanse of a visible world is structurally related to a "frame" in the passage by Bergson. which we have quoted above on pages 148-153. Bergson has further improved on this initial structural image used by him above, on pages 323, 327, and 356-357. A Gaussian curve of probability, treated together with a similar one of possibility in life events or functions are referred to elsewhere.


The careful student desiring to get the special benefit of all the special features of our approach to the Science of the Absolute would do well to re-examine these pages and to relate them to similar confirmatory reference in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutras cited in the later chapters of this work. Life is thus understood as a pulsation that propagates itself in space and time and subject to a universal principle of causality at its core. When this is understood in the light of the new idioms brought into scientific thinking - such as entropy, negentropy, retroaction, osmosis, endosmosis, reciprocity, complementarity, one-to-one correspondence or cancellability of counterparts or ensembles; it will open up new and interesting vistas and instruments of research, full of beauty, promise and power in the cause of the Truth that shall make us free. The answer to such problems as materialization or psychic powers will be covered thus globally, if not in piecemeal fashion.


Before leaving behind this long apparent digression in which we have tried to see how Bergson as a modern philosopher is able to revise relativism in terms generally acceptable to philosophy, to pass on to a final section on axiomatic thinking coming into the methodology of modern science, by way of apology for taking such liberties equally trying on the reader, it might be permissible to explain here that the normative absolute is not meant to be a mere mathematical abstraction.


The last sentence quoted from Bergson above could seem to suggest that the analytical geometry of Descartes and the new way in physics of Einstein were both empty of significant or substantial content in terms of a human life that is actually lived and for which all science or philosophy is meant to be a guide or consolation through certitude.


Both Kant and Descartes agreed in their faith in schematic aids to thought and Bergson too gave to this visualized way in language his own schematized basis, revised and restated in more vital terms. Thus from Descartes through Kant, Bergson and Eddington to the modern Bourbakians, a schematic protolinguism as an aid to scientific communicability without frontiers of local vernaculars is to be recognized.


In the place of S and S' as rival systems where Peter's or Paul's consciousness would recognize one unique and universal Time, we could think of the domains proper to physics and metaphysics as capable of being represented by a common. Schema integrating both into one high human. value factor, existing and subsisting as a normative Absolute in human consciousness:


Thus it would be possible and legitimate to think of two rival Selves instead of two rival systems as Bergson had done. One of these Selves could belong to a radical, rigid, or horizontal world, and the other to a refined or verticalized order. The ontological Self could thus be the real basis of the teleological non-Self and be considered as its cause. When the negative way proper to the neti, neti approach of Vedantic methodology is thought of at this point, it would be easy for the reader to see readily how our long detour into Bergsonianism is more than justified by the common character of absolutist ontological reduction underlying the methodology of the Guru Narayana himself, as we shall presently see. These common methodological assumptions and presuppositions culminate in the fully axiomatic way of reasoning, now becoming more and more acceptable to scientific thinkers of the present day.





[1] Rune´s "Dictionary of Philosophy", Bombay: Jaico Publ., 1957, p.196


 [2] Rune´s p.196


[3] "Search for a Norm in Western Thought", Values


[4] Descartes, pp.20-21


[5]  "La Dialectique", Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1959, p.93, our translation.


[6] P. Foulquie


[7] From Prof. Janin's personal lecture notes, entitled "Rigour, Adequacy and Vigour in Axiomatic Physics."


[8] Foulquie, pp. 97-98








1. caitanyadagatam sthulasuksmatmakamidam jagat asti cedsadghanam sarvam nasti cedasti cidghanam
This world, which is both subtle and gross,
And which has come to be from living consciousness,
If existent, then everything is existent;
If non-existent, then it exists as consciousness.
CAITANYAT, from living consciousness (i.e. the Lord),
AGATAM, what has come to be,
STHULA SUKSHMATMAKAMIDAM, which is both subtle and gross,
IDAM JAGAT, this world,
ASTI CET, if existent,
SARVAM SADGHANAM ASTI, everything is existent,
NASTI CET, if non- existent,
CIDGHANAM ASTI, it exists as consciousness
This world, while seen as having both a subtle and a gross form, has come out of the Lord who is of the form of consciousness. In other words, it is the Lord who appears as the world. (But) the world does not really exist. The world which is none other than the Lord, if we should say it is real it consists of existence (sat). If we should say, on the contrary, that it does not exist because it still remains in the form of knowledge, it consists of the stuff of consciousness. Because it is both existent and made of consciousness it is none other than what the Lord is. Therefore, whether we say the world is existent or non-existent we have to admit that it is not different from the Lord; this is because the world is merely superimposed (adhyasa) on the Lord who is existence-subsistence-value (sat-cit-ananda). It has no real existence and that which really exists is the foundation which is the Lord alone.




2. anyanna karanatkaryam asadedadato'khilam asatah kathamutpattiranutpannasya ko layah
Other than the cause, the effect cannot be,
Therefore, all this is non-existent.
Of what is non-existent, how can there be an origin?
And of something unoriginated, how (can there be) reabsorption?
KARANAT, from the cause,
ANYAT, other,
KARYAM NA, there is no effect,
ATAH, before,
ETAT AKHILAM, all this (universe),
ASAT (BHAVATI), becomes non-existent,
ASATAH,of what is non-existent,
UTPATTIH KATHAM, how can there be origin,
ANUTPANNASYA, of something unoriginated,
LAYAH, reabsorbtion,
KAH, how can there be?
There is no effect independent of the cause. That is, when we examine it more closely all effects are unreal. Their causes alone are real. Therefore, the visible and invisible universe is unreal because of being an effect. That which is existent is what is real. It is what constitutes the one cause for everything, which is the Lord, or in other words, the Absolute (brahman). How can a non-existent world have an origin? In other words, it never originated at all. How can anything which does not originate have re-absorption? That is, there is no re-absorption. For something which has neither origin nor re-absorption there is no state of being. That is, in the Absolute this universe has no being at any time (either) in the past, present or future.


3. yasyotpattirlayo nasti tat param brahma ne'tarat utpattisca layo'stiti brahmatyatmani mayaya
To that which origin and dissolution is not,
That is none other than the ultimate Absolute.
(That there) is origin and re-absorption,
By Maya´s confusion in the Self (is supposed).


YASYA, to that which,
UTPATTIH LAYA CA, origin and reabsorption,
NASTI, is not,
TAT, that,
PARAM BRAHMA, (than) the ultimate Absolute,
ITARAT NA, is none other,
UTPATTIH LAYA CA, origin and reabsorption,
ATMANI, in the self,
ASTI ITI, as present,
MAYAYA, by Maya,
BHRAMATI, by confusion (one thinks)
Because origin and reabsorption have been mentioned, being (existence) is also to be understood as included. That one reality which has neither origin, being, nor reabsorption is none other than that supreme and ultimate Absolute. In that Absolute which is in the form of the Self the origin, being and re-absorption of the world is taken to be present because of confusion. This confusion is caused by the conditioning (upadhi) imposed by Maya. In the fourth darsana Maya will be further elaborated.


4. karanavyatiriktatvat karyasya kathamastita bhavatyataha karanasya kathamasti ca nastita
Because of non-difference from cause,
The effect, how could it have being?
How could there be, for the same reason,
For the cause also, any non-being?
KARANA VYATIRIKA TVAT, because of non-difference (of effect) from cause,
KARYASYA, for the effect,
KATHAM, how could there be,
ASTITA, (state of) being,
BHAVATI, come to be,
ATAH, for the same reason,
KARANASYA, for the cause,
NASTITA CA, non-being also,
KATHAMASTI, how could there be?
Because an effect is non-different from its cause the effect has no independent status in being. By the same reason, for the cause there is no non-existence either. That is to say, the world as an effect is given to the vision, but on further examination it is seen to be unreal. If there is an effect it should necessarily have a cause. That effect should not be different from its cause in principle. This is to say, when we examine it (still) further there remains only the cause and not the effect, because the non-existence of the effect as given to view is the unsublated reality of the cause itself. By virtue of such a reasoning the Absolute as the cause alone is real. The world as an effect is thus established as unreal without further argumentation.




5. karyatvadasato'syasti karanam nahyato jagat brahmaiva tarhi sadasaditi muhyati mandadhih
Being an effect, and thus non-existent,
An existent cause there is; the world is thus not indeed.
On the other hand, it is the Absolute alone that is existent,
That dull minds mistake as non-existing.
KARYATVAT, because of being an effect,
ASATAH, what is non-existent,
ASYA, for this (visible world),
KARANAM, an (existent) cause,
ASTI, there is,
ATAH, therefore (because there is a cause),
JAGAT, he world (which is an effect),
NA HI, is not (real) indeed,
TARHI, on the contrary,
SAT, existent (as a cause),
BRAHMA EVA, the Absolute it is indeed,
MANADHIH, dull minds,
ASAD ITI, as unreal,
MUHYATI, mistake

All things which constitute an effect are unreal. This is well known. Therefore the whole world is unreal and because of being unreal it must have a cause which is real. Because the cause alone has a status in reality, it naturally follows that the effect is unreal. That unique cause which represents real existence is the Absolute. Dull minds not capable of discrimination due to a confusion between existence and non-existence treat real existence as unreal. In other words, they mistake the Absolute for the world and thus suffer.


6. ekasyaivasti satta cedanyasya'sau kva vidyate satyastyamatmasrayo yadyapyasati syad asambhavaha
If one alone has reality,
Another in it how could there be?
If existence is posited in existence, tautology,
And if non-existence is so asserted, contradiction (comes).
EKASYA EVA, for one only (i.e. for the absolute alone which is the cause)
SATTA, existence,
ASTI, there is,
ANYASYA, for another (i.e. for the world which is an effect),
ASAU, in this existence,
KYA VIDYATE, where could it be,
SATI, within what exists,
SATTA, existence,
ASTI CET, if we say there is (existence is),
ATMASRAYAH, there is petitio principii, (i.e. tautology),
ASATI, within non-existence,
(SATTA ASTI, existence is),
YADI, if we should say,
ASAMBHAVAH, impossibility (i.e. contradiction),
API, also,
SYAD, would come to be.




If we press further along the foregoing reasoning concerning the relation between the effect and cause, we come to know there is only one thing that is real and that another can have no reality beside it. That is to say, only the Absolute which is the cause has reality and thence it follows that the world is an effect having no reality. In a certain reality, if the reality of another is predicated that is a tautology. Again in the Absolute, which is alone real, there is the existence of a non-existent thing; this is impossible and a contradiction. When one's own existence is posited in oneself, there is the defect of begging the question (petitio principii) which is, in principle, a tautology.
As an alternative, if one should state that in the world that is non-existent there is existence; this results in the logical error called contradiction. Familiar examples of such contradictions in the Vedantic context are gandharva nagaram, the city of quasi-celestial beings, the son of a sterile woman, the rabbit's horn, etc. Their (inherent) impossibilities could be referred to as contradictions.


7. vibhajya'vayavam sarvamekaikam tatra drsyate cinmatramakhilam nanyaditi mayaviduragam
Dividing all parts one by one,
Everything then is seen there
As mind stuff alone, and as no other,
As thus banishing Maya (relativity) far away.
AVAYAVAM, parts, limbs,
EKAIKAM, one by one,
SARVAM, all,
VIBHAJYA, having divided,
TATRA, then,
AKHILAM, everything, (i.e. the whole world),
MAYAVIDURAGAM, banishing Maya far away (i.e. without any taint of Maya),
CINMATRA, mind stuff alone (of the stuff of absolute consciousness),
ANYAT NA, no other thing,
ITI, thus,
DRSYATE, is seen
To understand this let us examine the reality of a cloth. In the first place we can divide the cloth into its threads. When the threads have been taken out there is no cloth to be seen. Thus we know that it is the threads that take the form of cloth, and the cloth (itself) has no reality. The reality of the cloth merely resides in the thread. If we proceed once again in the same manner to examine the thread we see that it gives place to cotton. Now we understand that it is cotton that appears like thread, and the reality of thread is not in the thread but in the cotton. If we further examine this cotton we find it consists of atoms composed of the five elements. Now the reality is not even in the cotton and (instead) it is in the atoms where reality resides. If we further examine these atoms by means of instruments, or even by the instrumentality of the mind, we find these atoms without being, given as objects for the instruments or even the mind which is subtler than the subtlest instrument, all perception hiding in a sort of darkness or ignorance, which is nescience. That is to say nobody is able to know how all this originated. Now by this kind of enquiry, cloth, thread, cotton, elemental atoms and ignorance we know that for all these there is only one reality and from cloth to atom everything is the effect of nescience. But even this nescience is capable of being abolished by knowledge or science. It is this aspect of knowledge that is attributed to the Lord. The absence of knowledge is what constitutes the stuff of ignorance. When knowledge operates nescience becomes abolished and with the help of such knowledge one is able to see the causal status in reality of each one of the items ranging from cloth to atom. Such awareness is a kind of ever-present and lasting witness, having an ultimate status of its own. Awareness itself is without further cause and is self-evident. All others have dependent causes, one behind the other. Therefore it is knowledge alone that is supreme and eternal. All other things are unreal.




8. cideva nanyadhabati citah paramato nahi yacca nabhati tadasadyadasattanna bhati ca
Thus, it is pure mind-stuff alone that shines,
There is nothing, therefore, beyond pure mind-stuff at all.
What does not shine is not real either,
And what is not real does not shine indeed.
CIT EVA, it is even pure mind-stuff,
ABHATI, shines;
ANYAD NA, not anything else;
ATAH, therefore;
CITAH PARAM, beyond pure mind-stuff (i.e. other than knowledge);
NAHI, nothing indeed;
YAT CA, that which also;
NA ABHATI, does not shine;
TAT, that;
ASAT, is non-real;
YAT, that which;
ASAT, is non-real;
TAT, that;
NA BHATI CA, also does not shine indeed.
All that enters consciousness is nothing other than what is real. That which is not real cannot enter consciousness. It is knowledge alone that remains real. That which is both real and consciousness is the Absolute which is none other than the Lord as consciousness. Therefore, what appears as this world is nothing other than the Absolute. Existence and subsistence are both the form of the Absolute. Existence-subsistence-value all have the characteristics of the form of the Absolute. What is both existence and subsistence is a High Value at the same time.


9. ananda evasti bhati nanyah kascidato'khilam anandaghanamanyanna vina'nandena vidyate
High Value (Biss) alone exists and shines,
Therefore nothing else at all,
Thus, everything is of the stuff of the High Value,
And besides this High Value, nothing else exists.
ANANDA EVA ASTI, high value (Bliss) alone exists,
(ANANDA EVA) BHATI, (it is high value alone that) shines,
ANYAH KASCID NA, not anything else,
ATAH, therefore,
AKHILAM, everything (i.e. the whole world),
ANANDA GHANAM, is of the stuff of this high value,
ANYAT NA VIDYATE, nothing else exists
This verse merely underlines the High Value content called Bliss or ananda as comprising the totality of the Absolute.


10. sarvam hi saccidanandam neha nana'sti kincana yah pasyatiha naneva mrtyormrtyam sa gacchati
All is indeed existence-subsistence-value,
Herein there is not even a little plurality.
He who sees (this) as pluralistic,
From death to death he goes.
SARVAM SACCIDANANDAM HI, all this is indeed existence-subsistence-value,
IHA, herein,
KINCANA, not even a little,
NANA, plurality,
NA ASTI, there is not,
IHA, in this (absolute),
YAH, he,
NANA IVA, as if pluralistic,
PASYATI, sees,
SAH, he,
MRITYOR, from death,
MRITYAM, to death,
GACCHATI, he goes

The meaning of the verse is sufficiently clear. The note on which it ends is reminiscent of an Upanishadic dictum as found in the Katha Upanishad. The Absolute is here reduced as comprised with the categories of Existence-subsistence-value.