Science of the Absolute Chapter 1 - Epilogue
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Created on Monday, 20 October 2008 19:08
Last Updated on Monday, 19 May 2014 17:45
Published on Monday, 20 October 2008 19:08
Written by Patrick Misson
AN INTEGRATED SCIENCE OF THE ABSOLUTE
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)
1. SPECULATION VERSUS OBSERVATION
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.
2. SOME INTERESTING MODERN VIEWS IN COSMOGONY
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.
3. COSMOGONY IN THE RIG VEDA
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.
4. COSMOGONY IN THE BIBLE
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.
5. THE INTERCHANGEABILITY AND HOMOGENEITY OF DIALECTICAL COUNTERPARTS
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.
6. EVOLUTIONARY COSMOLOGICAL PROCESSES
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.
7. EVOLUTION IN TERMS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
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:
- the struggle for existence,
- the survival of the fittest, and
- 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:
- 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.
- During the month of September the earth moves almost parallel to its own north-south axis.
- 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).
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
8. THE PLACE OF EVOLUTION IN A NORMALIZED CONTEXT
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.
9. CONCLUDING REMARKS
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.
 Ved. Sut. Comm. Sank., Vol.1, pp.333-334.
 H.O. Taylor, "Philosophy and Science in the Sixteenth Century", New York: Collier Books, 1962, p.117.
 J. Muir 1870, p.356.trans., "Classical Original Texts: Rig Veda", Oxford:
 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.
 S. McKenna (trans), "The Essence of Plotinus: the Six Enneads", Oxford: 1948, p.222.
 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".
 Bergson,Cr. Ev. ,pp. 71-94.
 from: J. Bergier, "L'Extraordinaire Decouverte de Piccardi", Planete, Paris: 1962, No.5, p.84, our translation.
 Plato, "Timaeus", 1949, p.19 Trans. B. Jowett, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,
 P.T. de Chardin, "The Phenomenon of Man", London: Collins, 1960, pp.32-33.
 N.Berdyaev, "Freedom and the Spirit", E.G. Geoffrey, London:1960. trans. O.F. Clarke,