Ancient science: Defining Logic (sAMkhya)
This is the third blog in the series Exploring science in ancient scriptures. In the previous two blogs, I had written about the difference in view of space, time and matter and explained the definition of existence according to ancient science. In the first blog I had explained how, if we considered this reality around us as a system, in this system, if we froze change across the system and viewed all the observables (matter, light, etc) as nodes connected by some bond (force) at various distances and directions, then we have a network. In this network, if we introduced change, with each node moving at various speeds and the bonds forming and breaking, then that changing network, becomes bhUmi, the base network on which everything in this reality is playing out. This network appears as space, as we know it and the change appears as time as we know it, a specific type of node appear as individual matter as we know it. Further in the second blog, we saw that each of these nodes or observables has to follow a certain path as change occurs. Hence, each node can move are different paces in the network. A node with such a sustaining self-path is said to be existent. The question now is, how does this self-path move forward? How does change occur so that these nodes can move to establish a self-path? Subsequently, what determines the path followed by this self-path? How does one change get picked up over the other to ensure the movement of the self-path forward? What is forward?
In modern science, the role of logic is limited to the computer world or the virtual world. While, quantum mechanics talks about superposition of states, where all possible states are equally possible until an observer is introduced into the equation, it fails to explain why an observer chooses a particular state of existence. It researches about the superposition of states and the particular state chosen, devoid of logic. For example, if we take the double slit experiment, it is claimed that when photons are passed via double micron slits in a first wall, they create an interference pattern on a second wall, indicating that the photon is in wave state. But, if an observer is introduced in the slit, then the pattern created on the second wall are strips without interference, indicating that the photon is in the particle state.
There are many questions that remain open in the explanation for this experiment. The different patterns can be explained by the photon having a superposition of states till an observer is introduced. But, the question is, why is the “first or the second wall” also not considered as observers? Why is only that which is introduced in the slit considered an observer? After all, observers are not only those that “we” classify as an observer? Shouldn’t observers be defined in relation to the photon, not in relation to “our intelligence”? Anything external to the photon needs to be classified as observers. The question that should be really asked is, why does the introduction of an observer in the slit, force the photon to take on a “particle state”, while the observer of “just the walls” allows the photon to pick the wave state? Experiments to reduce the capability of the observer in the slit has produced varying results. But, the question remains, why does various observers force the photon to pick various states? And are there only the two observed states namely wave and particle or is it that we have not been able to introduce an observer that brings out other states that a photon can take?
Now, looking at this same experiment from the ancient science perspective, if we considered the photon as “an existence” and the path the photon takes from the source to the second wall as a self-path of that photon which lends it existence, then that path has been chosen based on various observables in the bhUmi or network around that photon to drive the behaviour of the photon. The wave or particle states are then not single states associated with the photon, but behaviour of the self-path of the photon, which adjusts as the path advances. So, the question changes to, why is one change preferred over another change in the self-path of the photon? This according to ancient science is called “established logic” or “sAMkhya”.
“saMkhya” normally is translated as “rational, discriminative, related to numbers” and many such. If we look at the Surya Siddanta and follow through the process that it defines for the emergence of reality, we find that “before existence (or self-path) is established, a progression (which is logic) is established based on a series of changes involved in the formation of the self-path”. Equating this to the descriptions present in the verses in in the Bhagavad gita’s “sAMkhya yoga” chapter, we will find that “sAMkhya” can be equated to “that progression” which is logic.
Surya Siddanta also describes how this logic is established. As, I have pointed out in my book “Surya Siddanta: Emergence of reality“, our concepts of cause and effect seems to be reversed. As you read the above explanation, if you examine your own thoughts, you will find that, as the brain is reading through the presented information, it expects the establishing of “logic” is due to some “external influence being present” and then subsequently the path is established by that logic. This is exactly were the “cause-effect thinking” falls apart. When we talk about the system which is reality, nothing “exists” beyond this reality, it is in and of itself. Hence the cause and effect should be within itself. So, how does logic get established?
So, how does logic get formed in and of itself? According to the Surya Siddanta, there exists a phase when the self-path is being established, so that a path can “exist imperishable”. This is the “ravi mAsa” or the “period of rising” and the rest of the flow of path is “adhi mAsa” or the “remaining period”. During the period of rising, a hundred thoughts related to the same path has to pass to establish its life cycle, after which that thoughts seems to exist imperishable. During this hundred thoughts that pass, they establish a progression which is the logic. I like to call this is as establishing the “adaptive algorithm”. In computer parlance, this is similar to the “learning algorithm”. I prefer the term “adaptive” because there is nothing specific to learn here, it is just that the path’s algorithm keeps adapting itself to the incorporate the next change that is detected into the series of changes that is already detected.
For e.g., if we take a series of numbers that are being revealed one by one and we want to understand what the algorithm of the series is, we need to have an adaptive algorithm. Say the first three numbers revealed are “1, 1, 2” and we have to guess what the next number in the series is. We can guess it to be either 2 or 3. If it was 2, the series could have progressed as “1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3” and if it was 3, the series could have progressed as “1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8”. So, the algorithm adapts itself based on the next number revealed in the series of numbers. So, how many numbers are required, before we know the exact series that we are dealing with? In fact, in the above series, we will find however many numbers are revealed, we cannot with certainty say what the next number should be, there is always a choice, because repetition can occur at any point and the series need not be broken.
This is the same adaptive algorithm that occurs in our scenario also, where a self-path is established. But, what is suggested is that the first hundred thoughts, as it is revealed, a logic is established and henceforth after that the logic is retained and the path starts seeking for changes that match the established logic rather than the logic adapting to the changes. This is established logic or sAMkhya which once, ravi mAsa has passed, determines the changes that are picked up as the self-path progresses. It should be noted that “self-path” progresses across changes which is not limited to just change in space parameters, it can be any property associated with observables. In ancient science, “a series of changes” is kAla which is orthogonal to time as we define it. Time as we define it, is a series of slices of states of space strung together. Here, it is assumed that time is the same across the breadth, depth and length of space, space is basic and time is derived. Where as “kAla” traverses the “series of changes” of one observable from start to end of the path associated with that observable. Thus space becomes a network of observables moving with different paths, so, kAla is basic and space is derived.