Vimal, R. L. P., & Bhardwaj, S. (2015). Metaphysics, Science, Religion, and Spirituality: Bringing them Closer via Extended Dual-Aspect Monism (Dvi-Pakṣa Advaita).

Abstract

We need both science and religion in our daily lives, but they have opposite foundations. The dominant metaphysics (foundation) of science is materialism: non-mental matter is fundamental and mind somehow arises from it, which is close to eastern Cārvāka/Lokāyata view. However, religion is based on: (a) idealism, where non-material mind is fundamental and matter-in-itself somehow congeals from it, which is close to Advaita, and/or (b) interactive substance dualism, where both matter and mind are fundamental but they can interact, which is close to khya. These three metaphysics have serious problems: the explanatory gap problem in materialism and idealism, and the association problem in interactive substance dualism. Any person (theist, atheist, agnostic, humanists, hedonists, and so on) can be spiritual. Thus, the metaphysics of science and science-based spirituality and that of religion and religion-based spirituality contradict each other.

We propose the least problematic five-component extended Dual-Aspect Monism (eDAM, Dvi-Paka Advaita) framework. This addresses the contradiction, the problems of other metaphysics, and brings science, religion, and both kinds of spirituality closer. In the eDAM framework, spirituality is defined as an experiential sub-aspect of consciousness, which is the mental-aspect of a (transcendental for spirituality) state of a mind-brain system (or that of a brain-process) interacting with its environment, from the first-person perspective (1pp). The environment includes other living and non-living systems. The spirituality or self-transcendence has three components: self-forgetfulness, transpersonal identification, and mysticism. Spirituality can be measured subjectively using a self-transcendence scale. Its inseparable physical aspect from third person perspective (3pp) is related neural-network and its activities, which can be measured objectively such as using functional MRI.

The western/scientific term ‘mind’ is different from eastern term ‘manas’ or ‘mana’, which is a subtle matter, the central processor, and is liaison between Purua and Prakti. As per Rao (1998), “The manas is the central processor which selectively reflects on the material provided by the senses and determines its character by assimilation and discrimination” (p.319).

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[2] Vimal, R. L. P., & Bhardwaj, S. (2015). Metaphysics, Science, Religion, and Spirituality: Bringing them Closer via Extended Dual-Aspect Monism (Dvi-Pakṣa Advaita). Vision Research Institute: Living Vision and Consciousness Research  [Available: updated version: http://sites.google.com/site/rlpvimal/Home/2015-Vimal-Spirituality-Science-Closer-LVCR-7-6.pdf

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