Wednesday, 13 April 2016

From the technology in the Vedas to the Veda of Technology

In this blog I have defined Technovedanta as a technological meta-knowledge philosophy beyond science and religion. The underlying epistemological idea is that mental knowledge can a priori only be speculative and in order to really know that our knowledge is valid, we must be able to reduce it to practice in the form of a technological application.

You may wonder why I introduced the word “Vedanta” which refers to a collection of Vedic scriptures. What do the ancient Indian Vedas have to do with epistemology?

The reasons are manifold: Prior to this blog I wrote a book called “Technovedanta”, in which I proposed an architecture for the internet as aware network (the Awwwarenet) based on stratifications derived from the Indian philosophy of Vedanta to create a functional mimic of consciousness, quasi-consciousness. Writing this book, the investigation of nature’s fundamental primacy of consciousness led me to the hypothesis of a panpsychic theory of everything.

But my ideas continued to evolve on this topic: In this blog I deepened my T.O.E by adding a pancomputational dimension, as described in the post on panpsychic pancomputationalism. As a corollary I became interested in the topic of epistemology: What can we really know for sure and how can we be so sure that what we know is “true”. Since my philosophy was extending into the very core of epistemology and my conclusion was that true knowledge can only be confirmed by a technological application thereof, it was apt to use a terminology that combined both technology and knowledge. But I already had proposed a terminology that was fit for that concept, namely “Technovedanta”. 

The Sanskrit word “Veda” means “knowledge” as come from the root “Vid” to know. As Sanskrit is an Indo-European language, it will be no surprise that we find back this root in other Indo-European languages: In the Germanic languages Norwegian and Swedish to know is “vet”, in Dutch it is “weten”. In Slavic languages such as Slovakian it is “vediet”, in Slovenian “vedeti” and in Belarusian “viedac”.

It is important to realise that with the word Veda the Indians did not only mean the different scriptures called the Vedas, but rather the totality of all knowledge, including transcendent knowledge, which is the root of consciousness: Consciousness can only become aware of itself by knowing. At that moment when the knower realises that the only thing he can know is the content and the process of his own consciousness, knower, known and knowing merge into a oneness. In other words in a transcendent sense Veda or knower-knowing-known is a kind of synonym for consciousness.

Veda as synonym for consciousness fits my quest into the ultimate nature of being perfectly, because that’s what my book was mostly about. 

But there is more to the story; Veda is also understood as the cosmic knowledge which is more fundamental than the physical world. In fact the Indian philosophy of the written Vedas (or Vedanta as the larger body of Vedic scriptures encompassing more than the traditional four Vedas only) is a form of Idealism: what we call reality is fundamentally mental or at least immaterial. It is not consciousness that emerges from matter as in materialism, but matter that is born out of consciousness in an attempt to know itself.
More of this chapter in my next book, which I have submitted for publication.

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