This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Physics and psychology

Ananda Wood — Pune.

Modern physics is essentially a mechanical science, which describes an external world of space and structure. But, in sciences of life and mind, the consideration shifts to a living meaning that is found expressed in objective structures. Such meaning is observed through a reflective reference back into the consciousness of an observing mind. Unlike the differently located points of outside space, different moments do not co-exist in the mind. Instead, each momentary state replaces what has gone before. Where space and structure are considered in an external world, we have an interrelationship of objects and a notion of causality that acts from one object to another. But where time and process are considered in the mind, we have a succession of passing states and a notion of causality that acts from an underlying consciousness, beneath all changes that appear. Accordingly, as sciences consider the phenomena of life and mind, they have to take account of a causality that is reflectively understood, as an expression of consciousness. As that causality is taken more into account, different kinds of sciences are needed, at different levels of consideration. But how can we start thinking more effectively about such levels of science? What kinds of science would enable us to be clearer in the questions that we ask about our lives, our learning and our minds? This paper suggests that some radical rethinking may be in order about the current notion of science that is still overly dominated by modern physics and its mechanized ways of observation and application.

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