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Student Guidelines

The Naturalness of Meaning

A perceptive person can discern thoughts and emotions from another person’s body language. For the perceptive person, the mind is not necessarily hidden. It is also revealed through the body.

Body language is universal, native, and natural. We don’t learn how to express thoughts and emotions through the body in school. The body reveals the mind even when we don’t intend to. Most of it transcends social and cultural differences. Scratching the head, tilting the head, covering the head with palms, and other such gestures universally represent something quite different than what we perceive by the senses. This means that languages need not always be socio-cultural. They can also be universal. But it might need skills to read this language.

Body language is not the only universal language. Music, dance, and art are other universal languages. People across different cultures can understand them. The music that depicts morning, afternoon, and night, birth and death, spring and winter, victory and defeat, is almost universal. Most of us can understand it without training. Training might be needed to create it.

The Prevalence of False Dogmas

That meaning, which exists objectively but might be perceived or expressed only by a skilled few, is completely disregarded when human observation is replaced by instrument measurement.

Scientific theories of instrument measurements are like the attempt to predict and explain a book based on the shape of a pen that wrote it, a musical composition based on the length of the instrument that produced it, or a work of art based on the weight of the paintbrush that drew it. All such theories are indeterministic because the physical properties of the pen, paintbrush, or the instrument are insufficient to determine the creative outcome without the creator’s mind.

And yet, modern science proclaims this physical conception of reality as the only truth. By neglecting deeper realities and emphasizing the measurement of properties stripped of meaning, science creates false dogmas. These include (a) the universe came out of a big bang, (b) life emerged due to random mutation and natural selection, (c) choice is an illusion of chemistry, and (d) while evolved from primates and reptiles, humans are scarcely better than them.

The Necessity of Self-Worth

We must have some self-worth to reject materialism. We must be convinced that we are better than animals because we can perceive and express meaning through matter, which animals cannot. We must also be convinced that appearances of such symbolic reality cannot be explained or predicted without the existence of a deeper reality, quite like a monkey cannot be expected to produce music, art, literature, or science. Instead, the meaning discerned from the observation of symbolic expressions is both necessary and sufficient to explain those observations.

But dogmatic approaches to science reject all deeper realities because they do not fit materialistic conceptions. Gripped by such ideas, modern science is like a tailor who will chop off a customer’s body parts to fit him into a suit he has designed, rather than redesign the suit to fit the customer’s body. Obviously, a customer with self-worth rejects the tailor who plans to amputate the body to fit the suit. Those without self-worth won’t mind their body being amputated to fit the suit.

Those who can perceive and express deeper realities have a higher sense of self-worth than those who cannot. They find many questions legitimate: How many deeper realities are there? What is their nature? How should science be changed to include deeper realities? How are deeper realities expressed? The belief that “I am better than what science says I am” is necessary to examine, challenge, and supplant all that modern “scientific” education imparts unchallenged.

The Need for Intellectual Rigor

Self-worth is necessary but not sufficient. One must also have the intellectual rigor to examine the worth of modern claims. Very few are capable of the intellectual tenacity that such questions require. All deep questions have a long history, with many partial answers. Any answer requires time and patience to examine it in light of the other answers, to understand which answers are better. Everyone doesn’t have the stomach, patience, or tenacity to wade through this mess. We suggest that you need intellectual rigor to pursue the answers to deep questions as well.

Persistence with these topics is essential. We can introduce the students to theories, but we cannot compel them to think. They should want to think, which means reading, immersion, and contemplation. Stating the truth is easy. But becoming convinced that it is the truth is often significantly harder. A rigorous examination of the different claims and their associated problems is a powerful method to become convinced of the truth. But it is also time-consuming.

The Meaning of Enlightened Society

Since critical thinking is disincentivized in modern academia, students interested in such questions have no place to learn about them. Hence, we need alternative avenues for those who are searching for answers to questions rejected by modern thinking. This type of education is the foundation of an enlightened society. All the thinking that rejects deeper realities, and reduces everything to meaningless particles, is the product of ignorant and/or malicious minds.

This type of education was formerly practiced by an enlightened section of society. It began in childhood, reached a level of maturity by youth, and persisted through a person’s life. Knowledge was the goal of life. Safe to say, it is dead today. To revive that type of education, we also need people who are seriously interested in the truth and committed to life-long learning.

The Limits on Education

Not everyone has the intellectual rigor to identify the flaws in science, connect them to the failures of scientific theories, and understand the alternatives to that ideology. Most people would consider such an enterprise futile or unnecessary. We don’t want to spend our time convincing them.

Materialism rests on the belief that we cannot “see” deeper realities. The response to it is that one needs the “eyes” to see deeper realities. Human perception sees thoughts and emotions even when it sees the body. Material instruments do not. Through such seeing, the pain of others becomes our pain, and the visions of others become our visions. So, we can either recognize the difference between human perception and instrument measurement or we don’t have the eyes to see. Education on advanced topics is therefore limited to those people who have the eyes to see. Others are hard to educate. They cannot be convinced by arguments because they cannot see.

Philosophy and science in India have traditionally been called darshan, which means “seeing”, “vision”, or “perception”. Darshan was not taught to everyone because everyone doesn’t have the eyes to see. It is taught to only those who can see. They, unfortunately, are very few today.