• Religion,  Sociology

    Personalist and Impersonalist Societies

    There is one fundamental cultural difference between the West and India—the West is a flat, egalitarian society, while India is still, to an extent, a hierarchical society. In the stereotyped view of the West, children do not respect parents, students do not respect teachers, and citizens do not respect politicians. In the stereotyped view of India, children respect their parents, students respect their teachers, and citizens respect their politicians.  Note that these are stereotypes, not true in every case. But the stereotypes exist due to a cultural class divide between “higher” and “lower”. Unlike the West which is culturally (although not economically and politically) flat, India is culturally hierarchical (and…

  • Philosophy,  Politics,  Sociology

    Dialectical Materialism and Sāńkhya

    The world around us is filled with dualities or oppositions. There are two main resolutions of this duality as we have seen earlier—(1) finding the relation between the opposing ideas and the next “higher level” idea from which these oppositions were created, and (2) finding a quantitative balance between the opposing ideas at the “same level” such that the opposing ideas become mirror images of each other. And yet, for the most part in modern society, we don’t see either of these approaches being applied. We rather see one of the following two attempts: (1) destroy one side of the opposition to have the other side win, or (2) destroy…

  • Cosmology,  Philosophy,  Sociology

    Space as a Model of Society and Ecosystems

    In Vedic cosmology space is meant for living beings, because the material universe exists for the purposes of such beings. When space is the canvas on which we describe living phenomena, then macroscopic phenomena in the space constitute the evolution of society, while the microscopic phenomena indicate the evolution of the individual living entity. Sāńkhya is a detailed theory of the individual phenomena—i.e. a person’s perception, actions, and its consequences. Vedic cosmology, on the other hand, is a detailed description of the macroscopic phenomena—e.g. the tiers of society, the periodic creation and destruction of life forms, and the rise and fall of civilizations and cultures. This post discusses how space…