Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville

Track Running Isha Upanishad 602

This method is the method of comparison of one concept with the other. In the process of comparison, you have the process of contrast then you have the process of synthesis, the two concepts are compared, the two concepts are contrasted and then the concepts are synthesised, this is the philosophical method. In the method of synthesis there are two important processes involved, the process of consistency and the process of comprehensiveness. All synthesis implies the process by which you try to conceive consistency. What is consistency; let us ask ourselves what is consistency?

Answer: Solidity.

 If I say, I'm riding, not riding, if I say this there is no consistency. This is what is called logic, normally. I'm riding, not riding; you reject the proposition, saying it is not consistent. So, philosophy is an attempt to unite concepts on the basis of consistency. You bring so many concepts in your box and then try to see whether they are consistent with each other or not.

Consistency would mean what is called in mathematics and an attempt at identity. You arrive at a statement ‘this’ is the same as ‘this’, this concept is actually the same as this. Eternity and infinity are the two concepts and if you want to understand philosophically, your question is whether they are consistent with each other or not, infinity and eternity, do they join together or do they collide with each other, they are opposite to each other.

Consistency does not mean, what is called tautology; this is a word which you should understand. Tautology is a statement in which you repeat in the predicate what is in the subject. You take any sentence, it will have two parts. This cat is white, there are two parts, cat is subject and white is predicate.  Tautology is, ‘this cat is cat’, is tautology. This cat is white, is not tautology. The predicate tells you something more then what you say in the beginning then the subject. So, when the predicate tells you something more, then it is not a tautology. But in order that this sentence is correct, you should be sure that whiteness and cat do not contradict each other. To be a cat and to be white, should not be contradicting each other, therefore you say this sentence is correct. But when you say that they are not contradictory, it means that whiteness can belong to a cat, therefore, there is some kind of identity between the cat and the whiteness.  

All philosophical thinking aims at arriving at a conclusion, it may be a long sentence ultimately but every term in the sentence, must be consistent with all the others; this is the attempt of philosophy. If I say, ‘x’ is eternal, infinite, one, many, so many propositions you put down, so many terms you use, in order that it is philosophically valid, you should establish that they are all consistent with each other.

I was just telling you, what the difference between scientific method and philosophical method is. In scientific method the knowledge is derived by direct touch of the object. Here you can't touch, infinity can't be touched, eternity can't be touched, essence cannot be touched. So, without touching these objects, without experimenting with these objects, you conceptually, in your own concept, in your mind, you rotate these ideas and see whether they cohere with each other, they are consistent with each other. This is the method of philosophical thinking and then I said not only consistency but it should be comprehensive. What is comprehensive, a philosophical statement should be comprehensive.

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