Connecting Indian cosmology, Western psychology and AI – Asia Times

Connecting Indian cosmology, Western psychology and AI - Asia Times

” AI will handle everything that people are currently doing, including collecting, analyzing, and processing data.” Ten years from now, consciousness ( chitta ) will be valued over knowledge. This is the time people people can concentrate on awareness”.

– American metaphysical professor Sadhguru

The West has been captivated by the Indian view and Vedic-inspired faith for well over a decade. American science was a fascination for the inventors of quantum mechanics, and in recent years millions of people have embraced it through yoga and meditation.

American faith, a synthesis of Eastern philosophy and American thought, was crucial to the development of the stage development theory of Ken Wilber and the development of New Age. In Wilber’s growth model, American concepts and Sanskrit terms are used for the higher mental stages.

Curiously, much of the writing on the Indian part in the consciousness- increasing practices developed in the West ignore the Hindu concept of mind, Antahkarana ( the four different parts of the mind ), and Chidākāśa, translated as” informed space” or” consciousness field”.

Chidka is a compound word that combines the concepts of Akasha, the intangible and invisible material of the cosmos, and the ether, which is similar to what is thought of in American culture. Einstein’s Relativity Theory, according to the quantum mechanics group, allegedly explained away the solvent. The American ages would say that Akasha is the medium through which access to the most pure reality is possible.

Antahkarana can also provide insight into how unnatural knowledge developed. As we may see, AI techniques perform just two of the four elements of Antahkarana. It explains why AI can simply create awareness and cannot be aware.


Some 3, 000 years ago, Indian ( Vedic ) sages created the first “map” of the human mind. They identified four different elements of the head: personality, imagination, head and storage, and called it Antahkarana. &nbsp,

The human brain was attempted by a number of first civilizations. Spiritual philosophies were woven into Sumerian beliefs regarding the human mind. They attributed psychological events to the presence of deities and ghosts.

Egyptians used the notion of the “ka” ( spirit ) and the “ba” ( personality ) to understand the human psyche. In Greece, Aristotle pondered the nature of the mind, knowledge and perception. His research was significant in afterward Western investigations into psychology.

The primary internally consistent image of the human brain is attributed to the American concept of the term” Antahkarana.” The four distinct characteristics it identified each have their own distinct roles.

– Manas ( Mind ) — the lower, rational part of the mind that connects with the external world, the seat of desire and the governor of sensory and motor organs.

– Ahaṃkāra ( Ego ) — identifies the self ( Atman, or soul ) with the body as” I”. Although egos can be used to power accomplishments, they can also be used to power confidence, jealousy, and hatred.

– Buddhi ( Intellect ) — the decision- making part of the mind able to discern the world logically.

– Chitta ( Memory ) —the part that stores impressions, memories and experiences, and the gateway to Chidākāśa, or pure awareness.

Pear. 1 – One of several views of Antahkarana

Chitta talks with remembering and forgetting in computers, which are close to random access memory or RAM. It is shaped by our lifestyle, culture and education, and records for social and cultural variations between people and cultures.

By transcending personality and storage, we become aware of Chidākāśa–” aware area” or” consciousness industry” in which all experiences unfold. The word Chidākāśa is derived from two Sanskrit terms: Chit, which means cognition or attention, and Akasha, which refers to storage or solvent. More on Chidākāśa below.

Celestial integration

In the late 19th century, Indian science, religion, and notions of perception spread to the West, first through Theosophy, the first artificial religion. Its founder, Madam Helena Blavatsky, proposed the integration of Asian and Western philosophical- religious thought to create a “grand religious synthesis”.

In her writing, Madam Blavatsky covered Antahkarana. In her book” The Voice of the Silence” ( 1889 ) she wrote:” Antaskarana]sic ] is the lower Manas, the Path of communication or communion between the personality and the higher Manas or human Soul. At death, it is destroyed as a Path or medium of communication, and its remains survive in a form as the Kamarupa — the’ shell.'”

In the 1920s, the Indian worldview drew the attention of the pioneers of quantum physics, among them Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and Erwin Schrödinger. They observed that Indian cosmology anticipated quantum physics ‘ findings, including the notion that the observer and the observer are connected to the same realm and cannot be separated.

In the Vedic classic Upanishads, Brahman is the universal self or the ultimate singular reality. The Atman is the individual’s inner self, what some would call the soul. The Brahman and the Atman are identical, according to a fundamental principle of the Upanishads, tat tvam asi, which states that” You are the universe.”

Indian culture was a significant contributor to the development of the 1960s and the New Age era that came into existence in the 1970s. The American philosopher Ken Wilber, who would become the pivotal figure in the Integral Movement, was a key figure in the latter. Wilber integrated Eastern, especially Indian, spirituality with Western psychology developed by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and others.

Fig 2. – One of various interpretations of Ken Wilber’s Integral stage model

In 1977, at the age of 28, Wilber published his landmark book,” The Spectrum of Consciousness”. In the opening chapter, Wilber compared consciousness with the electromagnetic spectrum. He explained that electromagnetic radiation consists of a spectrum of energy waves with various frequencies, wavelengths, and energies. He writes:

” If, for the moment, we do consider consciousness as a spectrum, then we might expect that the different investigators of consciousness, especially those commonly termed’ Eastern’ and ‘ Western’, because they are using different instruments of language, methodology, and logic, would ‘ plug in’ at different bands or vibratory levels of the spectrum of consciousness, just as the early radiation scientists plugged in at different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum”.

The influential Integral Theory was the launching point for Wilber’s influential Integral Theory, which is typically defined as” a comprehensive framework that seeks to integrate multiple perspectives and disciplines understanding complex phenomena by taking into account the interrelations and interactions between individual, collective, and cultural dimensions.”

Wilber persuaded his readers that although spirituality and psychology can coexist and be enriching, it can be harmful to confuse them. He wryly states,” My dear Sir, you suffer from basic metaphysical anxiety because you do n’t realize that you are fundamentally one with God.”

Enter AI

Although AI and Antahkarana may seem like strange bedfellows, they can provide insight into what is unquestionably a turning point in human history. AI will gradually relieve people of their daily and repetitive mental labor. AI can carry out any human task that can be expressed mathematically. Given time, AI will change our view of work forever. &nbsp,

Let’s start by stating that AI is a misunderstanding of the term” Boolean logic system,” which it actually is. AI is based on its immediate predecessor, cybernetics, the first comprehensive theory for binary ( as opposed to analog ) computing developed in the 1940s.

Both cybernetics and AI use Boolean classes and binary logic: true/false, yes/no, if/then, etc. Moreover, they both rely on the concept of feedback: If X happens, then do Y or Z, or Y and Z.

Fig. 3 – Boolean classes and three of it operators

The autopilot on an airplane is a textbook illustration of a cybernetic system. Within the parameters set by the aircraft’s crew, the autopilot steers the aircraft from A to B.

The autopilot will react if it discovers any discrepancies between the aircraft’s actual position and its flight plan. The autopilot may initiate a course correction if the airliner deviates from its planned flight path as a result of strong side winds. If it encounters strong headwinds, the autopilot may rev up the engines to stay on schedule.

The Cybernetics method consists of three steps: Plan, Quantify, Steer. Steer uses the feedback system to ensure that the system stays on course while the plan specifies the goal or destination, Quantify specifies the necessary resources to execute the Plan, and Steer uses the feedback system to ensure that the system stays on course.

In that it can be programmed to learn from its mistakes, artificial intelligence differs from cybernetics. Among others, it can be designed to make on- the- fly adjustments in real time to improve its performance. &nbsp,

An AI system consists of an algorithm ( computation function ) that has access to databases ( memory ). All AI systems are built for a specific task or function, such as navigating a car, analyzing medical X-rays, or responding to general inquiries ( the latter being large language models like ChatGPT ).

Intellect and memory make up the other four components of the Antahkarana, making up AI systems. It needs intellect for computation and it needs ( access to ) “memories” – i. e. databases. The other two parts, ego and mind, are the domain of the designers of the system.

Fig. 4 – AI can take over two of the four faculties of Antahkarana

Experts on artificial intelligence ( AI ) claim that AI will gradually outperform humans in most tasks that only necessitate routine or repetitive mental labor, but they are correct when they say so. AI will eventually replace white collar workers and force society to reevaluate itself.

Toward Chidākāśa

We saw above that Chidākāśa refers to the” conscious space” or” consciousness field” within which all experiences occur, and that Chidākāśa is a compound word that combines two Sanskrit words: Chit, meaning consciousness or awareness, and Akasha, which refers to space or ether.

Akasha is crucial to understanding Chidākāśa. The ether is the closest thing to the Western equivalent. The Chinese speak of qi ( ch’i ). In the West, Newton and James Clerk Maxwell continued to speculate about the ether after Aristotle.

Maxwell appealed to the mechanical idea of an electromagnetic ether in 1861 by proposing a unified theory of electricity, magnetism, and optics. Scientists assumed that radio waves would travel through the ether until the early 20th century.

The discovery of Einstein’s Relativity Theory in the early 20th century almost ended the debate over the ether. Attempts to detect the ether with scientific instruments failed in the late 19th century. The quantum physics community virtually outlawed discussions about the ether from the scientific discourse after the 1920s. &nbsp,

Nikola Tesla, who developed his own unique ether theory in the late 19th century, was one of the few scientists to object to the group-think scientism about the ether and Einstein’s Relativity Theory. Tesla questioned the notion of” curved space” that was implied by Einstein’s Relativity Theory. &nbsp,

” I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties”, he wrote. ” It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes, and these are of our own making”.

Notably, Einstein was sympathetic to Tesla’s argument. In a lecture he gave in Leiden, in 1919, he pointed out that Relativity does n’t require the ether, but it does n’t preclude its existence. Einstein once said,” To reject the ether is ultimately to assume that empty space has no physical qualities whatsoever.”

Tesla was convinced that the quantum physics community, by abandoning the ether, threw out the baby with the bathwater. Like the ancients, he considered the ether as the substrate of all existence.

In his article,” Man’s Greatest Achievement”, written in 1930, Tesla summarized his contrarian views for posterity. Remarkably, he referred to Indian cosmology to make his point.

” All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life- giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never- ending cycles all things and phenomena”.


Indian yogi Jaggi Vasudev Sadhguru, one of the most renowned spiritual teachers in the world today, completes the third chapter of our story. Sadhguru, founder of the globally active Isha Foundation, is a frequent speaker at conferences on AI, neurology and psychology. More than a billion views of his social media speeches have been recorded.

Sadhguru frequently mentions that AI represents a turning point for humanity in his talks. He explains that the majority of the work we do today is based on the knowledge we acquire through education and training, which makes us accountants, doctors, or engineers. This database of knowledge, stored in our memory, is at risk of gradually being devalued.

Sadhguru says:” In the 21st century, AI will take away the power of our professional knowledge, just like power tools took away the power of our muscles in the 20th century. Everything that humans are doing now – gathering, analyzing, and processing data – will be done by AI. Ten years from now, consciousness ( chitta ) will be valued over knowledge. This is the time human beings can focus on consciousness”.

Sadhguru’s timeframe of ten years may be off by a few years, but we can be certain that the AI- driven, post- work era will have major economic, social and psychological implications. AI will assist us in getting the right answers as well as helping us to ask the right questions.