संग्रहक: – श्रीमान् राजेंद्र: पौळ: , सियाटल
+१ ४२५ ८०२ १०६६
विभिन्नता इति पुस्तकेन राजीव-मल्होत्रा-महोदय: एकं संदेशं प्रेषितवान् – अब्राहमजन्येभ्य: रिलिजनत्रयेभ्य: सनातन: धर्म: निश्चित: भिन्न:। किंतु स: धर्मस्य संज्ञां स्पष्टतया न दत्तवान्। अत: आंग्लवर्ष२०१४त: अहं धर्मस्य अर्थं मार्गयित्वा मार्गयित्वा अत्र संग्रहितवान्|
धर्मस्य विविधानां अंगानां दर्शनम् अध: प्रश्नोत्तररुपेन लिखितम्।
१. धर्म: क:?
२. धर्म: किमर्थं आवश्यकम्?
३. स्वधर्म: क:?
४. धर्मलक्षणानि कानि?
प्रभु: श्रीराम: उवाच –
विधानं शाश्वतं धर्म: तु सम्बध्दं येन सर्वकम्।
स्नेह-प्रेम-मयेऩ़़़एव बन्धनेन धरातले।।१.९.३।।
धर्ममूल: हि वेद: एष: ग्रन्थ: सनातन:।
यस्मै श्रद्धाम् प्रदास्याम: नूनम् आंतरिकीम् वयम्।।१.९.४।।
प्रकाशितेन वेदेन समाज: ऐक्यम कृतं तदा।
धर्मस्य ऐक्यात् समाज: अभूत् सत्यं एतत् न संशय:।।१.९.७।।
करुणामयेन हि ईशेन ध्रुवं वेदं प्रकाशितम्।
इन्दुनां चन्द्रसूनुनां वेदं आश्रित्य च एकता।।१.९.९।।
वेद: बध्नाति न: सर्वै: सर्वदेशीयकै: सह।
अस्मत् साम्राज्यभुक्तै: हि दूरान्तर-निवासिभि:।।१.९.१०।।
पवित्र-वेद्-ग्रंथेषु सर्वेषाम् दृश्यन्ते स्वता।
तस्मात् तै: गठिता नूनम् महाजाति: महीतले।।१.९.१२।।
धर्म: सर्वान् निबध्नाति, धर्म: धारयते अखिलम् ।
धर्म: मूलम् समाजस्य संघस्य न संशय: ।| १.१३.१५ |।
उरसि प्राणमयी श्रद्धा धर्म: एव प्रकीर्त्यते ।
येन कर्मणि ज्ञाने च भ्रातृत्वम् भजते जन: ।| १.१३.१६।|
विधि: जीवनयात्रा या समाजे धर्म: उच्यते।
समाजात् खलु अभिन्नेयम् धर्म: न अत्र विभिन्नता |।१.१३.१७।|
धर्महीना: च ये वा स्यु: स्यु: अनार्या: असंशयम्।
स्वार्थ-अन्धा: च कलहयुक्ता: ते सदा मत्सर अन्विता: भवेत् ||१.१३.१८।|
उत्सादयति संघर्षम् धर्म: परिजनेषु।
आत्मीयत्वम् सजात्येषु वेदनिष्ठेषु साधुषु भवेत् ।।१.१३.।|
स्मर्यताम् वाक्यम् एतम् मे तु (ह्)इन्दु*कल्याणसाधने ।
ईशेन प्रेरिता: यूयम् एतस्मिन् धरणीतले भवेत् ।।१:१३.२०।।
इन्दुनाम् विषये न हि स्यात् क:-अपि विश्वासघातक:।
अनार्जवम् प्रतारणाम् सर्वदा वर्जयेत् ध्रुवम्।
न तस्य विरोधित्वम् न मृषा भाषणम् तथा ।।१.१३.२१|।
परिवाद: न कर्तव्य: वेदे वर्जितमे एव तत्।
भातृवत् आचरेत् ताम् अस्तु भ्रातृवत् पालयेत् भृशम्।।१.१३.२२।।
धर्म: सताम् हित: पुंसाम् धर्म च आश्रय: सताम्।
धर्मात् लोकस्त्रय: तात् प्रवृत्ता: सचराचरा ।।महाभारत ३. ।।
सर्वात्मा येन तुष्टति स: धर्म: ।।३.७.११.१२।।
अहम् हि ब्रह्मण: अमृतस्य अव्ययस्य शाश्वतस्य ऐकान्तिकस्य सुखस्य धर्मस्य प्रतिष्ठा ।२.१४.२७।।
बलम् बलवताम्, च अहम् काम-राग-विवर्जितम् ।
धर्म-अविरुद्ध: भूतेषु काम: अहम् अस्मि भरतऋषभ:।।२.७.११।।
क्षत्रिय: हि प्रजारक्षणम् शस्त्रपाणि: प्रदण्डयन्।
निर्जितेय परसैन्यादि क्षितिम् धर्मेण पालयेत् ।।८.। ।
सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य माम् एकम् एव शरणम् व्रज।
अहम् त्वाम् सर्वपापेभ्य: मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच:।।२.१८.६६।।
एतद् (धर्मम्) साधयितुम् हि अर्थम् राष्ट्रस्य हि सम्-उद्-भवम्।
समाज: अयम् तु राष्ट्रम् हि तत् प्रतिष्ठानाय उच्यते ।।१.१३.१३।।
परिवाद: न कर्तव्य: वेदे वर्जितम् एव तत्।
भ्रातृवत् आचरेत् ताम्(वेदान्) अस्तु भ्रातृवत् पालयेत् भृषम् ।।१.१३.१४।।
एकत्वात् आत्मन: यद्वत् शरीरस्य एकता भवेत्।
धर्मस्य बन्धनेन एवम् राष्ट्रस्य स्यात् सुसंहति:(well-knit) ।।१.१३.३१।।
धर्म: समाजम्-इति-एतत् द्वयम् यत्र भवेन् मुने! ।
बहवय: गोष्ठ:-च यत्र-स्यु: राष्ट्रके च-असामाजिके भवेत् ।।१.१३.३४।।
युक्तिवाद्यम् भवेत् तत्-तु विध्वस्तम् तु-अचिरात् भवेत् |।१.१३.३५।।
प्रभव: नव-धर्मस्य चरित्रहानीकारक:।
दया सहानुभूति: वा न तिष्ठेत् (ह्)इन्दुवंशजे ।।१.१८.५६।।
यदा यदा धर्मस्य ग्लानि: भवति भारत।
अभि-उत्थानम् अधर्मस्य तदा आत्मानम् सृजामि अहम् ।।२.४.७।।
परित्राणाय साधुनाम् विनाशाय च दुष्कृतानाम्।
धर्मसंस्थापनाय सम्भवामि युगे-युगे ।।२.४.८।।
श्रेयान् स्वधर्म: विगुण:, परधर्मात् सु-अनुष्ठितम्।
स्वभाव नियतम् कर्म कुर्वन् न आप्नोति किल्बिषम् ।।२.१८.४७।।
अथ चेत् त्वम्* इमम् धर्म्यम् संग्रामम् न करिष्यसि।
तत: स्वधर्मम् कीर्ति: च हित्वा पापम् अव-आप्स्यसि ।।२.३.३३।।
कर्म-तत्परता-धर्म इति धर्मस्य लक्षणम्।
निष्ठा(१)- आशा(२) -साहस(३)च एव दया(४) विनय (५) एव च।
सेवा(६) च एव भवन्ति-एते धर्मा: च मौलिका: (षट्)स्मृता:।।१.१८.१४।।
अव्यभिचारिणी भक्ति:(१)-ईशे वेदे तथा-एव च।
आत्मनि च समाजे च विज्ञेय: धर्म: उत्तम:।।१.१८.१५।।
ध्यायन् विश्वहितम् (२) नित्यम् मांगल्याम्-बुद्धिम्-उत्तमम्।
मंगलमयम्-ईशानम् येन-एतद्-रचितम् जगत्।।१.१८.१६।।
विपदि साहसिक:(३) य: तु धारयन् मानवम् गुणम्।
स: धीर: हि क्षम: च अस्ति कश्चानाम् नाशनाय् वै।
आर्तानाम् दु:खनाशाय-उद्धराय च मज्जताम्।।१.१८.१७।।
सर्वस्वम् संत्यजेत् धीर: रक्षार्थम् प्रतिवेशिनाम्।
युद्धेत् संयुगे वार: त्यजेत् प्राणान् स्वकान् खलु।
रक्षार्थम् समधर्माणम् स्वभाव: एष: तस्य हि ।।१.१८.२९।।
दयालु: (४) स्यात् सदा व्यग्र उद्धर्तुम्-आर्तबान्धवम्।
यद्यपि अस्याम् प्रचेष्टायाम् क्लेश: बहुविध: भवेत् ।।१.१८.२०।।
शिष्टया: स्यु: इन्दव: सर्वे सर्वदैव परस्परम्।
रुढता पापम् एव स्यात् पुण्यम् च शिष्टता(५) भृषम्।।१.१८.२१।।
लक्ष्यम् अव भवेत् तस्य च इन्दुनाम् सेवनम् सदा।
अवसर: हि यदा प्राप्त: तेषाम् सेवा(६)पर: भवेत्।।1१.१८.२२।।
शौर्यम् आशाम् भजे निष्ठाम् शिष्ट: दानपर: भवेत्।
सामाजिके सेवापर: एतद्-वेदानुशासनम् ।।१.१८.२३।।
अनुसरेत् य: पन्थानम् षड्–इवधम् च जन: भुवि।
ईश्वरस्य कृपापात्रम् हि आमुत्र भवेद्धि स: ।।१.१८.२४।।
षडविधस्य च पन्थान: ये सदैव-अनुसारिण:।
पुण्यात्मान: हिते सन्ति च अत्र वै घरणीतले ।।१.१८.२५।।
लिखेत् वा न लिखेत् चित्रम् चित्रकार: भवेत् सदा।
(किंतु) पुण्यात्मा न-अस्ति पुण्यात्मा यदा स: न-अस्ति पुण्यकृत् ।।१.१८.२६।।
विद्यते साधुता यस्मिन् निष्ठा यस्य अस्ति वृत्तिषु।
षड्धा मार्गानुसारी तु सत्यरुपेण हि अस्ति स: ।।१.१८.२७।।
यस्य वा जीवने वृत्ति: मन्त्रिण: श्रमिकस्य च।
सेनाधिनायकस्य-अपि ताम् कुर्यात् स: त्वतन्दित: ।।१.१८.२८।।
दैनन्दिनम् सदा कर्म कुर्यात् साधु विचारयन् ।
इत: अ्न्यत् परिचिन्ताम् तु न स्थापयेत् क्वचित् ।।१.१८.२९।।
वृत्तिसंपादने द्वैधम् विरक्ति: च वै भवेत् ।
एषा पापमयी बुद्धि: परित्याज्या सदाबुधै: ।।१.१८.३०।।
धृति: क्षमा दम: अस्तोय शौचन् इन्द्रियनिग्रह:।
धी विद्या सत्यम् अक्रोध: दशकम् धर्म-लक्षणम् ।।५. ६.९२।।
सत्य अहिंसा ब्रह्मचर्य अस्तेय: अपरिग्रह: इन्दियनिग्रह: नियमा ।।१०त: बुद्ध-विपश्यना-धर्म:।।
यम-नियम-आसन-प्राणायाम -प्रत्याहार-धारणा-ध्यान-समाधयो: अष्टौ-अंगानि।। ९.२.२८ योग-धर्म: ।।
नष्ट-मोह: स्मृति:-लब्धा त्वत् प्रसादात् अच्युत।
स्थित: अस्मि गतसन्देह: करिष्ये वचनम् तव।। २.१८.७३।।
१. महर्षि वाल्मिकिविरचित: श्रीरामसंवाद: ।
२. महर्षि व्यासविरचित श्रीमद् भगवद् गीता।
३. महर्षि व्यासविरचित श्रीमद् भागवत।
४. महर्षि व्यासविरचित महाभारत।
६. श्री स्वामीनायण वचनामृत।
७. श्री हनुमानप्रसाद पोद्दारलिखित मानवधर्म ।
९. पतंजलि योगसुत्रे ।
१०. विपश्यनाकेंद्रेन प्रकाशितम् पुस्तकम्।
श्लोकान्ते संदर्भे प्रथमम् एतद् क्रमांकम् स्थापितम्।
याज्ञवल्क्यस्मृती, मनुस्मृती, पाराशरस्मृती, शंखलिखितस्मृती, इत्यादय: स्मृतय: श्रवणात् धर्मगुण उत्पत्ति़ि: मानवेषु।।६त: ।।
धर्मनिष्ठा = प्राणनिष्ठा ।।६त:।।
१. स्वरसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (स्वरः) + उत्तरादिः (स्वरः)
उदाहरणम् – अत्र + अस्ति – अत्रास्ति ।
२. व्यञ्जनसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (व्यञ्जनम्) + उत्तरादिः (स्वरो वा व्यञ्जनम्)
उदाहरणम् – तत् + नाम – तन्नाम ।
३. विसर्गसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (विसर्गः) + उत्तरादिः (स्वरो वा व्यञ्जनम्)
उदाहरणम् – रामः + च – रामश्च ।
१.१ सवर्णदीर्घसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (अ.आ इ.ई उ.ऊ ऋ.ॠ) + उत्तरादिः (सवर्णस्वरः) –> आदेशः (आ, ई, ऊ, ॠ)
सूत्रम् – “अकः सवर्णे दीर्घः”
उदाहरणम् – तथापि, अस्तीति, साधूक्तम्, पितॄणम्
१.२ गुणसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (अ.आ) + उत्तरादिः (इ.ई उ.ऊ ऋ.ॠ लृ) –> आदेशः (ए, ओ, अर्, अल्)
सूत्रद्वयम् – “आद्गुणः” (आत् गुणः) “अदेङ्गुणः” (अत् एङ् गुणः)
उदाहरणम् – तथेति, नोक्तम्, सप्तर्षयः, तवल्कारः
१.३ वृद्धिसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (अ.आ) + उत्तरादिः (ए.ऐ ओ.औ) –> आदेशः (ऐ, औ)
सूत्रम् – “वृद्धिरेचि” (वृद्धिः एचि)
उदाहरणम् – तथैव, तवौदार्यम्
१.४ यण्-सन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (इ.ई उ.ऊ ऋ.ॠ लृ) + उत्तरादिः (असवर्णस्वरः) –> आदेशः (य् व् र् ल्)
सूत्रम् – “इको यणचि” (इकः यण् अचि)
उदाहरणम् – इत्यपि, प्रत्यवदत्, पित्रंशः, लाकृतिः
१.५ यान्त-वान्त-आदेश-सन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (ए ऐ ओ औ) + उत्तरादिः (असवर्णस्वरः) –> आदेशः (अय् आय् अव् आव्)
सूत्रम् – “एचोऽयवायावः” (एचः अय् अव् आय् आवः)
उदाहरणम् – हरयागच्छ, तस्यायिदम्, गुरवादिश, बालकावागतौ
१.६ पूर्वरूपसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (ए ओ) + उत्तरादिः (अ) –> आदेशः (ए, ओ)
सूत्रम् – “एङः पदान्तादिति” (एङः पद अन्त तः इति)
उदाहरणम् – गृहेऽस्मि, सोऽहम्
२.१ श्चुत्वसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (स् चु तु) + उत्तरादिः (चु तु) –> आदेशः (श् चु)
सूत्रम् – “स्तोः श्चुना श्चुः”
उदाहरणम् – लवश्च, तच्च, गुणिञ्जयतु
२.२ जश्त्वसन्धिः –> पूर्वान्तम् (वर्गीयव्यञ्जनम्) + उत्तरादिः (स्वरः मृदुव्यञ्जनम्) –> आदेशः (पूर्वान्तवर्गीयस्य तृतीयवर्णः)
सूत्रम् – “झलां जशोऽन्ते” (झलां जशः अन्ते)
उदाहरणम् – वागीशः, अजन्तः, तद्यथा, षड्रसाः, सुबन्तः
Many international observers have written about the high level of self-loathing in India. I think this is not true of the general population. Like people from other nations, most Indians are proud, self-confident, honest and resilient and this explains their success at science, business, arts and politics around the world.
Yet, there is a kernel of truth in these reports. India’s Anglosphere, members of which are the ones who interact with international authors are indeed a class that is obsequious and servile to the outsiders while being insufferably shallow and narcissistic amongst its own. So what’s the origin of this self-hate?
To answer this, we must go back to James Mill, author of the highly influential History of British India (1817), who wrote this about the entire populations of China and India:
“Both nations are to nearly an equal degree tainted with the vices of insincerity; dissembling, treacherous, mendacious, to an excess which surpasses even the usual measure of uncultivated society. Both are disposed to excessive exaggeration with regard to every thing relating to themselves. Both are cowardly and unfeeling. Both are in the highest degree conceited of themselves, and full of affected contempt for others. Both are, in the physical sense, disgustingly unclean in their persons and houses.”
Elsewhere he condemned Indian culture as “barren, perverse and objectionable.” And he wrote of Indians: “under the glosing exterior of the Hindu, lies a general disposition to deceit and perfidy. [And] the same insincerity, mendacity, and perfidy; the same indifference to the feelings of others; the same prostitution and venality are conspicuous in both [Hindus and Muslims].”
One could call this sweeping judgement the ravings of a crazed asshat. James Mill (1773–1836), ordained as a minister by the Church, worked for the East India Company and became its chief apologist. He never visited India or knew any Indian language and his idea of India was a fantasy based on second and third hand accounts. Historians like Grant Duff and H.H. Wilson, who had lived in India, condemned the book as being entirely wrong.
But Mill’s ideas were to shape British policy in India directly as a high official of the East India Company, and indirectly through Thomas Babington Macaulay who devised a system of English education for the Indian elite.
Okay, Mill was a racist twit, but why should we care? He has been dead a long, long time. We know that racism was the foundation of colonialism, but we have moved on. India has been politically independent for over seventy years.
Sadly, India’s political independence did not mean civilizational independence. Mill’s ideas matter for they remain powerful within the Indian Anglosphere. Its members have become, in the memorable phrase of Macaulay, “Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.” Sadly, their accents sound fake and they are not equal in intellect to the best in Britain. They remain unaware of the psychological truth that one must love oneself before one can love and understand others.
As purveyors of shallow opinions like that of Mill, they hate those who are not trying to be like them, and they have a visceral aversion for the customs of the land. Ridiculing those who can’t speak English with the fluency they have, the people who get ahead in their circles are not necessarily the most competent.
Macaulay called Mill’s book “the greatest historical work which has appeared since that of Gibbon.” It was to become the text-book for the candidates for the Indian Civil Service and English educated Indians for several generations. Worst of all, its larger premise still underlies school and college curricula in India, and Indians continue to be exposed to the propaganda underlying this work.
An example of the self-loathing of Indians are the Bollywood actors of Hindi-language films. On Hindi TV programs, most of them insist on answering questions in English!
Indian judiciary works under a system of language-apartheid. Article 348 of the Indian Constitution (about “Language to be used in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts and for Acts, Bills, etc.”) states that “(a) all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High Court… shall be in the English language.”
Imagine that over 70 years after Independence, lawyers in India’s Supreme Court cannot present their case in any Indian language. In 2008, the 216th report of the Law Commission declared that only English qualified for use in the Supreme Court:
“It is important to remember that every citizen, every court has the right to understand the law laid down finally by the apex court and at present one should appreciate that such a language is only English.”
Given this oversized focus on the supposedly right language, there is much less attention given to logic and critical thinking. Some of the stuff the justices churn out in their opinions is sophomoric, with allusions to Shakespeare and Marlowe or Foucault and Habermas in misplaced settings.
Reliance on English alone in the proceedings and in the judgments on disputes related to culture and civilization is deeply problematic because commonly used English terminology is often not equivalent to what are considered corresponding Indian notions. Thus using precedents from religious property disputes in the UK to issues concerning Hindu temples or other institutions is unwarranted because the term religion is not equivalent to dharma.
Many judges have no sense of India as a civilization and they look at India’s issues from the colonial lens. A wit has remarked that more of India’s mind-colonization occurred since 1947 than in all of the British Rule. Such Indian judges are not even aware of their biases.
Science and technology
A language-apartheid exists in fields of science. As example, consider computer science which is nothing but an extension of mathematics. Indian schoolchildren are taught computer science only in English., which is ridiculous. This prevents brilliant children with innate ability in mathematics, but no facility in English, never achieve their potential in a key technology sector.
Education at the highest level is imparted in English, and one is not allowed to submit dissertations for PhD degree in any Indian language.
Continuing denigration of Indian culture and character has led to loss of self-confidence amongst the Anglophones. It is not surprising then that when it comes to competing internationally in the field of technology, most business leaders in India are reluctant to go beyond providing back office support to Western companies.
In The History of British India, Mill set out to attack the history, character, religion, literature, arts, and laws of India. He justified the colonization of India and the rapine of its resources as a by-product of bringing civilization to the country.
Mill’s ideas provided the rationale for colonial rule that was described by Kipling as “The White Man’s Burden.” It has been estimated that British colonial rule, with its destruction of Indian industry and education, cost India $45 trillion in today’s dollars. But worse, India’s Anglosphere swallowed the colonial nostrums about Britain’s civilizing role and embraced what the American historian Thomas Trautmann has called “British Indophobia” [another name for Hinduphobia].
China dealt with attitudes such as that of James Mill with the slogan to end “The century of humiliation” and in the past half-century has striven to match the glory of its imperial past. China was able to rediscover its spirit of excellence because, unlike India, its elites are not alienated from its own culture and history.
Seventy years ago, India’s education bureaucrats decided to keep out India’s own sciences and other scholarly traditions from school and college curricula on the false pretence that they are part of religion .
Kapila Vatsyayan, modern India’s eminent scholar of art and a good friend, who passed away just a few months ago, once told me that colleges Britain founded in India served their own needs for clerks and soldiers to help in the extraction of Indian wealth and to protect the Raj, with some effort thrown in to understand India’s past so that they could control it better.
The fields that they left alone — art, music, dance and yoga — are the only ones that have maintained vitality. Indeed, people from all over the world travel to India to learn these fields.
Behind these fields lies Indian philosophy, that remains side-lined in Indian academia as something provincial, fit only for those who are stuck in the past.
Nelson Mandela said: “Hatred is like drinking poison and then waiting for it to kill your enemy.” The self-loathing in India’s Anglosphere has percolated down to the media and entertainment. For some time now Bollywood writers have mimicked anti-Semitic, racist, sexist stereotypes of old pre-Second War Western cinema, crudely replacing the Jewish character with the baniya and the temple priest. Audiences have begun to say now: Enough is enough.
संस्कृत में क्रिया-पद पर विचार करने का प्रसंग ही तिङन्त-प्रकरण है। पद के स्वरूप पर विचार करते समय सभी सार्थक शब्दों को ‘पद’ कहा जाता है। इन सभी सार्थक शब्दों को तीन ‘वर्गों’ में बाँट दिया गया है-
‘आख्यात’ पद को ही क्रिया-पद’ कहते हैं और क्रिया-पद वे होते हैं जो किसी कर्ता के काम या कुछ करने को बताते हैं। उदाहरण के लिए एक वाक्य लें- रामः पुस्तकं पठति। (राम पुस्तक पढ़ता है।)
इस वाक्य में ‘रामः’ कर्ता है, ‘पुस्तकम्’ कर्म-पद है, कारण उसी को पढ़ा जा रहा है और ‘पठति’ क्रिया-पद या ‘आख्यात’ है, कारण यही ‘राम’-रूप कर्ता के कुछ करने (पढ़ने) को बताता है।
अब ‘पठति’ क्रिया-पद के रूप पर थोड़ा गौर करें। संस्कृत में किसी भी क्रिया-पद का निर्माण ‘धातु’ और ‘प्रत्यय’ के मिलने से बनता है। उदाहरण के लिए ‘पठति’ में ‘पठ्’ मूल धातु है और ‘ति’ (तिप्) प्रत्यय है। इन दोनों के मिलने से ही ‘पठति’ रूप बनता है। जैसे-
संस्कृत के धातु-पदों में लगनेवाले उपर्युक्त 18 ‘तिङ् प्रत्ययों में प्रथम 9 प्रत्यय परस्मैपद के हैं और बाद के 9 प्रत्यय आत्मनेपद के।
संस्कृत में धातु-पदों के तीन वर्ग हैं-
(क) परस्मैपदी धातु-जिन धातुओं में प्रथम 9 तिङ् प्रत्यय (तिप्, तस्, झि; सिप्, थस्, थ; मिप्, वस्, मस्) लगते हैं।
(ख) आत्मनेपदी धातु-जिन धातुओं में बादवाले 9तिङ् प्रत्यय (त, आताम्, झ; थास्, आथाम्, ध्वम्; इट्, वहि, महिङ्) लगते हैं।
(ग) उभयपदी धातु अर्थात्, जो धातु-पद परस्मैपदी और आत्मनेपदी दोनों हैं और जिनमें अर्थ के प्रसंग के अनुसार दोनों प्रकार के प्रत्यय लगा करते हैं।
तिङ् प्रत्यय उपर्युक्त प्रकार से ही सभी क्रिया-पदों के रूप बनते हैं। क्रिया-पदों के निर्माण के क्रम में मूल धातुओं के साथ जुड़नेवाले ये ‘तिप्’ आदि कुल प्रत्यय 18 हैं। इनमें प्रारंभ में ‘तिप्’ प्रत्यय है और अन्त में ‘महिङ्’ प्रत्यय है। इन 18 प्रत्ययों को एक साथ बतानेवाले सूत्र के रूप में पहले प्रत्यय ‘तिप्’ का ‘ति’ ले लिया गया है और अन्तिम (18वे) प्रत्यय ‘महिङ्’ का ‘ङ्’, और दोनों को मिलाकर ‘तिङ्’ प्रत्यय (या प्रत्यय-समूह) का बोध कराया जाता है।
ये ‘तिङ्’ प्रत्यय मूल धातुओं के साथ जुड़ते हैं, अतः इनसे बने पदों को ‘तिङन्त’ कहते हैं। प्रकरण ‘अध्याय को कहते हैं। ‘तिङन्त-प्रकरण’ इस बात पर विचार करता है अथवा ‘तिङन्त-प्रकरण’ में इस बात पर विचार किया गया है कि मूल धातुओं में इन प्रत्ययों के लगने से बने क्रिया-पदों का ‘पुरुष’, ‘वचन’ और ‘काल’ की दृष्टि से क्या रूप और अर्थ होता है।
शब्दों का निर्माण शब्द चाहे नाम-पद हो या आख्यात-पद-प्रकृति और प्रत्यय के मिलने से ही होता है। ‘प्रकृति’ मूल धातु-पद को कहते हैं। इनमें लगनेवाले ‘तिङ्’ प्रत्यय, जो संख्या में 18 हैं, निम्नांकित हैं-
ऊपर की तालिका में कुछेक प्रत्यय की बगल में कोष्ठक में दिए गए रूप उन प्रत्ययों में अन्त में लगे हलन्त वर्णों (प, ट् और ङ्) के लोप के बाद उनके बचनेवाले रूपों का संकेत करते हैं।
‘विकरण’ उस वर्ण या वर्ण-समूह को कहते हैं जो प्रकृति और प्रत्यय के मध्य में जुड़ता है, जिससे संपूर्ण क्रिया-रूप सामने आ सके। उदाहरण के लिए नीचे कुछ संपूर्ण क्रिया रूपों को उनकी बगल में उनके ‘विकरण’ के साथ दिखाया जाता है-
दिए गए उदाहरणों में शप्, श्यन्, श्नु, उ, णिच् वगैरह वर्ण या वर्ण-समूह धातुओं के विकरण हैं। इनके बीच में आने पर ही मूल धातु (प्रकृति) और प्रत्यय मिलकर सार्थक क्रिया-पदों का निर्माण करते हैं।
‘गण’ का अर्थ होता है ‘समूह’। ऊपर जिन ‘विकरणों’ की चर्चा की गई है वे संख्या में दस हैं। वे संस्कृत के सभी धातुओं में अवश्य लगते हैं। कुछेक जिन धातुओं में किसी ‘विकरण’ के जुड़ने का एक-जैसा ढंग है उन सबको एक ‘गण’ का या एक ‘गण’ में मान लिया गया है। ऐसे ‘गण’ कुल दस हैं, जो विकरण की संख्या के समानान्तर हैं। इन दस गणों में प्रत्येक के प्रारंभ में जिस धातु के नाम का पाठ किया जाता है उसी के नाम पर उस ‘गण’ का नामकरण कर लिया गया है। ये दस ‘गण’ हैं—
तात्पर्य यह कि इन्हें भ्वादिगण, अदादिगण आदि कहा जाता है।
नीचे इन धातु-गणों को उनके विकरण एवं उदाहरण के संग एक साथ दर्शाया जाता है।
धातु गण – विकरण – उदाहरण
इन ‘गणों’ की भिन्नता से एक-जैसे दिखाई पड़नेवाले धातुओं के रूप भी भिन्न-भिन्न हो जाते हैं। इस क्रम में कई बार अर्थ नहीं बदलते हैं, पर कई बार अर्थ बदल भी जाते हैं। जैसे-
संस्कृत क्रिया-पदों के ‘काल’ (Tense)
किसी भी क्रिया का कर्ता उससे सूचित होनेवाले कार्य को तीन ही समयों में कर सकता है। ये तीन ‘समय’ हैं-
(क) समय, जो बीत गया—भूतकाल (Past Tense)
(ख) समय, जो बीत रहा है वर्तमानकाल (Present Tense)
(ग) समय, जो आनेवाला है—भविष्यत्काल (Future Tense)
पर यह स्थूल वर्गीकरण है। इनमें प्रत्येक के कुछ और-और रूप-रंग भी हैं। जैसे-
(क) सामान्य भूतकाल-जो समय बीता ही हो।
(ख) अनद्यतन भूतकाल-जो समय आज के पहले बीता हो।
(ग) परोक्ष अनद्यतन भूतकाल-जो आज के पहले और बहुत पहले बीता हो।
(क) सामान्य भविष्यत्काल—जो समय आजकल में आनेवाला हो।
(ख) अनद्यतन भविष्यत्काल—जो समय आज के बाद आनेवाला हो।
(ग) हेतुहेतुमद् भविष्यत्काल—एक समय में होनेवाली एक क्रिया के बाद संभावित दूसरी क्रिया का काल।।
जैसा कि ऊपर के विवरण से स्पष्ट है कि संस्कृत में भूतकाल एवं भविष्यत्काल के तीन-तीन भेद या रूप माने गए हैं। जहाँ तक वर्तमानकाल का संबंध है, उसका एक ही भेद या रूप माना जाता है।।
उपर्युक्त सात क्रिया-रूपों के अतिरिक्त संस्कृत में क्रिया-रूपों के तीन प्रकार और हैं-
(क) क्रिया-रूप, जिससे आदेश आदि सूचित होता है।
(ख) क्रिया-रूप, जिससे अनुज्ञा, आशीर्वाद या कल्याण-कामना सूचित होती है।
(ग) एक विशेष क्रिया-रूप, जो सामान्य (लौकिक) संस्कृत में नहीं—वैदिक संस्कृत में ही पाया जाता है।
“क्रिया’ के इन दसों रूपों को लकारों के सहारे (संस्कृत में) व्यक्त किया जाता है, जिसे ‘लकारार्थ-प्रक्रिया’ कहते हैं, अर्थात् संस्कृत में क्रिया-पदों की काल-रचना। उपर्युक्त विवेचन को ध्यान में रखते हुए उसी क्रम से ये दसों लकार नीचे दिए जाते हैं-
सारांश यह कि सामान्यतया काल-रूप-भेद की दृष्टि से संस्कृत में उपर्युक्त प्रमुख 9भेद (अन्तिम को छोड़कर)होते हैं और वे वर्तमानकाल-1+भूतकाल-3+भविष्यत्काल-3+आदेश अनुज्ञा-आशीर्वादबोधक-2 क्रिया-रूपों का प्रतिनिधित्व करते हैं। इन सभी रूपों के वाचक कुछ प्रत्यय हैं, जिनके प्रारंभ में ‘ल’ (जैसे-लुङ्, लङ्, लिट्, लुट्, लुट्, लुङ्, लट्, लोट् और लिङ्) लगे रहने के कारण इन्हें ‘लकार’ कहते हैं। ये लकार कालवाचक हैं। इन लकारों के स्थान पर ही परस्मैपदी धातुओं के साथ तिप्, तस्, झि आदि अथवा आत्मनेपदी धातुओं के साथ त, आताम्, झ आदि प्रत्यय होते हैं।
नीचे परस्मैपद में दिए गए गणों के सामने उल्लिखित धातुओं की रूपावलि केवल छह लकारों-
(क) भ्वादिगण- 1. भू 2. पठ् 3. गम् 4. स्था 5. पा 6. दृश् 7. दाण् 8. शुच् 9. अर्च् 10. तप
(ख) अदादिगण- 11. हन् 12. अस्
(ग) दिवादिगण- 13. नृत् 14. नश् 15. त्रस्
(घ) स्वादिगण- 16. चि 17. शक्
(ङ) तुदादिगण- 18. लिख् 19. इष 20. प्रच्छ् 21. सिच् 22. मिल 23. विद् 24. दिश् 25. तुद् 26. मुच्
(च) क्रयादिगण- 27. ग्रह् 28. ज्ञा
(छ) चुरादिगण- 29. गण एवं 30. पाल्
नीचे आत्मनेपद में दिए गए गणों के सामने उल्लिखित धातुओं की रूपावलि उपर्युक्त छह लकारों में ही दी जा रही है-
(क) भ्वादिगण-1. सेव् 2. लभ 3. वृत् 4. शुभ्
(ख) अदादिगण-5. शीङ्।
(ग) दिवादिगण-6. विद् 7. मन्
उभयपदी धातुओं के रूप में केवल 8 की रूपावलि दी जा रही है…
(क) भ्वादिगण-1. पच्।
(ख) अदादिगण-2. दुह् 3. ब्रू
(ग) जुहोत्यादिगण-4. दा
(घ) तनादिगण–5. तन् 6. कृ
(ङ) क्रयादिगण—7. क्री
(च) चुरादिगण-8. चुर् कुल 30+7+8-45 धातु
पुरुष- कोई बात जब किसी को कही जाती है तब उसके तीन पक्ष होते हैं-
(क) विषय-अन्य पुरुष (या प्रथम पुरुष)
(ख) श्रोतामध्यम पुरुष
(ग) वक्ता–उत्तम पुरुष
संस्कृत में क्रिया-पदों की रूपावलि में ‘पुरुष’ के बोध का यही क्रम स्वीकृत है।
वचन- संस्कृत भाषा में चाहे नाम-पद हों या आख्यात-पद, उनकी संख्या के बोध करानेवाले को ‘वचन’ (Number) कहते हैं। संस्कृत में ‘वचन’ तीन होते हैं…
जैसे ‘सुप्’ प्रत्यय (जो कि संख्या में 21 हैं और नाम-पदों में जिनके जुड़ने से उनके कारक और वचन को बतानेवाली रूपावलि सामने आती है) विभक्तियों में बँटे होते हैं और प्रत्येक विभक्ति में तीन वचन होते हैं वैसे ही ‘तिङ्’ प्रत्यय भी ‘पुरुष’ में बँटे होते हैं और प्रत्येक ‘पुरुष’ में तीन वचन होते हैं।
जैसा कि ऊपर ही दिखाया गया है—पुरुष तीन होते हैं और प्रत्येक पुरुष की तीन विभक्तियाँ होती हैं, जो उनके एकवचन, द्विवचन और बहुवचन होने को बताती हैं। उदाहरण के लिए, नीचे ‘पठ्’ धातु की वर्तमानकाल (परस्मैपद) की रूपावलि दी जा रही है-
उपर्युक्त रूपावलि ‘पुरुष’ और ‘वचन’ दोनों को बता रही है।
वह निम्नलिखित प्रकार से है-
इन क्रिया-पदों के अपने कर्ता-पदों के साथ प्रायोगिक रूप इस प्रकार होंगे-
This book is the concise summary of Sam Harris’s podcast conversations with number of influential thinkers of our time. The common theme in Sam Harris’s works is to debunk the notion that there is anything like Free Will and he says in the preface again of this book that most of the evil in our world—all the needless misery we manufacture for one another—is the product, not of what bad people do, but of what good people do once in the grip of bad ideas.
The first conversation is with David Chalmers who is the resident philosopher at New York University and at the Australian National University, Chalmers is also a co-director of the Centre for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at NYU. The dialog centred around the hard problem of consciousness and future of AI. David makes very interesting observations in the course of this discourse. At one point he observed that if we built a robot that could do all the things we can, it seems that at no point in refining its mechanisms would we have reason to believe that it was conscious, even if it passed the Turing Test. It seems increasingly likely that we will build machines that will seem conscious, and the effect could be so convincing that we might lose sight of the hard problem. In discussing the problem of other minds, he wondered how do you know that anybody apart from yourself is conscious? Descartes said, “Well, I’m certain of one thing: I’m conscious. I think, therefore I am.” That only gets you one data point. It gets me the me being conscious—and only being conscious right now, because who knows if I was ever conscious in the past? Anything beyond right now has to be an inference or an extrapolation. A similar pertinent point was made by him on evolution that the very fact that you can make sense of it immediately raises questions like “Why aren’t we zombies?” Evolution could have produced zombies; instead, it produced conscious beings. Why didn’t evolution produce zombies? If there were some function we could point to and say, “That’s what you need consciousness for; you couldn’t do that without consciousness,” then we might have a function for consciousness. But right now, for anything we actually do—perception, learning, memory, language, and so on—it sure looks as if a whole lot of it could be done unconsciously. The whole problem of what consciousness is doing is thrown into harsh relief by the zombie thought experiment. Another interesting idea, he said is that consciousness may be present at a fundamental level in physics. This corresponds to the traditional philosophical view called panpsychism—the view that basically everything has a mind where mind equals consciousness. Thus, every system is conscious, including fundamental physical systems like atoms or quarks or photons.
Next conversation is with David Deutsch who is a visiting professor of physics at the Center for Quantum Computation at the Clarendon Laboratory of Oxford University, where he works on the quantum theory of computation, and constructor theory. The conversation further explore the nature of knowledge and the implications of its being independent of any specific, physical embodiment. David says that the way he think of knowledge is broader than the usual use of the term—and yet, paradoxically, closer to its common sense use. Knowledge is a kind of information, which is to say that it’s something that is one particular way and could have been otherwise; additionally, knowledge says something true and useful about the world. Knowledge is in a sense an abstraction, because it’s independent of its physical instantiation. One can speak words which embody some knowledge and can write them down. They can exist as movements of electrons in a computer, and so on. So knowledge isn’t dependent on any particular instantiation. But it does have the property that when it is instantiated, it tends to remain so. He mentioned about Karl Popper’s concept of knowledge as not requiring a knowing subject. It can exist in books, or in the mind, and people can have knowledge they don’t know they have. He further adds that among the rational approaches to knowledge, there’s an important difference between science and things like philosophy and mathematics. Not at the most fundamental level, but at a level which is often of great practical importance. That is, science is the kind of knowledge that can be tested by experiment or observation. He hasten to add, that doesn’t mean that the content of a scientific theory consists entirely of its testable predictions; the testable predictions of a typical scientific theory are a tiny sliver of what it tells us about the world. Karl Popper introduced this criterion, that science is testable theories and everything else is untestable. Another point he mentions is that Empiricism as the idea that knowledge comes to us through the senses is completely false: all knowledge is conjectural. It first comes from within and is intended to solve problems, not to summarize data. But this idea that experience has authority, and that only experience has authority—false though it is—was a wonderful defence against previous forms of authority, which were not only invalid but stultifying. But in the twentieth century, a horrible thing happened, which is that people started taking empiricism seriously—not just as a defence, but as being literally true—and that almost killed certain sciences. Even within physics; it greatly impeded progress in quantum theory. Science is a way of dealing with theories regardless of whether or not one believes them. One judges them according to whether or not they’re good explanations. When Harris contended that Evolution hasn’t designed us to fully understand the nature of reality, David refutes that notion and says that there is no hardware problem in understanding the nature of reality and there is the universality of computation. Information can only be processed in basically one way—with computation of the kind invented by Babbage and Turing. We already know that our computers are universal, in the sense that given the right program, they can perform any transformation of information whatsoever, including the creation of explanations and other knowledge. Now, there are only two possible limitations to that. One is the lack of computer memory—lack of information-storage capacity—and the other is the lack of speed, or the lack of time. Apart from that, our computers, and our brains, and any computers that will ever be built or can ever be built anywhere in the universe, have the same repertoire. That’s the principle of the universality of computation. He concluded that problem is more on software side i.e. for almost the whole of human existence, humans had the ability to be creative and to do everything we’re doing. They just didn’t, because their culture was wrong. He concluded that real truth is that science isn’t based on empiricism, it’s based on reason, and so is morality. So, if you adopt a rational attitude toward morality, and therefore say that morality consists of moral knowledge—and knowledge always consists of conjectures, doesn’t need a basis, only needs modes of criticism; and those modes of criticism operate by criteria that are themselves subject to modes of criticism—then you come to a transcendent moral truth. If all knowledge is conjectural and subject to improvement, then protecting the means of improving knowledge is more important than any particular piece of knowledge.
Next talk is with Anil Seth who is a professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex and founding co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. The aim of the Sackler Centre is to translate an understanding of the complex brain networks underpinning consciousness into new clinical approaches to psychiatric and neurological disorders. Anil said that there is a distinction between consciousness and self-consciousness. Our conscious experience of selfhood is part of our conscious experiences, but is only a subset of those experiences. And then there are arguments about whether there’s such a thing as a “phenomenal” consciousness that’s different from “access” consciousness—where “phenomenal consciousness” refers to the impression we have of a rich scene before us which might exceed whatever we have cognitive access to, and “access consciousness” refers to the way in which the contents of consciousness can be flexibly deployed for a variety of different functions. Thomas Nagel put forward in his famous essay “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” which reads in part: Conscious experience is a widespread phenomenon. It occurs at many levels of animal life, though we cannot be sure of its presence in the simpler organisms, and it is very difficult to say in general what provides evidence of it. Anil further says that the hard problem of consciousness has been—and rightly so—one of the most influential philosophical contributions to the consciousness debate for the last twenty years or so. It encapsulates the fundamental mystery that for some physical systems there is also an inner universe. For some systems, there is the presence of conscious experience, there is something-it-is-like-to-be that system. Whereas for other systems—tables, chairs, probably all current computers—there is nothing-it-is-like-to-be that system. What the hard problem does is push that intuition a bit further, to distinguish it from a set of so-called easy problems. The hard problem is understanding how and why any solution to the easy problem—any explanation of how the brain does what it does in terms of behaviour, perception, and so on—has anything to do with conscious experiences. So, the hard problem, this central mystery of why there is experience rather than no experience, gathers within its remit everything to do with phenomenology. He contends that there is no such thing as “direct perception” of the world or of the self. The idea of a controlled hallucination, or of a fantasy that coincides with reality, is simply to say that normal perception always involves a balancing act between sensory signals coming from the world and interpretations and predictions about the causes of those sensations. world. He cited the comment from his friend the musician and playwright Baba Brinkman—whom he worked with on The Rap Guide to Consciousness—put it beautifully: “What we call reality is just when we all agree about our hallucinations.” We (implicitly) expect our experiences of the outside world to change as we move around, but we somehow expect our experience of self to be stable. But without consciousness, there’s no meaning to anything. We could argue about whether conscious experience in general, for most creatures and most species, is characterized by an oversupply of suffering compared to beauty. In which case maybe ethically, it’s not a bad thing if we have non-conscious successors.
Next conversation is on the topic of Nature of Consciousness with Thomas Metzinger whose research centres on the analytic philosophy of mind, applied ethics, and the philosophy of cognitive science. He is a senior research professor at Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany, where he was previously a professor of theoretical philosophy and director of the research group on neuroethics and neurophilosophy. He rebukes the theory of nothingness and says that to make a cosmological analogy: it’s like the idea that everything, including the laws of nature, emerged out of nothing. Now, that may be true, but I’d argue that it’s the statement of a miracle. He explains his theory called the self-model theory of subjectivity described in his book called Being No One. What it says is that you have no self, but you have a self-model active in your brain, and it’s a naturally evolved representational structure that’s transparent. “Transparent” means you cannot experience it as a representation. Right now, as you’re listening to me, you’re identifying yourself with the content of your self-model. If you can rest for a while in a nonfragmented state, in an effortless form of mindfulness, you’ll have no sense of self. And then you’ll be jolted out of it by the next mind-wandering phase. This is the usual cycle for the meditator. The biggest problem in meditation is the meditator, as everybody knows. You’re trying to coax or manipulate yourself into something that’s rewarding. And that’s effortful. Perhaps some future generation, more integrated with its machines or which has been genetically engineered, will suffer far less and spend more time in awe at the beauty of the cosmos. On the topic of religion he minces no words that says that the explicit conscious knowledge of our own mortality has to do with the evolution of religion. Religions are what I call adaptive delusional systems; they help human beings deny their mortality.
Next topic on discussion does not fit in well with the other themes of this book but still was important topic to address. Timothy Snyder is the Richard C. Levin professor of history at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. The conversation primarily focuses on his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, but also touch on themes he further develops in The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America. Harris asks Tim a pertinent question that why American’s at this moment are so blinkered and are being pulled by the tide of history in a very unlucky direction, toward the ruination of everything they care about. Tim says that there are three factors at play here. The first is the long-standing religious tradition of exceptionalism, the notion that Americans escaped from an evil old world into a pure new world, which is, of course, ridiculous on a whole number of fronts. The second is the obvious fact that in many ways they’re a world unto ourselves. The historians of American history rarely venture beyond American history, so you can hardly expect the American citizen to do so. And the third factor, and maybe the most relevant, is metaphysical laziness. He says Americans are not reading much and reading is a precondition of conversation, and conversation is something we very much need politically. On Racism he says that it is the suspension of the rational faculty and a perception of unfitness for intimate relations, a presumption about intelligence, an imputation of bad character—this kind of thing—vis-à-vis another person or group of people because of what one understands their racial identity to be.
Next conversation in the book is about the biology of good and evil with Robert Sapolsky who is a neuroendocrinologist and a primatologist. He is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. He is a gifted communicator of science as well as a top-flight scientist. About his domain he says that it’s a fascinating domain—the fact that the insular cortex, which tells you if you’re eating something rotten, also mediates moral disgust in us. That a part of the brain that does temperature sensing for you is also activated when you perceive that somebody has a warm or a cold personality. That the parts of your brain involved in pain detection in a literal sense also activate when you’re feeling empathic about somebody else’s pain. As often pointed out, evolution is not an inventor, it’s a tinkerer; it makes do with what’s already there.
Next comes one of my favourite authors Daniel Kahneman who is an emeritus professor of psychology at Princeton University, and also an emeritus professor of public affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He received the Nobel Prize in economics for the work he did on decision making under uncertainty, with Amos Tversky. He first explains the concept of System 1 & System 2. He says that before starting with anything else, there are clearly two ways that ideas come to mind. If one say two plus two, then an idea comes to your mind. You haven’t asked for it, you’re completely passive, and something happens in your memory. If one asks you to multiply twenty-four by seventeen, you have to work to get that idea. So, it’s that dichotomy between the effortless and the effortful. And that is phenomenologically obvious—you start from there. How you describe it, and whether you choose to describe it in terms of systems or in other terms—that’s a theoretical choice. He says that theory is less important than the basic observation that there are two ways for ideas to come to mind. And then you have to describe it in a way that will be useful. What I mean by that is you have to describe the phenomena in a way that will help researchers have good ideas about facts and experiments to run. System 1 and System 2—it’s not dichotomy, and many people object to the terminology, but he said that he chose it quite deliberately. Next, he says that there are ways to solve societal problems. Around the end of World War Two, the social psychologist Kurt Lewin developed ideas about how you can change behaviour, and he distinguished two central ways of changing behaviour: You can apply pressure in the direction that you want people to go, or you can ask a very different question—why aren’t they going there by themselves? What is preventing them from doing what you think they should do? And then remove the obstacles. Make it easier for people. It’s perhaps the best psychological idea I know. This distinction between applying pressure, and making things easier, removing obstacles in the key here. Next, he talks about there’s another distinction he makes that is incredibly useful and troubling for those of us who want to be happy in this life: it’s the distinction between the “remembering self” and the “experiencing self.” selves. There is the self that is living your life, and it’s having all those experiences in real time. That’s the experiencing self. Then there is the self that comes to life when you ask someone what they think about their life, how happy they are, if their vacation went well—all of those retrospective questions—and this is the remembering self. So that leads to two conceptions of well-being. One is based on experience or the reality of experience, and the other is the construction that people have—that story that people construct about their life, and that they evaluate when you ask them a question. People actually want good memories. They want to be satisfied with their life. They’re not thinking of the future in terms of experiences, they’re thinking of the future in terms of anticipated memories. Well, if we could have both a happy life and good memories, that would be wonderful. But it turns out in the research on well-being that it’s not the same thing. The conditions that make you happy in your life, and the conditions that make you satisfied with your life, are different. What determines how happy you are is largely social. It’s spending a lot of time with people you love—and its actually friends more than children. But the conditions that lead people to be satisfied with their life are much more conventional. They’re about success.
Next Talk is with Nick Bostrom who is a Swedish-born philosopher with a background in theoretical physics, computational neuroscience, logic, artificial intelligence, and many other interesting topics. Officially he is a professor of philosophy at Oxford University, where he leads the Future of Humanity Institute. The talk delves in exploring Bostrom’s views on existential risk by focusing on three of his papers. The existential risk is concept of a risk either to the survival of Earth-originating intelligent life or a risk that could permanently and drastically reduce our potential for creating desirable future developments. In other words, a risk that could permanently destroy the future. The three papers on which this talk is based are 1) “The Vulnerable World Hypothesis.” 2) “Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?” And 3) “Where Are They?” (which is analysis of the Fermi problem, asking where is the rest of the intelligent life in the galaxy). The first paper tries to identify the ways in which the world could be vulnerable, the types of black ball technology that we might invent from “the urn of inventions”. The first and most obvious way the world can be vulnerable is if there is some technology that empowers individuals to cause sufficiently large amounts of destruction. The second paper deals with the simulation argument which is a probabilistic argument that purports to impose a constraint on what you can coherently believe about the future and your place in the universe. It tries to show that at least one of three propositions are true. The first is that there is a universal pattern where virtually all civilizations at our current stage of technological development go extinct before reaching technological maturity. The second alternative is that there is a very strong convergence among all technologically mature civilizations in that they all lose interest in creating what he calls “ancestor simulations.” These would be computer simulations of people—such as their historical predecessors—detailed enough that the simulated creatures would be conscious. And the third alternative is that we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. The third paper “Where is everyone?” says that if we find multicellular life (and certainly anything more complicated than that) on Mars or elsewhere in the cosmos, that will be very bad news for us, because it would suggest that we are doomed. He arrive at this by considering the implications of an idea that Robin Hanson calls “the great filter.” The background here is Fermi’s observation that we have seen no sign of any extra-terrestrial life, let alone any space-colonizing extra-terrestrial life. Yet we know that there are a lot of planets out there, including ones that look like they should be habitable; and billions of billions of them are close enough that a technologically mature civilization could have had ample time by now to reach Earth or to make its presence known. Thus, we infer that between the formation of a suitable planet and the stage of development where an extra-terrestrial civilization spreads through the universe (in ways that would be perceptible to us) there must be one or more highly improbable steps, a “great filter.” Now we can distinguish two possibilities: either this great filter, this great improbability, lies behind us in our evolutionary past, and we’ve been lucky and made it through; or this great filter lies in our future, and at some point, between where we are now and the point where we’re spreading through the galaxy and beyond, it will put a stop to us. It could also be that there is a filter both behind us and ahead of us; but if there is a filter behind us then there’s no particular reason to think there’s one ahead of us, so in that case we may have pretty good prospects of becoming a space-colonizing supercivilization.
Next conversation in the book is with David Krakauer who is president and William H. Miller professor of complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute. His research explores the evolution of genetic, neural, linguistic, social, and cultural mechanisms that support intelligence. He says during the talk that information is mathematically a reduction of uncertainty. Similarly, intelligence is what we do that ensures that the problem is efficiently solved. Stupidity is a set of rules that guarantees the problem will take longer than chance to be solved, or will never be solved, and yet is nevertheless employed with alacrity and enthusiasm. Numbers are in some sense the lowest-hanging fruit in our mathematical education. There are many number systems in the world. There are ancient Sumerian cuneiform numbers, about four thousand years old. There are ancient Egyptian numbers. And here is a good example of stupidity in culture: western Europe, for fifteen hundred years, used Roman numerals—from about the second century BC well into the fifteenth century AD. Roman numbers are good at measuring magnitude, the number of objects, but terrible for performing calculations. What’s X + V? What’s XII multiplied by IV? It just doesn’t work, and yet for fifteen hundred years the human brain opted to deliberate over arithmetic operations using Roman numerals that don’t work. The consequence was that for much of their history Europeans could not divide and multiply. It’s extraordinary, because it’s unbelievably stupid when you realize that in India and Arabia, they had a number system. It started in India and then moved to Arabia. It was available by the end of the fourth century AD, and that is the system we use today, which can effortlessly multiply and divide numbers. He also raises an interesting question that is there a sense in which a certain culture has discovered a more efficient way of interacting with physical and cultural reality? He also contends that regardless, though, of whether or not there is intelligent life in the universe beyond our own planet, we have an intellectual obligation to populate it. That’s where I stand on the matter. If I have any kind of quasi-mythical belief system, it’s something to do with expanding the sphere of reason and sympathy into the world and beyond.
Last talk in the book is on future of humanity with Max Tegmark who is a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the cofounder of the Future of Life Institute. He is the author of Our Mathematical Universe and Life 3.0. He explains his views on reality as that something out there independent of him. He says that the Andromeda galaxy would continue existing even if we weren’t here, for example. The scientist says, very humbly, “Okay, if there’s some stuff that exists out there—physical reality, let’s call it—let’s look at it as closely as we can and try to figure out what properties it has.” If there’s confusion about it, that’s our problem and not reality’s problem. He next explains his concept of mathematical universe. The only difference between a quark and an electron is what numbers they have as their properties. And if you take seriously the fact that everything is made of these elementary particles that have only mathematical properties, then you can ask, “What about the space itself that these particles are in? What properties does space have?” Well, it has the property three, for starters—its number of dimensions. Which, again, is just a number. Einstein discovered that space also has properties called “curvature” and “topology,” but they’re mathematical, too. If both space itself and all the stuff in space have only mathematical properties, then the idea that everything is completely mathematical and we’re just a part of this enormous mathematical object starts to sound a little less ridiculous. He says that John Wheeler’s “It from Bit” is right — the concept that at some level the universe is a computation. Then he delves in Metaverse and says that there are a lot of hints now in physics that what we call empty space is also like that: It can freeze and melt and come in many different variants. And inflation is so violent that if space can take many forms, inflation will create each of those kinds of space—and an infinite amount of it at that. So if you go really, really far away, you might find yourself in a part of space where there aren’t six kinds of quarks, as there are here, but maybe ten kinds, that is a different universe altogether. He ends on optimistic note that for humans it’s our ability to design and upgrade our own software that has enabled humans to become the planet’s dominant species.