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Analytic and Holistic Thinking

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sravna

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Analytic thinking is that which tries to understand the parts in the whole, whereas holistic thinking is something that tries to grasp the whole directly. Science as practiced now is analytic in nature, in that it tries to understand the whole reality by analysing it. An indispensable way science progresses is by making the analysis deeper.

It seems to me analytic approach is beset by a major limitation. The deeper you analyse, the lesser reality you are dealing with and greater becomes the uncertainty in that knowledge. This is because, to me, in the physical universe reality becomes greater when there is a synchrony among great number of energies. Human body is an example of such a synchrony as a body is made up of a large number of units which function intelligently because of a harmony among them. In the spirit of ayurveda, I see human body as a holistic unit, the parts being interconneted.

As lesser number of units are involved , the scope for higher holistic synergy decreases and thus it generally becomes less and less with size. So, at the level of an atom you are dealing with something that is made up of a very few constituents and hence its holistic harmony being very low, it represents a very low level of reality.

Thus the limitation of analysis is that, it begins to produce dubious knowledge beyond a point. I would say the only hope for complete and true knowledge is to grasp the whole at at one instance, so you can also explain it correctly, since when you grasp the whole you understand all the parts too. That is probably the reason, intuition is so reliable as a source of knowledge.
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
We can say that the reduction in reality also happens when something is seen in isolation, say, an event in isolation or even say a selfish view. Thus the more one reduces a certain aspect, the less likely it is in sync. with the reality the less likely he is seeing the truth.
 
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SwamiTaBra

Guest
Well said.

The more we plum the depth, the greater is the chance that we are shut out from other truths/happenings. This is the limitation of the mind. Yet we cannot sacrifice depth.

Amongst the modern thinkers I know, only Sri Aurobindo spoke eloquently on this subject.

I will try to reproduce some the relevant passages from his work (from what is available with me) sometime next week.

Rgds.,
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Well said.

The more we plum the depth, the greater is the chance that we are shut out from other truths/happenings. This is the limitation of the mind. Yet we cannot sacrifice depth.

Amongst the modern thinkers I know, only Sri Aurobindo spoke eloquently on this subject.

I will try to reproduce some the relevant passages from his work (from what is available with me) sometime next week.

Rgds.,

Dear Sir,

That would be certainly of interest.
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
The limitations of the approach of current science was well brought out in the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. The knowledge of Science is derived from the observations in the physical realm. The entities in the physical realm appear disconnected and hence right connections have to be made in inferring knowledge. The truth of the knowledge depends on how big a cut of the reality you are grasping together so that you grasp all the interconnectedness in it and see the whole picture.

I am not trying to show the early scientists in a lesser light but the fact is they tried to relate relatively smaller chunks of reality. Thus when information on an another chunk of reality disconnected from the first was seen, inconsistencies could arise and it would be necessary to see the larger picture.

When quantum mechanics was developed, science was at the point when particles and energy were seen as distinct entities. So when in a particular experiment, the light behaved as both a particle and a wave, all that the scientists could do was to conclude that light could behave as both a wave and a particle. This is regarded as one of the major findings of the theory but till today no body could boldy claim that they really understood the theory, even less, reality.

The point is, the development of science in smaller chunks of reality put it in a fundamental quandary which is yet to be resolved.
 
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suraju06

Well-known member
Any study of a scientific problem is subject to the tyranny of the given initial conditions and a plethora of resultant approximations. The final result that comes out thus is not applicable to all situations though it is applicable to just most of the situations.This small advantage is taken as the starting point by technology and the civilization progresses. I would recommend the book on Chaos by William Gleick to get an insight into this line of thinking. It does not make very tedious reading and is understandable by beginners too. Cheers.
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Exactly Shri Raju, Science progresses in steps and therefore by continual corrections unlike higher spiritual knowledge where the knowledge is total and hence timeless.
 

suraju06

Well-known member
while science is like the ideas represented by alphabets, words, sentences and pages in a book, intuition is like a pictograph where all ideas are grossly presented in a single shot all at once. It is tedious and time consuming to go through the first route because the perception comes through the medium of a language in which ideas are presented and grasped in a uni-directional progressive manner. When I asked a friend once whether there is a language in which ideas are presented in a gross form so that no time is wasted in perception, he recommended Mandarin in which each 'letter' is a pictograph. But then later I understood intuition is far better and far more efficient. There is no tedium. What more, you feel extremely happy that you have perceived something in a unique way. It is an experience which can be enjoyed only by experiencing it. It can not be explained. Cheers.
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
while science is like the ideas represented by alphabets, words, sentences and pages in a book, intuition is like a pictograph where all ideas are grossly presented in a single shot all at once. It is tedious and time consuming to go through the first route because the perception comes through the medium of a language in which ideas are presented and grasped in a uni-directional progressive manner. When I asked a friend once whether there is a language in which ideas are presented in a gross form so that no time is wasted in perception, he recommended Mandarin in which each 'letter' is a pictograph. But then later I understood intuition is far better and far more efficient. There is no tedium. What more, you feel extremely happy that you have perceived something in a unique way. It is an experience which can be enjoyed only by experiencing it. It can not be explained. Cheers.

I agree with you Shri.Raju. Also there is scope for error in science and that is the reason new theories keep coming but when you are able to reach higher knowledge and see beneath what cannot be confirmed by the senses, is ironically when you have hit upon the truth.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Exactly Shri Raju, Science progresses in steps and therefore by continual corrections unlike higher spiritual knowledge where the knowledge is total and hence timeless.

Shri Sravna,

Will you kindly name that "higher spiritual knowledge where the knowledge is total and hence timeless" which does not require any correction whatsoever?
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Sangom,

The core of Advaita philosophy for example, atman is brahman and maya veiling brahman are truths that are timeless in nature. They are real descriptions of the truth though they represent truth beyond the grasp of senses.
The reason I guess is, if you are to grasp something that is timeless in nature you cannot do it by something such as the senses which are bound by space and time. You need a fully evolved mind to do it. That is the reason people who can do it are so rare to the extent of being unique
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
With the benefit of higher kowledge, one can in fact derive the knowledge related to the physical world and in such a case, the need for corrections would not be there. It will just be deductions.
 
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SwamiTaBra

Guest
On Scientific Approach & Inuition by Sri Aurobindo

Dear Sir,

That would be certainly of interest.

[FONT=&quot]Subjectivism tends to take a large and complex view of our nature and being and to recognize many powers of knowledge, many forces of effectuation. Even, we see it its first movement away from the external and objective method discount and belittle the importance of the work of the reason and assert the supremacy of the life-impulse or the essential Will-to-be in opposition to the claims of the intellect or else affirm some deeper power of knowledge, called nowadays the intuition, which sees things in the whole, in their truth, in their profundities and harmonies while intellectual reson breaks up, falsifies, affirms superficial appearances and harmonies only by a mechanical adjustment. But substanstially we can see that what is meant by this intuition is the self-consciousness, feeling, perceiving, grasping in its substance and aspects rather than analyzing in its mechanism its own truth and nature and powers[/FONT].
[FONT=&quot](from: The objective and Subjective Views of Life)[/FONT]

. [FONT=&quot]This new movement largely aimed like the new philosophic Intuitionalism[/FONT] at a real rending of the veil, the seizure by the human mind of that which does not overtly express itself, the touch and penetration into the hidden soul of things,..
[FONT=&quot](from: The Coming of the Subjective Age)[/FONT]



[FONT=&quot]…. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]At the same time the Age of Reason is visibly drawing to an end; novel ideas are sweeping over the world and are being accepted with a significant rapidity, ideas inevitably subversive of any premature typal order of economic rationalism, dynamic ideas such as Nietzsche’s Will-to-live, Bergson’s exaltation of Intuition above intellect or the latest tendency to acknowledge a suprarational faculty and a suprarational order of truths. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]…[/FONT][FONT=&quot](from The Age of Individualism and Reason)[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]….For his nature pushes him towards the heights; it demands a constant effort of self-transcendence and the impulsion towards things unachieved and even immediately impossible.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Its very attempt at a disinterested and dispassionate knowledge carries it to an elevation where it loses hold that other knowledge which our instincts and impulses carry within themselves and which, however imperfect, obscure and limited, is still a hidden action of the universal Knowledge-Will inherent in existence that creates and directs all things according to their nature. True, even Science and Philosophy are never entirely dispassionate and disinterested. They fall into subjection to the tyranny of their own ideas, their partial systems, their hasty generalizations and by the innate drive of man towards practice they seek to impose these upon the life. But even so they enter into a world either of abstract ideas or of ideals or of rigid laws from which the complexity of life escapes. ……………………..[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]The root of the difficulty is this that at the very basis of all our life and existence, internal and external, there is something on which the intellect can never lay a controlling hold, the Absolute, the Infinite.[/FONT][FONT=&quot](from: The Reason as Governor of Life)[/FONT]
 
S

SwamiTaBra

Guest
On Scientific Approach & Intuition by Sri Aurobindo

Dear Sir,

That would be certainly of interest.

[FONT=&quot]Subjectivism tends to take a large and complex view of our nature and being and to recognize many powers of knowledge, many forces of effectuation. Even, we see it its first movement away from the external and objective method discount and belittle the importance of the work of the reason and assert the supremacy of the life-impulse or the essential Will-to-be in opposition to the claims of the intellect or else affirm some deeper power of knowledge, called nowadays the intuition, which sees things in the whole, in their truth, in their profundities and harmonies while intellectual reson breaks up, falsifies, affirms superficial appearances and harmonies only by a mechanical adjustment. But substanstially we can see that what is meant by this intuition is the self-consciousness, feeling, perceiving, grasping in its substance and aspects rather than analyzing in its mechanism its own truth and nature and powers[/FONT].
[FONT=&quot](from: The objective and Subjective Views of Life)[/FONT]

. [FONT=&quot]This new movement largely aimed like the new philosophic Intuitionalism[/FONT] at a real rending of the veil, the seizure by the human mind of that which does not overtly express itself, the touch and penetration into the hidden soul of things,..
[FONT=&quot](from: The Coming of the Subjective Age)[/FONT]



[FONT=&quot]…. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]At the same time the Age of Reason is visibly drawing to an end; novel ideas are sweeping over the world and are being accepted with a significant rapidity, ideas inevitably subversive of any premature typal order of economic rationalism, dynamic ideas such as Nietzsche’s Will-to-live, Bergson’s exaltation of Intuition above intellect or the latest tendency to acknowledge a suprarational faculty and a suprarational order of truths. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]…[/FONT][FONT=&quot](from The Age of Individualism and Reason)[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]….For his nature pushes him towards the heights; it demands a constant effort of self-transcendence and the impulsion towards things unachieved and even immediately impossible.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Its very attempt at a disinterested and dispassionate knowledge carries it to an elevation where it loses hold that other knowledge which our instincts and impulses carry within themselves and which, however imperfect, obscure and limited, is still a hidden action of the universal Knowledge-Will inherent in existence that creates and directs all things according to their nature. True, even Science and Philosophy are never entirely dispassionate and disinterested. They fall into subjection to the tyranny of their own ideas, their partial systems, their hasty generalizations and by the innate drive of man towards practice they seek to impose these upon the life. But even so they enter into a world either of abstract ideas or of ideals or of rigid laws from which the complexity of life escapes. ……………………..[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]The root of the difficulty is this that at the very basis of all our life and existence, internal and external, there is something on which the intellect can never lay a controlling hold, the Absolute, the Infinite.[/FONT][FONT=&quot](from: The Reason as Governor of Life)[/FONT]
 
S

SwamiTaBra

Guest
When I asked a friend once whether there is a language in which ideas are presented in a gross form so that no time is wasted in perception, he recommended Mandarin in which each 'letter' is a pictograph. But then later I understood intuition is far better and far more efficient. There is no tedium. What more, you feel extremely happy that you have perceived something in a unique way. It is an experience which can be enjoyed only by experiencing it. It can not be explained. Cheers.

Do you mean [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-2]HIEROGLYPHs?

Rgds.
[/SIZE][/FONT]
 
OP
OP
sravna

sravna

Well-known member
[FONT=&quot]Subjectivism tends to take a large and complex view of our nature and being and to recognize many powers of knowledge, many forces of effectuation. Even, we see it its first movement away from the external and objective method discount and belittle the importance of the work of the reason and assert the supremacy of the life-impulse or the essential Will-to-be in opposition to the claims of the intellect or else affirm some deeper power of knowledge, called nowadays the intuition, which sees things in the whole, in their truth, in their profundities and harmonies while intellectual reson breaks up, falsifies, affirms superficial appearances and harmonies only by a mechanical adjustment. But substanstially we can see that what is meant by this intuition is the self-consciousness, feeling, perceiving, grasping in its substance and aspects rather than analyzing in its mechanism its own truth and nature and powers[/FONT].
[FONT=&quot](from: The objective and Subjective Views of Life)[/FONT]

. [FONT=&quot]This new movement largely aimed like the new philosophic Intuitionalism[/FONT] at a real rending of the veil, the seizure by the human mind of that which does not overtly express itself, the touch and penetration into the hidden soul of things,..
[FONT=&quot](from: The Coming of the Subjective Age)[/FONT]



[FONT=&quot]…. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]At the same time the Age of Reason is visibly drawing to an end; novel ideas are sweeping over the world and are being accepted with a significant rapidity, ideas inevitably subversive of any premature typal order of economic rationalism, dynamic ideas such as Nietzsche’s Will-to-live, Bergson’s exaltation of Intuition above intellect or the latest tendency to acknowledge a suprarational faculty and a suprarational order of truths. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]…[/FONT][FONT=&quot](from The Age of Individualism and Reason)[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]….For his nature pushes him towards the heights; it demands a constant effort of self-transcendence and the impulsion towards things unachieved and even immediately impossible.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Its very attempt at a disinterested and dispassionate knowledge carries it to an elevation where it loses hold that other knowledge which our instincts and impulses carry within themselves and which, however imperfect, obscure and limited, is still a hidden action of the universal Knowledge-Will inherent in existence that creates and directs all things according to their nature. True, even Science and Philosophy are never entirely dispassionate and disinterested. They fall into subjection to the tyranny of their own ideas, their partial systems, their hasty generalizations and by the innate drive of man towards practice they seek to impose these upon the life. But even so they enter into a world either of abstract ideas or of ideals or of rigid laws from which the complexity of life escapes. ……………………..[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]The root of the difficulty is this that at the very basis of all our life and existence, internal and external, there is something on which the intellect can never lay a controlling hold, the Absolute, the Infinite.[/FONT][FONT=&quot](from: The Reason as Governor of Life)[/FONT]

Dear Shri Swami,

Thanks for posting Aurobindo's views on the subject. What I consider an interesting irony in the views expressed by him is while he choses the word "subjectivism" I think to refer to the personal aspect of the acquisition of knowledge, it is indeed only in such a way of intuitive acquisition, complete and true reality can be revealed or in that words, we acquire objective knowledge. Similarly the converse is true for the way the so called "objective" knowledge is gained, by incomplete comprehension and because of subjective limitations, which truly deserves to be called subjective knowledge.

What do you think?
 
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S

SwamiTaBra

Guest
Dear Shri Swami,

Thanks for posting Aurobindo's views on the subject. What I consider an interesting irony in the views expressed by him is while he choses the word "subjectivism" I think to refer to the personal aspect of the acquisition of knowledge, it is indeed only in such a way of intuitive acquisition, complete and true reality can be revealed or in that words, we acquire objective knowledge. Similarly the converse is true for the way the so called "objective" knowledge is gained, by incomplete comprehension and because of subjective limitations, which truly deserves to be called subjective knowledge.

What do you think?

Dear Sri. Sravna,

I could not get the import of your post.

But from what I am able to glean, let me make the following comment:

Objective way of acquiring knowledge cannot be done away. However, we ought to realise that it is not the finality. While probing by the objective processes such as inference, empirical studies, direct observation quite often we come across details that contradicts the held hypotheses.
Most classic case is about the widely held corpuscular theory on light that was later repudiated by wave theory by Young. Who knows something else may be revealed about light by the objective processes in future?

When have something holistic-- something you cherish,-- it is the final word on the subject and its connection to other forces. Hence when we say there is a subjective stamp on some knowledge, that knowledge is complete.

Pl. let me know whether I got your question right.

Rgds.,
 
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OP
sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Sri. Sravna,

I could not get the import of your post.

But from what I am able to glean, let me make the following comment:

Objective way of acquiring knowledge cannot be done away. However, we ought to realise that it is not the finality. While probing by the objective processes such as inference, empirical studies, direct observation quite often we come across details that contradicts the held hypotheses.
Most classic case is about the widely held corpuscular theory on light that was later repudiated by wave theory by Young. Who knows something else may be revealed about light by the objective processes in future?

When have something holistic-- something you cherish,-- it is the final word on the subject and its connection to other forces. Hence when we say there is a subjective stamp on some knowledge, that knowledge is complete.

Pl. let me know whether I got your question right.

Rgds.,

Dear Shri Swami,

When we use the word 'objective' in contexts such as above, we mean that we are dispassionate in the way we acquire knowledge or in other words we try not to let our prejudices color it. That is one of the reasons science looks for physical evidence which is supposed to provide a stamp of finality on the knowledge. That also is the limitation of science as long as considers physical evidence as an objective reality. The problem is even though the reality may be common, there are many elements of reality which does not and cannot present itself in the physical realm. These are accessible only to the mind and through intuition. Thus ironically a true objective reality thus obtained through intuition is a subjective experience. Conversely what is obtained through objective means is subject to limitations, may be because of the way science works and probably even more because of the limitations of self. The truth in such a knowledge depends upon the way the person sees the reality and therefore fits more the definition of subjective knowledge.
 
S

SwamiTaBra

Guest
Dear Shri Swami,

When we use the word 'objective' in contexts such as above, we mean that we are dispassionate in the way we acquire knowledge or in other words we try not to let our prejudices color it. That is one of the reasons science looks for physical evidence which is supposed to provide a stamp of finality on the knowledge. That also is the limitation of science as long as considers physical evidence as an objective reality. The problem is even though the reality may be common, there are many elements of reality which does not and cannot present itself in the physical realm. These are accessible only to the mind and through intuition. Thus ironically a true objective reality thus obtained through intuition is a subjective experience. Conversely what is obtained through objective means is subject to limitations, may be because of the way science works and probably even more because of the limitations of self. The truth in such a knowledge depends upon the way the person sees the reality and therefore fits more the definition of subjective knowledge.

Thanks for your effort in putting in as clear words as possible. You may well have reworded the sentence, " ironically a true objective reality thus obtained through intuition is a subjective experience" as to avoid confusion.

The problem is with the connotation of the word "subjective". Nowadays it is purely connotes prejudicial views, whilst I suppose in its purest sense it has no such connotation.

The purpose of both "subjective" and "objective" are same -- to understand reality. Only that in the objective processes, one is not sure whether what is being understood is true/real.

Rgds.,
 
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