This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Naturalism and atomism

On account of its subject matter it is no surprise that Vaisheshika exhibits a tendency toward naturalism, and it is unfortunate that this has ended by producing support for the atomist conception, which is at odds the Veda itself. According to this theory, the anu or atom, due to an affinity with one or the other of the elements, groups with other atoms sharing this affinity, and out of these groupings all bodies are formed, under the influence of a ‘non-perceptible’ force called adrishta. The basic error of atomism consists in the supposition that simple elements can exist in the corporeal order, and this is why the points of view which restrict themselves to the corporeal order are susceptible to it. They search after simple elements, which are simply not found in the domain in which they find themselves. The result is the fiction of the atom. On the contrary, from a metaphysical point of view, all that is embodied is composite, and is therefore divisible. And being subject to the spatial condition, it is divisible, which refutes the verify definition of atom, which is ‘indivisible.’ In order to truly find anything simple, one must move outside space, which is to say, outside the special modality of corporeal existence. To say it another way, that which is not divisible must therefore have no extension, which is to say it has no area, and the sum of any quantity of these would never equal an area. Modern science, however, no longer holds this definition of the atom as indivisible, having finally proven it false to themselves, although they’ve simply adopted alternative imaginings to replace it. Or, to employ a refutation given by Shankaracharya in his Commentary on the Brahma-sutras: two things can come into contact either by a part of themselves or by the whole. Since atoms, if they are ‘simple elements,’ do not have parts, then it follows that they cannot come into contact in part. This leaves only the second hypothesis, which amounts to saying that two atoms together coincide completely, and therefore take up no more space than they did singly. Thus, while we must admit the impossibility of the atomist conception, the point of view of Vaisheshika remains, in essence, legitimate.

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