Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Goldilocks and the Seven Sages


Perhaps you’ve seen already this essay by Derek Parfit from the files of the London Review of Books:
why anything why this
I spent a couple of hours pre-dawn this morning reading it and when I crept back to bed, I sleep in shifts these days; a great Odin sleep came over me and I awoke refreshed and perfectly unenlightened. More than anything it demonstrates how little space a philosopher needs to turn and how a 5,728 word essay can be generated by the application of judicious extrapolation. I resist the idea of selection points which he proffers as it seems to represent a mathematical view of time as a series of instants with all the information present for the next predictable move. I feel that there is unbroken action on all fronts in both a monistic and a pluralistic sense.

The Hindu theory of world cycles with its vertiginous yugas, kalpas and days of Brahman holds that the dissolution and the re-projection of the universe is endless but there is one constant; the Vedas. They emerge in every cycle and are heard (sruti) by the Sages. The sage of Kanchi in his book on the Vedas has interpreted this doctrine. More anon.

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