Metaphysics and modern science: An approach to human resilience | Abstract
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Metaphysics and modern science: An approach to human resilience

Author(s): Smita Jha

In the present era the proposed topic titled Metaphysics and Modern Science: An approach to human resilience is important not merely because the topic is quite engaging, but also, and perhaps chiefly, it is pregnant with immense possibilities while discussing the meaning of human existence. It is idle to assume that Metaphysics and Modern Science are mutually exclusive of each other and that there is absolutely no meeting point between the two. Metaphysics is a phenomenon that prompts us to undertake a meaningful and comprehensive probe into the secrets and mysteries of cosmos. India has been a land of seers and sages, of saints and anchorites, of people gifted with a third eye, with great visionary powers and intuitive insights. Was it a miracle that Vyas could write eighteen Puranas, that anonymous thinkers could write the Upanishads, the Smiritis and the Samhitas, that Aryabhatta could tell us a good deal about Cosmology, and that Charak and Shushruta could make invaluable contributions, respectively, to the fields of medicine and surgery. People have been laboring under the false and dubious impression that Metaphysics is something vague, entirely based on speculations, that there is no world other than the world we live in, and that materialism, and not spiritualism, is the only item we should always endeavor to care for. The truth of the matter, however, is that Metaphysics lies beyond common human reasoning, that it has logic of its own, and that Vedanta is the highest tribute to human intelligence, resilience and understanding. Metaphysics deals with a world which Stephen Spender calls, ‘a world beyond world’. Modern Science and technology may and does have their own achievements; they have indeed contributed to the comforts and conveniences of human life, but at the same time they have also caused a good deal of misery in the form of mass killings, mass destruction and threats of wars in future. Modern Science is limited, while Metaphysics goes without limits. The meeting point of Metaphysics and Modern Science is the element of exploration, for while science explores through experiments, observations and inferences, metaphysics explores through unity of vision. This unity of vision reflects the philosophy of existentialism. Man is a creature who tries to play with unknown things of the world, Nature is one of them. To say that there exist a close and vital relationship between human being and environment is almost axiomatic. To understand Nature to make it sustainable is one of the great challenges to human society today. Is it metaphysics or existential philosophy that gives a way to such problem? It is against this background that I propose to explore the aspects of Metaphysics and the philosophy of existentialism to sustain human against all odds and hurdles.