Bias in Indology?

Bob Peck rpeck at NECA.COM
Thu Oct 26 16:40:34 UTC 2000

C.R.Selvakumar evidences a more fundamental problem in understanding other
cultures or times in stating that Tamil writings only include the brain as
the center of being.
This countering statement to mine of separate centers may be based upon
differences in experiencing the identity of the ‘self’ with the brain. In
the States the separation of mind and brain was rejected by many who
insisted that the mind and brain were one and the same. The discovery of
memory and action centers in other organs has diminished this school of
thought however, as well as the failure of the computer to replace many
mental functions. Modern psychology likewise generally ignores the mind
aspect of thought and has generally thrown out the concept of the earlier
accepted term of conation that was similar to many Indian views of thought.
As I read original religious documents, one common theme seems to be to
teach the methods for finding the separation of mind and brain. In the
States, many individuals are introduced to what is called “yoga and
meditation” wherein many classes introduce the idea of tat tvam asi.
Supposedly the practices offered by the class will assist the student in
‘feeling’ the truth of the expression.
It is interesting to observe that many original Christian writings seem also
to point to the separation of mind and brain although the majority of modern
Christian churches seem to stress only the brain.
Perhaps my concern can be stated as two questions. How can a culture be
understood with a bias based upon a different conditioned religious or
experiential relationship of the self and world. How can Indology be truly
objective without religious or spiritual (and scientific) considerations?
Another concern of mine is the seemingly difference in the inner vital
forces of early writings and modern interpretation.

Bob Peck

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