Philosophy Epistemology

What Can The Human Soul  Know ?
What does The Human soul  Know ?

Nature (Reality) is conceived to be the infinite fountain source of all and every aspect of true knowledge. It is pre-supposed that there is intimate relation between knowledge and Nature. The structure of truth involves the corresponding structure of Nature, devoid of which truth stands obstructed from reality and thus, become a contentless, barren concept that would fail to yield true knowledge.

(1) Existence of corresponding sphere of reality (Nature); and

(2) Presence of direct knowledge-giving consciousness.







Naturally we cannot expect Devatma to discuss these problems also in an academic idioms of an epistemologist.

An empiricist in epistemology need not be a materialist but he must be a naturalist. Devatma is a Naturalists. It would be futile to ask whether Devatma’s ontology determines his epistemology or vice-versa. It would be like asking whether the egg if first or the hen is first. The truth seems to be that a philosophical commitment which is simultaneously expressed through metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics , aesthetic, religion, and other aspect of life.

According to Devatma, ‘It is the highest and noblest privilege of man to have the capacity to acquire greater and greater true knowledge about Nature in general and in particular about his own soul, which is most essential part of his being and to get more and more freedom from all false beliefs, superstitions, fictions and false religion and to be able, not only to get rid of every kind of falsehood but to accept truth and truth alone.’ Devatma is able to demarcate very clearly the boundary between the sphere of (true) knowledge and the sphere of false beliefs, superstitions etc.

All aspects of existences have been classified into four spheres of Nature. “Following are the spheres of Nature in respect of which man can acquire true knowledge.

1. The reality of the various kind of existences in Nature composed of matter and force.

2. The physical forms and qualities of various kind of real existences in Nature.

3. The inanimate and animate forces of the various kinds of real existences in Nature and their attributes.

4. The immutable processes of Nature – also called its immutable laws -under the operation of which various kind of change take place in different kinds of real existences in Nature and the facts concerning such changes.

”Excepting these four true spheres of real Nature, the teachings about all other matters, of whatever kind and character which are prevalent in the human world, are but vain gossip or false,”

The structure of human consciousness has been classified into eight groups. Man can get direct knowledge about the different matters concerning Nature by means of these eight types of consciousnesses. They are:-

1. Direct-knowledge-giving several elementary kinds of consciousnesses (sense organs).

Nature has given man various sense organs in order to get direct true knowledge about the forms, sounds, smiles, and tastes etc., of different kind of existences. It is only through these sense organs and through no other means that man can and does acquire direct knowledge about perceptual objects.

2. Direct-knowledge-giving various intellectual powers:-

The following are the cognitive powers by the evolution of which man can or does get direct knowledge about the different aspects of Nature:

(1) Power of retention; (2) Power of memory; (3) Power of imagination; (4) Power of concentration; (5) Power of Reasoning.

3. Direct-knowledge-giving several kinds of consciousness connected with the conception of Ego or “I”.

The human child has no consciousness of its own self or its own individuality, during the time of its babyhood and even for some time thereafter. In the course of time when it becomes conscious of its individuality of ‘self’ or ”I”, which was previously absent, he being to use the terms ”I”, ‘me’, ‘mine’, ‘my’ in connection with one or other of his activity or feeling. He then speaks like this: ‘I am feeling hungry’ ; where is my cap?; etc…

4. Direct-knowledge-giving lower kind of consciousnesses of sensual feeling;

Direct knowledge about the the reality of various aspect of Nature that can be obtained by man through some particular kind of his real feeling, can only be acquired by him by means of that and that felling alone not otherwise. Following are some of the lower feelings of this kind:

(1) Passion or love for money, (2) Passion or love for children; and (3) Passion or love for lust, etc.

5.Direct-Knowledge -Giving several aesthetic senses or consciousness . They are

I Sense of Beauty ;

II Linguistic Sense ;

III. Sense of Music ;

Iv. Sense of Order ;

V. Sense of Cleanliness ,etc

6. Direct-Knowledge-giving higher feelings based on justice

7. Direct-Knowledge-giving higher feelings of Reverence and Service of others

I. Feeling of altruistic reverence ;

II .The altruistic feeling of gratitude ;

III. The altruistic Feeling of sympathy or the realization of the pain of others ;

IV .The altruistic feeling of responsiveness to the needs of others; etc.

8. Direct-Knowledge-giving several kinds of dev shaktis or Higher psychic Forces.

I. Complete Love for true and only true knowledge in respect of every department of Nature;

II. Complete hatred for all Kinds of False beliefs pertaining to every department of Nature.

III. Complete love for all that is good or beneficial in respect of every department of Nature ;

IV. Complete hatred for all kinds of wrongs or evils in relation to every department of Nature.

1. Necessity of sufficient or love for every truth relating to the subject about which true knowledge is sought.

2. Necessity of sufficient attraction or love for the scientific method of investigation for the acquisition of true knowledge in any field of Nature.

3. The necessity of sufficient love for the method of logical reasoning in order to thrash out true knowledge on any subject.

4. The necessity of various kind of life the for the perception of different kind of truths in Nature.

The Devatma accepts the evolutionary theory of knowledge . A child learns what its parents & teachers in school teach it . It passively accepts all that is taught to it. This is why millions of people acquire false beliefs and once acquired they stick to them . Since people, lack of complete love for truth and goodness and complete hatred for falsehood and evil, they never put these beliefs to test. They never question them. Moreover, low loves for sensual pleasures, wealth, prestige, fame , idleness etc., and low hates lead people to accept and fabricate all sorts of falsehoods, evil deeds. Thus, “all kinds of falsehoods, evil deeds, crimes & sins which are . . . rampant all over the earth, are the direct and inevitable outcome of the various kinds of low loves and low hates which dominate the human heart.”

It is not possible for any one to learn all the truths about Nature all by oneself right from the childhood. It is necessary to have faith in another man. Without such a belief life would be impossible. Moreover, one may not have the particular faculty by which one can acquire direct and true knowledge in any specific sphere of Nature. In such cases, if one is desirous of getting Knowledge in that field, one has to put faith in the words and teachings of another persons, who is believed to possess the direct knowledge in that sphere. “in short”, says Devatma, “It is impossible for any man, related as he is to other men, not to put some kind of faith in any other man in the world.”

In a case in which a person accepts certain beliefs on the authority of some other person, It is necessary to check or find out whether the beliefs or statements accepted by him on the authority of some other person are true or false.

The Devatma holds that there are four Nature-based criteria for testing such belief. They are :

I. Only beliefs about existents in Nature can be true and all beliefs in supernatural objects are false;

II. Any belief which goes against the direct knowledge obtained through any of the eight kinds of direct-knowledge-giving consciousnesses is false.

III. Any belief inconsistent with the principles of validity in logic cannot be true.

IV. Any belief inconsistent with or which violates any immutable laws of Nature, i.e., which can never be or is not proved by any experience cannot be true. After giving these four criteria, the Devatma adds , “if any of the teachings of the Devatma also fails to prove true on being tested by any one of these four criteria , it, too , does not deserve to be accepted as true.”


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