The philosophy of Advaita Vedanta is one of the few spiritual philosophies that conform to science. It is however contradicted by nor contradicts present scientific positions.
In Advaita Vedanta, the world is said to have two levels of reality, the level of the world that we see around us which has relative reality, and the level of Brahman or Oneness, which has absolute reality.
The world around us is said to be only relatively real. This does not mean that it does not exist or is unreal, but only that its level of reality is not perfect, it is an ambiguous reality. It has an indistinct reality, nothing that we examine in the world can be shown to have a definite reality. Whenever we analyze anything in the world down to its roots, we will find that it degenerates into an ambiguous reality. It is only when we reach the level of Brahman or Oneness that we will find a definite reality.
Brahman in Advaita is considered to be the absolute reality. It is not affected by time or space and hence is homogeneous, non-discrete and beyond this everyday world.
Now, coming to present science, we find that as far as the first part of the Advaita proposition, quantum physics defines the world in the same way. In quantum physics also, the ultimate reality of the world is said to be quantum particles. At present, the particles of the Standard Model, a table that defines about 50-60 subparticles like quarks, muons and bosons, are considered to be the fundamental particles that institute all of the world. Now, it is interesting that the reality of these quantum particles is described in very much the same terms that Advaita Vedanta used to describe the relative reality of the world. In quantum physics also, it is recognized that the reality of these quantum particles is not well defined, and they have an ambiguous, 'smudged' reality.
Again, it is well recognized in present science that the Standard Model is not complete, and there is a sub-structure below it. What exactly this is still not known, various theories like String theory, Technicolor theory, etc. are proposed. These propose entities which define, if possible, entities which are even more ambiguous in their reality! Thus both Advaita Vedanta and modern quantum physics assert that the world has an ambiguous reality.
However, here the similarity between present science and Advaitism ends. Quantum Physicspite proposing particles with ambiguous reality at the base, does not go on to propose anything which has absolute reality and says it is this ambiguous reality which holds at the base.
Advaita Vedanta would not say that present quantum physics is wrong. Instead what it says is that it is incomplete. It is the assertion of Advaita Vedanta that regardless of the Standard Model nor other theories like String theory that propose discrete, 'atomic' particles will be the final answer and they will be found to be incomplete with further sub structures beyond them. Advaita …