Connecting the East and the West towards a Grand Theory

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Abstract
Back in Ancient India, Shankaracharya postulated a philosophy which is now known as Advaita. According to Advaita philosophy, the ‘jivãtma’ (individual soul) and ‘Brahmãtma’ (universal soul) are one and the same and these are the only ‘real’ things that exist. Everything else is an illusion. To challenge this almost unshakeable viewpoint, I bring to the fore a book authored by a Nobel Laureate. In 1935, Alexis Carrel’s revolutionary book entitled “Man the Unknown” was published. Though controversial in terms of its content, it delineates the unexplored aspects of the human being – the understanding of mental processes and consciousness, which he claims humans have not mastered. Throughout the book, Carrel suggests that there is something that is unknown in the homo sapiens and hence he titles his work “Man the Unknown.” Based on this, I argue that both the esoteric East and the pragmatic West have not uncovered something “hidden” –the unknown factor/element. Substantial evidence exists for this contention in the scientific community. For example, questions such as among identical twins diagnosed with depression, why does one medication cure depression for one twin and have no effect on the other twin? Ceteris paribus, why does therapy work for one client but not for another client with the same disorder? These questions do not have clear, crystallized answers. Perhaps, if such a thing like an unknown element exists, it would pave the way for the postulation of the Grand Theory of the behavioural sciences.
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Archival date: 2020-07-10
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