(1979). <i>On Inspiration</i>, The Bhaktivedanta Institute Essays on the Foundations of Knowledge, Number 1

(1979). On Inspiration

The Bhaktivedanta Institute Essays on the Foundations of Knowledge, Number 1

Publication Info: 

Thompson, R. L.. On Inspiration, The Bhaktivedanta Institute Essays on The Foundations of Knowledge, Number 1. Philadelphia, PA: Bhaktivedanta Institute, 1979.


In this article we will examine how human beings aquire knowledge in science, mathematics, and art. Our focus shall primarily be on the formation of ideas and hypotheses in science and mathematics, since the formal nature of these subject tends to put the phenomena we are concerned with into particularly clear perspective. We will show that the phenomenon known generally as inspiration is an essential part of the process of acquiring knowledge in modern science and mathematics, as well as in the various creative arts (such as music). We will argue that the phenomenon of inspiration cannot readily be explained by means of mechanistic models of nature consistent with present-day theories of physics and chemistry. As an alternative to these models, a nonmechanistic theoretical framework for the description of nature will be outlined. While providing a direct explanation of inspiration, this general framework is broad enough to include the current theories of physics as a limiting case.

Additional Notes:
Also in Back to Godhead Vol.14, no.12 (1979), pp. 23–27; Consciousness The Missing Link: Scientists of the Bhaktivedanta Institute examine key underlying concepts of the modern life sciences, Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (1980), pp. 23-36; and Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation Into the Nature Of Consciousness and Form. Los Angeles: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (1981), pp. 169–82.