In ordinary speech, realism is opposed to idealism; objects truly exist – they are not mental creations. But as a matter of fact, scientific experiments done on the basis of realism, become self-contradictory.
Bertrand Russell pointed out, in a remark which impressed Einstein: ‘Naive realism, if true, is false; therefore it is false.’ But find it difficult to live up to this conclusion. When it was put to this same Russell that consciousness has to be taken as ever-present, he replied: No. I find no difficulty in imagining a time when the earth was a mass of blazing rocks, with no consciousness present whatever.’ He did not realize that in using terms like ‘blazing’ and ‘rocks’, he was assuming the presence of consciousness, and moreover human consciousness equipped with sense organs.
On his own scientific outlook there could have been nothing but sub-atomic particles, which (he supposes) would have looked like blazing rocks had there been a human consciousness there to observe them, or to select readings from instruments which could record temperature and so on. But they would not be rocks, but a potentialities.
It should be added that these potentialities are now known to be in principle indefinite – though Russell, like Einstein – fought a losing battle against the idea; and there is no solution to the riddle of how such indefinite potentialities become the relative certainties of ordinary experience.
To be a realist has a second sense: it means to face the truth without illusions. So Dr. Shastri is here telling students of yoga to face the unreality of the supposedly real world.
This ‘realism’ or standing on truth overcomes the prima facie realism of worldly and scientific experience.
Freedom of the soul from all conditions: joy, merit, political freedom, goodness, evil: all the conditions.
Here the truth is given without any accommodations or concessions.