IIT Kanpur: Superstition, science, and faith: Beyond the duality of the subject and the object

Acharya Prashant
13 min readJun 17, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): In any scientific experiment there is a subject and an object, but usually the subject is biased due to his conditioning to some extent. We sometimes see scientific studies contradicting each other as they are reported by scientists having different conditionings. Nevertheless, the general belief is that science is objective and this leads to scientists becoming self-righteous, arrogant, judgmental, and sometimes even insane. My question is, is there anything that is objective, universal, and always trustworthy?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The relationship between the subject and the object needs to be understood. Usually, the subject operates in its lowest state, and that lowest state of the subject or of the consciousness of the subject you could call as belief or superstition. What happens in this state? The subject sees an object, and the subject certifies that the object definitely, absolutely does exist because the subject is seeing it. In other words, the subject is taking his own perception as absolute. The subject is saying, “I am seeing that object and that object exists, and that is absolutely certain because I am seeing the object.”