22 June 2010

Against immaterialism: A rebuttal of esoteric metaphysics

In his article ‘It’s Immaterial’ (New Humanist magazine, May/June 2010), Hindu Council UK director and trained scientist Jay Lakhani becomes the umpteenth person to attempt the impossible: reconciling unprovable, faith-based religion with testable, evidence-based science. More specifically, it is the ideas of non-theistic esoteric Hinduism that Lakhani puts forward as a replacement for what he scoldingly calls the ‘materialist paradigm’. “It has long seemed to me,” Lakhani writes, “that the paradigm which now needs to be challenged is that of materialism, that worldview that everything and everyone is essentially just a product of little bits of matter.” With this line, Lakhani takes his place amongst the ranks of discontents revolting against the reductionist, secular, Western (and thus automatically disreputable) idea of a purely physical universe governed by discoverable laws.