Blurred Lines: Science and Spirituality
Some scientists are beginning to embrace spiritual philosophies while some religious leaders are recognizing the science behind spirituality. In this exciting new time of discovery we are considering possibilities that were in the fringe or fantasy category a few years prior. From discussions about quantum consciousness to real fear about the Singularity we find ourselves moving ever closer to a merging of science and spirituality.
I have spent many years with one foot in both worlds. My love for science and discovery brings a voracious appetite for news on the latest “eureka.” My life long quest for purpose drives me to soak up all I can about the spiritual philosophies around the globe and how they came to be. The quest is not without bumps, blocks and criticism. My science minded agnostic/atheist friends and family members pull one direction with their feet firmly planted, while some close to me in the spiritual camp faithfully attribute everything to an Infinite Intelligence they call God and pull the opposite direction.
Between the tug-of-war I seek a solution that satisfies both sides. Impossible? Maybe. Yet with each year it seems the rope gets shorter bringing the two sides closer and closer. This delicate dance of ideas and understanding tends to leave a dust trail of social change as well. When science brings information that changes the common understanding of something, social attitudes must also change.
When it was proven that the Earth is round and rotates around the Sun, thanks to Nicolaus Copernicus and others, there were hold-outs who tried to discredit the idea. Copernicus was a Catholic Cleric and the Church was involved in all aspects of celestial studies, so once the Copernican model was published with the blessings of the Church there was no stopping the theory from being studied further and finally proven. Martin Luther, John Calvin and Abraham Calovius were all vocal in their opposition of the Copernican theory. Martin Luther said of Nicolaus Copernicus and his ideas: “There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. But that is how things are nowadays: when a man wishes to be clever he must . . . invent something special, and the way he does it must need be the best! The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth.”
With today’s statement by Pope Francis, “”If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” we see a monumental shift in philosophy once again. As science proves that the complicated interaction of our brain and body produce a variety of variations in our behavior, tastes and physical construct, then even the religious community must take a new look at what their definition of “natural” is. The argument that can be a double-edged sword is: If God is all-powerful and Omnipresent, then nothing is a mistake and all things are in Divine Right Order. By measuring everything by that truth (at least for those in the spiritual camp) then all things, thoughts, ideas and events are of God.
On the other side, as science continues to reach deep into the most mysterious realms of our ancient past, there is a struggle to embrace the quantum aspect of consciousness and the possibility of its eternal existence. What came before the Big Bang is a nagging nuisance for some and an exciting lifelong quest for others. Quantum mechanics eloquently explains a lot about how matter forms and the relationship between our thoughts and material formation. This, however, insinuates intelligence that responds to us and acts as co-creator with us. That comes very close to the God philosophy.
As a spiritual-science student in the school of Life, I find these questions and discoveries to be somewhat of a personal Manna that nourishes my curiosity and drives me to explore and learn. The more blurred the line between science and spirituality becomes, the more exciting it is to be on this quest. It is these unattainable answers that motivate me and make the journey worth while.