19 February 2010

Spiritualilty and the Science Geek

There is a notion - I think it is a misconception - that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive.

I think they are both parts of a greater whole; complimentary, dynamic, harmonious, united.

Science and spirituality are like yin and yang...two different aspects of a greater whole...

Everyone has heard of the quote attributed to Einstein about "religion without science is blind, science without religion is lame". Religion isn't even on the map as far as I'm concerned. I'm talking about something bigger.

Religious adherants are slavishly devoted to their rules and superstitions, talking snakes and magic dishes. Scientists can, at times, be slavishly devoted to their notions of linear logic and quantifiable measurement. The difference, the difference that renders religion obsolete is that science can change in the face of reason. Science learns and grows

That is why I'm talking about spirituality and not religion. Spirituality learns and grows. It can change in the face of experience and emotion.

Science and spirituality both experience truth and the cosmos directly. They just do it through different measurements and criterion.

Spirituality accepts subtle perception, emotion, intuition and imagination as valid experience. Science looks for causality and tangible measurement. Both accept quantum leaps...one of atomic energy, the other of understanding.

I suggest that there is a third mind-set...the spiritual science geek.

The spiritual science geek is a freethinker, and accepts that which is proven, not that which is preached. The spiritual science geek requires proof, and repeatable experimental evidence. But that evidence may come as meditation, perception and an individual "knowing" of truth. What science can't measure, but what can be experience and repeated (love, compassion, honesty, intuition, creative imagination) are still valid.

True, spiritual and so-called paranormal phenomena don't follow A+B=C logic. It is just as much a misunderstanding to claim that quantum physics is misused to "explain" these phenomena...

Quantum physics does not explain or prove anything spiritual. Spirituality does not diminish or disclaim the rationality and healthy skepticism of science.

If "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" as Carl Sagan asserted, (and I agree) what more elegant and extraordinary proof can there be than direct perception and understanding? Human perception, and the deep, profound direct knowledge of personal truth is, in my opinion, extraordinary...yet at the same time it is something we all posses. Not so much of a paradox, that, if you find wonder in the commonplace and magic in the mundane.

I think the notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive, and at odds with each other come from two places: the idea of "proof" and the need to convince others.

What science demands as proof is different from what spirituality accepts as proof.

What science sees as proven it sees as truth for all...it should sway everyone

When spirituality sees one way as proven it is either personal enlightenment or becomes dogma and religion, at which point spirituality ceases in many cases. But that is another story.

A spiritual science geek seeks proof, tests evidence, repeats experiments on some level...even if it is just in deciding who to believe.

A spiritual science geeks sees truth in proof...and in perception.

It is a mistake to confuse cause with parallels. The fact that there are parallels in how quantum physics is described and how psychic work is described doesn't mean one caused the other. It proves nothing, debunks nothing. The parallels and analogies simply suggest that both science and spirituality are shadows of a greater truth. The "fringe element" comes from the same root source as mainstream science...they are from the human mind, heart, consciousness, perception and experience. They can co-exist without exclusion and without contradiction.

That's why I follow both Mythbusters and Deepak Chopra, CERN and Buddhism_Now on twitter.

All is one, all is well.



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