The Essentials of Spirituality & Science
Spirituality and science today can be understood as complementary, a fact revealed by the growing number of cutting edge studies in human consciousness. This awareness continues to grow in recent decades in accordance with the open-mindedness of maverick thinkers and practitioners. Those philosophers, scientists, medical professionals, and fellow travellers, have invested the time to study, in depth, ancient - and still valuable - knowledge in Eastern and Indigenous cultures, to incorporate into their own current explorations of the human mind, body, and psyche. Moreover, these studies often are revelationary, as well, in regard to our human interrelationship with the cosmos.
For many years, beginning with my spiritual experiences among Indigenous people, I began to observe, and study, what I identify as the fractured consciousness of Euro-Western culture. The origins of this split go back further in time than what I note here. Regardless, let me point out two significant errors caused by indoctrinated short-sightedness, in the West. First of all, there was the Catholic Church's persecution of Galileo based upon his scientific discoveries, one of the several indicators of the repression of independent thinking and authoritative limitations placed upon belief systems for several centuries. The counterpoint was no better, when the pendulum swung to the other extreme, through political and economic privilege transferred to empirical science. Doing so legitimized only those forms of reality that are visible, physical and can be measured. Anything outside material reality, henceforth, has been relegated, and reduced, to mere superstition by empirically-based thinkers.
This sorry state of affairs continues today, in regard to arrogance expressed at extremities - namely, religious fundamentalism in various faiths and strident atheism at the other polarity. In regard to the latter, I refer to those followers of empirical science who dismiss the more holistic discoveries in certain sciences. Quantum physics, for example, observes certain parallels with observations documented by mystics across cultures through the centuries. Empirical science has its place, yet is limited in regard to making accessible particular life-affirming truths. For empirical science, no differently than rigid religious perspectives, cannot offer absolute truths.
In regard to spirituality, whether we speak of gods and goddesses being worshipped, or the onset of monotheistic religions, the horror of all religious wars cannot be placed at the altars of whatever God, Allah or other divinities have been worshipped by humans. The blame, instead, must be directed at the motivations and actions executed by human beings. More specifically, the acts of war against `the other' were profoundly influenced not by spiritual teachings as they originally were intended, but rather by the selective and edited documentation (not to mention various translations through centuries), dictated by each era's political and religious leaders, whose sole mission was seeking and maintaining power for themselves and control over others, crystallized in the ego and disconnected from the soul.
Today we live with the consequences both of self-serving religion and self-serving science, respectively, wherever misguided forms of worship still divide, and undermine our fellowship with, the human family, and/or vested interests in scientific discovery focus on monetary profits at the expense of planetary and, inevitably, human well being on this Earth.
Despite what we witness around us, the hope for a better future resides in the fact that a growing number of people globally are awakening to what we hold in common with each other and challenging whatever forces that cause harm. Let us journey on that road together.