Science and Spirituality

Science and Spirituality

Researchers of every age and branch of science are beginning to conclude that we participate more than we currently believe in creating our own health, or lack thereof.  Here is an overview of some of their research.

“All matter is energy” ~  Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“Treating humans without concept of energy is treating dead matter” ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, M.D. Hungary, Nobel Laureate (1893- 1986)

“Future medicine will be based on controlling energy fields.” ~ Prof. William Tiller, Ph.D. (Stanford University)

“Diseases are to be diagnosed and prevented via energy field assessment.” ~ 

George Crile Sr., M.D., Founder of the Cleveland Clinic (1864-1943)

“Body chemistry is governed by quantum cellular fields.” ~  Prof. Murray Gell-Mann, Nobel Laureate, USA

“All living organisms emit field.” ~ Semyon D. Kirlian, U.S.S.R. (1900-1980)

What is being demonstrated today in quantum physics is not a new thought, although sophistication in experimental design and research has given these older concepts new standing in science and is slowly trickling down into how the medical community views and treats disease.

New brain research, for example, has demonstrated that the placebo effect is not purely a psychological phenomenon as previously thought.

In fact it has shown just the opposite; that a patient’s beliefs stimulate the brain to manufacture a wide variety of bio-chemicals that impact the health of the body.

What people take to be miracles are nothing more than higher laws hidden from us. Scientists are coming to realize that this universe is not as solid as we thought it was. Matter is vibrating energy that appears to the physical eye as solid. Performing miracles is nothing more than tapping into energy and manipulating it by power of thought and spirit.

Medicine today is slowly evolving towards a more holistic approach to healing. A lot is being said about the mind-body connection – of healing the body by healing the mind. Meditation as a way to reduce stress and eliminate stress-related illnesses is being explored.

Quantum physicist Ervin Lazlo writes in the emerging concept of the new sciences that there is no separation between the physical world, the living world, and the world of mind and consciousness.

Physical matter is vanishing as a fundamental feature of reality, retreating before energy. In this emerging concept there is no absolute matter, only matter-generating energy field.

Albert Einstein postulated that everything seen boils down to energy; that the atom was not the smallest unit comprising physical matter. He further stated that at the subatomic level there is no substance, only energy frequency.

This theory is widely accepted today in the scientific community and is consistent with other researchers in the emerging field of “energy medicine” who have postulated that you cannot have a disease that originates from substance, because at the deepest level there is no substance.

There is no totality of human experience in science as it includes only a part of human experience. Spirituality extends to supra-intellectual and other subtle planes of human consciousness as it denotes the pursuit of knowledge for the Infinite and Immutable which is beyond the ephemeral world of duality. Its domain is not only of matter but also of human life, feelings, emotions and consciousness.

For modern science, the center of gravity is outside of man himself; he is simply being treated as an object. Though science has wiped out many of his fears and uncertainties, it has also helped create in him new fears and uncertainties. This is possible only because he is ignorant of his inner self.

Spirituality is a science of values; the pivotal point on which depends the progress and survival of mankind. Experience or ‘anubhava’ is the only true source of knowledge. Belief and faith are spontaneous when one is made to experience what is sought to be taught or preached.

Scientists are not receptive to spirituality because it is not taught as a science of experience. A genuine mystic will fire the scientist’s intellect by the divine light of ‘atman’, which alone opens the door of inward search and tuning. He will then understand that we are a microcosm with the entire macrocosm within us. The outside world is only a manifestation of the immense world within.

Some of the greatest scientists have attributed their sparks of genius to spiritual inspiration.

“I assert that cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research,” ~ Albert Einstein.

Innovators have often confessed that their ideas were the result of some kind of “divine” inspiration. Some people live only to gratify their own desires and wants. But those who come in contact with a higher power discover that the greatest purpose of our life is to love and serve others. Scientists, for instance, devote their lives to better the lives of others. Thus, we find that the mission of both scientists and spiritual masters is one and the same. They are both here to find the hidden laws of nature, the higher power that created everything, and use their discoveries to better the lives of others.

Science and spirituality make for a mutual partnership. If those engaged in science spend some time in silence, looking within, they will get inspired to find answers to the questions they ask. Similarly, spiritual seekers, when they test hypotheses in the laboratory of their own body and soul, will find the answers.

So, one can safely conclude that science and spirituality are two sides of the same coin. The aim of science is to uncover the deepest spiritual truths, and the aim of spirituality is to search for the cause behind scientific fact.

Science seems to be in a perpetual state of believing it has the truth, despite its history of changing paradigms. This failure to accept the idea of “mysteries” is inexplicable, because there will always be a great mystery out there waiting to be discovered. The Universe is not so small, nor so simple as to lend itself to total analysis by a logical science. This does not diminish the value of science, but simply places it in an appropriate perspective. Science provides one type of insight into the workings of the universe, but not the only insight. The arts certainly provide another route to knowledge, and mysticism provides yet another. The combination of logical science (western science) and analogical science (science of correspondence) can help us to understand our role in the universe, and to appreciate the universe as the extraordinary multifaceted phenomena it truly is.

We live in the most intellectual culture that the world has ever seen. Yet our religions offer very little in the way of intellectual appeal, unable to successfully bridge this gap. Too often those who claim to represent spirituality in fact do not. This all too frequently turns people away from any consideration of the spiritual path, and leads many to believe that religion has nothing to offer. The techniques utilized by the science of correspondence offers considerable intellectual stimulation, and, if successful, eventually leading to a personal experiential understanding of spirituality. Ultimately, the transformation process which allows consciousness on the level of the spirit (the sambhogakaya – the body of bliss, or the body that experiences the fruits of Buddhist practice, the ananda-maya-kosa – the spiritual bliss) is the process of the spiritual path.

Today in the western world and elsewhere, too often one is told to have faith, and not to question. Ultimately, at some juncture, one may require a leap of faith, but that leap comes after years of pursuing and questioning, eradicating oneself of doubt. True spirituality requires questioning as does true science. One must not be deluded into believing one ‘believes’ when one does not and one still has many unanswered questions. Too often our ‘spiritual’ leaders cannot answer our questions because they have not had a spiritual awakening themselves and therefore discourage the asking of questions, telling one to have faith. This truly discourages a scientific mind, and can encourage a fanaticism, and fanaticism is not true religion, is not spirituality.

In the present technological world, while science is primarily logical in nature, the true spiritual perspective is primarily metaphorical in nature. Here, we need to keep in mind that these metaphors produce higher truths, and logic produces lesser truths. The science of correspondence is quite unlike our logical science. It takes us in a different direction and yields unique information about the nature of mankind and the universe. The science of correspondence has an aesthetic quality to it, is inclusive of all systems, is humbling, often appearing simple and naïve from our technological point of view, and tends toward long term solutions and a quality of patience. In essence, the science of correspondence appears to be more experiential in nature, producing direct knowledge of that which is being studied. This presents an apparent conflict with science – a difficult hurdle to overcome, since science is intellectual in nature, believing that intellectual understandings are supreme and free of bias or superstition. Science does not in the least trust direct experiential or intuitive knowing. In fact the only statement traditional science has made about “experience” is “don’t trust it”.

Although the end pursuit of science appears to be an intellectual comprehension of the universe, the science of mysticism is primarily involved with a direct knowledge of some ultimate reality, experience, etc., knowledge or wisdom which cannot be comprehended intellectually and therefore MUST BE DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED. It’s a journey we must ultimately make on our own, hopefully with experienced teachers to guide us.

In the minds of many people spirituality is seen as unscientific, and thus as a load of babble that does not actually mean anything. After all, it cannot be proven scientifically speaking, and thus can only be wrong. No amount of math, or physics for that matter, can show the concepts proclaimed by spiritual people, so why even bother? I would not say that I am a highly spiritual person, neither particularly religious. However, I do believe in certain aspects of spiritual teachings, and at the same time, call myself a man of science. How can that be?

After studying several different scientific methods, as well as several spiritually inclined methods, for change and exploring the power of the mind, I have come to realize that both, spirituality and science are metaphors. A metaphor is defined as “an indirect comparison between two or more seemingly unrelated subjects”. So science is our metaphor for what we think is really happening, when in actual fact of the matter, we are only interpreting results and speculating anyway.

Furthermore, spirituality is often said to be quite in-congruent within itself, hence it cannot be taken seriously. Well, not to defend this, but let’s look at science. Newtonian physics might work well for explaining the things we can see with the human eye, big objects, and stars. Yet, on a quantum level, Newtonian physics is useless, and we enter the domain of quantum physics. These two mindsets and mathematical rules do not fit with each other. When combined, they give nonsensical predictions. So science within itself is in-congruent!!

Any metaphor has its application, and also its inbuilt boundaries. Yet we try to stretch certain metaphors to explain virtually everything, and thus go beyond their limits. This is true for science and also for spirituality. Each metaphor has its application and use, and as such we should make full use of them. The really intriguing question is what is your own metaphor or that of your friends, co-workers, because at the end of the day, all we do is live in our metaphors, and as you know, everything is a metaphor.

Connecting Science and Spirituality

I believe that it is possible to connect science with spirituality in meaningful ways that do no injustice to science or religion. The first and most obvious connection between the two is in a shared attitude towards truth. The spiritual seeker and the dedicated scientist are both concerned with universal truths that transcend cultural and physical relativities. For science these are called Laws of Nature. For the spiritual seeker these eternal truths are also known as the Laws of Nature.

Commitment to truth is well known in the scientific community but it is equally important for the spiritual seeker. “What is truth?” asked the 13th century German mystic, Meister Eckhart. “Truth is something so noble that if God could turn aside from it, we could keep the truth and let God go”, defined the 20th century Swami Budhananda.

Is not Meister Eckhart’s commitment to truth so appropriate for scientific investigation that any scientist would be pleased to emulate it? These are some basic connections that link science and spirituality in ways that perhaps do not build a marriage or a bridge, but do initially indicate the absence of a bottomless divide.

The present holistic approach can, however, be taken many steps further by asking some questions about the nature of science and of the scientific experience. What then is science? It seems that science is more an attitude than a method.

The attitude is one of testing interpretations of observed phenomena against further observations until one interpretation emerges as the best. Unfortunately, judgments about the best interpretation vary greatly.

To see science more as an attitude than a method is to find some small expansion of the conventional objective methods of science. Such as: controlled conditions, repeatability, falsifiability, predictability, quantification, control groups and location. These are non-core features of science even though they are frequently important.

The Gap

If science is an attitude rather than a method then the attributes of this subjective attitude should form the character of the scientific experience, the second question referred to above. The scientific experience is an experience normally seen to involve the so-called ‘gap’ between the physical world ‘out there’ and the world of thought ‘in here’. If this gap does exist, as assumed by most science, then science and spirituality can never be strongly linked. If on the other hand, there is no gap then scientific experience will simply be a feature of subjectivity and a significant barrier preventing interconnection will be removed.

Today we tend to talk in terms of subjective experience rather than human sensibilities or transcendental apperception. But whatever terms we use, all investigations will lead to the conclusion that this framework is integrated and not divided. In other words, the processes of observation and of concept formation are entirely integrated. Nowhere is there a division between what can be called an inner and an outer world. The lack of evidence for such a gap, yet the continual assumption in scientific investigation that such a gap exists, reflects the problem of bridging science and spirituality.

Both science and spirituality come within the framework of human sensibility – of subjective experience – and this means that science is produced by the same general subjective processes as spirituality. To make the cohesion of this framework more apparent we need to take a broad look at the medium which links both science and spirituality. This is the medium of meaning. Both science and spirituality create meaning, and meaning is the ever present medium of subjective experience. The critical question at this junction is therefore, what do we mean by the term ‘meaning’?

Scientific investigation is always about the meaning of something. This is the case in physics, chemistry, biology as well as the social sciences. While most practitioners in these fields may not see themselves as using and creating meaning; this is overwhelmingly what is happening. The kind of activity which is seen to occur between and within matter – particles, cells, tissue, organs, plants, animals, populations and the languages of these fields – is only the derivative signs of life. It is the meaning ‘of something’, created by the interaction of stable systems of relations, systems that are called, particles, cells, tissue and so on.

If life in the universe is to be found in the fundamentally relations of morphic fields, and in a derivate sense as the signs of life (through the interactions of forms within these fields), then the obvious conclusion to draw from all this is that the universe is alive at every level and in every substance and in every time and in every space. This conclusion comes from the logic that relations are omnipresent in the universe and this leads on to the inevitable conclusion that the agency of life, which is the force of formless meaning, is omnipresent in the universe. In other words, the visible universe exists within an infinite morphic field and so has meaning and consciousness at every point in space/time.

Consciousness

‘Life’ is a term with strong biological connotations while ‘consciousness’ is a term that has both psychological and spiritual uses. Life and consciousness come together however, in the present use of the meaning of meaning. It is proposed that meaning, in its fundamental and formless role has energy, force and agency. The nature of this energy and agency is consciousness.

The symmetry of meaning and consciousness implies that consciousness is the vital force that occupies the subjective field in which signs interact, scientific undertakings emerge and spirituality develops. In this view, signs, science and spirituality are features of consciousness and can be studied in terms of their relational architecture rather than exclusively and formally in their own separate terms. This means that consciousness is best analyzed as meaning which in turn is best studied in terms of relations.

The symmetry of meaning and consciousness also provides support for the proposition that meaning is not a shadow generated by the interaction of signs (as traditionally assumed). Meaning itself has movement, force, energy, and agency – consciousness. This is the same dynamic power which the Indian mystical philosophy of Vedanta calls ‘sakti.’ These are also the features we call life and thus being. Meaning therefore constitutes being-ness. A change of meaning will always represent a change of being-ness but it is also a change of consciousness.

What is interesting about this morphic field of consciousness (being-ness) is that it is infinitely expansive, which is to say that nothing exists outside meaning. In other words, nothing exists outside of consciousness. If this is true then the context of subjective experience, in which science occurs, is situated within the movement, force and agency of the ultimate reality of being-ness, that is, within the formless, morphic field of the meaning of meaning. From a spiritual position the ultimate reality is usually assumed to be God or cosmic consciousness. Enlightened souls such as Sri Ramana Maharshi often use the term ‘the Self’ to refer to this ultimate reality.

Famous for his methods of self inquiry, Sri Ramana Maharshi had this to say about this spiritual relationship: “The only permanent thing is Reality; and that is the Self. You say ‘I am’, ‘I am going’, ‘I am speaking’, ‘I am working’, etc. Hyphenate ‘I am’ in all of them. Thus I – AM. That is the abiding and fundamental Reality. This truth was taught by God to Moses: ‘I AM that I AM’. ‘Be still and know that I – AM God’. So ‘I – AM ‘ is God.”

‘I – AM’ is the ultimate self-referral which it is possible to speak. The realized meaning of this self-referral implies a state of consciousness beyond words, a formless state of meaning beyond thought, a state of ‘no-mind’, a state of being where the individual self expands into the cosmic Self. This is a state of stillness beyond the defenses of the ego where meaning rests with the infinite and eternal symmetry of that stream of consciousness which ‘I – AM’.

The evidence of formless symmetry within language, within non-conscious subjectivity, within love and throughout the entire universe at every point in space/time tells us that there are no gaps between inner and outer worlds because there is not inner or outer world. There is only one, undivided, interconnected, formless, unmoved agency of cosmic consciousness. The differences we see are the differences created by the derivative meaning of forms, the apparent relative autonomy of which has itself been created by the agency of formless meaning. We are therefore already connected to each other and to the environment without the need for conscious design. What is needed is a conscious design to re-learn about what is already there – to learn about coming home to what is already there.

The Bridge

The bridge connecting science and spirituality rests on a common view and commitment to truth that is beyond cultural relativities. The structure of this bridge is provided by subjective experience which is the context for both spiritual observance and scientific endeavor.

The gap between science and spirituality is now closed, for the scientist who seeks after symmetry walks a parallel path to the spiritual seeker who yearns for Self-realization. The scientist looks outwards to trace the origins of the universe to the symmetry that lies beyond matter. The spiritual seeker looks inwards to the silence of the recursive symmetries of Self-realization. While the paths are different, the goal of realizing the oneness of symmetry is the same for both seekers.

This concludes the series of articles on the Eleven Dimensions of Self Awareness and Balancing the Wheel of Life. From next week onwards, I will be writing more on the spiritual aspects of life interspersed with additional articles on how the advances in science are bringing together both the science and spirituality ever more closely. I hope you will continue to read these articles and/or forward to your friends/family that you think will like and add value to their lives.

Namaste!

About Dr. Surya

Using Quantum Physics and business research, Dr. Surya explores the correlation between the science of consciousness and patterns in the business world, to suggest innovative ways of using this wisdom to lead and succeed in a business environment that is constantly evolving at a rapid pace.

Self-awareness is the awareness of the self as separate from the thoughts that are occurring at any point in time. Without self-awareness the self perceives and believes the thoughts that are occurring to be who the self is. Self-awareness gives one the option or choice to choose thoughts being thought rather than simply thinking the thoughts that are stimulated from the accumulative events leading up to the circumstances of the moment.

Along with his work as an Author, Writer, Blogger and popular Internet Radio Talk Show Host, Dr. Surya is in-demand as a public speaker. Clients include small to large corporations and individuals.

SiteLock
%d bloggers like this:
69