Science and Spirituality

Both science and spirituality are the search for truth. One is the search for the truths of the physical world; the other the search for the truth of the nature of consciousness. As such there is no conflict between them.

For the same reason, there is currently little meeting between the two either. The current scientifc paradigm does not include consciousness or mind as a fundamental reality, but seeks to explain everything in physical terms. Western science has now looked out to the edges of the Universe, back in time to the beginning of creation, and down into the sub-atomic structure of matter; and it finds no place, nor need, for God. But this is because it has not yet included the inner realm of mind in its scope. When science explores mind as fully as it has explored space, time and matter, it will create a new worldview—one that includes spirituality.

Spirituality, on the other hand, is often very unscientific in its approach to self-liberation. People believe things simply because someone has said it or written it. But this is hardly the best way to arrive at truth. The Buddha warned against this 2,500 years ago when he said "Do not believe anything because I have told you it is so. Only believe it when you have tested it for yourself." In this respect spiritual growth can, and should, be very scientific. We can form a hypothesis -- that certain meditation practices enhance awareness, for example -- set up a personal experiment in meditation practice, and see what the results are. This is important not only to make sure that we do not deceive ourselves, but also to ensure that our spiritual progress is as rapid as possible. And rapid spiritual growth is something the world today needs very badly.

Date created: 23-Feb-06

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