Throughout history there have rarely been two ideas more diametrically opposed in human culture than science and spirituality. A sort of war has been raging about who is right and who is wrong. Each side seems to hold the lopsided notion that their entire system of beliefs about the Universe will fall apart unless they can disprove the other.
This simply does not need to be the case. How does the scientific idealist grapple with the plethora of mysteries throughout the Universe that current science simply cannot explain? How does the spiritual fundamentalist handle the idea that God gave us scientific reasoning for a purpose? What if the two, mystery and fact, were always meant to coincide? While this has been discussed often, many forums about spirituality
focus on the mystery and miss the facts that actually back them up.
The relentless search to answer questions about the divine and spirituality have often led the open-minded to incredible scientific discoveries. Noteworthy scientists, those who have made astonishing and groundbreaking discoveries, are often the first to accept the idea of a “grand design” or some sort of intelligent purpose behind world they observe.
How can science and spirituality be reconciled? Many spiritual forums grapple with this difficult negotiation. It is truly something diplomatic, and each side must give and take a little. The key is an open mind—something that seems to be oddly threatening to both the priest and the scientist. Some religious doctrine is based on outdated cultural values and views of the world. Often this creates intolerance—the antithesis of open-mindedness. At the same time, science does not seem to be enough for everything in the Universe. How does one explain something as profound and universal as the idea of “love” scientifically? Certainly, we can determine the basic biological functions of attraction and sexuality. We can sociologically analyze why love is important to society, families, and partnerships. However, when most people experience love they almost always swing to the spiritual side of the table. Sometimes love doesn’t seem to make any logical sense and we are left with the mystery.
Everyone has a “feeling” part of their personality that handles emotions, sensations and intuition. At the same time, everyone has a “thinking” part of their personality that handles ideas, analysis, and rationalization. It is highly unusual for a person to be entirely one way or the other. Is it so hard to accept that perhaps humans were meant to have a balance between feeling and thinking, emotion and logic, spirit and mind? We developed this way for a reason, and each piece is a necessary and important tool for understanding our Universe.
Many fundamentalists and scientists who speak out in spiritual forums will carefully avoid the multitude of examples where science and spirituality actually support each other. Consider the Eastern spiritual idea that “we are all one”. Now consider that an overwhelming volume of evidence suggests that all matter is energy and all energy is connected and constantly in interaction on an atomic level. This is a spiritual and scientific view that is in perfect alignment. There are a multitude of other examples that can be found.
Essentially when control-seeking dogma drops away and we remain open and observant, the unity of science and spirit, mind and heart becomes clear.