Saturday, March 31, 2018

Science and/or Spirituality

Any real encounter with Nature
elicits a sense of reverence and awe.
The very act of trying to understand
is a celebration of joining, merging
with the magnificence of the Cosmos,
even if on a very modest scale,

Spirit
comes from the Latin word to breathe.
What we breathe is air,
which is certainly matter,
however thin.

Despite usage to the contrary,
there is no necessary implication in the word spiritual
that we are talking of anything other than matter
or anything outside the realm of nature.

Science
 is not only compatible with spirituality;
it is a profound source of spirituality.
When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years
and in the passage of ages,
when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life,
then that soaring feeling,
that sense of elation and humility combined,
is surely spiritual.

So are our emotions
in the presence of great art or music or literature,
or of acts of exemplary selfless courage.
The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive
does a disservice to both.

Think of how religions attempt to validate themselves
with prophecy.
Think of how many people rely on these prophecies,
however vague,
however unfulfilled,
to support or prop up their beliefs.

Yet has there ever been a religion
with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science?
There isn’t a religion on the planet
that doesn’t long for a comparable ability,
 precise, and repeatedly demonstrated before committed skeptics,
 to foretell future events.
No other human institution comes close.

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