Spirituality vs. science and religion – List Medium

Spirituality vs. science and religion – List Medium
Spirituality vs. science and religion – List Medium
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I was happy to read an interview with the actor and director of the Dejvické Theater Martin Myšička, who is also a trained physicist in the field of subatomic particles. The sentence “And physics taught me that materialism is not enough“. It inspired me to the following thought.

Born in the generation of Husák’s children, I began to see the world as a well-bred materialist, processed mainly by the normalization education of the time. The doctrine sounded clear: the world is just matter and energy without a soul, this is proven by science with its empirical evidence, and anything else is superseded obscurantism.

I have never been an attentive pupil or student and I decided to supplement my overview of contemporary science at least from scientific literature. About ten years ago, a book by the former judge of the Constitutional Court, Miroslav Veverka, was popular Evolution by its own creator1), who wrote a respectable opus outside his field in which he summarized the knowledge of science to date. At the time, I read through the many hundred pages of the book, dazzled by the breadth of the author’s outlook and especially by the comprehensive view of the world as described by science with its honest inductive method. But at the end of the book I was strangely missing something. Is this the whole world? How am I supposed to believe in the initial singularity? Where does the perfect randomness of quantum phenomena come from? Who am I?

I have rationally come to the conclusion that science, however true and evidence-based, is not and probably cannot be complete in describing the world. For a long time I was reluctant to give a name to what I was missing from science. I certainly rejected the offer of religion. But my view was changed only by the book of world-renowned biologist Stuart A. Kaufman Reinventing the Sacred. New view of Science, Reason and Religion2). The word “sacred” began to sound a little more conciliatory to me. And even more so when I later discovered the term “sacred geometry”. Inexactly translated “sacred” geometry, which notices the otherworldly beauty of some mathematical (geometric) structures such as fractals.

The mouse uses the words “natural spirituality of the world” instead. But spirituality brings the mystery of the soul into the materialist’s thinking with finality. That’s why I was always a little afraid of her. She seemed somehow suspiciously dressed in the batik skirt of various esoteric wild women and associated with weirdos who even in winter go barefoot or at most in stringy christines.

In order not to remain captive to prejudices, I tried to define these terms (religion, science, spirituality) for myself.

Science presents models of those forms of the world that can be presented “objectively” (that is, repeatedly under the same conditions) to a larger number of listeners and therefore do not depend on individual experience. Science progresses only along the safe paving stones of a shared knowledge. If something extra peeks out from the joints between the tiles, science transcends it, though with all due respect to the unknown and perhaps unknowable. Science is also very reluctant to admit that it depends to a large extent on certain initial assumptions (for example, on the existence of perfect chance, thus violating its own law of causality).

Religions (and all cults) operate in today’s already very narrowed space, which is not described and “sanctified” by science. Religion, in my eyes, does not primarily offer knowledge, but to come to terms with the world through worship. Quite often worshiping something external in anticipation of support coming from places outside of this world.

Science, like religion, can be and often is abused as a tool of power. There is no doubt about this in religion, but it also applies to science (think, for example, Marxism). But let’s forgive science and religion these dark sides, which were apparently historically inevitable, and move on in our thinking.

The famous neuroscientist VS Ramachandran in his book The brain and its secrets 3) on many pages it describes a lot of interesting things about the brain, a lot of oddities and curiosities such as mechanically divided hemispheres, the ability of some people to “sniff” numbers or count colors and many others. Then somewhere on the page I guess 284 in a small paragraph at the bottom right out of nowhere he writes that he came to the conclusion that we humans are angels in animal bodies longing for transcendence. Dot. Then again, the book continues with memory loss and epileptic seizures.

Spirituality I see it as an effort to know the world and come to terms with it through something called that strange-sounding word of transcendence. Overlap search. I understand this to mean that our individual beings with their consciousness are somehow temporarily trapped inside their own local bubbles (apart from sensory perception, which is often very much defined by education and culture, which are, among other things, often influenced by science or religion). From these bubbles, they try to find a way forward, to expand their borders. I imagine that each of us lives on the narrow corridor of our consciousness (cognition, memories, emotions and feelings) and tries to dive either into our unfathomable depth or at the same time look into our inner world as if from the outside. In search of transcendence, we loosen our boundaries, expand, let the outside world into us, transform ourselves, deepen ourselves, enrich ourselves.

Spirituality is therefore always individual, not objective, not transferable. Nevertheless, I think that its form can also be found in the mutual relations between its individual bearers. Transcendence in relation to another person (for example, a life partner) takes place through a partial mutual opening and crossing of borders, giving a piece of one’s soul to the other for exploration and care, and at the same time accepting a part of the other being into the care of one’s world.

1) Miroslava Veverka, Evolution by its own creator: From the big bang to global civilization, 2013, Prostor

2) Stuart A. Kauffman, Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion, 2008 by Basic Books, ISBN 9780465003006

3) VS Ramachandran, The Brain and Its Secrets or Neurologists’ Search for What Makes Us Human, 2013, Dybbuk

The article is in Czech

Tags: Spirituality science religion List Medium

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