Welcome to my happy place, located squarely at the intersection of science and spirit.
As I see it, science and spirituality are not at odds. Ever. Science and religion? That is another rant for another day. The thing that makes sense of it all for me is to think of it in terms of human mind and consciousness interacting with this three (four) dimensional time-space universe which we inhabit.
Science is the best thing we have for learning about, understanding and dealing with the stuff out there, outside of ourselves. Science is the best tool we to understand our place in the outer world. Science is not quite so great at dealing the extremely complex and often random stuff in here, within ourselves. Spirituality is learning about, understanding and dealing with the inner world. When we see science and spirituality as complimentary, not mutually exclusive, those two worlds are connected. Both science and spirituality together teach us that in-here and out-there are one seamless part of a far greater whole.
I can’t remember if it was the book or the PBS series, but this reminds me of Carl Sagan in Cosmos:
“If we lived on a planet where nothing ever changed, there would be little to do. There would be nothing to figure out. There would be no impetus for science. And if we lived in an unpredictable world, where things changed in random or very complex ways, we would not be able to figure things out. But we live in an in-between universe, where things change, but according to patterns, rules, or as we call them, laws of nature.”Carl Sagan
If the physical world leans toward the patterned, scientific side of the in-between world, then the inner psyche seems to lean far more toward the complex side of the in-between. Scientific methods have given us psychology and psychiatry, but these are disciplines that are, in my opinion, better suited for problem solving. They first define (with debateable accuracy) mental and emotional health. Then they move on to solve problems from outside of that scientifically determined definition. For a healthy person, science and psycology’s definitions of a healthy life are profoundly unsatisfying and incomplete. Humans need art and beauty and a deep connection to the universe that science in its infancy lacked (and only since Einstein, as far as this interested layman can see, has begun to consider.) Humans need to create, imagine, and feel none of which can be be understood through the scientific method alone. Yes, science contains all of the awe, wonder and breathtaking beauty of human existence, but it is not the only path to it.
Science vs spirituality is by no means truth vs falsehood, proof vs assumptions. Sure they differ in the types of data sets they accept, but fundamentally they are both simply ways and methods of understanding and interacting with the grand everything of the Cosmos. Science deals with the physical but need not lack the emotional and esoteric. Spirituality deals with mind and consciousness but need not lack rationality and reason. Both are both, because both are human.
When loved ones are lost and hearts are in pain, hard science and cutting edge genetics won’t help. Masks and medicines can’t cure stress and mourning and heartache. That is the realm of spirit. This is where the tools and talents we use to face the unknown come into play. This is where we might have to get comfortable with a little not-knowing (related post: “I dunno“) Tarot can help with that.
Hare-brained, unproven, unscientific nonsense or wishful thinking won’t prevent or treat covid-19. People naturally, understandably fear the unknown and will fill in that knowledge gap with anything if times are desperate enough. Science is, nevertheless, our best tool for figuring out this crazy situation. Please, please watch the video (used with the permission of the creator.) It makes some sense out of the vaccine. It fixes that particular unknown. Then for the love of good sense and staying alive, get the vaccine when it is available to you. Until at least 3/4 of everybody is vaccinated, STILL wear a mask anytime you leave your home, stay six feet away from anybody you don’t already live with, and ffs wash your dang hands.
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