“I am a scientist, so I don’t believe in spirit”.
Such was a statement I heard recently during a video about the evolution of humankind. The scientist who made that statement was touching on some fairly “spiritual” topics like shamanism, telepathy, and altered states of consciousness. He was not attempting to disprove such ideas, however, he wants to attribute them to activity in the brain.
Most scientists today attempt to explain spiritual phenomena as a process in the brain. Such scientists believe that since spirit cannot be measured or observed, it cannot exist.
In this article, I’d like to offer a few perspectives and counterpoints to the idea that science cannot accept spiritual concepts. In fact, much of what we think of as “spiritual” can actually be explained by science, and the implications are profound. Most of the problem comes down to a language barrier.
Science Is Constantly Evolving
First of all, let’s remind ourselves that science itself is constantly evolving. At least some of what science believed to be true 100 years ago, has been disproved by scientists today. And scientists 100 years from now will surely laugh at some of the things science believes to be true today. So we can never fully accept science as truth, it only offers a perspective, and that perspective is likely to change over time.
Much of science is based on statistics, and so many scientific conclusions are not “always” true, they are “probably” true or “usually” true. If something happens 99% of the time, it could be considered to be true by science, despite never occurring 100% of the time. The other 1% is thrown out as an anomaly, a flaw in the measuring device, or a statistical aberration.
And yet, 99.9% of humans cannot run a mile in under 5 minutes. Olympic athletes can. Should we conclude that, based on an overwhelming body of evidence, humans cannot run a mile in under 5 minutes?
Science is also capable of “proving” outright lies. Fifty odd years ago, science had proven that smoking tobacco was not harmful to human health. Decades later, new scientists proved them wrong. There is an army of scientists right now who claim Round Up is not harmful to human health, and yet there are piles of evidence to the contrary.
So blindly believing in science can be dangerous. What is true today may not be true tomorrow, and some of what scientists claim to be true is actually false. Science is quite a bit like predicting the weather – better than an outright guess, but guaranteed to be wrong at least some of the time.
Mathematics Is A Language
Where science really shines is in the use of mathematics. You see, numbers don’t lie, according to science. So scientists would say that if we have an equation like 2 + 2 = 4, that will always be true, and so scientists attempt to extrapolate all kinds of truths and meanings using mathematics. Scientists reason that they can use mathematics to explain how the universe really works.
And yet, there are several aspects of mathematics which remain a mystery. There is a concept in math called “undefined”. Undefined is difficult because, well, it is undefined. How can we have the complete truth if there exists the possibility of undefined results?
The point here is that both science and mathematics are languages. If I speak English and you speak Chinese, we will not understand each other even if we are saying the exact same thing. Science rejects the idea of spirit because it does not fit the rules of its language.
If you and I talk about spirit while a scientist tells us what is happening in our brain, we might all be talking about the same things, but because we are speaking different languages we cannot fully understand each other. If you and I talk about emotions, realizations, insights, flow states, or creative sparks, we can understand and believe in such concepts because we experience them. A scientist will use different terminology to describe the same thing, but it might be meaningless to us.
So mathematics is a language. Science is a language. English is a language. And experience is a language. We have to trust and learn from the language that is most meaningful to each of us. If a doctor prescribes you a drug based on scientific evidence, but your experience tells you it is bad for you, should you trust science or experience?
Everything Is Subject To Interpretation
Even as you and others read these words right now, you are all creating a different interpretation – a different meaning – from the same words. So even written language cannot offer truth. Words are highly limiting and subject to misinterpretation.
Only experience can provide truth. And since experience is entirely individual and subjective, I believe that truth is also entirely individual and subjective. While scientists search for an objective truth, they will never find it.
I believe science can and will eventually begin to explain “spirit” in a way that is meaningful to the average person. Indeed, a growing body of scientists already accept the subjective and malleable nature of reality. If something is always changing, how can we be sure what it is? If reality is dependent on the observer, how can anything about reality be defined or objectified?
So it is important that we treat science with as much skepticism as science treats spirituality. First and foremost, we should trust our own experience, for it always tells the truth.
Video: The Physics Of Spirituality
I’ll leave you with the following video… an interview with Nassim Haramein. Nassim is a brilliant physicist who is at the forefront of describing the connectivity between all things.
If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, at around 14:13 Nassim proclaims that “Consciousness is not in your brain, but your brain and your whole body is like a bio-oscillator tapped in to that field of information”. Each of us is connected to the source energy that powers the entire universe.
Interestingly, Nassim explains that until just a few years ago, using the word “consciousness” in a scientific setting would get you laughed out of the room. My how things have changed.