Emerging Relationships Between Science and Spirituality
I find it some what hypocritical that we, often referred to as “spiritual peoples” have a tendency to view the world or reality as a giant puzzle just waiting to be pieced together. Or wait, do we? Quite the contrary actually. Most of the time general spirituality is perceived as being a practice, or some form of undertaking and belief geared towards pursuing and developing ourselves to better achieve some goal in a spiritual sense. Some see this as being enlightenment, others see it as more so a form of just basic understanding or being. The common ground here, is that we perceive it as being something we need to work towards, that we have some innate purpose in bettering ourselves. But compared to WHAT exactly? Here is where things begin to get interesting.
Though I can attest to spirituality being a practice in which we uncover, and advance in things about not only ourselves, but others and the universe in which we live. I also have come to the conclusion that if we are to truly understand where we are going, we should first uncover possible faults, or holes in our thinking about the very thing in which we are pursuing. To do this, we first need to understand one thing. This being the very definitive and shared belief found within every path of spirituality. The belief in the ultimate creator, God if you will. Now, don’t jump to conclusions, I’m not dismissing Gods existence, that would be rather hypocritical of me. I’m more so attempting to open you up to a different angle on the subject of God, and how God applies in a more tangible sense to our reality, and our spirituality.
Defining “God” in Spirituality
What exactly is God in a spiritual sense? The question may seem almost pointless to some because God is of course, the creator of all things around us! The supreme being, entity, or thing that permeates our very being! God is responsible for all things! Yet, even though I can’t deny this belief, I have a few issues with leaving it at “God is.” This isn’t some form of rebellion I have, and it’s not that I’m not fine with our current views, it’s just that if the entire purpose is exploration and understanding, then allowing ourselves to sit in content with one thing, yet not others, is not going to get us anywhere and we in essence become kin the very thing in which we seek to advance from. Ignorance.
Within spirituality we find various different perspectives on the subject of God, many of which do revolve around the common understanding of God being the general creator. But how exactly can we touch this idea of God? In this sense we really cannot. We have meditations, rituals, and various practices to get us closer to this “thing,” yet in the end we truly cannot touch what we cannot understand. Then we have another perspective.
That being that God is not only the creator, but God is the creation. God is all and all is God. This would seem more plausible to some, because how could a being, or essence which has existed forever place itself apart from it’s very creation. The very creation in which we have been “made in its image.” This doesn’t seem very likely, and so we can use this perspective because it would mean that God is not just some thing sitting on a pedestal, but God would be all of us, you, me, and that cup of your fancy sitting on the desk. This very thought is where we find the border line between Science and Spirituality, becomes very thin.
Science and God
Many spiritual people perceive science in itself to be somewhat against God. Or let me rephrase, many RELIGIOUS people feel this way. I make this distinction because spirituality in it of itself is not just a set group of people or beliefs. It is an extremely broad topic which contains people of many different beliefs. Religion, though it may be vast and broad in it’s own right, is commonly attributed to a set doctrine of beliefs. Many of these beliefs are based on specific texts and ideals in which to worship and live your life. This is where we soon find the conflict between God and Science, because within many of these beliefs we see the view point that science seems to attempt to disprove the existence of God which no doubt, to put it bluntly, pisses people off.
All of that aside, as was mentioned before, science is coming to a point where the border line between science and God is becoming very thin. Quantum physics is a topic that has had a lot of attention by your average Joe ever since “What The Bleep Do We Know,” a documentary style movie that was released in February of 2004 which discussed the power of the Law of Attraction. For those of you completely new to the idea of Quantum Physics, let’s take a second to briefly figure out what exactly that means.
Quantum Physics is a branch of physics which deals with very small bits of “matter.” These small bits of matter, otherwise referred to as parts of reality are called quanta. This is directly derivative of the Quantum Theory, within which we see five main ideas:
1. Energy is not continuous, but comes in small but discrete units.
2. The elementary particles behave both like particles and like waves.
3. The movement of these particles is inherently random.
4. It is physically impossible to know both the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time. The more precisely one is known, the less precise the measurement of the other is.
5. The atomic world is nothing like the world we live in.
Though this may appear to be your typical run of the mill scientific theory, it is actually far more impressive than that. So impressive that once you begin to delve into the topic, you realize that the science it self creates thought within you that borders a spiritual belief or practice all by it self, simply by the amazing relation to thoughts, and life. You may be thinking, well, how could this possibly be? How could SCIENCE be directly correlated to SPIRITUALITY? Well, funny enough, within quantum physics we learn that our very thoughts, have profound affects on our reality. Or rather, what we call reality.
Well WOW, is this NOT something we “spiritual people” have been saying for years?! Well, actually, it is. It’s exactly what people have been saying for thousands of years. This directly coincides with the many practices of intention for manifestation that we find in Magic, or the direct manifestation meditations we find in Buddhism or related areas. The list goes on, but within the world of Quantum Physics, we can finally touch, or rather, begin to touch what we before could only describe in a mystical sense.
How Intent or Thought Affects our “Reality”
Whenever this question comes up the first thing I always point people to is Dr. Quantum, otherwise known as Dr. Fred Allen Wolf, and his video about the Double Slit Experiment in which he describes very understandably, the amazing affect of measurement on the quantum reality.
Within this experiment physicists were seeking to understand how particles (little bits of matter) acted. It began by first taking these tiny particles and firing them through a single slit to see the pattern that would emerge on the other side. They replicated it using two slits, and found a similar pattern. What had occurred is that when the particles were fired towards a wall with a single slit, the pattern on the other side directly reflected this. Showing the pattern directly in line with the slit. Similarly, when they were fired at a wall with two slits, then two patterns directly in line with the slits emerged.
What really began to baffle scientists is when they started looking at waves, and what soon followed. When they saw a wave come in contact with a single slit, they realized that similarly to the previous experiment, the pattern on the other side directly reflected this. Where the slit was, the pattern on the other side was a lot stronger, indicating that more passed through where the slit was, as expected. When they included two slits, the waves interfered and collided with each other, leaving several “hot spots” on the wall behind it. This was called an interference pattern.
When they decided to “go quantum” as the video describes it, they proceeded to do the experiment again, only firing electrons this time. They got the same result when firing these electrons through a single slit, so nothing seemed out of place. Yet when they attempted to fire these tiny bits of matter known as electrons towards two slits, as opposed to receiving two patterns on the other side, they got an interference pattern just like the waves! This may not seem significant in reading this, but I strongly advise you to watch the video, as it no doubt does a much better job of explaining this and at only five minutes in length it’s well worth it.
Scientists were baffled by this, because it simply did not make sense to them. They assumed that the tiny bits of matter were some how bouncing off of each other to make the interference pattern. So to solve this issue, they fired one electron at a time thinking that surly this would change the results. Surprisingly, they received the same affect! The video offers us a very strong explanation of this event. Dr. Quantum suggests that “the single electron is fired, becomes a wave of potentials and goes through BOTH slits, and interferes with it self to hit the wall like a particle.” He goes on to say that “mathematically, it’s even stranger. It goes through both slits, and it goes through neither, and it goes through just one, and it goes through just the other. All of these possibilities are in superposition to each other.”
This was absolutely profound to me and screams alternate realities. If this wasn’t enough, things only got stranger from here. Scientists put a measuring device near one slit so they could see exactly what occurred. When they did this though, they got back some hair raising data. When they observed the firing of the electrons, they went back to behaving exactly like the tiny particles, and they received a pattern of just two bands again! The very act of watching, or observing, changed the actions of the electrons as if it was aware that it was being watched. But how could this be? This is where we see the line of science and spirituality border.
The Science of Spirituality
Though scientists and spiritualists often have very different feelings on the subject of creation. Be that, the universe was created by a singular explosion, or that God simply created all that is, we see a lot of similarities. Quite frankly, I find these to be rather irrelevant because I’ve had discussions with people who take both sides of the argument, that yes, the universe was created with a single explosion, but who created the cause of the explosion? I find it interesting that people can exclude the belief of God, yet believe that matter existed for all eternity. Both are rather mind boggling, but here is where we get into the the issue of defining what “God” is all over again.
What we have found out now, though, is that the simple act of observation and expectation has a profound affect on the outcome of our reality. When we observed the electrons they acted differently based on our expectations, yet when we allowed them to act with their own regard things were very different. This alone leads us to take a different perspective on things like prayer, and the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction states that what we put out, we get back. How we act, think, and essentially live, is what we receive. If we look at everything in a negative fashion then negativity is what we receive. Looking at the aforementioned scientific discoveries, we can see that this is not out of the realm of explainable possibility. On a more profound note, this rings truth in relation to prayer and God. The idea that if we believe, ask, and follow through with something we greatly desire, we will receive it, is the driving force behind prayer. My uncle, a graduate from the Princeton Theological Seminary takes the stand that prayer changes how we PERCEIVE a situation. As in, if one is in a terrible situation, prayer has the power to affect our views on it, to see a situation positivity as opposed to negatively, which in turn would actually have an affect on the situation.
It’s how we think about a situation that makes it inherently negative or positive. For one person the current recession and financial strain may be the worse thing in the world, for another it may seem to be an opportunity to make a much needed change in the way they live their life. This is where we really come into the area of learning that we create our own existence all the time. God, the creator, can be defined as whatever you want to define it as. You could even call the gasses that created the explosion which resulted in the universe, God, if that’s what suits you. It would be incredibly backwards, but to each their own. It’s entirely subjective. But the one thing we are in a position to accept, is that your entire reality is a product of your own will.
This is just some food for thought for those of you set with your current belief system. As opposed to just being content in thinking that God is to directly blame for every event in your life, you can take a step back and realize that you have a more powerful impact on your life than you know it. Also, for those who attempt to take an objective look at your objective outlook on your objective science about being objective, this may give you a better foundation of spirituality so that you can step over that fine line and understand that just because everything is not tangible as of right now, or that just because spirituality is not always defined in a scientific platform, that there still may be reason for you to pursue or undertake similar practices. After all, realizing these closing boundaries will eventually put those into situations where that line is crossed whether they want to, or not, and the only separating factor will be in explanation, and terminology.