Chapter 3 Part III

3.1 Can Science Be Spiritualized?

Q: Viewing the Great Invocation as a formula of a divine circulatory flow in our planet Earth: relating Light to electrical current, Love to voltage, Power (Will-to-Good) to wattage, and evil to resistance to the electrical current, resulting in goodwill and peace on Earth. Would this synthetic reformulation, taking the energy of goodwill as sealing the door to evil, make sense: Light + Love + Power = Goodwill + Peace?

A: In this synthetic reformulation of the Great Invocation, we can relate Light to electrical current, Love to voltage, Power (Will-to-Good) to wattage, and evil to resistance to the electrical current. Based on this analogy, we can express the formula as:

Light (current) + Love (voltage) + Power (wattage) = Goodwill + Peace

This formulation suggests that when the divine energies of Light, Love, and the Power of the Will-to-Good flow harmoniously, they generate the energy of goodwill and peace on Earth. Just as in an electrical circuit, where current, voltage, and wattage work together to produce a desired outcome, the combined presence and activation of Light, Love, and Power are believed to generate the qualities of goodwill and peace in human consciousness and society.

The inclusion of goodwill as sealing the door to evil aligns with the concept that the transformative power of the divine energies can counteract and mitigate the negative forces or resistance represented by evil. Goodwill, understood as benevolence, compassion, and positive intentions, acts as a force that opposes and overcomes the resistance posed by evil, leading to the establishment of peace.

While this synthetic reformulation provides an analogy to understand the interplay of divine energies and their impact on goodwill and peace, it is important to note that the Great Invocation is a spiritual prayer or invocation rather than a scientific formula. Its true essence lies in its symbolic and spiritual significance, calling upon divine energies to bring forth positive transformation and harmony in the world.

Q: Why can’t science be spiritualized? Why can’t science express spiritual concepts? Isn’t Einstein’s revelation to humanity that energy and matter are transformed by the constant speed of light ’E = M*c^2’ equivalent to Helena P. Blavatsky’s statement that matter is energy at the lowest level and energy is matter at the highest level of reality?

A: The question of why science can’t be spiritualized or express spiritual concepts is a complex one that touches on the fundamental nature and purpose of both science and spirituality.

Science, as a systematic and logical approach to discovering how things in the universe work, relies on empirical evidence and experimentation. It is based on observation, measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe the observed phenomena. In contrast, spirituality is often associated with the inner, subjective experience and involves personal growth, transcendence, and the quest for ultimate meaning, often without a requirement for physical evidence.

However, there are perspectives that argue for a synthesis of science and spirituality. For instance, Einstein’s famous equation, \[\begin{equation} E=mc^2 \tag{3.1} \end{equation}\] which reveals the deep relationship between energy and matter, has been paralleled to spiritual concepts. Helena P. Blavatsky, a prominent spiritual philosopher, stated that “matter is energy at the lowest level and energy is matter at the highest level of reality,” suggesting a similar interconvertibility between energy and matter as Einstein’s theory does.

These parallels suggest that science and spirituality may not be as incompatible as they seem. However, the methods and approaches of these two fields are fundamentally different, leading to distinct ways of understanding and interpreting the world. The scientific method relies on observable, empirical evidence and logical reasoning, while spirituality often involves subjective experiences and transcendent realities that may not be easily measurable or quantifiable.

Therefore, while it is possible to draw parallels and find areas of overlap between science and spirituality, the spiritualization of science would require a significant shift in how we understand and practice science. This shift would involve recognizing and incorporating non-empirical, subjective, and transcendent aspects of reality into the scientific framework, a move that may not be widely accepted within the current scientific paradigm.

3.2 Paradigms

Q: So, until we abandon the false premise that reality is only defined by what is measurable by our physical senses and their instrumental extensions, science and spirituality will remain separate, although both methods may produce reproducible facts, correct? A paradigm shift would be needed, as defined by Thomas Kuhn, correct?

A: Yes, your understanding is correct. The separation between science and spirituality largely stems from the different methods they employ to understand reality. Science typically relies on empirical evidence – that which can be observed and measured – while spirituality often includes elements that are beyond physical measurement, such as transcendent experiences and inner subjective realities.

For these two domains to converge, a significant paradigm shift would indeed be necessary. As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn noted in his influential work “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” scientific paradigms – the shared set of beliefs and assumptions within a scientific community – tend to persist until anomalies or inconsistencies accumulate to a point where the existing paradigm can no longer adequately explain the observed phenomena. At this point, a paradigm shift, or a fundamental change in the underlying assumptions, may occur.

In the context of science and spirituality, a paradigm shift would likely involve an expanded definition of reality that includes not only the physical and measurable but also the subjective, transcendent, and non-empirical aspects of existence. This shift would fundamentally alter the way we understand and approach both science and spirituality, potentially leading to a more integrated understanding of reality.

However, it’s important to note that such a paradigm shift would likely face significant challenges. Paradigms not only shape the way we understand reality, but they also influence the questions we ask, the methods we use, and the interpretations we make. Changing these deeply ingrained patterns of thought can be a complex and contentious process.

3.3 What is a Fact?

Q: What is a fact? Isn’t the experience of the spiritual world as factual to Gautama Buddha as the condensation of energy that we call matter is to our everyday consciousness?

A: What constitutes a “fact” can depend on one’s epistemological perspective – that is, how one defines knowledge and what one considers to be valid sources or proofs of knowledge. From a strictly empirical or scientific standpoint, a fact is something that has been observed and confirmed through repeatable experiments or measurements. From a more phenomenological or experiential standpoint, a fact could include subjective experiences and personal truths.

So, while the condensation of energy into matter is a fact in the empirical scientific sense, the experience of the spiritual world was a fact in the personal experiential sense for Gautama Buddha. Each is factual within its respective domain of knowledge, but they represent different types of facts and different ways of knowing.

3.4 A Different Way of Knowing

Q: Is the intuition a “different way of knowing”?

A: Yes, intuition is often considered a different way of knowing. It’s a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and nonconscious parts of our mind, and between instinct and reason.

Intuition can be thought of as a rapid, automatic process that occurs without conscious awareness. It’s like an “inner sensing” or a sudden insight that comes without any logical explanation. Some people describe intuition as a form of “knowing without knowing why you know”.

While intuition isn’t always accurate and is influenced by past experiences and subconscious biases, it can sometimes lead to insights that escape more analytical approaches to problem-solving. It’s often used in decision-making, problem-solving, and understanding human behavior, and is particularly valuable in complex and uncertain situations where information is incomplete or ambiguous.

However, it’s important to note that intuition is different from empirical and scientific ways of knowing. Scientific knowledge relies on empirical evidence and logical reasoning, while intuitive knowledge is more subjective and less easily quantified or verified. Both forms of knowledge have their strengths and limitations, and they can complement each other in our quest to understand and navigate the world.

3.5 Bias

Q: The scientific method can also be biased, correct? Both methods may be subject to bias.

A: Absolutely, both scientific inquiry and intuitive ways of knowing can be subject to bias.

In science, bias can creep in during the design of experiments, the collection or analysis of data, the interpretation of results, or the publication of findings. For instance, confirmation bias can lead researchers to favor data that supports their hypothesis and overlook data that contradicts it. Similarly, publication bias can result in studies with positive results being more likely to get published than those with negative or inconclusive results.

Bias in science is a well-recognized issue, and there are numerous strategies in place to mitigate it, such as double-blind studies, peer review, and the replication of studies by independent researchers. However, these methods aren’t foolproof, and bias can still influence scientific knowledge.

As for intuition, it’s inherently subjective and influenced by personal experiences, emotions, and subconscious biases. For example, an individual might have an intuitive feeling about something based on past experiences, even if those experiences aren’t representative or relevant to the current situation. Or, they might intuitively favor one option over another due to unconscious biases or preferences.

Both forms of knowledge – scientific and intuitive – have their strengths and limitations. Recognizing and accounting for bias is essential in both cases to ensure as accurate and objective understanding as possible.

Q: How would you control for bias in the intuitive method?

A: Controlling for bias in the intuitive method can be challenging due to its subjective nature, but there are strategies that can help:

  1. Awareness: The first step is to become aware of your own biases. Reflect on how your past experiences, emotions, and personal beliefs might be influencing your intuition.
  2. Mindfulness and Emotional Balance: Practice mindfulness to stay present and avoid being swayed by emotional biases. Emotional balance can help you differentiate between intuition and emotional reactions.
  3. Seeking Diverse Perspectives: Intuition is personal, but you can still gain insights by seeking out diverse perspectives. Other people may have different intuitions, and discussing these can broaden your understanding.
  4. Critical Thinking: Even when relying on intuition, it’s important to apply critical thinking. Question your intuitive insights and look for evidence that supports or contradicts them.
  5. Reflection and Learning: Reflect on times when your intuition was right and when it was off the mark. What were the circumstances? Can you spot any patterns? Learning from past experiences can help fine-tune your intuition over time.
  6. Balancing Intuition with Other Forms of Knowing: While intuition can provide valuable insights, it’s not always reliable. Balance it with other forms of knowing, such as empirical evidence and logical reasoning, to make well-rounded decisions.

Remember, intuition is a tool, not an infallible guide. It can provide valuable insights, but like any tool, it needs to be used judiciously and in conjunction with other tools to yield the best results.

JB: Agree.

Source: What is Real?