Science and Spirituality

If we were to venture outside of our physical realm, what would we find? More questions than we already have and very few answers. The realm that exists beyond our physical existence still remains a mystery.

Science and Spirituality seem to exist at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet both delve into matters concerning our existence and our reality. Where did we come from, where are we headed and why, are the basic questions we seek answers for. It does go deeper than wherefrom and whereto. Many of us have an intrinsic need to understand the nature of our reality.

Perhaps we can find answers to some of our questions if we attempt to make a connection between science and spirituality. Carl Sagan argued that science is not only compatible with spirituality but is a profound source of spirituality.

The impact of science on Western Society has called into question many myths and religious theories. It might be interesting and useful to see what, if anything, science and spirituality may have in common.

They all seek to provide a support system for our core beliefs and understanding of the physical world we live in. They offer an explanation for what lies beyond what we can see. Before we embraced and looked to science for answers about the wonders and mysteries of the universe, and our place in it, there was religion.

The future is unknown to us all. Science and spirituality/religion, all seek to foretell future events in their own way. 

  • Religion does this through prophecies 
  • Science does it with research, data, accuracy and repeated demonstrations of reliability 
  • Pseudosciences have been predicting the future with astrology, alchemy, numerology tarot and natural magic since the 16th century, when they coined the term Occult Sciences

Looking up at the night sky is as close as I ever came to understanding the mysteries of what lies beyond the physical realm and beyond this life. As a child I witnessed the landing of Apollo on the Moon. Exciting, enlightening and frightening, all at the same time.

It was July 20th. 1969, only two days away from my 12th. birthday. Sitting cross legged on the floor, my eyes glued to a black and white TV set, as I watched Neil Armstrong step out onto the surface of the moon, I stepped out of my body and for an unmeasurable moment, I felt connected to the entire planet and beyond. An unexplainable and intangible energy had wrapped the planet and it wasn’t science, nor was it religion. It was something greater, that united all of mankind. I felt intensely alive, with a profound sense of oneness and of belonging to the universe. I had no words for it back then. I felt what I felt and it stayed with me to this day. Buddhists refer to this heightened mental alertness as ‘mindfulness’, and they emphasize, interestingly, that mindfulness is deeply rooted in the body. Spirituality, then, is always embodied. We experience our spirit, as “the fullness of mind and body.”

Despite science’s leaps and bounds and technological achievements, we have only scratched the surface, when it comes to solving the deepest mysteries of the universe. Even human consciousness is still being debated. Perhaps the uncharted territories of the human mind could be the next frontier in helping us expand the science of what connects us all, so we may reach new understandings about the nature of our reality.

Scientific discoveries point to the fact that the material world, ultimately, is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships. They have also discovered that the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system. The view of the human body as a machine and of the mind as a separate entity is practically outdated and being replaced with a view that embraces the whole of our being, physical and none physical. The brain, immune system, bodily organs and every single cell in our bodies are being recognized as a living cognitive system. A world, within a world, within a world. 

On a personal note, I believe our future depends on science and spirituality working together. As Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is to never stop questioning.”

Published by Maddalena Di Gregorio

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in” Robert L. Stevenson

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