|Photo by Caio Basili|
Recently, there has been another wave of “God is Dead” books, like Dawkins “The God Delusion“. An earlier wave took place when it became clear that traditional churches were dying out. The rise of the “new” spirituality was not yet obvious. The more recent wave seems to be more reactionary, the concern of some scientists to the growing wave of nonsense beliefs and magical thinking. Dangerous ideas like equating ‘quantum’ and ‘unified field’ to consciousness.
Unfortunately, many scientists are not well informed in this arena and have a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater. From the outside, it’s not hard to confuse blind faith and spirituality or crazy beliefs with deep experience.
One of the more interesting blends we are seeing more and more of are those blending eastern philosophy with western scientific approach. I mentioned David Frawley in a recent article, a westerner steeped in eastern outlook. Deepak Chopra was raised Indian then trained as a western MD, blending the two and bringing eastern outlook and Ayurveda to the west. (although he seems to be slipping more into marketing than depth)
About 3 years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Amit Goswami speak on physics and consciousness. He was one of 5 physicists at a weekend conference on the subject and one of only 2 who really got it. John Hagelin was the other. Amit was another raised Indian, then trained western. He taught university physics for decades and has published one of the more popular textbooks on quantum mechanics. He has also published a number of books such as The Self-Aware Universe and Physics of the Soul. Like many, personal challenges lead to his merging of eastern and western thought.
“Mystics, contrary to religionists, are always saying that reality is not two things -God and the world- but one thing, consciousness. … The problem with science has always been that most scientists believe that science must be done within a different monistic framework, one based on the primacy of matter. … quantum physics showed us that we must change that myopic prejudice of scientists, otherwise we cannot comprehend quantum physics. So now we have science within consciousness, a new paradigm of science based on the primacy of consciousness that is gradually replacing the old materialist science. … the new paradigm resolves many… paradoxes of the old paradigm and explains much anomalous data.”
These days Amit is retired and speaking at various conferences. At a November conference, he will be introducing a new book, God is Not Dead. The conference literature tells us:
“…[Amit] will present the new conceptual paradigm and experimental evidence for the existence of God. Most religions agree on three aspects of God: 1) God has creative causal efficacy, a power often called downward causation; 2) there are subtle bodies (vital energy body, mind, and the supramental “soul” besides the material body; and 3) to be ethical is important. Dr. Goswami will discuss indisputable scientific evidence for downward causation and the subtle bodies and sketch a science of ethics to help you to break free of a materialist view of reality to the fascinating quantum experience of God. To this end, Dr. Goswami will introduce the idea of quantum activism–how we must incorporate the message of the new science in the evolution of ourselves and our society.”
Personally, I find it remarkable that there is even any dispute. Leaving out any experience of the deeper values of what is, the existence of a creative intelligence that underlies our world is obvious if we are to but look. Intelligent life arose randomly, by accident? To me, that is magical thinking. No, I’m not suggesting Creationism or the absence of evolution. Only that there is an obvious ongoing flow of intelligence underlying all we experience. Without that, it would all dissipate. Indeed, it would never have passed rudimentary form in the first place.
But I also recognize I once subscribed to this thinking. It takes time and experience for our vistas to expand. I’m not remotely alone in this view. It is undeniable if you look. Many great scientists have incorporated a view of God in their perspective. This includes Einstein, Plank, Kelvin, Faraday, Newton, Descartes, Kepler, Galilei, Bacon, and so on. Most have what is known as an impersonal perspective, God as an underlying intelligence rather than some form.
Bacon, for example, established the scientific method. He rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy. “…when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.” Einstein is famously quoted “I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” He recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe, putting faith in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists“. He said “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
Today, spirituality has stepped out of the box of religion and is just finding it’s way. Looking to the deep history of the east, many find truth for themselves that revives their understanding and western faith. While sometimes sloppy, the effort is there to integrate eastern and western thought, science and faith, and day to day life and well-being with a deep spiritual connection.
There are also many people awakening now. This is dramatically deepening the insight and quality of this integration underway. As that awakening expands the group awareness more and more, the small thinking that cannot see the evident harmony and order will fall away and we will find the inner and outer peace that has eluded us for so long.
Long live God, who is life itself, deathless.