Science and spirituality are not contradictory

Science and spirituality are not contradictory

Science is often pitted against religion and spirituality. This is especially true when what is meant by science and what is meant by spirituality is not properly defined.

Science is an organized attempt to build and organize knowledge in the form of verifiable explanations and predictions of the universe we live in. It refers to a body of reliable knowledge that can be logically and rationally explained.

Spirituality on the other hand is a relentless search to experience the divinity innate in all human beings. It is the search for the inner self. Spirituality is different from religion: the former is the essence, the latter is the scaffolding. 

There are endless testimonies from realized masters on the unique nature of this state that is beyond human intelligence.

“You can feel yourself,” said Sri Ramana Maharishi, “one with the One that exists. The whole body becomes a mere power, a force current. Your life becomes a needle drawn to a huge mass of magnet and as you go deeper and deeper, you become a mere center and then not even that, for you become a mere Consciousness; there are no thoughts or cares any longer – they were shattered at the threshold it is an inundation. You, a mere straw, are swallowed alive, but it is very delightful, for you become the very thing that swallows you. This is the union of jiva with Brahman, the loss of ego in the real Self, the destruction of falsehood, the attainment of Truth.”

Albert Einstein believed that true religion will not conflict with science. He could well have been right in this sense that it is wrong to expect the sciences of the outer world that deal with forms of matter, motion and societal development to validate truths of the inner world. Similarly the truth of the inner world cannot be validated by yardsticks used by the natural or social sciences because the objects of investigation in each case are not the same. If this principle is grasped spirituality and science need not be at loggerheads.

Among other reasons, this perhaps explains why the great scientist once declared “science without religion is lame” and “religion without science is blind.” 

Einstein’s spirituality assumed the form of marveling at the perfecting of the cosmic intelligence: “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble” because it “reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”

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