Clearly at one level science and religion do appear to inhabit very different, even mutually incompatible and mutually exclusive belief systems. Science seeks to discover and then understand what are essentially physical facts. Religion on the other hand is invariably seeking to discover meaning and high truth from within archaic texts. It is interesting that the scholar who endeavours to unravel the meaning of some ancient text of some long-extinct civilisation, never assumes that what he or she ultimately manages to make sense of will be a text that can provide high truths. There might be truths in terms of weights and measures, enacted laws, or any civilisation’s interpretation of some long-forgotten war. And interpretations regarding those wars might indeed turn out to be true, as fact based. But the scholar is never infected with the belief that those historical statements must necessarily be true. But that is not the case with the theologian who studies his or her ancient scripture. That scripture is often seen as the unalloyed Word of God, and is revered accordingly. And it is here that the scientist and the theologian part company.
Yes, the scientist and the historian and the geographer etc, do indeed part company with the theologian as this juncture. But we need to remember something about religion. There is something deeply grounded in any religion’s origins that can bring science and religion full circle. All we tend to know these days of the subject matter of religion, namely God and the universe, God and the creation, etc. etc, is what we find in our invariably ancient scriptures and what our religious practitioners and our theologians tell us. But our scriptures and our theologians are not the ultimate source of our religions. The ultimate sources of our various religions are those ancient mystics who in one way or another touched the high levels of consciousness where they found God, or something OTHER, or ultimate reality, or…
Our scriptures are the attempts by disciples and the early followers of those ancient mystics to make sense of what those ancient mystics told them. Even the great mystical founders of our religions, no matter how remarkable they might have been, always found it difficult to put into any language that was born of a three-dimensional world, truths about realities that were multi-dimensional in the extreme.
Science and theology, science and received religious dogma inevitably part company. But what of science and those early mystics, or the mystics of our present day for that matter? What then.
Richard Dell’s STARS IN OUR SOULS ponders exactly that point in his Insight 19 entitled DEEP
The physicist and the mystic delve deep. Each in their respective realms, each observing what is being observed, each affecting what is being observed. The physicist touches the very edge between matter and meaning. The mystic, already deep in meaning, drifts in and out of those edges, forever affecting what is felt. There can never be certainty.
Deep into the realms of matter.
Deep into the realms of mind.
Deep into the dreams of matter.
Deep into the dreams of mind.
Drifting into knowing.
Drifting into unknowing.
Deep in the Deep.
Observer and observed:
Linked in the Deep.
Matter and Mind:
Connected in the Deep.
In the uncertainty of the Deepest Truths.