I believe that science and spirituality are two sides of the same coin. For sciences and religions both have multiple branches that, in essence, are seeking the same thing—an understanding of the Creative Forces of the universe, of God, of our meaning. The basic natures of both sides’ pursuits have exhibited the expression of such forces and meaning in the symbolism. These symbols actually identify the unity of religion and science. In my small way what is being presented here is a perspective of the Perennial Philosophy put forth by such luminaries as Leibniz and Huxley. The concept of this philosophy is that the divine reality (divine ground) is the source of spiritual insight and higher consciousness throughout the world’s ages and cultures. In addition the varied religions have interpreted this infinite ground through finite minds creating only skewed parts or aspects of it. From a science-based viewpoint of this alpha, divine reality, and the physicists have their own search for a “theory of everything.” Here science is also interpreting the infinite with finite lenses and grasping only limited parts. Using a scientific analogy, their quandary could be compared to a shattered hologram. A hologram has the unique property that the film from which it is projected can be divided into pieces, yet each piece will project the entire hologram, only with a narrower, skewed perspective. Ultimately the evidence put forth here is that the geometry employed both by spiritual philosophies and sciences are used to explain life and the cosmos, the microcosm and macrocosm. Science may try to say this is not evidence of a higher collective consciousness or of Creative Forces, but then how was this shared symbolism which threads through both sciences and spirituality and was intuited thousands of years before science confirmed these same geometries explained with other than a shared higher consciousness of the whole? The irony of both their searches is that they regularly focus on external surface phenomenon. There is a degree as well as a need and purpose for this, but it is not the conclusion. Whether it is Newtonian physics that works on the surface versus quantum physics that works in the essence or dogma versus spirituality, the final leg of the journey is within. In both schools history has shown their paradigm-shifting illuminations have invariably been through an inward intuitive experience.
The concepts of religion and spirituality are used often and to a certain extent can be considered interchangeable. Please, before the protest start over such a statement, allow me to clarify my meaning. Traditionally, being religious and being spiritual have been one and the same. In more recent times, more and more people are differentiating between the two terms. An example of this would be recent polls taken in the United States. In a February 11, 2003 Gallup poll, 50 percent of the people asked considered themselves to be religious, while 33 percent considered themselves not religious but spiritual. Perhaps more telling is a survey reported on by USA Today in an October 14, 2010 article reporting from a survey of that same year, where 72 percent of the age group of 18 to 29 said they are “really more spiritual than religious.” It is clear that these two terms are no longer being considered equivalent and that people are making a differentiation between them.
From what I have gathered, I believe people who call themselves religious vs. spiritual are usually involved in an organized religion, attend a church/temple of that religion, and feel a strong affiliation toward that religion over other religions (often feeling that theirs is the only true religion). People who call themselves spiritual vs. religious, may or may not attend a church/temple or be involved in organized religion, but if they are, they often feel there may be truth in more than one religious sect. Their religious beliefs are not usually what are referred to as “fundamental” or “orthodox” even within their own religious following. One simple example, if one looks at the core of just three major religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, will be found the spiritual concept that God is love and Godly love is something to be practiced and shared by all. This is not something to be constrained in only one religion’s parameter. As the Persian Islamic poet Rumi put it: “O lovers! The religion of the love of God is not found in Islam alone. In the realm of love, there is neither belief, nor unbelief.”
Spiritual masters brought forth spiritual ideas and truths that later became codified into religions by followers of these ideas. Though some may feel these ideas have been skewed by attempting to place them within finite parameters, the infinite divine reality from whence they originate remains in unity and oneness, and if one goes deep enough into any religion, the spirit and spirituality will still be found. In this shared Divine ground will also be found the roots of the symbols used by each religious philosophy and what will be seen is that these symbols are shared archetypes of a core unity.
After all this I will share a recent article and it link about the evidence and research that we all are part of one mind. I know this One mind doesn’t necessarily mean a Chardin’s “Noosphere” or Divine consciousness, but perhaps the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Dr. Larry Dossey. Physician of internal medicine
7 Billion Minds, or One?
"I felt there was no separation between anything. I felt as if I were united with everything, and it was wonderful!" This recent report from a reader is a universal experience of people who are concerned with psychological and spiritual growth. This sense of connectedness is not fantasy, but is being affirmed by recent advances in consciousness research.
But where our mind is concerned, we've been more concerned with disunity than unity. During the 20th century we took the mind apart -- the conscious, the unconscious, the pre- and sub-conscious, the collective unconscious, the superego, ego, id, and so on. When we look through the other end of the telescope, however, we can see a different pattern. We can make out what I call the One Mind -- not a subdivision of consciousness, but the overarching, inclusive dimension to which all the mental components of all individual minds, past, present, and future belong. I capitalize the One Mind to distinguish it from the single, one mind that each individual appears to possess.
This is not a philosophical gambit, but is based on human experience and actual scientific experiments. Consider studies in which human neurons are separated into two batches and sealed in so-called Faraday containers that block physical communication. When one batch is stimulated with a laser, the distant batch of neurons registers the same changes at the same time.
Or consider a huge collection of neurons, the human brain. When distant individuals who are emotionally bonded are wired with encephalographs that record their brain waves, or when they are both monitored with fMRI brain scanners, when one individual's brain is visually stimulated the distant individual's EEG or fMRI scan registers the same change at the same time.
Recent studies by James Fowler at U.C. San Diego and Nicholas Christakis, then at Harvard Medical School, found that, "[E]motions have a collective existence -- they are not just an individual phenomenon."
[H]appiness is ... contagious ... Your happiness depends not just on your choices and actions, but also on the choices and actions of people you don't even know who are one, two and three degrees removed from you.
Fowler and Christakis have shown that if your friend's friend's friend becomes happy -- someone you've never met nor heard of -- that has a greater effect on your happiness than if someone put $5,000 in your pocket.
There are hundreds of additional studies that reveal the unlimited, boundless behaviors of our minds. As consciousness researcher Stephan A. Schwartz describes these experiments:
Today there are six stabilized ... protocols used in laboratories around the world exploring these ... phenomena. Under rigorous double or triple blind, randomized and tightly controlled conditions, each of these six has independently produced [odds against chance] of ... one in a billion...
The emerging image of mind is that it cannot be put in a box (or brain) and walled off from all other minds. If minds are boundless and boundaryless, as evidence suggests, in some sense all minds connect.
Throughout history many eminent scientists have glimpsed this fact. This includes Nobel physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who proclaimed, "The overall number of minds is just one ... In truth there is only one mind." And the distinguished physicist David Bohm asserted, "Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one."
Neither the experimental evidence for our connectedness nor the experience of individuals across millennia seems to make much difference to skeptics afflicted by "randomania," "statisticalitis," "coincidentitis," or "ODD" (Obsessive Debunking Disorder ). No matter. Skeptics can ignore the evidence, but they cannot wish it away. As physicist Max Planck once said, paraphrased, "Science progresses funeral by funeral."
The concept of a collective One Mind with which each individual is connected suggests a pool of intelligence that might be tapped by creative individuals. As America's great inventor, Thomas Edison, said:
People say I have created things. I have never created anything. I get impressions from the Universe at large and work them out, but I am only a plate on a record or a receiving apparatus -- what you will. Thoughts are really impressions that we get from outside.
The eminent German physicist and philosopher Baron Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker agreed. He said:
[In any great discovery] we find the often disturbing and happy experience: 'It is not I; I have not done this.' Still, in a certain way it is I -- yet not the ego ... but ... a more comprehensive self.
Our unity and connectedness as humans have taken a back seat to our obsession with individuality. Individuality should be honored; generally speaking, a species without a strong sense of individuality does not long survive on this planet. But individuality is only one side of the human coin. Neglecting the coin's other side, our collective unity, is a recipe for disaster nationally and globally, because the epidemic of selfishness and greed that has been unleashed by this unbalanced view of human nature is now threatening not only our social structure, but also the larger eco-environmental fabric and life-support systems that sustain us.
The ethical implications of our fundamental connectedness are profound. Because of our intrinsic oneness, health can never be merely personal, and neither can illness, poverty, or hunger. The unity we share requires a recalibration of the Golden Rule from, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," to "Be kind to others because in some sense they are you."
On this realization, our future on Earth may depend.
This blog is based on ONE MIND: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters by Larry Dossey, MD. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House; 2013