Importance of Modern Spirituality | Meditations
In many modern philosophies, there seems to be this distinct line drawn between philosophy, science, and spirituality. While some philosophies combine two of these subject matters, they do not combine all three or they simply disregard the third as factual. The problem with this is the fact that all three subject matters explain the same thing, the unexplainable. Ancient philosophers were in many ways the first modern scientists. The modern field of science directly draws its’ methods and procedures from the methods and procedures of the ancient philosophers. Instead of blindly accepting all of the spiritual world, they decided to ask questions of the Natural element of the world. They explored concepts with human interaction, natural phenomena, and even early physics or cosmology. This opened a door to a world full of knowledge and empty of spiritual deities.
However, as you explore ancient philosophies, many of them still give credit to certain spiritual deities the elements of the natural world. Not all do but many indirectly or directly give that credit to a god or creator being that exists beyond human existence. What I have come to discover is that many modern philosophers brush off these theories of spirituality instead of some theory of science. They proclaim that everything was accidental and random. However, the greatest scientists of the 20th century will often admit that there is too much happenstance for this to be mere coincidence. This belief could just come from the fact that we still understand so little of the world in which we exist it is easier to put our theory in the rather unobservable field of spirituality.
I find that this explanation of spirituality is even lazy. Why does mankind put so much trust in an unobservable deity that we can not verify? Why have we done this since before written history? Are we still the simpletons that we were over 10,000 years ago? We can easily discount this field within the field of science because the scientific method requires observation and spiritual deities are simple unobservable. However, we are discovering that the effects of this belief is very real and affects people in a real way. Take for example the MRI scans of Buddhist Monks. There is a significant difference in the way the brain operates during meditation and the natural state of the brain. They also discovered that people that meditated showed higher amounts of altruism than those who don’t. So why would concentrating on ourselves make us more altruistic?
The German Philosopher, Martin Heidegger noted this comparison in his Philosophy of Science.
“Science does not think.”
While often used as an anti-science slogan, that is not what Heidegger was talking about. He is noting that science is not designed to fully understand spirituality and that spirituality is not mutually exclusive of science. They are made to be used laterally to understand both the unobservable and observable natural world. For example, we now understand that rain is not from the gods, but from the cycles of patterns that occur on the surface and atmosphere of the earth. Yet, what remains is the fact that we still hope and pray for rain when we are in a season of drought. Spirituality is might not explain the rain, but it gives us hope that the cycles of the earth will be in our favor. That is one of the true powers of spirituality. The hope it gives us for things we can not observe.
To me, this is where many modern philosophers are wrong. Philosophy is not a field of science but a field that encompasses science and spirituality. It explains the unobservable and observable. Philosophy is the art and science of belief that there is a reason.
By understanding our place in the universe through philosophy, we can understand and hope for our purpose. We might just be animals living for 80 something years and decomposing in the ground. We might be spiritual deities that are being tested by the creator for 80 something years and destined to be living in eternity. Whichever way you believe, modern spirituality reminds us that we are all in this together and we can either make this 80 something years harder or easier for each other.