Meditations on Mystery: Science, Paradox and Contemplative Spirituality

14050-cov-904x600pxA primary difference between the scientist and the spiritual contemplative is that the contemplative can accept paradox and uncertainty as being in the nature of things. Paradoxes are to be embraced as a means of thinking more profoundly and deepening the conversation. The rational scientist, on the other hand, is only content when paradoxes are explained and mysteries solved. Indeed, there is a part of us that feels uncomfortable with uncertainty and wants to know all the answers. But the deeper we dig into the physical universe, the more questions present themselves and the more we are confronted with mystery.

In the process of “rewiring” my own “neural networks,” I have looked at paradox and mystery by examining scripture, modern science (as opposed to classical Newtonian science) and the writings of religious mystics whose insights are remarkably compatible with reality as revealed by quantum mechanics, holography, and astrophysics. Understanding this compatibility brings about a reconciliation between modern science, contemplative spirituality and religious myth. In this reconciliation, a new awakening takes place whereby the conflict between reason and faith, and between subjectivity and objectivity, falls away.

Albert Einstein’s maxim, “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind,” takes on new meaning. Without the insights and empathetic values that come to us through spirituality, science is reduced to a cold and dehumanizing worldview.

It is my hope that all who read these pages will be left with a deeper appreciation of the emerging intersection of modern science and spirituality.

Author: George Wolfe
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