Science and Spirituality: Separate, or just not properly introduced?

I’ve recently been having some discussions regarding some of the ‘New Age’ spiritual speakers who are becoming popular, such as Gregg Braden, and there seems to be much debate on his credentials and credibility.  I love listening to him speak – his ideas resonate within me and stir something dormant, and I feel excited at the possibilities he and his fellow specialists paint for us.  Oh, and don’t get me wrong, there are times I totally question it all too.  It is a form of faith in itself – trusting in ‘the light’ if you will, or in our own undeniable goodness!  I loved one analogy someone spoke of when discussing religion – that rather than one be right, and all the rest be wrong – maybe they are all right, in their own way?  And when I expand this beyond ‘religion’ I can look at all the actions we humans undertake, and give them a different spin.  With no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ judgements clouding my view.  Somehow I can even accept that animal cruelty (animal welfare being my choice of work in life) plays out a karmic role of some sort.  Otherwise I’d go mad with the utter insanity/injustice of it all.

Fear is indeed a major driver of all the things that are wrong in this world.  Fear of change, fear of the next guy ‘getting our share’.  Fear of not fitting in, and fear of losing our individuality.  Wow – what a battle we go through.  What warriors we are.  And our armor is – our Ego.  I think as humans, our job is to discover it, (which we do through our childhood), develop it (which we do through our teens and early twenties/thirties) and then totally destroy it (which we do by truly seeing the other person as exactly the same as us, that Oneness).  And literally, having no Ego block our reaction to them.

Hard to do.  It’s a feisty little monkey, the Ego.  It clings to us very tightly!!!  I often do what all scientists do, and hit the research papers searching for answers.  And then I think, darn, what if it really is this totally random, nonsensical thing?  What if there is no reason at all behind anything?  But then I remember the certainty I felt when I was younger.  Before I was ‘programmed’ to mistrust my neighbours, my fellow man, the world.  And most tragically – my own instincts.

And then I see the power of positivity – or love – and what can be achieved when the Ego is simply pushed out the back door by intensely powerful energies (these things sadly only happen in short bursts and on rare occasions, or in times of strife) but when they do, wow, I see our potential and it gives me great hope and excitement.  I saw this on the streets of Christchurch, after the 2012 earthquake – I saw humanity at it’s absolute finest, reaching out to help the next person in the street – and it broke my heart a little – knowing that it took such a terrible tragedy to pull that out of us.  Surely, we have it there, and can in fact, utilise that power every single day.  Why do we forget how to do that?

So, I am very interested in some of Gregg Braden’s ideas, I’m a scientist too, but I have always felt that science falls short by completely negating everything that it can’t physically measure. I have seen and experienced some incredible things that have had no basis in science, and are simply inexplicable from a scientific perspective, so I am what one might call a scientist with a spiritual bend. I think one day, when ‘science’ can measure the many things it currently denies exist, the human potential will be fully realised, and we will use our personal energies far more effectively and proactively. Science is just the study of what makes things work around us – and I think ‘science’ as a discipline is probably at the equivalent of primary school on the scale of all the knowledge that we are yet to discover. I sometimes wonder – if we hadn’t burned so many books in history, of great writings of the early Romans etc, if we would be years ahead of where we are now? The wisdom we have lost over the centuries is mind-boggling in itself.  Let alone the wisdom we have yet to attain.

I am convinced that we under-estimate the role every single one of us plays in the energies that create the world around us. I KNOW this, inherently – I can’t explain it, nor prove my hypothesis by conducting a repeatable experiment – but I love to explore the potential and power of human desire.  Probably because I grew tired of just witnessing the destruction that comes from human despair.

I like to think I live in exciting times where science will be turned on it’s head and made to say – “well, yes, there you go, that energy field really does exist – and just LOOK what it can achieve!!!

And I believe this ‘energy’ that Science remains baffled by – is DESIRE.  Albeit desire to survive, desire to attain, desire to love, or desire to destroy.  I think, somehow, it is what drives every single atom in our Universe.  It’s a very unscientific explanation isn’t it – but I even used to sit in classes, and have this whispering in the corner of my consciousness.  It is desire that drives our DNA to evolve – science can say we are a mutation, I say we were the result of a burning desire for ‘more’.  Just what that ‘more’ we are after is, is yet to be seen.

I believe we exude energy, be it peace, love, hope, desire, rage, anger, hatred – and the world around us responds in exact accordance to it. It’s that simple.  Turn on your television, and you will see the manifestation of our stress, our frustration, our anxiety ridden Ego, screaming inside for peace, but delivering only war and anger, and fear.

And also, do you notice how animals will respond to a person, so instantly?  THAT is to the energies I think we exude – science tells me this idea is just me ‘anthropomorphising’ the animal, ‘humanising’ it – to even imply it has ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ like my own to even recognise ours.  And that it is in fact just scent, and some primal response from the animal.  But even if it is, it is something science cannot yet define.  “Give me the formula for that scent then”, I ask them – but they cannot!!.  So what chemicals do I release when I’m sad that makes my cat come up and snuggle even harder into my lap?  What is it I release when I feel intensely desolate, that makes dogs come running away from their owners and sit with me on the beach, and not just next to me, but crawling right into my lap and leaning into me, eyeballing me (this has happened twice, much to the shock of both owners).

I try to imagine that I can see that energy coming off others, or at least, I try to ‘feel’ it.  Especially when the ‘other’ is someone I react to in a negative way, someone who perhaps behaves in ways I find sickening.  Or believes in something I find untenable.  It is incredible how much forgiveness, or empathy I can create by doing that.  By seeing this frightened soul underneath the hard exterior.  A tiny loving person with an Ego that has sabotaged their inherent goodness.  This is how I manage to ‘process’ animal cruelty.  And it is how I try to process the madness that plays out on my television screen, whenever I turn on the world news.

I would do anything to be able to crush that aspect of the human ego, that allows us to kill, hunt, torture and maim – both animals and each other – all for reasons that are no longer valid or excusable.  I get very frustrated as a scientist realising how far away I am from finding the cure to this madness.  So, feeling into the ‘souls’ in the process – that helps me stay sane – and focused.  Because I have to believe we do, collectively, have the power to create that change.

That ‘Science’ and ‘Spirituality’ will, someday soon, meet – perhaps in a crowded bar.  They’ll strike up a conversation.  And start to enjoy each others company.  The piano man will sit down to play, and our new friends will clasp hands and start a slow dance.  And show us all how to move together, in a way that will take us to a whole new level of understanding.  Of sharing, and of loving.  Whilst burning with the DESIRE for a better world.


I invite you to dance with me – to the tune of change.


© Michele Harrod 19th November, 2012

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