How we interpret the World. Science & Spirituality

descartes mind bodyFor some, the cold, hard, comfort of logic and Science is the only valid way in which to interpret the Universe and everything in it.

For others, living within the Universe is more of a spiritual experience.

But there is a growing number of people (myself included), who believe a synergy between the two approaches is possible.

Without doubt, Science has been the greatest collective gift mankind has given himself.

Science gives us an explanation as to what is going on within the measurable Universe.

What it can’t give us, is any explanation as to the immeasurable.

The direction from which one draws from one’s experience (including from the pool of factual results Science gives us), is simply a matter of ‘interpretation’.

Two different people may look at the same piece of evidence in exactly the same way and may even come to the same understanding. It is their interpretation or meaning that will likely differ.

For example; One person may interpret the conclusion of a certain scientific experiment as a program of nature – a process – nothing more.  Someone else may see it as yet another example of an underlying intelligence or a universal consciousness at work.

And that’s what makes each individual unique, whilst at the same time, being of great use to the group, for differing interpretations of what is perceived is what leads to new ideas, theories, philosophies and science.

In the past, religion was the great authority on why the world was the way it was. During the last couple of centuries, it has been Science.

It is my belief that Science and Spirituality don’t have to be mutually exclusive. They can coexist in order to provide one with a combined interpretation of the world.

Unfortunately, we currently have a situation whereby the extremities of the Scientific and Spiritual communities are critically opposed. There are fundamentalists camped on both sides who hold extremely dominant views.

Because these opposing extremes are so fundamental in their beliefs, with no interest in looking outside of their own doctrines, it makes it very difficult to have a meaningful middle-ground discussion.

Certain beliefs (on both sides) are so ingrained that any kind of acceptance or investigation into the others thinking is not considered.

These opposing sides cannot/do not wish to recognize what the other is saying as they do not want their believe system infected with something they are so apposed to and this is what creates such a gap between Science and Spirituality.

This can be somewhat of a problem for humanity, for most humans have a requirement for both Science and Spirituality. Science is required to gain an understanding of how things work and provide our lives with a certain level of physical comfort.

Spirituality (for want of a better word) is required for human well-being – This I am convinced of.


Why Science and Spirituality have so far, refused to mix

The point of view from a fundamental Scientific perspective is one that; for millennia, Spirituality (in the form of religion) falsely held the authority/belief on how the Universe came into being.

Science has proven the assumed truths about the Universe that were written about in ancient scripture to be wrong. Therefore, any notion pertaining to anything slightly ‘Spiritual’ is castigated and instantly labelled as invalid, primitive and false.  Science to a scientific fundamentalist – is the only game in town.

At the same time, religious fundamentalists who claim to have ‘spiritual authority’, do not/will not accept some scientific conclusions that are irrefutable (evolution, the age of the earth etc).

They cannot accept these conclusions as facts because these facts don’t fit in with their belief system. Yet they seem completely unaware that holding onto these untrue dogmatic belief systems only serves to inhibit their Spiritual growth.

It is unfortunate that for those humans who have a requirement for a Spiritual life get grouped into the same category as the fundamentally religious.  Religion and Spirituality are not the same thing.

Equally, Science holds onto its own dogmatic belief system, one that states; ‘if something can’t be measured, then it doesn’t exist’.

This belief is then somewhat contradicted through a branch of science known as Theoretical Physics.

Theoretical physics is based on mathematical models in the absence of observational evidence. This branch of scientific inquiry tells us that there are 11 dimensions of spacetime which cannot be proved as they aren’t measurable to us, although, mathematically they make sense.

Fundamental material scientists in the form of Reductionists and Determinists also present a block between bridging the gap between human Spirituality and Science. For these type of scientists, much like religious fundamentalists, are so wrapped up in their own dogma, that they simply cannot accept any notion or evidence (no matter how compelling) that opposes their dogmatic belief system.

An example of this would be their denial of Consciousness: Consciousness, to them, is nothing more than a biological process (one which they cannot explain) and this (unexplainable biological process) produces ‘an illusion of consciousness’ in all of us.

Some Scientists are beginning to question these dogmatic beliefs. To quote Scientist Dr Rupert Sheldrake:  “The Science delusion is the belief that Science already understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in.”


Each to their own

To have a differing interpretation of why the world/universe is the way it is, is given to us through the medium of experience.

Experience develops through gained knowledge.

Gaining knowledge is as much a personal journey as it is a search for truth, for information is the source from which one gains knowledge and the interpretation of that knowledge is what gives each of us our experience.  Through our experience we develop belief systems.

As knowledge progresses, we tend to be left with more questions than we have answers for the quest for knowledge and truth is an endless one, one that keeps going around and around. It has always been this way and always will be. It is what happens when one embarks on a search for truth and as a collective, we are all on this search whether we think we are or not.

The interpretation of knowledge gained is up to each individual to decipher from the information they receive and ultimately – experience is that process.

This is where we come full circle. For each experience can be interpreted as either a rational (localized) one, or a Spiritual (collective) one and in some instances, it can be both. There is validity in all experience as it is ‘the process’.

2 comments for “How we interpret the World. Science & Spirituality

  1. February 21, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Great example and so true I’ll alawys be looking for that little arrow from here on out!Ah, yet now I’m reminded of so many examples of things unseen & unknown that, when revealed to us we choose to look away from them. Because so often, we’re faced with a choice to change, or remain the same. To accept responsibility for our Life, or continue blaming circumstance & chance.==> Go !!!

  2. May 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    If you would like to pursue the topic of how science can relate to spirituality, consciousness and the non-physical, please see my website:

    Do not hesitate to contact me at should you wish to discuss any of these topics with me personally.

    Dr. John J. Petrovic

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