Science Vs Spirituality

- V.Kumaresan

Science has a claim on every objective truth. What is so great about science, that we should accept its monopoly over truth? There is a natural thirst in us, humans for wonder, reverence and awe. Whenever a human feels thirsty, it starts as an emotional urge with some sort of admiration and averment towards such objects. In search of the truth, when the involved emotional elements subside, the spirit of enquiry dominates in the minds of humans. In course of such journey, if truth is found out and its veracity can be explained and proved with experiments, at that point, emerges the significance of science. At one stage, in proving the prevalence of truth, the element of emotion is completely eliminated.

In the journey of finding the truth, if the emotional elements do not subside, the rationality does not shoot up, the subjectivity of the self and mind dominates ; it leads to the destination and becomes descriptive as spirituality. If such description acquires a barrier point beyond which it can not be proved but only be felt. With subjectivity it is  strengthened as  philosophy. Spirituality distances itself from the spirit of inquiry and instead leads human to listen and accept. At one stage, it becomes institutionalized as religion. From then onwards faith, belief and unquestioning attitudes creep into the minds of the practitioners.

Institutional formations end in conflict among them leading to the supremacy of one over the other. Whenever the political patronage is available for such institutions, it becomes the rule of law. If imperfection with rule of law is exposed and warrants refinement, rectification or ultimate elimination, such endeavour is provided more as anti ruler and anti national rather than as anti religion.

 Superstition becomes value addition to the religious belief. Spirituality may mask itself that it has no connection with religion.

The thinking process which started towards searching the truth becomes stagnant and rusted due to the over importance and weightage given to the  emotional features with subjectivity. Because of this subjectivity some sort of mental, relief and relaxation may be experienced which is like the pleasure and elatedness caused by liquor intoxication.

To put it simply, in one old English movie, the opening scene commences with a group of tribal people assembled nakedly in an open ground early morning hours doing masturbation by looking at the horizon in the east. The Sun slowly rises. All the tribal masses in the ground are shouting in great joy with  the  dawn. The ignorant tribal are under the premise that due to practice of the mass exercise the Sun rises and the world is exposed to light; darkness disappears. In the process, the tribal are also deriving subjective pleasure.

The primitive tribes were not aware of the fact that even without indulging in such mass exercise , the Sun would rise. Because of the subjective pleasure experienced in the practice of the exercise, their superstition endures. The above said film scene may look awkward but is explicit about the then prevailing practices. The then prevailed practices may look awkward now, and certain subjective pleasure and prevailing practices of present days may be viewed meaningless in future.

Spirituality is the deviated, distorted journey path from the same starting point as of science, exemplified in the history of mankind. Some times the destination of the journey itself will negate the state of starting point. Spirituality is  like the baby , distorted  during the journey in finding out the truth. Because of the subjectivity element in spirituality it may be appealing to individuals and become popular too. Spirituality has become the subject matter of the masses who are already satisfied with the basic need of food, clothing and shelter in a luxurious manner.

In order to give an elite status to spirituality, it is termed by a few as ‘scientific spirituality’. In fact such coinage is absurd which can be compared to the foolish coinage of ‘watery fire’. The main blame on science and its achievements is that such and such findings are subject to destructive utility which will become extinct among the mankind.

The scientific paradigm does not include consciousness of mind as a fundamental reality. It seems to explain everything in physical terms. Science has now looked at the edges of the universe. It is back in time to the beginning of creation and finding out the sub-atomic structure of matters. It finds no place nor need, for god.

The reality in the field of science is that whoever contributes to the scientific discoveries and inventions have lived only in a limited space of appealing and acceptance resulting in popularity. Their innovations with due modifications have become popular, whereas the spiritual leaders are successful and popular in marketing their products. Because of the fascinating  mastery techniques, the products may be popular in the market. It may not be everlasting. Human history has witnessed so many superfluous life products, which have not withstood longer times, whereas scientific contributions are built on acceptance with verification, thereby surviving  beyond generations.

Science is not a collection of facts or a  repository of data. It is also not a skeptical and  doubting disorder that discourages anyone’s creativity and imagination. Science is more about method than the findings.

Under such circumstances, humanism has to play a proactive role in matching the products of science methods for the human development positively. Science combined with humanism will eliminate  all other designs preventing the well being of the mankind.


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