Science and Religion

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zoofence
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Science and Religion

Postby zoofence » August 30th, 2005, 7:10 pm

Speaking of science and mysticism (please see my post "What the bleep ..." at Open Forum's General Discussion), the Metanexus Institute has recently (at least, it is new to me) posted a Call for Thought and Action urging a "a scientifically informed and spiritually meaningful vision for humanity in the twenty-first century".

This brings to mind (perhaps Metanexus was in part motivated by) the current public discussion (argument?) about evolution & creationism (now sometimes called intelligent design). As I have written somewhere on TZF, my passage along the spiritual path suggests that the conflict between the two is entirely manmade, that they are both flawed descriptions of the same thing. Thus, creationism is a description of the event perceived vertically from top to bottom (Creator to Creation) and occurring essentially outside of space and time as we know it, and Darwinism describes the event horizontally (from then to now) entirely inside space and time.

In that sense, it seems to me that both are correct.

Nisargadatta and numerous other Teachers -- including the quantum physicists in the movie -- would suggest that the reality each of us perceives originates within us. That is, as I have said repeatedly (ad nauseam?), what I call "my life" ("my world") is simply what I call "me" perceived outwardly. In a word, the outer is the inner. If that applies to anything, it must apply to everything, including the creation process; so, as it seems to the phenomenon I call "me", so it will be to me.

For a seeker, surely the key is to minimize the demands and preconceptions and so on of "me" so that "I" can remain always open and receptive to the Truth, whatever precisely that may be. The less constrictive and the more expansive "me" is (as a result of spiritual practices and so on), the more likely is it that "my world" will be likewise.

Thus, Thoreau: "We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and bones".

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Postby zoofence » September 3rd, 2005, 6:00 pm

A semi-related thought ...

Here's a wrinkle I find in the theory of evolution. If we are evolved from apes, why did we lose the tail? Why would that loss have been considered desirable?

Think about it. A monkey's tail is an extremely useful device, and I can think of many times -- working on carpentry, splitting and stacking firewood, doing chores, climbing, etc. etc. -- when I have wished I had "a third hand".

It seems to me that the tail would have remained. Of course, I guess that's a wrinkle in creationism, too. Why didn't God create us with a tail?

And here's another totally unrelated thought ... The other day, I came across this line by Friedrich Nietzsche: "I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time".

Is it that God "wants to be praised all the time" or is it that we want to praise God all the time? Speaking for myself, I think it's the latter. Along the path, my experience has been that there are times, and increasingly so, when I am so overwhelmed by the beauty and joy of it all that I simply have to applaud. Now, of course, one has to remember that Nietzsche was undoubtedly speaking to a particular audience, and his observation was meant for them. And I understand that.

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Postby windabove » September 6th, 2005, 2:27 am

I suspect Nietzsche was referring to belief rather than perception. If so, I’d agree with his statement completely. I’ve noticed that what passes for praise from a religious sense is not an adoration of God at all, but ironically, a praise of self, a reverie in the sense of a personal self separate from God.
Only God can approach (appreciate) God. Praise is God-knowing. Notice how ‘you’ disappear, notice how the I/Thou paradigm dissolves when the ‘senses’ of your heart open and perceives the beautiful, or humorous, such that you cannot contain it and the tears flow. THAT is the unutterable glorious praise of God, from God, to God.
"I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time".

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Postby zoofence » September 14th, 2005, 5:37 pm

Only God can approach (appreciate) God.

Very nice!

... and the tears flow.

I think it was Ramakrishna who said that a true seeker comes to tears just saying the Name of God, just bringing the Name of God to mind.

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Postby zoofence » September 16th, 2005, 11:54 am

Reading this morning once again from The Sufis by Idries Shah, I came across this quotation from Paracelsus:

Let us depart from all ceremonies, conjurations, consecrations, etc., and all similar delusions, and put our heart, will and confidence solely upon the true rock ... If we abandon selfishness, the door will be opened for us, and that which is mysterious will be revealed. ... Salvation is not attained by fasting, neither wearing certain clothes, nor by flagellation. These are superstitutions and hypocrisy. God made everything pure and holy, man need not consecrate them.

Born in Switzerland at the end of the fifteenth century, Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim) was a pioneering physician, but is perhaps best remembered as an alchemist. On the surface, alchemy is associated with the quest for a "philosopher's stone" to turn base metals into gold, but in reality it is about the inner reach for Truth (turning the "base metal" of "I am me, and you aren't" into the "gold" of Self-Realization).


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