The Third Way (Part 1)

The Great Divide

Most people in the Western world, consciously or unconsciously, fluctuate between two polar orientations toward life—a religious vs. a secular outlook, which is driven by people’s perceptions of modern science. On the extreme ends, religion tends to be close-minded and promotes an “us and them” mentality. Secular extremes promote a kind of smug, elitist intolerance that sees religion as the last refuge of the Neanderthals.

In this series of articles we will address a third paradigm, a spirituality compatible with the advanced new sciences.

Both religion and science are two branches of human endeavor that deal with the most basic questions of our existence—who we are, where did we come from, why are we here, and what is the nature of the world in which we live? Philosophy too deals with these questions, but philosophy is really a bridge or a by-product of these two more fundamental pillars of inquiry into the human condition. The thing is, a sharp divide appears to exist in the way religion and science study and approach these questions so that the average person has to choose between which is the correct view.

Religion Versus Science

How do you believe that life started? How is it maintained? Was it all caused by random particle interactions that somehow created increasingly complex organisms and ultimately led to life? Or, do you believe that life originated through the actions of a deity? Perhaps you simply just don’t know and belong to vast gray area of those who chose to ignore the tough questions and just forge ahead with life. But any way you cut it, your basic conscious or subconscious convictions about these matters influence the quality of your personal life and the character of our cultures, institutions, nations, and human conditions.

The belief that life is pure random chance as traditional science says has led to a certain secular, existentialist outlook of how you live and conduct yourself. It might cause conscious or subconscious feelings of futility and fear, both of which have consequences for physical and psychological wellbeing. Of course, believing in God doesn’t necessarily immunize you from problems, and people can certainly hold distorted, fearful notions of God. Misguided religious zealots often cause far more damage than morally responsible atheists. So, how can we proceed to a better understanding of life?

Ironically, fear is the common denominator between secularism and religion as practiced in the Western world. It is the fear of not truly knowing at a gut level that we are part of a continuing whole as opposed to separated, transient specks that might permanently blip out of existence at any time. Fear and religion are commonly equated, but fear and science? Realize that one characteristic of traditional science is that it analyzes parts like the physicians who specialize in hearts, eyes, and bones rather than looking at the body as an integrated whole. This approach is fragmented and it promotes a fragmented, fearful view of life limited to what the five senses can detect, and the five senses cannot detect very much.

But a way does exist to transcend the limitations of secular science and traditional religion. It has to do with the practice of acquiring a particular type of knowledge and experience that puts you in contact with a higher intelligence. Such an experience gives you a certainty that you exist within a larger framework than the visible, material world. It opens you to receiving information to help you perceive new patterns in the fabric of life. Such knowledge can guide you to evolve physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It can help you become independent of the beliefs and dogmas of others because it is not based on faith but personal experience. The basis of this knowledge has support in both the new sciences and recovered ancient spiritual traditions. This is a Third Way, a spiritual path supported by quantum science leading to realms beyond the limitations of materialistic science and traditional religion.

In the next article, we’ll discuss the foundations of traditional religion and traditional science leading to the revelation of a new paradigm for viewing life.


Peter Canova
Peter Canova
PETER is a multi-award winning author, speaker, and inspirational visionary. His book, Pope Annalisa has won ten national and international book awards. The theme underlying Peter's body of work is that all people have the ability to transcend their ordinary consciousness and experience information from a higher source within themselves. He conducted thirty-five years of research into ancient spiritual texts, quantum physics, and psychology to understand the startling psychic experiences that altered his life. He learned that modern science is only rediscovering the astonishing teachings of ancient spiritual traditions concerning the creation and the true nature of physical reality. Peter's dynamic presentations have captivated many different interest groups on a variety of topics including artistic creativity, the holographic nature of our universe, the Mystery Schools, the lost teachings of Judeo- Christianity, Mary Magdalene and the early women of the Church, the Sacred Feminine, spiritual vs. Darwinian evolution, the Third Way between science and religion, the intelligent nature of light, and the wisdom in creation myths. He has been the subject of numerous radio and TV interviews and has spoken at a variety of high profile events including the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment where he was the kick-off presenter for a roster of speakers including Eckhart Tolle, Jim Carrey, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Jean Houston, Edward James Olmos, and Fred Alan Wolf. He has been a featured speaker at the Conscious Living Expo, the New Living Expo, the Unity Church National Convention, and the Centers for Spiritual Living National Convention. See Peter's Books HERE.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. I’m certain you would like Jordan Peterson.

    We are hardwired for both religion and for logic. So when we explore and understand ourselves and the universe, we must take these things in mind. We have biases that will blind us to what actually is. And in doing so, we create a new reality that may be more real than the actual reality we live in.

    If we want to succeed, we have to see reality what is, then mold this real reality into what we want it to be.

    • Chris, I did check out his video. Yes, it was interesting. From his first comments, I thought he was going to end up in a different place than he did.

    • I don’t remember if he said it in this video, but Dr Peterson talks a lot about how abstractions of reality can be more real than reality itself. For me it’s more on how people behave. If people behave that it’s real, it’s real to them.

    • I think you could say it’s how people behave at one level, but at a deeper level mind is the builder of reality. It’s how one thinks and feels at deeply held levels that determines behavior and what we experience as reality.

      I say deeply held because here’s the catch: the human mind is really three interpenetrated minds–conscious, subconscious, and superconscious. Actually, you could say four if we consider the unconscious, but let’s simplify things.

      The conscious mind is our personality. The subconscious is the bridge between our physical experience and our soul-mind, and the superconscious is our spiritual source.

      The key is the subconscious.I
      f there is a dissonance between the conscious and subconscious, the subconscious wins every time. This is because the conscious is our outer personality shaped by sensory experience while the subconscious is our connection to the higher transpersonal information that actually shapes our physical reality.

      If we bring the conscious in line with the subconscious, we actualize ourselves in psychological terms experiencing the fullness of what existence can be. But to the extent our consciousness behaves in discord with our inner guidance from the subconscious, our reality becomes discordant.

    • The mind is a very complicated thing. The models we build of how the mind works is similar to a Markov Chain.

      When we study the mind, we are really studying the behaviors people demonstrate. From there we abstract how the mind works. Consciousness and subconsciousness are such abstractions to help us better understand the human mind. But are they the right abstractions?

      There are studies that show other parts of the body can think, react and remember. Rather than our brain being the thinking center of our body, our brain cooperates with the rest of our body to help us perceive and navigate our environment. Studies show are body operates more like a chaotic machine than a linear one.

      One thing is clear. When we meditate or pray, it changes how everything works, from our minds, our brains and our bodies. Some of us can call that spirituality or giving ourselves over to a higher power.

      Or are we rediscovering a more primordial mechanism that we at one time used to think and connect with the rest of humanity?

      We know very little about ourselves; often confusing how something should work with how something could work.

    • I agree with many of your points. I tend to see these things through the prism of consciousness because I believe consciousness is primary. Though consciousness is not directly observable by the scientific method, it does leave its footprints.

      You were on to one example of how the brain acts in concert with body cells to navigate our environment, which is an act of intelligence. In previous articles, I described experiments that showed human DNA samples can organize photons of light and communicate with each other over distances. That connecting link is the activity of mind energy or consciousness expressing itself absent the brain, which is the perishable physical vehicle preexisting mind uses to express itself as a body in the material world.

      The conscious and subconscious are not as abstract as you may think though. We can measure their distinct states of activity through brain waves, the deepest impressions on our actions being made at certain frequencies as in meditation, prayer, or hypnosis. This gets into your point about behavior as indicative of mind activity.

    • Note that there is no evidence to say where consciousness or subconsciousness is in the brain. They’re just not sure. Some think brain size maybe involved. So any brain measurements are suspect when it involves measuring or proving consciousness.

    • I wasn’t speaking to where the conscious/subconscious resides in the brain but rather to the operative foot prints mind and consciousness leave in their wake. When you say “they” cannot detect the location of these things in the brain I assume you mean scientists and, of course, that’s correct. Science is limited to what it can physically detect and measure.

      Referring to the experiments described in the previous articles and even to phenomena like quantum entanglement of particles, science has no definitive answers. But, just like science infers the presence of directly unobserved forces like dark energy, we can infer the operations of mind and consciousness in the phenomena previously discussed. Some scientists like Bohm, Planck, Jeans, and others have done exactly this.

      Now, your observations and my response are coming from a scientific orientation, but that’s just one approach and a limited one at that. Certain spiritual masters and sages would tell you they have experienced Mind and underlying Consciousness and gained “real world” information from them.

      This metaphysical experience picks up at the point where scientific hypotheses leaves off. Scientists know that, like consciousness, our dimension came from a point beyond space and time. Spiritual and metaphysical means are more suited to render accurate information than science as to what might lie on the other side of that singularity.