Last week we discussed how materialist science took hold of the Western world view. This week we’ll speak about the effect this had on religion and the spiritual vacuum it created as well as a third path out of this dilemma.
Suppressed by the Church for centuries, science lashed out on all fronts with a vengeance. Because creation, life, and reality could now apparently be explained by materially based processes, any notion of God, higher intelligence, or transcendent consciousness was taken out of the equation. God was dead. The materialist orientation spread to every form of human thought. The Bible was systematically deconstructed and relegated to amusing myth at best, harmful mind control at worst. And, ironically, the success of science in taking down religion was predicated on the fact that traditional Western religion was itself materially based despite purporting to be spiritual.
Orthodox Christianity misunderstood the archetypical, symbolic meaning of the Christian story. Instead of seeing Jesus’ advent as a seminal event of higher revelation, it concentrated on a virgin birth. Instead of understanding the meaning behind the profound spiritual wisdom he taught, it concentrated on physical miracles. Instead of perceiving the crucifixion as a metaphor for the way human fear and ego crucify the divine spark trying to awaken within us, it concentrated on the physical agony of his death as a blood sacrifice for our sins. Finally, instead of seeing the resurrection as the awakening of dormant divine wisdom within us while still alive, it perceived the resurrection as physical bodies rising from the grave.
This focus on literal and material interpretations left traditional religion right on the home field of materialist science. Dismantling the historicity and miracles of the Bible or, at least, casting grave doubt on them, was easy using scientific material rationalism. After all, you can mathematically quantify the apple falling from the tree, but how can you prove a formula for raising the dead?
THE POLARIZATION AND FRAGMENTATION OF HUMANITY
The shift from religion to science has had a profound effect on the psychology, feelings, and outlook of every person on the planet. We now live in a polarized world. The assault of science has driven many people back into a limiting, fundamentalist interpretation of God and religion, often with violent results. Islamic fundamentalism is largely a reaction to people’s religious comfort being torn out from under them by the onslaught of a modern, materialistic world outlook.
In the middle of this polarization is a large gray area of people who are confused and disheartened. Thanks to science they no longer believe in religion, but in facing life’s difficult problems they have an innate spiritual yearning that persists like a smoldering ember, and atheistic science can never satisfy that need. Traditional religion and traditional science have one other thing in common besides their materialistic outlooks on life—they have both done an efficient job of suppressing the human spirit.
In next week’s article, we’ll begin to discuss the Third Way, a new paradigm supported by the advanced sciences and ancient spiritual wisdom
THE THIRD WAY
Another path exists to explain creation, reality, and the human dilemma. It is a path of hope, for it unifies advanced sciences such as quantum physics with the core precepts of an ancient spiritual wisdom buried within every major religion on earth. As more people become aware this relationship, it will transform our lives in ways that will liberate us from literal religion and atheistic science. It will provide a viable framework to understand many of life’s mysteries and put some sense of control back in our lives.
Let’s begin with the scientific side of the ledger. Quantum physics is turning traditional science on its head the same way materialist science turned traditional religion upside down. Quantum physics demonstrates that material particles do not exist in and of themselves in a fundamental or natural state. What exists is really waves of light smeared across infinity, a cosmic menu of all possible outcomes or choices, if you will. Only when observed by a conscious observer does the possibility wave collapse into an observable point particle and become physical reality.
Other startling phenomena exist at the quantum level. Particles are able to communicate with one another instantaneously over vast distances in a non-local manner, meaning with no apparent connective medium or signal between them. Einstein called this process “spooky.” Particles can also make quantum leaps where an electron disappears at one level of energy or orbit and reappears at a higher level without any intervening movement. That would be like the earth disappearing and suddenly popping into the sun without passing through Mercury, Venus, or Mars.
Quantum physics is showing that the particles on which materialist science is based do not behave at all like the classic Newtonian model. It’s showing that mind or consciousness does not behave at all like Descartes’ dualist philosophy states. It’s shooting holes in Darwin’s version of human origins and creation. Most importantly, it indicates that creation was not a bottom-up process of particles- to molecules- to organisms- to brains- to consciousness. Rather it was a top-down process beginning with consciousness.