The question is often asked whether science and religion can coexist; it’s a false question based on faulty assumptions. Whatever emerges in our culture will be congruent with the eternal self that we all are, that is the only eternal, undying element in the universe. We will have a science that embodies religion, a religion that embodies science, or something entirely new that embodies both. Whatever it is will be molded not by our current, narrow conceptions of either science or religion, but by the emergent qualities of our understanding of and growth congruent with our eternal selves.
Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.
- Albert Einstein
A science that focuses only on controlling, counting, weighing, and measuring is a discipline of technical skills, perhaps even a craft, that is narrow, myopic, and limited as a mole whose blind universe is an inch before its digging paws. A religion that focuses only on compelling people to believe in and obey religious tenets is primitive and anachronistic, rather like a secret club with its memorized rituals, symbols, and signs of brotherhood, that serves no purpose and has no lasting benefits for members. Neither sees the eternal nature of the self; neither will produce anything that will matter to humankind 1,000 years from now.
Instead, the emerging science that embodies religion or religion that embodies science will view humankind from experiential and mystical perspectives as well as laboratory perspectives, using personal and inner-directed methods in science such as meditation and séances as well as controlling, measuring, weighing, and counting. All methods will be avenues to discovery and knowledge. No methods will be viewed as inappropriate or unacceptable. The spiritual will provide methods and insights for the study of the physical; the study of the physical will provide insights to enable people to grow spiritually. There will be no visible separation.
We are far from that androgynous marriage, however. That makes it difficult for us to conceive of it. However, we will need to conceive of science and of religion differently for it to come about. Knowing that humankind will mature inexorably toward the mature spiritual beings we are destined to become, at some point, science will mature to see and embrace the spiritual, and religion will adapt to or be replaced by the spiritual understanding that is the new form of science. It is inevitable—we just don’t know when it will happen.
Some indications are that it may be happening now at some levels. Stuart Hameroff, MD, of the Department of Anesthesiology, Arizona Health Sciences Center, describes tiny tubes inside cells that go into a special quantum state where they are open to knowledge from the universe, then changing into a conscious state where that knowledge is accessible to the brain to make consciousness. That happens perhaps 40 times a second so we don’t realize it’s happening. This knowledge outside of the brain, in the universe, is very much like what Plato described as ideal forms in the spiritual realm that result in creating the imperfect copies in the physical realm. Hameroff concludes his discussion of the theory with “. . . the connection to a Platonic fundamental reality provides a scientific avenue to spirituality.”