January 31, 2012

The Future of God and Science.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

Guest editor Deepak Chopra on why God's future depends upon science, and vice versa – and why sages and scientists should meet.

Our intention is not to pigeonhole anyone as sage or scientist or to join a camp for ideological reasons. There is a struggle going on between science and spirituality that will shape everyone's future, and if we each decide to join in, a blending may occur with magical consequences. What could be more fascinating? Together a complete engagement of the human faculties promises a more powerful and realistic basis for humanity's next evolutionary leap. The third international symposium of sages and scientists will be held at La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, California, March 3-5, 2012.

Which is more important in shaping your future, science or spirituality? For some this may sound like an empty question. Science has shaped our age; religion is a declining force in the West, as it has been for decades. A clock could be placed behind every pulpit, ticking off the thousands of people who leave organized faith behind, every hour of the day. But there is a growing movement that is repairing the rift between science and religion. It has nothing to do with the noisy band of atheists who continue to foment discord between faith and reason. Rather, science has reached a point where certain basic mysteries cannot be solved without resorting to the one thing that spirituality has always specialized in: consciousness.

Science is dominated by materialism, a worldview that traces all activity, including our imagination and creativity, to physical processes in the brain, and these processes are either chemically determined or random, depending on which strain of materialism you confront. Spirituality, which is much broader than religion, is based on the assumption that a transcendent reality exists beyond the physical world. This is the domain of higher consciousness, or if you are conventionally minded, the home of the soul and God.

To find a common ground could be difficult but one can try. The annual Sages and Scientists Symposium organized by the Chopra Foundation seeks to do just that by bringing together philosophers and scientists who are sympathetic with the search for a single reality that embraces science and wisdom. The worldwide financial meltdown is matched by a cultural pandemic of confusion and a desperate search for deeper values. A groundswell of knowledge and insight has been building. Its shared message is this: There is something else, a dimension of reality beyond the material world. Beyond us, but in our midst.

Scientists who are willing to venture into speculative thinking, joined by sages from the world's wisdom traditions, who are willing to look beyond arguments about God, face the same primal questions. Where did the universe come from? What preceded the Big Bang, before there was either "where" or "when"? A century after the quantum revolution in Physics, science has to face up to the vanishing act that the physical universe pulled, as matter and energy were both seen to emerge from a timeless state that is either an empty void (which no one accepts) or a field of infinite possibilities, a veritable womb of creation (which almost everyone is beginning to accept, however offended science may be by learning that the world's ancient sages and spiritual teachers knew about this timeless domain long before Physics arrived with its exact measuring devices).

The reason that your future and mine depends on the settling of these questions isn't what you might think. Science can proceed perfectly well in everyday affairs without thinking about "metaphysics," as materialists like to call spirituality. For its part, spirituality can keep appealing to individuals, one at a time as they arrive at personal crises, revelations, and awakenings. But what will be shortchanged is reality. Ultimately, worldviews are secondary. If X believes in Buddha and Y in thermodynamics, their two worlds can sit uneasily next to each other or simply not interact. But reality is a shared concern. It's also a topic we can't afford to leave to specialists. Where the cosmos came from means a great deal, because the answer will tell you where the human mind came from, and where it's going.

Is the universe conscious? If so, then our minds are embedded in the cosmic mind. Is the universe evolving? If so, that casts human evolution in a new light, along with the origin of life. These are not specialist questions. They go to the heart of the human condition.

Published by the Times if India

Write Your Comment

  1. Jim Farris

    Did anything come out of this after 2012?

  2. Barbara

    I agree with the need for spirituality and the recognition that more exists beyond empirical knowledge outside organized religions. I am very grateful that Deepak, 12-Step programs,Tich Nat Hahn, Mother Theresa, and others have worked and created to express and make available a way of life based on awareness of there being "more". For myself, following the way of life constantly being revealed is more useful than the knowledge of the origins of the universe, however intriguing and beautiful are the thoughts. I appreciate your meditation series, your books, your personal representation of a rich way of life that can't be measured quantitatively! What little I know about Brain research would back up your ideas: e.g., Daniel Spiegel. Namaste

  3. shadow hawk

    I see the emergence of science and spirituality (not religion(s)) as the next cosmic love affair...wherein the best of the latest scientific discoveries will find common ground with the wisdom of spirituality. I do agree that we`ve been led astray by an overly materialistic science but we have also been misled by conventional religion`s dogmatism with its rigid laws of morality and insistence that its tenants are the whole truth. Thank you for your brilliant insights over the years.

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