The problem or stumbling block for Western man in the past few centuries (since perhaps the 1600s) is that he believes that the spiritual ought to be subject to, and delineated by, the laws of physical science. Here is the problem, and truly, it ought to be obvious to all.
The laws that govern physical science and physical phenomena are not applicable to the non-physical. Denying the existence of a spiritual plane of existence because it cannot be observed, measured, or dissected by the material methods and physical instruments of physical science is not an authentic scientific position. Science, and those who look to science for answers need to admit the limitations of science. An honest, objective and dispassionate position here is that science is not competent to pass judgment on matters of the spirit. (We have discussed this previously on this blog. The interested reader can peruse earlier essays on this topic.)
We, in the West, have in the past few centuries allowed the rational (logical, linear) part of our thinking to become too dominant. This trend has developed over time at the expense of the intuitive part of our minds. In a sense, we have developed tunnel vision and have lost needed perspective, and we think of matters of the spirit as being akin to superstition. We are out of balance. Science cannot heal what ails us for ours is a disease (as in dis-ease) of the spirit, not of the body. For all his science, the modern atheist (and this includes many PhDs who speak authoritatively on a wide range of subjects) is quite ignorant. Here we define ignorance as being unaware of what one is unaware of. (Such a state is hard to escape or break free from. You can’t do it alone.) Denying the spiritual dimension of man serves to close one’s mind. All during the time that people believed the world was flat it was actually round. Even with atheism, materialistic thinking, secularization, and philosophic and moral nihilism on the rise in our culture, the spiritual reality still exists even if few can see it.
Our feature image is a photograph of a painting in the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco (from our visit there late in July).
Some may think these scenes are beautiful.
But would these be beautiful scenes if there were no one to observe these? Without consciousness, sentience, perhaps beauty is empty and meaningless. In a human context, inner beauty can exist even when no other humans recognize it or appreciate it.
While finishing up my undergraduate studies at university, I took a philosophy course (or class) that dealt with beauty and art. There were diverse arguments or postulates that our perception and appreciation of beauty were, or could be, either objective or subjective. One could take his or her pick of which position to adopt. Such over thinking seems to be characteristic of the West since the times of ancient Greeks. In the East, with a touch of zen, the direct perception of beauty would simply be experienced, enjoyed and savored in the immediacy of the moment.
Here, at land’s end in San Francisco last Sunday, we capture this scene of overcast sky, trees and sea.
There is an idea that we as individuals may be a part of a larger conscious entity that is simultaneously living multiple lives in different realities, or on different planes of existence or different dimensions. This raises the possibility of multiple versions or editions of ourselves. One may wonder what the purpose of such multiple lives might be. Perhaps the more rapid harvesting of the lessons gained from diverse experiences for the “over mind” is the purpose.
How do we explain consciousness?
Philosophy really cannot help us. All philosophy can do is to assert that consciousness is logically plausible; but that does not explain how or why consciousness arises or exists or persists through time.
What about science?
“There is no God.” – is a statement of faith, not of science. Really, the statement is an assertion.
People who self identify as atheists often think that science supports their chosen position or is “on their side”. True, many in the scientific community are atheists and others say they are agnostic. And, that is the danger. Those people of science have much prestige and command much respect in today’s world. Yet, science has its limitations. (Gasp) Yes, it really does have limitations albeit you rarely hear such talk from those in science.
I wake up in the night. My heart is pounding in my chest. My breathing is short and quick. I can feel the blood coursing in my ears. It feels as though a freight train slamming through the metal diamonds at a rail crossing is in my head.
Let’s discuss death and the primal fear of it that we humans cling to.
When we are young, we have so much hope and optimism. There is much novelty in life that excites, entices, and seduces us. We have dreams of happiness and success. We envision our efforts and sacrifices bearing much fruit in the future. This youthful hope and optimism become harder to maintain when we are older. Our zest for life is tested over the years as the process of living is itself an ongoing struggle.
Our feature image is of floor tiles in a fast food restaurant’s eating area in Las Vegas.