I caught a Sunday morning television programme this week that walked the ancient, and well-trod, path of Religion vs Science. The religious fraternity said science doesn’t have all the answers while the scientists said belief stood in the way of scientific truths, and wanted us back in the ‘dark ages’.
Nothing was resolved, of course – but it hasn’t in the hundreds of years the debate has raged, so the odds were against a breakthrough last Sunday. And when religion comes up against science, nothing will ever be resolved. They are two belief sets, or dogmas, that will inevitably clash. Religious fundamentalists believe, for instance, that the world began in 4400 BC, while science says that is clearly nonsense.
But go a layer beneath Religion and Science – to the inspiration of both structures – and you find accord. The founding spirit of science is genuine, open-minded enquiry into the world and the way it works, while that of religion is the need to understand the self and spirit.
Wonderful and inspiring discoveries from the inner and outer quest are then solidified, if not sanctified, in the churches of science and religion. They become discoveries to be codified, catalogued and defended – to the death, if necessary.
We are the same. We build a self from experiences and discoveries that becomes solid and substantial. But it’s not real because it isn’t true; instead, it’s a facsimile of the past, just as religion and scientism are.
There’s nothing to defend or protect. The truth is available every moment – and when you see that, you also go to the deeper layer of inspiration where you’ll see that inner and outer enquiry are the same movement.
But what would we watch on Sunday mornings?