I have always considered myself as someone who has attempted to bridge science and the sacred but what does that mean?
In my early days of teaching cell medicine, I reflected that both science and spirituality were looking for answers about the same thing – life. The only difference was how they looked for answers. Science required evidence, an intellectual pursuit. The approach from the spiritual perspective was more subjective. It is experiential and personal, no data necessary. Though kept as 2 distinct disciplines they are not separate.
What triggered my revisiting science and the sacred this week was Dacher Keltner’s book on Awe and the Marginalian’s articles on science and spirituality. Both of these treasures help bring the two different ways of looking at life into one. I am now reading Carl Sagan’s book The Varieties of Scientific Experience, his Gifford lectures on natural theology and what a treasure trove this is.
Sagan, like many great scientists did not separate science from the sacred. Since, after all they started their explorations from a place of wonder and not knowing. A place of awe.
I look at my journey as a research scientist, my curiosity was piqued by wanting to cure disease and learn how cells worked. I had to See them at work to be launched into a sense o awe that drove me further into what if and how.
I canceled my awe course last month because I didn’t know enough. I will be offering a new awe next month because there is so much we can gain for our body and soul. And it’s not only facts.
Awe lets us experience something miraculous and can provide us with amazing health benefits – so try a little awe today.
Take a 20 minute walk outside, look for beauty, wonder. At night, look to the skies.
Awe is all around us if we simply open our eyes and heart.
For me, science became sacred because of the awe that I saw.
Here are some useful links to explore the marriage of science and spirituality: