Many times when I am teaching spirituality, I run into the question of the scientific validity and proof that spirituality is true, real. I suspect that happens because of my scientific background - like attracts like. I certainly had to move past old beliefs rooted in science to be open to something bigger. That doesn't mean I have abandoned science. It means that when I need to be in MIND, I use science. When I need to be in SOUL, I use something else.
My own path found me resistant to energy work. I studied Therapeutic Touch because it had so much nursing research being conducted, and it was being taught by nurses. I probably like Deepak Chopra so much because he talks about research in what he does. Dr. Christian Northrup unites medicine and spiritual awareness. And the Quantum Activist is the ultimate union of the science and spirituality. I recognize whole heartedly that there can be and is significant criticism of the science reflected by all of those teachers. And that very criticism opens a great conversation.
Science is a tool for understanding and controlling the physical world. It is a tool for uncovering facts that are repeatable and measurable. That is how the physical world is organized. It is governed by law, by repeatable rules. I remember explaining to a physical scientist how excited I was by my dissertation findings. I told him the results of my multiple regression (a predictive statistical analysis) and he immediately offered me condolences on my failure. My regression had a .83, meaning my theory could account for 83% of what was observed. In psychology, that is a really excellent finding. In physical science, any number lower than 95 to 98 is unacceptable. So, right there in the science, we have assumptions made about what the acceptable threshold reflects as "truth".
In psychology and medicine, we use research techniques to control for placebo effects. For a long time, we considered the phenomenon of healing because you believe you are being treated with a cure as some form of error term. We saw it as a flaw. In science now, the placebo effect is worthy of study. It isn't much different than the research in quantum physics that says what we observe changes and is effected by the observer. This seems like an important area of inquiry into the human potential.
I have friends who see science as the only truth. And to me, that is when science starts to be a lot like religion. Religion requires you to accept one doctrine of truth, one set of values that are acceptable. It creates one scenario of living. Decisions are made based on likely outcomes, and most possibilities are laid out linearly, with little expectation of variation. Science does not like variation. We control for variation. If you want to live in the physical plane only, I think science is a really great tool for that world.
I am not criticising that world. I use science in my day to day work all the time. I am excellent at taking several data points and connecting them into what they could be saying. I am a fan of asking "Other than your own opinion, what do you base that decision on?". I know that we use beliefs in decision making, and part of my job is looking for biases that limit a business's performance. And I use data for that. Quantitative data and qualitative inquiry are big parts of my work.
But, at some point it is possible to wake up and see that there are other layers than the ones in the physical world. And even science suggests this to be true. We are seeing greater convergence in the thinking and findings of science and spirituality than ever before. I suspect that is a reflection of shifts in global consciousness. It is beautiful and exciting. It is exciting because it is open to more potential. Even if in the end that potential flies in the face of what I believe, I love that the conversation is now happening.
I am currently working through the book E Squared. "E-Squared could best be described as a lab manual with simple experiments to prove once and for all that reality is malleable, that consciousness trumps matter, and that you shape your life with your mind. Rather than take it on faith, you are invited to conduct nine 48-hour experiments to prove there really is a positive, loving, totally hip force in the universe. Yes, you read that right. It says prove. The experiments, each of which can be conducted with absolutely no money and very little time expenditure, demonstrate that spiritual principles are as dependable as gravity, as consistent as Newton’s laws of motion. For years, you’ve been hoping and praying that spiritual principles are true. Now, you can know. "
I can tell you that the results of the experiments line up with one's beliefs and consciousness. I have been doing it with my 6 year old. She manifests results more easily, possibly because she has less stuff in the way. But we are both getting results. Are they consistent with the scientific method? Probably not. They are not repeatable in that I will get different results as I shift my consciousness. So, I worked on manifesting a purple feather, and it showed up on a hat on a TV character, not in my hand. Later, I manifested a free movie ticket - a very tangible item. As I practice, my results are more in line with my intent. But it takes practice. Science does not take practice - it observes what already is in existence in the physical realm. But even there, it cannot predict with certainty if you will develop cancer, or if you will be better at hockey or soccer. There is still room for pure potential to manifest, even with science.
I can tell you that I live in a world of potential. That is what hope is to me - the knowing that more is possible, even in the face of circumstances that tell you otherwise. I cannot live a life that is not filled with pure potential. And that is why science is a limited religion: it confirms what is. Only what is.