Science versus spirituality – two concepts that always seem at odds against one another. In today's world, too many people still believe that the two cannot coexist, or that seeking to understand something scientifically means that you can't appreciate it spiritually. However, this is certainly not the case. In fact, sometimes learning the science behind something gives you a more spiritual connection to it, or seeking a deeper spiritual truth helps you to better understand how something works. While the gap between these two subjects has existed for a long time, it is now starting to close.
Why Is There A Gap In The First Place?
To understand how science and spirituality can complement one another, it is important to first understand what each is trying to achieve. On one hand you have science, which is trying to understand how things work. The universe we live in has a set of rules, and the goal of science is to figure out what they are. It wants to figure out not only how things work, but why they work that way instead of some other way. Science is all about questioning what you know, and trying to learn more about the universe around us.
On the other hand you have spirituality. The definition of spirituality can be a broad one, however this definition sums it up nicely - “a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life.” Spirituality is more personal – it is concerned with our place in the universe, and how we fit into the grand scheme of things. While science tries to answer “how” spirituality focuses on the “why”.
So why is there a gap between the two? It often arises when the scientific explanation for something differs with the spiritual reason a person has developed. For example, let's say that a person develops a sense of connection with a rainbow in the sky – a sign from the universe that everything will work out okay. This spiritual connection can become marred if that person is told the rainbow only formed because sunlight was passing through water droplets in the air.
Where The Gap Is Closing
Knowing how something works does not always lessen a spiritual experience however. In fact, knowing the mechanics behind something can even make the spiritual connection even deeper. As an example, take the scientific discovery of DNA. We now know that the possible combinations formed by DNA vastly outnumbers the amount of people who have actually lived. It took a very specific set of circumstances for you to be born, and even a slight change could have resulted in you never living. This means that by simply being alive, you have already beaten incredible odds just to get here. It's hard not to feel a special place in the universe when you realize the odds against you being here at all are quite high.
Another scientific discovery sure to give you a deeper connection to the universe is that we are all made out of stardust. Most of the materials that we are made out of once came from dying stars, and still float through us to this day. So the next time you look up at the stars at night, remind yourself that those stars live inside you.
The Gap May Continue To Close
Science and spirituality may not always agree with one another, but the gap is certainly closing in some areas. As scientists continue to learn about the universe around us, people looking for a spiritual connection will continue to try and find our place in it. And while the gap may never close entirely, these two concepts will hopefully continue to work a little more closely together.