Science and Spirituality
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Most people think that science and spirituality are totally opposite fields of studies, but I can speak from my experience in both areas that they are two sides of the same coin. To me, the aim of science is to uncover the deepest spiritual truths, and the aim of spirituality is the search for the cause behind scientific fact. Physical scientists who have chosen science as their field are not much different from spiritual scientists who spend time engaged in the spiritual search.
They are both seeking the answers to the same question, but in different ways. They are both here to find the hidden laws of nature, the higher power that created everything, and use their discoveries to better the lives of others.
The physical scientists are trying to prove God to themselves through the outer eyes and ears, while the spiritual scientists are trying to prove God to themselves through their inner eyes and ears. While physical scientists gaze at the stars through powerful telescopes and listen to radio waves from distant stars through instrumentation, spiritual scientists gaze at the inner stars and listen to the inner music of the spheres through meditation. They both sit in silence, watching and waiting.
The Search for Answers
If we look at science today, we find that one of the goals scientists have is to discover how creation came into being, and how human beings came into being. By picking up signals from light-years away, we can get a glimpse of activity from the distant past whose light is only just reaching us now, billions of years later. Scientists are vying to see who can be the first to discover what happened at the moment of creation.
Why? Hidden within human beings is a desire to prove the existence of a force that brought us into creation. Few are satisfied with the theory that creation was a mere accident, a combustion of cosmic dust. Secretly, in every heart, lies the desire to have proof that there is God and we are soul, a part of God.
Science exists to uncover these deepest spiritual truths. On the other hand, those engaged in spirituality are trying to find the hidden cause behind what is scientific fact. They are interested in the scientific laws of nature, but wish to go behind the laws to find the divine law that brought everything into being. While scientists search through outer instrumentation, spiritual scientists search through the technique of meditation, using the instrumentation of their attention.
The Scientific Method to Find God
I find my scientific background as an engineer helped me question and study spirituality with the point of view of a scientist interested in the scientific method. In the scientific method, we test a hypothesis and carefully make observations. This scientific approach helped me prove the validity of spiritual experiences.
Similarly, my spiritual background enabled me to better pursue the study of science. Meditation helps us come in touch with a level of intuition and revelation that gives us the inspiration to uncover scientific truths.
As most scientists report, their discoveries came as inspiration. What is inspiration but tapping into the spiritual laws? Some of the greatest scientists, when questioned about their discoveries, point to spiritual inspiration or a divine power as the force behind their findings. Albert Einstein, who revealed the theory of relativity and made this nuclear age possible, once said, “I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research.”
How Science and Spirituality Work Together
I feel that science and spirituality make a great partnership. If those engaged in science spend some time in the silence of their own selves, inspiration will come and lead them to the answers for which they seek. Similarly, if those interested in spirituality apply the scientific law of testing hypotheses in the laboratory of their own body and soul, they will find the results.
Meditation to Reduce Stress
If we look at modern medicine, we find a whole new approach to healing. In the past we thought healing occurred by the administration of certain drugs. Those in a new field of medicine talk about the mind-body connection. They speak of healing the body by healing the mind and using the power of the soul. In some of the greatest medical institutions in the world, doctors are advocating meditation as a way to reduce stress and eliminate stress-related illnesses. Studies reveal that people who spend time in meditation recover sooner from surgery than those who do not. We are living in a wondrous age in which the lines between science and spirituality are being blurred.
Testing the Power of Meditation
As scientists we can test the power of meditation for ourselves and see where it leads us. To meditate we only need to sit in silence. We can sit in any pose most convenient, close our eyes, and look into the middle of darkness lying in front of us. We need to still our mind from thoughts that can distract us and take our attention away from the inner gaze.
Just as we stay focused in looking through a microscope or telescope, we need to stay focused in looking into a still point lying in front of us. Just as scientists see outer stars, we may be able to catch glimpses of inner lights of any color, inner stars, moons, and suns.
It is my hope that our scientific pursuits lead both to the discovery of ways to help make the world a better place as well as to the answers to the questions burning within us to uncover the greatest truths of all time—God, our soul, and the purpose of our life here on earth.