Science and Spirituality
--by Satish Kumar (Sep 01, 2003)
Science without spirituality seeks to work mainly in human interest and gives birth to technologies of comfort and convenience, as well as control and consumerism. Science denuded of deep values and the human spirit follows the lead given by money, military and materialism. Such science works for those who can pay for it, and doesn't accept any constraints or limits in its search to find the secrets of nature to meet insatiable human greed - particularly the greed of a powerful and privileged elite - very often at a great cost to other forms of life. A dispirited science is more likely to be misused and exploited by vested interests. So, science without spirituality is not only incomplete, it is also vulnerable and even dangerous.
On the other hand, spirituality without science is also incomplete. Such spirituality seeks otherworldliness and gives birth to institutionalised religions infected with dogmas, blind faith and fundamentalism. Spirit stripped of the daily concerns of human affairs follows the lead given by the gurus, priests and missionaries who promise their followers a place in heaven and inject fear of hell - thus exploiting the natural human urge for a spiritual fulfilment.
Science without spirituality has ill-served the Earth, and spirituality without science has degenerated into dogmatic exclusivity. [...]
While science can offer practical tools and knowledge for living, spirituality can offer meaning. We need both. When a rich mixture of science and spirituality is available to us, why should we think in terms of 'either/or'? Why not 'both ... and'? Why not celebrate the unity of physics and metaphysics? Information and transformation? Human ingenuity and imagination? Galileo and Gandhi? Einstein and Aquinas? Yes: the best of both worlds.
--Satish Kumar (more)