The relationship between science and religion is no longer friendly. In the Middle Ages, the dominion of religion over science brought obscurantism and regression. However, the scientific flourishing has shaken the foundation of religions, bringing down beliefs and dogmas.
Science has destroyed, little by little, mythological figures and gods, often created for the purpose of filling the gaps left by human ignorance in the face of nature’s phenomena.
Our mental faculties have been substantially developed since our primitive ancestors. Whereas, in the past, myths were reasonable explanations for climate changes, today, it is common knowledge concepts such as atoms and vibration fields. This development of man’s state of mind can no longer bow down to dogmas and religious impositions, often rejecting beforehand any religious knowledge, developing a potential to skepticism.
However, although we see a conflict between scientific and religious thought, we can see that both have similar motivations. Science seeks to uncover the role of the human being in the universe, while religion seeks answers that contemplate the meaning of human existence. On the one hand, religion carries a yearning for transcendence, but it is rooted in dogmas that limit the human being in his understanding of the world. On the other hand, science employs rational thought without dogmas, but tends to skepticism and has in our time developed a dominant mainstream suppressing alternative approaches.
Speaking of religion
When speaking of religion we can initially investigate its etymology. One of the meanings of the word religion comes from the Latin, religio, as a set of beliefs in something higher, or worship and reverence for the sacred. This meaning contemplates its dogmatic character.
However, there is a deeper meaning of the word religion, which also originates from Latin, religare, whose closest translation would be reconnection, binding firmly, uniting the human with its deeper essence, with the divine.
In this sense, the idea of reconnection assumes that man is separated from something and that there is the possibility of reunification. We can say that religions and even many philosophical movements incite the human being to realize this reconnection with the divine. This search for the divine generated a universal wisdom that sought to answer the most profound questions about our human origin, generating reflections on existential conflicts and especially on the purpose of life.
In this search for the essential, for the divine, for the transcendence, we can conclude that many religions have, in essence, brought to humanity the same message. Each religion in a particular way, according to the language proper to their time, with the state of consciousness of humanity and with the historical and geographical setting, like a crystal that spreads different facets of a single essence.
It happens that, after its apex, many of these religious movements lose their original character, sometimes by power struggle, disagreement of interpretations or deviation from its authentic goal. There remains a cultural and intellectual production perpetuated through doctrines that no longer carry the force of their essence. Like vessels without content, all that remains are dogmas and blind faith.
Speaking of science
Science, on the other hand, breaks all these dogmas by placing man before the empirical facts of which human understanding can comprehend and analyze. In this way, science represents the freedom of a human being not having to believe in what is not proved, to not have to submit to an external authority, be it a master, a priest or an institution.
In the course of its development, however, science has also acquired dogmatic features. The scientific community has created a power structure that tends to maintain its paradigms and especially claims the sole right to explain the nature of reality. We are lead to believe that only those things exist that can be experienced by our five senses (extended by technology). This kind of skepticism closes the eyes to the fact that in the past and presence there are numerous reliable testimonies for the existence of finer layers of reality.
People in our time tend to believe what scientists say, for hardly anyone has the possibilities to check their results. At the same time, however, we can observe how fast the theories and paradigms of science are changing. The philosopher Karl Popper points out that the theories of science are never proved but can be falsified by new experiments.
Science does not encompass knowledge of the practical and inner life of a human being, which has always been the domain of philosophy and religion. Therefore, scientific thinking alone is incomplete, not lending itself to answering the existential questions of man.
Both forms of inquiry are needed
Therefore, anyone who wants to understand such questions needs to reconcile science and religion so that they do not cling to dogmas, have inner autonomy, and use rational understanding in seeking some sort of realization in the religious domain.
We might even say that science is an ally of religion as it indicates the existence of a higher intelligence as a great force in architecting the whole by showing the grandeur, perfection, and organization of the cosmos and nature. Einstein said that “without God, the universe is not satisfactorily explicable” and also “the religion of the future will be cosmic and will transcend a personal God, avoiding dogmas and theology.”
That said, we can see that it is possible to reconcile religious and scientific thinking in the search for truth. There is a well-known phrase attributed to Helena Blavatsky, and later Theosophy’s motto, which exclaims: “There is no religion superior to truth”. The Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdiaiev also made the same statement, saying: “There is nothing superior to the search for truth and the love of it. The only and all-embracing truth is God, and the knowledge of the truth is a penetration into the divine life. “
The search for truth seems to be rooted within man. It has been assumed by probably all cultures that there is an “element of truth” hidden within the human being. It was called “mustard seed” by the original Christians, “lotus flower” by Buddhists, Tao by Taoists or Atman by Hindus. To the consciousness of the rational man of today the Spiritual School of the Rosycross speaks of the “spirit-spark atom.”
Because of its divine origin this atom is the truth in itself. It is the absolute, the immutable and the true reality. By reconnecting with this divine principle in our heart, we can find absolute and imperishable truth within ourselves, as a living possession and not as intellectual competence. And by drinking from this wisdom man can realize an inner transformation, the true inner religion. This reconnection enables man, in autonomy and freed from external impositions, to witness the direct and first-hand connection with the divine consciousness.
In order to live fully in this new reality, man becomes a seeker of truth and takes upon himself the great task of transforming his egocentric biological consciousness into a new consciousness stemming from divine wisdom. For this, he must abandon his imperfection and separateness in self-surrender to the truth in itself. This process can be very painful since attachment and self-preservation is the structural characteristic of the natural man.
The seeker of truth must submit scientific thought to his inner intuition coming from his new consciousness, and at the same time to question all religious thinking to ascertain whether it comes from divine truth, and verifying whether it is in conformity with the divine science of all things.