By Jonathan Stoll
While we regard Dr. Ravi Ravindra as a spiritual heavyweight, Ravi humbly suggests he might more accurately think of himself as a little bird who might just fly. With Ravi we soar to new depths of exploring the soul and the connections between science and the spirit. The PhD physicist has a scientific mind and a spiritual genius about him.
I tend to think that we commonly make the mistake of separating the spiritual and the scientific. Scientists are often regarded as being atheist. As it goes, you either believe in the Big Bang or God. But can't the Big Bang be God, and the God be the Big Bang? The conception of God as a Man in the Sky has somehow become the prevailing understanding of God. God, thus, caused the Big Bang, just as He answers our prayers. This Deity listens to us, interacts with us, and is often described by human characteristics.
I, however, believe that God is within us, and we are within God. God is Energy. God is the Big Bang. There is that of God with you, and that of God within me. If species evolve, perhaps God does, as well. And paradoxically, God is an ever, eternal constant that remains the same. Perhaps, instead, it's our conception of God that must evolve.
That's another reason science and spirituality are often positioned against each other. Those who subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Bible, Koran or other sacred texts believe they were revealed by God (which like this blog post may certainly be the case) and that God created man from clay rather than man evolving from primates or other forms of Life. Hence the debate of Evolution and Creation, with science on one side and the religious on the other.
Additionally, we tend to conflate spirituality with religion. And it may be true that many scientists are not religious (or elect to sequester their religious beliefs for fear of reprisal), but the tendency of characterizing scientists as atheists and agnostics is not accurate at all. This is a failure of non-scientists like me on the outside looking in to the scientific community and projecting our understanding of God onto them. The reality is that there is significant diversity in how we may come to define "God." The non-scientists often fails to understand how the scientist has come to define God.
The scientist is committed to scientific research. Scientific research is centered by hypotheses, questions and theories. A theory is simply a question that seeks to explain why something happens. If x, then y, because of z. The questions, therefore, are more important than the answers. Some scientists several hundred years ago stopped asking questions when they were certain they had arrived at an answer to "Why is the world flat?" The question itself makes a false suggestion. Scientists largely accepted this as Truth until others questioned this and proposed new theories and questions. Through experimentation and scientific research, new theories and evidence were provided to prove the Earth is not flat, but round.
The scientific research and the spiritual search are connected by the humility to acknowledge that we may be wrong. That there may very well be information that we do not yet know or have not yet discovered.
Those committed to a spiritual search recognize that there is never a destination. We are, in fact, becoming. We grow closer to God as we discern Truth and question our faith. Questioning our faith may cause some to lose their faith, while it may lead others to develop an even stronger relationship with God. The spiritual search, I believe, involves a commitment to discover connections. Connections between each other. Connections between Life. Connection between Life and God, us and God. Connections between mind, body and soul. People who do this are often referred to as being spiritual, faithful or traveling a particular path. We like to call them the Soul Force Ones.