Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 30 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
Life Arts    H3'ed 1/21/17

Science, Religion, or Both?

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   14 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert De Filippis
Become a Fan
  (30 fans)

open minded
open minded
(Image by Eddi van W.)
  Details   DMCA

The foundational premise of my new book, Unexplained Consciousness Events: Exploring the Possibilities, is that at the deepest level of the universe lies truth that is only revealed in mythos. Like a Zen koan, it blows the rational mind and provokes great doubt that can only be comforted with faith in the unknowable.

Science tells us one story and religion another. Neither is complete. Neither offers absolutes. Together they offer profound new questions. In union, they can give us a depth of understanding that leads to a new level of comfort and assurance.

We live in a universe that will never reveal all of its secrets. We do not have the capacity to understand them, let alone even identify all the variables. We have suspected this since we became conscious and created great religious allegories to point to what we know is here and beyond our rational minds to comprehend.

Now science is beginning to explain some of those mysteries and expose us to levels of reality we couldn't have dreamed of a mere century ago. As we reveal them we stand in awe at what we find. Our scientific models cannot be reconciled. Our religious metaphors fade by comparison to what we are beginning to see.

It is beyond me or the scope of this book to make assertions about this enigmatic universe. But the scientists I quote throughout agree on one basic principle; this is a mysterious place that defies our ability to provide a comprehensively coherent explanation of its existence.

But there is good news here and it comes from reconnecting to our ancient wisdoms. In her book, The Battle for God, former nun Karen Armstrong draws an important distinction between mythos and logos. In times past, people evolved two ways of thinking, speaking, and acquiring knowledge, which she referred to as mythos and logos. They were complementary ways of finding the truth so both were needed.

Mythos looked to allegories that revealed truths only appreciated at the deepest levels of the human mind. Today, we call this subjective experience. Logos was the rational, the pragmatic, the factual, the so-called objective. Today we call this the scientific method. Mythos doesn't come from the rational mind. Nor does the rational mind come from mythos. But together they make up the whole of human experience.

Now, we've arrived at a time when the mythos, the subjective, has been devalued in favor of the logos; the objective, scientific explanation of reality.

There's a clue to our dilemma in Armstrong's words, "In the premodern world, both mythos and logos were regarded as indispensable. Each would be impoverished without the other. Yet the two were essentially distinct, and it was held to be dangerous to confuse mythical and rational discourse."

If we're going to understand our scientific discoveries at the most fundamental level of reality, we need both methods. Mythos provides the context for the rational explanations of science. Without mythological context, our scientific explanations are empty. Without scientific explanations, our mythologies drift into the idolatry of ideologies. When we ignore one or the other, science and religion remain incomplete as does our understanding.

Don't accept my claims at face value. Look at the evidence that surrounds us. The destruction of the planet, the inequalities of wealth, the broken politics of special interests, the worship of money. These are all results of a scientism, the belief that science has the answer to every question because the universe is an indifferent mechanical place with no meaning. That the rational mind is all we need to think up the next great idea and solve the problem of infinite growth and consumption on a finite planet.

The mythos is all but dead in postmodern American. But the joke is on us. Try to understand what we're finding at the fundamental level of this mysterious cosmos rationally. The greatest minds on the planet go tilt. The largest machine every built by human beings, the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, points to deeper and deeper mysteries but every new finding results in more questions.

If we're going to save ourselves, we'd better be reconnecting the many places we've disconnected. We will only understand the cosmic mysteries with our whole capacity and that calls for the mythos and the logos to come together again.

Robert De Filippis

Must Read 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Robert De Filippis Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Author, columnist, and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I've authored and published eight books: "You, Your Self and the 21st Century,"The Flowers Are Talking to Me," and "Faith (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Illinois Is Now on Board. We Can Carry Concealed Weapons in Every State.

Don't be Fooled: Black Racism Causes White Racism

What Jesus said and What the Christian Lunatic Fringe Hears.

The Primary American Meme: Be Afraid.

This Pope Makes Me Want to be an Atheist

Ethan Couch: An Example of the Pathology of Wealth

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend