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A God-shaped Hole To Fill

science of spirituality
A God-shaped Hole To Fill
By: Amy Edelstein on Feb 24, 2012 | 1701 View s | 22 Responses
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Evolutionary theologian JOHN F HAUGHT says to AMY EDELSTEIN that in the discourse on belief between science and spirituality, something crucial is missing and the blank needs to be filled You ve spoken about the Darwinian recipe for evolution as random events plus natural selection plus deep time equals evolution. Why do you think this is an inadequate explanation? From a scientific point of view, the Darwinian recipe might be considered to be sufficient because when you are a scientist, you don t ask questions about the meaning of the universe, or the value of things. You don t ask about purpose; you don t bring in the idea of subjectivity or the idea of God. Modern science decided that it would leave these things out and focus only on the physical or material causes of things. The question is whether through this focus we have left something out, and in fact, most people even scientists believe that something has been left out. Most of them agree that science does not give the final or ultimate explanation of anything, so that s the main reason I would say that the Darwinian recipe is inadequate. Now, you might say that s a belief on my part. In a sense it is, but so is the belief that science is the only route to truth. So, what we have here are two belief systems. The first one is that science is the only route to truth, which is known as Scientism. Scientism leads to a worldview that I refer to as scientific naturalism, which is the view that since science can talk only about nature, nature is all there is. If you believe that science is the only way to get to the truth, then the only thing you will find through science is nature. The other belief is that nature is inexhaustibly deep. This means that there s a depth dimension to nature: nature is not all there is; there is infinitely more; there is a great mystery in which nature is embedded; and we get an inkling of that mystery from time to time, especially in religious experience. But even when we re doing ordinary things, we come up against what might be called limit experiences and limit questions. It s those questions that open us up to mystery and those questions to which religion is the appropriate response. What you are saying reminds me of St Augustine s assertion that humanity has an innate desire for the infinite. What is your sense of the infinite?
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Sometimes people ask, What is the evidence that the infinite exists? For Augustine and for many religious people throughout the ages, the best evidence is the utter restlessness of the human heart. You could extend that also to the restlessness of the intellect itself. We all realise that no matter how much we know, there is yet more to be known; we all realise that no matter how much we get in life, how much we have or possess, we are never fully filled up by it. So there is, in a sense, a God-shaped hole at the heart of our being. That s what Augustine was saying our hearts are restless until we rest in the infinite.
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A God-shaped Hole To Fill | Science Of Spirituality Article on speakingtree.in

Now the way we become aware of the infinite is not so much by knowing it, as by allowing ourselves to be grasped by it. For example, even a scientist is grasped by the value of the truth and surrenders her life to the pursuit of that truth. Whether they say so explicitly or not, I think many scientists, if not most, have made a commitment to something much larger than themselves that is inexhaustible. They realise that no matter how much they probe, the horizons will keep receding. So we come in contact with this infinite horizon which Augustine referred to as God in very subtle ways that oftentimes we are not aware of. Religion simply tries to make us more explicitly aware of, and especially grateful to, that horizon of depth, that horizon of an infinite future, a horizon of infinite beauty and truth that keeps calling us, that keeps addressing us, that keeps summoning us. And in doing so, it gives us vitality, life, and meaning. Do you feel that the shape of what you poetically called the God-shaped hole in our hearts is changing or evolving? Oh yes. Just by virtue of the scientific understanding of evolution, we ve gained a deeper understanding of the universe and of ourselves, which changes this sense of restlessness that I ve been speaking about. By anybody s standards, there s a real difference between the human brain and human culture, on the one hand, and the primordial radiation that the universe began with. Something is working itself out in this universe. What is that? At the very least, the universe is engaged in a process of becoming more and more complex in its mode of organisation. But more than that, it has been in the business of producing higher degrees of awareness, of sentience, of feeling, of enjoyment, and especially of consciousness and freedom. So from a scientific perspective, you could say that the root of our restlessness is the whole evolution of the cosmos itself. Thus when we think about our lives and our destiny, we can t dissociate ourselves from the destiny of the whole universe. And this new understanding provides a much wider and deeper approach for religiously sensitive people.

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Hemu Karkera
Feb 27, 2012 at 03:43 pm Like (3)

One thing that is common in both scientists and spiritualists is consciousness. One uses consciousness to go after proofs the other to go after the source. But both miss the forest for the trees. They don't focus on the vehicle but are focused on the journey, the scenery. They miss the consciousness. They are not in the here & now. They are always in the future. always seeking, always running after something that they desire. One of the characteristics of consciousness is that it creates whatever one desires. So it creates proof for the scientists and God for the seeker. Both then end up contradicting each other armed with their own "truths". Many scientists do not want to broach the subject of consciousness for fear of a backlash. They fail to understand that fear too is a characteristic of the consciousness.

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A scientist cannot explain consciousness convincingly neither can a seeker of god but both operate in their respective fields only with the help of consciousness. If scientists and the spiritualists come together to research on consciousness they would be doing great service to humanity as well as for each other.

Ram Singh Sachan Replies to Hem u Karkera


Yesterday at 01:07 pm

Yes.But normally, scientists don't leave their consciousness at home while reaching inside the laboratories. Hemu Karkera Replies to Ram Singh Sachan
1 hr ago

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Probably like many they too are unaware of their consciousness inside as well as outside their laboratories.

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Sathya Lakshman
Feb 27, 2012 at 06:08 pm Like (3)

The search will be never ending. For that is what holds life. If one ever knows every thing life as we know will end. This mystery is the life. Even as new discoveries are made, it leaves more things to be answered in its wake. This will continue. Even as something is unveiled, more veils challenge you to unveil them. This unknowable aspect will always remain. For the part can know only so much.When it knows all it will be the whole, no longer a part.

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Ram Singh Sachan Replies to Sathya Lakshm an


Yesterday at 01:14 pm

Yes.Considering the limitations of human mind,one can safely say that unknown is infinite and the known is always finite..But that discovery should not stop to move forward to discover and explore the uncharted horizons.The correlative activity of our minds can't be stopped.The vibrations, oscillations, rotations, revolutions and all the different forms of 'motions' inside the physical human mind can't be stopped.

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Rishi Vasanth
Feb 27, 2012 at 06:14 pm Like

Not a big deal meditate , simplest, all this search and research is endless , being on mental plane cannot reach the depth of ocean sitting tied with the boat,. jump out of the boat instantly by guru guidance or be floating for ever

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Viswanathan Subram..
Feb 27, 2012 at 06:31 pm

The further we delve into ourselves the deeper we go.This feeling of unending bliss engulfs you.The god -shaped hole in our heart becomes bigger and bigger.It gives a feeling that there is nothing that cannot be accomodated in the hole.That is the infinite.

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Gautam Pincha
Feb 27, 2012 at 08:42 pm

One very simple question our mind is observing only energy if we are observing the space it is curved by the magnetism of energy this energy is always has a shape of spiral the spiral of energy gets its vitality from a whole in its center be it nucleus of a black hole or be it an atom be it a galaxy or be it the smallest particle be it a heart of human or be it the center of the sun we get very little information about this mysterious hole which sustains every thing

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what is flowing in that hole is not known this hole is the key of knowledge ( inspired by chhandogya upanishad)

Gautam Pincha
Feb 27, 2012 at 08:56 pm

Chhandogya upanishad explains this pure straight space and its indestructible character and how it is related with every beings of this creation if our present day science observe it then they will never bother their mind to establish its relation with every particle and every being

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Veeravalli Sundare..
Yesterday at 10:53 am

Dear all, earlier it was "GOD'S PARTICLE". Now it is "GOD'S hole". I think slowly but surely all are turning to God, irrespective of one is a scientist or not. It is heartening to note that scientists are finally turning around(irrespective of caste, creed, religion) and ready to guid humanity in the correct path By the by, it is very simple.IF ONE ASKS THE QUESTION "WHO AND HOW INFINITE STARS/PLANETS/GALAXIES MOVE AROUND WITH SUCH A DISCIPLE AND NANO SECOND ACCURACY IN THE SPACE?" Surely there must be some mechanism to function. If so, who devised that programme? WE CAN CONCLUDE THAT IS GOD. V.SUNDARESAN

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Ram Singh Sachan Replies to Veeravalli Sundare..


Yesterday at 01:21 pm

The Mother Primordial Energy is self-regulated system.This auto-regulated mechanism doesn't require any 'outside' some thing to regulate and guide it.

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Ram Singh Sachan


Yesterday at 01:04 pm

Our consciousness, awareness and sense of spirituality, all are part of the 'cause and effect' or the 'action and reaction' chain initiated at the event of Big Bang some 15 billion years ago.The burst of Mother Primordial Energy led to the manifestation of all the force and material "particles" constituting our Universe.The science is trying to demystify all the processes of the Universe including the spirituality, emotions, retention and retreaval of memory and the generation of thoughts..The refinements of our knowledge content shapes the wisdom of mankind , collective as well as individual.This wisdom works to drive the socio-biological evolution of humanity on this planet..The negative social traits become'unfit' and are gradually rejected in the process of 'natural selection'.The process of evolution is generally slow relative to life span of the humans.But occasional faster rates are also encountered for certain traits and evolution assumes the name of 'revolution' in our day to day language. SATYAMEVA JAYATE, the Truth Triumphs, is the ultimate 'faith' of both, science as well as spirituality.

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Ravinder Watts
Yesterday at 01:41 pm

In Sanskrit two beautiful words explain this imbroglio. They are 1. "Gyan" (Adhyatmic knowledge filled with wisdom) and Vigyan( the true knowledge which may be related to material or spiritual knowlege) Also said to be the knowledge of the Unknown which makes it Science. So two types of vidyas (knowleges) PARA & APRA are practiced by us. Hence they are supplementery to each other. Human being is Purusha and is made up of Prakriti hence materialistic substance and the other part is Atmana or Soul which is part and parcel of the Supreme but in a limited energy or being smallest is ignored. Hence the hole in the Heart which is known as CHIT AKASH is the space where HE resides although in the minutest form. A devotee or believer in the Supreme and the scientist are helping each other in finding out the Unknown, Eternal Supreme. Ravinder Nath Watts ( Pandit Vats) San LORENZO, CALIFORNIA.

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Jyoti Nair
Yesterday at 02:31 pm

Thank you for a thought provoking blog. True there is a blank space between science and spirituality which needs to be filled. Isn't it funny that the words, hole and whole sound similar but while a hole is an empty space, whole can contain the universe in totality. It is

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upto us whether we prefer the hole or prefer to be whole Sunil Dutt
Yesterday at 02:39 pm

All those things that are beyond the reach of science, death being foremost, humbles the all strong science, spirituality in its essence declares and defines all within its reach including death. Science therefore makes humanity endeavor to know what is beyond its scope objectively and spirituality makes humanity endeavor what it declares to be within the reach subjectively.The scale to measure the immeasurable is the same the subjective and objective difference withstanding.BUT FOR PEBBLES THERE WOULD BE NO RIVER/ BUT FOR THE SCALE THERE WOULD BE NO MEASURE OR IMMEASURABLE.

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Suresh Sharma
Yesterday at 04:57 pm

It is said in most beautiful manner that man's heart is always restless unless it embraces the infinite; does not matter that he can not understand what infinity is and surely no one can and will ever understand the infinity, because the moment one understands something it becomes finite. And that it is why our great rishis have said " neti neti....". Surely, we all have to be contented to call or assume the God us infinity.

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Ebmyg1b6wfhfba3dvr..
Yesterday at 09:00 pm

As they say that whole knowledge is in the cosmos at super conscious level. so yesterday's sages were like today's scientists who are blessed with the power high concentration in a particular field and are capable of perceiving that knowledge and giving to the mankind. many of the religious practices when analysed scientifically stand true to the scientific test. let us not forget that GOD is the greatest scientist and all his creation is very scientific. all is carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen. but both a spiritualist and scientist has their way to reveal the mysteries of nature.

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Tim Nash
Yesterday at 09:12 pm Like

We desire these mysteries (ignorance) to perpetuate the illlusion of lording over this material nature. Therefore, the Supreme Lord fulfills this desire as he fulfills all our desires. We are just cheating ourselves with these insincere attempts to know Truth. If we genuinely desire knowledge of the Truth then we must humbly call out to the Source...He will help us discover ourselves and our eternal loving blissful relationship and pastimes with Him. All knowledge of matter and spirit will be revealed (remebered) in ecstatic loving bliss.

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Ebmyg1b6wfhfba3dvr.. Replies to Tim Nash


Yesterday at 09:43 pm

You are very right. no where it is written that you just keep praying and lord will fulfill your desires. holy GEETA speaks nothing but only about pursharath.that is action/ work. as it says...purshararth se insaan apna bhagya badal sakta hai. but is it really possible for all of us to know, reveal and realize the mysteries of nature. whole universe ---very vast and very difficult to perceive and one birth is not enough to understand it.

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Tim Nash Replies to Ebm yg1b6w fhfba3dvr..


11 hrs ago Like

Prayer/yagya/action/work are merely the material symptoms of sincerity. It's about Super Soul knowing our sincere desires in our hearts. He fulfills ALL of our sincere desires because He is our dearest Friend and the Supreme Controller, because He can. Look, I am not going to try and impress anybody with my ability to recall slokas and throw out endless sanskrit translations but I listen to He who is in my heart. He is the only "mystery" worth realizing and it is only as difficult as we make it. Full surrender takes only a moment of one lifetime.

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