Beyond Science and Religion:
Leaving Yet Never Departing
March 29, 2022
Science and religion, whose beliefs, theories, and philosophical thoughts I used to dearly love, may now become a thing of the past. Yet, I cannot abandon them, if only for the memory of the many people who introduced me to these two academic disciplines in the past. To this day, they are dear to me, although, I know, I have offended many of them.
I remember one gloomy afternoon during my seminary days, when I felt nudged by some powerful force that came out of nowhere. That force manifested itself as a sudden gush of wind, literally pushing me so strongly that I had to respond quickly lest I would fall down. I felt I was like flying gliding on its current, only to stop as suddenly as it burst me into action, in a certain place, I learned was the library.
With nothing more important to do, I reluctantly entered the almost deserted portion of the building, not knowing who or what to expect. I opened the door with great trepidation. Nobody was around and the lights were subdued.
I remember all my classmates were out in the courtyard then, playing basketball, tennis, or engaging in a leisurely walk. Tiptoeing into the center row of bookshelves, I halted in a dimly lit corner where a particular book caught my immediate attention.
I found the book strange because of its antiquated cover and disintegrating pages. The author of the book was Euclid, and I had been led to the mathematics section of the library. Euclid was known as the “Father of Geometry” but he also taught mathematics in Ancient Egypt.
His geometry and mathematics captivated me. He talked about space, time, shapes, Nature, and God. According to him: “the laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.”
Sitting down on the cold cement floor cross legged, I began to read, wondering about the presence of such a rare book in the library’s collection. It was a difficult read and I needed prolonged periods of deep reflection to digest all the information I just devoured.
I must have stayed longer than an hour in the library. Rising on aching knees, I returned the book, making sure its pages were intact.
I left the library feeling enthused but puzzled. The reflections I had on Euclid must have extended to the late hours of that first night and even to the many nights after that. I felt a light looming at the end of my dark tunnel. “There seems to be a way out after all,” I thought.
The library became my favorite sanctuary, away from the confusion as well as the hustle and bustle of the outside world. I became reclusive and reticent. I just wanted to be alone.
In that dimly lit corner of the building, I began to learn more about the world of religion and science.
The incident happened in college. Before entering the seminary, I was taking up Engineering but eventually left that program because I found no relevance of mathematics then to my life.
One great consolation though was that Mathematics, Geometry, and Algebra trained me to think rationally and systematically, and Philosophy was a welcome alternative.
Since then, the library became my favorite place. Next, it introduced me to Archimedes known as the “Father of Mathematics” and Pythagoras who argued that “number rules the universe.”
Later physicists saw the indispensability of using numbers in understanding and describing the world we live in. The mathematical theories first presented a materialist, fixed, and static world. Then, it became a mechanical clock, wound periodically by an ever-caring God.
To take motion and change into consideration, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz invented Integral and Differential Calculus respectively, a mathematical tool, which today remains useful in many disciplines like Economics and Physics.
The seminary library, which was situated then at the ground floor of the Novitiate building, also gave me the opportunity to study modern symbolic logic, which complemented my course in Philosophy very well.
Symbolic logic uses mathematical symbols and variables to express theories, assumptions, and relationships instead of words and ordinary language.
From mathematics, my interest branched out to eastern religions and eastern philosophies. Reading the teachings and beliefs of this part of the world gave me not only new insights. Many things that were unknown to me before became known.
I felt a gradual expansion in the awareness of my core being and a growing Consciousness about the little world I was living in, triggered by my studies on the thoughts of René Descartes, Immanuel Kant, George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Gabriel Marcel. Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and many other prominent philosophers at that time.
I learned from science that the Cosmos and all living creatures appeared mysteriously through fortuitous encounters of billions and trillions of atoms that littered frenziedly across time and space right after the Big Bang.
This is what science teaches me and would have me believe. There was no intention of giving birth to the universe and all its creatures. There was no a priori design to manufacture them since there was nobody, no scientist, no skilled craftsman, no demigod to construct them.
Indeed, my deep religious beliefs began to crumble. I learned that what the Gods and Goddesses used to do, science has been doing it in fact through the centuries.
Scientists have already been manipulating our genes and DNA, including living species and extant creatures. They are becoming like Gods and Goddesses. Through trial-and-error, we have become products of their experimentation, an act of creation used to be reserved only to our Supreme Creators.
Over the years, my journey as a seeker has shifted from being an intense believer in a Divine Creator to a fervent disciple of science.
But WHAT IF both science and religion have it all wrong? WHAT IF there is a bigger, deeper, and more noble meaning to life and existence than the ones they propound? I needed some answers.
Both science and religion may be referring to the same God-phenomenon. But it cannot just be conclusively declared that God equals God Particle equals Energy.
To accept this mathematical formulation would require a leap of faith which new physics won't readily accept, without redefining their concept of God Particle.
Even if science accepts them to be equal, then, just the same, it will be going back in circles. Like religion, science would still maintain that there can be no world beyond its world.
In the past, science had repeatedly discovered atomic particles giving birth to the same atomic particles, every time two particles are made to collide at near the speed of light.
Each time they discover something new in the subatomic world, it’s always a carbon copy of the original, including the dual attributes that go with it, namely, matter and anti-matter, electrons and positrons. Only the colors and flavors change.
The world of science is going on in circles. But my intuition and gut-feeling say there is something new out there, a world beyond the world of science. And, in the past, this has become my fascination. In doing so, my transcendental quest has become very personal, no longer academic.
It could be that my curiosity and wild imagination were getting hold of me. But I unleashed them, nonetheless. I was convinced that whether or not I'll discover something more beyond the existing world, I will only know if I pursue my search relentlessly.
And, over the years, this has become my obsession. I ventured into the unknown, finding new things along the way I would never have expected.
Aug 9, 2016
QUANTUM PHYSICISTS THEORIZE THAT MATTER BEHAVES BOTH AS PARTICLE AND WAVE. CLERICS, MYSTICS, AND GURUS ALSO TEACH US THAT MATTER IS BOTH PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL.
QUANTUM THEORISTS ALSO ARGUE THAT THIS IS TRUE IN THE MICRO AND MACRO LEVELS. SO, WE HUMANS ALSO PARTAKE OF THE SAME NATURE: BOTH PARTICLE AND WAVE, BOTH PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL.