Touching The Limits Of Knowledge

Cosmology and our View of the World


Spriritual Cosmology, Lead: Hannelore & Eberhard Möbius


Summary by Jared Troutman:


We were not present in the room as a group for ten minutes. We traveled out of the room with our minds with the help of a guided meditation. "Its like a vacation. Only the event inside of me exists at that moment. I was a lizard," he exclaimed happily. Other students reflected on the meditation by saying, " I liked being an atomÉ.. You should be asleep but awareÉ..I became consumed by the inner experience and left the spoken word guidance for a few moments." The experiential component of spirituality is a part of the justification for a spiritual cosmology. The meditation we participated in made us leave all the dialogue about god and spirituality in order to experience them directly. The meditation was useful since accepting spirituality is often more difficult than accepting science.

One student said that science is the most accurate way of answering questions. The immediate response by the group was that despite sciences accuracy it doesnÕt have a holistic interpretation of reality. Science points to something that canÕt be deduced by its methods. Five people are sitting in room A and they begin to wonder what is outside of the room. By using scientific methods the group discovers rooms B,C,D,E,and F. After a certain time they wonder what is outside of these rooms. The five people find more rooms outside of the first 6 and the group is always curious. No matter how many times they go looking they are always going to find another room. Science will keep finding "rooms" but it will not tell us why the rooms are there in the first place(Science is about howÕs, not whyÕs). Science explains how the universe works but it does not justify its being. A motherÕs son died and the scientific explanation for his death was cancer but the mother still wants to know why. Another example is when a child asks why all of the time. The fortunate parents could have a wealth of scientific background to explain to him answers but the question cycle for the child could be infinite. The parents would be able to help the child understand by telling him about spirituality and the ultimate reality that pervades the universe.

We all seemed to agree that spirituality and science work together to provide explanation and justification to our reality. An interesting question was, "Is god an actual presence or is it only a psychological construct to comfort humans?" People have been trying to prove and disprove god for most of human history. A conclusive answer has not been found but as one student pointed out, proving God underscores the meaning of God. It does not matter whether or not we can determine if God truly exists because we never will be able to figure it out. God is used to explain and justify the infinite for us, so trying to prove it is thinking about what we already set aside as unfathomable.

The discussion leading into the meditation focused on spirituality mainly through the medium of Buddhism. Buddhist meditation focuses on emptying oneÕs mind to become a vessel to let the universe in. This type of meditation is based on becoming free of attachments and desires in order to be. Mystical experience for a person JUST IS, it cannot be scientifically communicated or justified. One of us pointed out that anyone could try to practice meditation to fulfill his or her lives. We began the meditation, after it finished so did the class.

The group dynamics of the class result in great discussion. We covered great issues like how spirituality is necessary to have along side science and how they cover different territories and work together. We talked a little about what god is and how it can be experienced through meditation. I truly appreciated these discussions but canÕt help to ask for more. We did not discuss the possibility of a new spiritual cosmology that is being supported by postmodern science nor what the new creation myth really is. Our discussions are not kept to very narrow tasks in order to allow for participation by all and to see what comes up from a group of college students. We have many great minds here and find the discussions more of a general forum for interestÕs sake rather than action oriented group solidarity. The absence of Professor Brockelman had an obvious impact on the path during this spiritual cosmology discussion.

March 4, 2001