Mysticism and Science

Summary: May 10, 1999,

by Hannelore Möbius

Lead: Marion Brink


The session started with a reading by Marion Brink presenting a summary of the book "God and the big bang" as a starter to discuss Mysticism and Science.

Discussions started with Paul's request to repeat the part of the Kabbalah: "God withdrew itself into itself to make space time." - What does it mean - to withdraw? - Makes this sense? - Different views came up: In meditation we withdraw our senses. By doing so, we connect with our inner essence (the light of the universe) and come into a timeless being where we are able to expand, connecting our consciousness with everything. (Hermetic principle - as above so below), or - with meditation we draw back from space and time to create space inside. - God withdrew out of the oneness to make room for space time. (Buddha Nilkanta = the dreaming Buddha on the serpents bed = a holy place in Nepal, added by reporter).

Paul raised the question of the "dumb down" - Scientists often think of mystics that they want to replace science with their mystical views and look down on science. On the other hand, in the 17th, and 18th century scientists tried to understand God through their logical thinking of science. More recently, as a reaction to the finding of the big bang, biblical Jewish and Christians said: "Science confirms the bible!" - That was a mistake!

Eberhard responded: You cannot explain religion with science, nor science with religion. Rather the same mystery is at the heart of religion, science, and philosophy. They don't confirm each other, but they find the same mystery in different ways. In science you try to e x p l a i n mystery. In Mysticism you e x p e r i e n c e mystery.

Paul was struck by some words: mysticism is the experience of ultimate reality. - What is the ultimate reality? - Whatever we mean by using - "to be" - or - my memories "are".

In the discussion we saw that we will never find ultimate reality with science: We can never finish an ultimate logical regression. Again and again we will find layers after layers of unknown.

What does the religious tradition say about ultimate reality? - This reality is transcendent, indefinable.

What does mysticism say? - Through awe and wonder you have the experience, an encounter of the ultimate reality.

Simultaneously we can be one with the universe, but also separate through our operating free will. Throughout life we experience our interconnection with all of life, and feel as a unique part of the whole. Through synchronicity and synergy we can understand the connectedness, but still feel separate!

In Christianity Jesus is both, God and man. - It seems to be a contradiction, eternity in space and time.

Why assert a contradiction? - It is an attempt to "shiprack", - thinking about it long enough, we come into deeper meaning of life.

We find the same in eastern tradition, for example a Zen Koan like "What is the one sound of hands clapping?" Religious traditions have their own tactics to give you an experience of recognition.

The philosopher Wittgenstein reflected on H2O. How do you get water? -This liquidity, the reality of water is much more mysterious than H2O. (so is Niagara Falls, playing with a duck in the tub, blessing with water.)

Eberhard mentioned: Even in science we feel awe. In the beginning of the century, scientist's thought they come to a close, with classical mechanics, reaching out to magnetism etc. - "In a few years we'll have bundled it up!" - Basically at the turn of the century this view evaded with the emergence of relativity and quantum mechanics. How can it be that light is a particle and at the same time a wave! (Similar to Zen Koan - Jesus as God a n d man.) Whether you do this by scientific inspection or mystic experience, you come to similar non-conclusions! Paul throws in: A mystic will say for non-conclusion: "Wow, is this rich!"

Plane water is mysterious. We can never get it entirely. You can see the molecules, atoms, it is all there in different stages: ice, liquid, condensed.

Students followed with several important points: Light could be seen similar like water in different forms: Light in light speed is empty space. As it slows down it condenses or becomes frozen light, or matter. Therefore, all matter is a condensation of light into patterns moving back and forth at average speeds, which are less than the speed of light. (David Bohm in "Dialogue with Scientists and Sages", R. Weber).

Religion and science are both in denial. Most of us struggle between the two sides. We cannot be ourselves, since we have alienated ourselves. One focus of spirituality is finding balance between the self and God, which is oneness. From within, through meditation, each of us can glimpse oneness.

It seems so simple to believe in a n d use the light for healing illnesses, such as cancer. When mystics use visualization of light, they don't use it only as a metaphor, to them it seems to be reality, therefore it heals! Since mind stands over matter, it seems to work only when you believe in it.

At least some alternative approaches have gone through statistical tests recently. The following topics came up: You cannot control the experiment of healing with thoughts, placebo effect, faith is/is not a cure, can the inner pharmacy be triggered? We all have a utilitarian side and an appreciating side. We live in a world of fear, sins, attachment, - too afraid to let go, compulsive, anxious. Finally, we have to let go and trust.

Curiosity is always in us to search for the many questions and meaning in our life, like a mystery box being questioned by children. With appropriate skepticism, but trust, everybody can deal with life's fears and joys. Through our interconnectedness we raise community consciousness, help and work together, creating models, such as inviting ministers into businesses, creating meaning in life. (Book: God is my broker)

We need both sides of ourselves to live a balanced life. We often believe we think differently, but in fact we only use different words - and find the mystery at the heart of our deepest quests.

At the end Paul suggested a book: A briefer history of time - The Big Bang & The Big Mac



Hannelore Möbius