At the dawn of the twenty-first century many now realize that opposition between science and religion has been exhausted. The unification between the two is imperative. The first step towards this is recognizing that science is not the sole repository of knowledge of man and cosmos; experience, spiritual discernment and spiritual experiences constitute along with the science, the unified process of recognizing the world.
So search for truth is not merely an algorithm of reasons and logic. It leads to a path which ends in a higher level spiritual attainment. Search for truth is scientific to some extent but towards the end it becomes a truly spiritual quest. But such a distinction is never water tight because where science and per se logic ends and spirituality begins can never be ascertained. So it is rather a better epistemological definition to say science attains spiritual character at higher level than to say that science leads to spirituality. Perhaps that’s why great thinkers are great spiritualists; examples abound in Sir Isaac Newton, Archimedes, Euclid, Einstein or our own Ramanujan.
Before going any further some basic definition of science and spirituality may be appropriate. Science that form of knowledge that manages without assuming the God as a mystical, otherworldly and transcendental entity. Spirituality is concerned with spirits or in other words those phenomena which are intangible and incomprehensible. So ispitirn a very lay man’s tongue one can say as far as man’s senses reach is covered by science and beyond this lies the vast domain of spirituality. Truth is never absolute and not confined to a definitive materialistic boundary of science. So when there is quest for truth man crosses the world of science and senses to tread into the world of unknowns, the world of spirituality. Truth is a phenomenon not a thing. it is not materialistic to be comprehend by senses. The phenomenon that it is, it goes beyond sense and hence it is spiritual. Truth is beyond man’s sense. Hence the man searches for truth. This is so because man has control over anything or everything that lies within the domain and sphere of his senses. When something goes beyond this limited sphere it becomes a problem a quest and a goal. The kind of goal which is sufficient to make theologists and thinkers of every civilization, from primitive Egyptians to modern world civilization, ponder their mind over days and nights to search for the principle governing it, the principle governing the truth and the principle that truth governs.
Traditional science described universe as a secluded, self-sufficient and self –sustaining device. All the processes going in it are truly algorithmic processes which take place in a wave form without being influenced by any external factor. The aim of the traditional science is to discover the laws governing the self-sufficient and self-regulated processes that take place. This traditional science was an amalgamation of religion, spirituality and magic. But as man became more rational and logical in his approach traditional science lost its metaphysical character. Because in rationality there is no place for subjectivity and perception. All the meta-physical questions took a back stage and science merely became a production power. Devoid of meta-physical character, devoid of spirituality and devoid of values science lost its soul. It became more and more materialistic and in the process the sufferer is truth. Truth the transcendental phenomenon that it is is curtailed to be a merely factual and objective expression of some materialistic situation.
What is truth?
As Merriam-Webster describes truth is an undisputed and verifiable proposition, principle or fact. The underlying meaning of the above definition is truth is something basic and fundamental. If one takes this definition then truth can be reached by asking the most fundamental questions. What can be more fundamental question than the question that asks the purpose of very existence of man himself? So search for truth at a scientific level is a very microscopic and nomothetic proposition. When man moves higher and beyond this there comes a level where all such microscopic truths converge to from a grandiose of ideas and above it lays a very macroscopic very general governing principle an ideographic truth. At this level all the scientific truths or facts like physical truth of gravitation or the chemical fact of H2 + O = H2O hold no ground. All such phenomena point to a pattern that forms the language of nature. Nature is over and above the individual and her language is incomprehensible to man. Man understands her language in bits and pieces in form of various laws of science. So the ultimate quest of man is to understand the language of nature which is manifested in numerous scientific discoveries and inventions.
Nature, as described earlier, has a language of her own. It tries to communicate with men through various vibes. But man understands them in his own terms and superimposes his own language on the language of nature. He understands the language of nature at a very miniature level and describes them as scientific phenomena. So a “double” is not established between sender (the nature) and the receiver (the man). So the communication goes ineffective. And the search for truth which is nothing but the language the soul of nature remains non-comprehended. Then what is the language of nature and how is it manifested in the various processes. The language nature uses is an expression that replicates itself in every process that gets effected. In simpler terms this language can be understood as a pattern. This pattern can be anything; a Fibonacci series or a pi or a prime number series. This pattern is also evident in flowing of water waves, movement of electromagnetic waves and/or movement of photons or the basic characteristics of the Schrödinger’s wave equation. To understand this pattern is to understand the nature and understand the truth.
One can take the simplest example of the wave forms. Why the sea waves depict a transverse locus … and why same pattern is replicated by electromagnetic waves or photon waves? Physics studied the sea wave and electromagnetic wave and photon particle wave to describe the character of the wave form. This is a truth… but only a partial one. The ultimate truth is why the form of wave is transverse or simply putting why only two wave forms exist (transverse/longitudinal). The answer of this “why” is the ultimate truth which is beyond the realm of physics and this can be understood only when man understands the language of nature, understands the pattern that nature uses in all her “communication”. And understanding this pattern, this language of nature or this ultimate truth is beyond science. It is spirituality.
The thin line that separates science and spirituality creates a barrier paramount for man to cross it over. When man crosses this barrier then he understands the ultimate truth. Truth lies in the realm of spirituality; science is a means to attain it.
One example can make things a bit clear in how the eternal truth is governed by scientific phenomena and man needs to move higher into the realm of theology to comprehend those truths. Mathematics is a very objective and scientific science completely devoid of values. But this mathematics may be regarded as the tongue of nature. Sometimes it is difficult to believe that such an objective science has been the focal point of all spiritual and occult practices practiced by civilizations through centuries.
One can take one pure mathematical series the Fibonacci series. The series goes like: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, And so on. On a pure mathematical view point it is one of the numerous number series albeit a very easy and very ancient one. But this series has been the focal point of interest for all theologists and naturists. Why? When the locus of the Fibonacci series is traced on a three dimensional paper it gives a picture of helicoids. These helicoids are a very important structure in nature. The fiber structure of sea shells is helicoids, the imprints in the thumb of every person is helicoidal, the vein structure of leaves is helicoidal, cyclones proceed in a helicoidal manner and many such other natural phenomena are helicoidal in nature and can be described in pure mathematical forms of Fibonacci series. So one can co-relate this with the earlier assumption that to understand the language of nature (the ultimate truth) man uses science and tries to comprehend it.
Similarly according to many theologists the Pi series, the trigonometric series, the exponential series etc represent each a singular aspect of the truth that nature beholds. But man, his vision being limited, can not understand the ultimate truth. This ultimate truth can be reached when man moves beyond a purely objective view point to a subjective and abstract view point. At such level man can see the pattern involved in all these mathematical series, physical laws, chemical equations and biological findings. At such a level the knowledge becomes less objective but more comprehensible and man moves nearer to the ultimate truth.
So much said about the ultimate truth, what this ultimate truth is? This truth embodies the phenomena that govern nature, that govern man and his inner and outer being like an invisible and invincible external agency. Some civilizations say this experience as supernatural power, some say this is god, some say this is evil and still some others say this is the Manna, neither God nor Evil. These phenomena are reasons in themselves but beyond any reasoning and objectivity. They are so abstract at level of ordinary man’s visibility but crystal clear at a transcendental level. It is that intangible truth that man is searching for ages but he himself does not know what he is searching for. This truth is there in the philosophy of every religion but man is has of lately discarded these experiences and phenomena as unscientific.
But his relentless pursuit of science at a very broad level has put man in a catch-22 situation. With all objectivity and with all scientific knowledge his quest for some ultimate truth is forwarding him to the realm of spirituality only which the philosophy of his religion expounds. This progress of thought can be again described by the helicoids and Fibonacci series. The starting point of the helicoids may be the destination of man (the ultimate truth resides here) and man started his journey of objectivity and scientific temper from this point and moves on the locus of the helicoid. The locus ends at infinity and as per the principles of objective mathematics or subjective theosophy the infinitum will converge with the starting point only. So how-so-far man may move in his quest for truth he will have to enter the realm of spirituality, the region of the helicoid from which he has started his journey and merges to the ultimate truth of universe; the truth that answers the origin of man the origin of universe and the origin of nature. The search for truth is never limited to mere objectivity. The ultimate truth lies in transcendence and quest of truth can only be a spiritual problem.