1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Is there a difference between scientific and spiritual experience? March 26, 2010


A material scientist today finds out something and says, ‘Here is a new discovery!’ Another says, ‘No, it is not true; here is another discovery which proves it wrong.’ And so it goes on; every year there are many new discoveries. Sometimes, too, one scientist does not think like another; they may belong to the same school, and yet each has his own idea which does not agree with the other man’s. But when we consider the mystics and thinkers who look at life from a spiritual point of view, they all agree, be they Yogis, Sufis, Buddhists, or Christians–it does not matter which.

    Whenever they arrive at a certain stage of understanding they all agree, they all have the same experiences, they all have the same realization to which they come in spite of all differences. The differences in the dogmas of the various religions are only differences of form: those who look at the surface see variations, but those who look below the surface see one and the same truth hidden beneath all religions, which have been given at different times by different masters. Naturally, therefore, the method of expression is different, but when one comes to the essence it is all one and the same, and those who are spiritually evolved come to the conclusion that they do not differ one from the other in their belief.

……As a person evolves so his belief evolves, until he comes to that stage where he harmonizes with all the different beliefs, where he is no longer against any belief.

The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan

(image by me)


5 Responses to “Is there a difference between scientific and spiritual experience?”

  1. swaps Says:

    It is amazing. Why humans need these beliefs??
    All other life form seem to get by splendidly with out evolving … just look at their faces, they are so calm and relaxed, even saintly.

    Obviously, the greatest curse on mankind is his intelligence.

  2. mahesh chendake Says:

    Human inteligence work when there are questions, desires and unlimited wants. spiritually evolved person get desireless. he has no questions . his belifs converts into trust and he enjoys his life with definetly proper working of his brain. evolved brain work towards trust, love,creative work which is more devine and gives essence to human life.
    the people which are not spiritually evolved they try to understand the world through his inteligence and try to get evolved where they find limitations, wise people try to find the solutions but finally leads to spiritual evolution as they understand the truth and show corrage to accept.
    in the defination of health by WHO initially there was a only physical domen gradually they added social, mental, and now they have accepted spiritual domen where they find complete health and it is proved now that when your spiritual domen is healthy all other domen get evolved automatically.

  3. mirel Says:

    For much of the 20th century, mainstream science shied away from studying spirituality.

    Sigmund Freud declared God to be a delusion, and others maintained that God, if there is such a thing, is beyond the tools of science to measure
    Now, some researchers are using new technologies to try to understand spiritual experience. They’re peering into our brains and studying our bodies to look for circumstantial evidence of a spiritual world. The search is in its infancy, and scientists doubt they will ever be able to prove — or disprove — the existence of God.

    The first major rigorous study of psychedelics and spirituality occurred on Good Friday in 1962. In the basement of Marsh Chapel at Boston University, researchers from Harvard gave 10 divinity students LSD to see if the sacred setting, combined with drugs, would spark a mystical experience. It did. Soon afterward, researchers at other prominent universities began administering psychedelic drugs to volunteers in controlled settings….
    More than half of adult Americans report they have had a spiritual experience that changed their lives. Now, scientists from universities like Harvard, Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins are using new technologies to analyze the brains of people who claim they have touched the spiritual — from Christians who speak in tongues to Buddhist monks to people who claim to have had near-death experiences.

    all the studies in the world can’t answer his central question about spirituality: “Why does that occur? Why has the human organism been engineered, if you will, for this experience?”

    The field so-called “neurotheology,” and although it is new, it’s drawing prominent researchers in the U.S. and Canada. Scientists have found that the brains of people who spend untold hours in prayer and meditation are different.
    Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, has been scanning the brains of religious people for more than a decade. He has found that people who meditate, from Franciscan nuns to Tibetan Buddhists, go dark in the parietal lobe — the area of the brain that is related to sensory information and helps us form our sense of self.

    ‘What we need to do is study those moments where people feel that they’re getting beyond their brain, and understanding what’s happening in the brain from a scientific perspective, what’s happening in the brain from their spiritual perspective,” he says.
    Then he’ll compare the mystical feelings with the brain physiology….
    ‘This is an area that normally takes our sensory information, tries to create for us a sense of ourselves and orient that self in the world,” he explains. “When people lose their sense of self, feel a sense of oneness, a blurring of the boundary between self and other, we have found decreases in activity in that area. “There is no Christian, there is no Jewish, there is no Muslim, it’s just all one,” Newberg says.

    It’s a question that haunts other scientists, as well. They want to know: Is there a sweet spot for spirituality in the brain?

    a materialist would say a spiritual experience is just brain chemistry — or firings in the temporal lobe of the brain — and it’s all explainable by material means. But someone else could look at the same evidence and say that people are wired to be able to connect with the divine and that brain chemistry is a reflection of an encounter.

    An encounter with light, an encounter with love, often an out-of-body experience. Spirituality transcends barriers of race, religion, creed and nationality. Seers of all great faiths have sought to describe what is essentially an indescribable experience. our most creative minds turned the searchlight inwards towards the source of consciousness, and built an entire science based upon creative introspection.

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