Science & Religion discussion

Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction
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Science And Religion

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message 1: by Craig (last edited Sep 14, 2013 05:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Craig Bolton | 11 comments Let's start over. The interface between Science and Religion is not mysterious or something never explored before. Please, someone, read either the above or, alternatively, http://www.amazon.com/Science-Religio....

One can, of course, believe that science is a branch of religion, as is shown by numerology or some other sort of mystical imagery, as is being done in another thread in this group. But then all other forms of human questing and knowledge are just other forms of religion. Intellectual imperialism?


Craig Bolton | 11 comments We just don't seem to be communicating. The interface between science and religion is an interface between two different ways of understanding the world. It isn't a search for religious signs in the world. If I looked hard enough I bet I could find an organism whose physiology incorporated a cross. Ah, you might say (well not you but some Christian taking the same line you are taking) this proves the TRUTH of my religion. See, God put the cross into nature so people will know that they are to give themselves to the cross.

Hopefully, that isn't what is going on here. What should be going on here is we discuss how scientists understand things (aka "the scientific method") and how religious people understand things (whichever of the several methods they employ) and how the two are the same and different. What you want to do is simply another form of proselyltizing for a particular religion.


message 3: by Phil (new)

Phil Hemsley (pdhemsley) | 1 comments http://philhemsley.wordpress.com/2013... gives a balanced view of science and religion.


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 2 comments Hi Everyone - looks like this group has been dormant for awhile. That's a shame as the interrelationship between science and religion seems firmer each day to this Christian, retired Plant Geneticist (Alfalfa). I've tried to communicate that to the Christian Apologetics board, but they're not receptive. Maybe here!


message 5: by Erika (new)

Erika Nederveld | 3 comments To understand how science and religion are related, I suggest reading "God's Undertaker. Has science buried religion?". This is an amazing book which centers not on scientific evidence like other fields of apologetics, but on the essential conflict between two philosophies: naturalism and theism. Contrary to popular belief science does not equate to naturalism. I think that until these two philosophies are recognized for what they are, the discussion between science and religion will always beat around the bush.


Craig Bolton | 11 comments I hate to be blunt, but my time is valuable. Before I spend a considerable amount of time reading a book, I need SOME assurance that said time will be well spent. And here is my problem, Erika: your above remarks and the remarks in the Amazon reviews of this book don't explain enough about the basic argument in the book for there to be a case for the plausibility of the author's position. This is a particular problem when the generally accepted definition of "God" is logically self-contradictory (or a definition set from which many contradictions may be inferred by strict logical construction). There are various ways to resolve that problem, but which way is adopted in this book and is there anything original in the author's approach?


message 7: by Walter (last edited Apr 13, 2014 01:34PM) (new)

Walter (waltermy) | 4 comments Craig,

The basic argument of Lennox is that naturalism simply can't deliver on its claims, and that a theistic solution is the better explanation (regardless of whether it is the Christian God, some deistic God, or some other type of designer). I am an instructor in a Masters program in Science & Religion at Biola University in Southern California. I have heard virtually every argument on both sides, and I can tell you that from all we know in science right now, naturalism cannot even begin to explain the origins of life, and natural selection certainly cannot provide the additional digital information needed to provide novel forms that will deliver new species. Random variation and natural selection can work from within a species, but it is not responsible for speciation. Let me provide one example of novel functionality by which there is unequivocally no evolutionary pathway: butterflies. A caterpillar is simply a butterfly in the larval stage. When the caterpillar is ready to go into the pupal stage to become a butterfly, virtually all of its inward parts are completely transformed into its new, adult form as a butterfly. How does something like that "evolve"? If the butterfly is the adult, then if you had to go through a larval stage in an entire different form, how could this have been done gradually? And what would be the evolutionary advantage for staying in a pupal stage that can last from a few weeks to two years? This is but one example, but an important one. Perhaps you have some answers?

http://www.ansp.org/explore/online-ex...


Craig Bolton | 11 comments Well, I don't have the background of you or Lennox, but I am not totally uninformed about philosophy of science. In fact, I use to be a professor in Economics with a strong background in philosophy of science.

So here is my question: If we view "evolution" (which seems to be what you are talking about principally) as a hypothesis, then Kuhn et al would maintain that no matter how deficient of a hypothesis you think it is, you need another hypothesis that has as many advantages as this one plus a material number of other advantages.

Where is that alternative hypothesis? "And then there were numerous species because God created them." doesn't seem to fulfill that role. Does it? Further, it doesn't seem to explain why God changed his mind so frequently as time passed - such that there are literally of thousands of species today that we have no record of before and literally thousands of species that existed previously that don't exist today.

So maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is a coherent alternative hypothesis. If so, let's hear it.


message 9: by Walter (new)

Walter (waltermy) | 4 comments Thanks, Craig. No, I don't think you have to replace a deficient hypothesis that doesn't work with another, particularly if the existing hypothesis doesn't even provide an adequate explanation. Why would anyone hold on to what they already know to be a deficient hypothesis? It's best to get rid of it and look elsewhere, or at least stop trying to detract others who are seeking another solution. We have NO working hypothesis for the origins of life. And in the fossil record, we see appearance, stasis, and extinction. That doesn't fit the Darwinian paradigm because there should be more transitional species than anything else.

I don't have an answer for you other than to say that what we see in the fossil records are the hallmarks of design or some sort of intelligent causation. That's what the science actually points to. So we should be pursuing that wherever it leads. As to what God created or if he changed his mind, why are you even asking those questions? Darwin himself built his theory on what he felt God would or would not do, which was a major proof to him that random variation and natural selection was the only possible alternative. That's not a way to build a scientific hypothesis, and you shouldn't make the same mistake by making evolution the default because God wouldn't do something or another.


Craig Bolton | 11 comments Your first paragraph evidences ignorance of what virtually every historian of science has concluded. This is not an "I don't think" proposition. It is what has happened and what will happen, for very good sociological reasons.

I am asking these questions, Walter, because that is what people in Philosophy and Philosophy of Science do. You ask questions about obvious gaps in the other guy's views. And you don't seem to be answering any of the questions I am asking. In what way can you infer from a fossil record that shows a variety of no longer extant creatures to an "intelligent design"?

Indeed, how do you infer from a fossil record to any universal theory of biological change? Didn't Hume dispose of such post hoc, ergo propter hoc "reasoning" a couple of centuries ago?

What you seem to be arguing is that there is no explicable pattern in the fossil records. How does that then imply a creator? Is this creator the creator of Schopenhauer, blind and mad?

As for your remarks regarding the psychology of Darwin (who was hardly the first or the last evolutionist), well, desperate ad hominems are not an answer to anything.


message 11: by Rod (last edited Apr 17, 2014 02:41AM) (new)

Rod Jr. (rod_martin_jr) | 1 comments This is such an interesting topic and so highly-charged. When emotions run high, it's obvious to me that Ego is running hot. Thus the forum rules. Good stuff.

The idea that there are no transitional fossils seems so ludicrous. Why? Because every fossil is transitional, except the end-points (extinctions and earliest known species).

What some in the religious community don't seem to realize is that fossils are rare! Weathering, biological decomposition and other forces destroy evidence. Very few bones ever become fossils, otherwise we would be climbing over them on every square inch of land.

I haven't read the book, yet, but I've read the description and some of the reviews. It looks like he covers some of the standard pros and cons.

I find it frustrating, though, that many people let their egos rule their beliefs.

For instance, Ken Ham asked his audience, "Who do you believe, science or God?" Of course, his audience said "God," but the problem is that his question is based on a false dichotomy. The gap is not between science and God, but between science and Ken Ham and his interpretation of scripture. Obviously, Ken Ham is not God and his interpretation is not The Bible or its "spirit" (the truth within).

Science and God get along just fine. In fact, science studies the products of God's creation. Religion through spirituality studies the sources of creation. Thus, science and religion complement each other.

Ego is the barrier in both realms. Scientists have their "Clovis First" dogma, ridiculing fellow scientists for digging below the Clovis horizon. Oops! Science by ridicule? It happens all too often.

And the religious fundamentalist ridicules other believers for not interpreting scripture the way they do. Christ warned us that the path to salvation is narrow and difficult, not broad and easy (literal). When fundamentalists bash others for being non-scriptural, they're really saying, "I'm right and you're wrong." God has never admired the lazy or arrogant. And Ego makes it hard for anyone to admit that they were wrong. Ego also makes it impossible to learn something new.

So, I can understand the divide between science and religion. It's an artificial divide, because both fields complement each other. Science, for the most part, covers the realm of continuity (space, time, energy, mass, persistent states, etc). Religion, for the most part, covers the realm of discontinuity (inspiration, miracles, forgiveness, creation, etc).

What's amazing is that both fields can use the skills of the other and sometimes already do. Einstein swore by inspiration, placing it above logic. The methodical nature of science and rigors of logic can help analyze the meaning of scripture and unlock its secrets. Kabbalah sometimes does this.

The key to discovery is being open to discovery. Ego prevents this attitude. Humility empowers this attitude. As Christ said, the "first" (egotistical) shall be last; and the "last" (humble) shall be first.


message 12: by Walter (new)

Walter (waltermy) | 4 comments Craig, I am done here. The only ad hominems here are from you, and you are twisting my words falsely. I teach a Masters level class on the History of Science & Religion that was created by a professor with a PhD in the History & Philosophy of Science. If there is anyone who needs an education in Philosophy of Science here it is you. Perhaps you should take one of my courses because it is evident you're not asking questions here for understanding, but simply leading me so you can follow up with sophomoric statements. I will not be responding to any further posts from you, period.


message 13: by Erika (new)

Erika Nederveld | 3 comments I apologize, I seem to have provoked some negative responses, and that was not my intention. I have also heard the "it's God vs. Evolution" framing of the topic, and suggested the book by Lennox because he re-frames the discussion as "theism vs. naturalism" which puts some interesting twists on it worth noting. This book does not answer any questions or propose a new scientific theory, it merely helps to re-frame the topic in a constructive manner.

In my humble opinion, I believe such topics can be very emotional charged because we cross the boundary between science over to philosophy (as Lennox points out) and although we try to have a discussion that revolves around scientific observations, people still feel that their philosophical beliefs are being attacked (albeit subconsciously). The whole point is to acknowledge this so that it is out in the open and can be isolated to it's own discussion instead of confounding discussions about scientific observations.

I think in order to have a fruitful discussion the isolation of philosophical and scientific arguments is imperative.


message 14: by Craig (last edited Apr 21, 2014 01:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Craig Bolton | 11 comments Let's see if I can respond to some of this. First of all "Philosophy" is not a synonym for "life philosophy" etc. It is well established discipline that goes back as far as the Presocratics. It is a critical and logical discipline dealing with a variety of concerns, such as how we know what we claim to know (epistemology). Science is not observations, or objective observations, etc. It is a way of understanding the world around us based on hypothesizing in a rigorous way and testing our proposed hypotheses. Science is not about "beliefs," it is about hypotheses and one's willingness to subject hypotheses to logical criticism and empirical testing.(Only in this latter indirect manner do "observations" come into play in science.)


Neither of those enterpries are or should be particularly "emotionally charged." They do, however, have minimal standards connected with them.

I have posed some very simple and starightforward questions about the topic of this Group. It is, indeed. ashame that Walter apparently has no answers to those questions and feels compelled to go off in a huff. But perhaps that tells us what he is about.


Craig Bolton | 11 comments Incidentally, Rod, very good post.


message 16: by Walter (new)

Walter (waltermy) | 4 comments Craig, I have not gone off in a huff, and I don't owe you a single thing. YOU are the one who crossed a line with your own comments, and you are blaming ME for YOUR lack of decorum. I have students to attend to that actually WANT to learn about Philosophy of Science, so my time is directed to those who want to actually learn. From your writings here, I can see you are no authority, but are so puffed up that you actually believe you do. I deal with people who do have authority but would never use that authority to belittle others, unlike you. As I said before, perhaps you should sign up for the Biola University Master in Science & Religion program and we'll see if you can make it through one of our classes. From your arguments on this forum and your attitude, I doubt you would succeed (unless of course, you humbled yourself and realized you don't know everything).


message 17: by Erika (new)

Erika Nederveld | 3 comments I understand and have to agree with your point that: "Philosophy" is not a synonym for "life philosophy". But at the same time I feel that philosophy can RULE OUT specific explanations / interpretations even if these match the observed data very well. And that is precisely what I am concerned about (for either side of the argument!).

Lennox quotes Carl Sagan, "Our willingness to accept scientific claims that that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs... in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment... to MATERIALISM. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated." Pg 35.

Now, let me say that I support methodological naturalism, whose purpose is to avoid a God-of-the-Gaps explanations. According to Lennox methodological naturalism is often construed as Naturalism (as a philosophy) which is closely linked to Materialism. (they all end in -ism, just like theism)

So I think a key questions is, at what point are we willing to concede that a particular scientific theory is inadequate in its explanatory power? From Carl Sagan's point of view... never. The scientific community is required by it's a priori commitment to Materialism to uphold materialistic explanations even if they are desperately wanting. --> This is where I have a difference of opinion.


message 18: by Roy (new)

Roy (woodbomb50) Anyone interested in the theological views of Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician and philosopher who tries to reconcile (among other things)God and Nature without reducing one to the other.


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 2 comments Craig,
Why don't you read my book CREATION STRIKES BACK: How Chimpanzees Devolved From Man. I tackle the creationism vs. evolution schism head-on with no hold's barred. This is straight Biblical and science research (across many disciplines) with a surprise twist that actually makes perfect sense. Robert J. Core


message 20: by Anup (new)

Anup Rej (anuprej) | 2 comments I have just joined the group. I add this post in order to find out how I may interact with the members of this group. Here I present my interests in religion and science by first telling about why I have written books related to science and spirituality and what the readers may find in these books. I hope this introduction will help to start discussions with people who are concerned about the questions of God, cosmos, consciousness, meaning, ethics etc.

"From childhood two things had played dominant roles in my life: One was the mystery related to God and the other about the questions concerning the origin of the universe. I was brought up in a family which took distance from the religious culture and tradition, and instead provided an atmosphere of rational scientific thinking. As a child I enjoyed an atmosphere where philosophies, classical literatures of East and West, and avant-garde experiments in music, arts and literature were discussed, debated and appreciated. My parents were atheists.

However, as contradiction to this atheist and scientific upbringing, before I started to learn alphabets I had been receiving messages from an invisible world. The messages confirmed the presence of God. The inner being, who was communicating with me, asked me to take distance from the traditional religions and beliefs. The presence of God in many ways did not contradict the atheist views which my parents implanted in me.

Already at the age of thirteen/fourteen I had decided to become a Nuclear Physicist and wanted to study the mystery of the universe. The passion for the universe was so immense that I started to learn General Theory of Relativity of Einstein before I finished my secondary school education. These interests in science combined with the availability of the books of the existential philosophers and writers, which filled our home, made me into an intellectual devoted to existentialism before I entered my youth.

As I entered youth the two opposite sides of my life came into conflict: On one side God was trying to reveal its existence through literary words, visual expressions of arts and a power in the mind stirring emotions and thoughts; on the other side, the scientific knowledge and fascination for existentialism planted doubts and disbeliefs in God.
As I crossed the age of twenty God started to rule over the mind. It created tormenting psychological experiences which could not be explained by any rational understanding of the world. I did not talk about these experiences to anyone with the fear that people might think I was insane. So I lived a separate hidden life outside the realm which people called normal.

During this period I pursued an academic career as a nuclear physicist and travelled around the world. At that time my wife joined the Foreign Service of Norway. While God and scientific reason drove my life in two opposite directions and made my inner life an arena of frustration, despair and terrible conflicts, I faced an unbearable tragedy. We lost our only son in a cable car accident on the Alps in Switzerland. The circumstances around the accident were so weird that I believed that his death was a deliberate act of God.
From then on my life changed dramatically. I was now possessed by the inner cosmic being who became my Guide in a world which appeared chaotic and dark. This resulted in the book ”Tathagata- A Divine Comedy for Our Time”. It was a journey through mythology, philosophy, poetry, religion and cosmos. As a part of the universal being, of whom all human beings are parts, I made a journey through many spheres of consciousness. In the end God appeared to answer the questions I wished to ask. The discussions with God involved the questions related to the nature of the world, human will and the existence of God as well as issues of ethics and moral. Then came a period when the mystery of the cosmos opened up for me. I discovered a universe without beginning and end where time existed in the background of a cosmic design which was timeless.

While writing these books I left academic career as a physicist and followed my wife in her postings as a diplomat. While she served as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, I wrote “Dialogues Between Man and God” in Seoul. When we lived in Bangkok, where she was Ambassador of Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia I wrote “Timelessness in Time in a Cosmos Without Beginning and End”. My last book “Vision of an Enlightened World- a Cosmic Perspective” was written in Dhaka while she was serving as Ambassador to Bangladesh.

These books were published in 2014 under the series “Books of Existence”. They deal with the most fundamental questions of human existence including God, cosmos, consciousness, meaning and values of life. The contents of the books revolve around my personal experiences of God and knowledge of science, and understanding of society and culture based on experiences gained from living in different parts of the world.

The essential messages of these books are: We live in a purposeful and designed universe, which is controlled and organized by a cosmic power in such a profound manner that no human intellect would ever be able to conceive. In this meaningful universe the life evolves and transcends from a primitive stage to a higher evolution when mind may be capable of revealing greater dimensions of existence. The way the cosmos is organized and designed can give us the perspective about what is right and wrong, and what should be the universal moral basis of actions when we interact with the fellow human beings and nature. It emphasizes that there exist higher and lower paths. Along the lower path man may regress towards the animal instincts, while by following the higher path mind may reveal the greater mystery of the creation of the cosmos through our existence. The higher path is the path of the cosmic mind - an unfoldment towards greater and greater awareness of truth about the oneness of all existing in the universe.

My spirituality is based on this awareness and experience of God. I do not share beliefs of any particular religion, or practice any ritual from any culture. I consider the evolution of religion and spirituality as expressions of social institutions, which attempt to provide answers to the fundamental questions of existence. It is a way for the people facing myriads of challenges of survival to seek psychological security. I see weakness of religious faiths which create conflicts and wars with other faiths, and divide human beings according to religion and culture. My spirituality instead is based on the belief in oneness of all human beings as parts of the cosmic being.

The purpose of my writing is to confront the deepest questions of existence without prejudice to science or spirituality. While accepting the premises of science, which have formed the foundation of modern culture, and recognizing the success of science in explaining things which were once attributed to divine agents, I wish to be faithful to my own life and experience. I keep myself open to the dimensions of existence which may not have any scientific explanation. In spite of the overwhelming progress made by science in closing the gaps in understanding psychological phenomena once perceived as the realm of spirituality, I accept the mental phenomena related to God as something outside the realm of science. It appears to exist above knowledge and cannot be confirmed and explained with intellectual arguments.

In my view human existence cannot be reduced only to phenomena, which can be tested, proved and disproved by using scientific methods. It includes much more than these. Our existence seems to extend to extra dimensions where mind may have a different reality outside the realm of matter. I do believe that although mind may emerge in association with matter it is not synonymous with matter.

The books will throw lights on the nature of the mind and the way the mind may function in revealing the existence of God. In my writing process I have used both aspect of the mind: In one aspect it derives ideas from knowledge, reason and intellect which are in conformity with the scientific and rational understanding of the world. In other aspect it belongs to a process which contradicts reason, logic and knowledge. This non-rational process emerges as consciousness not controlled by the judgment of the rational mind or experiences of the reality. It appears as revelation of God – a sort of babbling from a realm of the mind which cannot be understood. Many may like to interpret such revelatory writing as disease of the mind. I do not agree with them. For me God exists and speaks to man in this revelatory way.

I believe God has spoken to me and explained the nature of Divinity, cosmos, consciousness, meaning and values of life with a purpose of sending messages to the fellow human beings. I have been told about the possibility of building an enlightened social-political order which would take care of the freedom and rights of all human beings in ways that may bring forth the evolution of higher nature in man. In such an enlightened social system spirituality would receive an important role together with the knowledge of science. In such a world the scientific man would not be seen as antithesis of the spiritual man, but as a synthesis of man and God living together in a will-bound world governed by laws of nature.

I hope that with increasing knowledge of science, and the liberation of human beings from material needs, and growing security of life against survival, larger groups of human beings would receive opportunities for deeper exploration of the self. This will bring the realms of science and spirituality closer together. The readers will discover in my books the vision of the higher man and the way one may walk along an enlightened path to bring forward this evolution.

List of my books:
1. BOOK OF WILL AND WORLD: A Foundation of Moral Universalism – Sociology, biology, psychology, cosmos versus God
2. BORN IS UNBORN: Between Heaven and the Brain
3. DIALOGUES BETWEEN MAN AND GOD: Suffering Man Encountering Buddha and Christ: Revelation
4. TATHAGATA: A Divine Comedy for Our Time – Journey through different realms of consciousness in search of meaning of life
5. TIMELESSNESS IN TIME: A Cosmos Without Beginning and End (Designed Universe)
6. VISION OF AN ENLIGHTENED WORLD: A Cosmic Perspective – Evolution of society towards “higher-man”(based of ideas on enlightened democracy)

Websites:
1. http://BooksofExistence.no
2. http://AnupRej.EnlightenedWorld.net


message 21: by Anup (new)

Anup Rej (anuprej) | 2 comments I have just joined the Group. I add this post to find out how I may interact with the members of the Group. In this post I present my interest in religion and science since childhood, which have resulted in the publication of a few books related to the relations between science and spirituality. Hope this introduction will help to start discussions about the questions about God, Cosmos, consciousness, meaning, values of life etc.

"From childhood two things had played dominant roles in my life: One was the mystery related to God and the other about the questions concerning the origin of the universe. I was brought up in a family which took distance from the religious culture and tradition, and instead provided an atmosphere of rational scientific thinking. As a child I enjoyed an atmosphere where philosophies, classical literatures of East and West, and avant-garde experiments in music, arts and literature were discussed, debated and appreciated. My parents were atheists.

However, as contradiction to this atheist and scientific upbringing, before I started to learn alphabets I had been receiving messages from an invisible world. The messages confirmed the presence of God. The inner being, who was communicating with me, asked me to take distance from the traditional religions and beliefs. The presence of God in many ways did not contradict the atheist views which my parents implanted in me.

Already at the age of thirteen/fourteen I had decided to become a Nuclear Physicist and wanted to study the mystery of the universe. The passion for the universe was so immense that I started to learn General Theory of Relativity of Einstein before I finished my secondary school education. These interests in science combined with the availability of the books of the existential philosophers and writers, which filled our home, made me into an intellectual devoted to existentialism before I entered my youth.

As I entered youth the two opposite sides of my life came into conflict: On one side God was trying to reveal its existence through literary words, visual expressions of arts and a power in the mind stirring emotions and thoughts; on the other side, the scientific knowledge and fascination for existentialism planted doubts and disbeliefs in God.

As I crossed the age of twenty God started to rule over the mind. It created tormenting psychological experiences which could not be explained by any rational understanding of the world. I did not talk about these experiences to anyone with the fear that people might think I was insane. So I lived a separate hidden life outside the realm which people called normal.

During this period I pursued an academic career as a nuclear physicist and travelled around the world. At that time my wife joined the Foreign Service of Norway. While God and scientific reason drove my life in two opposite directions and made my inner life an arena of frustration, despair and terrible conflicts, I faced an unbearable tragedy. We lost our only son in a cable car accident on the Alps in Switzerland. The circumstances around the accident were so weird that I believed that his death was a deliberate act of God.

From then on my life changed dramatically. I was now possessed by the inner cosmic being who became my Guide in a world which appeared chaotic and dark. This resulted in the book ”Tathagata- A Divine Comedy for Our Time”. It was a journey through mythology, philosophy, poetry, religion and cosmos. As a part of the universal being, of whom all human beings are parts, I made a journey through many spheres of consciousness. In the end God appeared to answer the questions I wished to ask. The discussions with God involved the questions related to the nature of the world, human will and the existence of God as well as issues of ethics and moral. Then came a period when the mystery of the cosmos opened up for me. I discovered a universe without beginning and end where time existed in the background of a cosmic design which was timeless.

While writing these books I left academic career as a physicist and followed my wife in her postings as a diplomat. While she served as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, I wrote “Dialogues Between Man and God” in Seoul. When we lived in Bangkok, where she was Ambassador of Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia I wrote “Timelessness in Time in a Cosmos Without Beginning and End”. My last book “Vision of an Enlightened World- a Cosmic Perspective” was written in Dhaka while she was serving as Ambassador to Bangladesh.

These books were published in 2014 under the series “Books of Existence”. They deal with the most fundamental questions of human existence including God, cosmos, consciousness, meaning and values of life. The contents of the books revolve around my personal experiences of God and knowledge of science, and understanding of society and culture based on experiences gained from living in different parts of the world.

The essential messages of these books are: We live in a purposeful and designed universe, which is controlled and organized by a cosmic power in such a profound manner that no human intellect would ever be able to conceive. In this meaningful universe the life evolves and transcends from a primitive stage to a higher evolution when mind may be capable of revealing greater dimensions of existence. The way the cosmos is organized and designed can give us the perspective about what is right and wrong, and what should be the universal moral basis of actions when we interact with the fellow human beings and nature. It emphasizes that there exist higher and lower paths. Along the lower path man may regress towards the animal instincts, while by following the higher path mind may reveal the greater mystery of the creation of the cosmos through our existence. The higher path is the path of the cosmic mind - an unfoldment towards greater and greater awareness of truth about the oneness of all existing in the universe.

My spirituality is based on this awareness and experience of God. I do not share beliefs of any particular religion, or practice any ritual from any culture. I consider the evolution of religion and spirituality as expressions of social institutions, which attempt to provide answers to the fundamental questions of existence. It is a way for the people facing myriads of challenges of survival to seek psychological security. I see weakness of religious faiths which create conflicts and wars with other faiths, and divide human beings according to religion and culture. My spirituality instead is based on the belief in oneness of all human beings as parts of the cosmic being.

The purpose of my writing is to confront the deepest questions of existence without prejudice to science or spirituality. While accepting the premises of science, which have formed the foundation of modern culture, and recognizing the success of science in explaining things which were once attributed to divine agents, I wish to be faithful to my own life and experience. I keep myself open to the dimensions of existence which may not have any scientific explanation. In spite of the overwhelming progress made by science in closing the gaps in understanding psychological phenomena once perceived as the realm of spirituality, I accept the mental phenomena related to God as something outside the realm of science. It appears to exist above knowledge and cannot be confirmed and explained with intellectual arguments.
In my view human existence cannot be reduced only to phenomena, which can be tested, proved and disproved by using scientific methods. It includes much more than these. Our existence seems to extend to extra dimensions where mind may have a different reality outside the realm of matter. I do believe that although mind may emerge in association with matter it is not synonymous with matter.

The books will throw lights on the nature of the mind and the way the mind may function in revealing the existence of God. In my writing process I have used both aspect of the mind: In one aspect it derives ideas from knowledge, reason and intellect which are in conformity with the scientific and rational understanding of the world. In other aspect it belongs to a process which contradicts reason, logic and knowledge. This non-rational process emerges as consciousness not controlled by the judgment of the rational mind or experiences of the reality. It appears as revelation of God – a sort of babbling from a realm of the mind which cannot be understood. Many may like to interpret such revelatory writing as disease of the mind. I do not agree with them. For me God exists and speaks to man in this revelatory way.

I believe God has spoken to me and explained the nature of Divinity, cosmos, consciousness, meaning and values of life with a purpose of sending messages to the fellow human beings. I have been told about the possibility of building an enlightened social-political order which would take care of the freedom and rights of all human beings in ways that may bring forth the evolution of higher nature in man. In such an enlightened social system spirituality would receive an important role together with the knowledge of science. In such a world the scientific man would not be seen as antithesis of the spiritual man, but as a synthesis of man and God living together in a will-bound world governed by laws of nature.

I hope that with increasing knowledge of science, and the liberation of human beings from material needs, and growing security of life against survival, larger groups of human beings would receive opportunities for deeper exploration of the self. This will bring the realms of science and spirituality closer together. The readers will discover in my books the vision of the higher man and the way one may walk along an enlightened path to bring forward this evolution.

List of my books:

1. BOOK OF WILL AND WORLD: A Foundation of Moral Universalism – Sociology, biology, psychology, cosmos versus God
2. BORN IS UNBORN: Between Heaven and the Brain
3. DIALOGUES BETWEEN MAN AND GOD: Suffering Man Encountering Buddha and Christ: Revelation
4. TATHAGATA: A Divine Comedy for Our Time – Journey through different realms of consciousness in search of meaning of life
5. TIMELESSNESS IN TIME: A Cosmos Without Beginning and End (Designed Universe)
6. VISION OF AN ENLIGHTENED WORLD: A Cosmic Perspective – Evolution of society towards “higher-man”(based of ideas on enlightened democracy)
Websites:
1. http://BooksofExistence.no
2. http://AnupRej.EnlightenedWorld.net


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