How to incorporate faith and scientific logic in the spiritual walk?
A: The difference between scientific logic and faith and the connection between them.
To lay a basis for discussion we will first set out some principles and assumptions:
- Science represents the physical and measurable things as well as the study of the psychological mental/emotional field. Faith represents the spirit. The spiritual reality is as different from the mental reality as the mental reality is different from the physical reality/ Also the spiritual reward is greater than the mental reward as the mental is greater than the physical.
- The scientific tools such as reasoning, objective collection of measurable findings, conducting experiments and building theories are tools of the mental person, but they are important as an aid to the spirit and complete the spiritual experience.
- The entities in the spiritual world and specifically the Spirit of the God of Israel, who is the dominant spirit and creator of the world, use both physical/mental and the spiritual experiences and tools to guide men. For this purpose, they may give a person a spiritual epiphany or a mental/physical epiphany.
The spiritual revelation is a gentle one and it is difficult for a person to be aware of its existence because they are used to the mental/physical world and its crude messages. Every person, even believers, is rarley aware of the spiritual revelation they receive, even though this revelation is the central engine and leads his spiritual development.
The purpose of the spiritual practice is to get closer and more aware of the spiritual revelation that the Spirit gives us. To consciously approach the spiritual revelation is to approach the God of Israel Himself and establish a close and intimate relationship with Him because all revelations are contained in God’s personality.
When a person receives an epiphany in which an angel speaks to him or he hears the voice of God or he sees sights in the heavens, also then, the graphic description of an angel, words spoken, sights, and feelings experienced, all of these are still in the mental/physical/sensory realm. The spiritual revelation itself is indescribable. The emotional or graphic verbal descriptions that may accompany the spiritual revelation are translations which the spiritual entity that conveys the Revelation makes from the spiritual language to the mental/physical/sensory language. Pure spiritual revelation is of another species, it is not sensory, does not rely on the earthly laws of reason or emotion.
The God of Israel does not often give his followers epiphanies in which he translates the spiritual language into mental language, so believers do not have many epiphanies in which they see angels, sights in heaven or hear words literally. On the other hand, God does give his followers a pure spiritual revelation (not translated) often. This is because God wants the believer to develop his capacity for spiritual absorption. Whereas when He gives the believer a translated revelation, he makes the believer think that the translated revelation is the Spirit. Than the believer remains fixated on the emotional sensory perception and expect to always receive a translated revelation.
God will give a translated epiphany, which includes sights and words, to the weaker believers, and only if He thinks it is the only way to move them in the desired direction. Another group that receives translated spiritual epiphanies regularly is prophets. The prophets receives it not for themselves but to pass it on to the general public if God thinks the public needs a translated Revelation and there is no other way to propel them to where He wants them to move. In general, God prefers that people learn to listen to the Spirit and understand the spiritual language.
The Spirit speaks to the believer in a spiritual language on a daily basis but few believers know or want to listen to it. Many believers ask for the translated spiritual epiphany but it is precisely this that God rarely gives. The translation from the language of the spirit into the language of the world is something that humans should do. That’s our role in the world and God wants us to do that. Also when humans engage in arts, they translate spiritual revelations into sensory /emotional /logical language and God is interested in this activity (If indeed they do the translation from His spirit and not from other spirits).
- As opposed to the spiritual language, the emotional sensory language is a tool that belongs to the earthly world. To avoid writing mental /sensory /emotional /physical /logical tools each time, I will write ‘science’ and that will sum up the earthly side. I use the term science as a representation of every work, even daily work, done with logic, examining the sensory and emotional experiences that are in the measurable area, conducting experiments using logic and then, through these, building a product, creating something or building theories and insights based on the above.
- To gain spiritual faith and to become a citizen in the divine kingdom of God, which is first and foremost a spiritual kingdom, it is necessary first of all to have pure spiritual revelation. The spiritual revelation is the foundation of faith. A person can choose to become a believer only after receiving a spiritual epiphany. Once he received it and agrees to it (each person receives spiritual revelations, the question is whether he chooses to accept it), it is good that he finds this revelation a manifestation (translation) in the scientific tools presented above. This will complement his faith and provide him with necessary help and support.
- The separation I’m making here between body mind and spirit is an artificial separation, just for the sake of logical explanation. In the divine reality which is the real reality and the high point of view, there is no separation. Mind body and spirit are one system. The separation is designed to aid common sense but it also dangerous. The danger is that we then tend to use this division to excuse all sorts of undesirable things in us and take away responsibility – as if a particular problem is in the body or mind and not ‘in us’. The schizophrenic notion that there are three personalities in us and that responsibility can be transferred from one to the other is not true from the spiritual point of view and should only be restricted to the use of it as a device for the logical/mental/scientific understanding. The logical understanding is a dividing understanding and it is limited to the dividing world, it cannot grasp the spiritual world which is the world of Unity.
Normally we think of science and faith as two opposites, they may be opposites but complementary opposites. In other words, scientific truth based on logic and measurable findings is incomplete if no faith is added to it and faith is incomplete if no physical, sensory, logical, measurable truth is added to it. The claim that is heard sometimes as if God doesn’t need ‘ordinary’ reason because He’s beyond it, or the claim that faith and reason can’t be mixed, is not true.
It is also wrong to suggest that for scientific work there is no need for belief. God wants people to believe as much as He wants them to test their faith with scientific tools. He also wants that scientist (or artists, since art is a form of science) would add faith to their scientific work, otherwise their research would be lifeless, and ultimately lacking in practical relevance.
In this article I attempt to analyze faith, science and the connection between them with common sense tools and thus demonstrate this combination. At the same time, it must be understood that when I analyze faith with reason it does not mean that with the help of explanation or with the experience of reason/emotion/senses it is possible to gain faith and be a believer. Faith comes from another source. However, when you add the scientific tools to the faith, you make the faith complete and realize its goals.
We believe that the world was created by God for a particular purpose and the purpose is, among other things, to connect heaven and earth and man to God. Faith represents heaven, reason and science represents the earth. When I try to analyze faith with scientific tools, I do important spiritual work that God wishes to promote. I am doing it for the sake of bringing heaven and earth closer and for creating a point of connection and cooperation between them.
So how can we describe faith with reason? The logic says that it is best to silence the body’s complaints and physical senses in certain situations, when they are uncomfortable, in order to gain reward in the longer term. This occurs for example when we exercise or diet. We temporarily give up on physical comfort to bring on ourselves something we see as more valuable than immediate comfort and will come true in the future. This mental reward is easy for us to see in our ‘natural’ self, through the visualization ability of the mind, and rational thought. Through the mind we can anticipate future things that to the body and senses alone are unclear. Physically/sensationally, we only see the present, but the mind can see beyond what is happening in this moment.
The human mind knows how to do it relatively easily because the mental issues are clear to it. You can, for example, sit for an hour at the barber’s, wrapped in cloth, still, despite the body’s complaints that it’s uncomfortable, and without creating internal crisis due to a conflict of interest between body and mind.
Exercising the sovereignty of the mind over the body with what we think will bear fruit in the future is exercising faith. The same mechanism works on the spiritual level, except that then the spirit exerts its authority on the mind instead of the mind exerting its authority on the body. This happens when some transcendent spiritual reality is revealed to us. The satisfaction and the spiritual reward are greater than the mental so we have justification and motivation for the sacrifice required. If there is no such revelation to revile the spiritual benefit, the process will either not happen or will not last long.
Still, one of the problems is that we don’t have a ‘natural’ understanding of the spiritual advantage over the mental one, in order to have such understanding we have to initiate and ask for it. The pure spiritual revelation is indescribable for the ‘natural’ person, and it also cannot be transmitted from person to person. Only spiritual powers can give it and by it’s aid we need to activate a different ‘organ’ to catch it. That’s why I don’t think there’s much point in trying to persuade someone to follow a spiritual path or explain things to them rationally, because analyzing the spiritual interest in reason, bringing evidence, presenting theories, etc. can’t bring spiritual revelation. (Later, we will see that we can ask for a spiritual epiphany from two different and opposing camps of spiritual forces).
As stated, once a spiritual revelation is requested and received, the revelation will be complete if the scientific tools are added to it. Scientific instruments are utilities and complementary tools for spiritual discovery, but this completion is absolutely necessary.
To use scientific tools, we need to be able to collect objective findings, build a theory based on logic, without having logical failures, and know how to conduct an experiment, even if the experiment is simple and ‘daily’ (the experiment is based on physical, behavioral, emotional, experiential findings. In fact, to do a work of art is also an experiment.) In science there are two types of experiments, one called a thought experiment and the other a practical experiment. Both types of experiments are important and we can’t do science without them.
When we want to complete the spiritual revelation with a scientific revelation, it is necessary to know how to perform both types of experiments. Both are meant to fix, to verify and to validate the spiritual revelation it though, in principle, the pure spiritual revelation is impossible to fix. Yet we are required to do this verification and fixation because this is how we work for the unity of heaven and earth.
While there are also future spiritual realities and promises to the believer that are supposed to be fulfilled in the future kingdom of God and these cannot be checked and verified now through scientific experiment, there are also quite a few spiritual matters that do supposed to be fulfilled in this world and which can be checked and verified.
Scientific reason is supposed to be free from prejudice, fears, self-deception or wishful thinking and that is its power. If we do all the tests and experiments this way, we will gain from its true spiritual benefit, if we are negligent in performing the tests and experiments, lazy in doing them thoroughly, or not doing them objectively, we will remain in the realm of deception and lies even on the spiritual level. At the same time, the reward received from walking the spiritual path should not only be examined with the physical/scientific eyes but also and mainly with the spiritual eyes, as the mental reward we get when we sacrifice something physical, we get not only on the physical level but especially on the mental and emotional level and we test it not only with the physical tools but also especially with the mental tools.
While the reward for sitting at the hairdresser can be physically measured (changes in length, color or hair style), the main change or reward is the emotional satisfaction that the person receives inside and, in his surroundings, following the haircut, and these are completely different metrics from the dry physical measures as length and color.
Nevertheless, the physical examination is important in the case of mental reward, because if we pay attention to the physical details the mental experience will become richer and deeper, and the physical examination of hair length, color and shape can give us an important objective indication of what was achieved sitting at the barbershop and turn on a red light if the examination suggests that it may be self-deception (the barber actually did no actual work).
The spiritual matter should be handled exactly the same way. On the one hand the essential feedback and reward we receive is in the spiritual realm, and these are entirely different metrics from the physical or mental ones. On the other hand, the physical and mental examination as a supportive addition to the spiritual revelation is important and necessary.
But how do we get a pure, formative spiritual revelation that will activate the faith and give it substantive feedback? It’s simple. The spiritual organ that facilitates spiritual revelation is already within us and we need only to want and ask for that revelation.
Just as the ability to reason is already built in a person of a certain age, so is the spiritual mechanism that allows to seek spiritual reward, identify, follow a spiritual path and receive spiritual revelation, all of which are already built into us, we only need to ‘grow’ into them. (As a baby needs to grow into the mental mechanisms that will allow visualization and analysis in reasoning. In the beginning they are not yet developed, so it is impossible, for example, to make a baby sit for an hour in a barbershop without moving, he is unable to understand the need for it and unable to visualize the mental reward that this may bring).
Though, the spiritual revelation is very subtle and the consciousness usually doesn’t recognize it because it’s not given to it in the forms it’s used to, the problem usually is not rooted there and those who really want that revelation find a way to identify it and will receive help from above. the bigger problem is that we don’t really want it. We don’t want because the soul revolts. Also to think rationally, calculate steps forward and subject the body to the mind to gain mental reward, we sometimes don’t want. We don’t want to, not because we can’t, but because we are uncomfortable facing a logical mental truth that says, it’s better but requires some sacrifice, so we break away from that logic and stick to the short-term physical comfort, likewise in the spiritual realm.
The physical person fails to see beyond his physical needs and therefore fails to apply mental authority to the body and gain deeper and longer-lasting mental rewards. The mental person cannot see the spiritual regions beyond the soul, and the spiritual person is free to see and experience everything. He is free and he is a servant of the spirit that guides him at the same time.
B: Who or what does the person serve? What are the two spiritual camps?
A man always serves something, he either serves the body, or the mind, or the spirit. When he wishes to serve the Spirit (to receive spiritual reward) the question he must ask is what spirit does he wish to serve? Depending on the type of spirit, this will be the kind of spiritual reward he will find.
When a person asks for some spiritual revelation, he immediately contacts a Spirit, because the very act of asking is an intrusion into the spiritual world and the intention behind the request (the inner spirit behind the request) is the one that determines which spirit will respond to it.
This is similar to the constant interaction that occurs between materials within the human body and the materials around it – substances it breathes, eats, those that pass through the skin, etc. A person’s physical needs, their tendencies, the choices they make, their circumstances, all of these will determine which substances enter the body and interact with it.
Just as the material world has lots of materials, so the spiritual world has many very different spirits. All spirits without exception are divided into two camps. The camp of the God of Israel and the camp of all the others who were not wise enough to be part of the camp of the God of Israel, we can call them: the camp of the rebels.
In the spiritual world there are countless spirits that will lead man to oblivion under the guise of promises and misrepresentations. This is just as in the human world countless charlatans, thieves or just situations that don’t fit the purposes we set for ourselves and lead us round and round, and as in the material world countless substances many of which are unsuitable or undesirable.
For those who consciously choose the rebel camp, it is their choice and this article is not meant for them. But many are invoking spiritual epiphanies and various influences on behalf of the rebel camp without realizing who the Spirit they are exerting is, what it represents and what fruit it will lead to. This is where the recommendation comes in for a thorough examination, by scientific tools, of all our values, theories, beliefs, choices, thoughts, intentions – everything that has something to do with the spirit.
We said, though, that every person before they even ask for a spiritual epiphany, before they interact with any Spirit, they have long for themselves the Epiphany or the Spirit according to the intention in their heart. And yet the recommendation to continually test all of the above with scientific tools still stands. Just as a person has to find out what substances his body creates interactions with, what results in one interaction or another, spiritually you have to do the same.
All humans interact with spirits all the time. Every man serves some kind of spirit even if he does not seek to connect with the spiritual world. The difference is, when we does it consciously, that we have the option to choose what we wants. Also physically, the interaction between the materials inside and outside is done anyway, but when it is done consciously, by scientific tools, one can choose to avoid the undesirable or to ask for the desired.
To test the spirits and discern between them does not contradict or oppose faith and spiritual tools we use, on the contrary, it complements the spiritual process. The success of the spiritual process depends on the ability to integrate and connect, make peace, harmony and fruitful cooperation between the scientific tools and the spiritual tools.