02 June 2005

Spirituality and science

What happens if we conduct research in spirituality while applying the scientific method? Can we find a model of spirituality which agrees with science? Can scientific inquiry lead us to the same transcendent knowledge that the world’s spiritual traditions speak of?

In a wonderful and thought-provoking article,
“Advaita and Science”, Dr Nitin Trasi introduces us to the doctrine of advaita and says: “Interestingly, we can. Not only that, if we delve a little further, we will find that all the mystics and sages have been pointing to this very same philosophy from time immemorial.”

However, eminent economist E F Schumacher may have believed otherwise. In an interview to Fritjof Capra, physicist and author of books like The Tao of Physics and Uncommon Wisdom, Prof Schumacher said: “We have to be very careful to avoid head-on confrontation… I don't believe at all that physics can help us in solving our problems today.”

Fritjof Capra met E F Schumacher in 1977 (shortly before Schumacher’s death) and narrated the essence of this meeting in his book Uncommon Wisdom. Today, thanks to “What Is Enlightenment” magazine, you can read an account of this interview – also wonderful and thought-provoking – in
“Encounter at the Edge of the New Paradigm.”

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