Trading God for Cosmic Energy (at pfennigs on the thaler)…

If you were like me, child of God-fearing parents and long Sunday mornings, lost in the deserts of Palestine in search of God or mammon or meaning or meatloaf, then you either resent that steepled ‘spired stupa’d snow-job or you got lost in the desert sand-job. Now maybe you even laugh at those who take comfort in their ‘invisible friend’ of wrath and redemption or maybe you take comfort in warm fuzzy atheism, complete with images of brutalist architecture and heavy-duty condoms…

…or maybe you figured why throw out babies with bathwater, so decided to get all spiritual—NOT RELIGIOUS—and picked up some New Age training tapes, full of quasi-pseudo-science, complete with uncertain principles and stringy theories and quantum leaps and jumps through hoops of illogical syllogisms and irreconcilable silly jism lying lifeless on roadsides and undergarments…

…promising you communion and redemption and transcendence and deliverance, all at reasonable prices. You’d be polishing the halo on your ‘energy body’ and getting in touch with your spirit being ASAP. There’s only one problem: there’s no proof of any of it. We’re back to religion’s square one, just without the god: belief. We’ve traded our invisible God friend for an invisible energy field. Even acupuncture, which I tend to think of as something that works, can only prove how with the help of a sympathetic culture to back it up. All of which is to say: Asian scientists find proof; Western scientists don’t.

Nevertheless, regardless of whether acupuncture works or not, there is no proof of any meridians or lines of chi energy or anything such. If it works: cool, then do it. Are the drugs and chemicals we pour into our bodies any different? How many times is a drug approved for one purpose found to be effective for another disease or malady? If it works, use it; or better yet—use nothing, unless absolutely necessary. The body CAN heal itself—in many, if not all, cases. That much we know. It’s just a matter of timing, and degrees of pain and misery thresholds.

Science is a belief system, too, just maybe on a little bit higher level than some of the sillier superstitions. It answers the questions that are asked of it, just like any other belief system. You’ll never see a quark or a muon or a tachyon though their existences can be inferred mathematically, so in that sense, they are real—VERY real. Still, is that a physical reality or a perceptual reality? Take some perceptual medicine for your perceived malady—no problem. We can’t all be Jesus Christo. But if you doubt that he did what he did, then I feel very sorry for you. Ask Reza.

Ninety-nine percent of everything that’s ever been said or written is un-provable, and that which is ‘provable’ is only so within its own defined perimeters and parameters. ‘Id, Ego, Superego’? Freud just made that up! ‘Mass sub-conscious’? Great analogy! Nice metaphor! That’s all! No one can prove that this reality is more physical than perceptual (read: ‘spiritual’). It simply can’t be done, so like conspiracy theory in that way. Thus science is an act of faith, too, just very much in the ascendancy in our world right now, due to the many rewards that it has given us.

When this material world of ours crashes, we will likely revert to a more spiritual world-view, too, just as Rome did almost 2000 years ago. They were invincible, too, until they weren’t. And, ultimately, the toys in your playroom don’t help much when you’re one of the half million refugees washed up on the beaches of Europe this year. Some faith does: whether in science, religion, secular humanism, hippie-dom or whatever. I don’t know how ‘faith’ became a synonym for ‘religion’ in the first place. Everything in human existence is an auto-da-fe. The difference is in belief systems.

My goal is to create nothing new, but to merely reconcile positions often seen as antagonistic. I see no necessary conflict between religions nor any conflict between them as a whole and science. Some people just prefer conflict to conciliation—not me. Still for me the ultimate question of the physical universe—and human existence—is always: is reality built up of fundamental particles, or does it trickle down from consciousness? Physical reality or perceptual reality? Chickens or eggs? I’m hungry! Let’s eat!