I’m at the book store the other day with my husband and some friends. I have approximately $25 “extra” dollars for the next two weeks, because let’s face it, it’s been a rough winter for a lot of people. What do I do? Buy two books, of course. What books? One is Brian Greene’s “The Hidden Reality” and the other is “The Book of Alchemy” by Francis Melville. To be honest, I was stuck in the science section most of the time, and one of my friends handed me the alchemy book from the New Age section. We had been talking about what alchemy actually was at work a few days ago, and he saw this book and thought I would appreciate it.
Let me explain what these two books basically are. Greene’s book is a scientific book explaining things such as M-Theory, string theory, and how other dimensions might really exist. Melville’s book is an overview of alchemy and who studied it, the history of it, and things that go along with it, such as the Hermetic philosophy. My husband, who is very Christian, kind of rolled his eyes at both of my purchases–but more so at the alchemy book.
I have tons of books that are piled all over the house, and there are tons of genres and subjects. In relevance to this subject, I have Bibles, books on Christ, books on mythology, books on tarot cards and actual tarot cards, a book on Celtic religion and tradition, a book about the Hermetic philosophy, books on black holes, Stephen Hawking’s books, astronomy books, astrology books…you get the point. I’m what a lot of people would call, “a little all over the place.”
But am I really? I never personally thought it was weird that I had interests in religion, spiritualism, and science equally until people pointed out that it was odd. It was supposed to be one or the other. Sometimes even one or the other or the other. If you’re religious, you’re religious and not “spiritual.” If you’re either one of those, you can’t be all for science. Make up your mind!
In fact, while at the work a few weeks ago, I was talking about something “science-y” with a coworker. Another coworker just kind of knowingly said (rather than asked), “You’re not religious, are you.” I was somewhat taken aback, although not too much. I am getting used to people making assumptions on my beliefs based on my talking about my interests at the moment. I just frowned and said, “What makes you think that?” I ended it with saying something about being more spiritual than anything, because that’s how I feel at the moment, and that’s the easiest way to explain it to people. It seems that more people accept someone who is “spiritual” and who likes science rather than someone who is religious and likes science. Because science and religion cannot coexist, right?
Well…it’s complicated and it’s not complicated. First off, I think people can believe whatever they want to believe, so long as they aren’t hurting anyone or anything else. But here’s the thing: I really do think that science can be resolved or whatever you want to say with religion and spiritualism. I think you can believe in evolution and the Big Bang and black holes and physics…and still think there is a higher power of some sort, that there is some meaning to life other than reproducing and dying. You don’t have to, but I think you can. However, it seems that people who think science and religion can coexist are just as scoffed at as purely scientific people scoff at purely religious people and vice versa. Why? A person can’t have both? Where is that rule? And it seems when I get asked (sometimes scornfully, sometimes curiously) how I believe in both science and spiritual things, all the questions (from both sides) pretty much revolve around the Bible. And God forbid (no pun intended) I say what I really think: “I don’t necessarily believe everything the Bible says.”
Well, then…I’m clearly not religious. I’m not going to go into a huge spiel about the Bible right now. I don’t want to offend anyone, but just for a brief explanation in my defense: I think you can believe in God or a higher power without believing every word that a human-written book says. I know that it says that God inspired or spoke to the people who wrote what is in the Bible and whatnot, but it is still written by a person. And people lie. And spin things in their favor. And are influenced by their surroundings and their politics and their general standing in time.
But anyways. To go back to Greene’s book, I am utterly fascinated by it. String Theory and other dimensions? Black holes, white holes, and worm holes? Why couldn’t I have been smarter in math so I could have been an astrophysicist?? But think about it. Seriously. Other dimensions? Whole other worlds that mirror ours but differ in minor aspects that potentially lie right alongside ours? Isn’t that what science fiction movies and books use?? Nope…well, yes, but my point is that this is really science and physics. What if because we can only see one reality, we assume wrongly that it is the only reality? What if every time there is a decision to be made, and our world goes on with one choice, another world splits off and follows what happens with the other choice being chosen? It sounds fantastical, doesn’t it? If people can put stock in the fact that there can be other dimensions, why is it so strange to also put stock in the fact that there is a higher being somewhere?
I just wanted this blog to be food for thought. I’m not advocating religion or science, but perhaps asking for a deeper understanding of both. Don’t scoff at someone else’s beliefs. Try to understand them and contemplate them. Are they really so different or far-fetched from yours? My thoughts always land back on, why can’t we all just get along?