By Beyond Thought we mean beyond dualistic thinking; beyond those either-or choices we’re so often expected to make in life. Like the great Science: Religion debate, for example.
Thus, when I hear someone ask how they can reconcile being a Christian with being a scientist, I’m puzzled. I’ve always been a Christian (my parents were both active with my local church whilst I was growing up) and always been a scientist (since studying Maths, Physics and Chemistry A-levels) and never had a problem being both together. So how have a managed to do this whilst others seems to suffer agonies over the supposed dichotomy of conflicting world-views?
Well, that’s the first point: since reflecting on such things consciously I’ve been willing to acknowledge dichotomy, embrace a paradox and rise above (apparent) contradictions. Science and Christianity (or any religion) are merely (to me) two perspectives on what we call reality. Neither is right nor wrong, good nor bad, better nor worse: they’re just different! It’s looking being either side of a window: we can be inside looking out or outside looking it. Two very different views through the same window.
Being a scientist, to me, is about exploring my reality, making sense of the world and my place in it through rational enquiry . . . by asking question. By understanding things better I improve my relationships with life . . . I become more whole, more conscious. As science expands itself to embrace quantum physics and consciousness, this journey become even more fascinating and rewarding!
Being a Christian has two facets for me: being a Christian within a community is about practicing rather than preaching. To love your neighbour . . . and love your enemy. And being a Christian on a personal journey is about developing my Christ-consciousness: become more whole and complete through improving my relationship with God, with life.
So, to me, both paths are about creatively growing towards greater consciousness. As I pursue them, with conviction, willingness and openness to deeper understanding and revelation, they meet each other. I’ve found that both paths amount to a common path towards finding ourselves and being a whole, fulfilled, human-being at peace with themselves and the world. That journey might take all of our lives, it may involve embracing paradoxes, but isn’t that why we’re here?
May your reflections be enlightened!
PS This particular image of a view through a window was taken around Nov 5th some years ago. Fireworks can be enjoyable and instil a sense of wonder or a very scary experience. It all depends on your perspective . . .
PPS Some readers might be surprised to see this article from me, since I rarely, explicitly, describe myself as Christian, and am just as likely to be writing or speaking about Buddhism or Taoism. But I was confirmed into the Church of England as teenager. And I have no problem relating constructively to any other (constructive!) philosophy, religion or approach to life . . .