Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister
Yes. I'd have said yes if you hadn't capitalized spirit. If by "Spirit" you mean some non-corporeal part of your personality that exists separately from your brain and can potentially at least survive the death of your body, I'd say no. But if the term is as Cliffy defined it, "the individual search for truth and meaning in one's life," and to truth and meaning I'd probably add a few more things, like fulfillment and joy, I'd say yes.
It's clear by your heartfelt testimony that science and spirituality are compatible. But of course, the term ''spirit'' is pretty vague and can be used in so many contexts. And the fact that I capitalized the word can easily be misleading.
By Spirit, I didn't quite mean the ''non-corporeal part of my personality that exists separately from my brain and can potentially survive its death.'' By Spirit, I'm talking about something that is universal rather than individual.
Very simply put, the idea of Platonic Forms is close to what I am talking about. (It's been expressed in many other ways throughout the history of philosophy)... This idea that the manifest world is just the surface of things, that there is an underlying structure that you can't really touch, smell or see but only assess with your mind.
The manifest world is a manifestation of what? Of Spirit. Here's an image to support the idea... The manifest world is like the surface of the ocean with its waves crashing on the beach of human consciousness. But what is there under the waves? Spirit. And in the end, the waves are not separate from Spirit, they are its exterior manifestation. The manifest world IS part of Spirit.
In my view, science is constantly dealing with what is going on beneath the waves. What is more intangible than the equations that underlie gravity? You can't touch these equations, you can't taste them, you can't SEE them... Of course, you can see an equation written on a piece of paper, but you need to understand
the equation with your mind in order for it to have meaning. The written equation is just a symbol of the pure mental concept, that can only be ''seen'' with reason, not with the senses. To a child, the equation is just gibberish because it can't mentally grasp the concept.
So science is constantly going under the surface of manifest reality to understand what is really
going on, and the further it goes, the more intangible things become, the more it needs to deal with abstract concepts and equations.
Of course, there is nothing intangible with a piano falling on your head (that is a pretty manifest version of gravity...) And there is nothing intangible about an atomic bomb! But again, the atomic explosion is the manifestation of principles that can only be assessed with the mind.
And it is in that sense that I speak of a universal Spirit. This Spirit is like the paper on which the story of the universe is written.
Or here's a perhaps better analogy:
The manifest world is like the actual letters that you are reading right now. You see them with your eyes (your senses). But Spirit (the ''non-manifest'') is like the syntax that makes these letters intelligible. Spirit is what makes it all coherent
All that being said, I could understand why you wouldn't want to use the term ''Spirit'' for what I am talking about because of the numerous ways you can anthropomorphize the word. What would you suggest?