April 9, 2011

Survival of the Wisest (Part II)

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - John Lennon

Just so this is clear right up front, I absolutely believe that reason and science are necessary for our evolution. The faculty of reason is a God given power, and is intended for our use. So, contrary to how it might sound, I am actually pro-science. Likewise, I believe that matters of faith, God, spirituality and consciousness are equally necessary to our evolution. I believe that science placed in the service of evolving our spiritual consciousness is the highest expression of our faculty of reason.

It saddens me at times to think that our scientists have not aimed higher in their inquiries over time by keeping God out of it, so to speak. I am also saddened by agents of faith who advocate that reason is the enemy of faith. To me, that kind of thinking is backward, rather than forward thinking. I am not interested in taking sides. Nor, am I interested in vilifying agents in either camp that I might believe are standing in the way of evolution. Those matters are not for me to judge.

However, what is mine to do, is to do my best in my own thoughts, words and actions to contribute to our evolution. What this looks like to me in a tangible sense is to do my best to advance the cause of peace, which means learning to choose love and unity in all my affairs, rather than fear and separation. There really is no more important endeavor to which one can dedicate their life. I believe the same is true for you and every other person on the planet as well. We cannot and will not evolve to a higher expression of consciousness, unless we do so.

Jonas Salk's influential 1973 book The Survival Of The Wisest
Jonas Salk’s influential 1973 book “The Survival Of The Wisest” advances the field of biophilosophy as a new scientific frontier necessary for the evolution of humankind.

If there is to be a paradigm shift of consciousness in our future, how will we know it when it arrives? What does evolution look like? If, in the grand design of the cosmos, we are intended to evolve, what are we evolving from and to what are we evolving? Is it naive to assume that we are, or should be, evolving towards a paradigm grounded in love, rather than fear? These questions only begin to outline the scope of inquiry required for us to take charge of our evolution. They also begin to outline the terrain of the field of biophilosophy, an area of scientific inquiry that pioneering virologist Jonas Salk advanced in his influential 1973 book, Survival of the Wisest.

The Intersection Of Reason & Faith

In Salk’s thinking, it was imperative for us to look beyond the simply material in the field of science. Viewed another way, Salk’s biophilosophy is also interested in investigating the material basis for consciousness. This may seem at first glance to be obtuse to the layman. But, Salk’s vision is revolutionary in the grand scheme, because it sets up a scientific premise that could ultimately lead to proving the existence of God. At the very least, it may hold the key to the evolution of human consciousness.

For most of the history of science, the fundamental basis of inquiry has been limited purely to the observable. In other words, if it could not be seen and observed in the material, then it did not exist, and therefore had no place in science. By this strict definition, inquiry into God, or consciousness, was excluded. This set up the natural antagonism between science and religion, which continues down to the present day. However, there is a shift afoot.

Increasingly, voices from within the scientific community, like Deepak Chopra, Gregg Braden and Bruce Lipton, just to mention a few are doing serious work to expand the field of scientific inquiry to include matters of spirituality, consciousness and even God into the mix. For it’s part, religion, especially of the fundamentalist bent, continues to demonize scientific reason as the enemy of faith. For them, God should simply be accepted on faith alone. To fundamentalists, reason as practiced by science is dangerous.

The Intersection of Faith And Reason
The intersection of faith and reason holds the key to spiritually informed science that contributes to an evolution free of weapons.

Who could really argue they don’t have a point, when scientific reasoning, absent a basis in spirituality or an element of faith, has led to human advances like the atomic bomb, and all manner of weapons, both physical and biological that hold the potential to wipe out life on the planet. Weapons such as these only support the worst extremes of the implications of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest,” and lend impetus to the fundamentalist arguments against scientific advance. Ironically, fundamentalists are usually the first one to insist on war and employ the weapons science has wrought as a means of redressing grievances.

Viewed another way, at their extremes, science and religion are inextricably mired in gridlock, with each side being dead certain of their righteousness. Sounds sort of like what’s coming out of our government institutions. Both sides have been committed to running on completely separate tracks and fighting tooth and nail to avert any potential intersection between the two, that is, until thinkers like Jonas Salk began to turn the tide.

Does Love Or Fear Create Weapons?

Science and reason alone, absent a guiding spiritual principle, hold too high a potential to lead to destruction. Even a child can understand this truth. Besides, reason is never exercised in a vacuum anyway. It is always mixed with emotion of one kind other. The presence of emotion always implies an agenda, a specific goal towards which reason is directed, or from which it is motivated.

No individual, group or nation, including the United States of America, should have access to weapons of mass destruction...period!
No individual, group or nation, including the United States of America, should have access to weapons of mass destruction…period!

Look at it this way, when science is applied in the creation of a nuclear or biological weapon, is that process being guided by love or fear? Can anyone seriously make the case with a straight-face born in objective integrity that the creation of weapons of mass destruction is in the best interest of humankind? Anyone who does advance such notions has a financial stake in the outcome and their arguments should be viewed with this in mind. Remember, reason is always attached to emotion, and emotions imply agendas. Guaranteed!

If it can be objectively justified in an open public discourse with all world citizens everywhere that it is good for even one nation to have these, then every nation should have them. Period! This way, we wouldn’t be going to war to determine who has the right to have them, and who doesn’t. If this kind of agreement is not possible among nations, then all nuclear and biological weapons should immediately be dismantled and neutralized, followed by the passage of laws forbidding any person, group or nation to ever endeavor to create them ever again. I stress that: no nation should have have access to weapons of mass destruction! This includes us, the United States of America.

Of course, this kind of reality is not likely to happen in the balance of my lifetime, at least not in our present level of collective consciousness.

But hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

Stay tuned in…

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