The future of spirituality
Searching for stars on an island in Maine
For thousands of years, we human beings have been torn between the material and the immaterial. Modern science has shown that all things in the material world are impermanent and ultimately pass away.
Atoms, once thought to be indivisible and indestructible, can be split. Stars, once thought to be eternal and even divine, eventually use up their nuclear fuel and burn out. At the same time, we long for something that is eternal. Part of us wants to reduce everything to atoms and molecules. And part of us wants to resist that temptation, to believe that some things defy such reduction.
This tension has been the source of our science on one hand and our religion and spirituality on the other. This tension comes into the discussion of free will versus determinism, in questions of ethics and moral behaviour, in discussions of art and aesthetics. It is related to the definition and boundaries of science, and what constitutes faith.