Will science ever prove that anyone’s God is the “real” One? This question is important because righteousness has been the whip master of humanity’s most horrible offenses and yet, even in those teachings that claim to prevail above such trappings, the need to assert the righteousness of spiritual or metaphysical concepts through the perversion of physical science is akin to the battle between the Bible and the Qur’an.
There is a teen I steward in my community that has suddenly made this conversation one that I can’t avoid. He’s a brilliant young man and his passion is the way of the scientific method and all that it reveals. As a 16-year-old taking advanced mathematics and physics courses at the local community college… he knows more about ACTUAL science than most of the people I’ve spent any large measure of my time with.
Here’s the rub. He’s curious about the philosophy of Religious Science and wants to know more about it, but he’s had a very difficult time getting past the idea that what we teach is scientific. I mean… the word science is in the name! He want’s nothing more than to do what a good scientist would do; question, evaluate, study and demand a lack of bias. The problem is that frankly, science can’t prove our teaching any more than it proves any other theological or spiritual faith.
You see, we use the word science in our teaching for two primary reasons. The first is that we acknowledge that we are studying something, our relationship with God, and doing so with a deliberate process to elicit deliberate results that can be repeated. Does that mean I can prove to you how God has worked in my life? Of course not. It can only account for the process I have used to convince myself of the presence of God and the function of spiritual laws in my own life. So in this way, science is a method applied to how I practice my spirituality in order to better understand it… not a method to discover certainty in the physical world to support my spiritual suppositions.
Secondly, it’s a reminder to embrace that which is discovered by the physical sciences. While other theologies may be “disproved” or otherwise challenged by what the physical sciences have to say, Religious Science invites ALL insight from science as a greater understanding of the physical world around us. This means that a true Religious Scientist has no need to dismiss anything scientists discover or to be in denial of scientific consensus. In fact, it urges us to use scientific discoveries to advance our understanding of the world around us so we can more harmoniously and advantageously live and express ourselves.
Here’s the thing… people keep trying to convenience this teen that science proves our teaching is true, even though he knows better because he knows way more about science than they do. And so he’s faced with the same thing that drives many people away from our teaching, the need for people to use “pseudo science” in an attempt to validate their faith to others. Quoting physics journals and then making unfounded conclusions is not how you gain legitimacy. And while large numbers of people may be blindly convinced of something that doesn’t mean that it’s an accurate approach. So how can this young man, who is basically listening to someone tell him that two plus two equals squirrel, take the teaching seriously? How can anyone for that matter?
Religious Science is the study of our relationship with God (Or the cosmos, spirit, universe or whatever you choose to call the highest power/authority of all) in a deliberate and specific way so as to elicit results. That “way” is outlined as a philosophy. A magnificent philosophy articulated by a man by the name of Dr. Ernest Holmes. It is the study of something metaphysical. The very word means that it’s “beyond” the physical and as such already agrees that it can not be studied with a physical science. We push people away and lose credibility when we lose sight of this truth. If you have uncertainty and insecurity regarding your faith, science doesn’t have your answer. More importantly, we shouldn’t feel the need to assert ourselves over scientists because we don’t have the answers they’re looking for either.
So what does all this mean? It means that as a Religious Scientist we do well to become graceful and humble in our understanding of the way things work rather than seek to proclaim the arrogant stance of “higher” understanding. It means that just like every other faith, we must accept that science will never “back us up” because while God has created everything, everything is more than just the physical world and so the physical world could never reveal “everything” to us. It means that the only place we can experiment with that power is in our own hearts, minds and souls.
So if you are someone who has thought that Religious Science is about some pseudo-scientific physical understanding of the universe I urge you to let that go. That means those who have used it as a reason to judge us rather than understand us and those who think they understand Religious Science and keep using science they don’t understand to try and prove it to others. Both of those things stand between us and the ability to share our great philosophy and theology with the world.
Religious Science does not claim to know more than any religion or science. It is a philosophical approach to studying metaphysical ideas. If that’s not the way you see it… or if you have been reluctant to find out more because ti seems a little strange… I invite you to learn more about it. It’s the study that makes it so unique.