Excerpt About Science
Science and the Discursive MindThe experience of the senses is not what the explorers of Reality in the wisdom traditions call direct experience. In fact, the wisdom traditions of humankind, Eastern and Western, ancient and modern, speak of sense experience as exactly what is immediately present in the way of direct experience. When they speak of direct experience in intuitive knowing or spiritual contemplation, they mean that the mind itself, the medium of knowing, is in direct contact with the object of knowledge. Of course, this kind of knowing is not recognized by our science; its view and method are precisely based on isolating the observer from what is observed. The philosophical position of science -- its exclusive reliance on the discursive mind and the physical senses for knowing -- cannot be the ultimate arbiter of truth if science is to be integrated with an understanding of the self and of God or Being. According to the senses, there are no such things as soul and God; they cannot be verified scientifically. Is there a more fundamental dimension of knowing, a real dimension that can support both science and spirituality? We will argue in this book that there is, and will begin our exploration with an unquestionable fact about the human soul, the fact that we have a capacity for knowing, any knowing. More precisely, we need to begin with ourselves, our body and mind and all their capacities of awareness and knowing. At least at the beginning, we have only ourselves as the agents of knowing, the organs of perception, and the locus of the revelation of truth. By investigating ourselves, questioning how we are aware and conscious, exploring how we perceive and know, wondering how we can discern truth from falsehood, we can begin to study the organ of awareness employed by all ways of knowing, the spiritual/mystical mode and the logical/scientific.