↔️ I’M A SPIRITUAL PERSON…AND A SCIENTIFIC PERSON! ↔️
It doesn’t have to be one OR the other; it can be one AND the other.
I don’t expect my spiritual friends to understand the complexities of science and the search for objective truth. But nor do I expect my scientific friends to understand the usefulness of stories and metaphorical truths to help someone live a better quality of life. 🙌
The problems I see happening is when each side assumes malicious intent of the “other” side. Each side assumes they are searching for the same definition of truth.
But from being on both sides of the coin, I can tell you they aren’t. They each have very different definitions and methodologies for their idea of “truth”. 💯
Science is focused on precision; spirituality is very general. Science is quantitative; spirituality is like an art. Science is about objectivity; spirituality is about subjectivity.
Unfortunately, each side’s misunderstanding of each other puts them both at odds and in competition. They can so easily see each other as the “villains”. 👿
📌 When the spiritual individual misunderstands science and cite studies which a scientist could easily conclude are junk or pseudoscience.
📌 When the scientific individual misunderstands spirituality and thinks the ideas that are taught are useless because they can’t be measured quantitatively.
📌 When the spiritual individual labels scientists and the breakthroughs they discover as “demonic” and “unnatural”.
📌 When the scientific individual labels spirituality and the people within the communities as “delusional” and “woo woo”.
In other words, these 2 areas are not the same. Therefore, we should not treat them as such. We should respect they are 2 separate fields of inquiry into our existence called Life.
Let me add: I’m NOT saying I treat these fields as having equal usefulness. I’m not saying you should take the middle ground and believe both fields are just 50-50. I strongly disagree with that. 👎
I have my views and I have my stances towards each of them, but that’s not what this post is about.
My point with writing this post is the same point I’ve made in so many of my other posts: 𝒅𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒘 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒂𝒃𝒚 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓.
Am I saying a scientist or spiritual teacher shouldn’t question authority figures or experts outside their dedicated fields? Of course not. That’s how we’re able learn and understand from the people in their fields.
Hell, I’m not an expert in either field and I’m still writing this post! 😅
But what I’m advocating for is an open communication between the fields, to bring the best of each other to the table while simultaneously respecting where the fields are going to irreconcilably differ.
⚠️ THIS ISN’T EVEN LIMITED TO SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY! ⚠️
You can also apply this to the political sphere, especially when it comes to Democrats and Republicans, “the Left” and “the Right”.
Van Jones argued in his recent book “Beyond the Messy Truth” one of the biggest problems facing our modern politics is that political parties are no longer uniting under the ideals of Conservatism or Liberalism, to bring out the best of their parties. Instead, they are uniting under a shared hostility of being anti-The Other Party. 🤬
Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt provided a similar argument in his book “The Coddling of the American Mind” but in the context of college campuses. He cites instances where college students have forcibly interrupted and shouted down guest speakers they personally deemed “offensive”. In one instance, a college professor disagreed with students about one of their social causes. Student protesters surrounded him, screamed at him when he tried to speak, and demanded he resign from the university. 🤬
To put it simply: 𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝. 𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝. 𝐂𝐲𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞’𝐬 𝐚 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐮𝐬, 𝐛𝐲 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐭, 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭.
𝐀𝐫𝐠𝐮𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐢𝐧. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐲’𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.
And I won’t pretend I’m immune from falling into these mindsets either. I’m not here to claim moral superiority with this post; I need to remind myself not to fall into these traps A LOT! It’s why I can’t blame you if you fall into them either. 💯
BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
You don’t have to see someone else as your “villain”. It may be good for one’s online branding and business marketing to polarize, but it isn’t good for humanity’s sake.
It’s why we all need to be very careful about the environments we surround ourselves in, the people we choose to surround ourselves with, and what we choose to feed our minds on a daily basis. It’s not just about maintaining a healthy physical body but also maintaining a healthy mental mind. 🤔
𝑭𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒋𝒖𝒏𝒌 𝒇𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒂 𝒅𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒃𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒔, 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒎 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚. 𝑭𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒋𝒖𝒏𝒌 𝒊𝒏𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒏 𝒂 𝒅𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒃𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒔, 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒎 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅.
Did you know Van Jones is close friends with Newt Gingrich? They are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Van Jones is a Progressive Democrat and Newt a Republican. Van Jones notes in his book they disagree more than they ever agree politically. But despite that, they’re very good friends! 👥
Newt once shared with him this piece of wisdom:
“𝒀𝒐𝒖𝒓 ‘90% 𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒎𝒚’ 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 ‘10% 𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅’ – 𝒐𝒏 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒆.”
I think Jonathan Haidt was also right, in the same tradition, when he said the greatest wisdom you can find is in the minds of your “opponents”. Your “villains”. The people you label in your mind as “pure evil”. 👿
BUT YOU AND I BOTH HAVE TO BE OPEN TO HEARING THEM OUT!
A few days ago, I listened to a Joe Rogan podcast where he interviewed Daryl Davis. Daryl is an African American musician who is not only known for his amazing talent on the piano but also for converting over 200 people OUT of the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan.
On the podcast he went in-depth about how this all happened, but the biggest detail which stuck out to me hearing his story was in how simple his solution was!
𝑯𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒄𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒍, 𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒍𝒚 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎. 𝑯𝒆 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒆𝒙𝒂𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒂𝒇𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒅 𝒐𝒇.
He learned about what they believed about African Americans, and he (again, respectfully) challenged their ideas. He invited many of them over to his house for dinner! They even invited him to their Klan meetings! 😱
It wasn’t long after that one of the top Klan members handed Daryl his white Klan robe and said he was leaving. Again, this was just 1 of over 200 Klansmen…!
But the solution Daryl provided is not so different from the story of Megan Phelps-Roper either! Megan was a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, a group widely known for their extremist views towards homosexuals (“God hates f**s”) and Jews. 😔
From birth, Megan was raised in the Church as her grandfather was the founder. Because of her upbringing, she was raised to see a very limited view of the world around her. She only knew what her family told her. She was taught the people hating her and her family meant that they were righteous in their beliefs. 📖
It was only when she created a Twitter account to promote her Church was she exposed to other viewpoints. Anonymous people she had never met were now pointing out logical inconsistencies in her posts. One of those people in particular was a lawyer she debated and eventually became good friends with.
But the difference between him and other people who simply threw insults at her? 𝑯𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒇𝒖𝒍.
Eventually she started to doubt what she believed. She went to her folks for clarity, and she didn’t get a satisfactory answer. Eventually she left the church along with her sister, and her family shunned her. Today she now shares her personal story with others, to provide an inside view when it comes to religious extremism.
And she’s also now married to her lawyer friend! 😅
🤔 WHAT DO ALL THESE STORIES HAVE IN COMMON? 🤔
📌 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇-𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒆𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒌𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒑𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔.
📌 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒇 𝒘𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒂𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒆, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒑 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒚 𝒃𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒇𝒖𝒍. 𝑵𝒐 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒖𝒍𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒕.
📌 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒐𝒏 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒘𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒆𝒇𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒐 𝒔𝒐.
These all may sound like common sense. But how many people do you see using this common sense on a daily basis? How about yourself?
Sounds like it’s back to basics, right?! 😅
BUT I GET IT!
Seriously, I do!
Your need to “be right” is the same reason for my desire to “be right”. ❤️
Holding onto our limited understandings of the world is emotionally comfortable. It feels safe, secure, and it lets us choose only to let people into our lives who we can guarantee won’t make a mess of our emotional homes.
Because to be open to new and contrasting ideas, ones which challenge our sense of self and personal identity, can trigger great existential pain in us. Who would want to feel that kind of pain?! 😫
To admit I’m wrong requires me to also acknowledge the identity I’ve built around myself is not as sturdy as I once believed it was.
Just continuing to hold onto what I believe and tuning out everyone else who disagrees would provide me the Certainty I crave to an uncertain life.
But there’s 1 problem:
𝐈𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐚 𝐝𝐞𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥, 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐚 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐰.
So, I get it…it’s not easy! Not even for me! 🙋♂
BUT THERE ARE SOLUTIONS!
These are solutions we need to start addressing sooner than later, so much as we are going to live together and not die together.
🙌 We need to learn to tolerate the fact there are 7 billion other people on this planet who may not think the way we do or believe the things we do.
🙌 We need to learn to develop modesty and humility, that there are other people we can learn from and perhaps teach us something we didn’t know before.
🙌 We need to develop the habit of giving others the benefit of the doubt. Take the person who cut you off in traffic. You can choose to assume they are a “horrible driver”. But you can also assume they may be in a rush to get to their loved ones at the hospital, to assume this person doesn’t normally drive like this.
Again, I’m by no mean flawless here! I will need these reminders from time to time too! Consider these solutions above not just a reminder for you but also for me!
But who’s with me on this? This is my call-to-action, minus a product you can purchase from me! 😜
WHO’S WITH ME TO BE THE CHANGE WE WISH TO SEE?! ❤️