Two worlds, science and spirituality, that have often been a driving point of political and personal agendas, have been victims of human ego as well as the benefactors of human curiosity. As much as we have a passion to destroy through wars and personal deeds, humanity also has an unquenchable desire to understand the world around us. What if for just a moment, we could put aside rigid religious doctrines and callous statistics to look at these two arenas from an entirely different perspective? If we were not motivated by greed and power, limited by undesirable social awkwardness, or frightened of the consequences of death and the afterlife through some vengeful deity, what would our world view be in the areas of science and spirituality?
As a fan fiction writer who has dabbled in such projects as a My Little Pony / Star Trek crossover, I’m good at connecting two spheres that are seemingly very different and uniting them by some common threads. I owe much of this gift to the wide variety of friends that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing through the years, because the debates that have formed in the midst of getting to know each other has served as both inspiration and determination to make the world a more accepting place for those who seek answers. From my observations, our society is an interesting mixture of detached individuals seeking connections and connected individuals seeking solace from the overwhelming confusion that is often the drama played out by our social interactions.
This interesting concoction of humanity has opened doorways we never thought possible. Through all of our stumbling and failing, we’ve also accomplished great historical and societal accomplishments. The discovery of DNA allowing us to trace generations of ancestry with a swab of skin cells, and the Civil Rights movement which opened up doorways of opportunities for disadvantaged individuals to break through the wall of what mainstream society deems right and normal, space travel, pyramids, microwaves, emojis, all of it! From the inane to the insane, all human accomplishments are part of the same path. In honor of this brew of humanity, I’ve taken some time to write up my idea of what Pagans (and other passionate spiritual folk) can use as a tool to help them in their own personal journeys.
What is left of ancient Paganism is scant at best, and our time studying the universe from a scientific perspective should not be discredited due to a fear of the unknown. I say we take one of the best methods of understanding and use it as an analogy that science and spirituality are actually one in the same path. As Pagans, it’s our duty to understand the world around us whether we are expressing our worship through preserving the Earth Mother or manipulating reality around us to serve a variety of reasons. It matters not, actually, what our intent because we all share a passion to understand the nature of ourselves. We must look at the physical as well as the metaphysical in order to best recognize the nature of our existence. Here is is, the Scientific Method of Spirituality. Let’s take it a step at a time!
I’m using the simple 6 step method, however the more formal and larger methods could also be used in much the same manner.
- Purpose / Eternal Question – What is it that you want to understand? Why do you want to know the inner workings of this lesson? What are you willing to observe with dedicated focus to change your comprehension of the unknown? Beginning with this question can lead you down to a crossroads. Do you pursue this manner in a proven scientific manner or can you observe the same circumstances as a spiritually minded person?
- Research / To the ANCIENT TOMES! – Now that you have an idea of what you want to inquire about, now you have to do some real studying to best understand how you’re going to be tackling your latest adventure. Your odyssey would be fraught with disaster if you didn’t know how to properly handle Uranium (bought at your local mall) properly or how to best communicate with a chosen Death Deity. So go to the Bible, go research the work of Tesla or Curie, look at the work of Scott Cunningham or the Koran, immerse yourself in Einstein and Edison. Find something that some one else has tried and begin to make your own template of how you will pursue your chosen path.
- Hypothesis / Epic Quest – Now it’s time to gather yourself, your allies, and your research to fulfill the needs of this new quest. Put into words what it is that you think is happening be it either through an act of the Gods or an act of Nature. This is the when the participant chooses a path to follow at the crossroads of life. If they pursued the scientific route, the may think to themselves, “Well, I see no evidence of God so I will go down this path to find out what is the great mystery that makes up the inner workings of the universe.” A spiritual person will never be fully quenched by the findings of science and so they will ask the same questions and arrive to the same conclusions as the science minded person. The quest begins, and each person studies in their own way looking for signs and clues hidden either in cells or in the constellations.
- Experiment / Magick – Just as the Ceremonial Magician or South American Shaman prepares their ritual equipment and herbal incense, a scientist will prep their laboratories, centrifuges, and microscopes to best support the next step in the path. Ritualists and Magick workers will cast spells and write out results much the same way scientists will shoot off a particle accelerator and record the conclusions. Based on the results of each project, the participant will either be motivated to continue or the experiment / spell will be rewritten.
- Analysis / Book of Shadows – Data is collected regardless if you’re an astronomer in a multi-million dollar observatory studying the effects of solar winds on the atmosphere or you’re an Kemetic Priestess working a series of complex rituals to interact with the powerful God RA. The quality of your dedication only lends to the quality of invaluable information that follows the experiment. You now understand that Solar Winds have a dramatic effect on hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico or you now are assured that you are able to connect to Ra and shed light on the darker aspects of your personality. There’s always more questions though and always different ways to come to the same theme of data. Each different experiment from collected data always yields results that keep you craving more knowledge.
- Conclusion / Reality Check – Now you’ve done a few experiments, run some controls and amassed a large amount of data. Are you any closer to understanding the nature of existence than you were before? Sure, you’ve made some great discoveries in the fields of genetics, written some moving ecstatic rituals, and made loads of new friends along the way, however, what do you really know for sure? In the traditional Scientific method, the scientist concludes that while they have learned something new, possibly made a ground-breaking realization in the process, they are still left with more questions. There are far more theories out there than laws, right? Either way, the participant is better for the journey because now they command an impressive knowledge base, contributed to expedition of the human condition, and they’ve probably made some great social connections along the way. The same is true for any passionate Pagan who is stepping out of the shadow of ignorance and testing themselves in the fiery journey of personal realization and social interconnection.
I’m not only calling out to fellow Pagans, I’m calling to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and every other spiritual path that exists! What I’m asking is that we not be allowed to be content and our will to understand ourselves snuffed out due to laziness! Don’t be threatened by the next step of the path. Let’s consider the collective mind of humanity and work like the organism we were born to be. Let’s look at all of these ancients texts and all of the new discoveries and try to paint a picture of reality. We’re still going to be thirsting for answers, however, we won’t be making our lives harder by fighting each other in our fear. Don’t count out your scientist, don’t discredit the holy man, each is a respected member of the community and provides another piece to the puzzle that is our birthright – our creation.
What are your thoughts? May your path always be crystal clear!