Does Science Come from Spirituality or Is It Made by Man?

SCIENCE - SPIRITUALITY, 28 Dec 2020

Chaitanya Charan das | The Spiritual Scientist – TRANSCEND Media Service

Science, as a body of knowledge, is clearly a human product. If we consider scientific books, they are written by human beings. Scientific concepts (such as gravity), their explanation and their mathematical postulation have also come from human beings.

Spirituality is the study of the totality of reality, whereas science is the study of a subset of that reality. Science studies the physical reality and especially the measurable parameters within physical reality. If we consider total reality as a big circle, then physical reality is a small circle within that big circle and science studies that physical reality. Therefore, in that sense, we could say that science is the subset of spirituality.

However, it is also true that science studies certain things and spirituality studies certain other things. They both have their own focus. Spirituality is the study of consciousness and its source. Unless there were consciousness, there would not be the longing for understanding and we would not search for anything. The animals have existed for millennia, but animals did not develop science, and neither did they question as to why things exist or how things work. Why? Because we humans have a longing to understand and that longing essentially is for spirituality. That longing comes because the soul in a human body has developed consciousness by which he can think about such topics whereas animals simply think about their immediate need. For example, instead of Newton, if the apple had fallen on the head of a monkey, it would have simply picked it up and ran away. But when the apple fell on Newton, he asked the question, why does the apple fall? Although human beings too have a biological drive (just like the monkey), we also have a spiritual drive. Spiritual drive is basically the drive to make sense of things and to understand what-is-what? That desire to understand things, led to the theory of gravity, and further led to the development of science.

Hence, study of science and the development of scientific knowledge, ultimately comes from our longing to understand and know If we were simply insentient matter like a table, then just like a table does not understand anything but simply exists, similarly we too would have understood nothing. In fact, a table does not even understand that it exists. It exists without understanding that it exists; but we have consciousness and hence we seek spirituality.

Therefore, spirituality is the study of the totality of reality and science is study of subset of reality. If spirituality is defined as our longing for higher understanding, then that longing for higher understanding can lead us to spiritual understanding. But that longing can also lead to scientific understanding. Therefore, science is created by human beings, but the reason it is created by human beings is because humans have a longing for understanding and that longing for understanding comes from our spiritual nature.

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Chaitanya Charan is a monk and an author. He has a degree on electronics & telecommunications engineering and served as a software engineer in a prominent multinational. However, he felt inspired to dedicate his life to sharing the spiritual wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita under the aegis of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). He is a member of ISKCON’s leading intellectual body, the Shastric Advisory Council, and is the associate-editor of its global magazine, Back to Godhead. He travels the world giving talks on spiritual subjects in universities such as Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge and companies such as Intel, Google, Amazon and Microsoft. See Chaitanya Charan’s talks across the world. His articles have been published in many national newspapers including Indian Express, Economic Times and Times of India. He is the author of twenty-five books on spirituality.
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