Menu of Meditations

A Scientist Ready for Spirituality

[Our meditation this time has been contributed by a guest essayist. He is Dr. Theodore St. John, a Naval officer and nuclear physicist. It is heartening when a scientist with his credentials shares his understanding that there is some truth which cannot be measured in the laboratory. His piece supports the contention of this site that, while the world thinks in terms of either/or, the spiritual world functions on the basis of both/and. JWS]

Science can give a tremendous feeling of certainty. You can find truth by asking the right questions, making the correct measurements and conducting the appropriate experiments. The scientific method is reliable and verifiable. We can all trust a reality that doesn't change, that obeys the laws of nature, and that isn't subject to religious beliefs or superstitions.

But what do you do when you have a mystical experience -- a past-life memory, an out-of-body or near death experience? What do you do when you see a spirit or have a vision? If you are a seeker of truth, you have no choice. You have to accept that there is more to reality than your measurements have revealed.

If you study advanced physics, you will discover that your measurements actually create your reality. If you design an experiment to measure the physical (particle) nature of energy, for example an electron, that is what you will measure and you will conclude that the electron is a particle. But if you design your experiment to measure the ethereal (wave) nature of the electron, that is what you will measure and you will conclude that it is a wave, like light. In this way, science demonstrates that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!

Suddenly, the clear line between "objective" and "subjective" becomes blurred. It is no longer a simple matter to distinguish between contradictory phenomena, and the certainty that normally comes with science vanishes. You must finally realize that there is a truth beyond our ability to measure. When you open to that truth, you find yourself lifted into a higher awareness where you can see the unity in the opposites. You wake up to the realization that the apparently conflicting aspects of nature are One, and that your need to separate them into opposites was merely the first step to a higher consciousness.

Now that you have experienced another aspect of reality, you realize that there is infinitely more than your instruments can measure. Ironically, the act of measuring was the very thing that collapsed the energy into either a particle or a wave and therefore resulted in a conclusion that was only a half-truth -- the surface of a much deeper reality.

With that new beginning, you are ready to explore the enchanted realm of a more profound truth, one that does not reveal itself to the simple tests of physics, but only to the insights of metaphysics. You are now ready for Spirituality.

Theodore St. John, Ph.D. (Physicist)

Posted Nov. 1, 2004