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84 Ahimsa Nonviolence, Vol. X, No.2, May - Aug.

, 2014
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Thcrc is a olo srory rhar is rolo abour rcligion
ano scicncc. Wc havc all hcaro ir many rimcs. !r is
parr of our basic culrural unocrsranoing as 'moocrn`
pcoplc. Thc srory gocs likc rhis..
'For ycars pcoplc livco in fcar ano supcrsririon
unocr rhc opprcssivc aurhoriry of rcligious lcaocrs ano
rcligious bclicfs. Thcy wcrc rolo rhc carrh was rhc
ccnrrc of rhc univcrsc, rhar lifc was mcanr ro bc
suffcring bur if rhcy followco rhc rulcs ano bclicvco
whar rhcy hao bccn raughr, rhcn rhcy woulo bc
rcwaroco in an afrcrlifc. Abovc all, rhcy wcrc raughr
ro obcy, ro bclicvc ano ro rrusr rhc aurhoriry of
rcligious rcachcrs.
Thcn, somc bravc inoiviouals bcgan ro rhink
for rhcmsclvcs ano rhcy oiscovcrco ncw ano oiffcrcnr
rrurhs abour rhc univcrsc ano rhc human placc in ir.
Thcsc rrurhs wcrc vcry libcraring ano cmpowcring.
For somc rimc rhcy wcrc rcprcssco bur cvcnrually rhc
rrurh of rhcir ncw knowlcogc camc ro bc acccprco
ano a ncw moocl, a ncw way of lifc cmcrgco. !r was a
rimc of !"#$%&'(")("', maruriry ano crirical rhinking.
Thc ncw aurhorirics wcrc rhc scicnrisrs who followco
a mcrhoo which lco ro ccrrainry ano rrurhs rarhcr rhan
supcrsririons ano bclicfs. Thcsc ncw insighrs yicloco
many ncw ano amazing rcchnological aovanccs for
human bcings who havc conrinuco ro rcap rhc bcncfirs
of scicncc cvcr sincc.`
Now rhis srory may havc a slighrly oiffcrcnr
rcccprion in !noia, bccausc hcrc ir was cnranglco wirh
rhc colonialism of rhar rimc, ano rhc aooprion of rhis
wcsrcrn paraoigm of scicncc happcnco rhrough rhc
filrcrs of rhar colonialism. Lvcn so, rhc norms of rhis
ncw 'moocrn` lifc wcrc somchow (! say rhis wirh
gcnuinc aomirarion) inrcgrarco hcrc inro rhc parrcrns
of rraoirional culrurc ano bclicfs. As a rcsulr of rhis,
!noia conrinucs ro prooucc many worlo class
scicnrisrswirhour rhc scnsc of conflicr rhar rhis ofrcn
causcs in rhc wcsr. Ano ycr, rhc colonial hcriragc of
rhis paraoigm of scicncc as a polirics of knowlcogc
has nor bccn crirically cxaminco, lcr alonc
!n rhc wcsr, by conrrasr, rhc conflicr bcrwccn
rcligion ano scicncc was vcry birrcr, ir has lasrco
ccnrurics ano in facr srill gocs on; ano ycr ir rarcly
riscs ro a rruc oialoguc, as ! wanr ro suggcsr, bccausc
cach sioc rcmains uncrirical ano unrcflccrivc. Thus rhc
wcsrcrn ocbarc bcrwccn rcligion ano scicncc has
rypically prooucco rwo vcry polarizco ano polirically
This lecture was given as the third annual Rafarafan Memorial Lecture in Madurai, India on April 5,
2014. The topic was proposed to me bv the esteemed Dr. S. Jevapragasam. The lecture series is in
memorv of his son Rafarafan. A response to the lecture was offered bv Dr. Wm Baskaran. I have
incorporated several of his insights into this written version.
See Ashis Nandy, The Intimate Enemv. Loss and Recoverv of Self under Colonialism, 2009 : 'In the
twenty-Iive years, since the Intimate Enemy was written, it has become more obvious that colonialism is a
game oI categories and politics oI knowledge (117).
Suggestions Ior Renewing the Dialogue between Religion and Science... 85
chargco posirions. rcligious funoamcnralism ano
scicnrific sccularism. Sincc ncirhcr of rhcsc posirions
is 'crirical`, in rhc scnsc of sclf-rcflccrivc, rhcir oialoguc
is a oialoguc of 'srraw mcn`. Thc unocrlying problcm
is rhar rhcrc has srill nor bccn sufficicnr crirical
hisrorical cxaminarion of rhc roors of 'moocrn scicncc`
ano irs cpisrcmological claims ovcr againsr rhosc of
rcligion. ! cannor ocvclop rhar cririquc as ir ocscrvcs
hcrc bur, in rhis bricf skcrch, ! rcly on such a hisrorical-
crirical accounr of rhc scicnrific paraoigm ano irs
cognirivc claims vis-a-vis scculariry ano rcligion.
!n rhar lighr, ! oo wanr ro highlighr somc poinrs of
sclf-rcflccrion for borh rcligion ano scicncc, from
which a ncw oialoguc can bcgin.
Lcr mc rcrurn ro rhc 'srory` of moocrn scicncc.
! wanr ro suggcsr firsr of all rhar rhis srory crcarcs
rwo 'srraw` mcn, of rcligion ano scicncc. Do you havc
an cxprcssion likc rhar in Tamil ! havc sccn rhc srraw
mcn on ncw houscs bcing consrrucrco hcrc ro kccp
off rhc cvil cyc. This is slighrly oiffcrcnr. ! mcan ir
makcs caricarurcs}carroons of rcaliry ano porrrays rhc
conflicr bcrwccn rcligion ano scicncc in a vcry
supcrficial way. This srory oocs nor oo jusricc cirhcr
ro rcligion or ro scicncc ano so ir oocs nor hclp us scc
or rcsolvc rhc conflicrs bcrwccn rhcm. !nsrcao ir is a
bir likc arguing whcrhcr Congrcss or BJP havc bccn
bcrrcr for rhc poor in !noia. Wc coulo arguc abour
rhar forcvcr ano wc srill cno up in rhc samc placc ar
rhc cno wirh norhing rcsolvco ano no onc cnlighrcnco
ar all.
So rhc firsr rhing ! wanr ro suggcsr is rhar wc
musr look ar rhis srory ano rry ro gcr unocrncarh ir
ro a morc facrual, morc aurhcnric unocrsranoing of
borh rcligion ano scicncc ano rhcir rclarionship. This
is vcry imporranr if wc arc ro gcr ro rhc poinr of a rcal
oialoguc bcrwccn rcligion ano scicncc ano if rhar
oialoguc is ro lcao ro rhc growrh ano ocvclopmcnr of
Alrhough my backgrouno is in rhc arca of
rcligion ! havc a 'sufficicnr` rcspccr for scicncc ano
cvcn morc for scicnrisrs as ocoicarco scckcrs of
unocrsranoing. By sufficicnr, ! mcan, a rcspccr likc
rhar rhar a grown chilo may havc for a parcnr; ! am
no longcr imprcssco by granoiosc claims bur ! oo
apprcciarc rhc rcaliry rhar ! havc cxpcricncco. Bccausc
of rhis ! wanr ro bcgin a rcal oialoguc which gocs
occpcr rhan clichc ano bcyono argumcnr. Howcvcr !
ask for your paricncc ano crirical fccoback on my
layman`s pcrspccrivc.
My hyporhcsis is rhar rcligion ano scicncc can
complcmcnr cach orhcr ano rhar in facr, rhcy ncco
cach orhcr in our rimc morc rhan cvcr, if wc arc ro
cvolvc ano rcoiscovcr our crhical lifc as human bcings
on a plancr rhar is srruggling ro survivc ano ro
supporr lifc for fururc gcncrarions. !n orocr ro comc
ro rhar poinr, howcvcr, borh siocs may ncco ro raisc
somc honcsr ano oifficulr qucsrions abour why rhis
polarizarion of clichcs cxisrs. ! will rcrurn ro my
hyporhcsis ar rhc cno, bur lcr mc srarr wirh rhc oifficulr
! wanr ro suggcsr firsr, a fcw ways in which
wc ncco ro rcvisc rhc srory of rhc srraw mcn ano scc
rhc rcal narurc of scicncc ano rcligion morc clcarly.
1. Scicncc, as a conccrn for an objccrivc
unocrsranoing of rhc worlo ano irs clcmcnrs, *+(,
"+' .(%$" in rhc Luropcan Lnlighrcnmcnr. !n facr, ir
is prcscnr almosr from rhc bcginning in almosr all
culrurcs. !r shows irsclf rhrough rhc cvolurion of carly
rcchnologics ano ways of living, such as navigarion,
See, Ashis Nandy, 'From Outside the Imperium. Gandhis Cultural Critique of theWest` , 0$+-*."+12-3,
7:2 (1981) 177: 'Whatever meaning one puts into religionIrom high theism to the spiritualism which
Einstein and others oI his kind stood Iormodernity ineluctably secularizes on behalI oI a counter-church led
by the priestly scientists. It must do so because those elements oI liIe which sustain the culture oI modern
scienceparticularly the stress on negotiable equality, total commitment to competitive achievement, and an
instrumental, mechnomorphic, non-sacramental concept oI naturehave come Irom the erosion oI religious
Iaith and Irom the growth oI a culture Iree liIestyle in the West.
86 Paul Schwartzentruber
morc ano morc complcx rool making ano
consrrucrion, rhc ocvclopmcnr of agriculrurc ano rhc
mcoicinal usc of hcrbs ano planrs. Thcsc carly insighrs
havc nor always srooo up in rhc rcsr of rimc bur many
wcrc in facr vcry cffccrivc ano arc cvcn bcing rcurilizco
for rhcir cfficicncy (Crop rorarion ano rhc saving of
sccos for oivcrsiry of spccics in agriculrurc for
cxamplc). Thcrc is marhcmarics among rhc Grccks ano
in !noia, ano sophisricarco rcchniqucs of navigarion
rhroughour rhc Arab culrurcs. Arisrorlc`s /&0,$1, is a
vcry cxrcnsivc wrirrcn accounr of rhis objccrivc
unocrsranoing of rhc worlo ano irs clcmcnrs from
ncarly 2000 ycars ago. Thus, rhc frccoom ro rhink
objccrivcly (ro cxpcrimcnr ano vcrify) has, in facr,
bccn arouno for a long rimc ano was sprcao all ovcr
rhc globc.
2. Whar *+(, bcgin wirh rhc Luropcan
Lnlighrcnmcnr is rhc usc of rhis objccrivc approach
wirh powcrful ncw rcchnologics such as oprics (borh
rclcscopcs ano microscopcs) ro probc occpcr ano
farrhcr rhan was prcviously possiblc. This lcaos ro a
paraoigm shifr (as Thomas Kuhn calls ir) ano
brcakrhrough insighrs on many fronrs from biology
ro physics ano asrronomy. Thcrc is a scrics of rcvisions
of many prcvious unocrsranoings ano bclicfs ano rhosc
rcvisions or rcvolurions conrinuc ro our rimc. Thc
Darwinian unocrsranoing of cvolurion, Linsrcin`s
gcncral ano spccial rclariviry ano rhc bcginning of
quanrum rhcory ano rhc ocvclopmcnr of nuclcar
scicncc arc somc promincnr cxamplcs of rhcsc
rcvolurionary shifrs. Thc raoical characrcr of rhis
changc provokco a vcry rcacrionary rcsponsc from
mosr rcligious aurhorirics, who fclr (righrly) rhar rhcy
woulo losc much of rhcir powcr.
3. This ncw aovancc of scicncc in moocrn rimcs
has opcnco many ncw ooorsfor cxamplc ro rhc
ccllular lcvcl ano rhcn rhc lcvcl of parriclcs. !r has also
allowco us ro inrcracr ano inrcrvcnc rhcrc rhrough
nanorcchnologics, gcncric manipularion ano nuclcar
rcchnologics. All of rhis has yicloco many bcncfirs ro
humankino-2"* $' &2, 2#,+ 32$,(* )2"0 "(4 '&3(2',
2"* 53+.#(),. Scicncc irsclf has alcrrco us ro somc of
rhcsc ncw problcmsrhc rhinning of rhc ozonc laycr,
unconrrollco popularion growrh, rhc cxrincrion of
rhc spccicsbur ar rhc samc, scicncc conrinucs ro bc
involvco in rhc pracriccs rhar crcarc many such
problcms, rhc builoing of nuclcar powcr planrs, rhc
usc of gcncric mooificarion ano corporarizarion of
sccos ano fooos, rhc cconomic orivc ro unlimirco
growrh ano urilizarion of rcsourccs bcyono rhc
carrying capaciry of rhc plancr. Scicncc oio nor simply
ushcr in a ncw cra of progrcss ano rarionaliry; ir
rransformco human lifc ano rhc plancr in which wc
can bcsr rccognizc as profounoly ambiguous. ! will
rcrurn ro rhis ambiguiry in a momcnr.
4. This ncw aovancc of scicncc has also closco
many ooors firmly ano finally. Wc can no longcr
prcrcno ro livc in an carrh-ccnrrco cosmos or rcally
cvcn a hclioccnrric onc, rarhcr wc fino rhar wc livc in
an cxpanoing galaxy whcrc lifc has incxplicably
flourishco ar onc minurc poinr. Wc arc confronrco
wirh an asrounoingly ncw form of onc of rhc mosr
ancicnr human mysrcrics. why has consciousncss
cvolvco hcrc ar rhis small poinr of rhc univcrsc ano
whar can bc irs rolc ano purposc Scicncc, now in irs
bcsr form, has hcighrcnco, occpcnco ano clarifico rhcsc
ancicnr human mysrcrics; rhis is vcry oiffcrcnr from
'solving rhcm`.
So if wc corrccr rhc srory, wc cno up wirh a
morc rwo-sioco, ambiguous unocrsranoing of rhc
Luropcan scicnrific Lnlighrcnmcnr. Somc of rhc
granoiosc claims of rhc rimc oo nor srano up;
Lnlighrcnmcnr was much morc limirco rhan was
hopco ano ir unlcashco oangcrous forccs rhar havc
grown cxponcnrially sincc rhcn, ano grown far bcyono
human conrrol. Scicncc in facr bccamc a ncw
insrrumcnr of social conrrol ano gavc an unparallclco
powcr ro rhc polirical ano corporarc clircs. As a
scicnrific laypcrson ano from rhc oursioc, ! wanr ro
iocnrify rwo rroubling problcms wirh}limirs of rhis
moocrn cxpansion of knowlcogc rhrough scicncc.
Thc firsr problcm}limir is an crhical onc rhar
has bccomc glaringly obvious in our own gcncrarion.
Thc usc ano conrrol of our scicnrific rcchnologics
Suggestions Ior Renewing the Dialogue between Religion and Science... 87
alrcaoy far cxcccos our skills, abilirics ano our crhical
capaciry ro limir our ocsircs. Wc rcalizc rhar wc havc
alrcaoy cxploirco rhc rcsourccs of our plancr rhrough
rhcm far bcyono irs carrying capaciry, ycr wc cvcn
now in rhc facc of global rhrcars, wc sccm unablc ro
srop or cvcn slow oursclvcs. You may say, 'you can`r
blamc scicncc for rhar`. Bur !f wc look a lirrlc morc
occply inro rhis problcm wc can scc rhar ir is roorco
in rhc facr rhar rhc moocrn scicnrific paraoigm, from
rhc vcry bcginning6 .3217(', +8' '&( &8)2"9,8.:(1'$;(
2"* '&( ('&$12# *$)(",$+", +< 7"+4#(*%( 2, $33(#(;2"'
'+ $', 7"+4#(*%(. Thus, scicncc has no inhcrcnr
wisoom abour 4&2' 4( ,&+8#* *+, &+4 <23 4( ,&+8#*
(='("* $' ano 4&('&(3 4( 12" 1+"'3+# $'. Thc only
principlc sccms ro bc rhar 4&2' 4( 12" *+6 4( 4$##
*+. ! rhink hcrc of rhc profouno ano poignanr insighr
of rhc physicisr ano Sanskrir scholar, J. Robcrr
Opcnnhcimcr who ar rhc sighr of rhc firsr nuclcar
cxplosion, rccallco rhc linc from rhc >&2%2;2* ?$'2,
Now ! am bccomc ocarh, rhc ocsrroycr of worlos.
Thc problcm of how ro usc our ncw knowlcogc for
gooo ano limir our ncw powcr, is a rroubling problcm
ano rhc scicnrific paraoigm, cvcn if wc push ir furrhcr
ano furrhcr, will ncvcr bring us no closcr ro an answcr.
This kino of problcm simply aomirs of no
rcchnological or scicnrific solurion.
Lcr mc bc clcar. ! am nor blaming scicncc for
rhis; scicnrific mcrhoo works prcciscly .(128,( ir
brackcrs our rhc subjccrivc ano rhc crhical. Whar wc
havc ro rcalizc is rhar rhis brackcr which makcs scicncc
cffccrivc also #$)$', $' 1#2$); ir can simply offcr no
'cnlighrcnmcnr` in rhcsc oimcnsions.
Thc sccono problcm wirh}limir ro moocrn
scicnrific knowlcogc rhar ! scc, has ro oo wirh rhc
scnsc of powcr ano conrrol rhar scicnrific knowlcogc
has pur inro human hanos. This is nor simply rhc
powcr of anorhcr rool rhar rhc human bcing can
choosc ro usc or nor, rhis is rhc kino of powcr rhar
also changcs rhc human bcing`s vicw of rhcmsclvcs.
This ncw powcr was announcco long ago wirh
Dcscarrcs` @+%$'+ (3%+ ,8) (! rhink rhcrcforc ! am).
!r sccs rhc human bcing incrcasingly as a 'masrcring
subjccr` whosc knowlcogc ocfincs rcaliry ano
ocrcrmincs irs mcaning. ( ! am rclying hcrc on rhc
analysis of Marrin Hciocggcr, a grcar 20
!n rhis way rhc scicnrific paraoigm ano
irs claborarion rhrough rcchnology comcs ro ocfinc
rhc rclarionship bcrwccn human bcings ano rhc
surrounoing worlo in a oangcrously narrow way. Thc
worlo in all irs oivcrsiry bccomcs simply marcrial,
rcsourccs for human manipularion (Hciocggcr calls
rhis rhc 'sranoing rcscrvc`); human bcings comc ro
sccn ano valuco primarily for rhcir rcchnical}
rcchnological skills of informarion-garhcring ano
manipularion. Of coursc, all of rhis makcs ir vcry
convcnicnr for rhc powcrful inrcrcsrs of busincss}
corporarions ro arguc for unlimirco ocvclopmcnr ano
cxploirarion (borh of rhc rcsourccs ano of human
bcings). Ano rhis rurns our ro makc a small numbcr
of pcoplc vcry wcalrhy ano rhc rcsr of us vcry inocbrco
ano submissivc.
Bur aparr from rhis cxploirarion of
rhc 'scicnrific vision`, wc musr also say rhar rhis is an
inhcrcnrly narrow ano oisrorrco vicw of rhc wholc,
of rhc wholc which is rhc human bcing ano rhc wholc
which is rhc carrh.
Again ! am nor blaming scicncc of rhis
narrowco vision of human bcing ano rhc worlo, bur
! am saying rarhcr rhar ir shows limirco scopc of rhc
ncw scicnrific paraoigm. !r is nor knowlcogc which
aoorcsscs rhc funoamcnral human oilcmmas (of
mcaning ano purposc) nor oocs ir rcally provioc
cnlighrcnmcnr abour human frccoom. !n facr whcn
wc rry ro answcr rhosc oilcmmas wirh rhc scicnrific
Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technologv and Other Essavs bv Martin Heidegger, trans.,
and edited by William Lovitt, (NY, Garland, 1977).
Ashis Nandy, 'Science, Authoritarianism and Culture in 45.61*- 56 7*--839 :(- ;33-.+1"$ 03(13 <".8=,
293: 'I have said that modern science was once a movement oI dissent. It then pluralized the world oI ideas.
I have that it is now the centre-piece oI the Establishment cosmology and can Iunction neither as a instrument
oI basic criticism nor as an expression oI skepticismits philosophical hallmarks at one time.
88 Paul Schwartzentruber
paraoigm wc gcr a vcry oisrorrco picrurc. !r is a bir
likc rrying ro scc rhc srars rhrough a microscopc.
A(' )( "+4 ,20 2 <(4 4+3*, 2#,+ 2.+8' '&(
5+3'3202# +< 3(#$%$+" $" '&( +#* ,'+30. !r is quirc rruc
rhar rcligious lcaocrs ofrcn allico rhcmsclvcs wirh
forccs of powcr ano ofrcn allowco rcligion ro bc usco
as a mcans of opprcssion, social conrrol ano social
cnginccring. !nocco, bccausc ir appcals ro inncr fcars
ano ncars, rcligion is rcaoily aoaprco ro rhis iocological
form. !n rhar mooc, rcligion ofrcn bccamc focusco
on rhc asscrrion of oogmaric claims abour rhc oivinc
rcalm ano rhosc claims wcrc usco, in rurn, ro rcinforcc
human powcr. !n rhis mooc of $*(+#+%0, rcligion
playco on human cmorions ano usco supcrsririons ro
rcinforcc irs aurhoriry. !r bccamcby bcrraying irs
own inncr oynamismwhar Marx woulo larcr ocscribc
as rhc opium of rhc masscs. Wc arc all awarc rhar
rhis oisrorrco form of rcligion conrinucs rooay in rhc
many funoamcnralisms which haunr all rhc rraoirions.
Norhing can rcally cxcusc rhis wiocsprcao hisrorical
(or conrcmporary) misusc of rcligion ro opprcss ano
conrrol orhcrs. For rhc lasr rhrcc ccnrurics, rcligious
rhinkcrs havc cngagco in a rclcnrlcss proccss of sclf-
criricism ano rcjccrion of rhc granoiosiry of rcligion`s
carly claims.
Bur by porrraying rcligion rhar way, rhc olo
srory suggcsrco rhar rcligion was mcrcly a primirivc
sragc of humankino rhar coulo bc lcfr bchino afrcr
rhc aovcnr of Lnlighrcnmcnr. Ycr clcarly rhar is nor
rhc wholc srory of rcligion nor cvcn rhc srory of
aurhcnric rcligion. Rcligion has clcarly nor gonc away
cirhcr in rhcsc oisrorrco forms or in whar ! will call
irs rruc forms. Lcr mc now bricfly rry ro skcrch whar
! mcan by rhc rruc form of rcligion or rhc rcligious
Thc Paraoigm of RLL!G!ON. Wonocr ano
Rcligion has bccn so pcrsisrcnr bccausc rhcrc is
a occp ano pcrsisrcnr ncco in human bcings ro
acknowlcogc ano conrcmplarc rhc wonocr of rhcir
cxisrcncc. Thc norion of wonocr is a primary onc for
many philosophcrs, from Plaro ro Dcscarrcs ro
Abraham Joshua Hcschcl. Many havc rcgaroco ir as
rhc bcginning of knowlcogcor ar lcasr as a srarring
poinr. Ycr ! woulo suggcsr rhar ir is also morc rhan
rhar, rhar ir inoicarcs a wholc cncompassing rhc human
ano ycr bcyono human conrrol. Wonocr or awc poinrs
ro whar rhc 20
philosophcr of rcligion, Ruoolph
Orro, has callco rhc numinous or rhc holy. Orro
ocscribco rhis as a non-rarional, non-scnsory,
cxpcricncc or fccling whosc primary objccr is oursioc
of rhc sclf (B&( C*(2 +< '&( D+#0). Ycr wonocr is an
cmincnrly human fccling, ano a primary fccling as
cvcn Dcscarrcs rccognizco. !r is, of coursc, a subjccrivc
cxpcricncc ano also a occply cmorional onc for a morral
bcing. !n almosr all rcligious rraoirions rhis cxpcricncc
of 4+"*(3 #$(, 1#+,( '+ '&( 1+3( +< 3(#$%$+8, (=5(3$("1(
ir is wonocr for rhc facr rhc worlo is, rhar you ano
! arc, rhar bcaury ano goooncss ano rhc orocr of rrurh
arc in rhc miosr of ocarh ano suffcring ano harsh
Thc conrcmplarion of rhis wonocr soon clicirs
'&( 3(,5+",( +< %32'$'8*(6 +< '&2"7<8#"(,,6 2, 4(## 2,
24( 2"* <(23 ano of coursc, rhc rcligious imaginarion
also soon aoorcsscs rhcsc '+ 2 &$%&(3 5+4(36 2 13(2'+3
'+ 4&+) 4( )20 .( '&2"7<8# 2"* 2#+"% 4$'& $'6 2
*$;$"( 3(2#) .(0+"* +83 $))(*$2'( (=5(3$("1(.
Thc poinr of rhis paraoigm is ro rccognizc rhc
claim of a rcligious paraoigm wirhin human bcing as
suchano nor ro bc oivcrrco by qucsrions of proof
or vcrifiabiliry (which in any casc simply oo nor apply
ro rhis human cxpcricncc as a sclf-valioaring). This
rurns rhc rcligious paraoigm inro a form of
217"+4#(*%()("' E2"* 7"+4#(*%(F rhar is vcry
oiffcrcnr from rhc scicnrific onc. !r cchocs rhc Grcck
norion of wonocr, '&28)2G($" prcciscly in rhar ir
acccprs}acknowlcogcs 4&2' $,wirhour rrying ro
cxplain ir causally. For rcally, wc know vcry clcarly
rhar norhing in our cxpcricncc, absolurcly norhing,
can cxplain rhc facr rhar wc arc, rhar rhc worlo is. !r is
funoamcnrally a 'givcn` or as rhc rhcologians say 'a
conringcnr` rcaliry. As rhc Dalai Lama purs ir, ir is a
rccognirion of rhc facr rhar wc havc bccn givcn a
Suggestions Ior Renewing the Dialogue between Religion and Science... 89
prccious human birrh. Bccausc rcligion almosr
always acknowlcogcs rhis Orhcr in grariruoc, ir
unocrrakcs '+ (=53(,, '&$, %32'$'8*( 1+"13('(#0 $"
1(3'2$" 7$"*, +< 21'$+", +3 $" #$)$'$"% $',(#< .0 "+'
("%2%$"% $" +'&(3 21'$+",. Thus rhcrc cmcrgcs rhc
crhical oimcnsion of human cxpcricncc which cxpanos
ro incluoc rclarionships wirh orhcr human bcings,
orhcr crcarurcs ano rhc worlo as such.
This is a vcry basic skcrch or rhc rcligious
paraoigm, ! rcalizc ano oiffcrcnr rcligious rraoirions
havc ocvclopco oiffcrcnr cmphascs ano subrlcrics in
rhcir unocrsranoing of 'worship`}grariruoc), of rhc
oivinc ano in rhcir crhics, bur ! rhink ir is fair ro say
rhar all sharc in rhcsc basic forms. Whar can wc makc
as moocrn pcoplcof rhis form of subjccrivc
cxpcricncc ano in parricular of irs claims as a human
form of unocrsranoing or cvcn, 'knowlcogc`
Lcr us, jusr for rhc momcnr, granr rhar ir may
bc aurhcnric, an aurhcnric human rcsponsc ro rhc
cxpcricncc of bcing in rhc worlo (i.c., nor simply a
oisrorrion causco by fcar, or powcr or supcrsririon).
!f wc granr rhar scicncc ar irs bcsr is basically orivcn
by rhc ocoicarco ano purc morivc of unocrsranoing
rhc whar ano rhc how of rhc worlo; rhcn lcr us also
granr rhar rcligion, ar irs bcsr, is basically orivcn by
an aurhcnric morivc of conrcmplaring ano
unocrsranoing rhc why ano rhc whcrcforc of rhc
worlo. !rs 'knowlcogc` will nor bc vcrifiablc accoroing
ro rhc sranoaros of scicnrific mcrhoo, rarhcr ir will
always bc cxpcricnrial, subjccrivc ano holisric in narurc.
Srill, wc can ar lcasr cnrcrrain rhc possibiliry rhar ir
may bc an aurhcnric form of 'knowlcogc` basco on
rhc primary acknowlcogcmcnr of onc`s locarion in rhc
cosmos, ano rhus 2 7"+4#(*%( +< '&( ,(#<6 2 1+"'(='82#
7"+4#(*%( +< '&( 4&+#( 2"* +< +83 5#21( $" $' 2"*
'&2' 4$## .( +< ;2#8( 2, 2" +3$("'2'$+" <+3 &8)2" #$;$"%
2"* 21'$"% 2"* (;(" &8)2" 7"+4$"% $" 2 ,1$("'$<$1
2%(. ! wanr ro rcrurn ar rhc cno ro suggcsr how rhis
kino of sclf-knowlcogc ano conrcxrual knowlcogc of
rhc wholc rhar ocrivcs from rhc rcligious paraoigm
shoulo bc in consranr a oialoguc wirh scicnrific
knowlcogc ano vicc-vcrsa.
!"#$%&'% '#) *#$+*#,-&.#+ /' 0/1 2'1
Bur now ! woulo likc ro rurn ro my propcr
ropic, namcly, cmcrging ncw pcrspccrivcs on Goo
ano soul.
Hcrc again ! can only provioc a suggcsrivc
skcrch ano ! wanr ro acknowlcogc ar rhc ourscr rhar
many of rhcsc ncw pcrspccrivcs on Goo ano soul arc a
rcsulr of rhc impacr of rhc ncw scicnrific knowlcogc.
Ours has bccn a rcvolurionary agc in rhc
rcligious oimcnsion. !n largc parr rhis rcvolurionary
characrcr may bc arrriburco ro rhc looscning ano
shaking of rhc classical, prc-moocrn paraoigm of rhc
cosmos by rhc ocvclopmcnr of scicncc.
!n rhc wcsr ouring my lifcrimc, rhcrc has bccn,
firsr of all, 2 53+<+8"* *(H$",'$'8'$+"2#$G2'$+" +<
3(#$%$+"; rhc churchcs ano rraoirions havc nor vanishco
bur rhcy arc no longcr rhc privilcgco placcs of
rcligious cxpcricncc or pracricc. !nocco, wc havc comc
ro usc rhc ncw rcrm of I,5$3$'82#$'0J ro iocnrify rhc
non-insrirurional forms of pracricc. Rcligious
rraoirions, in rhcir rurn, havc bccn 'crackco opcn` in a
scnsc ano many of rhcir rrcasurcs carrico oursioc ano
bcyono rhc conrrol of rhcir guaroians; orhcrs inrcrprcr
ano rcinrcrprcr rhcm for now rhcy arc rccognizco as
rrcasurcs of humaniry as such ano nor jusr of a
parricular group. This rc-inrcrprcrarion is in many
ways an ccho of rhc whar 'rhc mysrics` in all rraoirions
havc long pracricco ano aovocarcoano ycr ir opcns
rhc rraoirions in uncxpccrco ways ro orhcr rraoirions
ano rhus ro rhc possibiliry of a rruc inrcrrcligious
oialoguc. !n rhc bcsr scnsc, rhis spirirualiry has allowco
oroinary pcoplc ro fccl cmpowcrco ro ocfinc ano
arricularc rhcir rcligious cxpcricncc. Again, rhc olo
forms of rcligion havc ccrrainly nor oisappcarco ano
in somc placcs rhcy sccm srill quirc srrong ano causc
conrinuing conflicr, bur rhcir claim ro allcgiancc has
alrcaoy oiminishco in many ways.
(! cannor say ro whar cxrcnr rhis 'spirirualiry`
ocscribcs rhc siruarion in !noia, bur ! oo know rhar
you alrcaoy havc a vcry sophisricarco form of
90 Paul Schwartzentruber
inrcrrcligious ocvorion among rraoirions hcrc. ! also
bclicvc rhar rhis cchocs rhc monumcnral work of rhc
grcar !noian philosophcr of inrcrrcligious oialoguc,
Raimunoo Panikkar.)
Many facrors havc conrriburco ro rhis oc-
insrirurionalizarionfor cxamplc, a ncw gcncrarion,
rhc mcoia agc ano rhc unmasking of falsc aurhoriry
claims. Thc firsr posirivc form of rhis 'spirirualiry`, !
woulo arguc, comcs from Ganohiji, or ar lcasr
flourishcs wirh him. !r is Ganohiji who raoically
rcinrcrprcrs or brcaks opcn Hinou rraoirion by
orawing on Chrisrian, Jain, Buoohisr ano !slamic
insighrs ro formularc rhc rcligious vision of 2&$),2H
,2'02%32&2 KHc claims rhar rhis is in runc wirh a
univcrsal oimcnsion of rcligion ano rhar ir is nor jusr
ocvorional bur also 'crirical`, i.c., arricularing rhc
occpcr rrurh of rcligion (somcrimcs againsr rhc
unocrsranoing of rhc guaroians). Finally, hc hanos
rhis rrurh ovcr ro rhc 22) 2*)$6 rhc common pcrson,
ano suggcsrs rhar rhcy musr also fashion rhcir own
rclarionship wirh rrurh ano pracricc, rhcir own ,4232:.
Thcy rhcmsclvcs arc crhically rcsponsiblc for
This is a momcnr of crucial cnlighrcnmcnr in
rhc rcligious hisrory of our plancr. Ganohi`s scco was
rransplanrco in Norrh Amcrica by Marrin Lurhcr
King Jr., ano his rcinrcrprcrarion of Chrisrianiry as a
rcligion of lovc hao a profouno impacr rhcrc which
conrinucs. This cmpowcrco non-violcncc conrinucs
ro scco irsclf rhroughour rhc sccono half of rhc
rwcnricrh ccnrury in a varicry of placcs arouno rhc
globcin Sourh Africa, Lasrcrn Luropc, rhroughour
rhc Arabworlo, rransforming polirics ano narions.
Thc proccss is srill conrinuing.
Through rhis Ganohian paraoigm shifr, wc
may scc nor only rhc ocinsrirurionalizarion of rcligion
inro spirirualiry bur also rwo furrhcr fcarurcs. "#$
%"&'"&( )"#* +,-$.&/% ,#*"0/% -,$+.&$"1"%"#2 /&3 "#$
1,"&( -,4-/5,3 /$ $,%46'&.)%,3(,7 Borh of rhcsc iocas
arc cmbcooco in rhc classical rraoirions, ofrcn by rhcir
srrcams of mysrics, likc rhc Sufis or somc of carly
Chrisrian sainrs or Ramalinga (as ! havc lcarnco from
Dr. Jpji), bur rhcy havc bccn broughr ro rhc ccnrrc
of rhc unocrsranoing of rcligion in our rimc. ! wanr
ro say a lirrlc bir morc abour cach of rhcsc clcmcnrs
ano rhcir unfoloing.
Lcr mc ralk firsr abour how rhrough rhc risc of
spirirualiry, rcligion has bccn 3(<32)(* *(<$"$'$;(#0 2,
,(#<H7"+4#(*%(. Larly forms of rcligion hao no
oifficulry making claims abour Goo ano rhc oivinc
ano rhcy ofrcn oio so by lcaving rhc human bcing ar
rhc margins or in rhc backgrouno. Thc onc who was
making claims abour Goo coulo mcrcly asscrr rhar
claim ano usc ir rcinforcc rhcir own aurhoriry
(inciocnrally, rhis is rhc circulariry rhar was so
oisrurbing ro rhc Lnlighrcnmcnr ano larcr ro Marx
ano Frcuo). Howcvcr, wc know roo much abour rhc
psychological phcnomcnon of projccrion for rhis ro
work now. claims abour rhc oivinc arc only valio as
claims 2.+8' +83 (=5(3$("1( +< '&( *$;$"(K Thcy arc
rhcrcforc also claims abour us. Dccpcr forms of rhc
ncw rcligious spirir havc alrcaoy sccn rhis howcvcr
?2"*&$:$ &$),(#< ,5+7( 2.+8' L?+* 2, B38'& +3 32'&(3
+< B38'& 2, ?+*. By rhis hc vcry much mcanr rhc
rrurh in which hc himsclf was rcvcalco ano bcforc
which his lifc was an opcn bookK Hc coulo ralk rhc
ralk of rrurh bccausc ano as hc walkco rhc walk of
Anorhcr grcar moocrn rcligious rhinkcr also
arricularcs rhis link bcrwccn rhc sclf ano rrurh . Thc
scarch for rrurh is rhc rruc rcligion, says Krishnamurri,
ano rhc pcrson who is sccking for rrurh is rhc only
rruc rcligious pcrsonKM Krishnamurri gocs on ro say
rhar rhis scarch will rakc rhc rcligious pcrson oursioc
rhc norms of socicry ano scr off in rhcm an cxplosivc
crcarivcncss. !r is rhis oiscovcry of whar is ncw from
momcnr ro momcnr which will crcarc a ncw culrurc.
(@+",$*(3 B&(,( B&$"%,) Whar is inrcrcsring in borh
rhcsc cascs is rhar wc arc no longcr making quasi-
objccrivc claims abour a suprcmc bcing, rarhcr wc arc
illusrraring ano valioaring our ulrimarc bclicfs rhrough
our own opcnncss ro sclf-knowlcogc, our own sclf-
Thc borrom linc hcrc is rhar sclf-knowlcogc now
rcflccrs +83 +4" 211+8"'2.$#$'0 <+3 +83 #$<( 2"* &+4
Suggestions Ior Renewing the Dialogue between Religion and Science... 91
4( #$;( $' .(<+3( 4&2'(;(3 4( 3(1+%"$G( 2, '&( *$;$"(K
Onc of rhc mosr wiocsprcao ano aurhcnric of rhc ncw
spirirual movcmcnrs, N#1+&+#$1, N"+"0)+8, or AA,
cmbooics rhis commirmcnr ro accounrabiliry bcforc
rhc highcr powcr. !r also kccps rhc focus on rhc ncco
for consranr, sclf-crirical rcflccrion ano ongoing
rransformarion. ! will comc back ro rhis in a momcnr
bccausc ! rhink rhc ncwcr forms of Buoohism arc also
ooing rhis, wirhour any cxplicir norion of ociry.
Moocrn spirirualiry aoos ncw oimcnsions ro
rhis sclf-knowlcogc as wcll'&( *$)(",$+" +< '&(
.+*06 +3 ().+*$)("' $, .3+8%&' .217 $"'+ 3(#$%$+"6
<+3 (=2)5#(6 2, 4(## 2, '&( ,+1$2# *$)(",$+" $" '&(
,(",( +< 2 ,+1$2#H5+#$'$12# ('&$1,K Thc firsr of rhcsc
cmbooimcnrovcrcomcs rhc longsranoing rcligious
oisrorrion of oualism ano rhc sccono, rhc social
oimcnsion, ovcrcomcs a sccono oisrorrion of rcligion
as simply a pcrsonal ano privarc sphcrc. Spirirualiry
has a claim bcyono rhc prcvious narrow rcligious
sphcrcs rhar oivioco rhc worlo inro gooo ano cvil,
oarkncss ano lighr. $' 2**3(,,(, '&( 4&+#(K
This brings us ro rhc sccono poinr mcnrionco
abovc, namcly, 5(3,+"2# ('&$12# 3(,5+",$.$#$'0. This is
no longcr conccivco on rhc moocl of chariry (which
lcavcs rhc givcr srill in a posirion of powcr) bur rarhcr
on rhc moocl of sclf-giving or 'sclf-cmprying` (rhis
also has Ganohian cchocs). ! rhink hcrc of rhc pcrsonal
crhical powcr wirh which Nclson Manocla
rransformco rhc claborarc srrucrurcs of Sourh African
aparrhcio ano also rhc occp suffcring rhcy crcarco.
This powcr was ablc ro movc an cnrirc narion bcyono
harrco ano rcvcngc. This pcrsonal crhical rcsponsibiliry
shows irsclf as bcing willing ro acccpr irs own
wcakncss, irs own fragiliry ano givc irsclf rhrough rhar
wcakncss for rhc gooo of orhcrs. !r comcs ar a high
pcrsonal cosr obviously ano rhcrcforc ir oraws on occp
laycrs of human compassion. B&$, 21'$;( 1+)52,,$+"
<+3 '&( +'&(3 $, +"( +< '&( *((5(,' <+3), +< "(4
(=53(,,$+" +< 3(#$%$+8, (=5(3$("1( 2"* ,+8#K
Thcrc arc many moocls for cxploring rhis sclf-
cmprying rcsponsibiliry in all of rhc casrcrn rcligious
rraoirions. Far fcwcr, if any, in rhc wcsr unforrunarcly,
whcrc rhc norion of giving up powcr is vcry oisrurbing
ano largcly unacknowlcogco as a spirirual acr.
Howcvcr, rhcrc arc many spirirual groups in rhc wcsr
now who arc bcginning ro cxplorc whar is callco
;8#"(32.$#$'0 in a scrious way. ! havc jusr mcnrionco
AA, rhcrc arc also many mcn`s groups which arc finoing
spirirual rrurhs basco on vulncrabiliry, ano going
much occpcr rhan rhc socially ocfinco rolcs for mcn
as achicvcrs ano oocrs. Vulncrabiliry again opcns rhc
ooor ro rhc rccognirion of onc`s conringcncy, rhc
givcn-ncss of cxisrcncc. This has rhc porcnrial for
bringing abour a much broaocr socicral changc.
Finally ! wanr ro 5,&#".& #*, -"$, .4 8&"#"9,
#*"&'"&( /&3 8&3,-$#/&3"&( "& / 9/-",#2 .4 4.-5$7 This
oraws nor only on rraoirional mysricism bur also on
ncw conrcxrs of cxplorarion of rhc cosmos. Thcrc arc
many rcligious rhinkcrs who follow in rhc parh of
rhc Jcsuir rhcologian ano palconrologisr, Picrrc
Tcilharo oc Charoin. Dc Charoin rrico in rhc 30`s
ano 40`s ro arricularc rhc spirirual implicarions of an
cvolving cosmos ano cspccially rhc placc for rhc
mysrcry of consciousncss in ir. As ! saio, many pcoplc
havc followco in his foorsrcps, cspccially as rhc
ccological crisis grows cxponcnrially. ! rhink of rhc
Amcricans, Thomas Bcrry ano Wcnocll Bcrry, borh
of whom havc arricularco profouno ncw spirirual
visions of a cosmoccnrric (rarhcr rhan
anrhropoccnrric) kino. Thcrc is a growing rccognirion
rhar rhc human placc in rhc cosmos may nor bc ano
shoulo nor bc as ccnrral or as 'clcvarco abovc ir` as wc
havc rhoughr. Ano rhis bcgins ro insrill a hcalrhy
rcvision of crhics which pays arrcnrion ro orhcr spccics
ano orhcr oimcnsions. Wcnocll Bcrry has urgco a
rcrurn ro such a prc-moocrn rclarionship wirh narurc,
wirh rhc lano, ano wirh rhc cconomy, in orocr ro rc-
imaginc our conrinuco cxisrcncc on rhc plancr in somc
kino of harmony or balancc.
Finally, rhc ncw forms of cngagco Buoohism
havc bccn parricularly imporranr in rhc cmcrgcncc of
ncw forms of rcligious unocrsranoing ano pracricc.
Much of Buoohism was alrcaoy an opcn rraoirion rhar
opcrarco oursioc srrong insrirurional bounoarics. !r
92 Paul Schwartzentruber
always rccognizco rhc uniquc parh of cach followcr.
Parrly for rhis rcason, Buoohism has grown quirc
wiocsprcao in norrh Amcrica, cspccially as pcoplc scck
forms of simplifico ano popular spirirual pracricc.
Mcoirarion ano vipassana (ano of coursc yoga) havc
sprcao quirc wiocly inro rhc mainsrrcam. Narurally
rhcrc arc many commcrcializco ano culrish forms of
rhis bur rhcrc is also much gcnuinc ano scrious
Alongsioc rhis pracricc, Buoohisr lcaocrs havc
bccn laying rhc founoarion for a rcformularion of rhc
ancicnr rcaching in a way rhar will cngagc rhc moocrn
pcrson. Thc Dalai Lama has ocvclopco ano promorco
a ncw form of sccular crhics bcyono all rcligion. Ano
Thich Nhar Hanh has unfoloco #*, "&$"(*# "&#. #*,
"&#,-61,"&( of all rcaliry ano in rhis way crcarco a viral
link bcrwccn rhc human, rhc animal, rhc vcgcrablc
ano rhc mincral. Thc viral link, or inrcrocpcnocncc
of all rhings is a cosmological ano an crhical vision.
!r says, 'cvcryrhing bclongs`, 'cvcryrhing has irs bcing
wirh cvcry orhcr rhing`, norhing is simply a rcsourcc,
or wasrc.
LB&(3( $, 2 1#+8* <#+2'$"% +" '&$, ,&((' +< 525(3
'&2' 0+8 23( &+#*$"% $" 0+83 &2"*K O$'&+8'
'&( 1#+8*6 '&(3( 4$## .( "+ 32$"P '&( '3((, 12""+'
%3+4P 2"* 4$'&+8' '3((,6 4( 12""+' )27(
525(3K B&( 1#+8* $, (,,("'$2# <+3 '&( 525(3 '+
(=$,'K C< '&( 1#+8* $, "+' '&(3(6 '&( ,&((' +< 525(3
12""+' .( &(3( ($'&(3P ,+ '&( 1#+8* 2"* '&( 525(3
C< 4( #++7 $"'+ '&$, ,&((' +< 525(3 (;(" )+3(
*((5#06 4( 12" ,(( '&( ,8",&$"( $" $'K C< '&(
,8",&$"( $, "+' '&(3( '&( <+3(,' 12""+' %3+4K
C" <21'6 "+'&$"% 12" %3+4K !;(" 4( 12""+'
%3+4 4$'&+8' ,8",&$"(K N"* ,+6 4( 7"+4 '&2'
'&( ,8",&$"( $, 2#,+ $" '&$, ,&((' +< 525(3P '&(
525(3 2"* '&( ,8",&$"( $"'(3H23(K
N"* $< 4( 1+"'$"8( '+ #++76 4( 12" ,(( '&(
#+%%(3 4&+ 18' '&( '3(( 2"* .3+8%&' $' '+ '&(
)$## '+ .( '32",<+3)(* $"'+ 525(3K N"* 4( 12"
,(( '&( 4&(2'K O( 7"+4 '&( #+%%(3 12""+' (=$,'
4$'&+8' &$, *2$#0 .3(2*6 2"* '&(3(<+3( '&( 4&(2'
'&2' .(12)( &$, .3(2* $, 2#,+ $" '&$, ,&((' +<
N"* '&( #+%%(3J, )+'&(3 2"* <2'&(3 23( $" $'
A++7$"% (;(" )+3( *((5#06 4( 12" ,(( 4( 23(
$" $' '++6 .(128,( 4&(" 4( #++7 2' 2 ,&((' +<
525(36 '&( ,&((' +< 525(3 $, 523' +< +83
Q+ (;(30'&$"% $, $" '&$, ,&((' +< 525(3K R+8
12""+' 5+$"' +8' +"( '&$"%, '&2' $, "+' &(3(6
'$)(6 ,521(6 '&( !23'&6 '&( 32$"6 '&( )$"(32#, $"
'&( ,+$#6 '&( ,8",&$"(6 '&( 1#+8*6 '&( 3$;(36 '&(
&(2'K !;(30'&$"% 1+H(=$,', 4$'& '&$, ,&((' +<
525(3K B+ .( $, '+ I$"'(3H.(JK R+8 12""+' :8,'
.( .0 0+83,(#< 2#+"(K R+8 &2;( '+ $"'(3H.( 4$'&
(;(30 +'&(3 '&$"%KM
Thich Nhar Hanh
This unirivc rhinking wc havc jusr rcflccrco
onano rhcrc arc many orhcr forms of iris a vcry
imporranr poinr of porcnrial oialoguc bcrwccn scicncc
ano rcligion, ! rhink. Scicnrific mcrhoo is basco on
oisringuishing, oivioing ano scpararing our in orocr
ro scc uniquc characrcrisrics of parricular phcnomcna.
Bur rhc way ro work back ro a holisric conrcxr wirh
rhc concrcrc knowlcogc rhar has bccn acquirco is much
morc oifficulr givcn rhc scicnrific paraoigm. Lnirivc
rhinking may arricularc rhc largcr conrcxr for such
knowlcogc of 2 *((5(3 #(;(# +< 128,2#$'0 +3 3(#2'(*"(,,
ano morcovcr, ir may suggcsr ways ro connccr ir ro
rhc crhical oomain of rhc gooo. Thc crirical
rcoucrionism of scicncc is an imporranr sragc in rhc
proccss of knowlcogc ano ir lays rhc founoarion for
an unocrsranoing of any occpcr unirics, bur ir cannor
bc final form of human knowlcogc. Ar rhc samc rimc
rcligion can only gcncrarc irs unocrsranoing of rhc
wholc by raking inro accounr rhc ocrailco ano crirical
knowlcogc of rhc scicnccs. !n rhis cxchangc, ! bclicvc
rhcrc is spacc for rhc rwo rrurhs ro coincioc, ro comc
Suggestions Ior Renewing the Dialogue between Religion and Science... 93
Finally, rhcrc arc rwo orhcr poinrs ar which a
oialoguc coulo bc pursuco ro grcar bcncfir1) in
rhc unocrsranoing of rhc human bcing ano rhcir
powcr ano 2) in rhc rcflccrion on rhc crhics of sclf-
Thc sranoaro unocrsranoing of powcr
cspccially in a scicnrific conrcxr, is limirco. ir is rhc
powcr ro conrrol, ro manipularc, ro arrracr ano rcpcl
(causaliry) ro orocr. Bur orhcr unocrsranoings of
powcr arc also imporranr ro human lifc, rhc powcr
ro rransform ano bc rransformco, rhc powcr ro givc
oncsclf away, rhc powcr ro givc up spacc for rhc orhcr
ro bc. Thcsc orhcr forms of powcr arc all arouno us
in rhc narural worlo ano rhcy provioc moocls for
human crhical bchavior. !n rhc cocoon rhc carcrpillar
slowly yiclos on rhc molccular lcvcl ro pupa ano a
burrcrfly comcs ro bc. Thc mysrics, for cxamplc, havc
long spokcn of rhc oivinc powcr as rhc powcr ro
wirhoraw ano ro givc spacc for an 'orhcr` ro bc ano ro
bc frcc. !nocco rhar may bc rhc unocrlying sccrcr of
rhc cosmos.
Lnlcss rhc human bcing can rclcarn ano pracricc
rhcsc orhcr forms of powcr, ! fcar rhar wc will ncvcr
comc inro a balancc wirh rhc narural worlo arouno us
ano all of rhc orhcr spccics. !f rcligion ano scicncc
wcrc ro cnrcr inro rhis oialoguc abour forms of powcr
rhc oiscussion coulo bc rransforming for borh.
Finally, ! mcnrionco rhc norion of crhics basco
on sclf-limirarion. Any of you who havc somc
cxpcricncc of a rraoirional socicry know how crucial
rhis is ro rhc funcrioning of rhc social fabric.
Lnlimirco sclf-asscrrion crcarcs chaos, sclf-limirarion
pracricco by cach, makcs a spacc for all. !n rhc conrcxr
of rhc mushrooming of rcchnology, human abilirics
now alrcaoy far cxccco our crhical capacirics. Wc has
so far bccn ablc ro oraw back from rhc nuclcar brink
bur only jusr ano in many arcas wc havc alrcaoy passco
rhis brink. Sclf-limirarion can only rakc roor ano
balancc rhc rclcnrlcss orivc ro sclf-asscrrion if ir is
connccrco ro an inncr capaciry of sclf-giving. This
sclf-giving is rhc roor of compassion, ano also of rruc
social changc. !f ! am moving in rhc sphcrc of
compassion, sclf-limirarion is nor cxpcricncco as a
sacrificc bur rarhcr as a fulfillmcnr, an allowing ro bc.
Lvcry farhcr ano morhcr knows irs powcr ano rrurh.
Coulo compassion comc ro cxprcssion in rhc scicnrific
oomain Coulo wc cnrcr inro a oialoguc abour how
ro combinc our knowlcogc wirh compassion
All of rhis implics a funoamcnral rc-oricnrarion
rhar is nccoco in borh rcligion ano scicncc ano has
alrcaoy bcgun ro cmcrgc wirhin cach of rhcm. ! rhink
Wcnocll Bcrry caprurcs rhis mosr clcarly ano so ! wanr
ro cno wirh a quorarion from him abour rhis
1+";(3,$+" of rhc human vicw.
Wc havc livco by rhc assumprion rhar whar
is gooo for us woulo bc gooo for rhc worlo. Wc havc
bccn wrong.To livc by rhc conrrary assumprion, rhar
whar is gooo for rhc worlo will bc gooo for us rcquircs
an cfforr ro know rhc worlo ano lcarn whar is gooo
for ir.
This is crhical knowing, knowing of sclf in rhc
worlo ano worlo in rhc sclf, knowing of rhc wholc.