Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Science of Mind and Spirit

We are more than our physical bodies. Each individual is composed of three very unique components. We are body, mind and spirit. Psychology, the study of the mind, was considered to be a branch of philosophy until 1879, when psychology was developed as an independent scientific discipline in Germany and the United States. The mind is so mysterious it was considered to be philosophical, not scientific. Just as we continue to learn about the physical world, our understanding of the human mind continues to expand. Understanding the power of conscious thought is an important part of understanding who or what we are.

Theories can be debated in both physics and psychology, but both subjects are now accepted as science. The controversy gets far more intense when we discuss the theories, or even the existence of spirit. If we thought the mind was a mystery, the spirit would seem like magic. How do we scientifically prove the existence of spirit, or how it works?

Most of the science we know today has been discovered within the last 500 years. Before then, we were still able to use the laws of physics, even though we may not have known how or even why they worked. Simple tools, like the lever, were used long before Sir Isaac Newton studied the effects of gravitational pull. Perhaps some day all human minds will comprehend the human spirit as an integral part of the whole human being. For now, we can look at several simple analogies.

There are things we can detect, that we can not see; wind for instance. We can look outside a window and know that it is windy. We can see and even hear the affect the wind has on the trees and other objects. Wind itself can not be seen or heard. Its effect on the environment is what we see and hear. If that example is too elementary, the same thinking is used in science for both the macrocosm of space and the microcosm of quantum physics. Quantum physics is essentially the study of atoms. Studying these tiny particles often requires a different process of observation. Sometimes it is necessary to measure the effects of particles by their interaction with other particles. Much of what we know about objects in space is the result of observation of their effects on other objects. Planets and black holes have been discovered by the way light reacts with them. One hundred years ago, we could not prove they existed. Just because we can not prove the spirit, does not mean it does not exist. Perhaps someday science will advance to prove the existence of the human spirit. For now, we can have faith that the evidence we see and feel in our lives is assurance enough.

To Live Without Faith

I looked into the future
and feared that I was lost.
I tried to believe
that I would make it through okay,
by searching for hidden answers
and that faith would lead the way.

The harder I searched
to find a path to follow,
the more I feared there was no way out.
My faith was pushed to the very edge.
That’s when the ‘voice’ began to shout.

“Your faith is empty.
It will bring you nowhere.
it will leave you dying in this wretched place.”
That was all it took
to see my fear and look it in the face.

Then I responded back,
I would rather die in faith
than to live without it.
I’ll stand and face my fears.”
And so I did…
…as I watched them disappear.

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