6. ABOUT RELIGION AND THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
WTM FAQ 6.3 Does understanding of the human condition undermine a faith in religion?
Religions aren’t being threatened by the arrival of the dignifying scientific understanding of the human condition—they are being fulfilled.
The whole objective of our conscious mind has been to replace ignorance, mystery, superstition and dogma with knowledge and understanding. But, in order to search for knowledge and comply with our almost universal need to deny the human condition, we needed both science and religion. This is because science took up the responsibility of inquiring into the mechanisms and workings of our world in a denial-complying, mechanistic (not-holistic) way, while religion became the custodian of the ideal state while the search for the liberating understanding of humans’ ‘fallen’ condition was underway.
Buddha, for instance, was looking forward to the arrival of the ultimate, ‘Supreme’, ‘Perfect’ ‘Wisdom’ and ‘Enlightenment’, which is the peace-bringing, ameliorating understanding of the human condition, when he said that ‘In the future they will every one be Buddhas [meaning in the future everyone will be free of psychosis] / And will reach Perfect Enlightenment / In domains in all directions / Each will have the same title [there will be no more distorting psychosis and alienation in humans] / Simultaneously on wisdom-thrones / They will prove the Supreme Wisdom’ (Buddha [Siddartha Gautama] 560–480 BC, The Lotus Sutra, ch.9; tr. W.E. Soothill, 1987, p.148 of 275).
In the Bible, Moses similarly anticipated a time when we ‘will be like God, knowing’ (Gen. 3:5). In his Lord’s Prayer, Christ instructed us to pray for the human-condition-resolved time when ‘Your [Godly, integrated, peaceful] kingdom come, your [integrative] will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matt. 6:10 & Luke 11:2). He also looked forward to the time when ‘another Counsellor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth [the denial-free, truthful, first-principle-based, scientific understanding]…will teach you all things and will remind you of everything [all the denial-free truths] I have said to you’ (John 14:16, 17, 26). (The explanation for why we personified Integrative Meaning as ‘God’ is given in and of biologist Jeremy Griffith’s definitive work, FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition.)
The same anticipation of our species’ liberation from the human condition is expressed in Revelations in the Bible where it states that ‘Another book [will be]…opened which is the book of life [the human-condition-explaining and humanity-liberating book]…[and] a new heaven and a new earth [will appear] for the first heaven and the first earth [the old human-condition-stricken existence will have]…passed away…[and this dignifying full truth about our condition] will wipe every tear from…[our] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain [insecurity, suffering or sickness], for the old order of things has passed away’ (20:12, 21:1, 4).
And what did that truth-saying prophet, the singer/songwriter John Lennon ‘imagine’? A time when the human condition is resolved and ‘the world will be as one’, when there will be ‘no heaven [above us and] no hell below us’; when, in essence, there will be a world free of the condemning differentiation of good and evil, a world liberated from the insecurity of the human condition and thus the need for religion, where, as Lennon sang, there will be ‘Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too…all the people living life in peace…No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man…all the people sharing all the world’ (Imagine, 1971).
So, the true role of science was to bring an end to faith and belief and introduce the age of knowing, and with it a world of psychologically secure human beings, while the true role of religion was to comfort humanity while the search went on and explanation of the human condition was finally found, which is exactly what has happened. Through the advances made by mechanistic science, Jeremy has been able to synthesise a holistic, denial-free, human-condition-confronting-not-avoiding, first-principle biological explanation that at last answers the age-old question about our fundamental goodness and worth as a species.
The physicist Charles H. Townes summed up this ultimate reconciliation of science and religion best when he said, ‘they [science and religion] both represent man’s efforts to understand his universe and must ultimately be dealing with the same substance. As we understand more in each realm, the two must grow together…converge they must.’
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