“Science Has Become My Spiritual Director”

Sharing this beautiful and related post from Sr. Joan Chittister at https://mailchi.mp/5f96105bae30/do-no-harm-to-the-earth-750105?e=be693754a4
The cosmic God is a surety
“I have no doubt now that God is with us all and comes often to many in a burst of awareness. The difference is that the Presence becomes a guide, a warmth, not a vengeful human being writ large. Instead, the cosmic God is a surety, a promise of support, a reminder of what the Jewish community has always called “The Covenant” and the Quakers call “The Inner Light’. God is the internal voice calling me to give myself to the fullness of life. It is the trek of the soul to wholeness and understanding. It is an awareness within me of my identity with all creation and the strength I need to wrestle my own uncertainty, indifference, spiritual deafness to the ground.

Let me explain: Science has become my spiritual director.

It is science that brought me face-to-face with the awareness of the overwhelming, immeasurable presence that is God. It took me to the edge of life, beyond the fairytale God. It helped me to understand that the Light was the energy from which all things come. It brought me to realize that the Cosmic Presence, the beginning and end of everything, has been consumed, dwarfed, shrunk, and reduced to magic, warring, vending, judging, and manipulating the laws of life. God, to be God, is the substance, the embrace, the whole of life. It’s out of five basic elements – oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon – that all the elements of life come. These five elements are at the base of all life processes, in all of us, in all living things everywhere. “We are made of the same makings as the stars,” Dr Ashley King, a planetary scientist and stardust expert teaches. “Nearly all the elements in the human body were made in a star…”, and so, I believe, will return to stardust at the end.

The poets tell us that we are nothing but stardust. But stardust is the same stuff of a Cosmic God as we are its cosmic dust. Think of it: God is within us and we are within God, the Light – God, the energy of all life, God the Creator of the universe.

God within us is Light, the essence of revelation and insight. God within us is energy, the pointer toward the tomorrow that comes out of today. God within us pours out on us the reckless generation of the gifts of life.”           
        —from An Evolving God, An Evolving Purpose, An Evolving World by Joan Chittister (Fortress Press)
Recent Photos from James Webb’s Telescope
Photo of 5 Galaxies Dying Stars              
To read about the most recent innovation in space exploration, click here.

5 thoughts on ““Science Has Become My Spiritual Director”

  1. Dr B

    An interesting post, so many Buddhist elements in it (pun!). Cosmic nature of our body, stardust, our bodies returning to individual elements upon our death etc. Originally educated as a scientist, then becoming a Buddhist, I rejected the fairytale controlling belief in a god. Then I went back to university and studied psychology including a module on neuroscience. Have you ever looked at the base structure of the brain at the synaptic level? I saw and understood for the first time how every thought, sensation, twitch, movement, resulted from the neurotransmission between axons and dendrites, a true miracle, surely created by a god-like hand! Where do you stand?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patrick Cole Post author

      Thank you for sharing Dr B and thank you for asking where I stand. While my roots are Christian, I have been practicing Zen Buddhism in the Plum Village Tradition (founded by Thich Nhat Hanh) for 15 years. My undergrad is in Behavioral Science, and I think it was Jack Kornfield who referenced Buddha as the first psychologist. I also like the Creation Spirituality taught by Matthew Fox which is why perennial wisdom is my focus these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dr B

        Thank you Patrick, I appreciate your openness 👍 I’m a big fan of Thich Nhat Hanh too, I have several of his books in audio and use the Plum Village app on my iPhone too. 🕉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ari Joshua Bouse

    At the end of the day, I do appreciate the deep self esteem work that allows for an acceptance of a self love that feels worthy of believing in the scholarly sentiment that your post embodies. Otherwise, the existence of God turns into an egocentric debate, much like the political football heavyweight slugfest that typically see play out in the theater of life. Thank you Uncle Pat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patrick Cole Post author

      I hear you Ari and thank you for your equanimous response.

      As you already know from my poem “What Is Truth?” (Published in Natural Beauty and Other Poems) the excerpt below best describes my feelings:
      “Your truth, my truth. Does anyone own the truth?
      Your god, my god; how many gods do we need
      to care for those who need care; to heal those who are sick;
      to feed those who are hungry; how many gods do we need?
      But let’s not argue over gods; let’s not fight over truth.
      Instead, let’s share blankets, clean water and healthy food.”



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