A Higher Synthesis

Spirit and matter. Night and day. Subjective and objective. Right and left brain. Yin and yang. It seems duality is a fundamental aspect of reality, and shapes our perceptions of the inner and outer worlds. However, with the march of the left brain to its present dominate role since the enlightenment and scientific revolution, the objective world is understood better then at any other time in history, but the mysterious yin side of things has been neglected and forgotten. Alas, the thinking function is all that seems to matter in this society, and is presented as the only way to approach the world, and that it will eventually understand everything. However, for although the scientific method is the best way to get at the truth about the objective world of matter and energy, which can be quantified, and it’s experimental results verified by independent investigators, the spiritual yin side of things lies beyond the coarse hands of stumbling science, and requires a different approach. Our subjective depths, where we touch the realm of spirit, is best approached with myth, poetry, the Arts and depth psychology, and as our experience of the subjective is personal and not easily quantified or verified, the scientific method is of limited value. However, It is precisely here in our inner personal worlds that we can touch the source of meaning, purpose and permanence that provides a spiritual foundation so sadly lacking in this yang obsessed civilization.

As we drift on into the 21st century it seems many people think it will be a continuation of the late 20th, and the conventional wisdom of that era will remain the dominate paradigm, and science will continue to dazzle us with blockbuster discoveries and engineering marvels that continue on for the indefinite future. A science fiction vision of the future is mostly what we hear from the experts, and the bleak, meaningless old tale told since the 19th century and Darwin will remain unquestioned, and science alone can provide salvation with the hope it will indefinitely prolong life and even conquer death. Alas, the prevailing view that the objective world is the only reality is so pervasive in academia and the media that many people cannot even imagine there to be a spiritual side to things, or the existence of the soul and the Divine.

However, it is when it is at the extreme that the pendulum or the tides start to come back, and it is precisely at this science obsessed but meaningless moment that I think the yin, spiritual side of things will make a return. For although the enlightenment and science has provided us with a firm grounding about the hard facts of the objective world, and produced many technological tools that enhance and empower our lives, something is sorely missing that our souls are starving for, and now is the time to start integrating this yin side of reality into a higher synthesis with all the knowledge and tools science has given us. Things that traditionally meant the world to humanity, such as a romantic conception of nature as the stuff of the Divine, as well as the arts, poetry, myth and spiritually, but were tossed out by many in the 20th century as false relics of an ignorant age, could start again to enhance, balance, and restore meaning and purpose to the parched, bleak spiritual desert of our modern lives.

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