Don't Westerners Require a
Scientific Approach to Spirituality?
We all need a rational and
scientific approach to the spiritual life. Otherwise the spiritual
life becomes dogma or superstition. Yet to scientifically approach
the spiritual life is different than to scientifically approach a
material object. Spiritual Reality, being the infinite and eternal,
cannot be observed in a laboratory, dissected on a table, or seen in
a telescope or microscope.
It requires a
super-scientific approach which is to be capable of directly
observing the workings of our own minds. It requires the ability to
reason between the Eternal and the transient and to focus one's
awareness on the Eternal.
The beauty of dharmic and
meditation traditions is that they have maintained a scientific
approach to the spiritual life which can be used by people all over
the world. Yet the spiritual life is not merely a science, it is
also an art, and must be approached with sensitivity and creativity.
The spiritual aspect of life being the most subtle portion of our
nature, requires the appropriate subtlety of mind to discover. It
cannot, like an object on the table, be obvious to our outer vision.
The science of Yoga is such a scientific approach to spirituality
that we must develop on a global basis.