Marcey Shapiro, MD
Imagine that the natural world is always communicating with us, whether or not we consciously understand the messages. Like the Inuit who have so many words to perceive and describe snow, there are many ways for each of us to process information from both our inner and outer worlds. In contemporary society, we do not have commonly used language to describe huge parts of the informational exchange that is constantly occurring. Instead we have been culturally programmed to ignore the communications of the natural world, since no words in common parlance are available to mediate the interaction. The very existence of these modes of communication has been largely forgotten in “modern” Western civilization.
In the scientific community, people who speak of the immanence of nature, or of any aspect of the natural world communicating directly with them or others, are generally belittled, ridiculed, or ignored. These tactics, typical of bullying, are all parts of the spectrum of a war mentality. The more oppressive the regime, the less tolerant it is of nonconformity. In our culture, a sense of the presence of nature is “allowed” in the arts and literature, but it is usually rejected in “science.” The arts are a mode of self-expression, while science is supposedly “objective.”
Claims of objectivity functionally squelch freedom of expression and exploration of subjective experience. Even well-done scientific studies that look at the inter-communication of individuals and aspects of the natural world, or telepathic connections between humans, are summarily dismissed by the reigning hierarchy or labeled as “soft science.” In science today we find a situation of smug stagnation, similar to that of the Middle Ages in Europe, wherein only certain condoned ways of viewing reality are accepted. The unfortunate consequence of this limited worldview has been a dearth of technologies that are in harmony with nature. Since scientists believe it is not possible to hear or interact with the voice of nature, they ignore and deny that there is anything to listen to.
Science did not evolve this way accidentally. There was, in fact, a deliberate exclusion of any matters divine or spiritual in the development of contemporary science. This was not in order to be more “objective.” There was a more interesting and calculated reason that the conjoined twins of spirit and science were separated at the birth of modern science. To understand the roots of our current dilemma, and how to set sail into a more expanded realm of communication, it is helpful to examine what was going on when modern science was in its early stages. To do so requires a brief survey of some philosophical and religious concepts such as Materialism, Scientism, Dualism, and Monism, as well as a quick glance at seventeenth-century European politics.
Materialism and Scientism
Materialism, a dominant theme in contemporary civilization, is the view that physical matter is the only reality. Many well-meaning, humanitarian people believe in this viewpoint, without any knowledge of its (ironically) theological roots. According to this philosophy, all observable things and processes can be understood and explained as manifestations of existing material substance. In other words, to Materialism, everything that IS comes from things that already exist physically.
Scientism, the child of materialism, is a religious-like belief in the power of science to understand and know all things. Scientism claims that it is always possible to understand the cause of anything, purely from that which already exists physically. The religiosity comes in as people believe, in the face of contradictory evidence, that it is possible for Materialist science to understand all things without taking into account the non-physical.
Excerpted from Freedom From Anxiety: A Holistic Approach to Emotional Well Being by Marcey Shapiro, MD, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2014 by Marcey Shapiro. Reprinted by permission of publisher.
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