Science and alternative knowledge

Official science stands on a pedestal of authority and respectability.

But knowledge pertaining to subtle and spiritual aspects of life is widely presented as not rigorous, unscientific and broadly anti progress.

This is a basic misunderstanding inherent in the dominant thinking mode of present society. A thinking mode that lies at the root of the global crisis.

The problem revolves around consciousness and perception.

Consciousness is the essence of our lives. If we didn’t share in consciousness, we wouldn’t know that we existed, and there would be no thinking, no knowledge, and no science.

Yet, paradoxically, science itself has no explanation to offer on the nature of consciousness. What exactly is consciousness? Where does it lie? Is it in brain cells, in atoms, in elementary particles? Which creatures, alive or not, on this planet or elsewhere, are endowed with consciousness?

Science seeks to understand the world from the point of view of a neutral observer assumed to be outside what he observes. But the question of consciousness of the observer and relations between observer and what he observes are mostly left out of the scope of science.

This is more than a paradox; it is an insult to logic.

In pure logic one would start with three things: reality, our consciousness, and the representation of reality that our consciousness creates.

Our mind operates consciously and unconsciously. From advances in neurosciences, it is becoming clear that the conscious and un/subconscious are in constant close interaction. Part of the result of mental activity is a stream of images projected on the inner screen of our mind.

When we structure representations created by our mind, we produce something called “knowledge”. Knowledge is not reality; it only represents very small bits of it. And such representations are distorted by emotions and prejudgments.

There is a huge gap between the universal oneness and infinite complexity of reality, and the fragmentation and limitation of human knowledge. This is so for any form of knowledge: science, technology, practical know how, arts, philosophy, or religion.

It is obvious that no knowledge should be ever taken as the “truth”. The only valid purpose of knowledge is simply to be useful.

Newtonian mechanics is useful in engineering, quantum mechanics is useful in electronics. Neither model is the “truth”; both are very useful tools.

Having shed some light on the relation between reality and knowledge, let us now turn to knowledge in disciplines regarded as “alternative”.

For example, knowledge used in natural healing methods such as acupuncture or homeopathy, or in the study and arrangement of living space through bio geology and Feng Shui. These disciplines are also very useful, as demonstrated through practice over long periods of time.

Yet, the establishment denies them the same validity and respect as mainstream disciplines.

Why?

First, because these disciplines do not fit the materialistic view of the world.

In the materialist vision, which dominates Western civilisation, only that which can be perceived through one at least of the five senses has real existence. The universe is a mere collection of separate things and processes obeying mechanistic laws. These laws can be gradually understood through scientific progress, and be exploited to transform material reality.

Flaws in this vision have started to be exposed by quantum mechanics at the beginning of the 20th century. Later, developments in subatomic physics, astronomy, neurosciences and other disciplines have pointed to a vision of the universe completely opposed to materialism.

In fact, advanced science suggests a vision in line with what ancient traditions had envisaged: a universe of energy, in which everything interacts and nothing, no-where, is separate. A universe of oneness and interdependence.

There is a second reason why alternative disciplines are denigrated and often ferociously opposed by the establishment: the toxic combination of profit, power and arrogance.

Our civilisation rests on the belief that fear, greed, and competition, are unalterable hallmarks of human condition. This is just how the human beast functions in the material world, and you have to accept it. Fight for yourself, and be a winner.

In that spirit, the “elite” has a clear preference for brutish technologies, and has little time for subtle knowledge. On the other hand, alternative techniques are comparatively very cheap and simple to implement.

For example, acupuncture only requires a few needles and sound know how. No need for the logistics of a multinational; therefore no large profits, no executives with big egos, no sophisticated financial instruments, no fancy accounting and convoluted legal advice.

Two opposite views of the universe breed two very different sets of technologies, two very different notions of harmony, two very different rapports between the individual and others and nature.

Being well aware of all this is going to be ever more useful as the global crisis accelerates.

Fear not, stay calm and lucid.

Love.

Leo

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