Email: Religion and Science as Distinct Modes of Time Management (16.7.2020)

Dear Gillian 

From my communication with you over the last 30 years or so, (which has involved both ‘words’ and ‘silence’), coupled with my research in this area, it has struck me that religion is essentially a still ‘presence’, whilst science is essentially a moving ‘activity’. This is a significant insight because presence is ‘timeless’ whilst science is ‘in time’. In recent years, I have purposely listened to (and read) the biographies of numerous Christian Saints without judgement and have allowed their words to penetrate my mind. What are they doing and what are they trying to convey? This is what I have seen. The Saints are not concerned with activity within time, but only activity that continuously reveals and maintains the presence of God ‘here and now’. The Saints (and their religion) seek to ‘conserve’ the present moment as far as possible ‘unchanged’ – hence the conservativism that exists at the heat of Christianity. Whereas as with the scientific method, there is a continuous commitment to removing the ‘ignorance’ (in the mind) that prevents human understanding from grasping how material nature functions, whilst religion strives to remove the barriers that would prevent the receiving of ‘grace’ in the present moment. Therefore, ‘science’ in the modern sense can be possibly construed as a ‘barrier’ to receiving ‘grace’, and preventing humanity from ‘directly’ communicating with god. From the position of science, religion prevents the human mind from moving in any other practical direction that would switch the emphasis of perception from ‘inward’ to ‘outward’. Science often rejects religion on the grounds that it does not allow the scientific method to dominate. We are left with this – no science, no progression of human society – and no religion, no perception of god within the same human society. Now this has been worked-out, the question is how these two aspects of human existence fit together. ‘Not Knowing’, (and taking action to remove this impediment) seems to be the key. Presence involves ‘being’ here (on the spot), whilst secular ‘knowing’ involves ‘going’ somewhere other than ‘here’. Religion centres and anchors the individual, whilst science disrupts and changes society. 

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