The Nature of Knowledge

Pitfalls of Science as Religion

Carl Hendel, M.D.

Human Nature, just like everything else in nature, changes. For most of our experience as conscious beings, our knowledge was filled with wonder, faith, and intuition. However, as we learned more, the more we learned we didn't know. Science was invented to determine what is true and what isn't true. This invention, while invaluable in many ways, is not a complete reflection of all that is.

The Nature of Truth is not always revealed in the mirror of scientific perception. It seems that the truth doesn't change from day-to-day, but our belief about what is true constantly shifts. In the many years I spent in a scientific technological environment, much of what science had taught me to be true was later to be considered incorrect. Notice how many times the medical journals change previously-accepted doctrines due to new data and "better " studies. Medicines advertised as safe were found later not to be safe. Margarine used to be good for us, now its bad.

So what is the Nature of Knowledge? I imagine that it is like the cosmos itself, infinite, like a spherical Mobius Strip, always shifting, flowing and changing, like the Chinese Yin-Yang symbol (the Taiji) in more than 3 dimensions. But how can we comprehend such a notion? I'm not sure that we can! Science has established some validity along its linear path, but this linear path is not the whole arena of knowledge.

Yesterday, I was confronted by a medical doctor for using an unscientific term. I referred to the human being as an energy being. Science cannot, at this point in time "prove" that we are energy beings. Science also can't prove "time." Does that mean that time doesn't exist? No, in a dimension which axiomatically accepts time, time makes sense. Similarly, it is undeniable that we are warm, filled with moving fluids, have discharging electrical impulses, and radiate a field of warmth, water vapor, electromagnetic activity, and more. Some people can even see this field, and many can feel it!

To deny the possibility of knowledge outside the provability of science is to severely limit one's world view. To hold this view personally is a basic human right. To inflict its limitations on others in the name of science becomes heresy.

I sometimes consider people who have this limiting reductionistic view to be of the Scientific Religion. Just as some fundamentalist Religions seem to fear the potential of the human imagination and openness in perception, there seems to be a quality of paranoid hypervigilance to be sure that no one strays from the path of the scientifically provable.

I have often described what I call the 3 Pitfalls of Science as Religion. They are as follows:

1. If I can't measure it, its not real.

2. If I can't answer, it's not a good question

3. If I don't know, it's not important.

Please know that I truly appreciate the importance of scientific thinking. And also know that I have great concern when we tend to exclude the majority of the knowledge field because it falls outside present provability. All we can ask is that our great scientific minds follow the teaching of Albert Einstein, who said that "Imagination is more important than Knowledge." All we can ask is that we remain open to new learning, not by believing, but by suspending our disbelief.

As energy beings, we participate in a holographic, vibratory, rhythmic universe. Our senses (including intuition, inspiration, and imagination) are our receivers. We taste, feel, smell, touch, see, and know energy.

Scientific knowledge is part of our modern world. Our human experience, however, can access knowledge beyond science.

back to other essays

back to qi and the fascia

back to is energy a dirty word?