Do you see a conflict between science and spirituality?" my friend asked.

The question points to our tendency to believe that we can, in a scientific sense, be neutral, impartial observers; that life consists of opposites rather than inclusive, complementary values. That the workings of the universe can be broken down into neat, efficient units and understood in exact terms.

Yet, historically, this separation of science and spirituality is a relatively new concept. For much of human history, science and philosophy were considered to be one pursuit.

Intrinsically we are all scientists and philosophers. Our search for meaning is part of our essence and existence as human beings. We explore, discover and invent meaning in the events and experiences of our daily lives.

The new view of science does not conflict with but supports spirituality. Quantum theory and the corresponding Uncertainty Principle imply that it is impossible to isolate the observer from the observed. Objective reality contains an infinite array of differing potentialities. The universe is far more mysterious than our senses commonly perceive.

Quantum theory raises questions about how we perceive and understand reality. It is also a powerful metaphor. It invites us to transcend an experience of life based on the immediacy of our rational sense-perception observations. It opens us to realms of mystery and imagination.

While it may seem that science and its corresponding discoveries and explanations impinge on the sacred, what modern science has shown is that the deeper we are able to probe the workings of nature, the more mysterious we behold the universe.

Instead of being limited by mechanical actions of cause and effect, in both science and social behavior we discover that life operates within the context of relational interaction.

Quantum theory tells us that it's a participatory world. Not only is the observer involved in any observation, they actually bring about what is being observed. We see what we choose to see, and therefore we are co-creators of our own reality. Whatever qualities we choose to see we call forth, effectively changing our experience of the world.

We see what we expect and we expect what we invite.

Is there a conflict between science and spirituality? The question itself is paradoxical, for it points as much toward a reality that is fundamental, essential and true as it does to our experience of reality, which is influenced by our choice. If we choose to expect that science and spirituality will conflict, that's what we will see. However, if we choose to see the interconnection and relatedness of all of life, that will be our observed reality.

At its heart, quantum theory tells us that life is a participatory, interrelated experience. How we define it is how we will see it and behave toward it and ultimately experience it.

All of life is spiritual, sacred and mysterious. The more we embrace the mystery, the more we behold the majesty and miracle inherent in life.

By Jan Waterman

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