Spriritual Cosmology, Part I,
Lead: Paul Brockelman
Summary by Jeff Chandler:
God and the Mystery of Being
The mystery of being can be experienced in two realms of understanding, factual and spiritual. The factual realm perceives that God is not an entity, but can be experienced. God is not nature or found within nature and we as humans belong to reality. The spiritual realm enables the experience of faith. It views God as the act of being, the sustainer of creation and provider of a method in which individuals can find meaning in their lives. In both realms of understanding the underlying question still prevails, "Who am I and why am I here?" The factual realm enables those who are skeptical of the answers provided by God and the spiritual realm enables those who strive to find meaning in themselves that is not offered through science. This offers the philosophical questions that link the factual and spiritual realms together, "Is there any spiritual significance in science? And how does science lead us to an experience of the existence of God."
Cosmology is the study of the development of the universe and phenomenology offers a philosophical approach to this cosmology. Cosmology offers us that in the development of the universe there was a certain "newness" at copious stages of development. In phenomenology as individuals we experience this same newness as we enter different stages in our lives. New experiences offer insights that may even change our perception of reality leaving us to question our own existence. The nature of the experience could be such that leads us to believe that we have knowledge of another reality. However, the fact is that knowledge of any other reality is abstract to one's self. As individuals we are always involved with meaning, it is our decision as which meanings we choose to accept and furthermore associate with reality. As spiritual beings we accept ideas that provide meaning to our existence, but as we incorporate science we must account for reality.
The fact of the matter is that science cannot provide all the answers for the question, "who am I and why am I here?" God offers answers for these questions and enables spiritual individuals to find meaning within. As science becomes more prevalent in society it is looked upon to answer questions that have answered through religion in the past thus creating skeptics of the faith as theological documents are contradicted. As religion becomes fragmented accepting the idea of faith becomes more difficult individuals will struggle to find a true meaning in life. For those who will attempt to find this meaning in life it is important to remember that science is restricted to our surroundings, meaning can only be found within.
May 3, 2000