Truth, it seems, exists in the one place science and religion are destined never to look -- the present moment. Why do they insist truth exists where it cannot possibly be?
Sages through the ages have continually emphasised the truth, sanctity and awe of the present moment. The purpose of many forms of meditation and spiritual exercise is to enter the portal of the present and attain "enlightenment" - to transcend the illusions of the mind and the earth and experience "God." And when you think about it, it's obvious really. Even a nanosecond away is the past or the future, both of which only "exist" either in our memory or imagination -- they're not real. All we really have is the now. The illusory quality of space is harder to conceptualise but nevertheless, thanks to Einstein's reasoning, if time goes out the window, so does its sister -- space. We cannot have one without the other, so if one goes they both go. All is real is in the eternal now and the absolute here. Why, then do science and religion both seem committed to ignoring what is so risibly self-evident?
Science used to acknowledge that "time" began with the big bang or, now, "eternal inflation." Yet, no scientist can conceive what came before and caused it -- or how everything came from nothing. Religion invokes God as a creator yet forgets that God is who we really are and the creation is actually God's image inside us. Everything did not so much come from nothing -- it is nothing. Nothing the mind perceives exists. Cogito ergo sum. It is the "I am," the true self that is doing it all. "Who are you?" asked Moses of God. "I am that I am," God replied.
Since "Adam and Eve" we have been trapped in a space-time matrix that appears to be the real world, but is only a weird reflection of a far greater reality. The co-dependent dimensions of time and space are powerful illusions created by the perceiving mind. They are functional. They provide an opportunity for us as human beings to have an experience we call life. But despite the evidence from our senses and logical minds, matter is about as real as a good movie.
Cosmology is the observation and measurement of a long-since dead past that is more likely to have dissipated than still be in orbit. The stars and galaxies we believe we "see" in the sky are certainly no longer where they appear to be -- their light has taken thousands of years to arrive here. The light from Hipparcos 5926 (one of our most distant, visible stars) would have taken 16,308 years to reach Earth! It's image on our retina is twice as old as the ancient scripture. Hardly here and now! Thus, any conclusions drawn from studying the apparent universe are guaranteed to be deeply flawed, heady cocktails of speculation and superstition masquerading as truth.
Likewise with quantum theory. The relative distance of protons and quarks from the eyeball that cannot perceive them is equivalent to the distance of the earth from the milky way. As above, so below. Infinity cuts both ways. So does zero. Yet the top theoretical physicists are undaunted by their very own uncertainty principle. They are still obsessively certain that Leibnitz' monad is alive and well hiding out amongst the shattered hadron particles.
Nor can any religion based on prosaic interpretations of the Bible be "the truth." Why else, despite reference to the same scripture, would the religions be at such war with each other? The actual words themselves are steeped in mystery and uncertainty. Just like science's stars and electrons, they reflect something far greater than our mind can contain.
To me, the genius of the Bible is how it can at once hypnotise peoples across the globe and through the millennia to this day with fabulous illusions. And at the same time retain its hidden message intact. It's as if it's waiting for mankind to become so frustrated it will begin to use it for its originally intended purpose: to make us look within ourselves for the truth.
Where, for example, does the Bible urge us to seek the present and not the past for our guidance? The deeper meaning of the Sabbath in Genesis surely refers to the perfection of the present moment rather than the dubious notion of God's weekend off. When Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead" he was telling us to let go of the past. To "have no other gods before me" means to look within to the soul for truth. Likewise, to "seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added to you." All of these biblical statements are extolling what Ekhart Tolle calls, "the power of now."
Science and religion then have far more in common than many would like to admit. They are both looking into an external past for a truth that can only be found in an internal present. They both confuse evidence (fact, faith, sense perception, measurement, theory, scripture, etc.) with truth. They both believe they are exclusively right. Both want to control our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours and have the entire world follow their belief systems. They are both responsible as much for human advancement as for untold fear and suffering.
Having said this, they both contain vital elements of the human jigsaw. It will be a happy day when they can really share each others' toys.
Take Genesis. Scientific findings make hamburgers of a superficial/traditional view. But neither yet has the truth of it. Why don't we ask questions of the Bible that can reconcile differences, raise consciousness and give all of us access to a deeper truth? Why do we keep asking questions that polarize rather than unite us?
If, say, we ask "how do the findings of science enhance and clarify the words of the scripture?" we are immediately directed inward to the deeper symbology of the words. It brings together two valid yet contrasting approaches to the unfolding understanding of life --like bridging the left and right sides of the brain.
Why don't we then? It takes great courage and readiness to let go of a belief structure that has become our security platform. So there's no hurry. In the perspective of our cosmos' predicted 15 billion year life-span, humanity is still a zygote. Those who are ready to let go and move forward will do so in their own good, erm ... time.
If this speaks to you, do let me know how. If not, let me know why. If you want to explore the deeper symbology of the Bible, then do read my work-in-progress e-book: Original Heresy - the light behind the shadows in the Bible.