Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Materialism and what it means

Is not materialism merely a view that this world and everything in it can be reduced to and understood purely as 'matter' and in 'physical' terms? This is the basis of classical physics which is the foundation of science as we now know it. That which cannot be empirically quantified or identified in material form is not considered because the paradigm does not allow for its existence.

It is hardly surprising that this belief system has developed given that our most basic needs are material: food, shelter, security. In times past however, people did believe in that which was not physical or material and it came to be called spirituality or religion but in the modern age, the balance has been compromised by the scientific belief that there is only the material/physical. When the God of mind, soul, spirit and the non-material was 'vanquished' by materialistic science, then the conqueror became the new 'God' and began to establish the same sorts of dogma, laws, theology, systems, beliefs that religions believed they required.

Modern science is a system committed to the sensate with varying levels of intuitive and judgemental and perceiving if one is to use Myers & Briggs terminology, depending on the individual and the times.

Religions are sourced in the intuitive with varying levels of judgemental, perceiving and sensate, depending upon the individual, the system and the times.

Spirituality embraces all qualities and strives for balance in expressing and making them manifest.

Much of what modern science is rests in what it has tried 'not to be' for the past few centuries, i.e. religious. When Materialists seek to compare they do so with the most materialistic expression of religion, fundamentalism, ironically. It is easy to 'ring the bell of reason' in the name of science when you hold yourself up against the most unreasonable expressions of religion, and it is not surprising that as religion in general has become more enlightened and less fundamentalist, at least n the modern world, that the voices of science have become more strident. It is not easy to 'ring the bell of reason' in the name of science in the face of moderate, sensible, open, wise, flexible and intelligent religion or spirituality.

The times are changing and resistance grows greater when individual, system or nation find themselves 'backed into a corner.' The 'corner' in this instance is of a developing world where more people are educated, individualistic and less committed to narrow religious systems. The 'enemy' of science has begun to de-materialise.

What is needed is a spiritual approach to life, and spiritual does not mean religious in any way, shape or form. Spirituality can be and should be a part of religion but often is not. Spirituality has often been a part of science and in fact, has been with it from the beginning, although rejected if not hidden in recent centuries as materialism took control.

Spirituality is comfortable with materialism where materialism is required and effective, but also comfortable with anything and everything else which cannot be reduced to the material.

There is nothing wrong with materialism, except for the fact that science is doing what religion tried to do, apply one set of beliefs to all things. In other words, materialism in its place is brilliant and will be even more brilliant when we educate scientists to think across the spectrum of mind and reality. Then of course it will not be materialism and we will need a new name for the belief system which allows and encourages exploration of all that is, however it may manifest or express.


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