Everything is Holy Now.

98 Ordinary




Linda Irene

Paradox, Mystery, and Fear

I'm not sure I understand how the schism between science and religion - is still at issue. They're obviously compatible and interrelated from my vantage point, but then again, I've always seen best while sitting on the fence. Human pursuits enlighten one another if we'll grapple with them. Grappling turns the light switch on - or at least raises questions, making it infinitely more interesting.

Out west, on public rangelands, the ageless question - disguised as assumption by the opposition - of whether grazing cattle destroy the ecosystem can be predicted as the primary topic of debate. This can only be answered by asking the right questions. Einstein said the same thing about whether light is a particle or wave. The answer depends on how you ask the question. If you ask a wave question of light it appears as a wave. And if you ask a particle question of light, it is a particle. Both are true.

Conflicts surface from asking different questions. Eintstein said science is good at telling us what is, but not so good at saying how it should be. The question about cows and grazing on public range can only be answered fairly by going deeper. The answer isn't absolute. Nor can it be asked as an over-arching generalization. This is true for countless controversies.

These two human disciplines each have an important role. The inconsistencies and contradictions upset the belief systems we hold on to for dear life, but shouldn't it make us want to go deeper? If we hold on tighter and defend our story more defiantly, how does that serve in the long run? And how tired will we be? Why not test what we hold as true? Is the story you were told is literal, the underlying reason you chose this path? Is it why you believe what you do? Or is your spiritual understanding bigger than that?

These two disciplines share certain touchpoints that illuminate the other, bringing us deeper into the answers of who we are and how we came to be. If we insist they be irrefutable based on our human understanding and interpretations, we compromise both. There are no absolute answers in going backwards, even if we're convinced our science or religion is indisputable. How can we claim absolute certainty when scientists are still asking questions about the basic foundations of life? Like how did the first green cell emerge from the toxic stew.

We can't.

It's pointless to get in an uproar to prove one right or wrong when the possibility exists it could all be true. One way or another. That's what makes complexity so remarkable - and inspiring.

Who's to say the flood didn't happen, and it turned out, we didn't yet know how time actually worked. Perhaps we missed something we didn't know to look for - like dual realities. Or perhaps seven days really meant seven years. Or...or...or...we can't know how these elements may play into one another. What we do know is people witnessed something extraordinary, something nobody had witnessed before - and they thought it was important enough to write down for future generations. Personally, I think a thank you is in order, not a ideological divide.

We are called to honor mystery - this is made clear throughout scripture. The most obvious example is found early on - in the Old Testament, in fact. We're not to name God because God cannot be known, imagined,or seen. This, fundamentally, confirms that our relationship to the Divine is intended as a mystery. Clearly, if it wasn't, God would make himself known. Our inability to make sense of it should only call us to respect the mystery more - and allow it to enlighten us as we move further into it.

The paradox, mystery, and creative tension created by allowing ourselves to live inside them will only manifest as a more reverent and sacred embrace as we pay attention to the movement and trust the outcomes, instead of fearing them.

Away With You.
Do you 'see' people?