This is part 2.1 of a 3-part series. In part 1 I tried to answer the question “What is Detachment?” In this article I’ll begin to describe what a genuinely Scientific Temperament is (concluding in part 2.2). You’ll be surprised to know that many non-scientists in all walks of life have this temperament, and that not all professional scientists necessarily do! In the third part of this series, I’ll describe Maya in a way that only true scientists can appreciate (whether or not you’re a professional scientist).
Sometimes people ask me: “Can awoken people work miracles?”
The answer is that I don’t care. And neither should you.
But many of us seem obsessed with miracles
Or the belief that prophets and holy men or women ought to be able to work miracles
Or that working miracles is somehow evidence of their spiritual greatness.
Sometimes, even I, despite my hardcore love of science, am captivated by magic and the possibility of miracles.
Although I know full well that…
… there is only one miracle: That I AM. Everything else is Science.
And I don’t believe that miracle working has anything to do with awakening.
If anything, it’s the exact opposite. Genuinely spiritual and holy persons have no need for miracles.
In fact, only those who don’t believe in ordinary miracles really have the ability to fully awaken and see the entire path before them.
When I see David Copperfield mesmerize me and the rest of the audience, I give in to the illusion. But I know deep down that there is a system, a cleverly concealed system and method that I don’t know… that I don’t want to know…
Because the feeling of awe is worth not finding out.
Yet I don’t for a second doubt that there must be a reproducible way to do his tricks. Or else Copperfield himself wouldn’t be up there on the stage doing his thing.
Alien intelligence and technology perhaps… but intelligence and technology nonetheless.
If someone tells me that there is no such system, no as yet undiscovered force or field behind his tricks, it would strike me not only as curious, but downright ridiculous and self-defeating.
Now this is what I have found on deeper reflection about our endless infatuation with miracles:
It’s strange, but we’re only fascinated by miracles because we inherently believe that they’re impossible. It conflicts with our own true inner nature.
Just the fact that you want to see miracles is evidence enough that YOU have the capacity to awaken.
I mean, think about it — If I were to perform a miracle before a dog or a cat… say I made an apple appear out of thin air, it would most likely ignore it and go away.
When I unboxed my new iPhone and switched it on, my dog sniffed at it and then promptly got busy chasing its tail.
Everything is a miracle to a dog. And so everything is a non-miracle to it.
It has just learned to accept things. Not marvel at them. There’s no astonishment. No magic!
Just like it is for us when we see an apple fall from a tree. We aren’t astounded by the fact of a falling apple. It’s humdrum. But we’d be astonished by an apple that floats up from the ground. Unless we’re on the ISS.
If you’re the kind of person that isn’t floored 🙂 by a floating apple… if you think that’s boring…
… or because in your mind “these kinds of things are somehow normal”,
… or if you aren’t intrigued enough to try and find out why the fuck this apple behaves differently from all the other apples you know,
then you’re not of a truly scientific mindset.
Thankfully, I haven’t encountered a single person like that. At least not a single child.
Now here’s a funny story. Once, the famous scientist, Neils Bohr, received a visitor at his home in Tisvilde.
The visitor saw a horseshoe hanging above his door.
Ordinary people thought that it brought them good luck. So he asked Bohr whether he really believed such silly superstitions.
“Of course not” Bohr shot back reportedly. “But they say it works even if you don’t believe in it.”
The story is funny not because I want to criticize Bohr’s unscientific attitude here (I don’t), but to make a point that it’s OK to be irrational and superficially superstitious as long as there is a clear understanding between both parties of what’s really at stake and what’s each other’s position on the matter is.
Once we recognize someone else as of an equally intelligent temperament, we are neither surprised nor annoyed when we see them do otherwise stupid things!
Just like the idea of free love becoming an issue only when true love is missing. When there is true love between partners, a meeting of souls, they aren’t bothered by what others may perceive as infidelity.
Sometimes you’ll see true scientists espouse materially unsubstantiated beliefs, like Don Knuth does. But if you really press them they’ll be honest and admit to it.
“Of course I know it’s not true deep down. But it makes me happy to think so and that’s why I do it.” would be a classic and common response. That’s perfectly respectable.
As is their respect for you for not needing to believe it.
We believe things for many reasons: Reassurance, comfort, happiness, and even the downright silliness of something which tickles us. All that a scientist requires of you is an honest admission of the real reason why you believe certain things. And not dogmatic insistence that what you believe is actually true.
And, of course, it’s always cool when you believe something that’s funny, or sets you up to light up someone else’s life with scintillating wit like Bohr’s beautiful comeback.
Anytime you dogmatically stick to a fact you know to be untrue or don’t know for sure to be true, you’re not being yourself. You’re being someone for someone else… for something else… for acceptance… for the image you want to project of yourself… for others.
And being someone else is not being yourself. Duh!
Deep down, none of us believes in miracles. That’s what makes them fascinating. If you aren’t captivated by magic, then you’re not of a truly scientific temperament. You don’t need suspension of disbelief at all. What you need is a reality check.
That’s why every child is a natural born scientist.
In the next article, I’ll talk about an intrinsic human quality that makes every child a natural born scientist. I’ll also describe a test to tell if you still retain that quality or not.
That will set the stage for article 3 of the series where I discuss the idea of Maya against this backdrop of a scientifically curious mind.