Key to the Sacred Pattern

13 November 2008

Science and the Mystic

For anyone that has delved into any sort of crypto-history, the world is a wonderfully mysterious place. It seems natural that those interested in delving into underground streams, will eventually come across a litany of Fortean type phenomena. Psychics, ghosts, clairvoyants, mediums, past lives, synchronicity, and all other things mystical seem to float on the edge of many topics outside the “generally accepted”.

Trying to discern the validity of these events that fall outside of our everyday reality is something we all have pondered. What is even more curious to me is that there is a wedge between those that believe these phenomena are real and any talk of science. When one brings up a scientific reason for an unexplained event, the mystic tends to feel marginalized because there is a possible scientific explanation. Much in the same way a creationist gets a sour look on their face when one tries to link the Big Bang with God speaking the universe into existence with “Let there be light”.

I tend to be one that looks for a bridge between the mystical and scientific. Just as the scientist cannot explain the entire “why” for every normally occurring events, the mystic has faith in the unexplained. So why is there an invisible wedge between the two? Both groups are faced with the evidences of the unknown, but there seldom seems to be an attempt to come to a common solution.

Think about the reaction most have when learning that the Vatican operates an observatory. The tendency in most is to question why the world’s largest religious organization would have any interest in astronomy. The answer is as old as the true purposes of the alchemists. The true reason behind turning lead into gold was the search for the base material that God used to create the universe. Thus, the underlying search was for the divine itself. While the Vatican Observatory was created to create an accurate calendar for Easter, the underlying purpose is simply to seek evidences of God in the natural world.

The disconnect runs in the opposite direction as well. At a gathering a couple of years ago, I had a conversation with a friend that does tarot readings. The conversation wrangled its way around to past lives. She fully believed that in some regression sessions she had taken part of, that she could get in touch with those who had made up her past lives. She believed that this was possible because she had been reincarnated from those souls the regression sessions had shown her.

My question was how could she be so sure that these were reincarnated souls and not some form of genetic ancestral memory? One would have thought I had slapped her. I had introduced a possibility of giving a concrete explanation into her mystical experience. Her answer was firmly, “No the window I have is into those who have been reincarnated in me.”

The topic of genetic memory is simply a theory; and one not ascribed by many geneticists. The prevalent argument against memories being passed along ancestral lines is that DNA changes little over a person’s life span. The problem is that science has few clues into how memories are captured and stored within an organism. A recent study has shown that certain memories can be “erased” by blocking a certain protein in mice. If memories are electro-chemical reactions, why couldn’t they be replicated? Furthermore, there has been little work done in with “junk DNA”. These are DNA strands that have no protein-coding functions. This week a study was published that this “junk DNA” could be more important to the evolutionary process than anyone had ever considered. Could a genetic memory lie here?

The question is not if genetic memory is real or if reincarnation is spiritually valid. The finer point is that is there any less wonder attached to a phenomena if there is an explanation? Conversely, is there any reason not to try to explain the mysterious simply because it does not fit into a belief system? If the answer is yes, then we stymie our ability to grow both science and understanding of the mystical.

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