“In the 20th century, scientific matter looked less material, and the mind less mental.” -Bertrand Russell

My last two posts brushed over both scientific rationale and the spiritual worldview respectively. It isn’t my intention to bash either set of ideals or tell anyone that they’re wrong. Most of what I’m driving at is merely meant to provoke questions in the minds of others because I feel we have a lot to learn from each other.

By using science and spirituality as a basic framework we can outline one of the greatest resources of both misery and joy in human thinking; duality. While it may be great to have words that can correlate concepts like hot and cold with bowls of chili, these terms hardly help us define the true nature of any object.

If we were to ask a group of people to describe what they saw when they looked at a bowl of chili we would get several different answers. Some would refer to is as simply chili while others would label it soup and note the color and material of the bowl. Some Texan would point out the beans and judge it unworthy of being classified as chili at all. Our friends in Mexican may choose to call it chili con carne. On and on we go never locking down what the contents are in any specific terms.

While the lesson here can be stated simply as “perception is reality,” let’s dig a bit deeper for the sake of argument. In the mix of our great chili debate several polarizing conversations have emerged. We’ve sparked a heated debate between the Texas and anyone north of the Red River as to what even goes into authentic chili. Several Mexicans have sited the heritage of the ladies associated with the dishes creation and claim it for themselves. as nationalism consumes the room any thoughts about whether or not the chili is hot or cold, spicy or mild, hearty and filling or runny and bland has gone right out the window.

Now step back from the group with me and observe how absolutely insane the scene has become. Sadly, the remnants of this type of rhetoric stain countless political posts online every single day.

For this reason, I would love to label our dual nature as offender number one well before science and religion. However, this same ultra destructive force has also proven to be quite constructive as well. Think of how many delightful recipes are out there for chili. Think of how many kids grow up with the dish being one of their favorite winter time comfort foods.

Well, the Cartesian separation of science and the church has proven to be no different. Even if science freed itself with the intention of, as some like to believe, proving religion false it has made enormous contributions to our way of understanding the world.

So, are things really so divided or do we just perceive that way dependent on our own moods at the time?


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