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Science and Religion


Recently in the news it was announced that Charles Townes, a UC Berkeley professor who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for quantum mechanics work, has won the $1.5 million Templeton Prize for progress in spiritual knowledge.  With his devout South Carolina Christian background, Mr. Townes for decades had struggled for decades to define a convergence of science and religion.

If you have a reasonable grasp of the technical analogies that underlie the temporal aperture concept and have made sense of the implications in these essays, then you may have a clearer picture of the convergence that has dogged Mr. Townes.  A high level academic background in Physics is actually not necessary for this understanding.

Earlier it was proposed that there is a temporal aperture - literally opening in time - continuum whose extent ranges from tiny such as for the hypothetical amoeba to infinite for a bona fide Deity.  Human beings are intermediate between these two extremes.  The amoeba's tiny temporal aperture surround comprises mostly automatic reaction to simple microscopic sensations.  Humans extend over a range that covers all sensual, perceptual, and conceptual functionality within a large universe of knowledge and experience through history. Beyond humans is the interesting area (actually a volume) extending past our mere 3 dimensions and including knowledge and experience that is beyond concept. At the far extreme is our hypothetical entity possessing an infinite temporal aperture where all objects and events over all time past, present, and future in all dimensions constitute that entity's here-and-now.  Such an entity has no form as we know it. 

On our hypothetical continuum we would say that the extent of a temporal aperture surround is directly related to its inclusivity. In general, a larger temporal aperture extent is more inclusive than a less complex one.  The amoeba's temporal aperture does not contain art, science, nor any religion.  A human's more complex aperture can contain these things and more.  The limit isn't clear, and that makes human life interesting.

An infinite temporal aperture would be absolutely all inclusive.  It would contain all science, all religion, all knowledge about everything throughout all time.  More than merely science and religion, there would be a convergence of absolutely all experience, including that of humans through all time.  Most religions envision a god or gods with such traits, and so we now have a working model for such deities which elegantly scales up a continuum from our own more limited temporal aperture scenario.  Humans would thus in effect be fancied up amoebas and stripped down gods.

What would this tell us about spiritual aspirations? If a person wished to move up the temporal aperture continuum, it is implied that they would:

  • Make it a habit become as inclusive as possible in every way.
  • Make it a habit to become as psychologically flexible as possible. 
  • Learn as much about the widest balanced variety of areas to the greatest depth their mind and body would support.  In effect become a super-renaissance person or polymath.
  • Make sure to pick up some non-verbal skills such as from the arts or spiritual pursuits. Words and logic are a filter that is in effect a consciousness jail.  Any expression beyond 3 dimensions would be non-verbal.

There is untested speculation that when a critical mass of experience and knowledge is reached in these endeavors, there may be a quantum leap in consciousness up the temporal aperture continuum - yet another analogy from physics.  But for now we must take this on faith.

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