I may not be a scientist, but I’ve always been a why-entist
I may not be a scientist, but I’ve always been a why-entist
Society tends to hold a position that only those with the kinds of academic credentials that include the letters PhD are worthy of listening to when it comes to investigating and explaining Life and the Universe we live in.
But what if all we truly needed to gain a better understanding of ourselves, others and the world we live in was to simply nurture that innate curiosity we engendered as a child, and begin to use the interrogative word WHY to bring a deeper understanding to the true nature of our reality?
All too often we are content to assume that all the discontentment, struggle, ill-ness and turmoil we see around us can be explained away with flippant comments such as “that’s just the way it is” . . . when in fact, everything happens because something has made it so, and we could instead be asking the deeper questions of why these things are still so prevalent in our society when we claim that we are an advanced and intelligent civilisation.
Ever since I was a young boy, and continuing to this day, I have been fascinated with why things are the way they are and have been very much determined to go deeper than the typical explanation given to me, whether it was from teachers, parents, friends or adults. Now this tendency is very common with young children, as they search to understand the world they have entered, and they know straight away when they are given an answer that is meant to actually avoid a more profound or philosophical exploration. It’s usually only later on, after a pattern of either dismissal or unwillingness to ‘go there’ by the adults around them, that they resign themselves to drop their wonderment of the world and join the ranks of those who concede that they were probably wrong to question things using the powerful ‘why’, and that this is just the way the world will always be, so why ask why?
This approach feels to me to be one of almost ‘putting one’s head in the sand’ like an ostrich, not wanting to ask the big questions that might unravel the massive knot that is our current disconnected and dis-eased world, as if by hiding or ignoring the situation it will all magically go away. We then tend to go into all kinds of self-negating behaviours (such as overeating, drug/ alcohol abuse and using other stimulants) to suppress and numb the feeling of letting go of what we know to be the Truth all along.
However, what I have found to be very rewarding throughout my whole life, no matter what the situation, is that by letting my natural inquisitiveness come to the fore regarding why a certain thing occurred and what was its deeper philosophical and energetic cause, life begins to blossom into a world of wonderment, rather than the dull boredom that so many people all too often complain is their norm.
A great example of this unfolded when I ended up getting into a playful philosophical conversation with a wise little boy at a friend’s wedding reception years ago, in which he would ask me various questions about things like, “Why can’t we see air, but we can feel it?” to which I would give my best scientific explanation, only to be immediately followed up with another “But WHY?” This went on and on for some time, as we traversed the inner world of wonderment that flowed so effortlessly from this beautiful child, and after many strings of ‘answers’ that I gave him, we inevitably came to a point at which the only reply that I could come up with was ‘Well, geez, actually I don’t know why, it just is, I guess.’
I walked away from this enlightening encounter with a greater appreciation of both this boy’s and my own natural curiosity and willingness to gain a deeper understanding for the foundation of natural phenomena and human behaviour. This interaction left a lasting impression on me, in that it not only spurred on my own inquisitive way of being, but also reminded me that there comes a point in our questions of life where we reach a limit on our current state of awareness and have to come to terms with the answer being taken care of by a Divine power that is providing the order and coordinating the outplay that we see before us on Earth and beyond.
Now, has this realisation stopped me from continuing to ask the many ‘Why?’ questions of life? ... Nope! Because I feel that by continuing to ask the big questions about the causes of why things are the way they are in the world, it opens up the space and opportunity to reach the next level of understanding that is there for all of us to be aware of, and to gain the insight into why we make the choices that we do. There is a ‘call and response’ relationship that develops from this approach, where we are provided with the next marker of evolutionary awareness from our Soul/God when we are ready and willing to ask for and accept the truths that are there to step into and live by.
So there is a real irony to explore here, in that the very sought after initials PhD, which denote a certain level of mastery in one’s scientific field of expertise, actually stand for Doctorate in Philosophy, yet somehow we have let go of the philosophical component that delves into the why aspect of Life, in favour of focussing on identifying the mechanisms or what conditions are out there in the physically observable Universe and how do they relate to each other, which is the foundation for modern science.
What if we once again incorporated philosophy back into science in the way that it once was, hence the PhD designation, and to complete the trifecta, restored religion in its true meaning, which is simply to reconnect to the grand Divinity from which we come, and consider that everything that we see and observe in our world is ultimately part of a greater Plan. So perhaps when we are finally ready to get to the point of wanting to know the Truth of ‘Why?’ in science, then we are truly ready to accept the honourable title of PhD.
At a 2005 scientific conference at City College of New York, a student in the audience rose to ask the panellists an unexpected question: "Can you be a good scientist and believe in God?" Reaction from one of the panellists – all Nobel laureates – was quick and sharp. "No!" declared Herbert A. Hauptman, who shared the chemistry prize in 1985 for his work on the structure of crystals. “Belief in the supernatural, especially belief in God, is not only incompatible with good science”, Dr. Hauptman declared, "this kind of belief is damaging to the wellbeing of the human race.”
This statement highlights for me the way that science and scientists ‘lose the forest for the trees’ by focussing so much on dissecting the world into little pieces and zooming in on them in a myopic way that limits their ability to see that what they were really observing all along was the expression and body of God.
An alternative view to the previous example – and one that I find very pertinent to the subject and value of asking ‘Why?’ in life – is one from UK science writer and editor of the science journal Nature, Philip Ball, where he is commenting on how quantum physicists have shown that the manner of observing an experiment seems to have a physical influence on the results or outcomes and states that:
“Rather, what quantum mechanics seems to be saying is that what you will see depends on the questions you ask, and that’s subtly different. It’s saying there are various possibilities that this quantum system could produce. If you ask certain questions, it will produce these answers with these probabilities, but if you ask other questions it will produce these other answers.”
Now that is quite fascinating; that perhaps the very act of asking certain particular questions opens up a door of awareness that was previously unavailable to us, as has been inferred in quantum mechanical experiments.
Another thing to consider here is that when people go about their lives believing that everything that occurs in the Universe is subject to some completely random and meaningless arrangement of particles and people, they can then dismiss the value in adopting a deeper inquiry into why things manifest themselves, and this may even lead to giving up on life in general. Because if we feel that all that we see is the result of a disorderly combination of energies, then how can we feel empowered to take responsibility for all our actions, or even feel the purpose of taking any action at all, if disorder could easily follow without any reason?
But this is most certainly NOT the way our Universe and our life on Earth operates, for how could it possibly all be a result of a haphazard combination of things when we see so many examples of a consistent Divine expression in Nature, from the Fibonacci spirals of a nautilus shell to the exact same geometric ratios being observed in magnificent spiral galaxies. Everything, yes, everything that we see and experience has happened for a reason because something has made it happen, and is a result of either Love being its foundation, which will bring an order and harmony to the situation, or the lack of Love, which will inevitably have disorder, disharmony, complication and emotion being its inherent outplay. When we see life in this way, everything in life becomes a reflection, showing us what is and what is not Love.
Once we accept that there is indeed a Divine Order and meaning to all that is expressed for us to learn and evolve by in Life, it benefits us all to begin to ask the deeper ‘Why?’ questions so we can not only get to the bottom of what energy impulses our choices – Love or not-love – but also begin to grasp the vast Grandness that we all come from when we reach that gorgeous point of wonderment at not having the answers right now, knowing in our hearts that they are held in God’s hands for us to one day hold in our own.