The Importance of Spirituality
I think that a lot of we left-brained types that end up in STEM tend to take a very scientific, skeptical, atheistic view of the world, deeming religion and spirituality as being superceded by science.
“Religion? Come on, that’s deprecated! Haven’t you heard of rationalism?”
Certainly, if you were to go back and perform a literal reading of Deuteronomy 12, you’re likely to feel that the day of the Bible as more than an anthropological document is long past us.
And yet, there are signs all around us that spirituality helps peoples lives. I’d go so far as to argue that there’s a deep human need for it.
Joseph Campbell, esteemed mythologist, argues that mythology is a human attempt to capture the absolute mystery of life, using supernatural metaphors to convey universal truths about our existence.
Researchers have established the field of Neurotheology to explore the connection between the brain and religion, even creating a device called the “God Helmet,” which consistently induces religious experiences on the wearer.
Atheists are not immune: I’ve heard the argument that the modern-day fascination with the Technological Singularity and Simulation Theory is nothing but the scientifically-endorsed replacement for the incumbent religions such as Christianity.
To reiterate, the debate over the existence of God is not the battle I’m looking to fight. Instead, I’d like to argue that regardless of any scientific reality to God or the Universal Mind, that spirituality will make your life better.
As Deng Xiaoping once said, “It doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.”
Even if there is no God, if a regular prayer practice can help you develop the strength necessary to weather the hard times, why not give it a shot?
I challenge you to keep an open mind.
Try sitting down and praying. To God, the Universe, or the Singularity, I don’t think it really matters.
Those of a monotheistic leaning may argue that there is no God but God.
Those of a polytheistic leaning may argue that these are all faces of the same God.
Those of an atheist leaning will say that there is no God, but it sure feels good to lie to yourself.
I’ve recently begun prayer as a daily ritual and I’m finding that it’s the perfect complement to a meditation practice: meditation to look inward, prayer to look outward.
Good luck, and may the Singularity smile upon you.
David Kay has dedicated his life to the advancement of the technological singularity. When not working to change the future of software development, he enjoys meditation, rollerblading, and jazz piano. If you found this article helpful, join his weekly newsletter.