Today we begin our seven-fold path that leads through the dimensions of truth, beauty, and goodness. Considering the truths of science and asking what their significance might be in a philosophy of living, I have begun to develop a concept of scientific living. This concept involves several phases. Please aid in the ongoing development of this concept with your questions and comments. You may be motivated to take on a new project to strengthen yourself in this area and share your discoveries. Since last week, our conversation has led me to amplify my concept to include what is now the first phase.
Phase 1. We undertake scientific living as an expression of our spirituality. Spiritual living includes embracing life. When we embrace life, we implicitly include this material life, the life of perception and the body interacting with our surroundings. As material creatures, we have material work to do and material service to render. At our best, we have times of enjoying the problems that arise. (Any stories about developing or exercising positive attitudes regarding the material life and its challenges?)
Phase 2. We focus fully and patiently on the task at hand. The task is grounded in facts, and facts imply causes. Focusing effectively, we notice facts that would be easy to overlook, face facts that are hard to deal with, and establish important facts with care instead of jumping to conclusions. We do what we reasonably can to figure out causes and effects: the factors that operate in our situation, what resources we can bring to bear, and the consequences of alternative courses of action. (Any stories about gain more fullness of concentration or patience in coping? About facing facts or discovering causes?)
Phase 3. We bring to mind what science or sciences are relevant to the task, and we apply what we already know of the relevant scientific knowledge. A person who had just quit smoking classified the temptations that arose as biological, psychological, or sociological. Simply identifying and classifying temptations empowered him to overcome them more readily. He did not need to study more science; he simply needed to bring to mind what he already knew and make use of that knowledge. (What difference does it make in your experience if you take time to bring to mind some of the science you know about what you are doing?)
Phase 4. We learn more of science as need requires and opportunity makes possible. We learn more in the science(s) relevant to what we are doing. We have reasonable expectations for ourselves. Facing high ideals, we want to avoid becoming discouraged or depressed, so we take on projects that are reasonable for us. Having reasonable goals, we then mobilize the wholeheartedness required to overcome obstacles. (Are there any stories of your practicing scientific living in this sense? What about trying this out and telling us the story of what you discover in the process?)
Phase 5. We add perspective to our focus by integrating inputs from science, philosophy, and religion. We integrate these inputs into a broad concept of evolution, a concept that embraces (1) an attitude toward the cosmos, (2) biological evolution (including ecology and health for ourselves and others), (3) psychological growth, and (4) historical progress. In the light of this broad concept, we attune our scientific action to participate wisely in progressive evolution.
The photograph is by Kamuelaboy at http://mrg.bz/728xel