Reply To: Readers Ask: How Do We Know What We Know?

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Thank you, @deepakchopra. This is interesting. Yes, I understand that science is one mode of knowing — but it seems to be the dominant, albeit subjective, truth on the planet today that we can agree on. I think that is what you mean when you refer to “intersubjective agreement,” of what we claim to be true, right? Religion was the dominant mode in previous times, and for many today, it still is. And spirituality, Nature-knowing (shamanism), and the other forms you mention are all valid, as well.

But since science is currently in vogue in this sense, we let ourselves be lulled into accepting intersubjectively that all answers may be found there. It seems we are limit ourselves by claiming as dogma that science is the best way of knowing. I have colleagues who are scientists who are content with the myriad questions science seems to have answered, and won’t even venture to speculate about what lies beyond. It can be frustrating (as I know you have experienced!) when trying to talk to them about what science doesn’t know or can’t measure: What is red? Why are we? what happened before (or even at the moment of) the Big Bang? Where is a thought before we think it?

I saw your Fb Live the other night with Marianne Williamson (another of my teachers, and what the world might become if she were President–I can only dare to imagine) on Integral Politics and loved that you reminded us that spirituality is the only mode of knowing that will give us answers to the existential dangers our small, Blue Marble, the only home humanity knows (at least for now) currently finds itself faced with. Could a movement towards spiritual politics become a new/emerging way of knowing? And could we, as Ken Wilber paints the picture, envision that as a truly integrated process that accepts and incorporates all previous ways of being in the world and transcend them to evolve humanity further?

I would like for us all to dream that Knowing into Being.

Which reminds me of a joke a friend of mine told me yesterday: A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar. There, God tells them that the world will end by flood in thirty days. (And yes, we’ve seen this movie before!) It’s up to these religious leaders to go back to their adherents to give them the news. The priest says to his flock, “Repent and you will be saved.” The minister says, “It’s all going to end soon, so live it up while you can.” The rabbi says, “Okay, here’s the deal: we have 30 days to find a way for us to live in an underwater world. Go!”

To which I say, Amen, Rabbi!