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The Mystic and the Scientist

One day a Religious Man approached a Mystic and asked, “Does God exist?” “Allow me to go within for an answer,” the Mystic replied.

 

After meditating for quite some time, expanding her heart-consciousness to embrace the totality of existence, she answered, “I do not know what you mean by the word ‘God,’ but I do know that this world is more mysterious and more wonderful than I could ever imagine. I know that you and I are part of something so much larger than our own lives. Perhaps this ‘something larger’ is what you seek.”

 

Then the Religious Man approached a Scientist. “Does God exist?” he asked. “Let me think,” the Scientist replied.

 

And so she thought. She thought about the vastness of the universe—156 billion light-years, or something like 936 billion trillion miles, in diameter—and the almost immeasurable smallness of a quark. She thought of how the energy of the Big Bang fuels the beating of her own heart. And then she answered, “I do not know what you mean by the word ‘God,” but I do know that this world is more mysterious and more wonderful than I could ever imagine. I know that you and I are part of something so much larger than our own lives. Perhaps this ‘something larger’ is what you seek.”

 

The Religious Man then thought to himself. He thought of what he knows and what he does not know. He thought about how he knows what he knows, and how he knows he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He thought about his experience of the world and how it is but one tiny, infinitesimal fraction of all experience. He thought about his dependence on forces larger than himself, and he thought about the interdependence of all existence. He experienced wonder and pondered mystery. And then he knew—he knew in his soul the truth of what the Mystic and the Scientist said—that he is part of something so much larger than his own life.

 

And then, only then, did he think about what he’d call it.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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