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Man's Path to Spiritual Knowledge

Did the universe begin by divine design
Or with a Big Bang and eons of time?
Were we cast by and in the likeness of the Sublime
Or did we crawl by mutation from the primordial slime?
Is there a God who hears our prayers
Or are we alone with our hopes and tears?
Do each of us have a spirit or soul
Or do chemicals have the only role?
With our deaths do our spirits find release
Or does our earthly existence simply cease?
Should we live our lives for God’s glory
Or simply do whatever makes us happy?
Do we have the free will to write our own story
Or are decisions the result of genes and history?
Are certain events meant to be
Or does all occur randomly?
Will God’s judgment come after cataclysmic days?
Or will our world end with the sun’s dying rays?

Learning to survive and thrive in harmony
With the rhythm of his world’s symphony,
Man honored the spirits of his needs,
Sun, rain, earth, animals and seeds.
But it was revealed to a select few
That one God was the proper view.
And if he followed this one God, his reward
Was eternal life which awaited Heavenward.
Religions provide an answer to the question why,
Meaning for your life and comfort when you die.

How does one know religious beliefs are true?
What happens when conflict with science ensues?
If what was written can never be changed,
Such beliefs cannot be easily maintained.
Before written, the word was orally passed,
Each telling was never the same as the last.
After being copied over and over,
No copy was exactly like another.

Reflecting the times and setting so much,
The message should be thought of as such.
Were the metaphors which do pervade,
There to state fact or to only persuade?
Adherence by each to its own detail
Has caused many warships to set sail.
With the message of love for all men,
Why have wars come again and again?
Only with love for each living spirit,
Can we realize Jesus’ true merit.

Religious beliefs should be subject to verification,
And their texts to critical and historical evaluation.
Adherence should result from persuasion,
And not from coercion or intimidation.
The emphasis of religion should be on spirit,
Not small details only authorities interpret.
Wealth and power should not be the goal,
Religions should aid the poor, sick and old.
For all other’s beliefs show respect,
Soon it may be your own all suspect.

Science is mostly based on induction,
Together with glue called deduction.
While often viewed as error free,
Reasons for mistakes number three.
If one datum does not a theory fit,
Failure its adherents must admit.
A theory can too inclusive be,
As Einstein let Newtonians see.
Third, if unproven but included,
Assumptions must be excluded.
Insisting matter alone has the only role,
Isolated Descartes mind, denying his soul.

Despite success, current science and experimentation
Have inherent boundaries and self-imposed limitation.
Though science claims all must be proven by inductions,
It is not without its own prejudgments and assumptions.
Limiting itself to only part of the data in the field,
Restricts the theories and discoveries it can yield.
Without any attempt to answer the question why,
We have no reasons why we live and why we die.
For the macroscopic, upon classical physics we can rely,
But within the atom realm, classical physics does not apply.
“Quantum weirdness” defies our conception of reality,
But in place of certainty offers us enormous possibility.
Our world’s emergent creativity forces us to depart
From attempts to reduce to all to the smallest parts.
How can man with finite vision,
Grasp the infinite with precision?
With only “bottom-up” analysis we are at a loss,
To explain self-organization arising from chaos.

In order to increase its knowledge,
Science must no longer prejudge.
It must imagine and develop new theories,
To include such things as human energies.
Science must supplement the idea of reducibility
With emergence, creativity and synchronicity.
To fully understand our emergent and creative universe,
In “top-down” analysis it needs to become well versed.
Science should admit what it does not know,
And let our awe of the universe grow.

Knowledge should not be subject to division,
Between science, spirituality or religion.
Knowledge varies by the means acquired,
Or the standard of proof that is required.
When determining life’s crucial question,
Include all means from deduction to intuition.
More than possible and less than undoubtable,
It is sufficient if such knowledge be probable.
“Spiritual knowledge” is necessary for life’s decisions,
But with time spiritual knowledge may need revisions.
Faith should not be used to believe what is merely possible,
But to act with courage based upon what is most probable.

The Big Bang created space and time,
Following order, rationality and design.
With the prescribed conditions just right for its birth,
Life evolved from simple to complex here on earth.
Arising from the Spontaneous, Ordering, Universal,
And that which is also Real, Creative and Eternal.
With the body we each inherit,
Comes an individualized spirit.
After our hearts and bodies cease to reign,
Our spirits feel bliss in the eternal domain.
As we can discern from our nature’s queue,
Love others as you wish them to love you.
Without undue influence, fear or greed,
Our spirit’s will is from pre-destiny freed.
We each are an important part of the whole,
Even if we do not fully understand our role.
When we find the transcendental realm,
We may find we have always been at the helm.

Though departing from past religious conceptions,
A “New Spirituality” can benefit from their lessons.
We can learn from Eastern and Western sages,
Preserving wisdom garnered through the ages.
Religions of the East, Hinduism and Buddhism,
Teach us valuable lessons through empiricism.
Based upon evidence of the empirical kind,
They can teach us much of the human mind.
It is true that all in the universe is one ultimately,
But each spirit adds to that whole individually.
Taoism offers us the Way and its Power,
Like the strength and suppleness of water.
Religions of Abraham: Judaism, Islam and Christianity,
Emphasize individuality but neglect the truth of unity.
Unity of each individual with the whole,
Is the reason for life, life’s ultimate goal.
The reason for the universe is understood best,
Combining the wisdom of the East and the West,
Jesus and other mystics showed the way,
But few follow what Jesus really did say.
God is not a person but the Source,
Of universe and life, the creative force.
Whether in our own way or through ritual,
We can best offer love if we are spiritual.
With spirituality we can achieve the goal,
Of unity between the infinite and our soul.
If we are good stewards of all our habitation,
And spend time in quiet, peaceful meditation.
If we are aware and mindful of the spirits of others,
And revere and love all as our sisters and brothers.
All without judgment and unconditionally,
We will experience bliss now and eternally.

In Eden’s Garden, we were blissful, naked and unaware.
Was the serpent’s apple our destiny, a curse or a dare?
Now we see ourselves as alone, disconnected, separate,
Self-knowledge coming from the apple Adam and Eve ate.
Individuality is the reason we are here,
Isolation, freedom our crosses to bear.
Individual creativity is each person’s role,
Contributing without measure to the whole.
Without each part, no matter how small,
The universe as it is could not be at al.l
Each flutter of a butterfly’s wing,
Is necessary for any bird to sing.
If our hearts can become pure,
Within the curse lies the cure.
And when each of us perfects the gift of awareness,
Each will rediscover and forever enjoy infinite bliss.