A few months back, my daughter mentioned to me that one of her friends would never even entertain the possibility that God or anything "spiritual" might be real because "it's not scientific".
"What?" I replied, taken aback. "Sounds like her mind is stuck in the '70s... and she wasn't born until the '90s! You should tell her that her 'science' is a bit out of date."
Truly, I'm always a little stunned when I run into someone who believes atheism is scientific. Of course, I'm just as gobsmacked when an otherwise intelligent person informs me - as one did recently - that he considers alternative medicine to be nonsense and "witchcraft" and that he is happy to follow the advice of his allopathic MD exclusively. "Well, that's your funeral," I thought.
All these encounters remind me a little of my dear old dad who - and no, this is one hundred percent true - could never keep straight the difference between yoga and yogurt!! To be fair, though, dad grew up in a much different time and was always open-minded enough to admit defeat if you could present him with irrefutable evidence. After all, he was a lawyer!
So what do you say to someone who's essentially stuck in the mechanistic worldview of the Newtonian Physics and can't break out of that paradigm? What do you say when they accuse you of being unscientific, gullible, "new age" or plain stupid?
Here are some simple suggestions for you. Just remember, what resonates with each person is unique, so be prepared to adjust your words accordingly ;-)
Helping to Open Their Minds
First, know why you want to engage them in conversation at all. For me, it stems from the fact that the study of human resilience, which is the study of maximizing human potential, demands an absolutely unbiased, evidence-based and therefore scientific approach to understanding the nature of reality itself. It's quite clear that if we allow ourselves to be slaves to preconceived notions and comfortable ideologies, we are not doing that.
Second, remember there are four stages to any scientific discovery - 1. It's dismissed as rubbish, 2. It's persecuted as heresy, 3. "There may be something to this" and 4. "It's absolutely true and we thought of it first".
Knowing that's the case, consider the following short video, where Dr. William Tiller, professor emeritus of Stanford University, explains why some people, including scientists, just can't handle new information that challenges their assumptions:
Third, if they're talking about anything spiritual, you can inform them that the original versions of most of the great spiritual traditions espoused a scientific method based on using the human mind-body organism as the instrument of observation. So, if they're really as scientific as they claim, they should logically be prepared to do one of two things: a) engage in the spiritual experiments these traditions have outlined in order to prove or disprove their claims, or b) admit their ignorance on the subject.
To help you with this, you should read the short article on "True Skepticism" on Dr. Gary Schwartz' website here.
(Also, feel free to share your copy of my book, The 5 Pillars of Life, with them should they want a more detailed explanation, or send them to the Global Resilience Solutions website to get their own).
Fourth, be prepared to share with them some of the latest scientific evidence on human potential, including experiments in such things as distance healing, research into the human energy system, scientific validation for methods used in energy psychology, such as EFT, and more.
To get started, you can have a look at the works of:
- Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (UK biologist who has pioneered the theory of morphic / morphogenetic fields)
- Dr. William Tiller (Renowned US physicist studying subtle energy fields)
- Cyndi Dale (US author who has done extensive research into energy medicine across cultures)
- Dr. Gary Schwartz (Doctor of psychology, medicine and surgery at the University of Arizona and a researcher into the spiritual side of psychology)
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger