Spirituality, Science, Atheism
Reading time : 2 min
translator: Régine Paradis
“Right now, lying in my hospital bed,
And remembering my whole life,
I realize that all the gratitude and wealth,
In which I took so much pride,
Has faded into insignificance
In the face of impending death.”
– Quote often attributed initially to Steve Jobs, founder of Apple
Are you ready to die without regret and in harmony?
We can assume that if your answer is positive, it is because your spiritual life has been most enriching.
But, is spirituality a matter of religion?
What if spirituality finally became a science of the mind?
In our consumer societies where the material universe is a goal in itself, going in search of spirituality is often seen as a weakness, but it responds to a visceral need to establish more fulfilling links with ourselves, our relationships with others and our environment. Spirituality remains above all an individual journey.
Sam Harris, an American writer and neuroscientist, is a global activist for atheism and a recognized defender of scientific thought. In a hard-hitting and provocative essay, he shows us that the spiritual path is indeed a possibility of the human mind, all confirmed by neuroscience.
To discover this open dimension of the spirit, it is necessary, he explains, to free oneself from religious superstitions, and to separate spirituality from religion.*1
“We must differentiate between religion and spirituality. Men need spirituality, but they don’t need a god.”*2
What about Buddhism?
“The Buddhist religion is an atheistic religion, therefore without god, based on individual development and feeling connected to everything. This is the kind of spirituality that is the religion of the future. A religion without god where man feels connected to the infinitely small, the infinitely large and the infinite in time or eternity.”*3
Walking in the woods, doing yoga, practicing meditation, getting involved with others, all these actions contribute to spiritual development and lead us to moments of happiness, even fulfillment.
However, if, for a moment, we stop being active. If we stop performing even in this quest for a better well-being to only live the silence, to feel, to feel the infinity that composes us and the infinity that we compose.
“To feel the infinite is to feel a sense of unity between everything that exists in the universe, in the infinitely large and the infinitely small of matter as well as in the infinite in time. And when we feel this unity and this link with all that surrounds us, we become conscious… The matter which composes us becomes conscious of itself.”*4
Like Steve Jobs, for whom a realization of the futility of material things came in his last moments of life, we, at this moment in ours, what are we most proud of? Are we connected with ourselves, with what surrounds us, with others?
What about love?
Our ability to wonder, to feel the beauty of living, the hope and meaning of life are the dimensions that contribute to the quality of a spiritual life, but all this is nothing without love.
“… you must first love yourself, love yourself a lot, understand yourself, know yourself, have compassion for yourself in order to be able to give to others the love you claim to have. How can we give love to others if we don’t have any for ourselves? We cannot give what we do not have.”*5
Do you feel love for yourself?
Columnist for the Raelian Movement
*1 Sam Harris: Book “A Guide to Spirituality without Religion” (2014)
*2 Rael – Contact 363
*3 Rael – Yes to human cloning, p. 81 PDF and paper formats
*4 Rael – First book “The Maitreya”
*5 Rael – First book “The Maitreya