Is there scientific evidence for the phenomenon called love? What are the roles of science and religion in helping us to define it? Asking these questions can point out the inadequacies of both science and religion in helping us to see ourselves and our role in the universe truly.
See if you agree with this thought-provoking commentary:
Love is that which helps us to understand the truth about ourselves and our possibilities. Are there people and teachings, methods and disciplines, ideas, forms of organization and community pattern, attitudes toward death, sex, material goods, children, time and every other concern of human life which can awaken in us an ableness to hear and understand sacred ideas?
Religion has failed us by assuming that we have the ability to understand and take in the great teachings of the past. It fails by assuming that as we are, we are able to receive the love of which it speaks.
Science–especially psychology–is a reaction to this blindness of modern religion, a reaction that takes us far over to the other direction by assuming that there is no help for man “out there.” In moving to that extreme, in denying the existence of higher levels of intelligence in the external universe, it never finds its way to search for these same levels within man himself, levels of receptivity, organs of intelligence which can mirror in microcosm the laws of a conscious universe.
The error of humanism–the error of modern psychology–is not that it seeks for help within man alone, but that it so radically underestimates just what it is that can be found within man. But to glimpse such high possibilities in ourselves it is necessary to have a system of cosmology, a metaphysics, that communicates the existence in reality of these levels. Otherwise we are stranded with undeniable fact that, as we are, we are totally cut off from the great cosmos. Psychology underestimates what we can become; modern religion overestimates what we are.
Adapted from A Sense of the Cosmos, by Jacob Needleman (Monkfish Book Publishing, 2003). Copyright (c) 2003 by Jacob Needleman. Reprinted by permission of Monkfish Book Publishing.
Adapted from A Sense of the Cosmos, by Jacob Needleman (Monkfish Book Publishing, 2003).