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Until my first couple years of college, I had a general conception of science and spirituality as existing on opposite ends of a continuum. Science was devoted to logic and empiricism, while spirituality was rooted fundamentally in faith. I actually dreaded the science courses I was to take during my freshman, as I feared their emphasis on concrete answers and logic might cause me to lose touch with what little remained of my sense of spirituality. What I found was quite the contrary. My scientific courses actually inspired me to deeply reflect on my sense of meaning in life and helped me to grow into the spiritual identity I’d been feeling so detached from.
Science forced me to confront the profound interdependence of all of life… I came to realize that there is a force that connects me to everyone and everything around me. I hate the term force, but that's the only word I can think of that can begin to encapsulate the mystery I’m trying to describe. That force, or essence, or whatever you want to call it is what most religions have personified as "God" or “Allah” or “Buddha”. It is the bond between friends, the passion between lovers, the curiosity of a young child, the companionship between man and dog, the substance of life itself! It is ever present in the mechanisms that govern the biological world... it’s what drives the miraculous interactions between the molecules of our DNA and the mutualistic relationship between plant roots and mycorrhizae. It is interconnectedness. We get caught up trying to isolate and define it. It is dynamic. It is not something that can be labeled, rather something that is experienced.
I’m now pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science and feel completely at ease dwelling in the worlds of both science and faith. I’m not sure I even see the two as separate anymore. The spiritual identity that’s emerged is not one that can easily be grouped into the “normal” categories we use to describe religion.