How Science is rē•cognizing Spirituality in the Modern Day
Opening our minds to the intersection.
Oftentimes we see the world in black and white, positive and negative, right and wrong. Historically, some people have assumed a similar polarity exists between science and spirituality. Others believe the two to be in opposition. But in recent years, the paradigm that science and spirituality are in opposition to one another has started to shift.
Today, modern scientists are researching human consciousness. They want to understand more about our inner worlds and souls. Psychologists and experts are becoming part of the conversation. They are exploring this field of research from a scientific point of view. In the past couple of years, more science-based doctors, experts, and researchers have started to recognize the importance of our inner world to our sense of self.
“I think the pandemic has brought even tighter cohesion,” bestselling author and dream decoder Theresa Cheung tells rē•spin. “During the lockdowns, many of us looked within for deeper meaning as never before because all the externals we relied on for validation couldn’t give us the inner strength we needed.” The Premonition Code, which Cheung co-wrote with neuroscientist Dr. Julia Mossbridge, shares some of the practices and areas of thought where scientists and spiritualists find common ground. Cheung often collaborates with scientists studying consciousness in her work—a fundamental part of spirituality.
Soul and science
Let’s think about the soul for a moment. We often consider our souls in the context of mortality. What happens after we die? Do we cease to exist the moment our bodily functions stop? There is one thing that scientists and modern psychics can agree on: Everything is made of energy. If it is true that everything and everyone—even our thoughts and feelings— consists of energy, Cheung asks, doesn’t the idea that those aspects of ourselves could survive bodily death make sense?
“Quantum physics has revolutionized our approach to ‘soul’ in this way, and when you combine that with near-death experience stories and studies about them,” Cheung says, citing a 2014 study by Dr. Sam Parnia that proved consciousness can survive brain and bodily death for a few minutes, “there are no sides anymore.”
These days, science and spirituality are converging beautifully. Scientists now recognize the importance of perception and feelings in our lives. This excites a spiritualist like Cheung. The role our inner world plays in our lives is now being seriously entertained. This is especially true as it relates to the existence of consciousness as independent from our brain and physical bodies. “Before, the focus among scientists was entirely on the external, and any talk of consciousness dismissed as nonsense,” she explains.
Exploring the convergence of science and spirituality in our lives
Even in our day-to-day lives, we experience the intersection of spirituality and science. “Every morning when we wake up with dream memories in our mind, we are at the verge of science and spirituality merging,” Cheung shares. “Scientists don’t actually know why we dream, but studies show that dream recall is essential for holistic wellbeing.”
“Where is that invisible world we go to every night in our dreams? Why is dreaming healing?” she asks. “In many cultures, the dream world is the portal to spirit, and working with the images and stories in our dreams can help us understand ourselves better and offer brainstorming insights to help us evolve.”
We experience butterflies and knots in our stomachs when our heartbeat is heightened. Cheung says those are other areas where science and spirituality are aligned. “Studies show that intuition speaks to us first through our bodies. The scientific term for that is presentiment,” she explains. “Intuition is a more acceptable word for spirit or soul. Whenever you meet someone, and you sense something is off and are later proved right, this is your sixth sense, or soul, sending you signs. Research shows that we all have the potential to be sensitive to our environments and to pick up on invisible signals.”
Opening up our spiritual world
As science and spirituality continue to align, it’s worth considering how we can awaken our spiritual selves. Then we can begin to embrace our inner worlds wholly. Spirituality doesn’t always feel natural. Cheung agrees that there can be an overarching essence of complication tied to certain aspects of spirituality. Her ethos? “I have always felt the spiritual approach to life should be simple and natural. I think it should also be fun and engaging because if it doesn’t make someone feel good about themselves, what is the point?”
At the foundation of spiritual growth is self-awareness and self-love, which many people struggle with. Through tools like meditation and dream-decoding, we’re offered a path to increase self-esteem, which supports our spiritual growth. Cheung encourages us to try to recall and decode dreams as often as possible. She suggests tuning into our bodies by paying attention to what physical sensations might be trying to tell us. According to Cheung, it is important to find time to meditate for a few minutes each day. We should observe our thoughts and feelings, and spend more time in natural settings. “These simple but powerful things are the blueprints for spiritual growth.”