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The Faith vs Reason Debate

Welcome to Age-of-the-Sage where we present many of the "most awesome Spiritual Insights Quotations known to Mankind" for our visitors' consideration!!!

The sheer range and power of these impact-FULL Spiritual Insights Quotations allows us to draw our visitors' attention towards a recognition that the very existence, within many celebrated quotations and quotes, of readily identifiable Profound Spiritual Truths has considerable implications for the Faith vs Reason Debate or controversy.

Alongside the many truly profound Spiritual and Poetical Insights Quotations that are about to be presented this page has been structured to attempt to challenge the determined promotion of skepticism about religion as currently pursued by Richard Dawkins and others.

Although we recognise that the content of this page will doubtless be seen as somewhat un-conventional in openly recognising that profound truths exist in many World Religons we would hope, and expect, that it will nevertheless be possible to see our contribution to the Faith versus Reason debate as being consistent with such important teachings as The Sermon on the Mount and The Parable of the Sower.

We further hope, and expect, that all of our visitors who are prepared to see value in Faith, or in Spirituality, will gain confidence in their credibility from a consideration of the content of this page!!!

Whether we realise it or not most people, even though they might consider themselves to be quite un-spiritual and rather un-poetic, have a capacity which allows for a recognition of Profund Truths which have been "somehow encapsulated" within certain spiritual and poetical quotations.

It may even be the case that spiritual and poetic wisdom can help us to realise truths that are otherwise largely beyond our reach:-

...the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.

St. Paul

 Poets are masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge
of the mind, because they drink at streams which we
have not yet made accessible to science.

Sigmund Freud

The soul is the perceiver and revealer of truth. We know truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose ... We distinguish the announcements of the soul, its manifestations of its own nature, by the term Revelation. These are always attended by the emotion of the sublime. For this communication is an influx of the Divine mind into our mind. It is an ebb of the individual rivulet before the flowing surges of the sea of life. Every distinct apprehension of this central commandment agitates men with awe and delight.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We have found it entirely possible to research into the Profund Truths that have been "captured and somehow encapsulated" within certain spiritual and poetical quotations!!!

Some words of background context introduction to the important wisdoms we are attempting to identify as "Central Spiritual Insights" are probably necessary:-

Many commentators have claimed to have discerned a "Perennial Philosophy" of central agreement about "Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World across the ages!!!

There is always a small group of men who teach religion from experience. They are called mystics, and these mystics in every religion speak the same tongue and teach the same truth. This is the real science of religion. As mathematics in every part of the world does not differ, so the mystics do not differ.

Vivekananda - Religion and Science
The eminent Indian holy man Vivekananda, (actually a name-in-religion suggestive of "the bliss of discerning wisdom"), lived between 1863-1902 and is credited with having been a key figure in the broader introduction of Indian philosophy to the Western world following on from his own acclaimed contribution to a "Parliament of World Religions" held in Chicago in association with the World's Fair of 1893.

Aldous Huxley & The Perennial Philosophy

Aldous Huxley, in the Introduction to his own, widely celebrated, study into the central agreements about "Divine Truths" between the Great Religions of the World, first published as The Perennial Philosophy in 1945, wrote that:-
"Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditionary lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. A version of this Highest Common Factor in all preceding and subsequent theologies was first committed to writing more than twenty-five centuries ago, and since that time the inexhaustible theme has been treated again and again, from the standpoint of every religious tradition and in all the principal languages of Asia and Europe."
In this major anthology, (which has never gone out-of-print since first publication), Huxley accepted the proposition, deriving from Leibniz, a notably eminent scholar who was an early investigator into the Common Ground shared by The World Religions, that Religions concern themselves

"with the one, divine Reality"

and that

"the nature of this one Reality is such that it cannot be directly or immediately apprehended except by those who have chosen to fulfill certain conditions, making themselves loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit."
It should not be overlooked that Aldous Huxley came from the famously skeptical Huxley family and went against an high-profile and established family tradition in becoming fascinated by faith spirituality!!!

His paternal grand-father was none other than `Darwin's Bulldog', Thomas Henry Huxley who wrote in 1880:-
Some twenty years ago, or thereabouts, I invented the word `Agnostic' to denote people who, like myself, confess themselves to be hopelessly ignorant concerning a variety of matters, about which metaphysicians and theologians, both orthodox and heterodox, dogmatise with utmost confidence.
Thomas Henry Huxley described how he came to originate the term "agnostic" as follows:-
When I reached intellectual maturity, and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until at last I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure that they had attained a certain "gnosis"--had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble ... So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic". It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society ...
Perhaps equally remarkably Julian Huxley, an older brother to Aldous, was "the Richard Dawkins" of his day helping to found the American Humanist Association in 1933, becoming the first President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union in 1952, and of the British Humanist Association in 1963 (besides early in his career being an Oxford academic and later serving as the first appointee as Director-General of U.N.E.S.C.O. - the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

But to return to the faith versus reason debate :-

The results of exhaustive studies conducted by ourselves at Age-of-the-Sage.org into The Perennial Philosophy were such as to lead us to also accept that "the one, divine Reality" is better discerned by those spiritually endowed with Charity, Purity of Heart and Humility. However, we came to believe Meekness to be another spiritual endowment which may well tend to contribute towards heightened powers of discernment.

This suggestion that Meekness is of immense spiritual value may not surprise.
More unexpectedly, perhaps, the outcomes of our comprehensive researches into the mysteries of Deep Spiritual Truth were also such as to suggest that it is appropriate to fully associate A Disdain for Materialism (compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration), and A Yearning for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment), with the centralities of The Perennial Philosophy.

Some truly extra-ordinary wisdoms ~ a brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources closely followed by another brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources are set out below ~ to be again closely followed by what seems to be a comparable selection of "Central Poetry Insights".

A selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources

These Christian quotations have been selected based on their inherent Spirtual Impact, (rather than whether they might be deemed to be Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox), and come from The King James Bible and from the 'Of the Imitation of Christ'; a fifteenth century devotional work that has long been the second most widely read Christian book after The Bible itself.
A Disdain for Materialism
Some have Me in their mouths, but little in their hearts.
 There are others who, being enlightened in their understanding and purified in their affection, always breathe after things eternal, are unwilling to hear of earthly things, and grieve to be subject to the necessities of nature; and such as these perceive what the Spirit of Truth speaketh in them.
 For it teacheth them to despise the things of the earth and to love heavenly things; to disregard the world, and all the day and night to aspire after heaven.

Thomas a Kempis - Of the Imitation of Christ Book 3 Ch. 4 v. 4

A Distrust of Intellect
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

St. Paul

A Yearning for Divine Edification
It is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
  ...the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

St. Paul

  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

St. John

Purity of Heart
 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke ...

St. Paul

Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whomsoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.


 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

St. James

"Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources

A Disdain for Materialism
Chuang Tzu put on cotton clothes with patches in them, and arranging his girdle and tying on his shoes, (i.e. to keep them from falling off), went to see the prince of Wei.
"How miserable you look, Sir!" Cried the prince. "It is poverty, not misery", replied Chuang Tzu. "A man who has TAO cannot be miserable. Ragged clothes and old boots make poverty, not misery".

Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)

A Distrust of Intellect
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment; Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition.

Rumi - (Islam)

A Yearning for Divine Edification
The intelligence of the mean man does not rise beyond bribes and letters of recommendation. His mind is beclouded with trivialities. Yet he would penetrate the mystery of TAO and of creation, and rise to participation in the ONE. The result is that he is confounded by time and space; and that trammelled by objective existences, that he fails apprehension of that age before anything was. But the perfect man, - he carries his mind back to the period before the beginning. Content to rest in the oblivion of nowhere, passing away like flowing water, he is merged in the clear depths of the infinite.

Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)

 He that does everything for Me, whose supreme object I am, who worships Me, being free from attachment and without hatred to any creature, this man, Arjuna!, comes to Me.

Bhagavad Gita 11:55 ~ (Hinduism aka Vedanta)

And my soul is absorbed 
In the Love of My Lord. 
Bow humbly to the saint 
That is a pious act. 
Bow to the ground before him 
That is devotion, indeed. 
The faithless know not, 
The joy of the love of the Lord; 

From Sohila-Arti ~ a bed-time prayer
This section of which is attributed to Guru Ram Das - (Sikhism)

Purity of Heart
 The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Solomon - (Judaism)

Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.

Ansari of Herat - (Islam)

 Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth! Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.

Dhammapada - (Buddhism)

The Great Poets have also won many profoundly instructive insights.
The following "Central Poetry Insights" quotations could be said to "somehow encapsulate" the same Truths just presented from Christian sources, and from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources.

A Disdain for Materialism
Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.


A Distrust of Intellect
The intellectual power, through words and things,
Went sounding on, a dim and perilous way!


A Yearning for Divine Edification
God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone;


  That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.


Purity of Heart
 A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.


The best of men
That e'er wore earth about him, was a sufferer,
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
The first true gentleman that ever breathed.

Thomas Dekker

 Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,
Sh'hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been
As one in suff'ring all that suffers nothing,
A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blest are those
Whose blood and judgement are so well co-medled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please: give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.


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At this point we hope that we have fulfilled our earlier undertaking to prominently feature many truly profound, and indeed, truly impact-FULL Spiritual and Poetical Insights Quotations.
Our page-content will now turn to a more explicit coverage of the faith vs reason debate (whilst continuing to attempt to challenge the New Atheism of Richard Dawkins and others).
[A more in-depth coverage of the deep similarities between the Core Mystical Teachings of the major World Religions is available here for those interested]!!!

Prominent "New Atheists", also known as The Four Horsemen.

faith vs reason debate or controversy
Image Credit:
Neil Davies - caricatureclub.co.uk

This evidence as to agreement between The Great Religions as to what is Core Spiritual Truth gives rise to an irresistible opportunity to challenge Richard Dawkins, and the other "New Atheists", who have been so active in praising the value of "Reason" and "Science" and in dismissing Religious Faith.

The Great Faiths tend to prefer "Inspiration" over "Thought":-

Enlightenment is not 'Intellectual'

A University Professor went to see Nan-in, a Zen Master, to find out more about Zen.
As their meeting continued Nan-in was pouring Tea and continued to pour even though the cup was overflowing. The Professor cried. "Enough! No more will go in!"
Nan-in replied "Like this cup you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"


Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
The Book of Proverbs


The Parable of the Sower is, perhaps, the most "Enlightenment" related teaching of Jesus!!!

  And he began to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was beside the sea on the land.
  And he taught them many things by parables, and he said unto them in his doctrine,
  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred.
  And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

By way of fuller explanation Jesus said:-

  The sower soweth the word (i.e. of God).
  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word immediately receive it with gladness;
  And have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
  And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
  And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
  For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was anything secret, but that it should come abroad.
Jesus' teaching ~ as set out in St Mark's gospel Chapter 4

This "Parable of the Sower" could be said to suggest that Enlightenment does not appear to be Intellectual but may principally arise from keeping to spiritual teachings!!!


The Great Poets join with The Great Faiths in tending to show an awareness of the importance of non-rational appreciation of spiritual truths:-

Distrust of the Intellect

Errors like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
John Dryden

Into the eye and prospect of his soul.
William Shakespeare

Here the heart
May give a useful lesson to the head,
And learning wiser grow without his books
William Cowper

Would he had been less full of borrowed knowledge! Then he would have accepted inspired knowledge from his father. When, with inspiration at hand, you seek book-learning, your heart, as if inspired, loads you with reproach. Traditional knowledge, when inspiration is available, is like making ablutions in sand when water is near. Make yourself ignorant, be submissive, and then you will obtain release from your ignorance.

A few quotes suggesting that Spiritual Wisdom,
although rare, is nevertheless attainable

In the Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy Aldous Huxley explicitly asserts that:-
"Knowledge is a function of being."
In other words, if you are not suited to knowing something, you can not know it.

From time to time we hear people sincerely describing other persons as being, or having been, "Wise and Good".
"Wisdom has its root in goodness, not goodness its root in wisdom."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
We find this passage in Aldous Huxley's Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy:-
"In regard to few professional philosophers and men of letters is there any evidence that they did very much in the way of fulfilling the necessary conditions of direct spiritual knowledge. When poets and metaphysicians talk about the subject matter of the Perennial Philosophy, it is generally at second hand. But in every age there have been some men and women who chose to fulfil the conditions upon which alone, as a matter of brute empirical fact, such immediate knowledge can be had; "...

Emerson, (who has been described by one of his biographers as having become "the leading voice of intellectual culture in the United States"), included this passage in his Essay "The Over-Soul":-
..."After its own law and not by arithmetic is the rate of the soul's progress to be computed. The soul's advances are not made by gradation, such as can be represented by motion in a straight line; but rather by ascension of state, such as can be represented by metamorphosis, — from the egg to the worm, from the worm to the fly. The growths of genius are of a certain total character, that does not advance the elect individual first over John, then Adam, then Richard, and give to each the pain of discovered inferiority, but by every throe of growth the man expands there where he works, passing, at each pulsation, classes, populations, of men. With each divine impulse the mind rends the thin rinds of the visible and finite, and comes out into eternity, and inspires and expires its air. It converses with truths that have always been spoken in the world, "...
[It may be that those who gain "immediate spiritual knowledge" become unusually capable of metaphysical insight alongside possessing enhanced spiritual insight.
In Philosophy "Metaphysics" is the branch of Philosophy dealing with "being": how things exist, what things really are, what essence is, what it is 'to be' something, etc. The word comes from a "book" of some thirteen treatises written by Aristotle which were traditionally arranged, by scholars who lived in the centuries after Aristotle's life-time in the fourth century B.C., after those of his "books" which considered physics and natural science.
It may be that for want of other terminology directly suited to reference such elusive subject matter the term MetaPhysica, (in Greek it means "after physics" or "beyond physics"), was adopted in relation to Aristotle's "book" of "metaphysical" treatises].

Huxley concludes his Introduction to The Perennial Philosophy with these words:-
"If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge."

Despite the fact that World Faith Teachings, (and Great Poets), can be shown to value "Inspiration" over "Thought" atheists often seem to be totally "Intellectually Convinced" of the reasonableness of their own positions!!!

Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens (health permitting), Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris were announced, in the summer of 2011, as keynote speakers at a Global Atheist Convention - "A Celebration of Reason" - to be held in Australia early in 2012.

”This is the first time that the Four Horsemen have spoken together publicly in five years,” said Atheist Foundation President David Nicholls. ”Their best-selling books on atheism earned the group the moniker ‘The Four Horseman of the Anti-Apocalypse’, and fittingly so as they have been instrumental in bringing forth a new enlightenment in the face of growing irrationality, fundamentalism and superstitious thinking around the world.”

[Christopher Hitchens was included in the projected panel of speakers at this event because of his high profile as a critic of religion and of what he articulately sought to portray as its negative influences on society.
It happened, however, that the ill-health he was known to have been suffering from actually claimed his life in December, 2011].

We at Age-of-the-Sage would like to sympathise with Christopher Hitchens' family and friends in their personal loss.
Whilst we did not share his views on Religion, or Politics, we found it necessary to maintain a healthy respect for his eloquence whilst accepting that he always sought to act as a person of principle in line with his own beliefs.

The 2012 Global Atheist Convention Opening Address was delivered by David Nicholls as president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia. A key section of this opening address being:-
... And where are we at this moment in time? We are celebrating reason, for as Bertrand Russell stated, “to save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.”

No holy book has promoted reason and no religion has even attempted to do so. In fact, revealed writings depend on the reader suspending reason in preference to believing statements on faith.

We should not be against people suspending reason, after all, it is their life, but we must be totally opposed to suspended reason being forced into the minds of children as a way of thinking. Children grow into voting adults, some become politicians, making laws for everyone.

Teaching young people how to think and not what to think is a prerequisite for a good and equitable civilisation. To avoid furture divisive sectarian societal dysfunction, faith indoctrination supported by secular governments must cease.

Reason has exponentially increased human understanding about medicine, food production, electronics, engineering, transport and population friendly political systems.

It is responsible for bringing us down from the trees and placing people on the moon, where the Earth has for the first time been viewed from a completely new perspective.

Reason has allowed us to work out that the universe is ‘very big indeed’ with black holes comprised of millions of stars, with some stars billions of kilometres in diameter and trillions of planets orbiting others in a others in a cosmos nearly beyond description.

Reason has sent spacecraft from Earth to explore the far reaches of our solar system. It has enabled information about humans and other species to escape purposely into cosmos in a never-ending journey.

Reason has provided the tools to glimpse the smallest particles in huge atom-smashing colliders when brought together at nearly the speed of light. Most profoundly, reason has for a minute part of history, shown a few lucky generations how evolution has shaped everything we see about us.

Reason has brought humanity out of the dark-ages of superstition into the light of authenticated knowledge, based in empirical peer reviewed evidence.

The speakers and entertainers at the 2012 Global Atheist Convention are here to provide various perspectives about the ability of humans to use reason in problem solving, in improving the quality of life, in enhancing happiness and in being kinder to each other and the planet. ...

Most people like to think that they hold a coherent view of the World and of Humanity's place in it.
In this regard it cannot be denied that here seems to be a divergency between deep-seated wellsprings of spiritual-poetic inspiration and feeling, and the more conceptual reasonings of the intellect, that continues to be difficult to reconcile.

The "Enlightenment is not Intellectual" specific and "Distrust of the Intellect" specific quotations sourced from persons of faith and the great poets displayed earlier featured contributions by some undoubted, (and ~ in cases ~ largely, or completely, undoubtable), authorities including A Zen Master, Solomon the Wise (often mooted as the principal author of the Book of Proverbs), Jesus' Parable of the Sower, John Dryden, William Shakespeare, William Cowper and Rumi (the most famous mystical poet in the Islamic World).

Spiritual Authorities would have us believe in "Faith-Related" Truths ~ scientists would have us believe in other Truths which they hold to be "Scientifically Valid".

Could it be that Human Beings are capable of d-e-e-p spirituality notwithstanding the "Rational" theories offered by Science?

Can "worldly" Science be said to value Rational Intellectual Knowledge and the Divines ~ Saints and Sages ~ be said to value Spiritual Wisdom?

Who can doubt that "Enlightenment" is essentially aligned with "Inspiration in association with Reason" rather than being aligned with "Reason" alone?

Religions have comforted and guided most of Mankind for many thousands of years.
Introductory quotations
spiritual insights
spiritual wisdom
Proof of the Existence of God?
Central poetry insights
Other poetry wisdom
Spirituality &
the wider world
Our major
History &

Revealing experiments in Social Psychology
Science and Religion quotes

Sources of
mysticism quotes



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Psychology &

Although the "Westernised" world is currently going through a particularly agnostic and atheistic phase we like to think that our Spiritual Insights Quotations related contribution to the Faith vs. Reason Debate or Controversy will help to remind people of the profundities possible to faith.

The findings of our investigations into the Timeless Wisdoms that have been handed down as World Faith Teachings help to richly demonstrate that there are Central teachings about Spirituality which can definitely be shown to retain an unimpaired relevance to peoples lives alongside the Creationism which is most directly challenged by Science.

"You will hear things like, 'Science doesn't know everything.' Well, of course science doesn't know everything. But, because science doesn't know everything, it doesn't mean that science knows nothing. Science knows enough for us to be watched by a few million people now on television, for these lights to be working, for quite extraordinary miracles to have taken place in terms of the harnessing of the physical world and our dim approaches towards understanding it. And as Wittgenstein quite rightly said, 'When we understand every single secret of the universe, there will still be left the eternal mystery of the human heart.'"

Stephen Fry quoting Wittgenstein during a Room 101 TV program of March 2001

Religion deals with the truths of the metaphysical world just as chemistry and the other natural sciences deal with the truths of the physical world. The book one must read to learn chemistry is the book of nature. The book from which to learn religion is your own mind and heart. The sage is often ignorant of physical science, because he reads the wrong book - the book within; and the scientist is too often ignorant of religion, because he too reads the wrong book - the book without.

Vivekananda - Religion and Science
There are two worlds, the microcosm, and the macrocosm, the internal and the external. We get truth from both of these by means of experience. The truth gathered from internal experience is psychology, metaphysics, and religion; from external experience, the physical sciences. Now a perfect truth should be in harmony with experiences in both these worlds. The microcosm must bear testimony to the macrocosm, and the macrocosm to the microcosm; physical truth must have its counterpart in the internal world, and the internal world must have its verification outside. Yet, as a rule, we find that many of these truths are in conflict. At one period of the world's history, the internals become supreme, and they begin to fight the externals. At the present time the externals, the physicists, have become supreme, and they have put down many claims of psychologists and metaphysicians.

Vivekananda - Cosmology

Inspiration can occasionally trounce Reason!!!

Is "Human Being" more truly Metaphysical than Physical?

Faith and Philosophy!!!
Our Human Nature - Tripartite Soul page

Spirituality and the Wider World!!!
People may well be spiritual, materialistic, ethnic and intellectual!!!

Popular, "Scientific", Rational,
inadequate? ~ Darwinism

Famous "Hornet" cartoon of 1871
(just after Darwin's ~ The Descent of Man)

Has Science found what it would itself consider to be adequate ways of accounting for Humanity's Sense of the Divine?
A Sense of the Divine that has raised countless Cathedrals, Churches, Mosques, Shrines, Synagogues and Temples across the millenia. A Sense of the Divine which has often resulted in the spontaneous establishment of faith-related civilisations, or the conversion-to-faith of existing civilisations, such that it would not be too much of an exaggeration to depict Human Beings, across recorded history, as frequently living out their lives within faith-based cultural atmospheres!

The mutual inability of Faith and Reason to appreciate each other may, to some degree, be an example of the infamous "Two Cultures" split that ultimately diminishes, and hampers the effectiveness of, both "The Humanities" and "The Sciences".  
More than half a century ago the prominent novelist and speaker C.P. Snow, described a chasm between literary intellectuals and scientists, a gulf that impoverished both sides and impeded efforts to relieve suffering around the world. Science was not understood or respected by then dominant literary culture, to the detriment of all, he said. At some point scientists had ceased to be considered intellectuals, Snow noted, and though any educated person was required to know Shakespeare, almost none were similarly expected to be familiar with the second law of thermodynamics.
According to Richard Dawkins:-
"It has become almost a cliche to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics."
We live in a Physical World which can be meaningfully investigated, and transformed, by physicists, mathematicians, chemists, biologists and engineers but we also live in a Human World which is perhaps open to being "broadly appreciated" by theologians, economists, historians, poets, philosophers and metaphysicians.

Einstein said something about Science and Religion where ignorance of each others powers left one lame and the other blind.
He also said:-

“Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts.”
If there was "ball-park" agreement about how the Human World "ought" to operate, (thanks mainly to the Humanities), then the Sciences could be brought to bear to effectively seek to attain those aims ~ (alongside inherently desireable advances in such fields as Medicine, Food Production and Global Warming Limitation that we might perhaps hope for from The Sciences in any case).

An acceptance that there are Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA), that science and religion each have "a legitimate magisterium, or domain of teaching authority" and these two domains do not overlap, is a view advocated by Stephen Jay Gould.
According to Gould's NOMA principle "the magisterium of science covers the empirical realm: what the Universe is made of (fact) and why does it work in this way (theory). The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value".
Gould saw the NOMA principle as offering "a blessedly simple and entirely conventional resolution to . . . the supposed conflict between science and religion."
Gould argued that if indeed the polling data was correct—and that 80 to 90% of Americans believe in a supreme being, and such a belief is misunderstood to be at odds with evolution—then "we have to keep stressing that religion is a different matter, and science is not in any sense opposed to it," otherwise "we're not going to get very far."
He did not, however, consider this proposed diplomatic approach to the resolution to "the supposed conflict between science and religion" to be paramount, writing in 1997: "NOMA represents a principled position on moral and intellectual grounds, not a mere diplomatic stance."

The lives we lead are "Human" lives, simultaneously Intellectual, Materialistic, Spiritual and Ethnic.  
It is to be hoped that physicists, mathematicians, chemists, biologists, engineers, theologians, economists, historians, poets, philosophers, metaphysicians and other specialisms can somehow pool their talents to allow Intellectual, Materialistic, Spiritual and Ethnic Human Civilisation every chance of future progress.
"We need a worldview grounded in science that does not deny the richness of human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific. If we can bring our spirituality, the richness and wholesomeness of our basic human values, to bear upon the course of science in human society, then the different approaches of science and spirituality will contribute together to the betterment of humanity."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
(In a comment on "War of the Worldviews: Science vs Spirituality", a faith vs. reason debate or controversy related book written by the scientist Leonard Mlodinow and by the prominent spiritual writer Deepak Chopra.
Leonard Mlodinow has previously co-authored with Stephen Hawking on scientific subjects).

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The fly-leaf to the first (1946) UK edition of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy begins:-

Beneath the revelations of all the great world religions, the teaching of the wise and holy of all faiths and the mystical experiences of every race and age, there lies a basic unity of belief which is the closest approximation man can attain to truth and ultimate reality.
The Perennial Philosophy is an attempt to present this Highest Common Factor of all theologies by assembling passages from the writings of those saints and prophets who have approached a direct spiritual knowledge of the Divine, and who have recorded not only the method of that approach but also the clarity of soul they derived from it

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The following linked pages are intended to more fully demonstrate a degree of Common Ground between the Inner-most Spiritual Teachings of several major World Religions on Charity, Purity of Heart, Humility, Meekness, A Disdain for Materialism (compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration) and A Yearning for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment).
These quotations are presented on a series of very brief pages where each faith is considered individually.
We have seen it as worthwhile to add another category of quotation ~ where recognition has been given "by the wise and holy of several faiths" to the possibility of Mystical Communion with God ~ as this addition may rather directly tend the range of agreement from Comparative Religion studies about "Core Spiritual Truths" already demonstrated towards actually becoming real evidence of the existence of "Spiritually Discernible" aspects to the one God or Spirit which is central to Mystical Faith.




Christian Spirituality Quotations




We have already put "on the record" our hope, and expectation, that it will be possible to see our contribution to the Faith vs Reason debate as being consistent with such Sermons and Parables of Jesus as The Sermon on the Mount and The Parable of the Sower.
We nevertheless have great respect for the Spiritualities that exist at the cores of the Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, Taoist and Vedic-Hindu faiths and have laid out the above table of links in a manner consistent with our aspiration towards promoting a mutually respectful co-existence of The Great Faiths of the World.

Central poetry insights ~ Secular but comparable in depth and content!!!
Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Cowper and Dryden ~ need we say more?

A representative collection of the Spiritual and Poetic wisdoms
recently presented is available to download from this page

  Start of
The Faith vs Reason Debate