This post follows on from a previous one, and also continues the ongoing theme: Time for a New Paradigm.
Here I am going to highlight the thoughts of the significant new-paradigm scientist, Brian O’Leary. He says that he was once “a typical ‘left-brained’ academic — rationalistic, reductionistic, deterministic, materialistic (who felt he) had the universe and its laws mastered”.
Then, as a result of an ESP experience, “my hard-earned scientific belief system was irreversibly shaken”. What he had previously considered ‘poppycock’ “turned out to be true” (1).
Here are his thoughts on the problem facing us all, which echo those of Stanislav Grof in the previous article:
“In confronting ‘unexplainable’ phenomena, what I learned was that we — scientists and lay people alike — had isolated ourselves in an invisible box of our own making… We had painted ourselves into a conceptual corner that kept us from asking the most basic questions about ourselves and the universe. As a result we had become prisoners of our own limiting beliefs. Science itself had become a religion, with mechanistic materialism as the Supreme Dogma… At the same time I had to acknowledge that the scientific method itself was indeed very powerful. After all, hadn’t it helped create the many useful technologies we then took for granted?
“(The obvious solution) is that we simply needed to separate the scientific method itself from the package of beliefs that surrounded it, and from which it had become almost indistinguishable. Having done so, we were now free to use this powerful tool to address basic cosmic, as well as mundane, questions. As a result we found more meaning in life, and are now well along in solving our most pressing global problems. By using the scientific method without being bound by a narrow philosophy of science, we have, in more ways than one, entered a new millennium…What we needed was a New Science” (2).
The way forward is therefore clear. We need to retain the scientific method, but free it from all the philosophical baggage that has been attached to it. Even better, instead of dismissing all paranormal and supernatural phenomena as non-existent, we should enthusiastically use the scientific method to study them.
(1) The Second Coming of Science: An Intimate Report on the New Science, North Atlantic Books, 1992, Foreward Pix.
(2) ibid., p3