Matter as space – in immediate experience and science

Current science tells us that what we perceive as matter is overwhelmingly space.

And that’s the same when we explore it in immediate experience.

What do I find when I explore my immediate experience of matter?

I find sensations, images, and labels. I cannot find “matter” as a real, solid thing, and I cannot find any object – like my body, or the cup in my hand, or the tree outside of the window – as a real, solid thing.

I also notice that these sensations, images, and labels that my mind uses to create its experience of “matter” all happen within and as consciousness. Or what we can call awake space.

So what contemporary science tells us, and what we (at least, I) find in immediacy, is similar. In science, matter is almost all space. And in immediate experience, it’s sensations, images, and labels (which, in turn, are made up of the same), and these happen within and as consciousness aka awake space (also, in my mind, made up of the same).

It doesn’t necessarily mean that much. It’s an interesting convergence. And it may point to the same underlying reality. But what science tells us changes over time, and what we find through inquiry seem to be similar across cultures and over the centuries. So although the science-spirituality parallels are interesting and in general worth exploring, it’s perhaps not necessary or so wise to use science to support the insights from inquiry or what I perceive in general or what the mystics say.

If I feel a need to use science to support spirituality (as I did in my teens when I read a lot of Fritjof Capra, David Bohm and others), it’s a reminder to explore that need and where in me it comes from. Is there a sense of lack? A fear that’s unmet and unloved?

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