Science can be legitimately credited for the current progress and prosperity, but it is incapable of differentiating between use and abuse. The only way to control its misuse is to incorporate wisdom based on foresightedness and the nobilities associated with human glory. This is the essence of spirituality. Spirituality
means, "centred and established on the soul", that is, activities in life are designed keeping the awakening of the soul as the aim. The soul is the individualized consciousness
present in the human body.
Consciousness is more powerful than matter. As discussed earlier, it is the miracle of consciousness
that organises matter in an orderly way. However, unrestrained consciousness
has drawbacks too. For example, it is easy to find faults in others, but does anyone try to observe his own self for their own faults? Usually, an individual is biased towards his shortcomings and considers him self the best. A person trying to prove him self right will present several arguments in his favour. This distorts the reality and generates undesirable thoughts.
The dual accomplishment of the righteous use of science and the refinement of consciousness
is possible only through spirituality.
The great divide:
Since the 17th century, when modern science made its first appearance, it has clashed with religion/spirituality. At the root of the clash lie two streams of beliefs. Science believes everything is made up of matter and therefore ought to be demonstrable through experiments.
A spiritualist insists that pure Spirit is reality, not matter. The great Indian seer-sage Sri Aurobindo has termed the scientific viewpoint as "the materialist denial" and the spiritual viewpoint as "the refusal of the ascetic" in his magnum opus The Life Divine. Discussing these issues further, Sri Aurobindo says the premise of science is that the physical senses are our only means of obtaining knowledge. Therefore, reason cannot transcend the reach of the senses and so, says Sri Aurobindo, "it must deal always and solely with the facts which they [the senses] provide or suggest."2 Science says that we cannot go beyond our senses and cannot use them "as a bridge leading us into a domain where more powerful and less limited faculties come into play…"3 In other words, science denies the existence of anything that is supernatural, supraphysical or extrasensory. In doing so, science assumes Nature to be an unintelligent substance or energy and uses this excuse to refuse, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, "to extend the limits of inquiry". However, science has come to a stage where prominent scientists accept that there are several phenomena, backed by compelling evidences, which cannot be explained by the current formulations of scientific theories and laws, but only by the presence of an unthinkable, omniscient Intelligence. Examples include: the behaviour of Earth as a single living organism, telepathy, precognition, the presence of a Universal Mind, etc.
Sri Aurobindo says the spiritualist believes that pure Spirit is a reality because there are supraphysical realities that are beyond the grasp of the senses, based on principles other than those that govern gross matter. Therefore, it is not justifiable to reject them as "false positives". For a spiritualist, consciousness
is the unifying factor in the universe, which Sri Aurobindo calls "the universal witness for whom the world is a field", while "the senses are [its] mere instruments". The spiritualist considers the material universe as unreal.
What are the consequences of these two streams of beliefs? Both are seriously flawed, according to Sri Aurobindo. A mixture of matter and consciousness
gives a meaningful functionality. If we adopt a purely materialistic view, Sri Aurobido says we arrive at a māyā "that is [present] and yet is not [present]". We see the physical aspects of the universe and so māyā is present and compelling, leading us to believe what we see is the only reality. Yet, māyā "is not", because it is transitory. Transformation is the principle of the universe. On the other hand, the refusal of material existence leads, in Sri Aurobindo’s view, to the development of ego and the purposelessness of the human existence.