The Discourse about Reality in the Double Perspective of Science and Spirituality

  1. Lemma
  2. The Discourse about Reality in the Double Perspective of Science and Spirituality
  3. English
  4. Tampakis, Kostas
  5. Modes of interaction - History and philosophy of science - Modern physics :QM - Patristic studies
  6. 2011
  7. Chiţoiu, Dan Mihai [Author]. The Discourse about Reality in the Double Perspective of Science and Spirituality
  8. Journal for Interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Science
  9. Hesychasm - St. Gregory Palamas
  10. Click Here
    1. This paper proposes to study what language has used in order to describe ultimate reality. It considers two situations when such a language imposed its necessity, the explanatory needs of quantum physics and the hesychast palamite doctrine. In these cases, discursive necessities exclude alternative terminologies, especially those of a metaphysical kind which contain concepts such as being, world, nature etc. Thus, the desideratum is how to get to know the reality as it is and not as we want to describe it. The paper aims to evaluate the extent to which we can talk about a discursive approach in quantum physics and in the hesychast tradition. In that sense, it follows the same research axis that the author’s subsequent 2012 paper ‘To aim reality’ pursued. The first part of the paper discusses how various epochs and traditions struggled with the question of how to describe ultimate reality. It focuses on the Greek and Roman tradition and then on the Christian tradition, and in the distinction between the dipoles generated/not generated and created/not created. The author then suggests that we are now facing another paradigm shift, one brought about by the challenged posed by phenomenology and by the advances made by modern physics. The second part of the paper initially discusses the emergence of the classical physics view of reality as one in which reality is independent of observation. He traces its establishment through the Middle Ages to Descartes and later to Galileo. The paper then underscores the Western theological development of God as the ultimate intelligible object, one which, however, cannot be fully understood by created intellects. This ‘happy view’ is contrasted with the Eastern one, in which God is above the being. The third part of the paper discusses the current changes on the concepts of experience and reality in modern physics, especially quantum physics. The paper focuses on how quantum developments constitute a serious breach in classical physical realism. Instead, there now appears to be a reality distant from our experiential notions, one which includes representation. Finally, the fourth part discusses the hesychast tradition. The author shows how in Palamite thought, divine light is a natural symbol and not a created symbol;. It thus accompanies what it symbolizes, as such, physical reality is not static and inert, but rather an active process, in which we can find the intentionality of the Creator. Ultimate reality is, and can only be, the human experience of the uncreated energies. The paper ends by highlighting the parallels between the quantum view of reality and the one described by the hesychast view, especially the non speculative and non intermediate way they approach reality.