My answer to “Do you even science, bro?” I attempt, in this piece, to defend personal experience as the most important source for Truth. There is a current war out there between logical scientists and metaphysical enthusiasts. Both have been at odds since the beginning of recorded time. We are either at one extreme or the other and my message is that both logic and metaphysics are real and should work with one another in harmony.
When we speak about medicine or diet, we often say “prove it” with SCIENCE. I am sure you have seen your fair share of “link wars” on the internet over the last few decades, yes? Let’s see the peer-reviewed literature and all the studies and we want them all backed by the government’s money and blessings — not some “quack chiropractor”. But when it comes to metaphysics, we don’t demand proof anymore. What’s happening there?
This is probably because we are smart enough to trust in our own personal experiences. But what does this tell us? I think it tells us that science, while important, is limited and personal experience is necessary.
We cannot prove intuition, love, bliss, astrology, full moons affecting human behavior, telepathy, psychics, orbs, souls, spirits, angels, God, life after death, reincarnation, Heaven, empathy, internal demons, energy or any senses beyond our lower five exist.
Scientists have apparently found a kind of camera that can take pictures of energy to prove it exists. They apparently have proven with this camera that we are energetic vibrational beings and that everything is energy including that which is not animated. However unless mainstream science embraces it, it is false. Nothing metaphysical can be proven or measured using modern establishment-validated scientific instruments and again, even if they could be proven, mainstream science has to validate it and fund it. No validation or financial backing means it does not exist.
I was told once that “personal experience” was a joke and non-scientific.
We wouldn’t have much science if not for personal experience. For example, if people living around mold all have the same respiratory distress, scientists will check the lungs of each person and create a hypothesis to be tested at a later date. The tests will reveal what we call “science” today. Science is built on studies on real life people with real life situations in clinical trials. This is the personal experience I speak of. But metaphysics is also based on personal experience. For example, I know intuition exists through my own personal experience with it. It’s just that modern science cannot prove my own findings, but does this invalidate my intuitive faculties?
My friend from Japan said he thinks that the idea that full moons can affect human behavior is nonscientific and therefore false. However, he is also the same person who believes in ghosts. Japan is a very science-based country, but if you talk with them, most of them have ghost stories to share.
Experience is the basis on which both science and metaphysics are proven.
If a theory does not match my own personal experience, I ignore it for that time. A good example of this would be that if I go to bed with wet hair I will get a cold. Weren’t we told this growing up? Well, in my youth, despite being told that, I often went to bed with wet hair and never got a cold. So, my personal experience told me that theory was bunk. But if someone had the opposite experience, then that would be truth for them. Do you see what I mean about personal experience and why it’s important?
It is great to make dietary suggestions to those reaching out for help, but to conclude there is only one correct way to eat is arrogant. The diet which saves me might cripple you. The medicine that cures me might weaken you. This is why I love the below quote.
“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
― Albert Einstein
Your favorite internet links that prove your biases? How do you know they are universal truths? Information can be misguided, made up or it might even have an agenda. Personal experience, on the other hand, cannot be mistaken if proper and honest experimentation is done. It is the only thing that can be relied upon. So, when I am told an “established truth” be it philosophical, biblical, political, scientific, dietary, current events….. you name it, it must match my personal experience before I can accept it. The personal experience I have must be fair experience, objectively perceived, done responsibly and depending on the experiment, repeated without fail. That’s the trick to personal experience are those four recommendations. And my conclusion, to make this more complicated, might be subject to change! As I change, so might my experiences and my personal truths! As we move from one energetic dimension of reality to the next on our journeys, our personal truths can change!
Let’s break this down.
Premise: The sun is bad for you.
Is this my experience?
Did I give this a fair experiment?
Did I perform this experiment responsibly?
Did I objectively perceive the results?
Did I repeat it to be sure?
Conclusion: The sun is not bad for me if I exercise only moderate exposure.
Your own conclusion if done with fair experimentation, objective analysis, responsible testing and repeated success may be different since you might have different pigmentation than myself. Lots of factors weigh in to your results. Life is complex.
This is where science can sometimes fail us. Science is simplistic, but life and the human experience is too complex for these rigid walls. They make absolute written-in-stone conclusions and expect blind obedience and often when we question mainstream scientific truths, we might experience ridicule at best, possible violent opposition or censorship at worst. This is a huge problem.
“Dissent is crucial for the advancement of science. Disagreement is at the heart of peer review and is important for uncovering unjustified assumptions, flawed methodologies, and problematic reasoning.” — I. de Melo-Martin and K. Intemann, Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY, USA
“The history of Western science confirms the aphorism that the great menace to progress is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.” –Daniel Boorstin
And it’s not just science. In the political area, the media, education…. They say a lot of things. They give us “the news”. Is it correct? How do you know for sure that what is being reported is factual? How do you know that these statistics from Harvard University are completely fair and honest? They-said-so is not knowledge. Why would anybody ever believe statistics? They are not something that can be personally experienced or verified.
Anyone can repeat what someone else has said. But is that truth? Which is closer to truth? Blind repetition or thorough examination?
Here again, what they say on television must match my own personal experience before I jump on any bandwagon. I am still guilty even today of jumping on bandwagons. Any unresolved or repressed anger anyone might have, politics and/or current events is an amazing conduit to release rage. While some issues might be real, sometimes we might jump on a bandwagon just to discharge some of that anger and we don’t care about whether that bandwagon holds truth or not. We also get to feel good about ourselves. We get a chance to release, blame and play victim for a while. Politics is a channel for playing the victim role because other channels would not be so welcomed by the average person. This way we can be a victim without being accused of playing the victim card.
But we are humans and we might do this sometimes. I see myself doing this all the time. But the establishment knows this about human nature and I think they take advantage of our repressed rage to their own benefit. Divide and conquer come to mind.
IF we are sincere in our quest for ACTUAL truth, well….do we ever wonder that what is being reported is really true? Is the television and Facebook headlines mirror your own personal experience in the world?
I include intuition with my personal experience too and this might seem unfair. Sometimes we just know things. It could be wisdom carried from past lifetimes. The problem with claircognizance is that the personal experience was tested, perhaps, in previous lifetimes. Previous lifetimes? Can you even prove that reincarnation exists? Nope. I cannot. It’s just something I intuit and I have had spiritual experiences that took me back to previous lifetimes and they were not hallucinations. It is not something I can experiment with on demand, however. This might offend some people. And that is fine with me. I really think not everything in life can be proven through experimentation in the present and so adds another complex layer to life. Logic, reason, practicality and grounded conclusions are very important, but I am certain that there is a time and place for logic and science. Logic and science are limited. We, however, live in an Unlimited Transient Universe. And the Universe is too complex and transient to fit into something as rigid as logic. Some Universal Truths transcend logic, time, space, and even language.
In conclusion, in this spiritually materialistic world, personal experience is outrageous and offensive. I love Science if it is fair and honest. I also love personal experience which is the foundation behind real Science and nonmaterial discoveries. I believe in logic, but I do not automatically believe consensus unless it is consistent with my experiences and my own inner wisdom. I hope to encourage others to also consider the complexity of life too. Do you even experience, bro?