Community member, Malcolm Hollick, introduces his award-winning book which explores the cutting edges of science in relation to spirit.
Before moving to Findhorn 8 years ago, I wrote a book called The Science of Oneness. This was not published, for which I’m now grateful. I needed the years of intense personal and spiritual growth at Findhorn to balance the intellectual development from 25 years as an academic. I have now completely rewritten the book, and feel I have finally been able to express my vision. And this time I seem to be in the flow. Publication has been a breeze, and the book has received excellent pre-publication reviews. I’d like to share with you a bit about why I wrote it, and what it is about.
After many years spent studying the global issues of environmental destruction, poverty and war, I concluded that the foundations for a better future are missing. The certainties of our civilization’s old worldview have disintegrated, and the concrete of a new worldview has not yet set. It seems to me that a key task is to lay new philosophical and spiritual foundations on which we can build our future. Nothing less than radical change in our understanding of the universe, and of the meaning and purpose of life will do.
I began with two assumptions. First, science is so embedded in our culture and is such a powerful means of understanding and controlling physical reality that it must form one of the foundations of any new worldview. Second, current interpretations of the findings of science are deeply flawed — modern sciences reveal that ultimate reality is not material, fragmented and mechanistic, but spiritual, one, and creative. So I set out to explore what was happening at the cutting edges in many fields of science in order to create a coherent picture of the universe and our relationship to it. What I found exceeded my wildest expectations, leading me on a personal journey that transformed my beliefs and life. Rather than the mechanical, alienating, meaningless vision of reality bequeathed to us by classical science, I found a living, conscious, interconnected, meaningful and purposeful universe of which we are co-creators. And I found a vision which resonates strongly with the beliefs and wisdom of many ancient spiritual traditions.
In The Science of Oneness I set out to do several things:
* The first Part explores different ways of knowing. It then presents a holistic synthesis of these that I call the science of oneness. This draws on personal experience, intuition and an inner sense of rightness as well as on reason and modern science.
* The next five Parts describe in non-technical language what is emerging on the frontiers of systems sciences, physics, cosmology, life sciences including ecology, and consciousness studies. In every case, there is movement towards a vision of wholeness, connectedness, evolutionary creativity and purpose.
* Part VII explores emerging ideas in the spiritual domain: the nature of Spirit, spirituality and spiritual paths, personal identity, and the meaning and purpose of life. I conclude that we are co-creators of the cosmos with Spirit, and share the responsibility to guide its evolution into the ways of love and harmony, beauty and wisdom.
* In order to encourage intuitive as well as intellectual understanding, each Part ends with a Reflections section which encourages readers to pause and go inwards through guided meditations, questions, and evocative quotations.
* My aim is not just to satisfy intellectual curiosity, but to change lives and the world. I encourage my readers to engage critically with the material, bringing to bear their own life experience, imagination, and conceptual frameworks. I want them to question and challenge it, and reinterpret its meaning where appropriate; to trust their own inner voices, not mine. So this book is not a set of ideas to be accepted or rejected, but an invitation to join me on a life-long journey of discovery.
The progress in every field of science in the decade since I began this book has been amazing. Most scientists expect these advances to blow away the last vestiges of religious superstition, and prove once and for all that reality is purely material. By contrast, I expect them to reveal more and more clearly the underlying spiritual nature of reality; to show that matter flows from consciousness and Spirit, not the reverse. I believe the future lies in synthesising spiritual understanding with the rational inquiry, empiricism and logical reasoning of science — as many of the world’s greatest scientists have done. If we can do this, we will reach a new Enlightenment in both the Renaissance and religious senses.
I will close with a short quote from the end of the book:
Like many others, this book is a call to action; a call based on love and affirmation of our deepest human values. It is only by love that we can transform ourselves and the world; love, first and foremost, for our selves, flowing thence to others and the whole of creation. If we lovingly pursue our deepest meanings and values, we will transcend our present way of being, and thus resolve our deepest problems as individuals and societies, and as a species.
The present plight of humanity is cause for both concern and hope. Concern, because we teeter on the brink of annihilation. Hope, because our turmoil is exactly what we should expect of a system in creative transformation. It is the birth of a new era. We are at a bifurcation point in the history of humanity, of Gaia, and perhaps of the cosmos. The future is balanced on a knife’s edge, and the actions of each one of us may tip the scales one way or the other. The media are filled with hate and destruction, but, amidst the nightmares, the light of love still shines like a beacon. Let us add our candle flames.
Malcolm Hollick, PhD, spent 25 years as an academic at The University of Western Australia studying the interconnected issues of environmental destruction, poverty and war. Amongst other achievements, he helped establish a new degree in Environmental Engineering, and the Indian Ocean Centre for Peace Studies. In 1997, Malcolm left the university to seek a life more consistent with his beliefs. He and his partner, Christine Connelly, spent 6 months studying ecovillages, following which they moved to the Findhorn Community. As a student in the Foundation Year Programme, Malcolm worked in Cluny maintenance, and then Cluny garden. During this time he was elected to the Constitutional Committee that established the New Findhorn Association (NFA), and subsequently served as an NFA Councillor for three years. After 18 months at Findhorn, he became focaliser of Accredited Education with the task of establishing Findhorn Foundation College, of which he became the first Principal. He resigned from this position in mid-2004 to focus on writing. In a wider context, Malcolm has been actively engaged since 2000 in a project to establish a University for Spirit in the UK.