We often think of science and spirituality as polar opposites, but in The Universe and I: Where Science & Spirituality Meet, author George F. Dole draws on a lifetime of deep thought and Swedenborgian spirituality to show how they can not only work together, but illuminate each other.
Starting with questions of what we don’t know—the beginning of the universe, the origin and even the nature of life—Dole moves on to what we can observe. From the mysterious complexity and adaptability of sea urchins and termites to the curious case of snowflakes, we see nature again and again exhibiting levels of cooperation that we can’t explain. And perhaps, Dole suggests, we see that dynamic at work once again in the evolution of life, on both spiritual and physical levels.
I am drawn, then, toward a model that sees the entire evolutionary process, beginning with the Big Bang, as the “restless, creative motion of life itself.” In that model, I find an analogue of my own nature as a human-type being in an evolutionary process of becoming more fully human, though perhaps only in some “obscure and primordial way.” That is the humanity from which I want to speak to other human beings—from a conviction that despite all our confusion, we do have real and beautiful possibilities.
Here Swedenborg’s assertion that life and love are the same thing (Divine Love and Wisdom §1:1) comes into play. Dole argues that the whole of existence is part of a pattern guided by love and designed to draw us closer together. He explores the tension between our desire for individuality and our need for community, showing us how each is equally and vitally important in our growth as a human race.
Woven throughout with Dole’s characteristic blend of humility and humor, The Universe and I presents a unique perspective on modern science and spirituality that blends seamlessly with Swedenborg’s thought.
The Universe and I is now available in paperback for $11.95 (e-book version coming soon) in our online bookstore and from retailers everywhere.