Sacraments and rituals may be different among religions, but almost all share the common philosophy that guides humans to be good people. The shared philosophy promotes the use of our minds and bodies for good, directs mindfulness of faith and encourages a discipline to follow religious practices and teachings. Another commonality is the natural cause and effect from our behaviors.
Physics – “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion
Philosophy – “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians VI – King James
Peace can be obtained by believing in and following the golden rule through living the components of the common good. The components include Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Justice. By practicing these components in our daily lives, we enable positive human interactions. When people communicate with a mutual regard for one another, chances are that the conversation will be a satisfying experience. Nothing shortens an exchange faster than when one person is rude, irrational, or mean-spirited. Showing compassion means that a person may need to put another person’s needs or desires above their own. Removing elitism and social divisions promote respect among people as well as sets the tone for justice to be prevalent. Feelings that are heard and understood, promotes feelings of belonging and safety. Peace follows. Then, purpose and meaning in life. Give this gift to others to promote peace, respect and understanding.
Mindful Listening is indicative of a person showing respect to others by engaging in conversation and focusing on what the person is saying rather than exhibiting body language and eye contact that sends a message of indifference and disregard. A person’s real value can be missed if a one-dimensional view is all that is seen.
Philosophy is the critical study of fundamental beliefs and the grounds for them. This includes what we believe and how we came to believe these things.
Physics is the science of matter and energy and their interactions.
James Hillman from Little Acorns: A Radical New Psychology writes, “People are itchy and lost and bored and quick to jump at any fix. Why is there such a vast self‐help industry in this country? Why do all these selves need help? They have been deprived of something by our psychological culture. They have been deprived of the sense that there is something else in life, some purpose that has come with them into the world.”
That “something else in life…” comes naturally to children. While teaching in the atrium of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I’ve watched children naturally draw closer to God. This doesn’t happen because teachers are giving facts to them each week. Instead it happens over time as the child enjoys the beautifully prepared environment that invites the child to contemplate, discover and pray. From the outline of training for Catechesis: In the 3-6 year old atrium, the child comes to know a God who is deeply relational, who reaches out to be in relationship with humanity, who is Life in Abundance and invites us to share in that life.
Both physics and philosophy are based on theoretical values equally determining specific things to be true or false. Everything is connected. Every cell is connected to other cells. Every system is connected to another system. All is interconnected. Things going on in our bodies are a manifestation of what is happening in our minds. To know ourselves, we must connect physics and philosophy to one another and understand the role both play in learning about ourselves. Then, we will be able to learn how we are connecting with other human beings. Our beliefs are relative and are based on theories both in science and religion. Finding purpose and respecting differing perspectives can lead to wholeness, happiness and possibly longevity!
One of my favorite books:
Living a Life That Matters by Harold S. Kushner