Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh

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My journey to God followed a path commited to science.

I spent a lifetime practicing the science and art of medicine principally in the diagnosis and management of breast cancer.
As I sat at the bench or at a bedside I was drawn inexorably deeper following my thirst for a knowledge of reality and a thirst for meaning. I know that the conventional wisdom would suggest that science and an acknowledgement of the presence of God are at polar and opposite ends of a reality check. Nothing for me could be further  from the truth.

This false dichotomy I believe comes from a confusion between scientism and science. Any ...ism is a human construct - humanism, communism, behaviourism. Science by contrast is a method. Science proceeds patiently positing an hypothesis based upon observations, then tests this same hypothesis against more observations and if necessary reposits a refined hypothesis and so on iteratively until one reaches something ever closer to truth or reality. It remains, and will always remain contingent - contingent and open always to new observations and new evidence.

It is this openness to new and as yet unrevealed information that keeps science honest. It is the most honest human endeavor I know. It is a time-honoured method to seek, and verify where possible, truth. I would go further and suggest that beyond truth is reality. This is what I sought. I was seeking the nature of reality

The search led me to a belief in God as the ultimate reality. It was not a "god of the gaps" - a god served up to explain the  gap between the measurable and the infinite. God became for  me the name I called reality or truth and that name was love. A bold claim perhaps, but I have stayed true to the method I name as science. As one trained in life sciences I was drawn down deeper into the mystery of life.

My first instinct was to want to classify everything. If I could name it then it became real. Taxonomy was a seductive pursuit. For me it was a false trail. What I discovered was that nothing is absolute. Everything existed in relationship to something else. Coral was not a coral but a symbiotic relationship between a polyp and algae. Disease in any human organ was in dynamic relationship with the host organ. One dies - the other dies.

I soon realized that everything from coral polyps to stellar system existed and had a reality that was at core a relationship. Light matter exists alongside dark matter. One cannot explain light and material substance without reference to dark matter. This is a paradigm, and also a paradox, for all of reality. The reality was not in light matter nor was it in dark matter. Reality existed somewhere in the space between.

Confronted with the intuitive sense I realised that I had to rely on the unused part of my bran called imagination. Immagination filled some of the void and gave me more of the pussle. I discovered that through imagination - art, poetry, drama and story-telling, greater and more consistent human truth emerged.

It was then that I recognized that in the gospel accounts Jesus was asked 138 questions and he answered directly only three. Jesus was not interested primarily and exclusively in facts - measurable facts. Jesus was I believe interested in truth - in reality. Jesus perhaps knew that there is more to truth than simple facts. Jesus told stories. Jesus spoke in silence. Jesus doodled in the dust.

I began to doodle in the dust. From beyond thesolid wall of certainty emerged a dawning that reality was just there - but beyond. This was when I began to appreciate mystery. I sensed it intuitively, but it would not submit to being measured. The Enlightenment experiment I declared limited. It had done a great job thus far, but the ultimate goal of truth revealed by human reason was beyond its grasp. I needed new tools. Imagination - willing suspension of disbelief - trust - humility - above all humility. When I gave over - some might call this  faith - I began to see things as they are. The nature of reality - the nature of truth - is written in another language. It is written in the language of paradox. It is  written in the language of poetry.

Prose could take me only so far. At the end of that line poetry took over. I had to release my grip on facts and certainty. The joy and the reward  were new vistas opened up into a world where the space between things, the relation between things, offereed more to me than to stare at the poles.

I realised from a deep immersion in life sciences that this relationship was always benign. It was always life enhancing. It was always about flourishing. It was not hard for me then to name this fourishing flow of energy love. I discovered that the name of truth, the name of reality is love. 'God is love' is a Christian mantra and one I have taken a long route to discern, and test for myself - in and through science. ( Rev'd Dr Graham Warren, priest and a former medical specialist, The Eagle, April 2017, Brisbane)

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