Lily wrote:It saddens me as a scientist by calling and profession to see the discipline so misperceived.
Not only misperceived, among certain types of 'spiritual' people it is considerd okay to bash 'science'. Which is the same as bashing 'spirituality' among certain ultra rational groups. It is not much different than bashing homosexuality, paganism or skin color in other circles. It is caused by the same dynamic of ignorance, arrogance and respectlessness. It's only human I guess.
What these people don't understand is how hard we work at these institutes, with how much passion we try to gain knowledge and understanding (which IS in the druid prayer). Most spend years and years at universities to study how to do this, and how they can continue the work of those before them. Of their mentors, their guides, their ancestors even. It is a system of truth and honour, like you don't steal other people's idea's or change their results. It is a system of adding to the storehouse of collective knowledge and understanding of humankind. It is a huge quest to seek truth, almost like a modern Grail Quest.
The reward is that they found a profession that can be deeply rewarding and spiritual. A chance to peer through the veils of the mystery to find the hidden truths. And reality is a lot more awesome than the fantasies of charlatans, simply because it is real.
For instance. I am currently working on enabling our new telescope to see cosmic rays that bounce off the moon. I know how that must sound, but I mean REAL cosmic rays, the remnants of the big bang, bouncing of the REAL moon. Without a bloody dowsing rod, but with the biggest telescope ever build. To do that I must be able to calculate the exact alignments with the moon, and if I use 'new age' ways of astrology and imagination then I would never find the moon (I tried
When I then switch the system on, to test if it works, I see stuff that nobody has ever seen before. It's just 'data' when arrives at my workstation, but I also realise what I am doing and watching, and how our big brain astronomers will later decipher it into Knowledge about our Universe. And that is just cosmic rays bouncing of the moon, childs play compared to the real mystery that we try to unravel, 'dark energy'. Reality is totally awesome.
Some of us, here at my work, are christians, some atheists, some pagan (one at least
), and it doesn't matter because we share this passion. At the observatory, there is a group of people who simply refuse to retire, they continue to work for free, both scientists and engineers, out of love for what they do. Like Lily says, it is a calling. So, to offhandedly judge these people and their work, which is also my work, as irrelevant, or to distort the meaning of their discoveries (like in that article), is offending and respectless. Not only to the scientific community by the way, also to the druid community, because they make us druids look like ignorant fools that way also.
I think that OBOD should be very happy, and bloody proud, to have some real scientists and scolars in their ranks. Because, being a scientist AND a druid, means that you have managed to overcome the pitfalls of dualism. These people managed to find verifyble factual real knowledge about our world, universe, life and reality AND spiritual meaning in the same process. Without having to resort to naieve fantasies, and without losing the sense of magic, connection and belonging. For me, these people come the closest to the archetypical wizzards, shamans, and wisest of druids.