Meet scholars who are working on the frontier of knowledge about the true nature of reality. Part 2/4.
Read the full transcript »
Male: Dr. Poli asks us to use ourselves as the simplest way of explaining how the levels of reality can be separate and yet connected at the same time. He explains that we are physical beings existing on a biological level, but we are also social entities at the same time. Dr. Poli: So all the liars and all the stuff of reality in some sense a part of what we are. But not as parts, they are not separate. We can't detach one level of reality from the other. They are merged together in an organic ball. So we need both strategies, we need a way of making distinctions, because that’s the way of understanding that we have. But then at some point, we have to synthesize what we achieved by our distinction, Bio-methodological distinctions. So ontological speaking, we are one entity. But methodologically, we are to cut our self in pieces, so to say, in order to understand what pertains to physics, what pertains to the biological dimension, what pertains to the psychological, to the social and so on and so forth. Male: According to Dr. Poli, studying the functions of the human brain and the mind is the most important way to understand the relationship between the levels. Dr. Poli: What is really important is not the activity of the mind, that’s kind of idealistic position, meaning there were this mental in its last matter, probably to extreme reason. What are really important are the contents that the mind is able to grasp. And contents maybe physical, maybe biological, maybe psychological in sense, maybe social, et cetera. And through contents we can eventually develop a kind of human pie picture. Male: Even after identifying all of these levels, there is a level which is different from the rest. A level that transcends the known world, which is the spiritual, ethical, and religious levels, according to Poli. Dr. Poli: But then there are spiritual levels, there is something that goes behind these walls. And again, we need a general framework for coordinating and understanding the various aspects of reality and ideality that are part of what we are. Male: Dr. Poli sees enormous complexity in trying to apply the study of the levels of reality to understanding religion and spirituality. Dr. Poli: I see two problems here, one is understanding what does it mean religion, what is religion? Well, there are many different types of religion, some of them believe in Gods, one God or more Gods. Some of them, there are many, many different. But is there anything that is common to all the possible religion? Male: Are there common threads among the spiritual and religious traditions? For Dr. Poli, it is the aspect of the transcendence, an acknowledgement that there is something beyond or outside of ourselves that is common to all religions and spiritual tradition. Dr. Poli: I think that there is only one reliable answer and it is that, a religion, any religion, believes in something that is known dependence. And all the rest, all what we see around us in one way or another is dependent on its different entity that is absolute in the sense of not depending on anything else. So from this point of view, we have something that is common to all religion. And for this, we may eventually develop a better way of understanding among them. Male: What is spiritual? This is the question that scholars like Dr. Poli are intrigued by. And why it may have been easier to answer in the past? Quantum mechanics, a recent discoveries in science are showing that the clear distinction between what is physical and what is non-physical is becoming blurred. Dr. Poli: The term spirituality includes quite a number of different trends. And some of them have been absorbed by sciences. First of all, like all science, psychological sciences. Where in the past we think our spirituality was understood as comprising to what we call cognitive science, what we call social science, et cetera. That’s obviously not what we intend the now which is spirituality. But the problem