For more than 2000 years, starting with the Ancient Greeks at least, humanity has pondered questions about what is real and true. This questioning has focused throughout history on an apparent rift or contrast between what we might call the outer and inner worlds; between the material and non-material, between matter on the one hand and mind or soul on the other, and between what we now call the objective and subjective realms of human experience. This ancient issue has become, in its modern expression, a divide between science and religion or at a more fundamental level between science and spirit.
As our collective worldview evolved our perception of reality (a reality that presumably encompasses outer and inner worlds) has clearly changed. The purpose of this course is to examine the age-old question about, and our changing view of, reality. The historical perspective allows to see where our modern scientific worldview came from, and what underlying assumptions it has. We study what it is that science tells us about reality and who we are. We also study what the mystical traditions tell us about who we are. It is a contrast in worldviews and hence a contrast in perceptions about reality. Is the apparent rift between science and spirituality real? Are there possible worldviews, towards which we are changing, that could integrate these two realms?