Science does a poor job of explaining human nature and dismisses the spirit all together. The best science can do are observational studies that look back at behavior to see patterns and draw conclusions on human behavior. Science fosters data and numbers but interpretations and conclusions of data are educated guesses in the form of proving or disproving a hypothesis. Researchers look for correlations between two variables but rarely, conclude causation of their results.
If we were to use an abstract example, we could use the scenario of someone getting a cake for their birthday. Science can tell you the flavor and color of the cake and frosting like vanilla and blue. It can analyze all the ingredients used to make the cake with high specificity but when questions such as why this person got a cake, science falls flat. Did the person get a cake because someone loves them or out of obligation? How does science measure these intangibles?
“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug-and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter.” This is a quote by Robin Williams.
There is an essence within a human soul that operates outside of the scientific model. Yet, this essence can often by the most powerful driver and motivator, bringing people to overcome impossible situations.
As medically trained doctors, the spirit is an area where things diverge from scientific care models. Our role, as NDs however, is to support the patient’s beliefs and allow space and time for you to discuss this aspect of your life.
I adore the quote by Robin Williams. It is even more powerful since we know he died by suicide. He deeply knew what was important to him and yet, for reasons we can only speculate, he was unwilling or unable to continue to nourish these areas. As a survivor of suicide loss, myself, I can tell you, it has become my mission to explore the spiritual side with clients to create greater resiliency and hope.
As the world struggles to find meaning, often to the point of despair, talking about ways to cultivate spiritual growth must no longer be taboo. Fostering every piece of our lives provides strength, hope and purpose that is not contingent on our circumstances.
I’ll end with a quote by Bernard Williams, “Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.”
Remember to practice kindness and self-compassion. Let’s journey together to discover the essence of your spiritual journey.