Omniperennialism and Scientific Inquiry

Perennialism itself is neutral regarding methodological naturalism and the products of the scientific method. They are two distinct lenses looking at the universe in different ways for different purposes. Omniperennialism on the other hand does have some overlap with science, and holds contemporary science to be one of the important theological languages by which humankind studies and communicates about the Divine. After all, whenever the boundary of scientific knowledge expands, so does the scope of the mystery that enshrouds it.

Therefore neither religion nor science have anything to fear from the expanding inquiry of the other. Because omniperennialism does not adhere to a literal interpretation of any religious scriptures or doctrines, it has no need to quarrel with science whenever these come into conflict with the current methodological consensus, and scientific skepticism regarding specific truth claims about absolute Reality and how we interact with it is always valid.

But scientific skepticism about absolute Reality itself is never valid, nor will theological truth or Divine omnipresence ever shrink as new knowledge is obtained. Our confusion about the “always” and “never” in those two statements — the former a validation of methodological naturalism, the latter a rejection of metaphysical naturalism — creates a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the soul, and omniperennialism aims to ease that tension.

The data (a product of measurement) will never be sufficient if we are attempting to measure the immeasurable. Think of scientific investigation as a flashlight inside a dark room. No matter where you position the flashlight, it will never illuminate the entire room at once, and the larger that room is, the less we can claim to know about it with each glimpse. 

Now, realize that the “dark room” is a symbol for infinite Reality.

But if you look back at those specific claims of religion and notice a common thread through all of them, you might begin to see that they are symbolic keys to bringing the omnipresence of absolute Reality to your attention, and opening it up to contemplative processes beyond the divisive intellect.

Furthermore, that Reality is not separate from you — you are a unique manifestation of it. Now it’s starting to get much more interesting and intimate. You aren’t just someone who walked into the dark room looking for your winter coat or your soul. The room IS your soul, and you were never apart from it. 

And those specific claims are nothing to be skeptical about anymore. They aren’t exclusive truth claims, they are all fingers pointing to the same Truth. Some may not resonate strongly with you while others might, and one might just knock you right into Eternity and become your Meaningful Answer.

If you find them ALL to be expressions of the single Meaningful Answer beyond words and concepts, you might be an Omniperennialist too. And you needn’t quit your day job as a scientist or a sober rationalist.

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