“Confronting mankind there stands a sphinx—the vast unknown. However well a man may be informed concerning a specific subject, his furthermost outlook concerning that subject is bounded by an impenetrable infinity. And the ‘discovered,’ as I will show, has only transferred ignorance to other laces. Science has confined its labors to superficial descriptions, not the elucidation of the fundamental causes of phenomena. … She dare not attempt to explain the why even of the simplest things. … How does the maple tree secrete a sweet, wholesome sap, and deadly nightshade growing in the same soil and living on the same elements, a poison? …
“That word Why to man dominates the universe. It covers all phenomena, and thrusts inquiry back from every depth.” ~John Uni Lloyd
The Great Sphinx
When you talk about a sphinx, most people immediately see a great statue in Egypt. That statue, however, is a depiction of a sphinx, not the thing itself. The sphinx represents a mystery, the unknown, the great riddle of the universe, and beyond.
The Limits of Science
There is no doubt that the scientific community has found answers to many questions. They can tell us what chemical make some people have red hair, while others have brown or blond. They can tell us what chemicals make some peppers hot while others are not. They can tell us what makes the sun hot. They can tell us that ice expands when it freezes. They can tell us that metals liquify when heated enough. They can even tell us at what temperature each type of metal will melt. They are good at discovering the whats and wherefores of the universe, but not so good with the whys.
They can tell us that a certain chemical in some peppers makes them hot, but they can’t really say why some peppers have a lot of that chemical, and others don’t. They can’t say why some plants spread their seeds using the wind, while others rely on birds, insects, or animals to spread the seeds. They can’t tell us why plants exist at all.
The Seeker Asks Why
Whether they realize it or not, the seekers of the world are really trying to answer that question “Why?”. Telling them that copper makes red hair isn’t enough. They want to know why they have red hair. They want to know why they have hair at all. Most of all, they want to know the root causes of it all.
Science might be able to give those answers if it would go beyond the limitations of the material plane, but few scientists are willing to do that. When they do, they are often ridiculed by those who refuse to look over the fence, to look outside the cave of matter.
The Spiritual Teacher
Religion generally doesn’t do any better than science in this. Today’s churches are often just as materialistic as the business and scientific communities. They too look for answers in matter rather than in spirit. When they do venture beyond the realms of matter, it is often made up nonsense that pleases the congregation, but is not based on any spiritual truth. It has no actual answers for the Sphinx.
A real spiritual teacher, however, is both religious and scientific. He applies the rules of science and scientific study in exploring the realms beyond matter. Since matter ans spirit are very different, the study of spirit must be different, yet still scientific. You cannot put a spirit on a scale and weigh it to prove it exists. A spirit has no weight, but it is still real. A spirit has no beginning and no end, so cannot be measured. That doesn’t make it ay less real.
So if man really wished to answer the great riddle of the Sphinx, he needs to embrace spirituality as well as science, the non-material as well as the material. Maybe soon the scientists and the spiritual seekers will join together to find the real truth. But for now, we must learn different things from each discipline and put it together ourselves. We must each solve the riddle of the Sphinx.