Pamphlet 39: ‘The Language of Spirituality, Alan York’, 2018

Can the universe and our experiences of it be completely explained by science in terms of the physical properties of matter or is there a ‘something’ beyond, a spiritual/religious/mystical ‘something’ that is essentially different from the physical world and that requires an essentially different type of explanation? Why does this question cause such controversy, and why has it remained unresolved despite years of (often heated) debate?

In The Language of Spirituality Alan York compares and contrasts the objective and spiritual ways of perceiving our world. He argues that we cannot use the logic and language of science (which has been derived from the physical world) to describe the spiritual world because the spiritual world is quintessentially different from the physical world and therefore the language of science is inadequate and inappropriate to describe it. He proposes that in order to be able to discuss the spiritual world in a meaningful way we need to have a language that is appropriate to that spiritual/religious/mystical world. In this pamphlet he explores what this language of spirituality might be like and shows how it can help in the debate with science.

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