By: Vera Hoogland – Writer of NEWConnective
Exploring the thin line between spirituality and science | introduction blog
As a child, I have always been highly interested in the things around me. I observed, using all of my senses. I sat down next to the river to feel the water flowing between my fingers, I stopped to hear the trees rustle in the wind, I was both terrified and amazed by thunderstorms and felt overwhelmed by the massiveness of a mountain. I wanted to be part of it all, to understand it. I had the feeling that everything around me was trying to communicate with me, using a language I did not speak. The massiveness of the earth and the endless universe were incomprehensible to me, and from that moment on, I decided I wanted to learn nature its language. I wanted to understand it.
As a child this whole ‘learning to understand nature’ was difficult, you can imagine. I remember one night in Switzerland where I was sitting outside of the tent staring at the starlit sky, determined that I would map all the stars, planets and zodiac signs visible so that I could always – wherever I was- orientate myself using the night sky. Full enthusiasm I took my coloured markers, a white paper and gazed up. And then it hit me: how was all this ever going to fit on one paper? The stars were moving, changing the sky every night. And besides that, there were millions and millions of stars… I felt sad, I failed to understand and got scared that I never would. Now, ten years later, I wish I could tell my younger self to be patient, for nature is to understand. But it only becomes clear as you grow up.
However, this curiosity never left. Every day I felt the urge to discover more, explore and observe. This is why I chose to study geosciences; the science of the earth and all it contains. You might think; ‘How does that combine? Feeling rather spiritual towards nature but exploring it using science?’ You might think that knowing the science behind the earth takes away its mystery and therefore its beauty. But here I can reassure you that for me this is not the case. By studying the Earth, I finally got the feeling that I am getting to know the language of it. Slowly, and probably never fully, but I am getting there. I am able to understand phenomena and things that I see around me. It makes me aware that I am also part of this nature and I feel heard. And this is something I had longed for so long.
Nowadays, I feel like I should go back to nature as much as possible, ‘Back to the basic’ you can call it. I am not really extreme though, since it is really hard to both participate in the modern society and ‘going fully back to basic’. I see it as a challenge to follow this principle as often as possible in daily life and I keep exploring different views, mind-sets and activities, just as I keep meeting new people and find that I am not the only one longing for this. In my blogs I would like to share my experiences with you, ranging from the power of yoga/meditation to listen to your inner self, the energy of gemstones, how chakras can balance your body & mind and how simple changes in your rushed life can bring you a little more back to nature. I would like to take you with me on my journey balancing on the edge of nature and society, and exploring the thin line between science and spirituality. I would like to show you that these two differing things can go together, creating a beautiful view on life.