The Value of Science...

Scientific accomplishment ultimately results in sublimation of the ego. We must accept a standard other than that of our will.

This is not a common experience. For those involved in "spiritual" endeavors, the struggle of the will allows them to allocate resources developed by many others. This allocation may be on a scale that allows the powerful to achieve goals of consequence simply by demand. Fortunately, the truly whimsical master may find that an undisciplined exercise of will results in inefficiencies that make his community uncompetitive in tests against more mature cultures. This was the truth ultimately revealed by the test of wills between the Soviet Union and the West. Objective constraints ensure that some demands will be unachievable.

Since science is generative of reality, scientists cannot always predict the outcome of their work. The accuracy of prediction is limited by our ability to measure the state of the system under control. In general, though, science provides the best guidance regarding the limits of the possible, and - even when complexity rules - the boundaries of the probable. It can help us to avoid gross errors of judgment.

This must be borne in mind in reflecting on the outcome of the struggle with communism. The Soviet system claimed to be "scientific". It foundered, however, on a failed model of human behavior. People will inevitably resist the imposition of goals that do not take into account their need to pursue their own dreams. This was not adequately accounted for in the design of Soviet programs, and the hierarchical system was incapable of collecting and processing data in sufficient detail to support more realistic decision-making. The Western system, with separation of governmental and business processes, and greater diversity of scales, is better suited to management of complex systems with somewhat unpredictable behavior.

In what follows, we will see how spiritual practice can aid us in managing the balance between the group and the individual, and the benefits that accrue to those engaged in that practice.