Considering how difficult it is to judge objective statements about social reality, it is even more challenging with spiritual reality. However, spiritual reality exists, human language can attempt to describe it, and therefore, it is possible to make objective statements regarding spiritual reality. Throughout this blog there have been numerous such claims. One simple one is that “justice is a faculty of the human soul that enables one to see with one’s own eyes”. The nature of this statement is objective – it describes an ability of a human being to discern truth through an investigative process free from prejudice, an ability that is inherently latent and needs to be developed. This type of claim, along with its implications, can be observed, studied, and analyzed.
Yet, not all statements about spiritual nature are objective – many, such as personal feelings when reading spiritual writings, meditating, spiritual experiences, etc, fall into the category of subjective yet valid statements. However, the existence of this category of observations about spiritual reality does not negate the ability to make objective statements. Thus, someone can describe a subjective spiritual response to a prayer, and also put forth a thoughtful objective claim regarding a human being’s relationship with prayer. One has to distinguish between subjective experiences and objective claims, for – just like with social reality – many try and pass off vain imaginings as objective.
That some people disagree with some statement on spiritual reality also does not negate the objectivity of that statement. As a parallel example, regarding the objective statements made about the interaction of light with an object giving rise to its property of color, most words used only have meaning to those intellectually trained in physics – for others, the statement is meaningless. With spiritual reality, then, objective statements would be less meaningful to those whose spiritual susceptibilities haven’t been developed – they wouldn’t understand nor accept such statements.
To practice justice implies that one knows through one’s own knowledge, not through the biases of society’s classroom, pulpit, or media. Just like with the science of physical reality, objectivity is not altered by subjective experiences nor by the disagreement of people.
What are some objective observations regarding spiritual reality? How can you test them?