“As I understand many people ( who I personally interact with, and others at large with whom I have had experience in dealing with in my life time, or have come to know of others through my reading of books or through media) practice some form of faith of religious or spiritual nature that are beyond the parameter of experimental investigations.
Such practice of faith helps them to deal with the Reality of Uncertainty and the Unknown. The faith based areas of spheres may operate independently of other areas of their everyday life or professional science or knowledge based practice, and do not appear to be amenable to any rational discourse. People appear to be quite happy or contented in having these compartmentalized domains of functioning, which may follow different sets of rules or logic, avoiding any experience of cognitive dissonance or disparities between various forms of knowledge, say same science based concepts, such as theory of evolution or evidence from astronomy with their personal religious beliefs and practices.
Even within the experience based paradigms of knowledge, there are different ways of conceptualizing the Experiential Reality.. Emphasis on a particular research or advocacy in no way negates the reality of other types of research and advocacy for a particular point of view as the case may be. Human behaviors and functioning can be viewed from different perspectives, and from different dimensions. It is difficult to say which one is more valid than others. So it often better to avoid comparisons, rather make a case on its own merit. Of course, there are situations where comparative studies and experimentation are necessary to evaluate effectiveness of one over the other, as is routinely done in research studies involving criteria that are operationally and objectively defined, but they have limitations to areas of complex human behaviors. Making a case of acceptability and valuation of a particular model or idea at a particular time of social development and readiness for acceptance will always be a dynamic and fluid process, reflecting evolving stages of social and cultural development and current values. What appears to be “true” and makes sense to others” (with like minded people) with supportive evidence presented, may not be acceptable to other groups of people with their different cultural or sub-cultural identities, and with their varied disciplines of human service provider identifications.
Nevertheless, I do agree that the spiritual dimension of human experience is not often integrated in scientific research in human behavior or not being acknowledged as of being important. Perhaps, may be because people become extremely sensitive, whether scientists or non-scientists, or learned scholars and practitioners of any disciplines or public in general, to any questioning of their personal faiths or beliefs. Rational discourse is fraught with all kinds of implications, and has the potential for bringing about “turmoil” as past and current human history reflects. Scientific endeavors somehow need to perform a balancing act, respecting tolerance and acceptance of diverse spiritual and religious faiths, and acknowledging the fact that societies are unequal in t heir development for tolerance and acceptance of diversity of human opinions and faith expressions.
Besides, I believe, not everyone is comfortable in living with the knowledge of Mystery and Uncertainty of human life experience. That is where the appeal of some of form religious and spiritual faiths for billions of people all over the world comes in. There are some who are okay with it in coming to accept it as the Natural Law, and some may find it as impetus to their own creativity in different forms. And some may struggle with it on a daily basis. And some may find themselves caught up in the riddle of solving the Uncertainty and Mystery of Life and the Universe using an non-consensual validation process, unlike the astronomer scientists, through their own personal phenomenological journeys. In the process they may enter the Black Hole simile of the Unknown and Unknowable world. For many, with intelligence, education, and support, they are able to climb out of it, come up with some insights and understanding that may be appealing to them and to other, and they are able to practice “redirection’ away from these personal moments of “existential preoccupations” or “crises,” so they can enter and exit the process. Bu some may have difficulties in doing so, and may find themselves caught up in the process, causing neglect to one’s personal and social well being, and may exhibit considerable impairments in functioning, associated with personal and social distress, which may be associated with some form of mental illness or people with long standing psychological problems reflecting an unique set of developmental history, and an unique set of adaptations to their “existential crises.”
There is always a room for new ways of looking at things in different ways: trying to improve our own understanding of human life experience, how to improve the quality of life of people that we are connected with or serve in our professional capacities, , and how best to advocate funding and research support or undertaking investigations within various disciplines of our knowledge. Any endeavor in this direction is laudable.”
In relation to this, I am quoting another commentary:
“…You do capture the tormented experience of the living soul who is willing to accept “anything” to get relief or escape, which all of us may feel at some moments of our life, but some may find themselves experiencing this more intensely and persistently than others.
I have taken the position that we may not have the knowledge yet, other than speculations, and have many contradictory views as to “Why” these experiences happen to people. Some with intelligence and education, along with other psycho-social support, are able to navigate successfully through this “why exploration process,” but many find themselves caught up with preoccupation with this persistent “distressing mood” for years. and cannot seem to get out of it with or without all kinds of “interventions.” For them, “What” may be a more productive focus in terms of highlighting with some degree of objectivity what can be done to reduce the “tormenting experience” and facilitate positive redirection,” to various “activities and pursuits,” which is, in a way, a part of our daily routine that we all try to engage in….I do believe that there is need for change in social milieu or what one may call therapeutic milieu. So any form of “therapy” or “counseling” or mediation intervention for that matter to be successful must be integrated into one’s social or therapeutic milieu. That is a daunting task not yet addressed fully or built into professional training and practice of a clinician or within the institutional culture of mental health that one operates within.”