Once upon a time there lived a theoretical physicist named Phil. He was devoted to a materialistic ideology and refused to believe in any metaphysical principles ruling the universe. He even believed that religion was anti-intellectual. One day while he was working on some mathematical equations an angelic being appeared in his room with a sudden flash.
“Who are you and how did you get in here?” asked Phil.
“I am an angel from heaven and was sent here to prove to you that LOVE is the fundamental law-giving substance of the universe,” replied the angel with a warm and friendly smile.
Phil noticed the she was somewhat translucent and glowing. He suspected that some electrons and photons in his brain were temporarily out of whack. But he decided that the best way to work through this apparent bout with pathology was to rationally address the phantom person before him.
“Can you offer a testable explanation of your theory that love is a first causal principle?” questioned Phil.
“Yes,” said the angel, “let me change your heart.” She waved her arm and suddenly Phil had a powerful desire to collect baseball cards and memorize lots of baseball statistics. He no longer cared about his mathematical equations and quickly left the room to head straight for a store that sold collectibles.
An hour later Phil returned to the room with boxes of baseball cards under his arms. The angel then waved her arm again. “I have now changed your heart to love the Bible. You are now a Baptist.”
Immediately Phil dropped his baseball cards and ran for the Bible in the bookcase. As he poured through the sacred pages he found quotes that proved that faith alone saves. Then the angel waved her arm again and Phil suddenly had the heart of a Methodist. Now as he turned the Bible’s pages he found evidence that supported the doctrine that good works saved.
The angel then clapped her hands and restored Phil’s chosen love of science.
“What happened to me?” inquired Phil.
“You took part in an experiment to show that love operates the cockpit of a person’s intellect. When I changed your heart it affected what information was important and relevant to you. Love actually changed how you thought about things and how you acted in the physical world. To have such a profound effect on your mind and material body, love must be ontologically substantial—real “stuff!” That is why values and science are ultimately related,” pointed out the angel.
Phil quickly challenged the angel, “but can love and its dynamics be formulated into a plausible scientific theory—a model with explanatory and predictive powers?”
She waved her arm once more. “I have now changed your heart to love interior spiritual truth, which the angels of heaven enjoy. This love operates from a deeper neural substrate of human cognition that is quite invisible to scientific inspection. We angels perceive all things as comprehensive wholes, that is, as universal causal processes. What does your Bible communicate to you in this rarefied state of mind?”
Phil looked down at his Bible and again began pouring through its pages. “Wow! Scripture has a structure containing several layers of meaning! These meanings are scientifically lawful and depict top-down causation from a spiritual realm to the spatio-temporal arena of worldly events! And there is a wonderful periodicity and circular pattern to every story in the Holy Scripture. Each circular process is an organic pattern and is ruled by some principle of Love.”
Phil’s neurons could not take anymore of this and he closed the Big Book shut. His poor finite brain was staring into the abyss of God’s Infinite Love and mind! “My God,” he said, both science and religion are in for a great shakeup!”