If we are such beautiful geniuses, created out of what we perceive to be nothingness, then couldn’t god be one too? All of our theories about what may be outside of this universe do not and will not have experimental evidence. We can’t know.
Or can we?
There are two primary ways that humans acquire knowledge. The first, and most common way to acquire knowledge is the scientific method. We observe phenomena in the world, formulate hypotheses, make predictions and experimentally verify our predictions to form theories. Scientific theories give us a greater understanding of the universe around us; but as David Hume taught us, we can never be 100% certain that the predictions of our theories will be correct. We can be pretty sure that we know what will happen next… but we cannot be certain.
The scientific method works well for understanding the physical, psychological, and sociological events that happen in our universe; however, there is one area of human curiosity that the scientific method can never be used to study—what, if anything, lies outside of this universe.
Many would stop there, and concede that we can never know what is outside of our universe. However, most don’t stop there. The majority of humans have their own ideas and opinions of what may be outside of this universe. Some say god. Some say gods. Some say nothing. Some say other universes. Some say parallel universes—many of which we could be a part of. There are so many beliefs. Not all of them can be correct. Can we ever find the truth?
The less common way that humans go about acquiring knowledge is through mysticism. Whatever the means, mystics obtain enlightenment about the nature of the world, this universe, or worlds outside of this universe through spiritual experience. A mystic believes that this knowledge or understanding may have been given to him or her by a god, the earth, or the mystic may have simply realized a universal truth that has always been and always will be.
What kind of knowledge is gained from the mystical experience? It is not the same kind of knowledge gained from the scientific method. Knowledge gained from a mystical experience can usually not be experimentally tested. Another difference is that the scientific method relies on reason and rationality whereas knowledge gained from a mystical experience may have been gained through no reason at all. Many would dismiss the knowledge gained from mystical enlightenment on the grounds that it cannot be proven, but even knowledge gained from the scientific method cannot be taken as certain indubitable truth.
So we have two ways of acquiring knowledge. As far as knowledge of our universe is concerned neither knowledge gained from the scientific method or knowledge gained from enlightenment can be considered to be undeniable facts, but the knowledge gained from the scientific method can be experimentally verified—therefore we have what we think is a fairly accurate version of the truth. What about knowledge of what may be outside of this universe—the realm of the gods, the goddesses, the nothingness? Only through knowledge gained from mystical experience can we have any hope of knowing what may be outside of this universe. The scientific method is of no worth when dealing in these matters.
But there is a problem with the knowledge gained from mystical experience. Imagine that a man attains enlightenment. The man, without reason (through experience alone), feels certain he has learned an undeniable truth about this universe. This knowledge that the man gained from his experience is only his knowledge. Since he did not come to his belief through reason he will not be able to transfer his knowledge to others.
The Hindu religion has many texts and what they consider to be truth. Siddhartha recognized that he could not understand the nature of the universe from studying these teachings. Siddhartha had to discover them himself through experience. The information contained in the Vedas and Sutras may be the truth, but this truth was attained through enlightenment and one cannot understand this knowledge unless they realize it themselves through experience.
Only through mystical experience can one understand the knowledge contained in the religious texts. One must also realize that the knowledge that someone gained from a mystical experience is their interpretation of the truth that they perceived. One should not merely accept what someone else calls truth, but should discover it for oneself.