Science and religion
The relationship between science and religion has been a topic of discussion recently. New Scientist has articles about the attempts of scientists to explain spirituality and religion (see for instance this and this). Also Bee has written about this under the title What can science do for you? and this posting is a typo-free version of the comment to this posting with some additions.
What makes for a scientist so difficult to understand spirituality is the failure to realize that genuine spirituality is not a method to achieve something. For a scientist life is endless struggling to achieve some goal by applying some methods: problem solving, fighting against colleagues, intriguing to get a research position or funding, etc..
It is natural that the scientific explanations of spirituality follow the same simple format. For a scientists it is difficult to believe that a person who becomes aware of the existence of higher levels of conscious existence does not calculate that it is good to have this experience since in statistical sense it maximizes her personal happiness. Neither is this experience a result of some method to achieve a relief from a fear of death or of life or to achieve maximal pleasure. It is something completely spontaneous and makes you to realize how extremely limited your everyday consciousness is and how hopelessly it is narrowed down by your ego.
What makes for a member of church so difficult to understand spirituality is that organized religions indeed teach that by applying some method which includes blind belief on dogmas, the registered member of the community can get in contact with God. Even the idea about single God represents example about how the greed for power tends to corrupt spirituality: gods as those conscious entities above us like we above our neurons are replaced with God - the ultimate conqueror and absolute ruler. And after all, spiritual experience is only the realization that higher levels of conscious existence and intelligence are there. This realization comes when one is able for a moment to get rid of ego and live just in this moment. But there is no method to achieve it!
This view is by no means new. For the first time I discovered it from writings of Krishnamurti for about 26 years ago as I tried to understand my own great experience. The writings of Krishnamurti are a blow against face of anyone who has adopted the naive "scientific" view about reality but I felt that Krishnamurti was basically right. I felt that he must have experienced something similar to what I had experienced and I of course hoped to get these two magic weeks back. Certainly I hoped to find a method allowing to achieve this from the writings of Krishnamurti, and I refused to believe when Krishnamurti told again and again that there is no method!
After these years it is easy to agree with Krishnamurti's view about egos as the source of the problems of society. Ego is the castle that we build in the hope of achieving safety. This ego isolates us and in isolation fears multiply and we become paranoids. Coming out from the castle of ego to the fresh air and meeting the reality as it is, is the only solution to our problems. Isms cannot help us since they only help to build new castles. The bad news for the scientist is that there is no method to achieve this. At some moments we are able to just calmly observe our suffering without any kind of violence for our mental images, and the miracle of re-creation takes place.