Early on, in Greek thought and Oriental thought (Indian thought was a bit more complex), humans thought atoms were the smallest thing that existed (the word in several languages means or suggests “indivisible”).
In the last century, we have moved through a number of deeper levels to smaller and smaller particles.
In those early days (when scriptures were still being written, based on their understanding of the universe) there seemed to be a separation or chasm between the “unseen”(spirit) and the “seen” (physical reality). There didn’t seem to be any connecting essence between the two…. other than it was written that “man had both spirit and matter, and that they warred against each other”
Now it seems that we have come to the place in our understanding, where all is joined as parts and levels and aspects of “One”. (probably best stated as “not one and not two”).
Currently, the concept is manifesting, of the “unseen” as pre-physical and yet ubiquitous (omnipresent) in physical nature (which was in early times the definition of God, and called most of the names meaning “God”)….. a single source/essence of all “things”, manifesting itself in all physical “things”, with its primal character being “oceanic awareness”.
This oceanic awareness strives to be “present” and “aware” in these physical surroundings, developing and connecting with itself in a myriad of ways.
Whereas science once taught that it was due to the development of a brain, that awareness and consciousness manifested, the latest discoveries (and actually, our experience since our species began) show awareness more in a form of “trying to evolve, in order to see/hear/smell/taste/touch/consider its surroundings.” (This is not the current concept of evolution btw)
Perhaps this oceanic awareness……what we call “instinct”, is the best example of the force we see in nature: ants, bees, birds, mammals, fish (all “living” things) displaying connectedness far beyond what their microsized brain “should” allow. In this persons mind, oceanic awareness is the “missing link” which puts all the scientific questions of “what the heck is up with that?” in place.
i do sense that this is where science will head in the very near future, and religion had best be prepared to move with it or become obsolete. If religion can open its heart to allow this reality in, it will be re-invigorated in its helping humans in their personal relationship with “the source of all”. But that would mean that religion would have to put the reins of folks lives, into their own hands……… Nah…. now i am being silly and naive! 🙂