Taming impossibility

What is now proved, was once only imagined.” – William Blake

Earlier this month Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery of a new chemical structure called quasicrystals that researchers considered to be impossible. Initially the scientific community was reluctant to accept his discovery, to the point where he endured mockery and even expulsion from his research team. The Academy said that his discovery “fundamentally altered how chemists conceive of solid matter”. This recognition came with a $1.5 million award.

This news item got me to thinking about “possible” and “impossible”. It seems that we deem things to be impossible until we have evidence to the contrary. Man couldn’t fly, until of course, the Wright brothers proved that we could. It is impossible to run a mile in under 4 minutes – or so we thought, until Roger Bannister did this.

More recently, an article in The Washington Post last month reported that physicists in Europe measured particles traveling faster than the speed of light, which according to Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity” is not supposed to be possible. The Associated Press report stated that one theoretical physicist “blamed the readings on a so-far undetected human error.” Impossible then, right? I’m still not sure about this one, but it is possible that it’s possible, isn’t it?

Is the “impossibility” in us?

What are we to think when something deemed impossible is advancing from “imagined” to “proved”?

Is it really possible that consciousness and spirituality can benefit health? Is this “imagined” or “proved”? Or for many, maybe still somewhere in between? So often it seems that physical proof of spiritual activity is sought before it can be deemed possible. And yet, if it is possible, isn’t it inevitable that it will be proved?

The evidence is growing, but many are waiting for more proof. And that’s understandable. I’ve seen enough evidence of God’s power and love benefitting health in my life and in the lives of family and friends to consider it “proved” rather than “imagined”.  And it seems that I’m not alone.

A study based on data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) published this year by the American Psychological Association found usage of prayer for health concerns to be on the rise – significantly. Prayer use for health concerns increased from 13.7% in 1999 to 43% in 2002 to 49% in 2007.

Do consciousness and spirituality benefit health? Impossible? Or possible? We’re closer to “proved” than “imagined”, aren’t we?

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