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We are aware that there was a shift in the scientific attitude in the beginning years of the twentieth century. Could you say more about this shift or change?

What has happened since the beginning years of the twentieth century is a slow but nevertheless radical shift in the scientific attitude I described. This shift, as is so often the case, did not originate in the scientific academy which generally resisted change with all its might and still does so even today. The change came about through isolated research in various parts of the world by scientists who often risked their reputation and careers when they published their findings.

scienza e vitascienza e vita

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the discoveries during the last century, aside from the fact that they happened at all, is that they were numerous enough to effect a gradual change in our collective consciousness about ourselves and about the world we live in.

The two fields of research with perhaps the greatest impact on our worldview and collective human attitude are those of biology and physics – quantum and astrophysics. Through the discoveries and writings of A. Einstein, W. Heisenberg, D. Bohm, J. Jeans, W. Heitler, A.S. Eddington, A. Portman, F. A. Popp, B. Lipton, and so many more, and thanks to the numerous writers and teachers who were able to transmit their very complex insights to the “lay” reader, we are today beginning to see the world in which we live the entire universe, in fact not as dead matter any longer, detached and indifferent to us, but as a highly complex, interconnected, living, and conscious reality.

We, in other words, are not the only conscious beings. Aside from the spirit world recognized in religious thought. Some extraordinary research (see especially the discoveries of Cleve Baxter) has concluded that animals of every kind and plants are not only conscious but also have affective, empathic gifts they bring into this world. Plants can exhibit fear and empathy at another’s suffering.

Animals can show generosity and care for the weak and suffering.


Sr. Barbara Fiand, SND

Question for Reflection:

Let us look at the animals around us - in our neighborhood (all of them, not just the ones we like) and try to sense BEING with them, in partnership with them on this earth. That is Francis’ gift to us.