I’ll try my best to keep this simple:
According to current physics, the empty space we see in outer space is not actually empty. Scientists have figured, through charting stars and galaxy clusters, that the universe is expanding. Space itself is widening and getting larger and larger. This goes against the expectation, which would be that the universe should be condensing (or at least expanding at a slower rate). So what is pushing space out further and causing it to expand? This puzzles physicists, because in their findings, the only explanation they have for the faster-than-expected expansion is that there must be extra stuff in the emptiness of space helping push things out. So what IS pushing space out, causing expansion? Physicists don’t know what it is, and they cannot even detect it with instruments (at least not yet). The solution, so far, is to invent a name for it: Dark Energy (as in, can’t see it). Dark Energy accounts for roughly 70% of the apparent empty space in the universe. So what about the rest of the matter in the universe?
Well, even with Dark Energy to account for the expansion there is STILL undetectable matter surrounding star clusters and galaxies. Physicists call this Dark Matter, and it accounts for about 25% of undetectable matter in the universe.
In other words, everything we see in our own planet (“normal matter”) and that is explainable and detectable by science, is only 5% of the total matter in the complete universe.
That’s right, science can only explain 5% of the stuff around us. The other 95% is Dark Matter and Dark Energy. And those are theorized, not observed (since they can’t be detected).
It begins to sound like a matter of semantics. Religious folks call it God. Scientists explain the unknown matter as Dark Energy/Dark Matter. Both sides agree that no matter what, a Great Mystery exists.
And in this way, I found spirituality through science. How ’bout that? It’s beyond impressive what science has taught us so far, and how much humans have figured out about the world around us. But more fascinating to me is how little we truly know about anything.
Even we humans, at our core, are nothing but a combination of basic elements, such as carbon, hydrogen, iron, etc. These elements create everything inside and out. Organs, hair, eyes, you name it.
I like to think that when we pass away, our body eventually reverts back to those same basic elements. And maybe then our atoms become part of the atmosphere. And maybe, just maybe, we then become part of that same Great Mystery. Maybe our buzzing electrons cross over to that 95% of matter we cannot yet see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. In that way, we become immortal. We become another part of the great cosmos from which we miraculously, impossibly arose. After all, energy is never lost, only changed or recycled.
I don’t know about you, but this gives me great comfort.