Newton, the Drop, and the Spiritual Life

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Alziro Zarur 

In the Correio Braziliense newspaper of February 10, 1987, I recalled a maxim of the great Brazilian scientist, physician, bacteriologist, epidemiologist, and public health official, Dr. Oswaldo Cruz (1872-1917), whom Alziro Zarur (1914-1979), the late founder of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), often quoted. It serves as constant encouragement for us also in the area of ​​education: “Do not despair in order not to belittle yourself.

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That is it. It is simply a matter of better quality education, not only in the intellectual field but also in what we are in essence: Spirit. Some people may argue that Science has not yet proved the reality of Life after death. We must consider, however, the fact that the glorious Science―without which we would not be able to survive―is, in modern terms, very new to this planet for some of its staunch advocates to hold it up as being the owner of the whole Truth. Now, that would be pure dogmatism! Therefore, it would be everything but Science. Much remains to be investigated. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727), who needs no introduction, pondered: “What we know is a drop, what we do not know is an ocean.”

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Given the remark made by the wise discoverer of the Law of Gravity, who was a courageous decoder of the Apocalypse, I am led to reflect on the Spiritual Life, especially in view of what the distinguished Englishman humbly concluded: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of Truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Science is not a dogma. For this reason, an authentic scientist’s duty is to think and behave scientifically impartial before the Truth. That is why I always say: what Religion knows intuitively Science one day will prove in the laboratory.

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”