Close Connections: The Bridge Between Spiritual Reality and Physical Reality

This book was written with the encouragement and assistance of my brother—William S. Hatcher—who, as a theoretical mathematician, was also well-grounded in science and scientific theory.

Clearly one of the most challenging works I have written, this book attempts to reconcile the ostensible contradictions and discord between the view of reality from a scientific perspective, with the view of reality from the perspective of religion—more especially, with that perspective as advanced and explicated in the authoritative Bahá’í texts.

Most probably, from the point of view of experts in the various fields I broach in this lengthy attempt at reconciliation of these diverse points of view, my examination is a bit simplistic or amateurish. But it was my hope to demonstrate that even some of the more abstruse concepts and esoteric approaches to studying reality could be described and discussed in language relatively accessible to those of us who constitute the “laity.” Or put the way I am fond of stating what I feel to be the merit my work has—assuming it has enduring value—if I as a student of literature and the arts can distill and comprehend a scientific theory, then perhaps I can restate the fundamental logic of that same theory in clear and ordinary terms that anyone else might also fathom. 

Even more to the point, as a non-scientist and as a person with no pretense of being either genius or a great mind, I relied importantly in this work on the experience I had undergone in my college Physics class—namely, if I could read slowly and carefully the workings of such elegant machines as a cyclotron, there was no reason I should not be able to explain that same process to someone else. 

The book is dedicated to my brother, not only because he taught me about the Bahá’í Faith, but also because he helped guide me towards those works that would provide me information about evolution, quantum physics, cosmology, brain function, and so on. In one of those twists of fate that color our lives, he died the day after he helped me with the final corrections for the revised version of this work. 

This idea of discovering a “bridge” between the twin expression of reality—the spiritual and the physical—requires, of course, that one first accept that there can be a metaphysical reality to begin with. Even more weighty and challenging is for one (particularly for scientists bent on remaining confined in their research to the realm of material stuff) to accept that there can be any interchange (interpenetration) between these two realms. And of the alternatives contained in that possibility, the greatest resistance among those whose study is confined to material reality is to the notion that spiritual or non-material reality—even assuming it could exist—might have a material effect or outcome. 

More than anything else, this is the focus of the entire book: how a metaphysical Being can affect the outcome of history by sending Emissaries; how the metaphysical soul can control and coordinate the action of a material human body; how prayer might affect a material disease—or any other course of events for that matter. 

Because the concept of God, the belief in Manifestations and Their His influence on human history, the notion of an infinite universe and countless stars, the existence and operation of the soul, and the continuity of our individual reality beyond physical death, and various other spiritual concepts, are central Bahá’í beliefs, trying to reconcile these beliefs with contemporary scientific discourse is as difficult as are the results of such study rewarding and thrilling. 

If in this study, I have made any contribution to this heady arena of discourse, I am pleased. At the very least, I enjoyed doing the research, trying to explain that research, and trying to discover logical solution that perhaps hint that, as the Bahá’í writings repeatedly assert, the descriptions of reality by science and religion are—when correctly understood—totally harmonious, because reality is one. The totality of all that is, or that can ever be, must necessarily be a single integrated system.  

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