The Unifying Golden Thread: The Interface of Science & Spirituality

October 19th, 2005Elizabeth Bethea, MSW, Ph.D.Bethea Institute for Research on the Transformation of Humanity, Inc. (BIRTH)Host: Barry Erdman

About the Presentation

The Vedas, the world’s most ancient scriptures dating back over 5,000 years, describe in exquisite detail the most fundamental spiritual truth: that everything in this and all universes, both manifest and latent, is literally one. This assertion of unity or non-duality has since been expressed by the mystical traditions of every major spiritual and religious tradition throughout time and across cultures. And even though the major organized religions have increasingly moved toward a separation of divinity and humanity, the traditional peoples of the world have retained this understanding and incorporated it into daily life as much as possible.

From the inception of modern Western science around 500 years ago, science and religion have stood diametrically opposed to each other. Until the subatomic theories of Albert Einstein, religion in general and the unity principle in particular have been seen by science as naïve, primitive beliefs that will never be borne out by empirical investigation. Yet paradoxically, developments in biology, mathematics and quantum physics have come full circle in scientifically confirming this most ancient intuitively known truth.

This unprecedented coming together of science and religion – this exciting and revolutionary interface – will be the topic of this presentation. Elizabeth will present a brief overview of the unity principle as expressed in the major spiritual and religious traditions, and will summarize significant developments in physics and the life sciences that validate its truth. Time will be allowed at the end for discussion of the implications of this paradigm shift for our work as ministers and psychotherapists.

About the Presenter

Elizabeth Bethea has an eclectic educational background in psychology, social work and the physical sciences, holding an MSW from the University of Denver and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the Social and Physical Sciences from the Union Institute and University. She is currently pursuing an additional Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales. Elizabeth began her career in social work as a medical social worker, staff trainer and Director of Medical Social Services for Adventist Health Systems, and continued her career as a school social worker, teacher, faculty trainer and Special Education administrator for the Boulder Valley Public Schools.

Elizabeth has been involved with the university system since 1991 as a researcher and educator and has taught social work, psychology and sociology classes at the University of Denver, Colorado State University, Naropa University and Front Range Community College. In 1994 she founded the Bethea Institute for Research on the Transformation of Humanity, Inc. (BIRTH), a nonprofit through which she conducts social science research, provides organizational consultation and training, and offers public presentations. She maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Boulder specializing in wholistic approaches to physical, psychological and spiritual healing and trauma release.

Elizabeth has authored several publications on such topics as spiritual living, social change, stress management and domestic violence in the workplace. She is deeply committed to service work and has been a community organizer for various nonprofit local and international organizations including civil rights, peace, environmental, women’s and children’s rights, animal protection, mental health, sustainable economic development, gender reconciliation and community building. For fun, she spends time hiking on the Chautauqua trails with her Golden Retriever, Jake.

Additional Resources


Spiritual Values, Well-Being and Gandhian Economics (2002). Co-authored with Romesh Diwan, Ph.D. In Meditations on Gandhi: A Ravindra Varma Festschrift. M.P. Mathai, M.S. John and S.K. Joseph, eds. Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, India.

Spiritual Living and Gandhian Economics (2000). Co-authored with Romesh Diwan, Ph.D. Published in proceedings of International Association for Research in Economic Psychology/Society for Advancement of Behavioral Economics, Vienna, Austria and Eastern Economic Association, New Rochelle, New York.

The Roots of Healing Are in the Earth by William Evans, M.D. An invited review in Bridges, the professional journal of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM), Denver, Colorado. Volume 9, Number 4, Winter, 1999.

Contact info:
Elizabeth Bethea, MSW, Ph.D.
3450 Penrose Place, Suite 240
Boulder, CO 80301
[email protected]

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