Isaiah Berlin once used a line from the Greek poet Archilochus to characterize different approaches to philosophy.
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing"
Berlin was trying to differentiate philosophies that saw the world in terms of a single defining idea (hedgehogs) and those who who drew from a wide array of experience and were suspicious of overarching approaches (foxes). I would like to line up in the fox category. William James remains my hero with his distrust of "block Universes" or block ideas.
The debate between science and the domains of spiritual endeavor is usually cast as a choice between reason and faith. As a atheist and one who is committed to empirical investigation I am not big on faith but I do reject the idea that those who are committed the integrity of scientific practice must also see reason as the only means to understanding ourselves in the broadest sense of the word. Within scientific practice it is reason and a commitment to letting the data, the world, speak for itself. But when placing science into this broader context of human being I think the other ways we create meaning must have a place at the table.
Its easy to fall for the false certainty that comes by fully embracing a single metaphysics, confusing it with all-embracing methodology, and then letting your membership in an orthodoxy lull you in a false sense of comfort that comes with easy applause lines. Far harder is the path of embracing our strange complexity while retaining a determination to think clearly and feel deeply. But in our attempts to pass through the bottleneck of the next century I am convinced we will need all the sources of wisdom we can find.
Such, it seems, is the way of the fox.