We need more fictional Nirvanas.
The notion of Nirvana is so outside experience that it’s impossible to test, it has no “counterpart”, no inferential basis on which it can be shown. Science is just a method, a method that has had extraordinary success in some fields—physics, chemistry, biology—but is of dubious value outside those disciplines.
Consider Psychology. After over a century of “scientific” efforts, we have rampant mental illness, and a devastating replication crisis that throws in doubt the veracity of experimental findings across the board.
Psychology has made some great insights. But are those insights due to scientific method, or simply because lots of smart people have spent a long time trying to understand the mind? Who can say? The answer to this question cannot be determined scientifically.
And if this is the case even for ordinary everyday mind states, how much more so with something as abstract as Nirvana?
Imagination has a capacity to erase conceptual boundaries and open up new ways of seeing. An imaginary Nirvana is not the real Nirvana, but it’s a damn sight closer than anything science could find.