The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism

The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism

Why it Matters ……… General biases, exist in the way we perceive and conceptualize things. Some which can be, so deep and unquestioned, that sometimes

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Why it Matters ………

General biases, exist in the way we perceive and conceptualize things. Some which can be, so deep and unquestioned, that sometimes we cannot even recognize them.

by Fritjof Capra

Simon and Schuster, 464 pp

Full disclosure is in order; when I first picked up this book, I must confess, my expertise in matters physics was suspect. Just as I wondered, what the word Tao, which derives from “way” or “path” and in Chinese philosophy refers to the underlying organization and unfolding of events in the universe means.  I was a real green horn!

The Tao of Physics by Frijof Capra – Photo Courtesy

Little did I know, that this book would turn out to be one of the best I’ve ever read – and will read I suppose? Little wonder, that several years after it was first published, it is still a best seller, and sits on the science shelves of most bookshops and home shelves.

Published in 43 editions in 23 languages, the book demonstrates striking parallels between Oriental mystical traditions and the ground-breaking discoveries of 20th-century physics.  In its epilogue, Capra sums up the book: “Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science, but man needs both.”

The book does not make any pretense about its obvious attempts, to build a bridge between Eastern Mysticism, [Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism] and modern physics especially quantum mechanics. which are otherwise, seem to contradict each other. A Modern Physicist would always disregard the Eastern Schools of thought or any idea of mysticism, as altogether as baseless and unscientific.  While an Eastern Mystic would most likely look down upon Science as being far from reality.

Frijof in the most elegant, and eloquent display of similarities, presents striking similarities between the ancient arts of enlightenment, and the modern discoveries in Physics. He has drawn numerous parallels between the two, which would make anyone, no matter what point of view they hold, appreciate and reconsider.

This book is simply an amazing, “eye opener.” Not only because of the parallels it draws, but more so, the window it provides to quite a few concepts, which were alien to me. I had never ever appreciated quantum and modern physics, as much as I did, while reading this book. The Eastern Mysticism too was new to me, though I knew bits-and-pieces here and there, but the book has a pretty educative overview.

It opened me to a new way of seeing things, of that am certain.  It provoked a new way of looking at things, both around us, and within us.

However, it also takes an open mind to appreciate the book.  I recommend that you read this book, if not for anything, for its rich resources on eastern thoughts.

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