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Main page » Non-Fiction » 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


Reviews of The Tao of Physics

"A brilliant best-seller. . . . Lucidly analyzes the tenets of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism to show their striking parallels with the latest discoveries in cyclotrons."—New York Magazine

"A pioneering book of real value and wide appeal."—Washington Post

"Fritjof Capra, in The Tao of Physics , seeks . . . an integration of the mathematical world view of modern physics and the mystical visions of Buddha and Krishna. Where others have failed miserably in trying to unite these seemingly different world views, Capra, a high-energy theorist, has succeeded admirably. I strongly recommend the book to both layman and scientist."—V. N. Mansfield, Physics Today

"I have been reading the book with amazement and the greatest interest, recommending it to everyone I meet, and as often as possible, in my lectures. I think [Capra has] done a magnificent and extremely important job."—Joseph Campbell

Description of The Tao of Physics

After a quarter of a century in print, Capra's groundbreaking work still challenges and inspires. This updated edition of The Tao of Physics includes a new preface and afterword in which the author reviews the developments of the twenty-five years since the book's first publication, discusses criticisms the book has received, and examines future possibilities for a new scientific world.

    Physicists do not need mysticism, and mystics do not need physics, but humanity needs both. – (epilogue)

The book grew out of an inspirational moment Capra had while under the influence of psychedelics. Capra later discussed his ideas with Werner Heisenberg in 1972, as he mentioned in the following interview excerpt:

    I had several discussions with Heisenberg. I lived in England then [circa 1972], and I visited him several times in Munich and showed him the whole manuscript chapter by chapter. He was very interested and very open, and he told me something that I think is not known publicly because he never published it. He said that he was well aware of these parallels. While he was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics, because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that subscribed to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China. – Fritjof Capra, interviewed by Renee Weber in the book The Holographic Paradigm (page 217–218)

As a result of those influences, Bohr adopted the yin yang symbol as part of his family coat of arms when he was knighted in 1947.

The Tao of Physics was followed by other books of the same genre like The Hidden Connection, The Turning Point and The Web of Life in which Capra extended the argument of how Eastern mysticism and todays scientific findings relate, and how Eastern mysticism might also have answers to some of the biggest scientific challenges of today.

As a trendsetting title, this book has the distinction of being the first "The Tao of" book in a parade of many on unrelated subjects by other authors (not including the classic religious text Tao Te Ching).
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Tags: Physics, Capra, Capras, print, century, mdash, world, succeeded