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The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of…
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The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979)

by Gary Zukav

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
My favorite quote from the novel:

Ûω۪Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.‰Û

Touted as an easy layman‰Ûªs introduction to the history of Quantum Physics, I took a while not because the experiments of Planck, Einstein, Finkelstein and Bohm the author breaks down for his reader so well are hard to conceptualize. It is the meaning of the ideas behind these experiments that are heavy to digest.

A central idea is that there is energy in everything and what happens to B will always affect A in some way. Although you can‰Ûªt predict specific events, you can predict probabilities. And, ‰ÛÏNot only do we influence our reality ‰Û_ we actually create it.‰Û

Another idea is the fundamental belief that we don‰Ûªt know what we don‰Ûªt know and that the new physics might actually be the study of consciousness.

There are also intriguing comparisons made in this book between some of the tenants of new physics and eastern religion and mysticism.

Some argue that Quantum Mechanics is the only science that allows for the concept of God. Newtonian physics doesn‰Ûªt apply to the subatomic world although the subatomic world includes Newtonian physics. Quantum Physics goes beyond the machinery of things and explains matter in terms of energy and organics. It describes an openness to experience, rather than sole reliance on scientific description that physicists have learned to place value on.

In this book Zukav captures a moment for scientists when they realized they didn‰Ûªt know what they thought they knew. It wasn‰Ûªt the first time the scientific community and the world had come to such realization, of course. For hundreds of years we thought the world was flat only to find out it was round. But I was fascinated by the idea in a more recent day and age of how such enlightenment and monumental shift in thinking might feel. ( )
  JeaniaK | Dec 13, 2014 |
Attempts to build connections between the tricky concepts of physics, e.g. the way that some things do not 'exist' until they are observed, with mystical /religious/ metaphysical concepts. However he misses the points that : 1. the effects he discusses are at the quantum level, when matter is collected in bulk (i.e. more than a few pico grams) then bulk effects come into play which swamp quantum effects; 2. humans have evolved in the bulk universe & so are not sensitive to quantum level effects. (even when quantum effects are harnessed by modern technology they are done so in bulk)
He raises fair points about the ability of the human mind to think in different ways in order to understand the counter-intuitive parts of physics. But that does not mean we have to become bhuddist mystics.
  AndrewCapey | Apr 9, 2013 |
VX says it's a great intro to quantum physics.
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
The negative reviews of this book make me wonder if the reviewers actually read it. I read the whole book in a week and loved it! It is a first rate introduction to the "new physics". The science is accurate if a little out of date (particularly the section on the" particle zoo"). The author has an enviable grasp of the difficult concepts of quantum mechanics which is surprising for someone not trained as a physicist. I agree that the references to eastern mysticism are misrepresented but they are few in number and easily skipped over. ( )
  darrow | Jul 16, 2012 |
An amazing work of misrepresentation of Oriental philosophies and misunderstandings of modern physics. Thoroughly readable for everyone and completely painful for even the slightly science-aware. ( )
2 vote ari.joki | Sep 27, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Zukavprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jonkers, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kousbroek, RudyForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Ytterligare en bok som gjort mig intresserad av fysik och gett mig nya tankar om tillvaron.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060959681, Paperback)

At an Esalen Institute meeting in 1976, tai chi master Al Huang said that the Chinese word for physics is Wu Li, "patterns of organic energy." Journalist Gary Zukav and the others present developed the idea of physics as the dance of the Wu Li Masters--the teachers of physical essence. Zukav explains the concept further:

The Wu Li Master dances with his student. The Wu Li Master does not teach, but the student learns. The Wu Li Master always begins at the center, the heart of the matter.... This book deals not with knowledge, which is always past tense anyway, but with imagination, which is physics come alive, which is Wu Li.... Most people believe that physicists are explaining the world. Some physicists even believe that, but the Wu Li Masters know that they are only dancing with it.

The "new physics" of Zukav's 1979 book comprises quantum theory, particle physics, and relativity. Even as these theories age they haven't percolated all that far into the collective consciousness; they're too far removed from mundane human experience not to need introduction. The Dancing Wu Li Masters remains an engaging, accessible way to meet the most profound and mind-altering insights of 20th-century science. --Mary Ellen Curtin

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:18 -0400)

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Explores the history and concepts of physics, including quantum mechanics and relativity theory, within the framework of Eastern thought to unravel the mysteries of the physical universe.

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