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The Tao of Physics (1975)

by Fritjof Capra

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3,698303,192 (3.72)31
Studies similarities between the concept of a harmonious universe that emerges from the theories of modern physics and the vision of a continuously interactive world conceived by Eastern mystics.
  1. 00
    A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe by Marcelo Gleiser (Othemts)
  2. 00
    Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe by Lee Smolin (applemcg)
    applemcg: Both books are more about the philosophy of science, how we think about it. Capra opens our eyes to Eastern philosophy, Smolin about the possibility of laws evolving, a search for meta-laws.

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» See also 31 mentions

English (22)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
The physics is pretty deep..an overview of theoretical particle and classical physics which is not something you can just do in a few pages. The book is more physics heavy than it is with the Eastern mysticism overview. There are short chapters on Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism for a discussion of their perspectives.

It felt like it kept plodding through the same territory in the physics realm sometimes - almost repeating material.

It's more of a direct comparison presentation. Here is physics - here eastern religion thought and where it intersects. I was expecting more conjecture/hypothesis/prophesying about what it all means but there's very little of that.
( )
  lieblbiz | Aug 30, 2023 |
Some is spot-on, some is too speculative and shows a faulty understanding of physics.
( )
  marsgeverson | Jan 12, 2023 |
Not the later, revised version.
  Helen.E.Moss | Nov 7, 2022 |
'Readers will find much of interest in Dr. Capra's clear explanations of the basic ideas behind the various forms of Eastern mysitcism, and of the pardoxes of modern physics which seem to have been anticipated in the paradoxes of mysticism. It is likely that when the relations between them are well understood, the time will be ripe for considerable advances in our comprehension of the universe.'-B.D. Josephson, Noble Prize Winner, 1973, Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge

The book explores the parallels-which in recent years have sometimes been noted but never fully discussed-between the underlying concepts of modern physics and the basic ideas of Eastern mysticism. The author gives a clear account, supplemented by diagrams and photographs, of the theories of atomic and subatomic physics, of relativity theory and of astrophysics, up to and including the most recent research, and relates the world view emerging from these theoris to the mysitcal traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen and the I Ching.

Dr. Capra, himself a research physicist and experienced lecturer, has remarkable gift for explaining the complex concepts of physics in terms that the layperson can understand. He takes the reader on a fascinating journey to the world of atoms and their constituents, which makes compelling reading. From his text emerges a picture of the material world not as a machine made up of a multitude of objects, but a harmonious 'organic' whole whose parts are determined by their inter-relations. The universe of the modern physicist, like that of the eastern mystic, is engaged in a continuous cosmic dance; it is a system of inseparable, interacting and ever-moving components of which the observer is, him- or herself, an integral part; it reflects a reality behind the world of ordinary sense-perception which involves spaces of higher dimensions and transcends ordinary language and logical reasoning.

Since taking his Ph.D. at the University of Vienna in 1966, Fritjof Capra has been doing research in theoretical high-energy physics at the University of Paris, the University of Calfornia, Santa Cruz, Stanford University and Imperial College in London. Beside his technical research papers, he has written several more general articles about the relations between modern physics and Eastern mysticism, and has lectured extensively about this topic to general student audiences in England and the United States. He is presently lecturing at the University of California, Berkeley.


I The Way of Physics
1 Modern physics-A path with a heart?
2 Knowing and seeing
3 Beyond language
4 The New Physics
II The way of Eastern mysticism
5 Hinduism
6 Buddhism
7 Chinese thought
8 Taoism
9 Zen
III The parallels
10 The unity of all things
11 Beyond the world of opposites
12 Space-time
13 The dynamic universe
14 Emptiness and form
15 The cosmic dance
16 Quark symmetries-A new Koan?
17 Patterns of change
18 Interpenetration
  AikiBib | May 29, 2022 |
Illustrates how quantum physics is beginning to use the same language as Eastern metaphysics/cosmology to describe the basic constituents of the Universe. Everything is composed of everything else; everything is a part of everything else. It is an oxymoron to suggest that anything can exist outside of, or apart from, anything/everything else. ( )
  majackson | Aug 20, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Capra, Fritjofprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Daub, WillemTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet. These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious trditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.
--Werner Heisenberg
I dedicate this book to

Ali Akbar Khan

Carlos Castaneda

Geoffrey Chew

John Coltrane

Heisenberg Werner


Liu Hsiu Ch'i

Phiroz Mehta

Jerry Shesko

Bobby Smith

Maria Teuffenbach

Alan Watts

for helping me to find my path

and to Jacqueline

who has travelled with me

on this path

most of the time.
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Modern physics has had a profound influence on almost all aspects of human society.
Preface: Five years ago I had a beautiful experience which set me on a road that has led to the writing of this book.
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Studies similarities between the concept of a harmonious universe that emerges from the theories of modern physics and the vision of a continuously interactive world conceived by Eastern mystics.

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Book description
Il Tao della fisica (1975), è il primo libro pubblicato da Fritjof Capra, tradotto in italiano nel 1982 (Adelphi) e divenuto famoso solo con la ristampa del 1989. In questo volume Capra fa un'analisi delle analogie tra le teorie relativistiche e quantistiche della fisica moderna, e le filosofie religiose orientali, tra cui l'induismo, il Buddhismo Mahāyāna, ma in particolare il taoismo e lo zen. È infatti sorprendente come attraverso esperienze del tutto differenti, l'una (la fisica) attraverso l'empirismo razionale e codificato, e l'altra (la filosofia religiosa orientale), attraverso la meditazione e l'esperienza extra-sensoriale, giungano a conclusioni molto simili se non del tutto identiche. La visione del "mondo" che ne deriva, e che accomuna la fisica relativistica e quantistica alle filosofie religiose orientali, è completamente diversa dalla visione meccanicistica derivante da Newton e tende ad avvicinarsi sempre di più a una teoria del "tutto" in cui non si parla più di materia, ma di energia, secondo la teoria della relatività di Albert Einstein (E=mc2).
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