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The Tao of physics : an exploration of the…

The Tao of physics : an exploration of the parallels between modern… (original 1975; edition 2000)

by Fritjof Capra

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3,397262,979 (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.
Title:The Tao of physics : an exploration of the parallels between modern physics and Eastern mysticism
Authors:Fritjof Capra
Info:Boston : Shambhala, 2000.
Collections:Your library

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The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra (1975)

  1. 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.
  2. 00
    A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe by Marcelo Gleiser (Othemts)

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English (18)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (26)
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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 |
This book was mediocre in the sense of being average. It is memorable in the sense of trying to fuse Eastern Mysticism with "Modern" Physics. I put the word modern in quotes because this book is still talking about the Particle Zoo developed in the 1970s. The version I read is the Third Edition, which has a number of extras added by the author in 1991. So even then, the book is rather old in terms of Physics.

The basic idea of the book is that Quantum Physics relates to Eastern Mysticism in the language used to describe the ideas inherent in it. For instance, take wave-particle duality. Now I am very stupid, so don't take this at face value, this is my understanding of how things work. Wave-particle duality is the idea that an electron or any other sub-atomic particle is in a dual state at all times. This depends on how you measure whatever is happening with the particle. If you measure something expecting it to be a particle, it will be a particle. It is actually neither Wave nor Particle, this is merely a mental construct that aids us in understanding the world. This supposed paradox of being one thing and another thing at once is applicable in many Zen Koans and other mystical ideas. Now, this is a gross oversimplification, but I never took Quantum Physics, so most of what I know is from books. The author states that the same ideas in Quantum Physics and Physics as a whole can be applied in terms that an Eastern Mystic would understand, and even find familiar.

Over the course of the book, we are introduced to Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism and some other flavors of Eastern Mysticism. Physics is included, but he doesn't really get into field equations and other heavy-duty mathematics. The author made some good arguments, but the book was not a superb masterpiece or anything. I guess he wanted to appeal to a larger audience. Thankfully my local library had a copy on hand. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
The Tao of Physics exemplifies the harmony, not the dissonance, between of mysticism and science. Fritjof Capra shows how the ancient mystics intuitively knew long ago what modern day scientists are rediscovering today. ( )
  C_Hawke | Dec 24, 2018 |
You can understand the basic principles of physics if you undertake this book. The Dancing Wu Li Masters is more engaging. ( )
  deckla | Dec 8, 2018 |
I liked the physics parts... ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)

» 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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