The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism by Fritjof Capra

In this path breaking work that has stood the test of time for close to half a century now, theoretical physicist Fritjof Capra traces the mystifying parallels between Eastern mysticism and modern physics. Having as its edifice, meticulous research and jaw dropping corroborations, Capra strikes a resonance in his reader by drawing together the gospel of Krishna, the wisdom of Buddha, the uncanny introspective methods of Taosim and Zen before linking them with the strangely complicated and convoluted world of quantum physics.

As Capra takes pains to explain, the scientific world has moved past the Newtonian and Democritian notion that particles represent the fundamental building blocks of matter. With the advent of the new and enervating branch of quantum physics and quantum dynamics, atomic physics has been relegated to being an astonished bystander if not a mute spectator. The emphasis has shifted from examination of particles to the observation of unbelievably intricate relationships, patterns and interactions. Thus a photon is both a particle as well as its own anti-particle. What was once a proton is metamorphosed into a neutron subsequent to a bewildering process of collisions that happen at mind numbing speeds and can only be observed using tracks on bubble diagrams. This seemingly irreconcilable duality of relativistic and quantum physics finds a direct parallel as pointed out by Fritjof Capra in the Upanishads which form the crux and core of Hinduism. As the Brihadaranyaka Upanishads affirm. “where there is a duality, as it were, there one sees another; there one smells another; there one tastes another…But where everything has become just one’s own self, then whereby and whom would one see? Then whereby and whom would one smell? Then whereby and whom would one taste?”

“The Tao of Physics” is embellished by innumerable parallels such as the one illustrated above and serves as a beacon for bringing together Science and Spirituality for a higher cause and purpose. While for obstinate scientists striving to explain every phenomenon with a causal justification and for every seer who turns a condescending and blind eye to the advancements in Science, this book is an essential midpoint. It acts as the bridge of “consciousness” which is an indispensable gem in the realms of both mysticism and modern Physics.

Maybe a sincere and assiduous reading of Capra’s work might bring Einstein’s unfulfilled dream of a Grand Unified Theory to fruition. Only time will tell.

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