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Paperback The Tao Of Physics (3rd Edition-Updated) Book

ISBN: 0877735948

ISBN13: 9780877735946

The Tao Of Physics (3rd Edition-Updated)

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This description may be from another edition of this product. A special edition of the "brilliant" best-selling classic on the paradoxes of modern physics and their relationship to concepts of Eastern mysticism ( New York Magazine ) The Tao of Physics brought...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Parallels are not equivalents.

There are many solid books on connections and continuity in history and religion and physics. However Jacob Bronowski, "The Ascent of Man", would turn me over in my grave if he found out that I was reading such books as this. There are too many quasi science quasi religion books that want to take some principle and reinterpret it to be a New age truth or prove the some old blind philosopher beat us too it for example (The Seat of the Soul.) Dr. Capra is drawing parallels in two fields and not trying to say, "See I told you so". He takes the time and pages to describe the science and also does a pretty good job of distilling complex religions down to single chapters. I leave it up to Dr. Capra and you to determine if there really is any parallel. A parallel does not mean equivalents. If you are a Gary Zukav sort of person this book will not help you at all.

Parallels are not equivalents.

There are many solid books on connections and continuity in history and religion and physics. However Jacob Bronowski, "The Ascent of Man", would turn me over in my grave if he found out that I was reading such books as this. There are too many quasi science quasi religion books that want to take some principle and reinterpret it to be a New age truth or prove the some old blind philosopher beat us too it for example (The Seat of the Soul.) Dr. Capra is drawing parallels in two fields and not trying to say "see I told you so". He takes the time and pages to describe the science and also does a pretty good job of distilling complex religions down to single chapters. I leave it up to Dr. Capra and you to determine if there really is any parallel. A parallel does not mean equivalents. If you are a Gary Zukav sort of person this book will not help you at all.

Thought-provoking and Inspirational Classic

This is one of the most wonderful books relating modern science to Eastern philosophical traditions. I have always combined an interest in physics as well as an interest in eastern philosophies, so it was natural that I get attracted to this book. I have read the second edition nearly 15 years ago, and can certify that this book delivers what it promises. Recently it has become a phenomenon to see "Tao of ..." or "Zen of ..." books that are really deficient in many respects: some books know little about the Eastern philosophies they claim to compare to, others know little about the Western science, and yet others fail to point to more than a flimsy relationship. It appears "Tao of something" has become a major marketing scheme and not much more. "The Tao of Physics" however is free from those weaknesses. In fact, it is in a class of its own - possibly one of the most thought-provoking and inspirational texts in the modern world. Written by a world-class Indian physicist, this book exhibits the deep understanding of its author into the myriad complexities of modern physics. The beauty of it all is that some of the most complex ideas are explained in very simple language that even a high school student can understand: quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, particle physics, string theory, symmetries, etc.This strength in physical understanding does not weaken the depth of perception regarding Eastern mysticism. Au contraire, the second part of the book, describing Eastern philosophy, is a tour de force of the various branches of Eastern thought: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, etc. Topics like the I-Ching, the mythology of the Rig Veda, the Upanishads, and the Tao Te Ching are introduced in very clear language aimed at capturing a Western audience. The third and largest part of the book is devoted to drawing parallels between the two traditions: the Western scientific and the Eastern philosophical. Of course, at this stage of human development one cannot reach certainties about such thing, and the discourse is restricted to pointing out the parallels and illustrating the convergence of thought. More questions are raised than are actually answered, which is perhaps the signature of a really good book. Since reading it I have become fascinated with modern physics and pursued a science education. My interest in Eastern religions has also been enhanced. Currently I am in the process of re-reading this gem. I definitely recommend it to everyone seeking substance in "Tao of ..." books.

Quantum interconnectedness.

"The purpose of this book," Austrian-born physicist and ecologist, Fritjof Capra writes, is to explore the "relationship between the concepts of modern physics and the basic ideas in the philosphical and religious traditions of the Far East" (p. 18). First published in 1975, THE TAO OF PHYSICS has since sold more than one million copies worldwide, and has been translated into more than two dozen languages (p. 324). Although some of his critics believe quantum reality is worlds apart from mystical phenomena, Capra also notes "that in all the criticism I have had from fellow physicists, not one of them has found any fault in my presentation of the concepts of modern physics . . . to the best of my knowlegde nobody has found any factual errors in THE TAO OF PHYSICS" (pp. 337-38).THE TAO "aims at improving the image of science by showing that there is an essential harmony between the spirit of Eastern wisdom and Western science. It attempts to suggest that modern physics goes far beyond technology, that the way--or Tao--of physics can be a path with a heart, a way to spiritual knowledge and self-realization" (p. 25). In his non-technical book, Capra examines the way that twentieth-century physics reveals the world's web of nonlinear interconnectedness, an idea that is also central to the mystical experience of reality. In providing his reader with an introduction to "The Way of Eastern Mysticism," i.e., Hinduism (pp. 84-91), Buddhism (pp. 92-99), Chinese thought (pp. 100-111), Taoism (pp. 112-119), and Zen (pp. 120-127), Capra demonstrates that the essence of Eastern thought "is the awareness of the untiy and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality" (pp. 130; 188). Similarly, modern physics "has abolished the notion of fundamentally separated objects, has introduced the concept of the participator to replace that of the observer, and may even find it necessary to include the human consciousness in the description of the world. It has come to see the universe as an interconnected web of physical and mental relations whose parts are only defined through their connections to the whole" (p. 142). Modern physics views matter not as passive and inert, "but as being in a continuous dancing and vibrating motion whose rythmic patterns are determined by the molecular, atomic and nuclear structures." This, too, is the way in which Eastern mystics view the material world, as an inseparable web with interconnections that are dynamic and not static. (pp. 192; 194). "The cosmic web," from both views, "is alive; it moves, grows and changes continually" (p. 192). Shiva's dance, Capra observes, is the dance of subatomic matter (p. 245).For Capra, the everyday world is actually a network of relationships that cannot be understood

unbelieveible, excellent, marvellous , ...

This book thought me that there is an another point of view to our life. We should learn it if we are interested in real life. Life is not only the living. My life has changed after this book.Thank you dear Mr. F.Capra.
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