The Tao of Physics

1976 book by Frijtof Capra (with 1992 updated afterword). Written slightly after, but published slightly before, Michael Talbot’s Mysticism and the New Physics (Blogged earlier and originally read even earlier.)

Excellent books both of them. Capra is a best-seller which has a surprisingly detailed description of state-of-the-art particle physics, together with a summary of the parallels with many threads of Buddhist, Hindu and Tao world views. Compelling parallels even if it remains humanly hard to conceive as to how the sub-atomic scale can really relate to the human scale in anything but metaphors. Like Talbot, the homing in on Holography / Holochory as the technology which brings the same “whole is in the part” quantum information view into the real world. Like many writers in this space (Northrop, Talbot, Dupuy, Pinker), Capra sees world-scale significance this “new” philosophy being overlooked, and greater expression of knowledge in art and literature than in classical science. Human conscioussness must indeed be a part of any true model of the real world and must therefore be linked to quantum information effects.

Henry Stapp and Geoffery Chew get many mentions, along with the heroic Heisenberg and Einstein. (Brian Josephson, my reference for Stapp, does not.) Many references in common with Northrop too, including Mexican(?) Carlos Castaneda / Don Juan.

On the subjects of modern physics, eastern philosphies and the ancient links with pre-Socratic greek philosophy this book is practically a reference work in its own right, before one considers the enormity of the message in the parallels.

Must look out for Turning Point and Uncommon Sense.

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