Among the first modern scientists to make such comparisons were some of the leading physicists of the twentieth century who had struggled to understand the strange and unexpected reality revealed to them in their explorations of atomic and subatomic phenomena see Capra, , pp. In the s, several of these scientists published popular books about the history and philosophy of quantum physics, in which they hinted at remarkable parallels between the worldview implied by modern physics and the views of Eastern spiritual and philosophical traditions.
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The following three quotations are examples of such early comparisons. The general notions about human understanding…which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of, or new.
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Even in our own culture they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place. For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory…[we must turn] to those kinds of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted. The great scientific contribution in theoretical physics that has come from Japan since the last war may be an indication of a certain relationship between philosophical ideas in the tradition of the Far East and the philosophical substance of quantum theory.
During the s, there was a strong interest in Eastern spiritual traditions in Europe and North America, and many scholarly books on Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism were published by Eastern and Western authors. At that time, the parallels between these Eastern traditions and modern physics were discussed more frequently see, e.
My main thesis in this book is that the approaches of physicists and mystics, even though they seem at first quite different, share some important characteristics. To begin with, their method is thoroughly empirical. Physicists derive their knowledge from experiments; mystics from meditative insights. Both are observations, and in both fields these observations are acknowledged as the only source of knowledge. The objects of observation are of course very different in the two cases.
Physicists, by contrast, begin their inquiry into the essential nature of things by studying the material world. Exploring ever deeper realms of matter, they become aware of the essential unity of all natural phenomena. More than that, they also realize that they themselves and their consciousness are an integral part of this unity. Thus mystics and physicists arrive at the same conclusion; one discipline starting from the inner realm, the other from the outer world.
The harmony between their views confirms the ancient Indian wisdom that brahman, the ultimate reality without, is identical to atman, the reality within. A further important similarity between the ways of the physicist and the mystic is the fact that their observations take place in realms that are inaccessible to the ordinary senses. In modern physics, these are the realms of the atomic and subatomic world; in mysticism, they are non-ordinary states of consciousness in which the everyday sensory world is transcended.
Twentieth-century physics was the first discipline in which scientists experienced dramatic changes of their basic concepts and ideas — a paradigm shift from the mechanistic worldview of Descartes and Newton to a holistic and systemic conception of reality. Subsequently, the same change of paradigms occurred in the life sciences with the gradual emergence of the systems view of life. It should therefore not come as a surprise that the similarities between the worldviews of physicists and Eastern mystics are relevant not only to physics but to science as a whole. After the publication of The Tao of Physics in , numerous books appeared in which physicists and other scientists presented similar explorations of the parallels between physics and mysticism e.
Other authors extended their inquiries beyond physics, finding similarities between Eastern thought and certain ideas about free will; death and birth; and the nature of life, mind, consciousness, and evolution see Mansfield, Moreover, the same kinds of parallels have been drawn also to Western mystical traditions see Capra and Steindl-Rast, The extensive explorations of the relationships between science and spirituality over the past four decades have made it evident that the sense of oneness, which is the key characteristic of spiritual experience, is fully confirmed by the understanding of reality in contemporary science.
Hence, there are numerous similarities between the worldviews of mystics and spiritual teachers — both Eastern and Western — and the systemic conception of nature that is now being developed in several scientific disciplines. The awareness of being connected with all of nature is particularly strong in ecology. Connectedness, relationship, and interdependence are fundamental concepts of ecology; and connectedness, relationship, and belonging are also the essence of spiritual experience.
Hence, ecology — and in particular the school of deep ecology, founded by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess in the s see Devall and Sessions, — can be an ideal bridge between science and spirituality. The defining characteristic of deep ecology is a shift from anthropocentric to ecocentric values. It is a worldview that acknowledges the inherent value of non-human life, recognizing that all living beings are members of ecological communities, bound together in networks of interdependencies.
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When we look at the world around us, we find that we are not thrown into chaos and randomness but are part of a great order, a grand symphony of life. Every molecule in our body was once a part of previous bodies — living or nonliving — and will be a part of future bodies. In this sense, our body will not die but will live on, again and again, because life lives on.
The Relationship between Science and Spirituality
And since our mind, too, is embodied, our concepts and metaphors are embedded in the web of life together with our bodies and brains. Indeed, we belong to the universe, and this experience of belonging can make our lives profoundly meaningful. For more information please go to www. Originally posted on Sutra Journal. How will my data be used? The Tao of Physics.
The Systems View of Life, Cambridge: Steindl-Rast with Thomas Matus. Belonging to the Universe. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 1: Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences. Ohio State University Press. Science and the Common Understanding. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.
Learn how your comment data is processed. I have read, and understood, quantum physics.
We can forget the clashes between science and religion if we embrace spirituality. We will probably have to wait for the die-hard religious people to pass on.
Yet, here is a viable explanation of Life! Do the research yourself and you will soon see. Technology is milked you and I know this. Thank you for speaking directly to my heart.
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I find it hard to express these things to others. Maybe I am not meant to. Science and the spirit are indivisible to me. Technology is milked, smoke and mirrors. Very good, thank you for posting this article! This is basically the same, what Hans-Peter Duerr said, long-term collaborator and successor of Werner Heisenberg.
He also emphasized, that the philosophical implications of quantum physics still have not arrived in mainstream science. Not that changing things on this level is always wrong, but to treat living beings as machines is the same as to treat them as slaves. There is no relationship between science and spirituality; there could be no discussion about it. For science to even consider this, there needs to be something that suggests there are such things as souls. So in a way, the relationship between science and spirituality is no different than the relationship between science and smurfs.
Ok so that is where you are at in your evolution. It is good that you have a curiosity. It is the beginning of the next stage in your evolution of consciousness. Packard; but I absolutely have no idea in which language you are speaking. Blending philosophy, science, religion and the paranormal, the book argues that it is time to replace the materialistic model of modern science with a framework that better accounts for the full range of human experience.
Comella is a frequent radio guest, writer, and speaker on the connection between science and religion. He lives with his wife and daughter in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. The Future of Talk Radio. It's Web Talk Radio. Philip Comella Beyond science and religion, there is more to the story of life and the cosmos.
It is a book that I keep on my reading table for those precious moments late in the day, when we can allow ourselves to think about the big questions and ponder the spiritual nature of our Source. For me, it is then a joy to pick up The Collapse of Materialism and take part of that journey on a subject that intrigues me. Whether it is a new angle on inflationary theory, classical Darwinism or the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, Philip Comella never fails to amaze with his thoughtful insight.
This work, developed over decades of research and personal inquiry, is, indeed, what it sets out to be: This book should be required reading for any soul who longs to know why we are here and how we can make our highest Real Dream come true. Emanuel Kuntzelman - President and Founder, Greenheart Transforms In The Collapse of Materialism , Philip Comella calmly and methodically demonstrates the inconsistencies in the materialistic worldview, covering not only the meaning behind quantum theory but also the gaps in cosmology and Darwinism.
The clarity and thoroughness of his arguments are highly impressive, yet the text remains readable and accessible throughout. Having described the collapse of materialism, Comella then provides possible bridges to the future in which he sees that mind and matter may no longer be seen as separate.
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