In 1975, physicist Fritjof Capra wrote an unusual book about physics and Eastern mysticism entitled "The Tao Physics". Though some of Mr. Capra's colleagues were offended that any physicist would compare the science of modern physics with the religious practices of Eastern mystics (primarily the beliefs & practices of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism), the reality is that there are some very striking similarities with the intuitively Eastern mystical view of reality and the experimentally rational view of quantum theory. Part of the reason for this is that both physicists and Eastern mystics find it very difficult to explain their observations in language (including the language of mathematics) because each of their experiences is not encountered in our everyday, mechanistic macro world. Up until the time of Einstein, physicists were comfortable with explaining the world using Newton's mechanistic theories. However, Einstein realized that there was a fatal flaw with the Newtonian view that presumed that gravity is felt instantaneously regardless of distance. Also, Newton's law of gravity really didn't explain exactly what gravity is. With a stroke of insight, Einstein realized that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light, including gravity; and several years later was able to explain gravity as being the consequence of the curvature of four-dimensional space-time due to mass. These discoveries through the world of Newtonian physics upside-down, but as Einstein's theories demonstrated, the Newtonian view was still valid for objects whose speeds come nowhere near the speed of light. Hence, Newton's laws of motion and gravity were still valuable, but in actuality, are only good approximations that can be used to explain movement in our frame of reference. Einstein, however, could not accept the views being developed by his contemporaries in the field of subatomic particles because Einstein maintained that elegant simplicity and orderliness existed at all levels of the physical Universe. Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, on the other hand, discovered that the subatomic world was anything but simple and orderly. Instead, they, and the physicists who followed them, discovered that the subatomic world is not comprised of hard, independent and quantifiable particles; but of highly unpredictable and interconnected packets of energy that display characteristics both as particles with mass and waves of energy that can only be partially explained through the use of probabilities.
It was the discovery of quantum theory that modern physics has come to some strikingly similar conclusions that Eastern mystics came to over 2500 years earlier: namely, that everything in the Universe is interconnected, there are no completely independent parts, and that human consciousness is not independent of the Universe either. By entering deeply meditative states of consciousness, Eastern mystics for centuries have experienced intuitively the interconnected wholeness of reality (referred to the Tao in Taoism, the Brahman in Hinduism and the Dharmakaya in Buddhism) once they are able to set aside all other conscious thought and language. To Eastern mystics, language, which attempts to distinguish between various things, creates the illusion of separateness and independence that is the hallmark of Western science and philosophy as culminating in Newtonian physics. The notion that objects could be broken down into independent and mutually exclusive, lifeless parts was the philosophy embraced by many early Greek philosophers, such as Leucippus, Democritus and Aristotle; in contrast to the Greek philosophers of Parmenides and Heraclitus who were hylozoists and Eastern mystics. The popular Western view of separateness is also part of the driving patriarchal, anthropocentric view of Christianity ("yang" in Taoists terms); as opposed to the intuitive, interconnected and interpenetrative view of Eastern mysticism ("yin" in Taoists terms) that is also part of quantum theory.
Some portions of "The Tao of Physics" may be quite difficult for someone with very little background in physics to fully understand, but Mr. Capra avoided use of complex mathematics in his very accurate explanations of observations made in subatomic physics. He also did a superb job of explaining the views of three different Eastern religions that many readers may be introduced to for the first time in this book. Though there was a time when physicists and Western philosophers believed the Universe and inorganic matter are static that could be easily explained with simple equations, modern physics has come to the same conclusion that Eastern mystics did 2500 years ago: the Universe is an extremely dynamic and ever-changing reality governed not by abstract fundamental laws, but by interactions of all matter and energy throughout and that matter itself is pure energy, impermanent, ever-changing and ever-transforming just as the Hindu's explained by the always-dancing Shiva. Further, modern science cannot explain everything; it can only provide approximate explanations for particular situations: the Universe in its totality could never be fully explained, just as the Tao cannot be fully explained. Overall, I rate "The Tao of Physics" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it.