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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientists are still playing 'catch up' to the mystics.
Quote from book - "I also hope to find among my readers many physicists with an interest in the philosophical aspects of physics, who have not come in contact with the religious philosophies of the East. They will find that Eastern Mysticism provides a consistent and beautiful philosophical framework which can accommodate our most advanced theories of the physical...
Published on 7 July 2006 by David Langley

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Epic Fail (Kindle Version)
As a text on physics and eastern culture, the book delivers an interesting journey rich in comparisons and enlightments.
But as an e-book the text is severly lacking... all the images have been misteriously suppressed leaving the reader with the physical impossiblity of understanding what`s the author speaking of.
Imagine no images when speaking of the patterns...
Published on 4 Feb 2011 by Zombieglam


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientists are still playing 'catch up' to the mystics., 7 July 2006
By 
David Langley "enigma" (Lancs, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
Quote from book - "I also hope to find among my readers many physicists with an interest in the philosophical aspects of physics, who have not come in contact with the religious philosophies of the East. They will find that Eastern Mysticism provides a consistent and beautiful philosophical framework which can accommodate our most advanced theories of the physical world"

Originally published in 1975 this book was the first of its kind, and its findings still apply some thirty years later.

Fritjof explores eastern mysticism in the from of Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese thought, Taoism and Zen, with devoting many pages to introduce them and provides the reader with a good insight into these religions.

Fritjof does not inject much humour into his work, but does have quite an interesting take on discoveries in that discoveries, most often come to people in an almost daydreaming state, as did this book come into being. His writing is clear and at times concise, at others, elaboration on the subject is very well included and there is little in this book to get bored with.

What Fritjof does is take excerpts from the different schools of thought and shows how this correlates with scientific findings of the 20th century; he does this with ease and grace. The main thing to be taken away from this book is the idea that some of those things were written 1000's of years ago, and science has been playing `catch up' with the mystics. Definitely worth reading if you like science or not, but more so if you like science.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysticism is all about Physics, 22 Oct 1999
This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
This is the book which is said to have turned the philosophy of scientific endeavours in academic communities on both sides of the Atlantic on its head. It is easy to see why. The first edition of this book appeared in 1975 - Quantum physics and Relativity theory were beginning to make more sense than earlier and finding favour with more and more young minds round that time. To be jolted with the idea of this "modern" science paralleling Eastern thought and mysticism was bound to have an impact. Coming from the East myself and being fortunate enough to have studied Quantum physics and Relativity at college, I went through this book with an extremely fine toothcomb. And couldn't fault it - except for some easily pardonable pacifist statements. I wouldn't recommend this book if you want to learn more about QP - read Feynman's lectures if you want to do that. But if you want to find out more about what Eastern thought is and how religion and philosophy there tie in with modern science and the consequent "organic" world view - you would want to take a look at this book.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on, 20 May 2002
This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
In this book Capra manages to encapsulate the true nature of existence. No mean feat. In an inspired act of synthesis, he demonstrates that both modern Western science and traditional Eastern spirituality reveal the same core truth: that the universe is one interconnected whole, a ceaseless flux of living energy of which we are all part.
What is more, he argues his case with clarity, conciseness and a total lack of spiritual mumbo-jumbo.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on, 20 May 2002
This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
In this book Capra manages to encapsulate the true nature of existence. No mean feat. In an inspired act of synthesis, he demonstrates that both modern Western science and traditional Eastern spirituality share the same core truth: that the universe is one interconnected whole, a ceaseless flux of living energy of which we are all part.
What is more, he argues his case with clarity, conciseness and a total lack of spiritual mumbo-jumbo.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gobsmacking, 9 Feb 2007
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This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
When I was a boy, aged about 8, I used to lie awake at night worrying about how the universe could possibly have been created out of nothing. I wouldn't say Capra has made me feel alright, but I have certainly reduced my consumption of valium.

To get serious I am not at all a physicist, but have a longstanding interest in mysticism. For me this book went quite a long way towards explaining modern physics. I am amazed how 'far out' it gets - Capra starts by taking us through relativity and quantum theory - explaining that electrons can be seen as particles or waves but not both, it depends how you set up the experiment. He winds up with Geoffrey Chew and Bohr suggesting that matter of any description can ultimately only be understood as to some degree a function of the mind.

Along the way he drops in elegant and pithy summaries of the philosophy of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucius and the Tao, drawing parallels between physics and the eastern view of the universe as a creation of the mind.

Having said this, to my mind, untutored (completely) as it is in physics or for that matter science in general, Capra presents a lot of ideas, admittedly in coherent form, without fully explaining them. Therefore, if this book whets your appetite to understand physics properly you are maybe going to have to go somewhere else.

But for its stated purpose, to express and point up links between mysticism and physics, you can't go wrong.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book not to be missed, 30 Nov 2009
By 
This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
Find out in this book just how it is that the great eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism have been revealing the quantum physics throughout the centuries. When I first read this groundbreaking book of Capra's in the 1980's I was ignorant of the Buddha's deep insights into the quantum field as well as profoundly ignorant of the struggle the science of physics had been having to find a language that could get beyond the paradoxes that were being discovered within the microcosm.

It was through Capra's revelations that I subsequently launched into years of study regarding Buddha's teaching as well as particle physics and quantum healing. I guess it could also be true that Capra was instumental in making the West wake-up to the fact that the above mentioned religions were far ahead of the west in both medicine and psychology, centuries before Hippocrates or Freud, who still is dubbed the grandfather of psychology. When are we going to wake up to ourselves?

I still return to The Tao of Physics from time to time and I give you this quote;
We have favoured self-assertion over integration, analysis over synthesis, rational knowledge over intuitive wisdom, science over religion, competition over cooperation, expansion over conservation, and so on. This one-sided development has now reached a highly alarming stage; a crisis of social, ecological, moral, and spiritual dimensions.

Rings even louder alarm bells today than when it was written!!!!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read, 5 July 2010
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This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
I was recommended this book from a friend and am so far delighted with the concepts it presents. If you learn intuitively (rather than just intellectually) I would highly recommend it - I don't consider myself highly academic but I understand this, even though some concepts can be quite obscure. There's a wonderment and curiosity to Capra's search and he combines a scientific and artistic way of seeing the world. A great balance and a marvellous read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tao of Physics, 18 Jun 2009
This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
The Tao of Physics is a book that can be read by anyone and I think that there is something to be learnt by everyone who reads it. The book looks at the parallels between eastern mysticism and quantum physics. Capra very articulately describes the fine veil between the two and how they are inter-related. Although in his thesis he goes into great scientific detail about theories like Heisenburg's uncertainty principle, Einstein's special theory of relativity and the workings of how at the time of publishing the quantum scientific world percieved the mechanistic workings of particles, it is ultimately facinating. Capra's spiritual insight into eastern mysticism is very sensitively but thouroughly tied in, and you journey through fom Hinduism to Zen.

There are so many quotes, so many wise insights that I think anyone who has an interest in philosophy, science or ever just had an inquisitive mind will enjoy reading this book.

My most valued text was the paragraph that starts, 'Any path is only a path...'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tao, 9 Jun 2011
By 
N. Marik "Neelesh" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
A seminal classic that was one of the first pieces of reading that began to change my worldview, and till today, remains one of the first attempted `consilience' of science and spirit. Rather than a conventional book summary or review, I would like to capture key sentences/ quotes that adorn the terrain like a string of pearls:

Chapter 1 - Modern Physics: A Path with a Heart
Any path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you....Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question....Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use.
- Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan

Chapter 2 - Knowing and Seeing
A mystical experience, therefore, is not any more unique than a modern experiment in physics. On the one hand, it is not less sophisticated either, although its sophistication is of a very different kind. The complexity and efficiency of the physicist's technical apparatus is matched, if not surpassed, by that of the mystic's consciousness - both physical and spiritual - in deep meditation. The scientists and mystics, then, have developed highly sophisticated methods of observing nature which are inaccessible to the lay person.
- Fritjof Capra

Chapter 3 - Beyond Language
The contradiction so puzzling to the ordinary way of thinking comes from the fact that we have to use language to communicate our inner experience which in its very nature transcends linguistics
- D.T. Suzuki

Chapter 4 - The New Physics
Al my attempts to adapt the theoretical foundation of physics to this (new type of) knowledge failed completely. It was as if the ground had been pulled from under one, to no firm foundation to be seen anywhere, upon which another one could have been built
- Albert Einstein

Chapter 5 - Hinduism
All actions take place in time by the interweaving of the forces of nature, but the man lost in selfish delusion thinks that he himself is the actor. But the man who knows the relation between the forces of nature and actions, sees how some forces of Nature work upon other forces of nature, and becomes not their slave
- The Bhagavad Gita

Chapter 6 - Buddhism
Ashvaghosa probably had a strong influence on Nagarjuna, the most intellectual Mahayana philosopher, who used a highly sophisticated dialectic to show the limitations of all concepts of reality........Hence he gave it the name `Sunyata', `the void', or `emptiness', a term which is equivalent to Ashvaghosa's `tathata' or `suchness'; when the futility of all conceptual thinking is recognized, reality is experienced as pure suchness.
- Fritjof Capra

Chapter 7 - Chinese Thought
That which lets now the dark, now the light appear is Tao
- I Ching, the Book of Changes

Chapter 8 - Taosim
Disputation is a proof of not seeing clearly.
- Chuang Tzu

Chapter 9 - Zen
Before you study Zen, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers; while you are studying Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and rivers are no longer rivers; but once you have had enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and rivers again rivers.
- Zen saying

Chapter 10 - The Unity of All Things
One is led to a new notion of unbroken wholeness which denies the classical idea of analyzability of the world into separately and independently existing parts...We have reversed the usual classical notion that the independent `elementary parts' of the world are the fundamental reality, and that the various systems are merely particular contingent forms and arrangements of these parts. Rather, we say that inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality, and that relatively independently behaving parts are merely particular and contingent forms within this whole
- David Bohm

Chapter 11 - Beyond the World of Opposites
It moves. It moves not. It is far, and it is near. It is within all this, And It is outside of all this.
- The Upanishads

Chapter 12 - Space- Time
If we speak of the space experience in meditation, we are dealing with an entirely different dimension....In this space-experience the temporal sequence is converted into a simultaneous co-existence, the side by side existence of things....and this again does not remain static but becomes a living continuum in which space and time are integrated
- Lama Govinda

Chapter 13 - The Dynamic Universe
The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness. Only when there is stillness in movement can the spiritual rhythm appear which pervades heaven and earth
- Taoist text

Chapter 14 - Emptiness and Form
We may therefore regard matter as being constituted by the regions of space in which the field is extremely intense .....There is no place in this new kind of physics both for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality
- Albert Einstein
The Great Void cannot but consist of ch'i; this ch'i cannot but condense to form all things; and these things cannot but become dispersed so as to form (once more) the Great Void
- Chang Tsai

Chapter 15 - The Cosmic Dance
His gestures wild and full of grace, precipitate the cosmic illusion; his flying arms and legs and the swaying of his torso produce- indeed, they are- the continuous creation-destruction of the universe, death exactly balancing birth, annihilation the end of every coming-forth
- Heinrich Zimmer, on the Dance of Shiva

Chapter 16 - Quark Symmetries - A New Koan?
The discovery of symmetric patterns in the particle world has led many physicists to believe that these patterns reflect the fundamental laws of nature. During the past fifteen years, a great deal of effort has been devoted to the search for an ultimate `fundamental symmetry' that could incorporate all known particles and thus `explain' the structure of matter.
- Fritjof Capra

Chapter 17 - Patterns of Change
How do we come to think of things, rather than of processes in this absolute flux? By shutting our eyes to the successive events. It is an artificial attitude that makes sections in the stream of change, and calls them things....When we shall know the truth of things, we shall realize how absurd it is for us to worship isolated products of the incessant series of transformations as though they were eternal and real. Life is no thing or state of a thing, but a continuous movement or change.
- Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan

Chapter 18- Interpenetration
Each portion of matter may be conceived of as a garden full of plants, and as a pond full of fishes. But each branch of the plant, each member of the animal, each drop of its humours, is also such a garden or such a pond
- Leibniz, in Monadology
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inescapable understanding, 16 April 2009
This review is from: The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) (Paperback)
This book breaks the barriers between science and eastern philosophy. Prof. Fritjof capra's view changes the way we think about the science. This book provides "the understanding of life and Nature" that is beyond the capture of logical thinking.

By Vijay Pabbathi. Author of Unknown Truth of Life: A Guide to Awaken Creativity and Intelligence
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The Tao of Physics (Flamingo)
The Tao of Physics (Flamingo) by Fritjof Capra (Paperback - 20 Feb 1992)
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