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4.0 out of 5 stars The role of the eternal cosmic spiritual field, 13 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything (Paperback)
Science and the Akashic Field: An integral theory of everything, by Ervin Laszlo, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 2004, 224 ff.

The role of the eternal cosmic spiritual field
By Howard A. Jones

`There are many ways of comprehending the world: through personal insight, mystical intuition, art, and poetry, as well as the belief systems of the world's religions.' This is how Ervin Laszlo opens one of his more recent books - as a scientist and philosopher with over 70 books already to his credit as author or co-author. This is interesting because the author's first thoughts are for the numinous or spiritual. Of course, as a scientist himself, Laszlo then goes on to consider `the way of science.'

For more than a century scientists have sought a Unified Field Theory, or Grand Unifying Theory (GUT) as it is more often called today, that would use mathematics to find the relationship between the four forces of nature - gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the two forces that act within atoms, the so-called strong and weak forces. So far, uniting even these "physical" forces has eluded scientists; yet, already, what we know of the workings of the atom has suggested a possible link between the physical and the mental dimensions of the world, between seemingly lifeless atoms and mind, consciousness and living matter.

The idea that there is a spiritual dimension underlying all things in the material world is a belief of mystics that goes back several millennia. We have heard it said in a religious context many times through the centuries. In the 19th century it was said by biologists and philosophers, whose world-view was described as "vitalism". Biologists of recent decades have mostly rejected this concept and relied on physics and chemistry to explain the evolution of life. Philosophers have retreated into arguments about the use of language.

In this excellently written, if rather scientifically demanding book, Ervin Laszlo presents the empirical evidence and underlying (non-mathematical!) theory that suggests how these world-views - the spiritual and the rational or scientific - may be united through the concept of what is variously called the quantum field, the zero point field, nature's information field or, as Laszlo describes it following ancient mystical description, the akashic or A-field. It takes its name from the Hindu philosophical concept of "akasha", the primordial energy from which "prana", the totality of all matter, was created.

The concept of the akashic field is hypothetical, like the strings and quarks of particle physics. Like the gravitational field, it cannot be directly observed but is postulated to exist from the effects it produces, which are capable of coherent mathematical interpretation. The A-field provides a theoretical underpinning for the appearance of design in the ordering of the universe and the natural constants that allowed human life to evolve. It supports the primacy of consciousness in creation and evolution, as suggested by Pfeiffer and Mack, Goswami, and others. It explains the interconnectedness of all forces and fields suggested by particle physics and of all created matter as believed in eastern mysticism. In short, the subtitle of this book is entirely appropriate: An integral theory of everything.

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.

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Initial post: 19 Jan 2012 19:08:51 GMT
Thanks for the great review
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