Top critical review
GOOD BUY SOMETHING MISSING
on 19 January 2016
Tao of physics
I read the 1976 version with an addition suggesting a new set of paradigms.
I found the parts outlining the thought forms of physics convincing ,especially:- the idea of the observer and the observed being one process;the idea that something can be characterized in more than one way seemingly contradictorily yet very effectively/the ideas of 'polarity in that opposites can exist within each other;the idea that truth is not an edifice but a organism in process of evolution ;the idea of a cosmic flux of phenomena in which 'centres' or 'things'' are part of a flow and only temporarily static;the idea of a ''field'' of phenomena rather than 'bits'of force flowing like a stream constituting akind of ''dance'';,and many others en route.
The descriptions of ancient Hindu ,buddhist and chinese philosophy and their mystical staes of ''oneness'' etc were necessarlily abbreviated and a bit slender but convincing enough for one to see that in some way or other the ancient thoughts have reappeared in physics in its two main theories and riddles.
There was a lot of credit given to Heisenberg and the copenhagen interpretation.However a glaring omission is the work of David Bohm especially ''wholeness and the Implicate order. Also his discussions on the operation of the brain with krishnamuurti and brain scientists.Surely this was worth considering.?
It seems to me clear that when we as ordinary people interact psychologically ,and we always do... the basic physical fact of being separate people does not really apply with the newtonian sense of being separate lumps of flesh .Rather we observe each other like two boats on a river drifting past each other ;ie psychological observation obeys relativity.What we see and how long it lasts and how much weight we give our perception depends on our velocities and directions psychologically.If I am speeding towards being prime minister (god forbid) you will appear to me relative to that aim and the speed I am going towards it..
Ditto if I as observer have prejudices against you then what you say will seem to me different than it does to you.if i am looking only to see if you want to to be PM too then I am only asking one thing from my perception and see nothing else.I obey quantum theory in the sense of there is no such thing as ''objectively 'what you said but only different perceptions of it..
This might have been explored.
In physics itself physicists ask questions.It seems to me that in all the structures they ''describe'' they are actually describing their own mental operations and not things in themselves.Yet I am not sure anyone really believes this ?But so it is.
This leads to perhaps something missing.
The ancient mystics describe something as reality which Evolution may just perhaps have given us for free.?What they describe DOES have correlates in the West ,partly in the mysticism of Plotinus or Cratylus Plato and evn in Aristotle ...a doctrine of THE IDEA or logos ...as described also as late as kepler....but alsoin the contradictions and ''koans''involved in german Idealism.There is so much seemingly oriental thought in Hegel or Fichte for esample.Being is Nothing etc etc
Then the german romantics ,seeking the invisible Feminine in the purseit of science.Yin in Yang etc
Let's remember that Heisenberg played beethoven excellently and his brother follwed Rudolf Steiner...that Schroedinger wrote ,like Goethe ,on colour and that very many of these guys knew faust by heart.
In a way ''The human being''is the thing missing in the book.it tries to present HUMAN as just part of a great mystical flux which has many shapes and forms and we are just one more .but in fact we are the focus ...and maybe eastern mysticism ,much preferable to Baconian Violence needs to come to terme with its own relation to the fact that without the human being none of this would exist.We are the centre after all...the heart of things.