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on 7 July 2006
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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on 22 October 1999
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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on 20 May 2002
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 February 2007
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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on 28 January 2015
First published in the UK, this is an excellent, controversial and ground breaking book which explores the parallels of the traditional wisdom of Eastern Mysticism and contemporary Physics. Capra's writing style is clear and engaging throughout. It is well supported with many helpful diagrams and illustrations to the extent that he makes a complex subject approachable to the intelligent layman. Nevertheless, the 'Tao of Physics' is rather dated now. Those interested in following up Capra's more recent work may find his 'The Systems View of Life', published last year--2014-- to be more relevant to 21st century issues. The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision

Readers may also find a more up to date view on the subject as expressed in 'Quantum Creativity' by Amit Goswami to be of interest.
Quantum Creativity: Think Quantum, Be Creative

Chris Allen is a Hypnotherapist, Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
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on 20 May 2002
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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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.
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on 30 November 2009
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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on 26 November 2007
I bought this book back in 1985 and must say that the information within it, being new to me at that time, blew me away. It informed and impacted so much upon my view of the world that it has remained one of the most influential books in my life; a stepping stone to so many other threads. More than twenty years on, its contents may be 'old news' as the subjects have become popularised and the masses have been introduced to them via many programmes on the TV. Even so, I expect that for those still yet to discover its wealth of information, it will prove to be equally enthrawling, although it can be heavy going at times. For the price, can you afford NOT to read it? It might change your life.
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on 18 June 2009
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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