book hack

The Tao of Physics

Fritjof Capra

5 mins

3 key insights

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The Tao of Physics questions many biases about Western science and Eastern spirituality, showing the close connections between the principles of physics and those of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.

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The Tao of Physics

The Tao of Physics

by Fritjof Capra

Overview

People think of science and spirituality as opposites. Western science is the realm of rationality, and its language is mathematics. It expresses itself through numbers and formulas deduced from rigorous experiments. Eastern religions discourage rationality. They explain that we should find knowledge by intuition, through which we might learn to perceive immeasurable truths. Scientists learn from observing the outside world, Buddhist practitioners practice introspection.

Yet, somehow, both end up with a similar vision of the world. How is this possible? In The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, a 1975 classic, Fritjof Capra attempts to answer this question.

When we say 'science,' we usually refer to the basic mechanics of how reality functions on a macroscopic level. From this point of view, space and time are separate entities that are easy to measure, as are matter and energy. If we take a closer look, however, things appear rather differently deep inside the structure of matter. It's on this level that it's possible for quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity to reach conclusions long-held by Eastern mystics.

Favorite quote

A consistent view of the world is beginning to emerge from modern physics which is harmonious with Ancient Eastern wisdom.

- Fritjof Capra

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