The Perennial Philosophy
& Quantum Physics:
Old Wine in New Bottles
An annotated list of resources.
[** = Rated "Most Bang for the Buck,"]
meaning most accessible by the non-scientist
NEW and NOTEWORTHY:
***Goswami, Ph.D., Amit. The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1993.
Goswami shatters the popular belief held in Western Science for the last two and a half centuries that matter is the primary "stuff" of creation. He proposes instead that consciousness is the true foundation of all we know and perceive. His explanations of quantum physics is directed to lay readers and is, as Kirkus Reviews describes it, "a model of clarity." Goswami guides his readers on a voyage of discovery to reveal the common ground of science and religion, the entwined nature of mind and body, and our interconnectedness with all of creation. This one is worth the time if you want or need to understand the scientific and philosophical underpinnings of mind-body medicine.
**"What the Bleep Do we Know!?" The Movie. What the Bleep Do We Know!? is the sleeper movie of the year (2004) that takes up where The Matrix leaves off. Part documentary, part fiction, What the Bleep is uneven in presentation but is nevertheless a rich and fascinating enactment of the concepts of quantum physics presented in the works of (see below) Heisenberg , Bohr, Bohm, Capra, Kafatos, Goswami, Chopra, Davies, and others who have written about the philosophical implications of quantum physics. This is definitely a radical departure from convention that opens possibilities and interpretations guaranteed at least to entertain, at most to change lives--and eventually health. Worth seeing and thinking about. Due out on DVD in March from Amazon.com and Fox Network.
Two quotations sum it up:
"If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet."- Niels Bohr (one of the founders of Quantum Theory).
"All speech, action, and behavior are fluctuations of consciousness. All life emerges from, and is sustained in, consciousness. The whole universe is the expression of consciousness. The reality of the universe is one unbounded ocean of consciousness in motion."- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Founder of Transcendental Meditation or TM).
***Chopra, MD, Deepak. The New Physics of Healing (Audio CDs). Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2002.
One of the most important presentations for non-scientists to date on the ways in which we create and therefore can control our realities. Chopra brings together research from multiple scientific disciplines including quantum physics, the science of consciousness, cognitive perception, and aging to explain clearly how our thoughts and beliefs (our paradigms) create our realities, including health, illness, and aging. The studies he cites help us see how beliefs and emotions can also be the obstacles that prevent us from changing the realities we are living. An amazing presentation that can change lives. Available as an audio download from Amazon.com.
*Emoto, Masaru. The Hidden Messages in Water. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, 2004.
"Understanding the fact that we are essentially water is the key to uncovering the mysteries of the universe..."
Fascinating research into the impact of thoughts and words on the crystalline structure of water and by extension on the formation of matter out of consciousness. Book has amazing photos of frozen water crystals as affected by human consciousness.What has put Dr. Emoto at the forefront of the Hado phenomenon is his proof that thoughts and feelings affect physical reality. By producing different Hado (waves, energy patterns) through written and spoken words as well as music, then literally "presenting it" to the same water samples, Mr. Emoto was able to document changes in the crystalline structures of the water and show that water appears to "change its expression" according to the consciousness with which it is placed in contact. Some of Emoto's written conclusions are over the top, but the pictures speak for themselves. Pictures and more information available at Hado.Net.
**Pert, Candace, Ph.D. "Psychosomatic Wellness: Healing Your Bodymind." CD available directly from Candace Pert.
"Psychosomatic Wellness: Healing Your Bodymind is a CD package by Candace Pert with musical compositions by Lanny Meyers and Greg Arnold. The package includes meditations, affirmations, music, and an illustrated booklet. Psychosomatic Wellness is a practical application of new paradigm physiology, scientifically designed to rest and heal your bodymind.
For more of Pert's groundbreaking work, see below.
The Secret (movie and book). Available from Amazon and everywhere else as well.
Truly old wine in a new and glitzy bottle. Most current rehashing of perennial philosophy
in a visually inspiring but simplistic format. The DVD has a definite "feel good" factor that inspires viewers to empower their lives, but the video is long on inspiration and short on technique and depth of understanding. If you start here, go deeper into the hows and whys with the other materials listed here. With those caveats in mind, we recommend the DVD for its encouraging energy.
***Bohm, Ph.D., David. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge, 1980
A daring foray into the philosophy of meaning by one of the founders of quantum theory. Bohm develops an interpretive theory of quantum physics that treats the totality of existence, including matter and consciousness, as an unbroken whole. Bohm's philosophical work, like his physics, is crucial to our understanding of ourselves and the nature of our reality. Written in the academic style of the '70's and 80's, this book may be difficult for some to read, but for those willing to take it slow, to think about the implications on every page, this is an important work. We know more about ourselves for it. Its far reaching importance becomes easier to grasp if read in conjunction with Talbot's, The Holographic Universe (see below).
Capra, Fritjof. The Tao of Physics. New York: Bantam Books, 1980.
Fundamental explanation of the correspondences between eastern thought and quantum physics. One of the earliest, most comprehensive discussions. A ground breaker. Still important after all these years.
*Davies, Ph.D, Paul. God & The New Physics. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1983.
Tour de force on the implications of Theoretical Physics for religion, philosophy, and metaphysics by a leading theoretical physicist. Mr. Davies, author of Other Worlds and The Edge of Infinity, maintains that the discoveries of 20th Century physics, in particular of relativity and quantum theory, could bring within our grasp a unified description of all creation that is in closer accord with mysticism than materialism. A book to ponder and savor. Read it slowly.
Friedman, Norman. Bridging Science and Spirit: Common Elements in David Bohm's Physics, The Perennial Philosophy, and Seth. St. Louis, MO: Living Lake Books, 1994.
Very accessible comparison of major elements of belief across multiple disciplines of proof. Good glossary, footnotes
Heisenberg. Werner. Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics. Woodbridge, CN: Ox Bow Press, 1952.
Wonderful exploration of the implications of quantum theory by one of its founders. Remarkably accessible by the non-physicist.
**Kafatos, Ph.D., Menas and Robert Nadeau, Ph.D. The Conscious Universe: Part and Whole in Modern Physical Theory. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1990.
Excellent discussion of the cutting-edge theories of quantum reality, including non-locality and the way we manifest reality from the quantum.
Malin, Ph.D., Shimon. Nature Loves To Hide: Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality, a Western Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Well done overview of the advances of science in the last century with their implications for philosophy, theology--and energy work.
***McTaggart, Lynne. The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. New York:
HarperCollins Publishers, 2002.
Best new explanation for non-scientists on emerging research in theoretical physics, biology, and consciousness. Makes connecting the dots easy for those interested in the relationship between mysticism, energy healing, and quantum physics.
**Nadeau, Ph.D., Robert and Menas Kafatos, Ph.D. The Non-Local Universe: The New Physics and Matters of the Mind. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Excellent discussion for non-physicists on the leading edge research into non-local or faster than light phenomenon in quantum physics. Very helpful for understanding how "distance healing" is possible. Opens vistas of exploration in the advanced use of Reiki energies.
*Schafer, Ph.D., Lothar. In Search of Divine Reality: Science as a Source of Inspiration. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 1997.
Clear explanation of quantum theory as related to spiritual beliefs.
**Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe.
Excellent summary of Bohm's and Heisenberg's theories as they relate to ancient mystical perceptions, with excellent examples of the principles in everyday operation.
*Zukav, Gary. The Dancing Wu Li Masters. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1979.
One of the early classics relating quantum physics to metaphysics and non-local phenomenon. As important as Capra. Zukav is still writing, lecturing. See him on the web.