THE TAO OF PHYSICS
Shambhala Publications, Inc. 1123 Spruce Street Boulder, Colorado 80302 0 1975 by Fritjof Capra. All Rights Reserved. ISBN: o-87773-077-6 (cloth) o-87773-078-4 (paper) LCC: 75-10318 Distributed in the United States by Random House, inc. Manufactured in the United States of America
THE TAO OF PHYSICS An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics ad Eastern Mysticism by Frifjof Capra Shambhala Boulder l 1975
I dedicate this book to Ali Akbar Khan Carlos Castaneda Geoffrey Chew John Coltrane Werner Heisenberg Krishnamurti Liu Hsiu Ch’i Phiroz Mehta Jerry Shesko 8obby Smith Maria Teuff enbach Alan Watts for helping me to find my path and to Jacqueline who has travelled with me on this path most of the time.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author and publisher gratefully acknowledge permission to reproduce copyright illustrations on the following pages: pp. 14-15: Fermi National Laboratory, Batavia, Illinois; p. 38: Foto Gary Elliott Burke; pp. 52-53,79, 234, 236: CERN, Geneva, Switzerland; pp. 82-83: reprinted from Zazen by E. M. Hooykaas and B. Schierbeck, Omen Press, Tucson, Arizona; pp. 84,148: Estate of Eliot Elisofon; p. 91: Gunvor Moitessier; p. 92: reprinted from The Evolution of the Buddha Image by Benjamin Rowland Jr., The Asia Society, New York; pp. 100,112,188: Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art; pp. 120, 258: r eprinted from Zen and lapanese Culture by D. T Suzuki, Bollingen Series LXIV, by permission of Prince- ton University Press; p.134: reprinted from Physics in the Twentieth Century by Victor Weisskopf, M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts; p. 144: Nordisk Pressefoto, Copenhagen, Denmark; p. 195: Hale Observatories, Pasadena, California; pp. 202, 206, 224, 233, 237, 267: Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, California; pp. 230, 232: Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois; p. 243: reprinted from The Arts of India by Ajit Mookerjee, Thames and Hudson, London. p. 284: Clinton S. Bond/BBM.
CONTENTS Preface I THE WAY OF PHYSICS 1 Modern Physics-A Path with a Heart? 17 2 Knowing and Seeing 26 3 Beyond Language 45 4 The New Physics 52 II THE WAY OF EASTERN MYSTICISM 5 Hinduism 85 6 Buddhism 93 7 Chinese Thought 101 8 Taoism 113 9 Z e n 121 III THE PARALLELS 10 The Unity of All Things 130 11 Beyond the World of Opposites 145 12 Space-Time 161 13 The Dynamic Universe 189 14 Emptiness and Form 207 15 The Cosmic Dance 225 16 Quark Symmetries-A New Koan! 247 17 Patterns of Change 261 18 Interpenetration 285 Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index 11 303 309 317 321
It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet. These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environ- ments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.