John's Reviews > The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism

The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra
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Dec 22, 07


This book would have been better called "The Buddha of Physics", or something like that. Throughout the whole book there is hardly a single reference to taoism, and certainly no understanding of taoism and its relation to other asian religions.

The great majority of the spiritual/religious references in this book are from Indian Buddhism and Hinduism. A mild smattering of zen. Hardly any Chinese Buddhism.

I found this book incredibly boring. I think I actually started skimming towards the end, which for me before I had a daughter was pretty extreme. I think I found one interesting idea in this whole book, the physics concept of bootstrapping, which took up no more than one or two sentences and a footnote.

If you are really interested in learning how taoism, or asian mysticism in general, relates to modern concepts in physics, the Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav is much much better.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Nikki (last edited Dec 22, 2007 12:53PM) (new)

Nikki thanks- u made me laugh and saved me from this one!

FYI: In physics, the term bootstrap model is used for the class of theories that assume that very general consistency criteria are sufficient to determine the whole theory completely.




Pietro Speroni di Fenizio Actually there is a page on taoism. I know because this is where I learned that there existed Taoism at all. I was at the time 16. It was 1986, and it was the start of a long quest that it has still not ended. Apart from that half a page, I really don't find much to save from this book. The logic that pervades it seem to be: if two things are similar they must be related. Ugh.


message 4: by Gargi (new)

Gargi Trivedi Not holding anything against, but by putting the word 'TAO' the author simply meant the philosophical side of physics. He did not propose to merge Taoism with physics, rather he wanted to merge the Tao philosophy, and the other Eastern philosophies with modern physics. If you re-read the book with this perception maybe you could have a better idea what the author ACTUALLY intended to convey.


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