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Wholeness and the Implicate Order

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,150 ratings  ·  79 reviews
David Bohm was one of the foremost scientific thinkers and philosophers of our time. Although deeply influenced by Einstein, he was also, more unusually for a scientist, inspired by mysticism. Indeed, in the 1970s and 1980s he made contact with both J. Krishnamurti and the Dalai Lama whose teachings helped shape his work. In both science and philosophy, Bohm's main concern ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 4th 2002 by Routledge (first published July 1st 1980)
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Manuel Antão
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Perception and Maps: "Wholeness and the Implicate Order" by David Bohm

In a four-dimensional reality, all lower dimensions would appear as abstractions from the totality in the same way that a line or a plane presently have no actual existence to us and are abstractions. There are no perfect lines or planes, in the mathematical sense, except in mathematics. Every line also has width and is therefore potentially a plane and every plane h
E. G.

--Fragmentation and wholeness
Appendix: Résumé of discussion on Western and Eastern forms of insight into wholeness

--The rheomode - an experiment with language and thought
--Reality and knowledge considered as process
--Hidden variables in the quantum theory

Quantum theory as an indication of a new order in physics:
--Part A: The development of new orders as shown through the history of physics
--Part B: Implicate and explicate order in physical law
Appendix: implicate and ex
Mengsen Zhang
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this man! Like an old friend giving you guidance of how you should proceed with your science to understand what you're trying to understand about the universe. No book ever speaks to my heart like this one. Every sentence says that he knows exactly what I want, and what I'm not confident about being able to grasp. The "rheomode" of language use he proposed, that is to turn adjectives back their original verb form, is a great way to organize thoughts and reduce confusion. Chapter 5 and 6 g ...more
Alex Lee
Bohm approaches a Deleuzian concept of fold through physics alone. In tracing the development of quantum mechanics from general relativity, he points out the added concepts (explicate order) that characterize physics today. These added concepts are invisible, and thus modify the data to lead to confusing questions about the physical nature of reality.

Bohm's approach leads him very close to Barad in his critique of quantum mechanics interpretations and towards agential realism in how cuts and met
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it

This book is basically 1/3 physics, 1/3 semantics and linguistics, and 1/3 philosophy. If you aren't interested in all three, it's probably not the book for you. And yes, there is some math in it, but it's really not that much outside of one appendix, and most of it is algebra. You can ignore it and still understand most of the book. You do have to have some patience and an IQ higher than that of a carrot to get through it, but even if you only grasp 2/3rds of the content, it's worth the effort
Apr 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Perhaps one of the most unfounded books I have ever read. Bohm's goal to cure the world from its 'fragmentation' is a good one, and comes from a good place, but both his ideas of culture and reality as well as his mode of presentation and argumentation are that of a middle-schooler. For instance, Bohm takes Greece (and therefore Rome as well) to represent all of the 'West' and ancient India to represent all of the 'East.' From a single examination of a single word in both of these cultures, he t ...more
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Undivided wholeness and flowing movement, Bohm's core concept that encompasses the whole content of this amazing work. Bohm starts from examining the historial development of "fragmentation" which emphasized a certain aspect of measurement of reality, and equated our representation as perfect correspondence with what we treat as independent of reality.

However, what Bohm suggested as a remedy to fragmentation seems quite unclear. He mentioned that "integration" is impossible due to the finity of
Wholeness and the Implicate Order proposes a new model of reality. Professor Bohm argues that if we are guided by a self-willed view, we will perceive and experience the world as fragmented. Such a view is false because it is based on our mistaking the content of our thought for a description of the world as it is. Bohm introduces the notion of the implicate order in which any element contains enfolded within itself the totality of the universe--his concept of totality (wholeness) includes both ...more
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
the monumental achievements of modern physics have been based upon (or, "have led to"?) a certain worldview - that the universe is made of entities that can be broken up into elementary constituent parts, and Everything That Happens is made up of interactions between these entities. unfortunately, as with a great many ideas, as time passes and the application of this viewpoint to various avenues of investigation meets with success after success, people come to believe that the reason for this su ...more
Roger Booth
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a key piece of the "quantum rendering" puzzle.
It provides the motive and a method to "think differently" ... to see a wholeness in constant transformation, rather than a bunch of particles moving independently and obliviously, according to some mechanical program.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
The unifying topic of this book's chapters, which vary widely in both content and style, is Bohm's theory of the nature of reality as an undivided, interpenetrating whole - strongly reminiscent of the Hindu-Buddhist metaphor of Indra's net. In presenting this idea, Bohm's approach comprises philosophical speculation, sociological critique, physical analogy, and the specialized mathematical expressions of quantum theory (NB: as a non-expert, I found it possible to follow these latter technical as ...more
Harry Pray IV
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
I wish David Bohm could have hired a writer to paraphrase his thoughts because this one is waaaaay too dry and scientific for me to get into the really amazing things he is talking about. If you don't read it, it's at least an amazing find for the mathematic/philosophical charts and diagrams he creates.
It's also good if you want to get into studying (what became) string and then M theory and you're on TONS of aderol...there's probably another theory by now, but they're all arriving at the same
SJ Loria
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wholeness and the Implicate Order

Verbs > Nouns

Physics meets philosophy / mindfulness: Welcome to "universal flux…one whole reality, which is indivisible and unanalyzable."

I will first admit this, I didn't finish the book. I'll explain my limitations, then dive into what makes Bohn's theories so awesome. This is some heavy material, partly outside of my grasp of understanding. You have to know physics pretty well to get most of what he's saying. My understanding of physics is based on reading gre
Patrick Barker
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book is heavy, I'm going to try and simplify the essence of it.

Quantum Theory, Relativity, and Buddhism all point to the notion that there is an undivided wholeness to reality. Bohm attempts to explore these ideas, and while he recognizes that he cannot possibly conceive the wholeness, the effort that he makes he really quite brilliant. He shows that the equations of relativity and quantum theory can be written in non limiting ways, that is to say they are true regarding their space, b
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physics
The first three chapters of this book,use philosophy and etymology to reposition the fragmentary belief systems prevalent in modern physics and further incorporate them as sub-sets in the larger framework of a wholly inclusive higher dimensional reality,of which our experiential existence is but a projection.
The middle section of the book is a mathematical treatment of an attempt to prove that it is possible to introduce new concepts into Quantum theory,that while still giving the same results
Ari Landa
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book cannot be judged either as a work of science or as a literary work. As a work of science, it's incomplete, speaks only in general terms, and should be judged by peer review science. As a literary work, it doesn't do much, even for its genre, besides express possibilities and often with a too technical mathematical bent. We should however judge this book as an entrance-way into the author's mind. 215 pages to spend with one of the more unique thinkers in the modern era who's ideas form ...more
Dolf van der Haven
I read a book about hard physics and consciousness and it turned out they are the same thing! Bohm's writing is pretty dense, but he has a lot to say and does so very carefully. He confirmed what I had hunches of for quite a while and puts another twist on it. Him being a physicist, he is doing a better job at bringing physics and consciousness together than some philosophers of consciousness do.
After getting lost in various complex subjects, the last chapter is a welcome summary and conclusion
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is very philosophically and mathematically dense. Even as someone with two degrees in physics, it took some time to wade through all the mathematics. Still, Bohm's overall point that our view of the world is fragmented and that to find answers to ultimate questions will require us think more holistically seems valid. The average reader may get more out of authors who are writing about Bohm's work rather than reading Bohm's work itself.
Stephen Monroe Monroe
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'll admit that the chapters involving math were far over my head and experience, and I skipped them completely. However, the conversation Dr. Bohm has with his readers about the changing holography of physics was fascinating, and I found myself nodding several times as I realized he was saying what I've heard other pioneers in the scientific community say. Overall not an easy read for the untrained or uninitiated, but still worthwhile.
Natty Peterkin
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Excellent theories, but the reading experience was hampered by unclear and highly academic descriptions, along with several chapters I simply don't know enough physics to understand. Perhaps the target audience for this book is other academics already qualified in the field.
Samson Blackwell
Aug 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Couldn't make it through. Maybe it's just where I am now, but I felt disconnected from the prose. Bored, actually. Only made it to page 40ish. I'll try again later, perhaps, when I'm more grown up.
Antonio Bosnjak
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the few eye-opening and stunning books I've ever read...Warm recommendation for everyone!
Oct 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
a difficult read and meant, I think, for individuals who are professional researchers and studying energy and are in the scientific mind.
Arno Mosikyan
The notion that the one who thinks (the Ego) is at least in principle completely separate from and independent of the reality that he thinks about is of course firmly embedded in our entire tradition.

How are we to think coherently of a single, unbroken, flowing actuality of existence as a whole, containing both thought (consciousness) and external reality as we experience it?

Science itself is demanding a new, non-fragmentary world view, in the sense that the present approach of analysis of the w
In this book, Bohm continues where he left off in his Appendix to "The Special Theory of Relativity", drawing attention to the importance of attempting to understand the process of thought. I found this work to be quite valuable, as it represents one of the few (rigorous) sources that I have been able to find that addresses the importance and role of thought in modern scientific endeavors.

Bohm was a contemporary of both Einstein and Oppenheimer, with Oppenheimer serving as the advisor to his doc
Rhonda Sue
Lord have mercy! Unless you're a physicist or expert in quantum theory or relativity, this book will be a very difficult read. I know the book has been around and is probably a classic in its domain, but I had trouble making it through. I was a solid math student back in the day, but there were symbols and equations that were gibberish to me. So, what did I learn? If you like etymology, Latin and Greek derivative of words, there was a good deal of this. I do enjoy seeing where words come from an ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that is literally about everything, or at least the holographic projection of the roots of reality (revealed in an amazing etymological untangling to be reri, “to think”). Bohm seriously discusses quantum physics, consciousness, grammar, biology, mathematics and philosophy, giving something everyone across diverse fields can scratch their head about and wonder at. While it would be relatively easy to pick apart any argument, since so much of what he writes about goes against conventional ...more
J. Perry
Oct 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Bohm has this overly verbose style of writing that is incredibly difficult for me to read. In any given paragraph, I cannot often get to his main point (and I'm pretty sure he has one) because of all the window dressing. Sadly, I had to put this one down about half-way through because I got tired of reading and re-reading the same sentences to try and figure out what the hell he was saying (think, Ulysses, only more technical).
Seekers of Unity
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Working out a philosophy for quantum physics. Interesting hypothesis of the folded-unfolded universe, riffing on Cusa. He lost me a little on his linguistic proposal and definitely on the sciences. Fully agree with his prognosis of society and mysticism as the cure.

If you like books like this you'll love my project:
Lisa Townsend
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
David Bohm was a maverick physicist. I adore this book and use it as a reference now. It sits on my desk. If you love physics, it's a must read as he departs from quantum mechanics and sails into holism.
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David Joseph Bohm (December 20, 1917 – October 27, 1992) was an American scientist who has been described as one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century and who contributed innovative and unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, neuropsychology and the philosophy of mind.

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“Thus, in scientific research, a great deal of our thinking is in terms of theories. The word ‘theory’ derives from the Greek ‘theoria’, which has the same root as ‘theatre’, in a word meaning ‘to view’ or ‘to make a spectacle’. Thus, it might be said that a theory is primarily a form of insight, i.e. a way of looking at the world, and not a form of knowledge of how the world is.” 19 likes
“some might say: ‘Fragmentation of cities, religions, political systems, conflict in the form of wars, general violence, fratricide, etc., are the reality. Wholeness is only an ideal, toward which we should perhaps strive.’ But this is not what is being said here. Rather, what should be said is that wholeness is what is real, and that fragmentation is the response of this whole to man’s action, guided by illusory perception, which is shaped by fragmentary thought.” 16 likes
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