Filed in Science

The Science of Enlightenment

Quarks 1, Bootstraps 0Brad Marston

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Beginning in the 1970s science, and especially physics, became a favorite topic of conversation among students of Eastern religion. The first, and still the most interesting contribution to the vast Physics & Eastern Philosophy genre, Fritjof Capra’s influential Tao of Physics, explores parallels between the Avatamsaka Sutra and modern physics. The Avatamsaka Sutra teaches that mind, universe, and Buddha are identical. Capra was struck by a seeming parallel with quantum theory: “A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement. Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe.” Now a widely accepted truism among non-scientists, the idea is regularly invoked by modern-day Buddhists.

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