January 12, 2009

Om Theory

Eastern mysticism has long-acknowledged parallels to quantum physics: Neils Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Oppenheimer, Einstein all acknowledged connections between the two (Fritjof Capra wrote a whole book, The Tao of Physics, about it...but be warned, while it's entertaining, it received some criticism from members of the scientific community). It's beautiful to think about symmetries within science and mysticism, and the symmetry between them: Om is a syllable that Hindus believes represents the incomprehensible, omnipotent, and omnipresent Brahman, who is the source of all manifest existence. Substitute "string theory" for "Brahman," and suddenly the harmony of billions of fundamental vibrating loops seem like scientific theory explaining spiritual prescience.

Anyway, the Dalai Lama himself apparently agrees, having published a book called The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality in 2006, and NewScientist reports that Buddhists are welcoming science into their monestaries in partnership with San Francisco's Exploratorium. Just another day in the life of the ying and the yang...

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