In Search of Divine Reality

In Search of Divine Reality: Science as a Source of Inspiration

Lothar Sch?fer
Copyright Date: 1997
DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd
http://www.beidaix.com/stable/j.ctt1ffjfrd
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  • Book Info
    In Search of Divine Reality
    Book Description:

    The message of modern physics is that physical reality has, at its frontiers, all the aspects of a transcendent order. At the foundation of things, elementary particles can exert instantaneous long-distance influences on each other, can be meaningfully said to have mind-like properties, and can exist in states which are, as Heisenberg wrote, "not quite real, but between the idea of a thing and a real thing." Thus, just as dead atoms form living organisms and stupid molecules form intelligent brains, metaphysical entities form physical reality. This remarkable book clearly explains the concepts of quantum physics in order to show how science and spirituality are not separate.

    eISBN: 978-1-61075-202-2
    Subjects: Religion, Physics, General Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.1
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.2
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. xv-2)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.3
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-12)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.4

    The search for Divine Reality is the search for that part of physical reality which is the source of those universal principles which we need to lead an enlightened and virtuous life but cannot establish by a process of reasoning nor by an experience of the external world. This book is an inventory of what contemporary physical science has to offer as evidence for the existence of divine reality.

    Within the human framework, the search for such a reality is the search for the transcendental—specifically, for the transcendental elements in human knowledge, the transcendental parts of physical reality, and...

  5. Part 1 In Search of the Transcendental Elements of Human Knowledge: The Non-Rational and Non-Empirical Elements in Rational/Empirical Knowledge

    • Chapter 1 THE COMPOSITE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE
      (pp. 15-24)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.5

      Science is central. ByscienceI do not mean technique, technology, the basis of our survival; rather, I mean our view of the world, our quest for understanding the nature of reality, the order of the universe.

      In the history of the West the nature of reality has always been taken as a central challenge. What are things really like? What is the position of human beings in the universe? What in our knowledge is certain and what is illusion? Is the external world independent of perception? Is it made up of material things or non-material ideas? Do the qualities...

  6. Part 2 In Search of Transcendental Physical Reality: The Non-Material, Non-Real, Non-Local, and Mind-like Components of Physical Reality

    • Chapter 2 THE WAVE-PARTICLE DUALITY
      (pp. 27-54)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.6

      Search for transcendental reality is not a novel endeavor. It has been the task of religion throughout the ages. What is new in our age is that now the search can be undertaken within the domain of physical science, rather than outside of it or in opposition to it. Specifically, in this part we will explore to what extent evidence of the transcendent can be found in the world of quantum mechanics.

      The starting point is thewave-particle duality. It is the characteristic of elementary physical entities—particles like electrons, protons, or atoms and molecules—to exist in states which...

  7. Part 3 In Search of Transcendental Human Nature: The Non-Mechanical Aspects of Living Machines

    • Chapter 3 THE HUMAN MYSTERY
      (pp. 57-68)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.7

      Eccles begins his discussion by asking whether, in contrast to the doctrine of mechanism, there can be anatural theologyas a science like chemistry and physics, without reference to revelation? Can we, by observing reality, come to a conclusion about the existence of God? Do the facts of nature reveal a Divine Presence or Plan? C. S. Sherrington, one of Eccles’ teachers, wrote about the same question: “The province of natural theology is surely to weigh from all the evidence derivable from Nature, whether Nature, taken all in all, signifies and implies the existence of what with reverence is...

    • Chapter 4 CHANCE AND NECESSITY
      (pp. 69-82)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.8

      Vitalism is a collective term for all theories that assume the existence of a speciallife force, vis vitalisa teleonomic (purposeful) principle, Monod calls it—operating only in living organisms.

      Animism is the belief that every object, animate or not, has a soul and is, in a way, alive. It is the assumption of auniversal teleonomic principlethat is active throughout the entire cosmos.“The animist belief,”Monod (1971) writes,“consists essentially in a projection into inanimate nature of man’s awareness of the intensely teleonomic functioning of his own central nervous system. It is, in other words, the...

  8. Part 4 Divine Reality

    • Chapter 5 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SELF-CONSCIOUS MIND
      (pp. 85-94)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.9

      Among the historic responses to the challenge of reality, the frequent reference to the importance of mind is an impressive and constantly recurring theme. At countless times in our history it was the mind that seemed to provide the desired answers for fundamental problems: From Plato’s eternal ideas, St. Augustine’s “cogito sum,” to Kant’s claim that the laws of nature are made by the mind, Popper’s world-3, Eccles’ dualist interactionist hypothesis, and the observer-created reality of quantum mechanics,experience of the mind, of Self, appeared as the basis of certainty of human knowledge. The discovery of the principle in modern...

    • Chapter 6 HEALING THE WOUND
      (pp. 95-110)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.10

      Socrates related virtue to knowledge. While he did not meanknowledge about physical reality, I am willing to take the additional step:what we know about physical reality must affect our way of life. A certain morality is connected with our knowledge of reality, a certain conduct is compatible with its nature and with our understanding of it. Responding to the challenge of physical reality can guide the mind, as experience is translated into a basis on which one can act. This is the connection between epistemology, ontology, and ethics:if we know and understand, we can choose to be...

  9. Epilogue and Summary ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF METAPHYSICS IN THE MIND-LIKE BACKGROUND OF PHYSICAL REALITY
    (pp. 111-116)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.11

    That the basis of the material world is non-material is a transcription of the fact that the properties of things are determined by quantum waves—probability amplitudes which carry numerical relations, but are devoid of mass and energy. As a consequence of the wave-like aspects of reality, atoms do not have any shape—a solid outline in space—but the things which they form do, and the constituents of matter, the elementary particles, are not in the same sense real as the real things that they constitute. Rather, left to themselves they exist in a world of possibilities,“between the...

  10. Appendices

    • Appendix 1. THE ILLEGITIMATE COMPONENTS OF KNOWLEDGE
      (pp. 117-131)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.12
    • Appendix 2. THE FAILURE OF INTUITION
      (pp. 132-139)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.13
    • Appendix 3. SOME ASPECTS OF CAUSALITY
      (pp. 140-142)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.14
    • Appendix 4. SCIENCE AND THE HUMANITIES
      (pp. 143-145)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.15
    • Appendix 5. POPPER’S LOGIC OF SCIENCE
      (pp. 146-151)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.16
    • Appendix 6. SOME PROPERTIES OF WAVES AND PARTICLES
      (pp. 152-157)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.17
    • Appendix 7. SCHR?DINGER’S WAVE MECHANICS
      (pp. 158-159)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.18
    • Appendix 8. THE MEANING OF Ψ
      (pp. 160-162)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.19
    • Appendix 9. EMPTY ATOMS AS PLATONIC FORMS
      (pp. 163-171)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.20
    • Appendix 10. SOME ASPECTS OF THE NATURE OF QUANTUM STATES
      (pp. 172-173)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.21
    • Appendix 11. HEISENBERG’S UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE
      (pp. 174-182)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.22
    • Appendix 12. THE SURREALISM OF SUPERPOSITIONS OF STATES: THE CASE OF SCHR?DINGER’S CAT
      (pp. 183-184)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.23
    • Appendix 13. THE PAULI PRINCIPLE
      (pp. 185-188)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.24
    • Appendix 14. THE EPR PARADOX
      (pp. 189-191)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.25
    • Appendix 15. THE NON-LOCALITY OF THE UNIVERSE
      (pp. 192-197)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.26
    • Appendix 16. SOME TECHNICAL DETAILS CONCERNING BELL’S THEOREM
      (pp. 198-204)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.27
    • Appendix 17. THE EMERGENCE OF HISTORICAL PHILOSOPHICAL VIEWS IN QUANTUM ONTOLOGY
      (pp. 205-225)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.28
    • Appendix 18. DEFINING A REALISTIC VIEW OF THE WORLD
      (pp. 226-228)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.29
  11. REFERENCES
    (pp. 229-232)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.30
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 233-236)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1ffjfrd.31