The Spiritual Universe: How Quantum Physics Proves the Existence of the Soul

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Taking the reader on a fascinating tour of both Western and Eastern thought, Wolf explains the differing views of the soul in the works of Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas; the ancient Egyptians' belief in the nine forms of the soul, the Qabalistic idea of the soul acting in secret to bring spiritual order to a chaotic universe of matter and energy, and the Buddhist vision of a "nonsoul." And Wolf mounts a defense of the soul against its modern critics who see the soul as nothing but the body or even as a ...
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Overview

Taking the reader on a fascinating tour of both Western and Eastern thought, Wolf explains the differing views of the soul in the works of Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas; the ancient Egyptians' belief in the nine forms of the soul, the Qabalistic idea of the soul acting in secret to bring spiritual order to a chaotic universe of matter and energy, and the Buddhist vision of a "nonsoul." And Wolf mounts a defense of the soul against its modern critics who see the soul as nothing but the body or even as a computer. Based on his sophisticated knowledge of contemporary physics as well as ancient philosophy and religion. Wolf uses his skill at popularizing difficult scientific research to explain how the key to the soul can be found in the deep connection between observer and observed. This interaction, at the quantum level, helps explain how the soul connects to what we understand as matter. The soul, Wolf says, must also be understood as a process, not as an entity opposed to matter. Filled with provocative insights into the most profound questions of spirituality and the most difficult problems at the edge of science, The Spiritual Universe is a fascinating exploration of the realm where religion and philosophy, science and spirituality intersect.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Wolf (Quantum Leap, LJ 11/15/81; Parallel Universes, S. & S., 1990) provides an interesting investigation of the soulwhat it is, how it differs from the self, and what role it plays in good and evil. Wolf provides further insights into the "both/and" world of quantum physics as well as the spiritual and scientific basis for the soul. The 14 chapters engage the reader in soul physics, magnetic, emotional, feminine, and world soul and in soul searching (how does the soul remember?; is there an ancient basis for a modern soul?; and the heartfelt relationship of one soul to another). Public libraries would do well to add this to their collections since the discussion invites scientists, believers, and skeptics to a captivating exploration. Both the mainstream religious believer and the New Age participant will find something here to challenge them. The numerous notes and six-page bibliography make this a comprehensive examination inviting further probing.Leroy Hommerding, Citrus Cty. Lib. System, Beverly Hills, Fla.
Kirkus Reviews
An attempt to prove by scientific methods that the soul exists, by a physicist who has explored this terrain before, in The Eagle's Quest (1991) and The Dreaming Universe (1994).

Wolf certainly succeeds in pointing up the limitations of the old Newtonian science. Logical, objective, materialist science gave us industrialization, and one of industrialization's undeniable results is a polluted world in which the majority of inhabitants live in poverty. Thus science in its objectivity, the author asserts, fails to provide any usable moral compass. But Wolf indicts science for an even more profound and damaging failing: its contribution to our sense of "spiritual isolation, to a feeling of depression," and to the conviction that life is pointless. He wants somehow to quantify those manifestations that are universally felt but cannot be seen: the diminishment one feels after the death of a loved one; sudden insights that lead to greater knowledge; dreams that transform consciousness as surely as cold logic. Such conditions are real and have real effects, he argues, even if they are subjective. The old science describes static conditions and cannot deal with the fluid nature of reality except to deny its existence. Quantum physics, however, allows us to begin to grapple with fluid reality, because it recognizes that the observed object changes even as it is observed. Does such a recognition suggest the realm of the soul, ebbing in some unmeasurable, timeless constant? The argument is essentially this: We cannot see the soul, but we can fleetingly observe its effects on consciousness. Therefore, it's real. Wolf's language is, thankfully, quite clear, his presentation of ideas deft, including an entertaining tour of theories of the soul from Plato to Einstein. In the end, however, he sounds less like a scientist than a Buddhist—or, to be precise, he tries to use Buddhism to explain what science has been unable to describe.

Trendy, but earnest and appealing as well.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684812007
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 8/6/1996
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 14
Acknowledgments 16
Ch. 1 Introduction: Some Soulful but Wrong Questions 19
Ch. 2 Aristotelian Soul Physics 35
Ch. 3 Platonic Soul Physics 54
Ch. 4 The Ancient Basis of a Modern Soul 83
Ch. 5 Resurrection Physics - A Lesson from the Land of Joking Smoking Skulls 104
Ch. 6 Mind, Soul, and Zero-Point Energy 124
Ch. 7 Quantum Evidence: The Self and the Soul 137
Ch. 8 The Buddhist Nonsoul 165
Ch. 9 Good, Evil, and Soul Addiction 185
Ch. 10 The Soul Trickster: Chaos, Lies, and Order 218
Ch. 11 Heaven, Hell, Immortality, Reincarnation, and Karma 233
Ch. 12 How Many Souls Are There? 262
Ch. 13 Soul-Talk 283
Ch. 14 Finale: Some Soulful and Right Answers 309
Notes 321
Bibliography 345
Index 351
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