Browsing All Posts published on »August, 2005«

The Limits of Knowledge

August 16, 2005


Mathematics is (from one point of view anyway) the study of a particularly rigorous and precise kind of knowledge. Although it is quite specialized, it nonetheless can open us up to insights into the nature of knowledge in general. One example of this comes from the mathematician Kurt Godel, who proved two remarkable theorems that […]

Does Quantum Physics Prove Mysticism?

August 12, 2005


Since Fritjof Capra’s Tao of Physics popularized the parallels between quantum physics and Eastern mystical philosophies, some people have concluded that quantum physics implies a mystical worldview. But does it really? First, we should recognize that quantum physics admits multiple philosophical interpretations, and they are all consistent with the empirical predictions of the theory. There […]

Does the World Have Objective Existence?

August 9, 2005


Most of us are naive realists: we are convinced there are “facts” that are simply given to us, and there are “things” that really exist “out there.” We can’t walk through walls, move mountains, or make the sun rise just by wishing it. Reality has its own laws that are completely independent of what we […]

Bailing Water from a Sunken Ship: A Parable

August 6, 2005


Two little fish friends are swimming in the ocean and find a sunken shipwreck. As creative and imaginative young fish tend to do, they start playing in the ship, imagining that it is floating above water, that they are sailing on great adventures, encountering pirates and storms, taking this ship on a great journey across […]

Quantum Consciousness

August 5, 2005


What (if anything) does quantum physics have to do with consciousness? Does quantum physics provide a connection between mind and matter, or a mechanism for the mind to affect the physical world? These are very controversial questions, and there is no consensus about the role of quantum physics in the relationship between mind and matter. […]

Getting Beyond Spiritual Teachings

August 1, 2005


Teachings are intended to be helpful to us, of course. Sometimes, though, our thinking mind can get tied up in knots with them, especially the more paradoxical of the mystical teachings. When this happens, it might be helpful to remember that all teachings are “fingers pointing to the moon” and are not absolute truths about […]