Friday, December 17, 2010

The Grand Design

“To understand the universe at the deepest level, we need to know not only how the universe behaves, but why.” Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design.

Stephen Hawking takes us on a journey through the discoveries of science and the musings of philosophy to probe humankind’s theories on how the world functions, and where the universe came from. He artfully picks the fruit of philosophers from Socrates to Newton to Einstein, and to the forefront of today’s scientific thinking.

Then, he magnificently leaps into the depths of quantum physics, bringing the reader to a certain level of comfort with the idea that there are not three, not four dimensions, but rather, ten.

Hawking again asks Einstein’s question, “Did God have any choice when he created the universe?” He takes us along the journey his mind has pondered, and entices even those of us who are not scientists to look at the questions of creation and human potential in a new and satisfying way.

This book is probably one of the most important books of 2010, simply in the relatively easy way he brings his readers into today’s most progressive laboratories, today’s discussions on quantum theory and M-theory, and into the realm of great thinkers throughout history, which certainly includes Professors Hawking and Mlodinow.

The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, Bantam Books, 2010.

1 comment:

Ron Krumpos said...

In "The Grand Design" Hawking says that we are somewhat like goldfish in a curved fishbowl. Our perceptions are limited and warped by the kind of lenses we see through, “the interpretive structure of our human brains.” Albert Einstein rejected this subjective approach, common to much of quantum mechanics, but did admit that our view of reality is distorted.

Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity has the surprising consequences that “the same event, when viewed from inertial systems in motion with respect to each other, will seem to occur at different times, bodies will measure out at different lengths, and clocks will run at different speeds.” Light does travel in a curve, due to the gravity of matter, thereby distorting views from each perspective in this Universe. Similarly, mystics’ experience in divine oneness, which might be considered the same "eternal" event, viewed from various historical, cultural and personal perspectives, have occurred with different frequencies, degrees of realization and durations. This might help to explain the diversity in the expressions or reports of that spiritual awareness. What is seen is the same; it is the "seeing" which differs.

In some sciences, all existence is described as matter or energy. In some of mysticism, only consciousness exists. Dark matter is 25%, and dark energy about 70%, of the critical density of this Universe. Divine essence, also not visible, emanates and sustains universal matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and cosmic consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). During suprarational consciousness, and beyond, mystics share in that essence to varying extents. [quoted from www.suprarational.org on comparative mysticism]

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