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In Search of Divine Reality

Science as a Source of Inspiration

Lothar Schäfer

Publication Year: 2014

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.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

Writing this book has given me unabated happiness. After struggling with its conception for decades—helplessly for most of the time—all of a sudden it wrote itself. Gabriele, companion of a life time, was the benign force that made the process possible. ...


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pp. ix-xii


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pp. xiii-xiv

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pp. xv-xviii

In this book I share my conclusions from a lifelong search for evidence—from quantum science—of the existence of a transcendent part of physical reality, combining disciplinary thought from science, philosophy, religion, and ethics. ...

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pp. 3-12

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. ...

Part I. In Search of the Transcendental Elements of Human Knowledge

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1. The Composite Nature of Knowledge

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pp. 15-24

Science is central. By science I 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. ...

Part II. In Search of Transcendental Physical Reality

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2. The Wave-Particle Duality

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pp. 27-54

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. ...

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Part III. In Search of Transcendental Human Nature

Searching for transcendent aspects of human existence, we have found them in our analyses of knowledge and at the foundations of physical reality. Knowledge extends as far as our sense experience and reason but it contains principles that experience and reason cannot verify. ...

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3. The Human Mystery

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pp. 57-68

Eccles begins his discussion by asking whether, in contrast to the doctrine of mechanism, there can be a natural theology as 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? ...

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4. Chance and Necessity

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pp. 69-82

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

Part IV. Divine Reality

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5. The Importance of the Self-Conscious Mind

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pp. 85-94

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: ...

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6. Healing the Wound

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pp. 95-110

Socrates related virtue to knowledge. While he did not mean knowledge 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. ...

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Epilogue: On the Foundations of Metaphysics in the Mind-like Background of Physical Reality

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pp. 111-116

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. ...

Appendix 1. The Illegitimate Components of Knowledge

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pp. 117-131

Appendix 2. The Failure of Intuition

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pp. 132-139

Appendix 3. Some Aspects of Causality

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pp. 140-142

Appendix 4. Science and the Humanities

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pp. 143-145

Appendix 5. Popper’s Logic of Science

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pp. 146-151

Appendix 6. Some Properties of Waves and Particles

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pp. 152-157

Appendix 7. Schrödinger’s Wave Mechanics

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pp. 158-159

Appendix 8. The Meaning of Ψ

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pp. 160-162

Appendix 9. Empty Atoms as Platonic Forms

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pp. 163-171

Appendix 10. Some Aspects of the Nature of Quantum States

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pp. 172-173

Appendix 11. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

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pp. 174-182

Appendix 12. The Surrealism of Superpositions of States: The Case of Schrödinger’s Cat

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pp. 183-184

Appendix 13. The Pauli Principle

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pp. 185-188

Appendix 14. The EPR Paradox

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pp. 189-191

Appendix 15. The Non-Locality of the Universe

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pp. 192-197

Appendix 16. Some Technical Details Concerning Bell’s Theorem

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pp. 198-204

Appendix 17. The Emergence of Historical Philosophical Views in Quantum Ontology

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pp. 205-225

Appendix 18. Defining a Realistic View of the World

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pp. 226-228


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pp. 229-232


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pp. 233-236

E-ISBN-13: 9781610752022
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557286574

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2014