The Unification of Physics

(This essay was originally part of Chapter 4 of my new book, The Systems View of Life, coauthored with Pier Luigi Luisi. It had to be cut due to space restrictions, and I am posting it here because I am often asked about the latest developments in particle physics.)

The two basic theories of twentieth-century physics, quantum theory and relativity theory, transcended the principal aspects of the Cartesian worldview and of Newtonian physics. Quantum theory showed that subatomic particles are not isolated grains of matter but are probability patterns, interconnections in an inseparable cosmic web that includes the human observer and his or her consciousness. Relativity theory revealed the intrinsically dynamic character of this cosmic web by showing that its activity is the very essence of its being.

Read More

Preview of My Textbook

My forthcoming book is the realization of a dream I have had for many years. It is a multidisciplinary textbook, coauthored with my friend and colleague Pier Luigi Luisi, Professor of Biology at the University of Rome, and to be published by Cambridge University Press in April 2014.

In this book, titled The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision, we present a coherent systemic framework that integrates four dimensions of life: the biological, the cognitive, the social, and the ecological dimension; and we discuss the philosophical, social, and political implications of this unifying vision.

Read More

Learning from Leonardo

Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius

My new book, Learning from Leonardo, has now been published by Berrett-Koehler in San Francisco.

Read More

Qualitative Growth

coauthored with Hazel Henderson

A conceptual framework for finding solutions to our current crisis that are economically sound, ecologically sustainable, and socially just

The current global recession has been dominating the news since the beginning of the year. Every day we hear about people buying fewer cars, factories that produced sport-utility and recreational vehicles being closed, oil consumption (and thus the price of oil) decreasing dramatically, retailers complaining about consumers spending less money on luxury items, and so on. From an ecological point of view, all of this is good news, since continuing growth of such material consumption on a finite planet can only lead to catastrophe. Yet, it poses a contradictory “paradox of thrift.” For example, President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan, including “cash for clunkers” to increase car sales, is designed to raise consumption levels in both the public and private sectors, while increased savings are also desirable to contain deficits.

Read More

Shiva’s Cosmic Dance at CERN

On June 18, 2004, an unusual new landmark was unveiled at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva — a 2m tall statue of the Indian deity Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. The statue, symbolizing Shiva’s cosmic dance of creation and destruction, was given to CERN by the Indian government to celebrate the research center’s long association with India.

photo credit: Giovanni Chierico

photo credit: Giovanni Chierico

Read More

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Reflections on the Spirit and Legacy of the Sixties

The 1960s were the period of my life during which I experienced the most profound and most radical personal transformation. For those of us who identify with the cultural and political movements of the sixties, that period represents not so much a decade as a state of consciousness, characterized by “transpersonal” expansion, the questioning of authority, a sense of empowerment, and the experience of sensuous beauty and community.

Read More
Page 2 of 212