In Hinduism, Shiva the Cosmic Dancer, is perhaps the most perfect personification of the dynamic universe. Through his dance, Shiva sustains the manifold phenomena in the world, unifying all things by immersing them in his rhythm and making them participate in the dance - a magnificent image of the dynamic unity of the Universe.

— Fritjof Capra

The most famous Fritjof Capra quotes to get the best of your day

Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.

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The more complex the network is, the more complex its pattern of interconnections, the more resilient it will be.

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In the end, the aggressors always destroy themselves, making way for others who know how to cooperate and get along. Life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a triumph of cooperation and creativity.

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Mystics understand the roots of the Tao but not its branches;

scientists understand its branches but not its roots. Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science; but man needs both.

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With the subsequent strong support from cybernetics , the concepts of systems thinking and systems theory became integral parts of the established scientific language, and led to numerous new methodologies and applications -- systems engineering, systems analysis, systems dynamics, and so on.

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Before the 1940s the terms "system" and "systems thinking" had been used by several scientists, but it was Bertalanffy's concepts of an open system and a general systems theory that established systems thinking as a major scientific movement

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Ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected, because deep ecological awareness, ultimately, is spiritual awareness.

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The mystic and the physicist arrive at the same conclusion;

one starting from the inner realm, the other from the outer world. The harmony between their views confirms the ancient Indian wisdom that Brahman, the ultimate reality without, is identical to Atman, the reality within.

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Bells theorem dealt a shattering blow to Einsteins position by showing that the conception of reality as consisting of separate parts, joined by local connections, is incompatible with quantum theory... Bells theorem demonstrates that the universe is fundamentally interconnected, interdependent, and inseparable.

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A sustainable human community is designed in such a manner that its ways of life, technologies, and social institutions honor, support, and cooperate with nature's inherent ability to sustain life.

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The phenomenon of emergence takes place at critical points of instability that arise from fluctuations in the environment, amplified by feedback loops. Emergence results in the creation of novelty, and this novelty is often qualitatively different from the phenomenon out of which it emerged.

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The more we study the major problems of our time, the more we come to realise that they cannot be understood in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means that they are interconnected and interdependent.

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About Fritjof Capra

Quotes 50 sayings
Profession Physicist
Birthday October 16

Modern physics had shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of living creatures, but is also the very essence of inorganic matter. For modern physicists...Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter.

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The creativity and adaptability of life expresses itself through the spontaneous emergence of novelty at critical points of instability. Every human organization contains both designed and emergent structures. The challenge is to find the right balance between the creativity of emergence and the stability of design.

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The basic pattern of life is a network.

Whenever you see life, you see networks. The whole planet, what we can term 'Gaia' is a network of processes involving feedback tubes. Humans are part of the larger whole, Gaia.

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Modern physics has... revealed that every sub-atomic particle not only performs an energy dance, but also is an energy dance; a pulsating process of creation and destruction.

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The term "paradigm," from the Greek paradeigma ("pattern"), was used by Kuhn to denote a conceptual framework shared by a community of scientists and providing them with model problems and solutions

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Doing work which has to be done over and over again helps us recognize the natural cycles of growth and decay, of birth and death, and thus become aware of the dynamic order of the universe. "Ordinary" work, as the root meaning of the term indicates, is work that is in harmony with the order we perceive in the natural environment.

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In modern physics, the universe is experienced as a dynamic inseparable whole which always includes the observer in an essential way.

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During periods of relaxation after concentrated intellectual activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce the sudden clarifying insights which give so much joy and delight.

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Subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement.

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At the deepest level of ecological awareness you are talking about spiritual awareness. Spiritual awareness is an understanding of being imbedded in a larger whole, a cosmic whole, of belonging to the universe.

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Organizations need to undergo fundamental changes, both in order to adapt to the new business environment and to become ecologically sustainable.

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Zen phrase says The instant you speak about a thing you miss the mark.

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As long as we do science, some things will always remain unexplained.

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The influence of modern physics goes beyond technology.

It extends to the realm of thought and culture where it has led to a deep revision in man's conception of the universe and his relation to it

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If physics leads us today to a world view which is essentially mystical, it returns, in a way, to its beginning, 2,500 years ago... This time, however, it is not only based on intuition, but also on experiments of great precision and sophistication, and on a rigorous and consistent mathematical formalism.

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Genuine mental health would involve a balanced interplay of both modes of experience, a way of life in which one's identification with the ego is playful and tentative rather than absolute and mandatory, while the concern with material possessions is pragmatic rather than obsessive.

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Subatomic particles do not exist but rather show 'tendencies to exist', and atomic events do not occur with certainty at definite times and in definite ways, but rather show 'tendencies to occur'.

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Tektology was the first attempt in the history of science to arrive at a systematic formulation of the principles of organization operating in living and nonliving systems.

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The elements of life are dynamic patterns of mass and energy, events rather than objects.

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This spontaneous emergence of order at critical points of instability, which is often referred to simply as "emergence," is one of the hallmarks of life. It has been recognized as the dynamic origin of development, learning, and evolution. In other words, creativity-the generation of new forms-is a key property of all living systems.

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One of the key insights of the systems approach has been the realization that the network is a pattern that is common to all life. Wherever we see life, we see networks.

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Scientists, therefore, are responsible for their research, not only intellectually but also morally. This responsibility has become an important issue in many of today's sciences, but especially so in physics, in which the results of quantum mechanics and relativity theory have opened up two very different paths for physicists to pursue. They may lead us - to put it in extreme terms - to the Buddha or to the Bomb, and it is up to each of us to decide which path to take.

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A page from a journal of modern experimental physics will be as mysterious to the uninitiated as a Tibetan mandala. Both are records of enquiries into the nature of the universe.

0

The structure of the human brain is enormously complex.

It contains about 10 billion nerve cells (neurons), which are interlinked in a vast network through 1,000 billion junctions (synapses). The whole brain can be divided into subsections, or sub-networks, which communicate with each other in a network fashion. All this results in intricate patterns of intertwined webs, networks of nesting within larger networks.

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In ordinary life, we are not aware of the unity of all things, but divide the world into separate objects and events. This division is useful and necessary to cope with our everyday environment, but it is not a fundamental feature of reality. It is an abstraction devised by our discriminating and categorising intellect. To believe that our abstract concepts of separate 'things' and 'events' are realities of nature is an illusion.

0

The mathematical framework of quantum theory has passed countless successful tests and is now universally accepted as a consistent and accurate description of all atomic phenomena. The verbal interpretation, on the other hand - i.e., the metaphysics of quantum theory - is on far less solid ground. In fact, in more than forty years physicists have not been able to provide a clear metaphysical model.

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The fact that modern physics, the manifestation of an extreme specialization of the rational mind, is now making contact with mysticism, the essence of religion and manifestation of an extreme specialization of the intuitive mind, shows very beautifully the unity and complementary nature of the rational and intuitive modes of consciousness; of the yang and the yin.

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Gradually, physicists began to realise that nature, at the atomic level, does not appear as a mechanical universe composed of fundamental building blocks, but rather as a network of relations, and that, ultimately, there are no parts at all in this interconnected web. Whatever we call a part is merely a pattern that has some stability and therefore captures our attention.

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For children, most importantly, being in the garden is something magical.

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Our Western science, ever since the 17th century, has been obsessed with the notion of control, of man dominating nature. This obsession has led to disaster.

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When the concept of human spirit is understood as the mode of consciousness in which the individual feels connected to the Cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is spiritual in its deepest sense.

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Both the physicist and the mystic want to communicate their knowledge, and when they do so with words their statements are paradoxical and full of logical contradictions.

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Whenever we look at life, we look at networks.

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Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science but man needs both.

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Whenever the essential nature of things is analysed by the intellect, it must seem absurd or paradoxical. This has always been recognized by the mystics, but has become a problem in science only very recently.

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Understanding of life begins with the understanding of patterns.

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Knowledge cannot be separated from a certain way of life which becomes its living manifestation. To acquire mystical knowledge means to undergo a transformation; one could even say that the knowledge is the transformation.

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