Equations of Eternity

From the book jacket:

“David Darling holds a degree in Physics From Sheffield University and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Manchester, in England.”

In a fascinating and unique treatment of the subject, David Darling prompts the reader to consider the interdependence of both sides of the brain hemispheres. Identifying the left brain as the analytical center which hosts language skills, and describing the right brain as having “no barrier between itself and the undivided universe,” Darling delivers an insightful conclusion as to why the tasks and skills of the left brain lead to an explanation of “…why, in the end, science and all other rational pursuits are never completely satisfying:”

“In taking apart and analyzing, they lose the essence of the whole. The truth is that the universe is an unbroken totality. And though immeasurable benefits may come from looking at the world in pieces, they will never include an appreciation–still less, a direct perception–of the unity of nature.”

This quote is contained in the chapter Darling entitled, “A Parting of Ways,” and while that phrase does capture the central idea that there are two fairly opposing views of the universe generally, he goes to great lengths to express how both sides are quickly being forced to consider the benefits of the other:

“We have been compelled by modern physics to regard things in a very different light. As we shall see, we have been forced to concede that not only may consciousness have a purpose, but that it may actually be indispensable to the universe in which we live.”

Recent experiences in my personal interactions with the “unbroken totality” continue to inform me and provoke me to consider how a greater understanding of this concept would benefit all the people of the planet, should such an idea engage more hearts and minds.

Just thinking out loud……John H.

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2 comments

  1. michaeleriksson

    I do not have the context of the quotes (and could misinterpret), but this sounds like mumbo-jumbo: Yes, for a complete understanding both holistic and reductionistic views are necessary. This, however, is a near trivial observation that almost all scientist will agree with. Going from there to what sounds like New Age cliches is a different matter.

    • jjhiii24

      Michael,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I can assure you that David Darling is a serious thinker and scientist, and in the context of the quotes I referenced, his point was being made by way of introduction to developing his ideas in full. It would be most challenging indeed to bring out the fullness of his thoughts without posting large passages from the book.

      But in response to your specific criticism, I would disagree that most scientists are willing to concede the value in both the holistic and reductionist views, nor do I believe many consider the inclusion of a holistic view as being necessary to our understanding. My observations in my reading of current scientific literature and in much of the mainstream scientific media is precisely the opposite.

      However, your observations indicate that you are someone who is clearly thinking about these important matters, and in that context, I am delighted that you were interested enough to respond.

      Let’s talk some more! Warm regards….John H.

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