Monday, February 27, 2012

Review of "Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything" by Ervin Laszlo

Metaphysical phenomena, such as the earth’s biosphere behaving like a massive cybernetic system or the wave-particle paradox of physics, have been interpreted in a variety of ways as humanity becomes increasingly aware of its existence.  In recent decades these and other phenomena have been utilized in combination with other less scientific but more theological and pedagogical ideas to formulate concepts regarding the fundamental nature of reality - as Bohm and Lovelock have done.  Another example of such an amalgam is the work of Ervin Laszlo, especially as expressed in his 2007 Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything.

Based on the anomalies discovered in the fields of physics, biology, and psychology, Laszlo extrapolates on the Buddhist idea of an Akashic field, utilizing it figuratively in combination with relative scientific knowledge to explain the indeterminate fashion in which life exists.  According to Buddhism, the Akashic field permeates all things and forms “the womb from which everything we perceive with our senses has emerged and into everything will ultimately re-descend” (xi).  Primarily a metaphor for the lack of language to describe the interconnected, cyclical harmony Laszlo sees the earth and life as existing within, the Akashic field, much like Bohm’s implicate order, serves as an omnipresent field, a suffuse, indeterminate substance through which reality is ordered into a totality of life.  

In the end, Laszlo’s book will interest readers who enjoy the work of Fritjof Capra, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake, James Hillman, and other researchers, scientists, and scholars who incorporate less rational ideas into conventional scientific research and writing.  Laszlo’s style is smooth and easy to read, and offers evidence from physics research to support those claims for which intuition is not needed.  An interesting read in the least.

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