Quotes from Holistic Scientists

Most of these Quotes are from Nobel Laureates
[The comments in brackets are by Rolf Sattler]


Mystery
(see also Mystic Quotes # 8 and 13-15)

1

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science (Albert Einstein: Ideas and Opinions, 1954; quoted by Ravi Ravindra. 1991. Science and Spirit. New York: Paragon House, p. 322).

[One easy door to the mysterious is laughter that is also beneficial for our health (see Mystic Quote # 9, Wisdom Quotes # 30, and Laughter Yoga)]

2

Every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery of our own being (Max Planck. 1932. Where is Science Going? New York: Norton; quoted by Ken Wilber. 1984. Quantum Questions. Mystical Writings of the World’s Great Physicists. Boston & London: The New Library, Shambala, p. 152).

[Note: Instead of mystery, I also refer to the unnamable because mystery is beyond words (see
Ken Wilber, his AQAL Map and Beyond and Beyond Thinking, Writing, and Speaking - the Unnamable)]


Marvel

3

Things are much more marvelous than the scientific method allows us to conceive (Barbara McClintock; quoted by Evelyn Fox Keller. 1983. A Feeling for the Organism. The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. New York: Freeman, p. 203).

4

[Plants] are fantastically beyond our wildest expectations (plant geneticist Barbara McClintock; quoted by Evelyn Fox Keller. 1983. A Feeling for the Organism. The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. New York: Freeman, p. 200).

5

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love (Albert Einstein).


Oneness and Holomovement
(see also Mystic Quotes)

6

Basically, everything is one (Barbara McClintock; quoted by Evelyn Fox Keller. 1983. A Feeling for the Organism. The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. New York: Freeman, p. 204).

7

Quantum physics thus revels a basic oneness of the universe (Erwin Schrödinger http://www.great-quotes.com/cgi-bin/viewquotes.cgi?action=search&Author_First_Name=Erwin&Author_Last_Name=Schrodinger&Movie=)

8

Isolated material particles are abstractions (Niels Bohr. 1934. Atomic Physics and the Description of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 57).

9

…to emphasize undivided wholeness, we shall say that what ‘carries’ an implicate order is the holomovement, which is an unbroken and undivided totality. In certain cases, we can abstract particular aspects of the holomovement (e.g., light, electrons, sound, etc), but more generally, all forms of the holomovement merge and are inseparable. Thus, in its totality, the holomovement is not limited in any specifiable way at all. It is not required to conform to any particular order, or to be bounded by any particular measure. Thus, the holomovement is undefinable and immeasurable (David Bohm. 1981. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p. 151).

10

The new form of insight can perhaps best be called Undivided Wholeness in Flowing Movement [=holomovement] (David Bohm. 1981. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p. 11).

11

…mind and matter are abstractions from the universal flux (David Bohm. 1981. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p. 53).

12

In this movement, there is NO THING. Rather, things are abstracted out of the movement in our perception and thought, and any such abstraction fits the real movement only up to a point, and without limits. Some ‘things’ may last for a very long time and be fairly stable, while others are ephemeral as the shapes abstracted in perceptions of clouds (David Bohm. 1976. Fragmentation and Wholeness. Jerusalem: Van Leer Jerusalem Foundation, p. 40).

13

Instead of saying, ‘An observer looks at an object’, we can more appropriately say, ‘Observation is going on, in an undivided movement involving those abstractions customarily called “the human being” and “the object he is looking at” (David Bohm. 1981. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p. 29).

14

The best image of process is perhaps that of the flowing stream, whose substance is never the same. On this stream, one may see an ever-changing pattern of vortices, ripples, waves, splashes, etc, which evidently have no independent existence as such. Rather, they are abstracted from the flowing movement, arising and vanishing in the total process of the flow (David Bohm. 1981. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p. 48).

15

We will now consider a mode in which movement is to be taken as primary in our thinking and in which this notion will be incorporated into the language structure by allowing the verb rather than the noun to play a primary role…we shall give this mode a name, i. e. the rheomode (‘rheo’ is from a Greek verb, meaning ‘to flow’) (David Bohm. 1981. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 30-31).

[Note: Oneness has different meanings. Intuitively, it has often been considered the ultimate: in oneness with the universe we transcend our limits and limitations, we become whole and holy. However, on logical grounds, it has been pointed out that oneness excludes its opposite (manyness) and therefore is incomplete and lacking. Hence, it has been argued, mystical union, although referred to as union, is not just oneness with the universe but beyond the one and the many (what could be referred to as the Unnamable or perhaps the Ultimate One). - Furthermore, it has been much debated, if and how oneness in physics is related to oneness in spirituality. For Ken Wilber, a hierarchical (holarchical) thinker, oneness of matter in physics is at best a pale reflection of the oneness of spirit, since matter is at the lowest level of the hierarchy that culminates with spirit at its highest level. However, if one admits complementary non-hierarchical views (that I suggested in
Ken Wilber, Holarchy and Beyond and in Chapters 1 and 2 of Wilber’s AQAL Map and Beyond), oneness in physics is an important aspect of oneness in general as is oneness in biology, psychology, and spirituality (see, e.g., Agnes Arber.1967. The Manifold and the One. Wheaton, Il: The Theosophical Publishing House, and Malcolm Hollik. 2006. The Science of Oneness: A Worldview for the Twenty-First Century.)]


Limitations of Science

16

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our mode of questioning (Werner Heisenberg, quoted by Kosko, B. 1993. Fuzzy Thinking. The New Science of Fuzzy Logic. New York: Hyperion, p. 267).

17

We have learned that the exploration of the external world by the methods of the physical sciences leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating (Sir Arthur Eddington. 1929. The Nature of the Physical World. New York: McMillan, p. 282).

18

The frank realization that physical science is concerned with a world of shadows is one of the most significant of recent advances (Ibid.).

19

Physics most strongly insists that its methods do not penetrate behind the symbolism. Surely then that mental and spiritual nature of ourselves … supplies just that … which science is admittedly unable to give (Sir Arthur Eddignton. 1929. Science and the Unseen World. New York: Macmillan; quoted by Ken Wilber. 1984. Quantum Questions. Mystical Writings of the World’s Great Physicists. Boston & London: The New Library, Shambala, p. 10).

20

[Scientic knowledge is] lots of fun. You get lots of correlations, but you don’t get the truth (Barbara McClintock; quoted by Evelyn Fox Keller. 1983. A Feeling for the Organism. The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. New York: Freeman, p. 203).

21

…our science – Greek science – is based on objectification… But I do believe that this is precisely the point where our present way of thinking does need to be amended, perhaps by a bit of blood transfusion from Eastern thought (Erwin Schrödinger; quoted by Evelyn Fox Keller. 1983. A Feeling for the Organism. The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. New York: Freeman, p. 203).

22

I was so startled by their [Tibetan Buddhists] method of training and by its results that I figured we were limiting ourselves by using what we call the scientific method (Barbara McClintock; quoted by Evelyn Fox Keller. 1983. A Feeling for the Organism. The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. New York: Freeman, p. 201).

[see also
Wisdom Quotes and my book in progress on Materialism, Holism, and Mysticism]



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