The God Theory: Universes, Zero-Point Fields, and What's Behind It All Paperback – May 1 2003
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Physicist Haisch thinks "Let there be light" isn't just a randomly chosen phrase for the Creation. Indeed, he believes that in the mysteries of light rest clues to the deepest mysteries of the universe, something he calls God, though he doesn't mean by that word the personification that some believers prefer. A scientist who has worked in astrophysics and theoretical physics, Haisch has retained his wonder at the universe from childhood, as he describes in the affecting memoir with which the book begins. Many scientists find no tension between their profession and the profession of belief in divinity, but Haisch goes one step further by attempting to find a scientific explanation for the phenomenon generally called God. Light, that familiar but utterly mysterious force, is the key to such an understanding. Readable and engaging, Haisch will be embraced by those concerned with finding ways of reconciling science and religion. Patricia Monaghan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Readable and engaging, Haisch will be embraced by those concerned with finding ways of reconciling science and religion." --Booklist
"If you are interested in the zero point field from someone with the scientific and metaphysical credentials, go no further. . . . If you want to put your metaphysical conception of the universe on a more solid scientific basis and/or have great discussions . . . get a little God Theory in your life." --William Arntz, Executive Producer of What the Bleep Do We Know?
"Whether our world will fall apart from the excesses of religious zeal or the blind stupidities of scientific materialism is a serious question. In this tour de force, a peerless scientist presents us with a way out." --Larry Dossey, MD
"The God Theory makes important inroads toward the creation of a higher-order synthesis grounded in today's most cutting-edge science." --What Is Enlightment?
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I just love this book, every sentence from it. It directly opposes widely hold views that "science cannot find God, therefore God does not exists". We are God's experience, we are created to search and learn, therefore above mentioned dogma is rather invalid (according to the author). And it is hard to disagree after reading "God Theory". Despite of many claims that quantum physics is unconscious, Dr. Haisch states otherwise. He presents credible (and BTW amusing) blow to "Many Worlds" interpretation - golden spot of this book !! If we can speculate freely about multiverses and Apocalypse in the form of Universe's phase transition, the ZPF theory should be treated with respect as well. It is impossible to emphasize all captivating concepts and conclusions flying from the pages of Bernard Haisch work, but I can tell you, this was the best lecture on the subject "religion/consciousness/science" I have ever read. "God Theory" should be sold as a one volume, together with Owen Gingerich "God's Universe". More about ZPF theory/consciousness and its scientifically proven implications on our well being can be found in excellent "The Field" by Lynne McTaggart (see my review).
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Haisch begins with two observations: First, what we often call the "Goldilocks Theory:" why is it that certain key physical constants have just the right values to make life possible. The term is also applied to describe the key zones around a sun - not too hot and not too cold - in which planets are conducive to the development of carbon-based life forms. The second starting point is a phrase that is found in many religious traditions around the world, from the Middle East to India and China: "Let there be light, and there was light." He believes that consciousness is our connection to God, who, or which, is the source of all consciousness. This infinite conscious intelligence has infinite potential, and its ideas become the laws of physics. In his view the purpose of the Universe is the transformation of potential into experience. So consciousness is the origin of matter, the laws of natures and of all the universes that may exist.
Bernard is the co-author of a remarkable theory about inertia: that it is the property of matter that gives it substance, and that this solid matter is sustained by an underlying sea of quantum light: the zero-point. It is good to remember that one of the most celebrated theories of all time - Einstein's theory of special relativity - is based on the properties of light. Bernard proposes that light, in the form of a universal electromagnetic zero-point field, creates and sustains the world of matter that fills space-time.
One of the immediate implications of these ideas is that we are all imbued with some splinter of God consciousness, that God is experiencing through us, that we have purpose and that our relationship should be one of partnership rather than domination or servility. A second implication is that we should live a life that allows the expression of this intelligence, because in that way we evolve, grow and achieve ultimate satisfaction and happiness. The brain is a filter rather than a creator of consciousness and it is possible to develop the brain so that more of this consciousness is able to manifest. This squares well with the recent data on neuroplasticity and the impact of meditation on the structure and function of the brain. These ideas are familiar to anyone who has studied Hindu, Buddhist or Taoist philosophy, or the writings of mystics and contemplatives who have described the universe as the "body of God." But it has rarely been expressed so clearly and placed in a scientific framework.
Bernard Haisch has unique qualifications for writing this book. He was born in postwar Germany but came to the United States as a three year-old child. He had a strict Catholic upbringing, and his mother wanted him to be a priest, and he attended a high school dedicated to preparing boys for the seminary. He did spend one year in the seminary before leaving to become an astronomer and astrophysicist. So the philosophical and spiritual interests were seeded early on, and in later years he began to study other religions and philosophical systems.
This is an extremely well written and entertaining book by someone who has a fine grasp of science and can explain his wok without dumbing it down. It is small in size and only just over 150 pages, including a short bibliography. It is an easy read, but the ideas, whether they are right or wrong, will likely stay with you for a long time to come.
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in consciousness, spirituality and the subtle systems of the body.
It's an interesting theory (a synthesis of science and spirtuality) in which the author believes that God is attempting to experience His full measure of potential "as God" by actualizing Himself through each human being within the physical realm. (We are His incarnations.)
Just a few random things in general about it:
He comes down hard against the materialism (the belief that reality consists of matter and energy and nothing else) and reductionism (the belief that complex things can be explained by examining their constituent parts only) of scientists who refuse to accomodate even the "possibility of the spiritual", but he's equally critical of the massive failings of religion.
He focuses on the "Zero-Point Field" -- A special light energy that is supposed to inhabit all of space as mandated by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. He explores the possibility that this background sea of quantum light existing throughout the universe (the zero-point field) is what makes matter the solid and stable stuff that it is.
He proposes that "consciousness" gives rise to matter and not vice versa -- it is the primary stuff of reality shaping and directing matter by an "infinite intelligence" dreaming up an infinite variety of laws and physical constant values and then letting them play out in all their varieties in this and other universes.
Though I don't embrace the "God Theory" outright, I can't dismiss the idea out of hand because he makes a somewhat compelling case for it. It is as valid a possibility for explaining it all as anything else that has come before.
Mister Haisch does an excellent job in explaining scientific concepts so that the non-scientist can understand it well enough.
If you have a "scientific mindset" but can accomodate the possibilities of the "spiritual" or if you have a "spiritual mindset" but can accomodate the principles of science then you may find this theory at the very least an interesting one.
I have no negative comment about the book except that it is too short.
I hope I have been helpful to you.
First, that "God" is an infinite potential that has chosen to experience and realize its potential by creating our universe (and perhaps others) with its will manifested as the laws of physics and its being manifested as living creatures -- us. Haisch calls this The God Theory, although the idea was made a very popular a while back by Neale Donald Walsch in his Conversations With God series, in which he wrote extensively on this exact concept (Haisch does mention Walsch).
Second, that the reductionist, if-it's-not-matter-or-energy-then-it's-not-there attitude of modern day science is misguided. In my opinion, Haisch made this point ad nauseam, returning to it at every turn and making me think that he's got some bones to pick with some of his contemporaries. He could have made this point once or thrice then moved on, especially given that his main reason for choosing a God Theory universe over modern science's soulless, dumb universe is because science's view is a less pleasant way to describe the data -- rather than less valid way, since neither view answers "how did it start?" or "what does it mean?" in any way that is remotely provable.
But, aside from my complaints (that The God Theory is simply a repackaged version of the ideas of Walsch, and probably many others, into what you might have thought would be a new theory, and that Haisch burned too many pages beating the God-less reductionist dead horse), the book throws out some tantalizing tidbits and ideas. My three favorites are 1) the analogies he makes between white light and God -- both containing within them infinite potential, but only realizing it by subtracting some of that potential and projecting themselves upon a medium, 2) the discussions of the work of him and others relating inertia (along with other things affecting the universe's ability to exist such as atomic stability) to the zero point field, and 3) the very thought-provoking discussions of light's privileged reference point and how there must be a way to explain its apparently impossible properties that we're just not getting.
All in all, it's a worthwhile read, especially if you're interested in how science relates to some of the newer trends in spiritual thought. Not a tough read by any means, but a brain stretcher nonetheless (a good combination).
-- Larry Dossey, MD
Author: THE EXTRAORDINARY HEALING POWER OF ORDINARY THINGS
Although this God Consciousness has an infinite potential, this can only be actualized, become real, through experience. So God creates the world so that he can experience himself from a non-God viewpoint. For Haish consciousness is the origin of matter, not the reverse as physical sciences postulate. Creation is thus a physical part of God, including you, me and Fido; we are all parts of God. He maintains that we do not experience the world as it really is but only through what our brains do not filter out. As an example he points to some idiot savants who suffer from brain damage and who cannot tell right from left but can multiply in their heads two three digit numbers while carrying a conversation; not through any analytical process but just by seeing the number shapes in their mind morph into the final number. He attributes it to the [un]conscious being somehow linked to the infinite consciousness.
According to Einstein's theory, says the author, a photon traveling at the speed of light gets to its destination instantaneously, because at that speed there exist neither time nor space. He concludes that light generates matter. Light, of course, is pure energy, and energy can create particles as long as the sum of the particle properties is zero, like an electron-positron pair as an example. He discusses the zero point field (the radiation left over from the Big Bang that is spread throughout all creation), which contains a huge quantity of energy (but at extremely low potential so it is not easily accessible) but does not consider it to be God as some other writers in this field have.
Haisch ends up by scolding both science and religion; science for ignoring everything other than the material world that can be tested in the laboratories, and religion for perverting its own beliefs and causing untold damage to the people of this world. This last chapter can be considered to be inspirational.
The book is extremely readable (with the possible exception of the chapter dealing with Einstein's theories and the Kabbalah, which involves a little more science and mysticism) and the author peppers his writing with occasional humor and personal stories. The bibliography lists twenty five books, of which ten were published after 1990. There is no index, but the book is small and the table of contents sufficiently detailed so it is not a major problem. In my opinion, however, if you expect that your readers will want to look up things in your book you should provide them with an index.
(The writer is the author of "Christianity without Fairy Tales: When Science and Religion Merge.")