Physics of the Soul by Amit Goswami

Amit Goswami. Physics of the Soul: The Quantum Book of Living, Dying, Reincarnation, and Immortality. Charlottesville, Virg.: Hampton Roads, 2001. Paperback, xii + 289 pages.

Amit Goswami is the author of several books that seek to interpret quantum theory from a wide-angle philosophical perspective. In the present work, we see him grappling with such important issues as death, reincarnation, immortality, and liberation—all of which, he argues, begin to make more rational sense when we view them in the light of quantum theory.

An engaging writer, Goswami does his best to make quantum theory intelligible. As with other similar popular books that try to communicate quantum theoretical discoveries, it is difficult for a layperson to assess to what degree this highly specialized theory can be plausibly applied to our world of experience and to metaphysics. Some physicists would argue that Goswami is stretching quantum theory beyond its designed application.

Be that as it may, as a layperson I find the author’s diverse speculations of great interest, especially because he brings into play all sorts of information from diverse fields of inquiry. I appreciate anyone’s efforts to make sense of the world we live in, while simultaneously recognizing the makeshift nature of all explanations. Evidently, Goswami is writing from the perspective of someone who has integrated his knowledge of quantum theory with a great deal of other learning. Sometimes the switch from physics to metaphysics, and from knowledge to belief (or assumption) is quite subtle. My recommendation is to read this book and all others like it with an open mind but without wanting to extract from it conclusive truth.

Bearing the above caveat in mind, Physics of the Soul a rich table of food for thought.

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