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Record Type: Review   ID: 331

The Miracle of Existence

Margenau, Henry

 This is an exciting book not only because it is an attempt by a well-known physicist to synthesize "science, philosophy, and religion" (p. 1), but because, although he covers some subjects he has written about earlier in more conventional ways, here he "departs from convention, at least with respect to Western thought. and takes risks [he] would have forgone in [his] earlier writings" (p. 1). Idealism is the philosophy underlying this work, or the view that, quoting J.H. Muirhead, "A thing in itself which is not a thing to some consciousness is an entirely unrealizable, because contradictory, conception" (p. 1). He reviews the work of three modern idealists: Leibnitz, who criticizes the dualism of Descartes; Berkeley, and Kant. He deals with the big questions, such as the mind-body relationship; consciousness; the meaning of life, mind, and consciousness; a view of the mind based on conjectures drawn from physics; and the mind viewed as a field; science and religion; and the idea of a universal mind. He points out that his conclusions are compatible with Eastern worldviews, especially the doctrine that the Atman is Brahman and that the self is the Self. Our interest in exceptional human experiences in essence lies in the fact that initially or eventually, they provide firsthand personal knowledge of that Self.
Publisher Information:Boston, MA: New Science Library/Shambhala, 1987. 146p. Chap. notes: 136-143; 2 figs
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