Next month sees the publication of Time, Light and the Dice of Creation: Through Paradox in Physics to a New Order by Philip Franses. Philip is Senior Lecturer in the MSc of Holistic Science at Schumacher College, and this book represents many years of Philip’s deep journeys the mysteries of the universe through physics, exploring concepts such as matter, chance, time, light, darkness, emptiness and form.
While studying Holistic Science at Schumacher, I was introduced by Philip to the work on quantum wholeness of David Bohm. Philip also introduced me to the work of Wolfgang Pauli, who as well as being a world-class physicist, also spent many years in deep dialogue with C.G. Jung, their correspondence being published in the little-known but very amazing book Atom and Archetype, edited by C.A. Meier.
As Philip describes on the cover of his book:
The founders of modern scientific thought, such as Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and Pauli, struggled to pin down the paradoxical concepts they needed to present ‘workable’ theories, as the subatomic and quantum world began to reveal its mysteries. At the height of the debate about the nature of matter, Einstein famously objected that ‘God does not play dice’.
Starting from the significance of zero and one, with their contrasting Eastern and Western philosophies, Franses unravels the knots that surround elusive concepts such as matter, chance, time, light, darkness, emptiness, and form.
Exploring current models in science, he asks: does light travel in time? Or is it time that travels in light? How can emptiness hold potential? Can chance create order? What does our own experience mean in all this?
The starting point for the journey that Philip takes us on is a contemplation of the dynamic relationship between the whole and the parts. This is of course the same dynamic conception of wholeness that we write about in our own book Holonomics.
In order to introduce us to Time, Light and the Dice of Creation, Philip has written a paper which is due to be published in the next edition of The Holistic Science Journal.
The paper can be read here: The Creative Relation of Whole and Part
The book was written as a “collective journey to find our culture’s relation of wholeness newly, through our scientific insight into whole and parts”. Philip introduces this conception of the whole and parts in his paper:
Our starting point is a simple shift in the relation of whole to parts. Normally we imagine the whole as something already there and the parts as the logical constituents. This article follows a long tradition, where the whole comes into being through the part; and the part is representative of the whole. The whole and the part are in a dynamic interaction. There is no whole without the part, and no part without the whole. The relation of parts to the whole inhabits the novel, which is thereby given the means of expression.
Having been able to spend so much time together with Philip exploring rich and profound ideas, this is one book I cannot wait to read. It is a welcome addition to the still nascent discipline of Holistic Science, and represents a genuine transformation of our conception of what science is, its mode of investigation, shifting our world views into ones of dynamic wholeness.