GreenSpirit Press, 2003
Reviewed by Don Hills (abridged from the original)
In this book, Chris links his extensive, first-hand knowledge of modern physics with a deeply-felt creation spirituality, aided by a powerful grasp of the history of science and philosophy. As with all his writings, this book is marked by clarity and precision. He builds his argument step by step with unflagging rigour, speaking directly and personally to his readers, never patronising them and yet all the while very aware of the great difficulty many of us have in grasping the staggering concepts of ‘the new science’.
Although strong on theory, Chris’ principle task in this book is immensely practical. He wants to tell us what it means to really live in moment-by-moment connection with all-that-is, or, to use a favourite term of his, with the Other. To do this, he sets out the new world-view that makes living in connection possible. But before doing so he takes us back through the old world-view with its destructive, dualistic, ‘clockwork’ approach to life – and in particular the Newtonian 17th century emphases on determinism, the machine, separate units, exact quantities, observation, control, competition, and the notion that freedom is illusory. He shows how and why ‘old science’ still has a stranglehold on western culture, infecting us all with a sense of alienation and meaninglessness.
He then leads us into the new world-view based on the findings of modern physics and the spirituality of connectedness. Here we are in the wondrous worlds of freedom, organism, interconnection, global patterns, interaction, participation, cooperation and creativity. The remarkable news is that these are not just idealistic concepts but are the very stuff of the universe!
Before describing in detail how the new science and its counterpart new spirituality mesh together to give us the new world-view, Chris leads us into the intriguing, mysterious world of modern physics with a technically difficult, but crucial chapter on Quantal Thinking. On the surface his three basic principles of such thinking are unexceptional – the future is in many ways uncertain, the present is conditioned by the past, future possibilities are created by the wider context. However, in his scholarly hands we are shown how the physics of tiny particles apply equally to plants, people and the universe itself.
‘In a spirituality of connectedness’ he says ‘we see that our flourishing depends on the flourishing of the other-than-human world as well. My joy in the world depends on the joy of the skylark, and on the harmony of the whole’…Once we take our place within this dynamic community, then our responses are coordinated with the responses of other beings. We can call upon the plankton, the tides, the wind, to help us; we can, and must, call on the Wisdom of the whole to help us where we must fail in our unaided efforts.’