Essays on Mathematics, Physics and Spiritual Philosophy

Thomas J. McFarlane





About the Author

Quantum Mechanics and Reality (1995)

Symmetry in Science and Religion (1991)

Science: Physical and Spiritual (1995)

Kant and Mathematical Knowledge (1990)

The Spiritual Function of Mathematics (1994)

The Play of Distinction (1994)

The Meaning of Sunyata in Nagarjuna's Philosophy (1989)

Reflections on the Absolute (1995)

End Notes


© Thomas J. McFarlane 1995

All rights reserved.

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Thomas J. McFarlane


The essays in this volume are inspired by a vision that reveals the harmony between mathematical, physical and spiritual knowledge. Although this harmony has existed ever since these fields of knowledge were separated from each other, these essays are written in acknowledgment of the need for a new expression of this vision in modern terms.

Today we are just beginning to feel the profound technological and philosophical consequences of the modern revolution in physics. At the same time, there has been an unprecedented increase in the awareness of traditional spiritual teachings, both Eastern and Western. This growing influence of physics and spirituality has opened up important questions about their relationship and ultimate validity. Although some authors have suggested that there are parallels between modern physics and ancient religion, these parallels do not penetrate deeply enough into either field of knowledge to truly reveal their common source.

In the vision that inspires these essays, the link between physics and spirituality is found in the depths of mathematics. Just as mind mediates between body and soul, so mathematics mediates between physics and metaphysics. Although the essays begin with physics and progress through mathematics to metaphysics, a central vision ties the essays together.

With deep gratitude to the many people who have inspired this work, I offer it to all those whom it may, in turn, inspire.

Thomas J. McFarlane
Palo Alto, California
October 1995

About the Author

Thomas J. McFarlane was raised in rural Oregon. He studied liberal arts at the University of Oregon Honors College, physics at Stanford University and mathematics at the University of Washington. The essays in this book are based in part on the talks he has given during the past ten years at spiritual centers in Oregon and California. He is now in the graduate program in Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is a senior partner at a patent firm in Palo Alto, California.