on July 22, 2007
Bernard Haisch is an eminent astrophysicist who is a member of an increasingly large group of prominent scientists who are trying to bridge the seemingly impossible divide between the conventional Reductionist worldview, Creationism and Intelligent Design. For over a century it has seemed as if there is no possible way to reconcile the camps that seem to be totally at loggerheads with each other.
Haisch begins with two observations: First, what we often call the "Goldilocks Theory:" why is it that certain key physical constants have just the right values to make life possible. The term is also applied to describe the key zones around a sun - not too hot and not too cold - in which planets are conducive to the development of carbon-based life forms. The second starting point is a phrase that is found in many religious traditions around the world, from the Middle East to India and China: "Let there be light, and there was light." He believes that consciousness is our connection to God, who, or which, is the source of all consciousness. This infinite conscious intelligence has infinite potential, and its ideas become the laws of physics. In his view the purpose of the Universe is the transformation of potential into experience. So consciousness is the origin of matter, the laws of natures and of all the universes that may exist.
Bernard is the co-author of a remarkable theory about inertia: that it is the property of matter that gives it substance, and that this solid matter is sustained by an underlying sea of quantum light: the zero-point. It is good to remember that one of the most celebrated theories of all time - Einstein's theory of special relativity - is based on the properties of light. Bernard proposes that light, in the form of a universal electromagnetic zero-point field, creates and sustains the world of matter that fills space-time.
One of the immediate implications of these ideas is that we are all imbued with some splinter of God consciousness, that God is experiencing through us, that we have purpose and that our relationship should be one of partnership rather than domination or servility. A second implication is that we should live a life that allows the expression of this intelligence, because in that way we evolve, grow and achieve ultimate satisfaction and happiness. The brain is a filter rather than a creator of consciousness and it is possible to develop the brain so that more of this consciousness is able to manifest. This squares well with the recent data on neuroplasticity and the impact of meditation on the structure and function of the brain. These ideas are familiar to anyone who has studied Hindu, Buddhist or Taoist philosophy, or the writings of mystics and contemplatives who have described the universe as the "body of God." But it has rarely been expressed so clearly and placed in a scientific framework.
Bernard Haisch has unique qualifications for writing this book. He was born in postwar Germany but came to the United States as a three year-old child. He had a strict Catholic upbringing, and his mother wanted him to be a priest, and he attended a high school dedicated to preparing boys for the seminary. He did spend one year in the seminary before leaving to become an astronomer and astrophysicist. So the philosophical and spiritual interests were seeded early on, and in later years he began to study other religions and philosophical systems.
This is an extremely well written and entertaining book by someone who has a fine grasp of science and can explain his wok without dumbing it down. It is small in size and only just over 150 pages, including a short bibliography. It is an easy read, but the ideas, whether they are right or wrong, will likely stay with you for a long time to come.
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in consciousness, spirituality and the subtle systems of the body.
on June 21, 2007
I believe that God exists -- it is only that I don't know what God actually is. Perhaps Mister Haisch has God pegged via his unique theory.
It's an interesting theory (a synthesis of science and spirtuality) in which the author believes that God is attempting to experience His full measure of potential "as God" by actualizing Himself through each human being within the physical realm. (We are His incarnations.)
Just a few random things in general about it:
He comes down hard against the materialism (the belief that reality consists of matter and energy and nothing else) and reductionism (the belief that complex things can be explained by examining their constituent parts only) of scientists who refuse to accomodate even the "possibility of the spiritual", but he's equally critical of the massive failings of religion.
He focuses on the "Zero-Point Field" -- A special light energy that is supposed to inhabit all of space as mandated by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. He explores the possibility that this background sea of quantum light existing throughout the universe (the zero-point field) is what makes matter the solid and stable stuff that it is.
He proposes that "consciousness" gives rise to matter and not vice versa -- it is the primary stuff of reality shaping and directing matter by an "infinite intelligence" dreaming up an infinite variety of laws and physical constant values and then letting them play out in all their varieties in this and other universes.
Though I don't embrace the "God Theory" outright, I can't dismiss the idea out of hand because he makes a somewhat compelling case for it. It is as valid a possibility for explaining it all as anything else that has come before.
Mister Haisch does an excellent job in explaining scientific concepts so that the non-scientist can understand it well enough.
If you have a "scientific mindset" but can accomodate the possibilities of the "spiritual" or if you have a "spiritual mindset" but can accomodate the principles of science then you may find this theory at the very least an interesting one.
I have no negative comment about the book except that it is too short.
I hope I have been helpful to you.
on September 8, 2007
The God Theory brings together some interesting ideas. Although none of the ideas presented are new, this quick compilation is a great way to get your interests flowing in a variety of exciting directions. The book appears to focus on two primary points:
First, that "God" is an infinite potential that has chosen to experience and realize its potential by creating our universe (and perhaps others) with its will manifested as the laws of physics and its being manifested as living creatures -- us. Haisch calls this The God Theory, although the idea was made a very popular a while back by Neale Donald Walsch in his Conversations With God series, in which he wrote extensively on this exact concept (Haisch does mention Walsch).
Second, that the reductionist, if-it's-not-matter-or-energy-then-it's-not-there attitude of modern day science is misguided. In my opinion, Haisch made this point ad nauseam, returning to it at every turn and making me think that he's got some bones to pick with some of his contemporaries. He could have made this point once or thrice then moved on, especially given that his main reason for choosing a God Theory universe over modern science's soulless, dumb universe is because science's view is a less pleasant way to describe the data -- rather than less valid way, since neither view answers "how did it start?" or "what does it mean?" in any way that is remotely provable.
But, aside from my complaints (that The God Theory is simply a repackaged version of the ideas of Walsch, and probably many others, into what you might have thought would be a new theory, and that Haisch burned too many pages beating the God-less reductionist dead horse), the book throws out some tantalizing tidbits and ideas. My three favorites are 1) the analogies he makes between white light and God -- both containing within them infinite potential, but only realizing it by subtracting some of that potential and projecting themselves upon a medium, 2) the discussions of the work of him and others relating inertia (along with other things affecting the universe's ability to exist such as atomic stability) to the zero point field, and 3) the very thought-provoking discussions of light's privileged reference point and how there must be a way to explain its apparently impossible properties that we're just not getting.
All in all, it's a worthwhile read, especially if you're interested in how science relates to some of the newer trends in spiritual thought. Not a tough read by any means, but a brain stretcher nonetheless (a good combination).
on May 22, 2006
THE GOD THEORY is a delightful romp through the labyrinths of philosophy, theology, and science by one of the outstanding astrophysicists of our day. Author Bernard Haisch throws a gauntlet at the feet of physicalistic science, which views consciousness as an evolutionary accident or as an epiphenomenon of the brain. For Haisch, consciousness is a fundamental, not derivative, aspect of the world. The philosophical and theological implications that flow from this approach, which is anchored in solid scientific reasoning, are majestic. This book is very smart, very literary, very thrilling--a fine read.
-- Larry Dossey, MD
Author: THE EXTRAORDINARY HEALING POWER OF ORDINARY THINGS
on September 2, 2006
There is a widely held misconception that scientists don't believe in God. The truth is that they don't believe in the anthropomorphic Judeo-Christian and Muslim God who was invented by man in the era of his scientific ignorance. In fact, scientists are recently publishing an increasing number of books trying to identify God and his relationship to our universe. This is another such book, and shares the same main title as Ronald Tarter's book published four years ago. It differs from most others, however, in that the author strays a little more into the realm of the mystic. For him, God is consciousness. That by itself may be a little confusing since there is no general agreement on the definition of the term. But towards the end he defines it as "something infinite, timeless...[that] can have no characteristics that can be properly translated in physical terms. Love, light, and bliss come the closest."
Although this God Consciousness has an infinite potential, this can only be actualized, become real, through experience. So God creates the world so that he can experience himself from a non-God viewpoint. For Haish consciousness is the origin of matter, not the reverse as physical sciences postulate. Creation is thus a physical part of God, including you, me and Fido; we are all parts of God. He maintains that we do not experience the world as it really is but only through what our brains do not filter out. As an example he points to some idiot savants who suffer from brain damage and who cannot tell right from left but can multiply in their heads two three digit numbers while carrying a conversation; not through any analytical process but just by seeing the number shapes in their mind morph into the final number. He attributes it to the [un]conscious being somehow linked to the infinite consciousness.
According to Einstein's theory, says the author, a photon traveling at the speed of light gets to its destination instantaneously, because at that speed there exist neither time nor space. He concludes that light generates matter. Light, of course, is pure energy, and energy can create particles as long as the sum of the particle properties is zero, like an electron-positron pair as an example. He discusses the zero point field (the radiation left over from the Big Bang that is spread throughout all creation), which contains a huge quantity of energy (but at extremely low potential so it is not easily accessible) but does not consider it to be God as some other writers in this field have.
Haisch ends up by scolding both science and religion; science for ignoring everything other than the material world that can be tested in the laboratories, and religion for perverting its own beliefs and causing untold damage to the people of this world. This last chapter can be considered to be inspirational.
The book is extremely readable (with the possible exception of the chapter dealing with Einstein's theories and the Kabbalah, which involves a little more science and mysticism) and the author peppers his writing with occasional humor and personal stories. The bibliography lists twenty five books, of which ten were published after 1990. There is no index, but the book is small and the table of contents sufficiently detailed so it is not a major problem. In my opinion, however, if you expect that your readers will want to look up things in your book you should provide them with an index.
(The writer is the author of "Christianity without Fairy Tales: When Science and Religion Merge.")
on July 8, 2006
The God Theory that Haisch weaves, I find compelling. As a scientist with spiritual sensibilities, this book releases me to give credence to what I internally know. Please read it.
I am a truth seeker who stumbled into physics first and, not finding complete illumination there, found Christianity. I think physics is one of the most honorable pursuits of mankind, and it has very much to say about this existence we find ourselves in. I study physics intently, and I think maybe I'm not too bad at it. But physics can only explain the physical; it is clear to me that more is going on here, and Haisch fearlessly (and fearfully) explores this in a scientifically honest way. He embraces physics while admitting conscious spirit, and he questions which is primary. This is a refreshing viewpoint in today's all too pervasive dogma of scientific reductionism. And maybe he is right. -- L.J. Nickisch, Ph.D.
on March 20, 2007
Author Bernard Haisch has been a professional scientist for at least thirty years. He has done research at the University of Wisconsin where his Ph.D. thesis gave a mathematical description of how radiation and light gets from inside a star out into space. Since then, his credentials as an astro-physicist are stunning.
His book, The God Theory, claims that the ultimate purpose for the existence of the universe and every being in it will never come from scientific experimentation alone. It will come from a conscious realization in each of us that we are creating God's experience.
The ultimate being, or the wholly other, or that infinite consciousness beyond which there can be no other, Haisch prefers to call God. It is the consciousness of God that produces what exists and we are part of it. Our consciousness is part of God's consciousness: what an exalted existence we have.
As human beings, our purpose is to live out the experience of God's existence in a physical realm. In God, everything exists in potentia or as possible. But we are the incarnations of God's consciousness in actu, or as living conscious creatures with physical bodies.
Most modern scientists attempt to explain distant universes, stars, planets, atoms, electrons, protons, and every existing creature including life itself, by reducing them to physical and chemical mathematical equations. But not Haisch.
As a physicist, Haisch would not deny such equations exist because he has spent his life hunting them. But the equations can be discovered because God consciously creates them. This is the logical step that scientists are missing. This is the scientific reduction to absurdity that Haisch's God theory steps beyond.
On the other hand, Haisch would expect religion to dispense with dogma and so-called revealed a priori truth. It must join with science to seek experiential truth that will raise man's consciousness to a mystical level.
The God Theory is an extremely easy to read book. When Haisch uses quantum mechanics, the big bang, Newton's laws, inflation theory, superstrings and numerous other scientific paradigms to reinforce his God theory, he does it with such simplicity that the average person can easily follow along.
Haisch's book is for the average reader dissatisfied with organized religion. It's for the individual who finds scientific discoveries fascinating but knows in her/his heart that the ultimate purpose of life somehow lies beyond.
on December 5, 2012
The author uses scientific research to support his theory of spirituality, which is well-aligned with scientific/mathematical findings and basic spiritual beliefs common throughout the world. This is an excellent, logical attempt to point out the short-comings of "scientific" thinking as well as organized religions, and how both science and spirituality taken together provide a more enlightened view of the universe.
He brings up many good points and arguments to support his case, and I feel you cannot fault his logic. Many (not all) scientists claim that science has disproved the existence of a spiritual realm, yet they can provide no evidence to actually disprove its existence (which may be impossible). The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence; just because religions/mystics cannot provide measurable, scientific evidence for the existence of a spiritual realm does not mean that this realm cannot exist. Likewise, religions often disagree with each other on some issues, so they may not have the entire truth either (and how can we know which one is correct?).
I would highly recommend this book for anyone searching for insight into his or her own spiritual beliefs. I would also recommend The Purpose-Guided Universe (by the same author), which provides some additional explanation.
on June 21, 2006
In this book Haisch shows that it is not just possible, but also rational to view the universe as a purposfull and wonderfull place. He is not afraid to point to mysticism as a genuine source of wisdom, something that makes him stand out from the crowd of mainstream scientists. This is a courageous move, one that I feel is desperately needed. Having just finished a master in physics, I know well that the message in "The God Theory" doesn't go well with the common held view of the physics community (there are those who share it, they just remain silent because of the taboo). This has nothing to do with science, but everything to do with dogma. During my years of study I have come to the same conclusion as Haisch has, and it seems to me that more scientists are starting to share this view. The world is indeed a much greater place than we are led to believe, and "The God Theory" can help you see this.
on October 15, 2006
First of all, I think it is very important to note that Bernard Haisch is a recognized astro-physicist who has had work published by scientific journals and also received multiple grants from NASA. He's not just another hack attempting to write a fluffy new-age book about God.
While many atheists would disagree, Haisch suggests that without God humanity is lost and without purpose...which can allegedly only lead to destructive thinking and actions by humanity. While I do indeed hope there is more to life and a God, I can't help but wonder if Haisch is blinded and fueled to write this book by his own wanting for a God or supreme being. That in itself woiuld not negate what this book has to say, though.
Haisch spends much of the book explaining why a supreme being would enact creation in all its universe and dimensions, offering a purposeful meaning to all of creation as opposed to mainstream science. In addition to this, he explains what it is that science is lacking, and why there is a need for a "god theory," something that transcends religion.
He then moves on to provide support for his ideas which include studies of consciousness, the "zero-point field," and explanations involving the nature of light (in all of its forms). Unless you are somewhat well-read in scientific theories, some parts of the book may go over your head. I have to take the author's word concerning the more scientific areas of the book. As other seemingly knowledgeable reviewers here have suggested, there may be some minor flaws in Haisch's theories, but they don't seem to be critical enough to discount the theory as a whole. In other words, it is difficult for someone like me to accurately weigh the evidence in my own mind and decide how compelling the information is.
This book is concise, short, and clearly not meant to provide you with all the answers. The book is more like a short presentation of Haisch's theory of what this "creation" is. Haisch clearly does not expect everyone to just accept his ideas. He admits to not having proof. For right now, this book offers those still searching a new way to look at their existence and god. Something logical, not opposed to scientific theory, and not just a fluffy new-age book that is published to make a quick buck. Haisch has put his credibility on the line with the publication of this book. I applaud him for moving forward with his beliefs. The only thing I didn't like about the book is that it seems to delve into karma and mysticism a bit too much, but not enough to adversely affect the book.
I greatly look forward to further studies on human consciousness, as Haisch believes that one day they will support his theory...that we are more than just mindless machines. Definitely check out this book!...especially if you are tired of the recent new-ageism passing itself off as science. Refreshing.