The Tao Te Ching and Quantum Theory
Our work started as a simple attempt to translate
the Tao Te Ching into English. In order to have a systematic approach,
we searched for the basic principles of Tao philosophy. We did not expect
any connection with modern science. By careful analysis, the mysteries
of Tao revealed themselves, one at a time, and led us to an astonishing
conclusion. Tao principles appeared naturally from the Tao Te Ching. We
were led by the words of Laotzu, with no intent to mystify or de-mystify
Tao. At the end, we were totally surprised by the scientific approach
taken by Laotzu ...
Chinese scholars have long debated the Tao.
As a result, various Tao concepts have permeated into all Chinese philosophical
thoughts and Tao became the root of many schools of Chinese philosophy.
For unknown reasons, each school speculated on certain aspects of Tao
and left other parts as mysteries. These mysteries became the source of
fascination about Tao; the Tao Te Ching became the mysterious and self-contradictory
We initially hesitated to adopt quantum field
theory for our discussion, since this is a rather unorthodox approach
for Tao. We later realized that Laotzu had already formulated his original
Tao philosophy as a field theory! He described the interactions between
man and heaven in terms of Chi exchange. With the properties of Chi, his
field model shared a common basis with other field theories, such as the
quantum field theory.
There is a more obvious reason why we can link Tao to the wave/particle dance of quantum theory. For thousands of years, we have been influenced by dualism. Soon after Laotzu, Chinese philosophers took on dualistic views on Tao, as shown in their debates on the relationship of Yo and Wu (see Section 6). Even now, we often subconsciously assume dualism in our analysis and we are at a loss when a phenomenon cannot be reduced to dualistic logics. As discussed in Part I, we cannot represent Tao in a dualistic framework. Tao is non-dualistic and dualistic at the same time.
© 2004-2005 Wayne L. Wang