Richard L. Thompson, a scholar of Vedic texts, is well read in contemporary science as well as the history of western science. He correctly places himself in the intellectual-spiritual genealogy of the Perennial Philosophy. He finds ways in which information encoded in Vedic texts illuminate findingsand puzzlesof contemporary science. He demonstrates again and again the remarkable wisdom about the world yet to be mined from the ancient civilizations of India, China, Babylonia, even Greece and Rome, and from the oral cultures of many indigenous peoples.
The presumption of much modern science is that consciousness arises in the process of evolution as an emergent property. Vedic sources agree with other ancient civilizations that it makes far more sense to see the embodied world as deriving from spiritual worlds rather than as the foundation of the spiritual dimension. He argues convincingly for the primacy of spirit, even given all that science tells us about the material world. The stories of the New Physics may be closer to our traditional myths than we imagine.
Thompsonís ability to explain clearly very difficult concepts of traditional and contemporary physics and cosmology is extraordinary. In a sense, Thompsonís work is within the same overall movement that, in the highly Christian west includes the debates about Creationism. His erudition, the elegance of his prose, and his deep understanding of traditional and contemporary science give a different kind of credibility to the knowledge and wisdom of our intellectual and spiritual ancestors, east and west, which they encoded into their legends, myths and rituals. One begins to suspect that we have forgotten at least as much as weíve discovered.
Sheldon R. Isenberg, Ph.D., assoc. professor and chair of the Department of Religion, University of Florida, cofounder and assoc. director of Center for Spirituality and Health.