On page 224 of the same book, there is a quote from Einstein: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” Wolf takes this profound statement, and through an ambiguous and meandering argument involving order and chaos and the ancient Chinese system of thought and ch’i, connects it to how the soul talks to us! And Wolf is not alone in such twisted disfigurement of great quotes.
In their desperate quest to find a parallelism between modern physics and Eastern mysticism, all New Age gurus have a knack for taking a profound statement and turning it into a mystical balderdash.
But New Age gurus are spiritual people, so they must have found a way of connecting modern physics to spirits. Indeed Wolf has found the connection on pages 124 to 126 of his book! The connection takes us to the beginning of time: “… about 15 billion years ago, … the physical universe was created from nothing. It seems there was a big bang and some time later … the universe will come to an end in a big crunch. … How about the spiritual universe? Did it have a beginning? Will it come to an end? … What about Aristotle’s concept of the soul’s being a physical substance? Is the soul a physical process? Does the universe gush forth soul as it brings forth matter and energy? Does the soul require energy? Or is the soul some form of energy itself?…. If it turns out that the soul is physical, a new vision of the universe may appear – nature not only produces matter and energy from nothing, but also creates soul. But where is the soul? And how could nothing just produce something, anything at all? … Perhaps it’s because nothing is really something after all. … According to quantum theory, a vacuum … is not empty, but consists of a vast amount of positive and negative fluctuating energy. Thus, out of a vacuum can be derived a number of unusual phenomena, including matter, antimatter, energy, and now, as I suggest, even spirit and soul.”
Wolf then goes on to introduce the concept of zero-point energy, quantum vacuum, and the fact that vacuum, in quantum field theory, contains (virtual) particles and antiparticles. All these become a seemingly convincing tool to prove the existence of soul. Let’s see how convincing the argument really is.
First, the universe did not come about from nothing. Once you say from nothing, even if you mean vacuum, you are implying that space and time existed before the big bang. It did not!
Big bang not only created matter and energy, but also space and time.
So, the notion of “before big bang,” even if only implied, is wrong! Present physics is incapable of describing the very moment of big bang. So, any statement made about the moment of creation or before it, is pure speculation.