82: The Tao of Physics with Fritjof Capra

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Hosted by
Will Jarvis

In this episode, we’re joined by Fritjof Capra, to talk about the Tao of Physics, free will, and determinism, what happened in 1971, and a whole lot more.

Well, Fitjof, how are you doing today?

Fritjof Capra 0:45
Alright, very well is thank you for having me on your show. Look forward to our conversation.

Will Jarvis 0:50
Absolutely. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on. I know it’s quite beautiful outside today in Barclay series, you’re missing it the inside with me, which I really appreciate. Well, free off d by giving us kind of a brief bio, and some of the big themes you’re interested in.

Fritjof Capra 1:09
Yes, actually. I mean, I can start in my childhood, but I will, I will make it short. So I’m Austrian by birth. And I grew up in Austria, with a mother who is who was a poet. And my father was a lawyer, but also an amateur philosophy, philosopher. He had quite a large library of philosophical books and love to talk about philosophy. And I grew up together with my brother who is a filmmaker, and I grew up in Innsbruck in the Austrian Alps, very close to Italy. And we spent many of our summer vacations in Italy, where I got introduced to the Italian Renaissance and the Italian Baroque art as a small child. So my childhood was really dominated by, you know, discussions of, you know, art and philosophy. I should also mention that before that, we moved to Innsbruck when I was 13 years old, and the first 12 years of my life, I grew up on a farm. And I think this is significant, because I had a very direct experience of nature for for all of my early childhood. And so and, and the experience of nature, continued in the Alps, where I became a good skier and love, you know, mountaineering and skiing. So I’ve been close to nature, in my whole life. Then, if we move on to high school, I had a very influential mathematics teacher there, a young guy fresh out from University, who was really excited about mathematics, and kindled in some of us students who were gifted for math, an interest in, you know, abstract thinking, problem solving, and so on. And so when I finished high school, I wanted to study mathematics, but then switch to physics. And interestingly also, because my first math teacher at university was very bad, you know, very boring. remember his name now, but the physics teacher was very exciting. So again, you know, I was influenced by teachers. And then, you know, got a PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Vienna. And in my student years, the decisive event was the reading of a book by Verner Heisenberg, who was one of the founders of atomic physics of quantum physics. And the book is called physics and philosophy. It has become a classic since I read it shortly after it was published in the late 1950s. And in this book, Heisenberg describes the conceptual struggles of a handful of physicists with a new and totally unexpected reality, the reality of atomic and subatomic phenomena. And he describes very vividly how they were challenged to change their basic concepts, their language, their whole way of thinking. And this book, looking back on it now, has really shaped the whole trajectory of my career, both of the scientists and scientists and as a writer. So those were some of the key influences. In my, you know, childhood and youth,

Will Jarvis 5:04
gotcha, gotcha that that makes a lot of sense. You know, a lot of your work seems to span kind of physics. And then you know, you’ve got the humanities and you’ve got art and you’ve got, you know, in human experience like qualia I guess I guess my question is, is how did you was breeding Heisenberg’s book, the first place where you kind of put that together? Or do you think you were just kind of uniquely situated, you know, having grown up on a farm? Yeah. Your father was a philosopher and your mother was a poet? Yeah,

Fritjof Capra 5:37
good question. Well, Heisenberg’s book was not the first, but I put the two together, well, just a few years after reading the book for the first time. And that was, now we are in the 1960s, which was sort of the formative period of my life, in terms of my lifestyle and my values. And this was a, a decade of a great questioning, questioning of the sort of materialistic lifestyle, the lack of spirituality, but also questioning of authority in the civil rights movement, the student movements, the feminist movement, you know, various movements in psychology and psychotherapy, the so called Prague Spring, in which the checks question the authority of the Soviet Communist regime, this was under Duke check. So this was a very heavy period. And it involves two kinds of expansion of consciousness, the social consciousness that I just described, but also the what what psychologists began to call transpersonal consciousness, that is the expansion into the spiritual realm. There was a great interest in eastern philosophy. In the early 60s, I began to read Eastern texts like the Bhagavad Gita, which is sort of the Hindu Bible. I read books about Buddhism about Taoism. And interestingly, because you mentioned that my access to Eastern philosophy was through the arts. Actually, my mother gave me a book by the poet Lawrence Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in who just died recently in San Francisco. And this is one of his most famous books called the Coney Island of the mind. And he was part of that so called Beat Generation of poets in the 1950s, who were very interested in Buddhism. And, and so I became interested in eastern philosophy through poetry and art, also, through the visual arts, you know, these beautiful Indian sculptures and paintings and I looked at books, I didn’t go to India at that time, but they looked at gorgeous books of Indian art. So through Indian art through the beat generation, I became interested in reading about Eastern philosophies. And almost immediately I saw these parallels. And, you know, it took me a few more years to get ready to write about them. But my first book, The Tao of physics, was published in 1975, where I analyze these parallels in detail.

Will Jarvis 8:53
Very interesting, very interesting. And I want to talk about that book in just a second. But do you think there’s, you know, I think your career is very, it’s very notable, because when I look at what happened in the 60s, and I wasn’t around then, but I see this period of tremendous social change, you know, we landed on the moon, and, and three weeks later, Woodstock happen. And I think this is very notable, because, you know, it’s kind of like the peak of human achieve technological achievement in the real world. And then it’s kind of like this inward facing turn.

Fritjof Capra 9:26
You know, also in 1968, there was the black protests that the Olympic Games in Mexico, and I actually with my friends, we didn’t watch the moon landing, you know, we really did, because of our political stance, so you’re right, that all was a very heady period, that all came together at that time.

Will Jarvis 9:50
That that’s very interesting. What’s your sense of and this is, you know, why why questions are often over determined. So this may be difficult to answer. But what is what Your sense of this kind of this turn from the physical world, we’re doing things in the material world. You know, the moon landing, I think of all the technological advances from World War Two to 1970. And then this like inward facing, you know, we’re gonna think about the self, we’re gonna think about, you know, art and literature more and I guess, look inward, kind of, I think the Eastern mysticism is kind of part of that. Do you have any sense of why, like, what caused this shift where people just tired were they? Well,

Fritjof Capra 10:31
I, I think it’s extremely difficult to ask why? I mean, it’s not difficult to ask, but it’s hard to answer the question, Why did certain cultural events happen, because, you know, the world is so interconnected. So nonlinear. Now, of course, much more so than in the 1960s, or 70s. But I would say that there was a great sort of awakening and a great sense of questioning of revolting. In the 1960s, that went around the world, you had student movements in the United States, and in Europe, you you had, you know, human rights movements, you had the same protest in the arts. And I should say that, you know, I hope later on we’ll talk about my latest book, which, which is called patterns of connection, and which is a collection of essays. And one of the essays is about the 1960s, as they go into this, how this, these protest movements, and this vision of an alternative lifestyle, were formulated during the 1960s, how they were elaborated later in the 70s, and 80s. And how we had various back clashes. So it’s not a straightforward change, I’ve come to see social change as a, what I call the swing of a chaotic pendulum. So a chaotic pendulum is a contraption that you can actually build, where the pendulum, they’re actually two, connected pendular. And they have very erratic ways of swinging. And I see these movements in that way, you know, back lashes, or revolutions, you know, going back and forth. To me. Now, the most important result of the 1960s is the creation of an alternative vision, and an alternative culture, which matured in the 70s and 80s, with feminism, the ecology, movement, green politics, and then the creation of a global civil society, which we have now. You know, when when you look right now, at the climate Sam summit in Glasgow, you see that there are the official delegations, and then there are 100,000 people from civil society, you know, demonstrating protesting, making their voices heard, that all goes back to the 1960s, where these ideals were formulated for the first time.

Will Jarvis 13:32
That’s very interesting. I think you’re correct that in painting that kind of art of, of how things kind of developed. We talked about your book first book, just a couple of minutes ago, but I want to circle back to you what is the primary intersection between Eastern mysticism and modern physics?

Fritjof Capra 13:52
Well, I think the the essential insight of modern physics, especially quantum physics, as described by Heisenberg, in his classic book, is that at the small level of atoms and subatomic particles, the world cannot be described in terms of isolated objects. In fact, all so called objects, whether we call them atoms or particles or molecules, they dissolve into patterns of connectedness, patterns of relationships, and that is also the insight that many of those Eastern mystics had in meditation, that there is a famous saying that I quote in the book by a Buddhist teacher, who says, When the mind is disturbed, the multiplicity of things appears when the mind is quieted. The multiplicity of things goes away. So in deep meditation, you would experience the environment as an interconnected network of relationships. And that was also true in quantum physics, and is also true in our current understanding of the nature of life. Because the nature of life is networks, life organizes itself in networks. And so of course, it’s, it’s obvious to everybody today that the understanding of networks is extremely important. We have our social networks, our social media, and so on. But we also have ecological networks. And we have networks at the level of individual organisms, cellular metabolic networks. So I think the the main change from the mechanistic view of the last century and the century before that, to a systemic and ecological view, the main change is a profound change in metaphors from seeing the world as a machine, to understanding it as a network. So that I think is the very essence and in the Tao of physics, I elaborate that and, you know, going through the whole of quantum physics and relativity theory,

Will Jarvis 16:22
I see. Do you do you see this? Do you think we continue viewing things as a network driven kind of systems approach? Or do you see us kind of drifting back towards a mech more mechanistic view in the future? You know, like, like, What’s the trend look like for you? Or what do you think things are trending now?

Fritjof Capra 16:42
Well, I think I can say with with the great deal of certainty, that in the future, we will not trend back to the mechanistic view. Because this may surprise you. If we did, there would be no future. You say, we are now in a global, multifaceted crisis, with the climate emergency, with economic inequality with the COVID pandemic, these are all facets of one of the same crisis, that events that ultimately go back to an erroneous perception of the world as a machine. And if we were to continue this perception, we would destroy ourselves, we would destroy human civilization. Now, on the positive side, I could say, we are not going back because the importance of networks is obvious to everybody. Now, the world becomes ever more interconnected. So you know, we’re not going to neglect that. We’re not going to say No, everything is separate. And you know, what happens in South East Asia? What happens in Australia does not concern me, it concerns everybody. Because the world is an interconnected whole.

Will Jarvis 18:09
That makes sense. That makes sense. It seems like it’s globalization is one of these things where it’s, it doesn’t go backwards, or at least it’s very difficult for it to go backwards. And if it goes backwards, it seems like it’s, it’s usually temporary.

Fritjof Capra 18:25
And the question is, you know, who profits from globalization. And so far, in economic terms, it has been mainly the corporate world, and not so much ordinary citizens, as the Occupy movement, put it memorably. The 1% have profited. And we are the 99%. So so that is one of the facets of our global crisis, the enormous economic inequality, which needs to be addressed and changed.

Will Jarvis 18:56
It really is quite impressive how how, how big that gap has gotten. I’m curious, I’ve got your new book right here. Alright. And I wanted to ask you, you know, why write it like, like, what brought you to think, you know, what are the important messages you want to get out in the world?

Fritjof Capra 19:15
Well, there’s a story behind it. And I should tell you will, that in my life as a writer, I would never sit down and ask myself, what can I write now? What’s my message? You know, what’s the most important thing for me to write about? This is not how I work. I don’t know how other writers work, you know? And of course, they are the fictional writers which is, again, a totally different universe, right? What I do is, I study I studied my whole life and I’m still studying things. And I read books, I have dialogues I have Converse. sessions, I learn things and I make notes. And, you know, for the last 40 years, I’ve had files of notes, which I continue to this day. And every now and then, and then I also revise my notes and order them. And every now and then I think, well, maybe there’s enough, therefore a book, you know, because the notes have a certain theme that emerges. And then I think I could write a book about it. Well, this particular book is very special. Because it’s a collection of essays from five decades. And there’s a story behind it, which I’m happy to tell you. Two years ago, I decided to put all my papers together, you know, having reached my 18th birthday, I thought I would put all my papers together, and give them to the University of California in Berkeley, there is a special library for archives, until I put my archive together. And it was a lot of work, I had a lot of collections, because I don’t throw things away easily. So I went through all my collections of papers and articles and books, and so on. And I found, as I collected and audit them, there were a lot of essays I had written, that never made it into any of my books about things, you know, like review of arts, and you know, things, other things like this essay about the 60s, it’s not in any of my books. And so I thought I would like to collect these essays, and publish them as a book. And I started with about 50 essays, and then narrowed them down to about 30, and combined some into you know, a single essay, so as to not be too repetitive. That’s how the idea started. And I worked for a year on putting these essays together. And of course, I didn’t just slap them together in a book, I wrote a narrative. So the essays are grouped into chapters, according to the themes that were foremost in my mind to various periods of my life. And then I have a connecting narrative, which gives the historical context and philosophical context. So you could even not read any of the essays and just read the narrative. That’s about three or four pages per chapter in a 11 Chapter, so about, you know, 40 to 50 pages of narrative, which really tells you the story of my career, and the evolution of my thinking over those five decades.

Will Jarvis 22:58
I love it. Are there any broad lessons, you know, in putting together this work or in looking back over your life so far, you know, you still got a long ways to go, but that you’d like to impart, you know, are there any big life lessons you found, that you think are really important, that perhaps don’t, aren’t often talked about?

Fritjof Capra 23:20
Well, I think, you know, I am not a spiritual teacher, or, you know, a wise man imparting his wisdom. I’m always have been, and still am essentially a scientist. So I deal with concepts and ideas, I do write about spirituality, I do write about values, about the arts, about emotions, about all kinds of things. But at the core is a, you know, a network of concepts. And what I would say my main message is that we today, we need a systemic understanding of the world in terms of networks and patterns. Because the main problems we face are all interconnected. None of them can be understood in isolation. And so we need to be able to think in terms of networks, patterns, relationships and context. That I think is my central message.

Will Jarvis 24:39
So it’s something like, you really need to look at the the entire picture if you’re going to enact any change, you can’t look at the micro level, the macro level.

Fritjof Capra 24:48
We need we need systemic solutions, which means solutions that don’t deal with just one individual problem, but always succeed in connection With other problems and and you know, of course, you know, I wrote many other books and one of my last theoretical books is this the system’s view of life, which I co authored with a friend and colleague Pierluigi Luisi. And then I described the systemic view of life. So so these two books are really sort of mirror images. One describes the evolution of my thinking in a very personal way. And the other one gives the result, you know, the synthesis of this system’s view of life. And in the system’s view of life, which is actually a university textbook, we spent 60 pages discussing the most important systemic solutions. And we find that all our problems today have solutions, which have been tried out tested, developed. And what we need today is political will and leadership to move toward a regenerative, sustainable future.

Will Jarvis 26:07
I love that. Could you give an example of one of those solutions to one of these really, really well as a prompt?

Fritjof Capra 26:12
Well, I think the the example, there are many examples. And one of my favorites is from agriculture. If we moved from the current, large scale, industrial agriculture, which is highly centralized, mechanized, based on chemical fertilizers, and pesticides, and so on, if we move from that approach to a sustainable organic regenerative system of farming, we would solve at least three major problems that we have today, globally. The first is energy dependence, because industrial agriculture has a huge energy input, not only to grow food, but to transport it over 1000s of miles to process it to store it refrigerated, and so on. So that’s one energy dependence, which is hugely relieved because you know, organic farming doesn’t have that huge energy input. The second one is that the organically grown food is much healthier than the industrial chemical food. And so it would have a huge impact on public health. We know today that many of our principal diseases like diabetes, strokes, heart disease, and so on a direct consequence of our diet. And thirdly, the Sustainable Agriculture would make a significant impact on fighting climate change, because an organic soil is a living soil with plenty of carbon, carbon is the chemical backbone of life. And so the soil be precise to soil bacteria, and other microorganisms, draw down carbon from the atmosphere, and lock it up in chemical substances. So here you have three problems solved. I could also talk about what is now called the Green New Deal, you know, the shift from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy sources, with simultaneous huge creation of jobs, infrastructure and so on. That will be another one. But these are and and, you know, on the positive side, we can say, these systemic solutions are intensively discussed today.

Will Jarvis 28:48
That’s right. They really are. What makes you think, you know, I get the sense they the Europe is much more conscious about environmental issues, it seems to be top of mind. I think like Greta turn Berg and you know, just a lot of rhetoric, you know, rider e scooter, there’s, there’s a lot going on in Europe, they seem to be very concerned about the environment, much more so than the US. What, what’s your sense of why that is?

Fritjof Capra 29:17
Well, I would say that it’s not true for young people. Because we have the sunrise movement here in the US, which now is extremely powerful, if you remember, just, I don’t know, 510 years ago, less than 10 years ago, this was sort of a fringe movement of a few kids, you know, marching in the streets doing all kinds of actions. Well, today it’s a huge influence. You know, it has a presence in Washington. It has a presence in Glasgow at COP 26. And but it is true what you say is is true for many middle aged and older people. And there, I think the corporate influence on politics is stronger in this country than in others, not in all others, but in several others. So we have, we have a corruption of politics, that is systemic in Washington. And if you notice, nobody talks about corruption, they call it campaign finance, right. So we have an electoral system, where, you know, people candidates campaigned with television ads, and they are very expensive. And they will be paid by sponsors in exchange for policies later on that make the rich even richer. So there’s an endemic or systemic corruption, which is never really addressed, or until recently, let’s say hasn’t been addressed, it is being addressed now. But, you know, with Bernie Sanders and AOC, and all these politicians, in the progressive wing of, of government, they do address it. But I think that that inter meshing of money and politics is not as strong in Europe, it also exists in Europe, but it’s not as strong. For instance, in many countries, electoral campaigns are very short, like two months or three months. And here, seems they never end it’s an ongoing campaign. Right. And, and also in Europe, the campaigns are publicly financed. So when people campaign on television they can do so in, in special programs, and so on. So it’s, it’s a different system.

Will Jarvis 31:57
That makes sense. I want to go back a little bit and talk about physics. I have this question I asked all my guests. And, you know, what do physicists understand about physics that everyday people might be surprised by? Or would it would catch them off guard?

Fritjof Capra 32:17
Yeah, that’s an interesting question that that would be curious what your other guests have answered. But I have thought about this for a long time. And I have a definite answer. I don’t need to reflect I know it right away. Right. So. So the, for me, the most important discovery of 20th century physics or which is also called Modern Physics, is the fact that all our models and theories are approximate descriptions of reality. They’re all limited and approximate. So scientists never deal with truth. And scientists never prove anything. And that this see in the general public says, Well, if you want proof, you go to a scientist. But no, that’s not how science works. Proof is something taken from logic and from mathematics. There you can have proofs of theorems and so on. Science, Physics and the other sciences work by constructing descriptions of reality, which approximate the observation as closely as possible, and which are improved with successive theories, but never really fit reality completely. So there’s never a complete fit. And you might say, Well, why not? Well, the big discovery in the 20th century has been or was that natural phenomena are tightly interconnected. So the property of any one phenomenon is linked to the properties of the others with which it is connected. So in order to describe anything with complete accuracy, you would have to know all these infinite connections, which is obviously impossible. So what we do in science is we say, well, everything is connected to everything else. But some connections are more important than others. And in a first try, in the first model, or first approximation, I will consider only the most important connections. And it’s that’s the art that’s where in sort of intuition and art comes into science, in the art of model making in the art of making theories, which we know are not completely accurate, but we hope they’ll be accurate, at least, you know, more than then the model of another team at another university. And so we improve these in consecutive steps at every now we have, every now and then we have scientific revolutions, where we have to completely throw away theory. But, but that, to me is the most important result that science has approximate descriptions. And, and so it introduces a certain humility in, in, in scientists and our great scientists, like, you know, Einstein and Darwin and Heisenberg and, and all these people or Marie Curie. They have all had this, this humble, you know, attitude towards nature and towards science.

Will Jarvis 35:56
That seems very important to being successful in the field. I’ve got almost a meta level question. Is it your sense that progress in physics has slowed? Since you’ve started? Has it accelerated? Or do you think it’s moving along at about the same pace?

Fritjof Capra 36:15
Well, my field was high energy physics, also known as particle physics. And I think progress has slowed significantly. I left physics in the 1980s. Not because progress has slowed, but because I was interested in so many other things, I started writing books, I shifted from physics to the life sciences, to systems theory, ecology and so on. But also, I found that not much new was happening in physics. Now, since then, we have had string theory and the Higgs boson and a lot of exciting discoveries. But again, you know, they have not led to real breakthroughs. Because string theory, which is the most popular theory of subatomic particles, is extremely elegant, you know, describing the world as a set of vibrating strings. But it’s not a proper theory, because it cannot explain the observed parameters. And there is not one theory, there’s a large number of theories, with different features, different dimensions, and so on. There’s no way of finding out which one is the best or the most correct one, and so on. So it has huge problems. And and since then, not much has happened. So So I do feel that, at least in that field of high energy physics, you know, progress has slowed down.

Will Jarvis 37:57
Very interesting, very interesting. And that’s also it’s somewhat, somewhat disturbing that, you know, how we’re, we get technological progress in the future, if we have slower progress in physics and all these fields.

Fritjof Capra 38:10
Yeah, that’s true. But on the other hand, you know, in the life sciences, things have happened and things have been very exciting and that was one of the reasons why are shifted from physics to the life sciences, and you know, deep philosophical questions like the relationship between mind and matter or the question of free will have found what I consider solutions have been solved in, in theories that are very exciting and, you know, very convincing,

Will Jarvis 38:43
can you talk about those two?

Fritjof Capra 38:46
Yeah, well, the mind and matter, the issue of mind and meta goes back to the 17th century. And too, before Newton to Decart, when he part was this famous philosopher and mathematician, who divided the world into into two fundamentally different realms, that of mind, which he called the thinking thing, and that of matter, which he called the extended thing. And then ever since the cart, scientists and philosophers have wondered how this thinking thing, this kind of strange entity is interacting with the body or you know, with matter in general. So the big breakthrough has been in the system’s view of life has been to recognize that mind is not a thing but a process, and it is closely connected to the very process of life. Gregory Bateson, the anthropologist and cyberneticist was one of the People who discovered that in he was talking about mental process, and Humberto Maturana, in chiller biologist in chiller focused on cognition, the process of knowing. And both Bateson and Martorana connected this process very tightly with the very process of life, so that the relationship between mind and matter or between cognition and matter is one between process and structure. So when we talk about life, we have living structures, like cells, like tissues, like organisms, and these living structures are living because the constant that’s constant activity, there are metabolic processes of taking in food of processing food, of excreting waste, of growing, of developing of evolution. And these processes are essentially cognitive processes. And that’s where mind is hidden in the process of life. So that is a huge and still controversial achievement. But to me, it really solves the question because it says, you don’t mind is to metal as processes to structure.

Will Jarvis 41:26
Very interesting. I think that’s a that’s a good explanation. What about freewill?

Fritjof Capra 41:30
Well, the free will is a little more complicated, but it’s it’s connected to that. And it is connected to the network structure of life. And that goes back to the same Umberto Maturana in Chile, who, with a colleague Francisco Varela developed develop a theory of self producing self generating living networks. And you know, being good scientists, they coined the Greek term, because when you coined a new term, then you know, you have made it in science, everybody will refer to you under this term. So they coined the term auto poiesis. Auto, of course, means self. And for years, this is the same Greek root as in poetry. And it means making. So it’s a theory of self making. And it says that every living system is a network that continually makes itself that continually regenerates itself. And it interacts with the environment. But, and every interaction with the environment, triggers structural changes in the system, but the system is self organizing, which means that it determines how it will change. And so So now we come to the question of free will, that when a system acts in some way, it does so in response to the environment. And it does so dependent on its structure. The structure determines how it responds to the environment, if you just think different organisms have different sensory systems. So you know, a bird may see something that I can’t see, we know that dogs can hear frequencies that we can’t hear. So for us, these frequencies are just not there. We don’t respond to them. So we respond according to our structural makeup, according to our structure. The structure determines the response. So the response is determined. But it is this determined by ourselves, and therefore free. So we are both free and determined, because we are determined in our action by ourselves. If you tell me what I have to do, and you force me to do that, then I’m not free, right? I’m done. I’m not free. But if I listen to you, and then decide how to respond, I do this out of my own genetic makeup, physical structure, and so on. And it’s all determined, but it’s determined by me. And that’s why I’m free. So Martorana calls this structural determinism and it sort of solves this paradox by saying, Are we free or are we determined? Well, we are both we are determined and free.

Will Jarvis 44:58
Wow, I ever encountered that before?

Fritjof Capra 45:01
conflicts? We could talk about that right?

Will Jarvis 45:05
Absolutely, we’ll have to have you back on it to go deeper to that it’s quite interesting. So pretty off. You’ve just finished up this book, which, you know, I highly recommend it was quite interesting. What’s next?

Fritjof Capra 45:21
Well, what I’m involved in now is mainly teaching not so much writing, but teaching. This textbook, which I mentioned before, the system’s view of life, is a textbook for universities, encouraging them to teach the systemic understanding, which is a multidisciplinary course, and as you know, probably in our universities, it’s very difficult today to have multidisciplinary classes, because the whole university structure is not geared that way. So in order to give an example and make a model course, I developed an online course on the system’s view of life, which is known widely today as Capricornus. And I have taught it now for six years. And as you know, when you’re online, you are global. So I have an alumni network of over 2000 people in 85 countries around the world on all continents. And that’s what I’m doing. I teach two courses a year, they are 12 lectures, 40 hour, pre recorded lectures. And then we have discussion forums, we have zoom meetings, we have all kinds of things. And it’s wonderful, because I’m not all my students are young, but many are. So I’m constantly in touch with young people and with activists around the world. And I find this extremely rewarding. I love

Will Jarvis 46:59
that. I love that. Well, free off. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate you taking the time. Where can people find the book?

Fritjof Capra 47:07
Well, the book is published by a publisher called High Road, which is a part of the University of New Mexico press. And, you know, it should be in all the bookstores, and it should should be in various, you know, online booksellers that that you know, and so it should be widely available.

Will Jarvis 47:33
Awesome. I’ll put some links in the show notes. Thank you so much.

Fritjof Capra 47:37
Thank you. Well, thank you for having me. And as you said, Let’s do it again. With these complex questions.

Unknown Speaker 47:42
We will.

Fritjof Capra 47:44
Okay, take care,

Will Jarvis 47:46
take care. Thanks for listening. We’ll be back next week with a new episode of narratives.

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