Subjects Mind and body. View all subjects More like this Similar Items. Find a copy online Links to this item Internet Archive. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Seven mysteries of life. Reviews User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers.
Be the first. Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Similar Items Related Subjects: 4 Mind and body. Science -- Philosophy. Linked Data More info about Linked Data. Body -- 1. The animal kingdom -- 2. Realm of the vegetable -- 3. The world of little -- 4. The body -- 5. The complement called sex -- 6. Secret language of the gene -- pt. Mind -- 7. Eleven senses of radiation and feeling -- 8. Twenty-one senses of chemistry, mind and spirit -- 9. Emergence of mind -- The body-mind relationship -- Memory, intelligence and states of mind -- pt. The seven mysteries of life -- First mystery : the abstract nature of the universe -- Second mystery : the interrelatedness of all creatures -- Third mystery : the omnipresence of life -- Life's analogies on land, sea and sky -- Doornail and crystal essence -- Living geometry and order -- Fourth mystery : the polarity principle -- Fifth mystery : transcendence -- The change named death -- Evolution of Earth -- Sixth mystery : the germination of worlds -- The seventh and ultimate mystery : divinity -- Postlude.
Meaning and melody -- Summary. The seven mysteries of life. All rights reserved. Remember me on this computer. I reconsidered my opinion of the hand-made illustrations and instead of seeing them as low-tech productions I saw them as the careful drawings of a masterful philosopher, scientist, poet, or artist--I wasn't sure which. Guy Murchie began his book's preface with these words: "When I undertook this work in the spring of , I was quite aware that I would almost certainly be thought presumptuous in attempting to write about all of life in one book.
But I have to go ahead in the faith that any such seemingly impossible, if not harebrained, project on such a universal theme could hardly help being worthwhile--largely because of its rarity. Murchie's book is more densely packed with great ideas than anything I had ever read before.
Unlike many popular science books that spend pages restating the same three ideas, or unlike other science books that are impenetrable because of a masochistic writing style that heaps abuse upon any would-be reader, Murchie's book is a sheer delight to read and constantly surprises the reader with insights about life, the universe, and what it all means--insights that are expressed so freshly that they seem new. Murchie took seventeen years to write this magnum opus and "averaged less than one finished sentence a day during all this time," he said in his preface. He called his writing, "painstaking" which must be true because I can't imagine any poet laboring more over word choices than Murchie obviously did.
His writing flows, is enchanting and reveals a universe that is more beautiful, rational, and caring than anything I had ever heard from science before--although later I would discover similar joy from guys like Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman. Unlike a magician who astounds by what he does not reveal, Guy Murchie astounds by what he does reveal that we have not been seeing but which has always been in plain sight.
Murchie is, then, in this sense, a revelator.
The Seven Mysteries of Life: An Exploration of Science and Philosophy
Toward the end of his book, on page , Murchie wrote some kind words about the prophet Baha'u'llah. I immediately started to worry that the author of this great book that I had been falling in love with would suddenly reveal himself to be an unbalanced follower of yet another cult leader. I researched the Baha'i Faith religion that Baha'u'llah founded and encountered what seemed to be a peace-loving-enough community.
After reading a list of their core beliefs and after reading Murchie's book , I honestly felt that I had never read a one-page list of beliefs written by someone else that I could agree with more than this one. Nevertheless, I knew that what looks good on paper may not necessarily be so beautiful when practiced as an institutional religion. So I haven't attempted to learn much more about the Baha'is except to find out they conduct meetings in San Diego that I would like to attend once just to get an idea about how successful they have been at putting their wonderful ideas into the messy realm of organized religion.
I wish them well. I searched for "Guy Murchie" on the internet and learned that he was a tall man and just as gracious and charming, by others' accounts, as I had imagined him to be. Although I would love to read a little biography about him, it is not really necessary for his writing sufficiently reveals the man Murchie to be one of my all-time favorite human beings whose hand I would be honored to shake while expressing a little gratitude for creating a work so beautiful that I can only describe it as art, an odd choice of words for the book that I would most like to take to a desert island.
View 1 comment. Mar 13, Chris rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , philosophy , biology , epically-long. If I were to pick one book to bring with me before being marooned on a desert island, The Seven Mysteries of Life would be it. The first part of the book was If I were to pick one book to bring with me before being marooned on a desert island, The Seven Mysteries of Life would be it. The first part of the book was all about hooking his readers in with interesting facts about the more unique attributes of different species.
He leaves out no kingdom, phylum, or even non-organic material; everything from metamorphic rocks to dangling monkeys are covered here. The facts might seem trivial at first, but then comes the middle part of the book, which is as mind-expanding as a DMT trip. Here Murchie writes about the psychology of different species and their extrasensory perceptions. The third part- the one about the seven mysteries- is a very poetic bridging of science and the spirit. In this part, he uses biological abnormalities to explain transcendence. Nov 21, Dean Mermell rated it it was amazing.
One of my favorite books ever, and though quite a tome, I'm due for a third reading. This book makes the connection between the natural world, physics, and "the divine". Murchie is a scientist who cannot quite accept that there is nobody behind the curtain, and yet this book never feels the least bit preachy or pedantic. It explores the unexplainable phenomena of life and says, "this is fantastic It celebrates wonder.
It leaves you feeling like you are the tiniest part of a very grand event. It is, indisputably, fucking great. Mar 20, John Rogers rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone curious. Shelves: my-favorite-reads. The best book I have ever read, and continue to read often. It you have an interest in restoring, growing or discovering your wonder, this is the book. Murchie is a modern day Leonardo, who has mastered so many pursuits it's astonishing. The first half of the book is an exhaustive description of the natural world and how everything works from trees to individual cells, the life of dunes, to 26 human senses not just 5.
These things are described in ways that are revelatory Then the second half is dedicated to 7 mysterious principles like Transcendance, Interconnectedness, the Omnipresence of Life, Life's analogies on Land, Sea and Sky, Living geometry and order, the polarity principle, the germination of worlds, and divinity. You can open the book anywhere and become fascinated in seconds. He is a scientist who writes with the heart of a poet, so even when he is describing an intricate biological function, I find myself smiling and completely engrossed.
Especially great for writers, both as inspiration and reference. Aug 22, Ryan rated it it was amazing. I've only read a few pages of this book, but I can tell I'm going to love it. I did some additional research on Murchie, and apparently he left Christianity to join the Baihai faith which originated in modern Persia. I also read about that particular religion, and it's fascinating. The basic idea reminds me of the whole point or what I interpreted to be the point of John Lennon's song Imagine.
I'm not about to drop Christianity in favor of Baihai, but what I have read of this book makes a whole I've only read a few pages of this book, but I can tell I'm going to love it.
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I'm not about to drop Christianity in favor of Baihai, but what I have read of this book makes a whole lot of sense to me. Jun 03, Justin rated it it was amazing. Which came first: the hen or the egg? If you consider this question as classic and unanswerable, then your knowledge of science needs brushing up! Of course, the egg is easily proclaimed the winner by half a billion years as the hen has only been here for fifty million years. This is just one of the lighter gems found in one of the most wonderful books ever written: The Seven Mysteries of Life by Guy Murchie. Here, a look at the first mystery which he calls The Abstract Nature of the Universe.
Mu Which came first: the hen or the egg? Murchie's writing is so insightful and provocative that any summary or analysis runs the risk of extending beyond the length of an accessible review, so I will procure brevity. In other words, there is Indeed the fact that you can move your legs and walk, or your tongue and talk, makes you alive. And so does the fact that you can control the engine and wings and tail of your airplane when you fly.
You may object that the airplane is not really alive because it is not a natural organism but only man-made and artificial. But I reply that so is a bird's nest artificial for it is bird-made and not strictly a part of the bird's body. And so too is coral artificial in the sense that it is made or excreted by the coral polyps.
And so is the oyster's shell built of calcareous substances out of the sea. And so also are the shells of bird's eggs and a bird's feathers made of things the bird eats.
The Seven mysteries of life: an exploration in science & philosophy
And so are even your teeth and bones and your fingernails and hair, in fact your whole body. There is no definite line, you see, where artificiality begins. And there is no absolute boundary between life and the world. Just as your house is your shell and your coat your pelt, in effect, so does your consciousness form your aura of personal life However, "the reason a living body can be made of such everyday stuff" as water, fat, carbon, phosphorus, magnesium, etc Then I tried to define the physical boundaries of the body and began to realize they are virtually indefinable, for the air around any air-breathing creature from a weed to a whale is obviously a vital part of it even while it is also part of other creatures.
The atmosphere in fact binds together all life on Earth, including life in the deep sea, which 'breathes' oxygen and some air constantly. And the water of the sea is another of life's common denominators noticeable in the salty flavor of blood, sweat and tears, as are the solid Earth and its molecules present in our protoplasm compounded of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and a dozen lesser elements.
For a while I thought the body's essence might somehow lurk in the nucleus of each cell where the genes physically direct growth and development. Essentially no single atom or molecule or combination of them can be indispensable to a body for they are all dispensed by it. It is only the pattern with its message that proves really vital to life. On the ocean one could make the analogy that it is not the saltwater but the abstract energy that shapes and powers the wave. Likewise it is not the atoms in the DNA but their geometric relation that makes the gene. And it is not the paper and ink but the words and meanings that compose the book.
Of course the design is not really a thing in the material sense for it is abstract. Indeed it is a kind of intangible essence, something like Lao-tzu's best knot which, as he explained, was tied without rope. Thus our very bodies that we always thought were material Our bodies are supposed to be material and the mysterious union formed with the soul is the necessary arena in which the soul can be tried, tested and matured. But, if the body is essentially abstract, then exactly what is the "material" context in which the soul progresses?
Must this context be, as we seem to have conceived so far, such a concrete thing or is the illusion of tangibility enough to do the trick? Is the illusion of solidity what differentiates this earthly plane from such purely spiritual realms characterized by immortality and similar limitlessness? This is just a look at a bit of the first mystery, the others are just as fantastic. This is an absolute must read for basically everybody. Dec 06, Stephanie Middleton rated it it was amazing. It's crazy to me that I never quite finished this book.
It's super-long and very scientific though, so I always read it in small increments. If I put it down for too long, though, I forget what I learned and have to start over again! I do want to go on record to say that this is still one of my favorite books. It's a perfect, non-didactic marriage between science, philosophy, and spirituality, and every time I pick it up I'm le It's crazy to me that I never quite finished this book.
The seven mysteries of life: an exploration in science & philosophy - Guy Murchie - Google книги
It's a perfect, non-didactic marriage between science, philosophy, and spirituality, and every time I pick it up I'm left marveling at the wonders of the natural world. The author is brilliant, yet maintains this contagious, almost childlike joy. My father lent this to me as a teen, and since then, I've lent it to and bought it for countless friends. If you're in the mood for some deep thought, I suggest you pick it up too and tell me what you think!
Apr 07, Bernard marked it as to-read Shelves: own. I saw this book while browsing in a book store; I read a few pages and was very interested. But then I noticed it had been publish in It is surly outdated. Back at home I googled it and found a review of the book on Goodreads by someone who had the same concern that i had but read it anyway, he gave it 5 stars. So I decided to give it a try.
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By the way, that is the day I joined Goodreads. I'm reading this one really s I saw this book while browsing in a book store; I read a few pages and was very interested. I'm reading this one really slow. I would say I'm nibbling at it every other day 70 pages in 2 weeks , and when I do read it, I'm always stopping to go on Wikipedia to learn more about this plant and that other tree I'have never heard of. I very much enjoy it but I will be at it for months at this pace.
The science and theoretical stretches Murchie attempts are generally weak and maybe even a bit mystical or spiritually pious , but the whole is an effective and tremendously substantial meditation on the utter bizarreness of biology. I like his scalar format, but there's a tendency toward extreme brevity that is sometimes frustrating in the more interesting parts.
I groaned at the fabulism of an exploration of the 'seven mysteries' of life The science and theoretical stretches Murchie attempts are generally weak and maybe even a bit mystical or spiritually pious , but the whole is an effective and tremendously substantial meditation on the utter bizarreness of biology. I groaned at the fabulism of an exploration of the 'seven mysteries' of life which, apparently, include both 'divinity' and transcendence' , but it turns out that Murchie scripted a rara avis with this book, a thoughtful and completely readable text that thinks about the broader implications of scientific knowledge.
Jan 08, Michael Holm rated it liked it Shelves: nature. The first part is a survey of scientific knowledge which highlights the great variety and variation in life forms. The second part introduces the seven mysteries that he has discovered in the world. The author had been a member of the B'Hai faith for many years when he published this book and B'Hai also has seven mysteries. His seven mysteries are Abstraction -the regularity and pattern of matter and energy, Interrelatedness of all things, Omnipresence of life everywhere, Polarity - the principl The first part is a survey of scientific knowledge which highlights the great variety and variation in life forms.
His seven mysteries are Abstraction -the regularity and pattern of matter and energy, Interrelatedness of all things, Omnipresence of life everywhere, Polarity - the principle of symmetry, Transcendence - progression from finitude to Infinitude, Germination of worlds, and Divinity. I accept the concepts of mysteries in life and his first one. But the others seem to be made up in order to have seven like B'Hai. Nov 13, Jjohnson The Delicatemonster rated it it was amazing.
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A nearly bottomless book of inspiration and delight--one of those take to a deserted islands books Transformational and poetic. Now here's an anecdote to explain how good this book was. Every other weekend for about four months I have to go to gymn meets which are by turns excruciatingly boring events hour upon hours of the routines, by the approximate same level of talent with the occasional flashes of mind numbing anxiety and fear at least for a pare A nearly bottomless book of inspiration and delight--one of those take to a deserted islands books Every other weekend for about four months I have to go to gymn meets which are by turns excruciatingly boring events hour upon hours of the routines, by the approximate same level of talent with the occasional flashes of mind numbing anxiety and fear at least for a parent.
Murchie's book saw me through an entire season and then some. Read his book, it'll either save your life, or get you through the lassitudes of gymn season Apr 28, Scott rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Humans. This is one of the most influential books I've ever read. I own multiple copies and I've read it many times. Murchie spent 18 years writing it. He illustrated it by hand. Every page has its own title. I've never read a book so lovingly created. He makes hard science read like poetry.
Nov 13, Justin rated it really liked it. Comprehensive, well written and longer than my attention span. Jan 13, Tommy Estlund rated it did not like it. Sep 17, Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the best books I have ever read. Definitely gives you a new perspective on all tangible aspects of life. Plus the story itself how long this book took for the author.