Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | May 16, 2011

Stephen Hawking, A Taoist View?

Caught an article today on Yahoo about Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist, and his view on God and the creation of the universe. He says, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” This sounds a lot like the taoist view, that out of “wuji” or the void, come the two things, yin and yang, and the ensuing interplay of the two, and when they are harmonized they become the grand tai chi. So, it would be interesting to hear a physicist follow through on the yin yang analogy to see his understanding of these two forces circling each other, and the concept that in yin, there is a bit of yang, and in yang there is a bit of yin. What would be the physicist’s explanation of this phenomenon?

While I sometimes tend to agree that our views of “God” tend to move into the realm of fairytale understanding, there is still, to me, a sense of holiness and the divine embued in our existence. It is this mystery that calls me to meditation and contemplation. My Catholic upbringing has endeared me to the idea of a personal relationship with God, but my deeper catholic faith leads me to a more mystical understanding that I have come close to experiencing mostly doing tai chi, or in the presence of Benedictine Monks or other holy practitioners.

The spontaneous creativity of the “tao” was one of the first lightbulbs that went off for me when I started my journey in tai chi. When we participate in this spontaneous creativity, when we can be spontaneous and creative, we are experiencing what it truly means to be fully human.

I’m reminded of my mom using a phrase often when she would decide on a whim for us to go visit my aunt down the Jersey shore. She would say she had decided on the “spur of the moment.” Sure, it’s nice to have plans, to work things out ahead of time. But it is a joy to be able to do things on the spur of the moment and to have the freedom to do so.

Spontaneity, creativity, synchronicity, spur of the moment, freedom, adaptability. All things tai chi doesn’t so much teach us but exposes us to.



  1. It is so similar to taoism, everything comes from nothing


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