Here's my third post about Heinrich Pas' book The One: How An Ancient Idea Holds the Future of Physics, the previous posts being here and here.
In my reading I've reached a sort of interlude in-between the first and last parts of the book, each of which deal fairly directly with a monistic interpretation of quantum mechanics, which explains The One title.
But two intervening chapters, "The Struggle for One" and "From One to Science and Beauty," focus on the historic struggle between monism and dualism in Western thought (there's very little mention of Eastern thought, which also has monistic and dualistic aspects).
I don't find these chapters as interesting as the more directly science-oriented ones.
However, reading them still was enjoyable, since I was familiar with most of the names of religiously and philosophically minded people with monistic leanings that either earned them praise or condemnation from the powers-that-be of their time.
Parmenides. Plato. Pythagoras. Plotinus. Dionysius the Areopagite. Eriugena. Meister Eckhart. Nicholas of Cusa. Giordano Bruno. Leonardo da Vinci. Spinoza. Schelling. Hegel. Goethe. Plus others.
Still, I could understand why Pas described how Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and other scientific pioneers arrived at their conceptions of the universe. It was less clear why Pas was describing the tenor of the times in ancient, medieval, renaissance, and other historic periods.
Then I recalled an Einstein quote that I'd included in my book about Plotinus, the Greek Neoplatonist philosopher: "It is the theory which decides what we can observe." The preceding sentence elaborates what Einstein meant: "“Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use."
This helps explain why Pas goes to considerable lengths to examine how monism and dualism have battled for supremacy in the minds of humans. Not that these are strict demarcations, since Plotinus, for example, said about the One: "Therefore he [the One] must fill all things and make all things , not be all the things he makes."
So I think Pas is correct when he asks how it was that the traditional Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics was so adamant that nothing could be said about the mysterious underlying quantum reality which produced observable results in experiments involving the subatomic realm.
Though Pas doesn't consider that Bohr, Heisenberg, and other pioneers of quantum mechanics were motivated by dualistic Christianity where God is hidden and God's creation is manifest, he does believe that the views of all of us -- scientists and nonscientists alike -- are heavily influenced by how our surrounding culture sees reality.
Of course, it's distinctly possible, and in my view highly probable, that at some level the inner workings of nature are beyond all possible views, at least those capable of being conceived by the human mind.
Even if this true, science is our best means of attaining a worldview that corresponds most closely to the world as it is. For while Einstein may be correct in saying that the theory decides what can be observed (for every observation entails assumptions), science uses observations of various types to confirm or reject theories -- thereby producing a feedback loop that leads to increasingly accurate theories.
Religion is considerably more blind in its worldview. For whether we're speaking of a major religion, a minor sect, a mystical path, a spiritual approach, or whatever, typically some sort of teaching leads to some sort of belief which leads to some sort of experience that fits with the teaching and belief.
Thus a Christian is told that Jesus is loving, which leads to a belief that Jesus loves them, which causes an experience of Jesus' love ("Praise the Lord, I found a parking space!"), which is viewed as proving that the belief was true, even though it really doesn't, because the whole process was circular -- a teaching producing an expectation which produces an experience that supposedly proves the teaching.