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Buddhism Science

Author: Ed. B. Alan Wallac
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishe
ISBN: 9788120820258
Size: 24.96 MB
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Reflecting its wide variety of topics, Buddhism and science is comprised of three sections. The first presents two historical overviews of the engagements between Buddhism and modern science or rather how Buddhism and modern science have definced, rivaled and complemented one another. The second describes the ways Buddhism and the cognitive sciences inform each other, the third address point of intersection between Buddhsim and the physical sciences. On the broadest level this work illuminates how different ways of exploring the nature of human identity the mind, and the universe at large can enrich and enlighten one another.

Contemplative Science

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231138352
Size: 61.20 MB
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B. Alan Wallace, renowned Buddhist scholar, integrates the contemplative methodologies of Buddhism and Western science into a single discipline: contemplative science. The science of consciousness investigates the mind through Buddhist contemplative techniques, such as shamatha, an organized, detailed system of training the attention. Just as scientists make observations and conduct experiments with the aid of technology, contemplatives have long tested their theories with the help of highly developed meditative skills of observation and experimentation. Contemplative science allows for a deeper knowledge of mental phenomena, and its emphasis on strict mental discipline counteracts the effects of conative (intention and desire), attentional, cognitive, and affective imbalances. Just as behaviorism, psychology, and neuroscience shed light on the cognitive processes enabling us to survive and flourish, contemplative science offers a groundbreaking perspective for expanding our capacity to realize genuine well-being. It also forges a link between the material world and the realm of the subconscious, transcending a traditional science-based understanding of the self.

Mind In The Balance

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519702
Size: 74.17 MB
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By establishing a dialogue in which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity speak to the theories of modern philosophy and science, B. Alan Wallace reveals the theoretical similarities underlying these disparate disciplines and their unified approach to making sense of the objective world. Wallace begins by exploring the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a sequence of meditations the reader can undertake, showing that, though Buddhism and Christianity differ in their belief systems, their methods of cognitive inquiry provide similar insight into the nature and origins of consciousness. From this convergence Wallace then connects the approaches of contemporary cognitive science, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the mind. He links Buddhist and Christian views to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly incorporates the work of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete analysis of conceptions of consciousness with a guide to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative practice, Wallace takes the scientific and intellectual mapping of the mind in exciting new directions.

Religion Medicine And The Human Embryo In Tibet

Author: Frances Garrett
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134068921
Size: 77.89 MB
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This book explores the cultural history of embryology in Tibet, in culture, religion, art and literature, and what this reveals about its medicine and religion. Filling a significant gap in the literature this is the first in-depth exploration of Tibetan medical history in the English language. It reveals the prevalence of descriptions of the development of the human body – from conception to birth – found in all forms of Tibetan religious literature, as well as in medical texts and in art. By analysing stories of embryology, Frances Garrett explores questions of cultural transmission and adaptation: How did Tibetan writers adapt ideas inherited from India and China for their own purposes? What original views did they develop on the body, on gender, on creation, and on life itself? The transformations of embryological narratives over several centuries illuminate key turning points in Tibetan medical history, and its relationship with religious doctrine and practice. Embryology was a site for both religious and medical theorists to contemplate profound questions of being and becoming, where topics such as pharmacology and nosology were left to shape secular medicine. The author argues that, in terms of religion, stories of human development comment on embodiment, gender, socio-political hierarchy, religious ontology, and spiritual progress. Through the lens of embryology, this book examines how these concerns shift as Tibetan history moves through the formative 'renaissance' period of the twelfth through to the seventeenth centuries.

Hidden Dimensions

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231141513
Size: 68.14 MB
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B. Alan Wallace introduces a natural theory of human consciousness that has its roots in contemporary physics and Buddhism. Wallace's "special theory of ontological relativity" suggests that mental phenomena are conditioned by the brain, but do not emerge from it. Rather, the entire natural world of mind and matter, subjects and objects, arises from a unitary dimension of reality. Wallace employs the Buddhist meditative practice of samatha to test his hypothesis, creating a kind of telescope to examine the space of the mind. He then proposes a more general theory in which the participatory nature of reality is envisioned as a self-excited circuit.In comparing these ideas to the Buddhist theory known as the Middle Way philosophy, Wallace explores further aspects of his "general theory of ontological relativity," which can be investigated through vipasyana, or insight, meditation. He then focuses on the theme of symmetry in quantum cosmology and the "problem of frozen time," relating these issues to the theory and practices of the Great Perfection school of Tibetan Buddhism. He concludes with a discussion of complementarity as it relates to science and religion.

The Faith Of Biology And The Biology Of Faith

Author: Robert E. Pollack
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231529058
Size: 70.97 MB
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Are there parallels between the "moment of insight" in science and the emergence of the "unknowable" in religious faith? Where does scientific insight come from? Award-winning biologist Robert Pollack argues that an alliance between religious faith and science is not necessarily an argument in favor of irrationality: the two can inform each other's visions of the world. Pollack begins by reflecting on the large questions of meaning and purpose—and the difficulty of finding either in the orderly world described by the data of science. He considers the obligation to find meaning and purpose despite natural selection's claim to be a complete explanation of our presence as a species—a claim that calls upon neither natural intention, nor design, nor Designer. Next, the book focuses on matters of free will, from the choice of a scientist to accept evidence, to the choice of a religious person to accept a revelation, to a patient's loss of free will in medical treatment. Here Pollack addresses questions of ethics and offers a provocative comparison of two difficult texts whose contents remain incompletely understood: the DNA "text" of the human genome and the Hebrew record of Jewish written and oral law. In closing, Pollack considers the promise of genetic medicine in enabling us to glimpse our own future and offers a reconsideration of the possible utility of the so-called placebo effect in curing illness. Whether refuting a DNA-based biological model of Judaism or discussing the Darwinian concept of the species, Pollack, under the banner of free inquiry, presents a genuine, vital, and well-argued assay of the intersection of science and religion.

Environmental Ethics Ecological Theology And Natural Selection

Author: Lisa Sideris
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023152949X
Size: 66.57 MB
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In the last few decades, religious and secular thinkers have tackled the world's escalating environmental crisis by attempting to develop an ecological ethic that is both scientifically accurate and free of human-centered preconceptions. This groundbreaking study shows that many of these environmental ethicists continue to model their positions on romantic, pre-Darwinian concepts that disregard the predatory and cruelly competitive realities of the natural world. Examining the work of such influential thinkers as James Gustafson, Sallie McFague, Rosemary Radford Ruether, John Cobb, Peter Singer, and Holmes Rolston, Sideris proposes a more realistic ethic that combines evolutionary theory with theological insight, advocates a minimally interventionist stance toward nature, and values the processes over the products of the natural world.

Mind And Life

Author: Pier Luigi Luisi
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231529708
Size: 48.75 MB
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For over a decade, a small group of scientists and philosophers members of the Mind and Life Institute have met regularly to explore the intersection between science and the spirit. At one of these meetings, the themes discussed were both fundamental and profound: can physics, chemistry, and biology explain the mystery of life? How do our philosophical assumptions influence science and the ethics we bring to biotechnology? And how does an ancient spiritual tradition throw new light on these questions? Pier Luigi Luisi not only reproduces this dramatic, cross-cultural dialogue, in which world-class scientists, philosophers, and Buddhist scholars develop a holistic approach to the scientific exploration of reality, but also adds scientific background to their presentations, as well as supplementary discussions with prominent participants and attendees. Interviews with His Holiness the Karmapa, the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, and the actor and longtime human rights advocate Richard Gere take the proceedings into new directions, enriching the material with personal viewpoints and lively conversation about such topics as the origin of matter, the properties of cells, the nature of evolution, the ethics of genetic manipulation, and the question of consciousness and ethics. A keen study of character, Luisi incorporates his own amusing observations into this fascinating dialogue, painting a very human portrait of some of our greatest and most intimidating thinkers. Deeply textured and cleverly crafted, Mind and Life is an excellent opportunity for any reader to join in the debate surrounding this cutting-edge field of inquiry.

Science And Religion Around The World

Author: John Hedley Brooke
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199793204
Size: 64.87 MB
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The past quarter-century has seen an explosion of interest in the history of science and religion. But all too often the scholars writing it have focused their attention almost exclusively on the Christian experience, with only passing reference to other traditions of both science and faith. At a time when religious ignorance and misunderstanding have lethal consequences, such provincialism must be avoided and, in this pioneering effort to explore the historical relations of what we now call "science" and "religion," the authors go beyond the Abrahamic traditions to examine the way nature has been understood and manipulated in regions as diverse as ancient China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Science and Religion around the World also provides authoritative discussions of science in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam -- as well as an exploration of the relationship between science and the loss of religious beliefs. The narratives included in this book demonstrate the value of plural perspectives and of the importance of location for the construction and perception of science-religion relations.

The New Physics And Cosmology

Author: Arthur Zajonc
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199882835
Size: 23.91 MB
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What happens when the Dalai Lama meets with leading physicists and a historian? This book is the carefully edited record of the fascinating discussions at a Mind and Life conference in which five leading physicists and a historian (David Finkelstein, George Greenstein, Piet Hut, Arthur Zajonc, Anton Zeilinger, and Tu Weiming) discussed with the Dalai Lama current thought in theoretical quantum physics, in the context of Buddhist philosophy. A contribution to the science-religion interface, and a useful explanation of our basic understanding of quantum reality, couched at a level that intelligent readers without a deep involvement in science can grasp. In the tradition of other popular books on resonances between modern quantum physics and Zen or Buddhist mystical traditions--notably The Dancing Wu Li Masters and The Tao of Physics, this book gives a clear and useful update of the genuine correspondences between these two rather disparate approaches to understanding the nature of reality.