After 40 years of study with some of the greatest scientific minds as well as a lifetime of meditative, spiritual, and philosophical study, the Dalai Lama presents a brilliant analysis of why both disciplines must be pursued in order to arrive at a complete picture of the truth. Science shows us ways of interpreting the physical world, while spirituality helps us cope with reality. But the extreme of either is impoverishing. The belief that all is reducible to matter and energy leaves out a huge range of human experience: emotions, yearnings, compassion, culture. At the same time, holding unexamined spiritual beliefs, beliefs that are contradicted by evidence, logic, and experience, can lock us into fundamentalist cages.
Through an examination of Darwinism and karma, quantum mechanics and philosophical insight into the nature of reality, neurobiology and the study of consciousness, the Dalai Lama draws significant parallels between contemplative and scientific examination of reality. "I believe that spirituality and science are complementary but different investigative approaches with the same goal of seeking the truth," His Holiness writes. "In this, there is much each may learn from the other, and together they may contribute to expanding the horizon of human knowledge and wisdom."
This breathtakingly personal examination is a tribute to the Dalai Lama's teachers, both of science and spirituality. The legacy of this book is a vision of the world in which our different approaches to understanding ourselves, our universe, and one another can be brought together in the service of humanity.
This audio includes an interview with Richard Gere.
Listen to an interview with the Dalai Lama on Charlie Rose.
©2005 His Holiness the Dalai Lama; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"This book offers something wiser: a compassionate and clearheaded account by a religious leader who not only respects science but, for the most part, embraces it." (The New York Times Book Review)
"The Dalai Lama lost spiritual leadership in his own country, but now exercises it around the world. Like all good teachers, he comes to learn. He found that what Buddhism lacked in his country was a fruitful interchange with reason and modern science. Here he fosters that exchange, at a time when some Christians have turned their backs on science and the Enlightenment. We are losing what he has gained." (Garry Wills)
The depth of curiosity and insight this book provokes is amazing. Here HIs Holiness addresses the issues that arise when examining our conditioning and unseen presuppositions A humanist and profoundly inspiring inquiry into what is real what is true.
Again, another book which demonstrates how a little knowledge is dangerous. The Dalai Lama expounds on how Buddhism is similar to our current understanding of science. I think it is an error to find similarities between science and any religion and use that similarity to pat your religion on the back. To do so, the religious must ignore all the dissimilarities of their religion and the world as we now know it. Also, this is an error as the knowledge of science will surely move on. That any religion has found similarities is surely a temporary thing. It is like be righteous because there is a mountain outside your window and no one else’s (For those of you who do not know, mountains are constantly being built and eroded.). I'm not arguing for or against Buddhism (Buddhism is probably one of the only religions I would feel comfortable with),rather his Holiness the Dalai Lama,is making claims regarding the similarity of his religion and the world as we know it. Whether his religion or any religion is the "correct" one simply cannot be based on its similarity to science.
That said, it is a very interesting book and an enlightening window into the thoughts of the Dalai Lama. He does an excellent job describing the study and understanding of the conscious particularly from the Buddhist point of view. It is not a particularly easy read unless you happen to be interested in this, but I enjoyed it very much.
The audio quality of this book is excellent.
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