The Taboo of Subjectivity

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198038603
Format: PDF
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This book takes a bold new look at ways of exploring the nature, origins, and potentials of consciousness within the context of science and religion. Alan Wallace draws careful distinctions between four elements of the scientific tradition: science itself, scientific realism, scientific materialism, and scientism. Arguing that the metaphysical doctrine of scientific materialism has taken on the role of ersatz-religion for its adherents, he traces its development from its Greek and Judeo-Christian origins, focusing on the interrelation between the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. He looks at scientists' long term resistance to the firsthand study of consciousness and details the ways in which subjectivity has been deemed taboo within the scientific community. In conclusion, Wallace draws on William James's idea for a "science of religion" that would study the nature of religious and, in particular, contemplative experience. In exploring the nature of consciousness, this groundbreaking study will help to bridge the chasm between religious belief and scientific knowledge. It is essential reading for philosophers and historians of science, scholars of religion, and anyone interested in the relationship between science and religion.

Embracing Mind

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
ISBN: 1590304829
Format: PDF
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Examines the integral link between science and spirituality in the two areas' quest for "ultimate truths," arguing that science hampers its search by ignoring the human mind as the ultimate source of inspiration and the separation between the fields is unnecessary. 15,000 first printing.

The Cosmic Breath

Author: Amos Yong
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004230491
Format: PDF, Docs
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The interjection of pneumatology in both theologies of interreligious dialogue and in the theology-and-science conversation comes together in this volume. The resulting Christianity-Buddhism-science trialogue opens up to new pneumatological perspectives on philosophical cosmology and anthropology in interdisciplinary and global context.

Waking Dreaming Being

Author: Evan Thompson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231538316
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain. Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate—either in the waking state or in a lucid dream—we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self. Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives.

Der Ego Tunnel

Author: Thomas Metzinger
Publisher: Piper Verlag
ISBN: 3492964966
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Unser »Selbst« existiert gar nicht. Dies beweisen, so der Philosoph und Bewusstseinsforscher Thomas Metzinger, die Erkenntnisse der aktuellen Forschung. Aber was bedeutet das für unser Menschenbild? Was sind die technologischen und kulturellen Konsequenzen? Brauchen wir neben der Neuroethik auch eine Bewusstseinsethik? Der Ego-Tunnel eröffnet einen ebenso faszinierenden wie fundierten Zugang zur geheimnisvollen Welt des menschlichen Geistes.

Mind in the Balance

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519702
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Buddhism and Science

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231507356
Format: PDF
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Buddhism and Science brings together distinguished philosophers, Buddhist scholars, physicists, and cognitive scientists to examine the contrasts and connections between the worlds of Western science and Eastern spirituality. This compilation was inspired by a suggestion made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, himself one of the contributors, after one of a series of cross-cultural scientific dialogues in Dharamsala, India, sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute. Other contributors such as William L. Ames, Matthieu Ricard, and Stephen LaBerge assess not only the fruits of inquiry from East and West but also shed light on the underlying assumptions of these disparate worldviews. Their essays creatively address a broad range of topics: from quantum theory's surprising affinities with the Buddhist concept of emptiness, to the increasing need in the West for a more contemplative science attuned to the first-person investigation of the mind, to the important ways in which the psychological study of "lucid dreaming" maps similar terrain to the cultivation of the Tibetan Buddhist discipline of dream yoga. 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 defined, rivaled, or complemented one another. The second describes the ways Buddhism and the cognitive sciences inform each other; the third addresses points of intersection between Buddhism 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.

Mind and Life

Author: Pier Luigi Luisi
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231529708
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231530323
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A radical approach to studying the mind. Renowned Buddhist philosopher B. Alan Wallace reasserts the power of shamatha and vipashyana, traditional Buddhist meditations, to clarify the mind's role in the natural world. Raising profound questions about human nature, free will, and experience versus dogma, Wallace challenges the claim that consciousness is nothing more than an emergent property of the brain with little relation to universal events. Rather, he maintains that the observer is essential to measuring quantum systems and that mental phenomena (however conceived) influence brain function and behavior. Wallace embarks on a two-part mission: to restore human nature and to transcend it. He begins by explaining the value of skepticism in Buddhism and science and the difficulty of merging their experiential methods of inquiry. Yet Wallace also proves that Buddhist views on human nature and the possibility of free will liberate us from the metaphysical constraints of scientific materialism. He then explores the radical empiricism inspired by William James and applies it to Indian Buddhist philosophy's four schools and the Great Perfection school of Tibetan Buddhism. Since Buddhism begins with the assertion that ignorance lies at the root of all suffering and that the path to freedom is reached through knowledge, Buddhist practice can be viewed as a progression from agnosticism (not knowing) to gnosticism (knowing), acquired through the maintenance of exceptional mental health, mindfulness, and introspection. Wallace discusses these topics in detail, identifying similarities and differences between scientific and Buddhist understanding, and he concludes with an explanation of shamatha and vipashyana and their potential for realizing the full nature, origins, and potential of consciousness.

The New Physics and Cosmology

Author: Arthur Zajonc
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199882835
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.