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Gallileo, Copernicus, Newton, Niels Bohr, Einstein. Their insights shook our perception of who we are and where we stand in the world and in their wake have left an uneasy co-existence: science vs. religion, faith vs. empirical enquiry. Which is the keeper of truth? Which is the true path to understanding reality? After forty 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. From the Hardcover edition.
Explains how science and religion can work together to alleviate human suffering, arguing that understanding the connections between science and faith holds the key to achieving peace both within oneself and the world at large.
Spirituality means something different to everyone. Some may believe it involves participating in organized religion. Others may prefer it to be more personal, like getting in touch with one's inner self through yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks. A few may find that it lies in finding a new sense of purpose for their lives. Spirituality Beyond Science and Religion addresses all of these, and more, through a new paradigm about life and death. It lifts readers above their daily press for competitive survival and success, by going to the heart of all spirituality. The book disputes traditional science's claim that physical matter is the only reality. It also helps explain enigmas that have confronted orthodox religion for centuries. To do so, this book correlates published research from nearly one hundred and fifty authors and professionals in medicine, neuroscience, psychology, theology, history, and metaphysics. It explores new insights being revealed through thousands of subjective experiences around the world—all of them beyond the ability of science or religion to explain. The book therefore not only offers reassurance that death is not final but it also discloses profound implications for how we live our lives on earth.
A Communion of Subjects is the first comparative and interdisciplinary study of the conceptualization of animals in world religions. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including Thomas Berry (cultural history), Wendy Doniger (study of myth), Elizabeth Lawrence (veterinary medicine, ritual studies), Marc Bekoff (cognitive ethology), Marc Hauser (behavioral science), Steven Wise (animals and law), Peter Singer (animals and ethics), and Jane Goodall (primatology) consider how major religious traditions have incorporated animals into their belief systems, myths, rituals, and art. Their findings offer profound insights into humans' relationships with animals and a deeper understanding of the social and ecological web in which we all live. Contributors examine Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, African religions, traditions from ancient Egypt and early China, and Native American, indigenous Tibetan, and Australian Aboriginal traditions, among others. They explore issues such as animal consciousness, suffering, sacrifice, and stewardship in innovative methodological ways. They also address contemporary challenges relating to law, biotechnology, social justice, and the environment. By grappling with the nature and ideological features of various religious views, the contributors cast religious teachings and practices in a new light. They reveal how we either intentionally or inadvertently marginalize "others," whether they are human or otherwise, reflecting on the ways in which we assign value to living beings. Though it is an ancient concern, the topic of "Religion and Animals" has yet to be systematically studied by modern scholars. This groundbreaking collection takes the first steps toward a meaningful analysis.
Follow the Right Reverend Bishop John M. Duffey as he explains the duality of human understanding, the complementary natures of science and religion, and the various perspectives regarding the compatibility of science and religion. In this book, Duffey demonstrates the error in believing that science and religion conflict or are incompatible. Science and Religion is a journey through the definitive and complementary natures of religion (all religions) and science on to an explanation and demonstration of their individual and combined contributions to the whole of human universal understanding. By the end of this marvelous tour of contemplation the reader will be left with greater enlightenment regarding science, religion, and human perception and responsibility.
If consciousness is "the hard problem" in mind science -- explaining how the amazing private world of consciousness emerges from neuronal activity -- then "the really hard problem," writes Owen Flanagan in this provocative book, is explaining how meaning is possible in the material world. How can we make sense of the magic and mystery of life naturalistically, without an appeal to the supernatural? How do we say truthful and enchanting things about being human if we accept the fact that we are finite material beings living in a material world, or, in Flanagan's description, short-lived pieces of organized cells and tissue?Flanagan's answer is both naturalistic and enchanting. We all wish to live in a meaningful way, to live a life that really matters, to flourish, to achieve eudaimonia -- to be a "happy spirit." Flanagan calls his "empirical-normative" inquiry into the nature, causes, and conditions of human flourishing eudaimonics. Eudaimonics, systematic philosophical investigation that is continuous with science, is the naturalist's response to those who say that science has robbed the world of the meaning that fantastical, wishful stories once provided.Flanagan draws on philosophy, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and psychology, as well as on transformative mindfulness and self-cultivation practices that come from such nontheistic spiritual traditions as Buddhism, Confucianism, Aristotelianism, and Stoicism, in his quest. He gathers from these disciplines knowledge that will help us understand the nature, causes, and constituents of well-being and advance human flourishing. Eudaimonics can help us find out how to make a difference, how to contribute to the accumulation of good effects -- how to live a meaningful life.
The Handbook of Religion and Health has become the seminal research text on religion, spirituality, and health, outlining a rational argument for the connection between religion and health. The Second Edition completely revises and updates the first edition. Its authors are physicians: a psychiatrist and geriatrician, a primary care physician, and a professor of nursing and specialist in mental health nursing. The Second Edition surveys the historical connections between religion and health and grapples with the distinction between the terms ''religion'' and ''spirituality'' in research and clinical practice. It reviews research on religion and mental health, as well as extensive research literature on the mind-body relationship, and develops a model to explain how religious involvement may impact physical health through the mind-body mechanisms. It also explores the direct relationships between religion and physical health, covering such topics as immune and endocrine function, heart disease, hypertension and stroke, neurological disorders, cancer, and infectious diseases; and examines the consequences of illness including chronic pain, disability, and quality of life. Finally, the Handbook reviews research methods and addresses applications to clinical practice. Theological perspectives are interwoven throughout the chapters. The Handbook is the most insightful and authoritative resource available to anyone who wants to understand the relationship between religion and health.
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.
Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy
Author: Evan Thompson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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.
The last sixty years have witnessed a virtual explosion of interest in how modern science and traditional Christianity intersect. This new rapprochement with science has irrevocably altered how we think of God. It constitutes a foundation from which we cannot retreat, but from which we also cannot move forward until we examine the presumptions on which it is based. For the first time, Richard Coleman interprets in a clear and meaningful way the themes and practitioners that make this rapprochement different, and what it has achieved. But this book is more than description--it is an inquiry into whether Christian theology has lost its authentic voice by its singular focus on accommodating modern science.