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The Quantum and the Lotus a Journey to the Frontie - Eye Opening

The Quantum and the Lotus a Journey to the Frontie - Eye Opening

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Published by: garyp092 on May 04, 2011
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The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet by Trinh Xuan



How did the universe come into being? What is the meaning of human life against the blackness of infinity? Religion and science have many answers to these and like questions, answers that sometimes meet but more often diverge. In this book-length conversation, French Buddhist monk Ricard and Vietnamese-born astrophysicist Trinh explore how Buddhism and modern science address lifes big questions. Among the matters they touch on, sometimes fleetingly and sometimes in depth, are the illusory nature of phenomena, the guiding intelligence of nature, and the search for the mechanisms that drive planets and humans alike. Both authors, each conversant in the others medium, argue against reductionist views of nature. And both provide plenty of data that support Albert Einsteins declaration that if there is any religion that could correspond to the needs

of modern science, it would be Buddhism. Hard-nosed skeptics will perhaps find Ricard and Trinhs reconciliation arguable. Still, the record of their conversation makes fascinating reading and provides a useful overview of scientific reasoning and spiritual inquiry. --Gregory McNamee Features: * ISBN13: 9781400080793 * Condition: NEW * Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark. * Click here to view our Condition Guide and Shipping Prices This book presents an interesting dialogue between Thuan and Ricard, an interestingly juxtaposed pair (Asian born Thuan turned Astrophysicist and French born Ricard who became a Buddhist after earning his PhD. in Biology), about the nature of mind and our physical world. As a westerner with an interest in buddhism I often think of or engage in these kinds of discussions and while all my questions werent answered in an intellectual way, Ricard did help remind me repea tedly that the search for what came before the Big Bang or God or what comes after the final cooling of the ever expanding Universe is but a western habit of seeing everything as inherently existent. The middle way of co-dependent origination may be the answer, but it is tricky and subtle and not supported by our mental habits. While both men are well versed in their respective fields and are open to learning Thuan appears at an intellectual disadvantage in these discussions because while Buddhism tends to be non dogmatic it does have the weight of 2500 years of being on track in the search and application of the truth. Ricard does an excellent job of presenting the Buddhas intent, and the Buddhas teachings (on the co-dependent nature of all things) cut through the many intellectual layers and tangled web of discursive scientific thought like a knife through warm butter or a master key opening any lock. But each system of thought presented here comes across as being bound by its own view, definitions and mo tivations (science to explain and control, buddhism to experience and be free from). So, while the dialogue is always respectful, and intelligent, in depth and clear Im not sure there is ever truely a meeting of the minds. What there is is a meeting of east and west, and a challenge and opportunity for modern science (and any mental activity rooted in appearances) to find a middle way out of its habitual metaphysical underpinings and into a way to unify theory without looking for concrete answers, with prac tical applications rooted in compassion. This is the contribution of Buddhism here, a non contradictory union of form and emptiness, compassion and wisdom - a spirtual type of scentific inquiry. The two points of view may not meet but at least there is this dialogue! And Id love to see this book updated with ongoing discussions between these two very capable scientists.

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