By Donald S. Lopez, Jr.
Starting within the 19th century and carrying on with to the current day, either Buddhists and admirers of Buddhism have proclaimed the compatibility of Buddhism and technological know-how. Their assertions have ranged from modest claims in regards to the efficacy of meditation for psychological health and wellbeing to grander declarations that the Buddha himself expected the theories of relativity, quantum physics and the large bang greater than millennia ago.
In Buddhism and Science, Donald S. Lopez Jr. is much less attracted to comparing the accuracy of such claims than in exploring how and why those likely disparate modes of figuring out the internal and outer universe were so over and over associated. Lopez opens with an account of the increase and fall of Mount Meru, the good top that stands on the heart of the flat earth of Buddhist cosmography—and which used to be interpreted anew as soon as it proved incompatible with sleek geography. From there, he analyzes the best way Buddhist innovations of religious the Aristocracy have been enlisted to help the infamous technology of race within the 19th century. Bringing the tale to the current, Lopez explores the Dalai Lama’s curiosity in clinical discoveries, in addition to the results of study on meditation for neuroscience. Lopez argues that by way of offering an historic Asian culture as appropriate with—and even anticipating—scientific discoveries, ecu fans and Asian elites have sidestepped the debates at the relevance of faith within the smooth global that begun within the 19th century and nonetheless flare at the present time. As new discoveries proceed to reshape our realizing of brain and subject, Buddhism and Science may be fundamental studying for these fascinated about faith, technology, and their frequently vexed relation. (20081113)
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Extra resources for Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed (Buddhism and Modernity)
In classical Buddhist doctrine, all human experiences of pleasure and pain are the result of deeds done in the past, either in the present lifetime or in one of innumerable past lives. Evil or nonvirtuous (akuśala) deeds of body, speech, or mind—that is, physical actions, words, and thoughts—inevitably result in physical or mental suffering in the future, either in the present lifetime or some future life, unless the seeds of suffering are destroyed by wisdom. These deeds are classically enumerated as ten: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, senseless speech, covetousness, harmful intent, and wrong view.
Hence, the Buddha who appeared in India some twenty-five hundred years ago, referred to by the Dalai Lama simply as “the Teacher,” is the fourth buddha to appear in our universe. The Dalai Lama thus begins his book from the perspective of the traditional Buddhist cosmology. He would come to call certain elements of that cosmology into question in subsequent years. The passage cited above offers a somewhat conservative position on the question of Buddhism and Science. The Dalai Lama acknowledges the great power, and danger, of science, identifying the external world as its domain.
Although it may dominate there, Buddhism nonetheless has much to offer for inner development. 44 In the subsequent decades, the Dalai Lama’s views on this question would change, as discussed in chapter 3. Although particular forms of Theravāda and Zen meditation continue to be mentioned in the discourse of Buddhism and Science, in the introduction 29 last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twentyfirst, the primary referent of the term Buddhism in the phrase “Buddhism and Science” has been Tibetan Buddhism.