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Mutual Causality in Buddihism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Natural Systems (Suny Series, Buddhist Studies) (SUNY Series in Buddhist Studies) Paperback – 3 Jul 1991


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press; 1st Edition edition (3 July 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791406377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791406373
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Joanna R. Macy is Adjunct Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. She is the author of Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age; Dharma and Development; Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Council of All Beings (with John Seed, Pat Fleming, and Arne Naess); and World as Lover, World as Self.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By kathamandu@aol.com on 31 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
As the title implies this book deals both with Buddhism and General Systems theory. The author has sensed a compatibility between the two and developed her theme exploring both in the context of each other in a rich and fruitful way. She emphasises the dynamic and interconnected nature of both systems of thought and their application and relevance to both everyday daily activity and choices as well as to the most profound philosophical and existential dilemas that we face in the world today.
Macey is passionately aware of environmental problems and their roots, she uses Systems theory and the Buddhist conception of interconnectedness to understand them more deeply by examining the very process of how we and our experience are part of the general system earth or universe. In this way she leaves us with a sense of our relatedness to our environment which we can ignore only at great risk to our conscious integrity. To do damage to our world is to damage ourselves.
A short review can not do justice to the sense of journey that one makes when reading this highly readable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. J. O. Boyle on 23 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well I havnt finished reading this book yet. Its a slow read. But worth while. I'm a Electronic Engineer - Applied Physicist going into Control Engineering and Systems Management. Im also a Buddhist for many years. The thesis and concepts in this books resonate strongly with my sensibilities - so I like that. But it is also awfully well researched and very clearly written. I'm writing a paper on the future viability of systems enginering and this books really helps there. I recommend it!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jan. 1998
Format: Paperback
I knew there was some reason I was attracted to both General Systems and Buddhism, and that they had something in common. This book told me why.
Joanna Macy maintains her "scholastic" focus on the task of comparing these two systems of thought throughout the text, and thereby succeeds briliantly in explaining the basic meaning (singlular) of both systems.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
The real science in Buddhism 22 Feb. 2000
By Brian C. Holly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Joanna Macy cuts through the nonsense dispensed in thing like the the "Tao of Physics" to reveal the real scientific basis of Buddhist concepts. Drawing heavily on Systems theory (cybernetics), she shows that the Buddhist view of the universe as system of ever-changing subsystems in dynamic interaction is not just a scientifically valid view, but a profoundly spiritual one as well. She lights the way to a Buddhism that is no longer dependent on supernaturalism, but yields nothing of its profundity. Her interpretations of traditional Buddhist concepts like no-self and karma are masterful. Every Buddhist should read this book.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Dependence Arising...The Wheel of Life 16 April 2004
By Diana Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I still refer to this book when considering the Wisdom aspect of the Dharma. Although most western published books on Dependence Arising and the related subject of Inherent Emptiness, are written from a Mahayana perspective (Garfield, Napper, Hopkins, et alia) commenting on the philosophy of Nagarjuna or Chandrakirti, Macy's book is based on her Sri Lankan co-operative experience and the language is Pali rather than Sanskrit. Nevertheless, this is the BEST introduction to Dependence Arising by far. It explains the philosophy well, and grounds it in practical experience as well as making connection with the Greek Pre-Socratics. This is not a chickey-horsey-ducky guide, but it does explain the Buddhist view of dependence arising (though not Inherent Emptiness) giving the reader the vocabulary to relate a Buddhist worldview with modern society.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Here's why Buddhism is a better Meme than Scientism. 2 Jan. 1998
By Jim Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I knew there was some reason I was attracted to both General Systems and Buddhism, and that they had something in common. This book told me why.
Joanna Macy maintains her "scholastic" focus on the task of comparing these two systems of thought throughout the text, and thereby succeeds briliantly in explaining the basic meaning (singlular) of both systems.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating book; I feel my paradigms a'changing! 23 Mar. 2013
By Richard L Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Macy's clear thinking and analysis of how cause and effect really work, that A operates on B, and A is changed during the process. I have to redo my narrow, linear thinking processes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Buddhism for Scientists 25 Nov. 2012
By John Newman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Science is a dominant paradigm Western thinking. In the development of my spiritual beliefs it was important for me to find a belief system a that built on core scientific thinking. Joanna Macy has done it here in exploring the key Buddhist concept of mutual causality and its genesis in General Systems Theory. This is a truly exciting book for one that is looking to reconcile Eastern religious thought and western science. I buy this book and give it to friends.
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