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The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality Audio CD – Audiobook, 13 Sep 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Assets; Unabridged edition (13 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739322656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739322659
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.5 x 15.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,743,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


With immense charm and lucidity, [the Dalai Lama] riffs on possible congruences between quantum physics or relativity and the Buddhist concept of impermanence and nothingness (Steven Poole, GUARDIAN)

Wise and compassionate (DAILY EXPRESS)

Some fascinating fresh insights ... Those who confuse the Dalai Lama's affability and simple-heartedness for a lack of intellectual rigour will be confounded by the strength of his reasoning, and no one can deny his argument that science should serve us all ... a fascinating account of an intellectual journey from the rooftops of Lhasa to the modern world (SCOTSMAN)

The lucidity of the writing is a joy, and conveys with simple elegance profound truths from both traditions. For those wishing to understand the nature of reality, this is an excellent work (THE MIDDLE WAY: JOURNAL OF THE BUDDHIST SOCIETY) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

* The Dalai Lama's unique and learned vision of how religion and science can work together in harmony --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback
The Universe in a Single Atom: How science and spirituality can serve our world, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Random House (Doubleday) 2005, New York; Little, Brown, London, 2006.

The fusion of science and spirituality
By Howard A. Jones

It's now more than thirty years since the publication of Fritjof Capra's Tao of Physics (1975). Since then, an increasing number of both mystics and scientists have pointed out the connection between science and spirituality, even as the gulf between science and dogmatic religion has widened. The incessant cosmic dance of fundamental particles and energies is a scientific expression of the fundamental Buddhist belief `that all conditioned things and events are in constant flux.'

Here is another book on the same unifying theme and it could hardly have been written by a more eminent spiritual authority. As well as possessing a depth of spiritual vision, the Dalai Lama has the intellect to be able to discuss scientific concepts meaningfully with eminent physicists, though he always acknowledges his lack of formal scientific training with humility. These facets of his personality come through in this treatment of the subject.

The preliminary pages set the tone of the book with a quote from Buddhist scripture: `In each atom of the realms of the universe, / There exist vast oceans of world systems'. This is a spiritual expression of the scientific world view of physicist David Bohm, who became a friend and scientific mentor of the Dalai Lama. Bohm's concept is expressed by his notion of `implicate order': just as each molecule of DNA contains the biological blueprint for the whole organism, so each atom has within it a representation of the whole object of which it is a part, each molecule the germ of every system.
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If you are looking for a clear introduction to the science/spirituality debate, which is everything to do with the issues generated by differing worldviews, then this is an excellent place to start. The Dalai Lama takes you through his journey into and through science and clearly points out and clarifies the landmarks on the way. So he provides you with some excellent orienteering in a region that could easily overwhelm.
But, just in case you make the assumption that this is therefore only for newcomers to the discussions that have been taking place between thoughtful people in both science and religion for many years, take a pause. This is a wonderfully clear overview that will provide those readers already acquainted with the issues with a valuable summary of what's involved. The dialogue between Buddhism and Science is proving to be very fertile, especially in the area of brain, mind and consciousness; the Dalai Lama's ability to communicate wonder, generosity and humility reveals just how nourishing and fruitful that dialogue can be.
If you've been irritated or perhaps saddened by the simplistic treatment of the human search for meaning, purpose and value by the headline grabbers in the field of science and religious debate, enjoy this rich and deceptively simple exploration of the domain.
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Format: Paperback
Two important concepts in Buddhism are: (1) to know the way things really are and (2) a quote from Buddha, " All I have done is to discover the laws of nature". Buddhists strongly believe in an analytical approach to find the truth. The Dalai Lama has since 1960 studied Western science meeting many of the most prominent Western scientists in the USA and Europe. The Dalai Lama became extremely impressed by the progress made in science in the last 400 years, and the contribution science had made to make a high standard of living in the West and Japan and by the contribution it can make to solve the poverty problem. The Dalai Lama studied all types of disciplines, especially physics. Physicists hold different views of the future of the science of the mind. The "two-world physicists" believe that physics cannot develop theories that explain how the mind works and explain concepts like responsibility, happiness and decency. The "Mathematics- Physicists" believe that everything including the processes of the mind can be expressed in mathematics. The "Universe Physicists" view is that physics can make great progress in understanding how the mind works but that it requires additional methods of analysis and is not limited to mathematics.

Buddhists have for more than 2500 years investigated how the mind works, not by brain scans but by intensive training of the mind to enable people to observe the processes in their minds. Their theories are based on logic and on those investigations.

Buddhists like scientists believe in cause and effect as a universal principle. This in Buddhism referred to as "dependent origination ". The world is constituted of dependently originating processes that give rise to dependently originated consequences according to the laws of causality.
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Format: Paperback
For those trained in science, a book about science that publishers have classified as “Mind-Body-Spirit” can cause an inward groan, however distinguished the author. The numbers of ill-informed renderings of science by well meaning New Age authors are legion. This book is different and could have been classified equally well as philosophy of science. It is a beautifully written and thought provoking account of His Holiness’ interest in science. It begins with his early encounters with Western science, through discovering in Potala the fruits of its technology in the form of telescopes, cars, watches, movie projectors and generators; many of which he relished dismantling, reassembling and repairing. We are also treated to glimpses into the world of the teenage Dalai Lama; including the vision of him driving a 1927 Baby Austin around the streets of Lhasa and breaking a headlight. These practical encounters were followed in Tibet and later in India and Europe with meetings with some of the most famous of contemporary scientific minds, including Karl Popper, David Böhm and Francisco Varela.
From his reading, discussions and interactions with the scientific community, which span mechanics and quantum physics to neurobiology, His Holiness draws on Buddhist teachings to show how two very different systems of thought have come to similar conclusions about the nature of reality and of consciousness. In the case of science, its conclusions are derived from experiments on matter and intellectual analysis; in the case of Buddhism through long centuries of spiritual practice and meditative and speculative thought.
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