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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The fusion of science and spirituality
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...
Published on 23 Oct. 2009 by Dr. H. A. Jones

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps hr is too clever to be easily understood.
The Dalai Lama is obviously a clever man. Perhaps hr is too clever to be easily understood.
Published 5 months ago by Norman Craig Lewis


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The fusion of science and spirituality, 23 Oct. 2009
By 
Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Universe In A Single Atom: How science and spirituality can serve our world (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.

This Buddhist world-view demands an infinitely existing universe: `the origination of the universe must be understood in terms of the principle of an infinite chain of causation with no transcendence or preceding intelligence.' This idea differs from the Hindu principle of creation which has found support in recent years from another scientific model - that of the primacy of mind. Both agree in their rejection of `the reducibility of mind to matter', a core principle of many present-day biologists.

The science and spirituality inter-relation is expressed in this book within an autobiographical framework as the author recounts various experiences in his life that have given rise to his present state of enlightenment.

This is a book for those who are open-minded enough to see the world from a Buddhist point of view, if only temporarily. The scientific concepts are all explained in non-technical language.

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively simple!, 24 Oct. 2012
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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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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The future of the science of the mind, 31 July 2006
This review is from: The Universe In A Single Atom: How science and spirituality can serve our world (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. That also applies to each of us, what we do and think in our own lives affects everything we're connected to. A consequence of this view is that nothing exists on its own, that is independent of causes and conditions. That is why this concept is also referred to in Buddhism as "emptiness" (empty of inherent existence). Many people think or would like to think that they are independent. That according to Buddhism is a dangerous illusion that leads to ego-centeredness.

The meaning of the title of this book, "The universe in a single atom" refers to this connectedness. The thoughts and physical conditions of all of us are influenced by and influences external processes and we are therefore an integral part of the universe.

Chester Barnard, the author of "The Functions of the Executive" wrote in 1939 that people in an organisation function as iron particles in a magnetic field. Even though you cannot see anything the purpose and values of the organisation influence all members of the organisation. The values and traditions of the company are reflected in the minds of each of its members. By studying the processes in the mind of one member of an organisation you can get a picture of the mind of the organisation as a whole. The universe and the atom are in a similar relationship. A bridge between "dependent origination" and physics on this point is quantum theory. In quantum theory the observer does not play a purely passive role. Whether an electron behaves as a particle or a wave depends on the experiment being done. It is the observer who decides on what sort of experiment to do.

The Dalai Lama and the "Universe Physicists" believe that very important progress will be made in this century in knowledge of how the mind works and that collaboration between Buddhist and Western theories will be very productive. Several of the "universe physicists" have published relevant books- David Bohm, was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of London and worked with Albert Einstein And Niels Bohr, Piet Hut, professor of astro-physics and interdisciplinary studies at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, Arthur Zajonc, professor physics from Amherst College and B. Alan Wallace.

The Dalai Lama is very concerned that scientific knowledge is developing much more rapidly than the moral standards that should direct its use. He refers specifically to genetic engineering of foodstuffs, gene therapy, and genetic manipulation at the level of human embryos, cloning and therapeutic cloning, The Dalai Lame believes that a "moral compass" should be developed, not in isolation by government departments, business, scientists or spiritual leaders, but that it is of such importance that it should involve active participation by all of these groups and by the pubic at large. Who will take up this challenge?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Review: 'The Middle Way: Journal of the Buddhist Society', 81, no. 3 (November 2006): p. 179., 5 Jan. 2015
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. By making a bridge between the two, His Holiness argues a persuasive case for a stance that allows for accepting and taking seriously the validity of science’s empirical findings, while not denying the richness of human nature and he validity of other modes of knowing. In doing so, he reminds us of the Buddhist analogy of the finger and the moon. Scientific method is a means, the finger, it is not the moon – the ultimate reality it seeks to understand.
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.

Citation: Crowley, Vivianne. “Review: 'The Universe in a Single Atom: How Science and Spirituality can serve our World' by H.H. The Dalai Lama.” The Middle Way: Journal of the Buddhist Society 81, no. 3 (November 2006): 179.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, by a great man I've read a ..., 21 July 2014
Excellent book, by a great man I've read a number of title by the Dalai lama and they've always proved thought provoking. The universe in a single atom is no different, discussing the similarities between science, especially Quantum physics and Buddhism as a practicing buddhist I found his opinions clear, insightful and extremely fascinating. The book was in excellent condition. And arrived in good time. I will definitely buy from them again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps hr is too clever to be easily understood., 30 Nov. 2014
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The Dalai Lama is obviously a clever man. Perhaps hr is too clever to be easily understood.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 5 Aug. 2012
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The Dalai Lama is always an inspiration, but more than that he is always looking for and communicating possibilities to make the world a better place for everyone - regardless of religion or other beliefs. Science traditionally bags spirituality - the DL shows how they can and must work together for the sake of all life on earth.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I'm hooked on the title - the book, unfortunately ..., 28 Mar. 2015
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R. A. Fallows "Radio Man" (East Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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I'm hooked on the title - the book, unfortunately, doesn't present any more ideas with the same clarity or precision.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for a Great price, 29 Mar. 2011
Although review said the book was not brand new. The book is in very good quality. Arrived pretty fast and I am very happy with the transaction. Great book for a great price. Thank you very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 April 2015
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Amazing
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The Universe In A Single Atom: How science and spirituality can serve our world
The Universe In A Single Atom: How science and spirituality can serve our world by His Holiness The Dalai Lama (Paperback - 19 Jan. 2006)
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