The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

by H.H. The Dalai Lama, read in 2010

13 "There is more to human existence and to reality itself than current science can ever give us access to."
24 "...scientific investigation proceeds by experiment, using instruments that analyze external phenomena, whereas contemplative investigation proceeds by the development of refined attention, which is then used in the introspective examination of inner experience."
25 " fundamental attitude shared by Buddhism and science is the commitment to keep searching for reality by empirical means and to be willing to discard accepted or long-held positions if our search finds that the truth is different." Like my Roadmap to Happiness
39 "Reality, including our own existence, is so much more complex than objective scientific materialism allows."
47 "Everything is composed of dependently related events, of continuously interacting phenomena with no fixed, immutable essence, which are themselves in constantly changing dynamic relations. Things and events are 'empty' in that they do not possess any immutable essence, intrinsic reality, or absolute 'being' that affords independence."
68 "The world, according to the philosophy of emptiness, is constituted by a web of dependently originating and interconnected realities, within which dependently originated causes give rise to dependently originated consequences according to dependently originating laws of causality." This web is described by Gregg Rosenberg's hierarchy of Natural Individuals.
69 "What we do and think in our own lives, then, becomes of extreme importance as it affects everything we're connected to."
77 "Buddhism...explains the evolution of the cosmos in terms of the principle of dependent origination, in that the origin and existence of everything has to be understood in terms of the complex network of interconnected causes and conditions. This applies to consciousness as well as matter."
101 "The first organism composed of DNA, RNA, and protein is known as Luca, the last universal common ancestor"
104 Random mutation "leaves open the question of whether this randomness is best understood as an objective feature of reality or better understood as indicating some kind of hidden causality."
107 The Buddhist view of 3 realms of existence.
109 "In the earliest scriptures attributed to the Buddha, we find...statements on how, ultimately, mind is the creator of the entire universe."
111 "Despite the success of the Darwinian narrative, I do not believe that all the elements of the story are in place. To begin with, although Darwin's theory gives a coherent account of the development of life on this planet and the various principles underlying it, such as natural selection, I am not persuaded that it answers the fundamental question of the origin of life."
123 The varied states or aspects of consciousness
125 "Buddhism suggests that there are three fundamentally distinct aspects of features of the world of conditioned things, the world in which we live:
1. Matter - physical objects
2. Mind - subjective experiences
3. Abstract composites - mental formations"
Compare these to Penrose's three worlds.
126 Popper's taxonomy of reality: "the first world", "the second world", and "the third world." By these he meant (1) the world of things or physical objects; (2) the world of subjective experiences, including thought processes; and (3) the world of statements in themselves -- the content of thoughts as opposed to the mental process." Again, compare to Penrose.
169 "There are in Western thought notions like the soul among theists or ego for psychoanalysts, which fill some of the gap, but what seems to be missing is the recognition of a specific faculty that apprehends mental phenomena."
170 "So far as the brain is concerned, it seems as if it makes no difference whether one is seeing something with one's physical eyes or with the 'mind's eye'. From the Buddhist point of view, the problem is that this neurobiological account leaves out the most significant ingredient of these mental events -- subjective experience."
174 "...the Tibetan epistemological tradition enumerates a sevenfold typology of mental states: direct perception, inferential cognition, subsequent cognition, correct assumption, inattentive perception, doubt, and distorted cognition."
176 In Buddhist psychology "[t]here are five factors universal to all mental events -- feeling (in this case pleasant), recognition, engagement, attention, and contact with the object."
176 "...the standard list preferred by the Tibetans, which was formulated by Asanga, contains fifty-one key mental factors. In addition to the five universals (feelings, recognition, engagement, attention, and contact), five factors of object discernment -- aspiration, attraction, mindfulness, concentration, and insight -- are present when the mind ascertains an object. Further, there are eleven wholesome mental factors, which are present when the mind is in a positive state. These are faith or confidence, a sense of shame, conscience (defined as a consideration of others), non-attachment, non-hate (including loving-kindness), non-delusion (including wisdom), vigor, pliancy, heedfulness, equanimity, and non-harmfulness (including compassion). Within this list, we find several that correspond to positive emotions -- notably loving-kindness and compassion. Shame and conscience are interesting in that the former is about the capacity for feeling sullied by one's own unwholesome deeds or thoughts, while conscience in this context refers to the quality that causes one to refrain from unwholesome acts or thoughts out of a consideration for others. Both of these therefore have an emotional element."
177 "When we turn to the afflictive mental processes, the list is fuller, largely because these are what need to be purified by the person aspiring to enlightenment in Buddhism. There are six root mental afflictions: attachment or craving, anger (which includes hate), pride or conceit, ignorance, afflictive doubt, and afflictive views. Of these, the first three have a strong emotional component. Then there are twenty derivative afflictions: wrath, resentment, spite, envy or jealousy, and cruelty (these are derived from anger); meanness, inflated self-esteem, excitement including surprise, concealment of one's own vices, and mental dullness (these are derived from attachment); lack of confidence, sloth, forgetfulness, and lack of attention (these are derived from ignorance); pretentiousness, deceit, shamelessness, lack of consideration for others, heedlessness, and distraction (these are derived from the combination of ignorance and attachment). Clearly many of the mental factors enumerated here can be identified with emotions. Finally, in the list of fifty-one, there is a group of four mental factors referred to as the "changeables." These are sleep, regret, investigation, and minute analysis. They are called changeables because, depending on the state of mind, they can be wholesome, unwholesome, or neutral."
179 "[Paul] Ekman mentions as many as ten [basic emotions], including anger, fear, sadness, disgust, contempt, surprise, enjoyment, embarrassment, guilt, and shame."
192 Cloning
199 "The fact that, despite our living for more than half a century in the nuclear age, we have not yet annihilated ourselves is what gives me great hope." Me too!
207 "I hope I have made the case that one can take science seriously and accept the validity of its empirical findings without subscribing to scientific materialism."

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