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

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”


“unless the direction of science is guided by a consciously ethical motivation, especially compassion, its effects may fail to bring benefit. They may indeed cause great harm.”


“The theory of emptiness…is the deep recognition that there is a fundamental disparity between the way we perceive the world, including our own existence in it, and the way things actually are.”


“The view that all aspects of reality can be reduced to matter and its various particles is, to my mind, as much a metaphysical position as the view that an organizing intelligence created and controls reality.”


“Can there be a completely different set of laws of physics in a different universe, or do the laws of physics as we understand them hold true in all possible universes? If the answer is that a different set of laws can operate in a different universe system, this would suggest (from a Buddhist perspective) that even the laws of physics are entangled with the karma of the sentient beings that will arise in that universe.”


“Buddhism and science share a fundamental reluctance to postulate a transcendent being as the origin of all things.”


“The specific areas of science that I have explored most over the years are subatomic physics, cosmology, and biology, including neuroscience and psychology.”


“My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”


“I wish to emphasize to the millions of my fellow Buddhists worldwide the need to take science seriously and to accept its fundamental discoveries within their worldview.”


“no credible understanding of the natural world or our human existence—what I am going to call in this book a worldview—can ignore the basic insights of theories as key as evolution, relativity, and quantum mechanics.”


“Science and technology are powerful tools, but we must decide how best to use them.”


“There is more to human existence and to reality itself than current science can ever give us access to.”


“If as spiritual practitioners we ignore the discoveries of science, our practice is also impoverished, as this mind-set can lead to fundamentalism.”


“The view that all mental processes are necessarily physical processes is a metaphysical assumption, not a scientific fact.”


“What marks the transition from non-sentient to sentient beings? A model of increasing complexity based on evolution through natural selection is simply a descriptive hypothesis, a kind of euphemism for “mystery,” and not a satisfactory explanation.”


“the first moment of consciousness of the new being must be preceded by its substantial cause, which must be a moment of consciousness.”


“This is a precious gateway into the alleviation of suffering, which I believe to be our principal task on this earth.”


“For modern science, at least from a philosophical point of view, the critical divide seems to be between inanimate matter and the origin of living organisms, while for Buddhism the critical divide is between non-sentient matter and the emergence of sentient beings.”


“On the whole, I think the Darwinian theory of evolution, at least with the additional insights of modern genetics, gives us a fairly coherent account of the evolution of human life on earth. At the same time, I believe that karma can have a central role in understanding the origination of what Buddhism calls “sentience,” through the media of energy and consciousness.”


“The Kalachakra texts claim that, prior to its formation, any particular universe remains in the state of emptiness, where all its material elements exist in the form of potentiality as “space particles.”


“Anton showed me an instrument that allows one to view an ionized single atom. Try as I might, though, I simply could not see it. Perhaps my karma wasn’t ripe enough to enjoy this spectacle.”


“Because I have no mathematical background, teaching me modern physics, especially esoteric topics such as the theory of relativity, was not an easy task. When I think of Bohm’s patience, his soft voice and gentle manner, and the care with which he made sure that I was following his explanation, I miss him dearly. As”


“As any layperson who has attempted to understand this theory is aware, even a basic comprehension of Einstein’s principle demands a willingness to defy common sense.”


“There is almost no area of human life today that is not touched by the effects of science and technology. Yet are we clear about the place of science in the totality of human life—what exactly it should do and by what it should be governed? This last point is critical because unless the direction of science is guided by a consciously ethical motivation, especially compassion, its effects may fail to bring benefit. They may indeed cause great harm.”


“Like modern science, Buddhism holds the basic premise that, at the most fundamental level, there is no qualitative difference between the material basis of the body of a sentient being, such as a human, and that of, say, a piece of rock.”


“In order for the study of consciousness to be complete, we need a methodology that would account not only for what is occurring at the neurological and biochemical levels but also for the subjective experience of consciousness itself.”


“Contemplative traditions on the whole have historically emphasized subjective, first-person investigation of the nature and functions of consciousness, by training the mind to focus in a disciplined way on its own internal states.”


“In my view, the combination of the first-person method with the third-person method offers the promise of a real advance in the scientific study of consciousness.”


“What we do and think in our own lives, then, becomes of extreme importance as it affects everything we’re connected to. The”