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    Modern version of the Eternal Knot by Charles Huttner
A View on Buddhism
Teksty w jezyku polskim     Deutsche Seiten

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A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Albert Einstein

In May 2001, in a laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk donned a cap studded with hundreds of sensors that were connected to a state-of-the-art EEG, a brain-scanning device capable of recording changes in his brain with speed and precision.
When the monk began meditating in a way that was designed to generate compassion, the sensors registered a dramatic shift to a state of great joy. "The very act of concern for others' well-being, it seems, creates a greater state of well-being within oneself," writes bestselling author Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) in his extraordinary new work.
Goleman's account is the most detailed and user-friendly to date. The timely theme of the dialogue was suggested by the Dalai Lama to Goleman, who took on the role of organizer and brought together some world-class researchers and thinkers, including psychologist Paul Ekman, philosopher Owen Flanagan, the late Francisco Varela and Buddhist photographer Matthieu Riccard.
In a sense, the many extraordinary insights and findings that arise from the presentations and subsequent discussions are embodied by the Dalai Lama himself as he appears here. Far from the cuddly teddy bear the popular media sometimes makes him out to be, he emerges as a brilliant and exacting interrogator, a natural scientist, as well as a leader committed to finding a practical means to help society.
Yet he also personally embodies the possibility of overcoming destructive emotions, of becoming resilient, compassionate and happy no matter what life brings. Covering the nature of destructive emotions, the neuroscience of emotion, the scientific study of consciousness and more, this essential volume offers a fascinating account of what can emerge when two profound systems for studying the mind and emotions, Western science and Buddhism, join forces.
Daniel Goleman, Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue With the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

An area in Tibetan Buddhism which may be of interest to scientists is the relationship between the physical elements and the nerves, in particular the relationship between the elements in the brain and consciousness. This involves changes in consciousness, happy or unhappy states of mind, the effect they have on the elements within the brain, and the consequent effect that this has on the body

Buddhist thinking relies more on investigation than on faith. Therefore, scientific findings are very helpful to Buddhist thinking. In my experience, Buddhist views may also give scientists a new way to look at their own field, as well as new interest and enthusiasm.

The Buddhist view is that in the external world there are some elements that are material, and some that are nonmaterial. And the fundamental substance, the stuff from which the material universe arises, is known as space particles. A portion of space is quantized, to use a modern term; it is particulate, not continuous. Before the formation of the physical universe as we know it, there was only space, but it was quantized. And it was from the quanta, or particles, in space that the other elements arose. This accounts for the physical universe.
But what brought about that process? How did it happen? It is believed that there existed other conditions, or other influences, which were nonmaterial, and these were of the nature of awareness. The actions of sentient beings in the preceding universe somehow modify, or influence, the formation of the natural universe.
Consciousness at the Crossroads

...when we ask, what is the substantial cause of the material universe way back in the early history of the universe, we trace it back to the space particles which transform into the elements of this manifest universe. And then we can ask whether those space particles have an ultimate beginning. The answer is no. They are beginningless. Where other philosophical systems maintain that the original cause was God, Buddha suggested the alternative that there aren't any ultimate causes. The world is beginningless. Then the question would be: Why is it beginningless? And the answer is, it is just nature. There is no reason. Matter is just matter.
Now we have a problem: What accounts for the evolution of the universe as we know it? What accounts for the loose particles in space forming into the universe that is apparent to us? Why did it go through orderly processes of change? Buddhists would say there is a condition which makes it possible, and we speak of that condition as the awareness of sentient beings.
Consciousness at the Crossroads

There are certain Buddhist texts that speak of space particles, existing before the evolution of this present universe. According to these texts, the space particles serve as the material and substantial cause for matter, such as this plant. Now if the essential and substantial cause for matter is traced to these space particles, which are all the same, how do we account for the diversity that we see in the material world? It is here that the question of conditions and circumstances comes into play. When these substantial causes come in contact with different circumstances and conditions, they give rise to different effects, that is, different kinds of matter. So we find that the cause alone is not sufficient for bringing about a result. What is required is an aggregation of many different conditions and circumstances.
Although you can find certain differences among the Buddhist philosophical schools about how the universe came into being, the basic common question addressed is how the two fundamental principles--external matter and internal mind or consciousness--although distinct, affect one another. External causes and conditions are responsible for certain of our experiences of happiness and suffering. Yet we find that it is principally our own feelings, our thoughts and our emotions, that really determine whether we are going to suffer or be happy.
Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection

It is most important for the traditions of western science and eastern mental development to work together. At some stage people gained the impression that these two traditions are very different and incompatible. In recent years, however, it has become clear that this is not exactly the case. This kind of dialogue is therefore extremely important, as a means of contributing something to future humanity, by enabling each tradition to benefit from the other. So this is one goal, I also think that it is very important for Buddhists to understand the latest scientific findings concerning the nature of mind, the relationship between mind and brain, and the nature of consciousness, these sorts of things, whether consciousness does or does not exist as a discrete entity, for example. So I would like to introduce some of these western explanations to Buddhists in general, and to Tibetan Buddhist in particular.
(From Science for Monks)

I think one of the fantastic things people miss when talking about the observer is who that really is. Maybe we've become so used to the word that we haven't really understood it. The observer is every human being, regardless of sex, race, social standing or creed. That means EVERY human being has the ability to observe and change subatomic reality...
Mark Vicente

We are not simply bystanders on a cosmic stage; we are shapers and creators living in a participatory universe.
John Wheeler

Every subatomic interaction consists of the annihilation of the original particles and the creation of new subatomic particles. The subatomic world is a continual dance of creation and annihilation, of mass changing into energy and energy changing into mass. Transient forms sparkle in and out of existence, creating a never-ending, forever newly created reality.
Garu Zukav

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Last updated: December 11, 2016