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The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by Dalai Lama XIV
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“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“What we do and think in our own lives, then, becomes of extreme importance as it effects everything we're connected to.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“If as spiritual practitioners we ignore the discoveries of science, our practice is also impoverished, as this mind-set can lead to fundamentalism.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“Buddhism and science share a fundamental reluctance to postulate a transcendent being as the origin of all things.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“The specific areas of science that I have explored most over the years are subatomic physics, cosmology, and biology, including neuroscience and psychology.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“Science and technology are powerful tools, but we must decide how best to use them.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“There is more to human existence and to reality itself than current science can ever give us access to.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“The view that all mental processes are necessarily physical processes is a metaphysical assumption, not a scientific fact.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“the first moment of consciousness of the new being must be preceded by its substantial cause, which must be a moment of consciousness.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“This is a precious gateway into the alleviation of suffering, which I believe to be our principal task on this earth.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“The insights of science have enriched many aspects of my own Buddhist worldview.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“Einstein’s theory of relativity, with its vivid thought experiments, has given an empirically tested texture to my grasp of Nagarjuna’s theory of the relativity of time.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“The extraordinarily detailed picture of the behavior of subatomic particles at the minutest levels imaginable brings home the Buddha’s teaching on the dynamically transient nature of all things.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“From the Buddhist perspective, a full human understanding must not only offer a coherent account of reality, our means of apprehending it, and the place of consciousness but also include a clear awareness of how we should act.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“The problem arises when reductionism, which is essentially a method, is turned into a metaphysical standpoint.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“Scientists have a special responsibility, a moral responsibility, in ensuring that science serves the interests of humanity in the best possible way.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
“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.”
Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

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