The Quantum and the Lotus
19%
off

The Quantum and the Lotus : A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet

4.14 (1,156 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas

Description

Matthieu Ricard trained as a molecular biologist, working in the lab of a Nobel prize--winning scientist, but when he read some Buddhist philosophy, he became drawn to Buddhism. Eventually he left his life in science to study with Tibetan teachers, and he is now a Buddhist monk and translator for the Dalai Lama, living in the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. Trinh Thuan was born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam but became intrigued by the explosion of discoveries in astronomy during the 1960s. He made his way to the prestigious California Institute of Technology to study with some of the biggest names in the field and is now an acclaimed astrophysicist and specialist on how the galaxies formed. When Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Thuan met at an academic conference in the summer of 1997, they began discussing the many remarkable connections between the teachings of Buddhism and the findings of recent science. That conversation grew into an astonishing correspondence exploring a series of fascinating questions. Did the universe have a beginning? Or is our universe one in a series of infinite universes with no end and no beginning? Is the concept of a beginning of time fundamentally flawed? Might our perception of time in fact be an illusion, a phenomenon created in our brains that has no ultimate reality? Is the stunning fine-tuning of the universe, which has produced just the right conditions for life to evolve, a sign that a "principle of creation" is at work in our world? If such a principle of creation undergirds the workings of the universe, what does that tell us about whether or not there is a divine Creator? How does the radical interpretation of reality offered by quantum physics conform to and yet differ from the Buddhist conception of reality? What is consciousness and how did it evolve? Can consciousness exist apart from a brain generating it? The stimulating journey of discovery the authors traveled in their discussions is re-created beautifully in The Quantum and the Lotus, written in the style of a lively dialogue between friends. Both the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and the discoveries of contemporary science are introduced with great clarity, and the reader will be profoundly impressed by the many correspondences between the two streams of thought and revelation. Through the course of their dialogue, the authors reach a remarkable meeting of minds, ultimately offering a vital new understanding of the many ways in which science and Buddhism confirm and complement each other and of the ways in which, as Matthieu Ricard writes, "knowledge of our spirits and knowledge of the world are mutually enlightening and empowering." "The Quantum and the Lotus is a mind-expanding, eye-opening exploration of the exciting parallels between cutting-edge thinking in physics and Buddhism-a scintillating conversation any thinking person would delight in overhearing." --Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence "The Quantum and the Lotus is the rich and inspiring result of a deeply interesting dialogue between Western science and Buddhist philosophy. This remarkable book will contribute greatly to a better understanding of the true nature of our world and the way we live our lives." --His Holiness the Dalai Lamashow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 130 x 200 x 20mm | 258.55g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1400080797
  • 9781400080793
  • 14,271

Review quote

The Quantum and the Lotus is a mind-expanding, eye-opening exploration of the exciting parallels between cutting-edge thinking in physics and Buddhism a scintillating conversation any thinking person would delight in overhearing.' Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence The Quantum and the Lotus is the rich and inspiring result of a deeply interesting dialogue between Western science and Buddhist philosophy. This remarkable book will contribute greatly to a better understanding of the true nature of our world and the way we live our lives. His Holiness the Dalai Lama"show more

Flap copy

Matthieu Ricard trained as a molecular biologist, working in the lab of a Nobel prize--winning scientist, but when he read some Buddhist philosophy, he became drawn to Buddhism. Eventually he left his life in science to study with Tibetan teachers, and he is now a Buddhist monk and translator for the Dalai Lama, living in the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. Trinh Thuan was born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam but became intrigued by the explosion of discoveries in astronomy during the 1960s. He made his way to the prestigious California Institute of Technology to study with some of the biggest names in the field and is now an acclaimed astrophysicist and specialist on how the galaxies formed. When Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Thuan met at an academic conference in the summer of 1997, they began discussing the many remarkable connections between the teachings of Buddhism and the findings of recent science. That conversation grew into an astonishing correspondence exploring a series of fascinating questions. Did the universe have a beginning? Or is our universe one in a series of infinite universes with no end and no beginning? Is the concept of a beginning of time fundamentally flawed? Might our perception of time in fact be an illusion, a phenomenon created in our brains that has no ultimate reality? Is the stunning fine-tuning of the universe, which has produced just the right conditions for life to evolve, a sign that a "principle of creation" is at work in our world? If such a principle of creation undergirds the workings of the universe, what does that tell us about whether or not there is a divine Creator? How does the radical interpretation of reality offered byquantum physics conform to and yet differ from the Buddhist conception of reality? What is consciousness and how did it evolve? Can consciousness exist apart from a brain generating it? The stimulating journey of discovery the authors traveled in their discussions is re-created beautifully in "The Quantum and the Lotus, written in the style of a lively dialogue between friends. Both the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and the discoveries of contemporary science are introduced with great clarity, and the reader will be profoundly impressed by the many correspondences between the two streams of thought and revelation. Through the course of their dialogue, the authors reach a remarkable meeting of minds, ultimately offering a vital new understanding of the many ways in which science and Buddhism confirm and complement each other and of the ways in which, as Matthieu Ricard writes, "knowledge of our spirits and knowledge of the world are mutually enlightening and empowering." ""The Quantum and the Lotus is a mind-expanding, eye-opening exploration of the exciting parallels between cutting-edge thinking in physics and Buddhism-a scintillating conversation any thinking person would delight in overhearing." --Daniel Goleman, author of "Emotional Intelligence ""The Quantum and the Lotus is the rich and inspiring result of a deeply interesting dialogue between Western science and Buddhist philosophy. This remarkable book will contribute greatly to a better understanding of the true nature of our world and the way we live our lives." --His Holiness the Dalai Lamashow more

About Matthieu Ricard

Mattieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk residing at the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. He is coauthor of the critically acclaimed The Monk and the Philosopher and is the official French translator of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Trinh Xuan Thuan is a professor of astronomy at the University of Virginia and the author of the critically acclaimed The Secret Melody and several other popular science books.show more

Rating details

1,156 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 43% (500)
4 35% (399)
3 17% (194)
2 4% (51)
1 1% (12)

Our customer reviews

In an influential lecture in 1959, C.P. Snow, the British scientist and novelist, lamented the widening divide between science and humanities that was becoming a major hindrance to solving the world's problems. A good and enjoyable example of an attempt to bridge this divide in recent times is Richard Dawkins' "Unweaving the Rainbow". And, Jonah Lehrer's work, "Proust was a Neuroscientist" is a more recent and very scholarly example of this desire to meld science and art. An extension of Snow's concern could be the pervasive (some would say, almost unbridgeable) chasm also between physics and metaphysics, addressing which may go a long way in helping humanity salve and soothe many of its contemporary anxieties. It is gratifying to note that some thinkers (ranging from Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg to Freeman Dyson and Paul Davies) and organisations (such as the Templeton Foundation) have of late begun an attempt to address this gap. We also hear occasionally of structured dialogues in a similar vein between religious bodies and philosophical savants on the one side and scientists and scientific institutions on the other. "The Quantum and the Lotus" is a fine example from this latter genre. This book is a synthesis of a number of discussions the two authors, Matthieu Ricard (a biologist turned Buddhist monk) and Trinh Xuan Thuan (of Vietnamese Buddhist origins who became an astrophysicist and has worked in France and the U.S.) had about the remarkable connections between the teachings of Buddhism and recent discoveries in science. The discussion covers a wide range of topics both scientific and spiritual. It touches, for instance, upon the by now almost well known analyses of the nature of reality - a concept that has been the zeitgeist of metaphysics for a long time and which the world of science was forced to re-consider and re-evaluate after the Copenhagen Interpretation. The book includes also some very intelligent discussions on topics such as the congruence between quantum non-separability and the Buddhist concept of interdependence. "The Quantum and the Lotus" does not however aim to be a textbook on either the Dhammapada or dark energy. The authors do not discuss a particular issue in greater depth than necessary. The discussions serve instead as tempting aperitifs to induce the reader to pursue other works to get a deeper understanding of a particular issue. The book's content is nonetheless so erudite and accessible that if you were a scientist it will impel you to immediately delve into Buddhism. Alternatively, if you are a Buddhist, you will want to understand quantum uncertainty that much more. What is moreover most remarkable about this book is the sense of balance and respect for each other's views (an easy acceptance of the unfamiliar, as it were) that the authors exhibit throughout the discussions.show more
by VENKAT RAMANAN
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X