Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Quotes from an interview with B. Allan Wallace on finding connections between Buddhism and science.

What is it about the brain -- this mass of chemicals and electromagnetic fields -- that enables it to generate any state of subjective experience?

In Buddhism, the very root of suffering and all our mental distress -- what Buddhists call mental afflictions -- is ignorance. The path to liberation, or enlightenment, is knowledge. It's knowing reality as it is. So despite many differences in methodology, both science and Buddhism are after knowledge of the natural world. But what defines the natural world? In modern science, the natural world is often equated with the physical world, and mental phenomena and subjective experiences are regarded as emergent phenomena or simply functions of the brain. But there are many other domains of reality that the physical instruments of science have not yet been able to detect.

According to quantum field theory, string theory and quantum cosmology -- cutting-edge fields of 21st century physics -- matter itself is not reducible to matter. And Richard Feynman, the great Nobel laureate in physics, commented very emphatically, "We don't know what energy is." He said it's not stuff out there that has a specific location. It's more like a mathematical abstraction. So matter has been reduced to formations of space. Energy is configurations of space. Space itself is rather mysterious.


Movie Waking Life: http://www.dharmaflix.com/wiki/Waking_Life

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