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

Trinh Xuan Thuan, Matthieu Ricard

Buy this book at Amazon.com or try Amazon.co.uk in England, Amazon.ca in Canada, Amazon.de in Germany, Amazon.fr in France, Amazon.it in Italy, Amazon.es in Spain. ASIN=1400080797, Category: Philosophy, Language: E, cover: PB, pages: 320, year: 2004.

Note: This new edition will be available in Oct-2004. Here is the actual edition.

Book description
TXT and MR, an astrophysicist and a Buddhist discuss the limits of consciousness. Where are the interfaces between far-eastern philosophy and the results of modern science? Does the universe have a beginning or an end? Or is it cyclic, like the more than 2000 years old buddhistic teachings claim? What is consciousness? Is there a reality beyong our perceptions? The super string theory - are particles vibrant fibres from the time of the big bang? Is our universe energy or matter? What about space and time as mental criteria of our life?

The following quotes were selected by interesting-books-selector.com

"... enlightened thought ... is the product of a non-dual, intimate union with the nature of the mind, which is clear, luminous, and concept-free. ... For someone skilled in contemplation, nothing is clearer than pure awareness of a mind free of conceptual thought."
-- quote MR (p231)

"If you free yourself of all negative thoughts that cloud your mind, you will experience indesdructible peace and compassion. ... obstacles can be used as catalysts so that progress becomes even faster. ... Finding the inner energy to get rid of all our faults is no easy job. The idea of attacking our own egos is repulsive. We then slump back into an inertia that is one of the main obstacles in spiritual life. Contemplative science aims to dissipate our illusory egos. ... Enlightenment isn't the normalization of our disruptive emotions, and it is certainly not the reconstruction of the ego. ... It also features a an inner joy and an unbreakable plenitude..."
-- quote MR (p246/247/248/249)

Comparison of "The Quantum and the Lotus" with Rudolf Steiner's "Occult Science" © (2004) by interesting-books-selector.com

What MR says about Tibetan Buddhism matches pretty much what Rudolf Steiner wrote in "Occult Science" in 1909. After explaining the development of the world and man, Steiner outlines the basics in attainment of the higher world (initiation) which does not require ascetic life nor any other deprivations of natural life.
Even if you believe that the first part of the book (until the main chapter about initiation) is science fiction, the chapter about initiation which comprises 25% of the book is convincingly close to Buddhism. In contrast to Buddhism, Steiner's undogmatic teaching is much more concise by cristalizing the essential and even unifying Buddhism with Christinanism while using a clearly defined vocabulary without resorting to strange Tibetan or Indian words found so often in Buddhist literature. Since Steiner does not hide any detail of the initiation process, critics condemned him for betrayal of mystics. (This alone should be enough motivation to read the "Occult Science".) Nevertheless, it is recommended to read RS's "The Philosophy of Freedom" before "Occult Science" (1894).