A collection of parallel quotations from the scientific and spiritual traditions. . .
Many have explored the remarkable convergence between the mystical traditions of the world and modern science. However, none of them has done this in a more succinct and convincing way than Einstein and Buddha; this remarkable collection of quotes by famous Eastern mystics and modern physicists is a fascinating contribution to the emerging paradigm.
-Stanislav Grof, author of The Cosmic Game
and Psychology of the Future
This anthology provocatively illustrates the points of convergence between the quantitative investigation of the objects of consciousness and the qualitative exploration of consciousness itself.
-B. Alan Wallace, author of The Taboo of Subjectivity:
Toward a New Science of Consciousness
Einstein and Buddha provides deep, simple and quotable insights that should help mend the rift between science and spirituality. If you put your thumbs over the quotation sources, you won't be able to tell who said what, when.
-Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D., physicist and author of
Mind into Matter, The Spiritual Universe
Einstein and Buddha is an inspired effort to meet the 21st-century challenge of developing a synthetic world view. McFarlane juxtaposes quotations from Eastern contemplatives and Western scientists with insight, clarity and intellectual integrity.
-Dr. Ron Leonard, Dept. of Philosophy,
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Hardcover - 220 pages
This remarkable book contains over 120 sayings from the founders of modern physics paired with parallel sayings from the seminal works of Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist contemplatives. Einstein and Buddha is a fascinating collection of quotes that challenges us to think deeper about the relationship between modern physics and mystical insight. Although these two ways of understanding and investigating reality have significant differences, the parallels suggest that they share a mysterious and profound connection.
The parallel sayings are organized by theme and touch upon the nature
of matter and energy, the relationship between subject and object, the
understanding of time and space, the importance of direct experience, the
role of paradox and contradiction in our understanding, the limits of language
in describing reality, and the interdependence of all created things. Each
section is accompanied by a brief introduction to how these concepts relate
to the scientific and spiritual ways of knowing. On each page is an insightful
quote from an eminent physicist such as Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Erwin
Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, or David Bohm, together with a surprisingly
similar statement from a renown authority of Eastern religion such as the
Buddha, Chaung Tzu, the Upanishads, D. T. Suzuki, or the Dalai Lama.
|According to general relativity, the concept of space
detached from any physical content does not exist.
|If there is only empty space, with no suns nor planets
in it, then space loses its substantiality.
|Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind,
and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.
|All such notions as causation, succession, atoms, primary
elements...are all figments of the imagination and manifestations of the
|Time and again the passion for understanding has led
to the illusion that man is able to comprehend the objective world rationally
by pure thought without any empirical foundations—in short, by metaphysics.
|By becoming attached to names and forms, not realising
that they have no more basis than the activities of the mind itself, error
rises…and the way to emancipation is blocked.
|In our thinking...we attribute to this concept of the
bodily object a significance, which is to high degree independent of the
sense impression which originally gives rise to it. This is what we mean
when we attribute to the bodily object "a real existence." ...By means
of such concepts and mental relations between them, we are able to orient
ourselves in the labyrinth of sense impressions. These notions and relations...appear
to us as stronger and more unalterable than the individual sense experience
itself, the character of which as anything other than the result of an
illusion or hallucination is never completely guaranteed.
|I teach that the multitudinousness of objects have no
reality in themselves but are only seen of the mind and, therefore, are
of the nature of maya and a dream. ...It is true that in one sense they
are seen and discriminated by the senses as individualized objects; but
in another sense, because of the absence of any characteristic marks of
self-nature, they are not seen but are only imagined. In one sense they
are graspable, but in another sense, they are not graspable.
|The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving
subject is the basis of all natural science. Since, however, sense perception
only gives information of this external world or of "physical reality"
indirectly, we can only grasp the latter by speculative means. It follows
from this that our notions of physical reality can never be final. We must
always be ready to change these notions—that is to say, the axiomatic basis
of physics—in order to do justice to perceived facts in the most perfect
|While the Tathagata, in his teaching, constantly makes
use of conceptions and ideas about them, disciples should keep in mind
the unreality of all such conceptions and ideas. They should recall that
the Tathagata, in making use of them in explaining the Dharma always uses
them in the semblance of a raft that is of use only to cross a river. As
the raft is of no further use after the river is crossed, it should be
discarded. So these arbitrary conceptions of things and about things should
be wholly given up as one attains enlightenment.
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