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Meditations of a Buddhist skeptic : a manifesto for the mind by B. Alan Wallace

By B. Alan Wallace

A radical method of learning the mind.

Renowned Buddhist thinker B. Alan Wallace reasserts the ability of shamatha and vipashyana, conventional Buddhist meditations, to elucidate the mind's position within the flora and fauna. elevating profound questions on human nature, unfastened will, and event as opposed to dogma, Wallace demanding situations the declare that awareness is not anything greater than an emergent estate of the mind with little relation to common occasions. relatively, he keeps that the observer is vital to measuring quantum platforms and that psychological phenomena (however conceived) impact mind functionality and behavior.

Wallace embarks on a two-part project: to revive human nature and to go beyond it. He starts off through explaining the price of skepticism in Buddhism and technological know-how and the trouble of merging their experiential equipment of inquiry. but Wallace additionally proves that Buddhist perspectives on human nature and the potential for loose will free up us from the metaphysical constraints of medical materialism. He then explores the unconventional empiricism encouraged by way of William James and applies it to Indian Buddhist philosophy's 4 colleges and the nice Perfection tuition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Since Buddhism starts off with the statement that lack of awareness lies on the root of all discomfort and that the trail to freedom is reached via wisdom, Buddhist perform may be considered as a development from agnosticism (not realizing) to gnosticism (knowing), obtained during the upkeep of remarkable psychological healthiness, mindfulness, and introspection. Wallace discusses those subject matters intimately, determining similarities and changes among medical and Buddhist figuring out, and he concludes with an evidence of shamatha and vipashyana and their power for figuring out the complete nature, origins, and power of consciousness.

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Extra resources for Meditations of a Buddhist skeptic : a manifesto for the mind sciences and contemplative practice

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According to metaphysical realism, the entire objective universe consists of physical entities that produce the effects measured by human beings; however, we can never perceive these entities, as they exist independently of all measurements. Therefore, we can never infer the contents of the absolutely objective world on the basis of observations, which always arise relative to systems of measurement. indb 28 8/31/11 7:48 AM Buddhism and Science: Confrontation and Collaboration 29 sciences, is incompatible with the Middle Way school of Buddhist philosophy.

In the Western tradition of clinical psychology and psychiatry, no single individual has been more influential than Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. indb 44 8/31/11 7:48 AM Buddhism and the Mind Sciences 45 conscious assumptions of the mind sciences is easily overlooked. Moreover, a small but influential group of researchers, including Antonio Damasio, head of neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, use Freud’s insights as a guide to their research.

6 These three elements are always profoundly interrelated. While no single worldview, doctrine, or belief system dominates the modern world—the religions of the world retain a powerful vitality— scientific materialism exerts a pervasive influence on academia, public policy, and the media in the West, and in communist countries it rules all aspects of life. For Marxist regimes it has become a virtual state religion, with its own thoroughly integrated belief system, values, and way of life. Some proponents of materialism argue that adopting a materialistic worldview does not necessarily result in valuing only material things.

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