Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness / Edition 1

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Overview

B. Alan Wallace introduces a natural theory of human consciousness that has its roots in contemporary physics and Buddhism. Wallace's "special theory of ontological relativity" suggests that mental phenomena are conditioned by the brain, but do not emerge from it. Rather, the entire natural world of mind and matter, subjects and objects, arises from a unitary dimension of reality. Wallace employs the Buddhist meditative practice of śamatha to test his hypothesis, creating a kind of telescope to examine the space of the mind. He then proposes a more general theory in which the participatory nature of reality is envisioned as a self-excited circuit.

In comparing these ideas to the Buddhist theory known as the Middle Way philosophy; Wallace explores further aspects of his "general theory of ontological relativity," which can be investigated through vipaśyan&abar;, or insight, mediation. He then focuses on the theme of symmetry in quantum cosmology and the "problem of frozen time," relating these issues to the practices of the Great Perfection school of Tibetan Buddhism. He concludes with a discussion of complementarity as it relates to science and religion.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE

Insightful... interesting and thought-provoking.

Metapsychology

I recommend Hidden Dimensions to all interested in the most illusive of phenomena, human consciousness and its relationship with the rest of the universe.

— Rob Harle

Journal of Consciousness Studies

An ambitious book... timely and important reading for anyone interested in consciousness.

— Daniel S. Rizzuto

Network Review

Uniquely authoritative.... I know of no other work on this subject with these attributes.

— Chris Clarke

Metapsychology - Rob Harle
I recommend Hidden Dimensions to all interested in the most illusive of phenomena, human consciousness and its relationship with the rest of the universe.
Journal of Consciousness Studies - Daniel S. Rizzuto
An ambitious book... timely and important reading for anyone interested in consciousness.
Network Review - Chris Clarke
Uniquely authoritative.... I know of no other work on this subject with these attributes.
Metapsychology
I recommend Hidden Dimensions to all interested in the most illusive of phenomena, human consciousness and its relationship with the rest of the universe.

— Rob Harle

Journal of Consciousness Studies
An ambitious book... timely and important reading for anyone interested in consciousness.

— Daniel S. Rizzuto

Network Review
Uniquely authoritative.... I know of no other work on this subject with these attributes.

— Chris Clarke

CHOICE
Insightful... interesting and thought-provoking.
Choice
Insightful... interesting and thought-provoking.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231141505
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/2007
  • Series: Columbia Series in Science and Religion Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

B. Alan Wallace spent fourteen years as a Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama. He then earned his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College, and his doctorate in religious studies from Stanford University. His Columbia University Press books are Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity, Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge, and Buddhism and Science: Breaking New Ground (editor). A prolific writer who has translated numerous Tibetan Buddhist texts, he is the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies (http://www.sbinstitute.com).

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments vii

1 The Unnatural History of Science 1

2 The Many Worlds of Naturalism 16

3 Toward a Natural Theory of Human Consciousness 27

4 Observing the Space of the Mind 36

5 A Special Theory of Ontological Relativity 50

S High-Energy Experiments in Consciousness 58

7 A General Theory of Ontological Relativity 70

8 Experiments in Quantum Consciousness 85

9 Perfect Symmetry 108

Notes 123

Bibliography 139

Index 149

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