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Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense: An Inquiry into Science, Philosophy, and Perception

Overview

Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense is an eminently down-to-earth, practical, and non-technical response to the urgent questions posed by contemporary science and philosophy. This revised and updated edition of How the World Can Be the Way It Is includes new scientific understanding and clarification of some of its more complex ideas. Steve Hagen aims for an intelligent general audience not necessarily familiar with modern or classical physics, philosophy, or formal logic.

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Overview

Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense is an eminently down-to-earth, practical, and non-technical response to the urgent questions posed by contemporary science and philosophy. This revised and updated edition of How the World Can Be the Way It Is includes new scientific understanding and clarification of some of its more complex ideas. Steve Hagen aims for an intelligent general audience not necessarily familiar with modern or classical physics, philosophy, or formal logic.

Hagen takes us on a journey that examines our most basic assumptions about reality and carefully addresses the "paradoxes of the one and the many" that other works only identify. His primary purpose is to help us to perceive the world directly - as it is, not how we conceive it to be. Through this perception each of us can answer profound moral questions, resolve philosophical and ethical dilemmas, and live lives of harmony and joy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591811800
  • Publisher: Sentient Publications
  • Publication date: 12/16/2012
  • Edition description: Revised and Updated
  • Pages: 303
  • Sales rank: 625,916
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Hagen has been a student of Buddhist thought and practice since 1967. He was ordained by Dainin Katagiri Roshi in 1979. He has studied with teachers in the U.S., Asia, and Europe, and in 1989 received Dharma transmission (endorsement to teach) from Katagiri Roshi. He is currently head teacher at Dharma Field Zen Center in Minneapolis, MN, where he lives.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Paradox and Confusion 1

The Problem 3

What's It All About? 5

Part I Nobody Knows What's Going On

Chapter 1 Belief 15

The Trouble with Believing 15

How Our Beliefs Change 17

Confusing What We Believe with Truth 18

Truth Cannot Be an Object 21

Belief Implies Doubt 24

The Illusion Problem 27

Eye, Ear, Nose and Mind 30

Belief Cannot Reveal Truth 32

Great Doubt 33

Doubting the Ground of Common Sense 34

Ergo Sum? 37

Truth Cannot Be Believed 41

Chapter 2 Knowledge 44

Going to Zero 45

Science as a System of Belief 46

The Religion of Science 48

Here It Is, but What Is It? 51

An Objective World Cannot Be Discerned from What Is Subjective 55

The Insubstantiality of the Physical World 56

The Phenomenal World Reveals Only Relative Truths 58

Mind Is Moving 59

Chapter 3 Contradiction 62

A Contradictory World 62

How Can We Live in a Contradictory World? 64

"Genuine" Paradoxes are "Common Sense

Is Wrong" Paradoxes 67

The Double Slit 70

A Real Live Dead Cat? 77

The Thomson Lamp 81

The Complexity of Simplicity 86

Ami My Brother's Keeper? 88

The Bizarre Mundane World 89

The Incomplete Law of Identity 94

Chapter 4 Certitude 98

The Science of Religion 99

The Tetralemma of Nagarjuna 100

Scrutinizing an Object 101

The Point of Departure 109

Part II At Ease with Inconceivability

Chapter 5 Chaos 117

What Is Chaos? 117

The Fragmented View of Reality 120

Boundlessness 125

Boundless Mind 127

Boundaries of Infinite Complexity 130

Infinite Complexity in Finite Space 142

The Immediate Experience of No-Boundary 145

Merging with Your Object 147

The Two Truths 149

Just Seeing 150

Chapter 6 Consciousness 153

The Strange Familiar 154

The Primacy of Mind 157

Consciousness, Contradiction, and Creation 158

What Is Consciousness? 161

The Measurement Problem 161

The Unmeasured Solution 164

What Is Measurement? 165

The Measurement Trap 167

On Not Becoming Obsessed 169

The Conversion of Consciousness into "Thing" 170

The Awareness of Wholeness 171

Order Cannot Be Established 173

Chapter 7 Immediacy 178

Reality Without Locality 178

Something Doesn't Hit the Mark 186

The Body Fallacy 187

Long Ago and Far Away 190

How This Moment Alters the Past 192

The Graded Stream 195

You Are "That" 197

Now 198

Now Is Ungraspable 201

Large and Dimensionless Numbers 203

The Large Number Hypothesis 206

How Old Is the Sky? 207

The Anthropic Fallacy 209

About Time 211

Part III What Matters

Chapter 8 Inertia 217

Spin 217

The Bogus Forces of Spin 220

Spin and Self 222

The Grand Symbiosis and Opposition 225

Ultimate Opposition 229

The Hierarchy of Opposites 232

Scrutinizing the Third Aspect of Opposition 234

Chapter 9 Becoming 240

Nothing from Something 240

Something from Nothing 242

Much Ado About Something 243

The Marks of Existence 246

A Self Cannot Be Apprehended 249

The Common View 251

Being Here 253

A Self Like Cantor Dust 254

Chapter 10 Totality 258

Becoming and Fading Away 258

Taking Action 261

Ending the Story 263

Epilogue 267

The Paradox of Suffering 267

Beyond Dissatisfaction 268

Notes 273

Appendix - A Note on Mathematical Symbols as They Relate to Mind Objects 287

Selected Bibliography 290

Index 294

About the Author 305

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