Are humans inherently good? Where does compassion come from? Is death essential for life? Is experience inherited? These questions have occupied philosophers, religious thinkers and scientists since the dawn of civilization, but in today’s political discourse, much of the dialogue surrounding them and larger issues—such as climate change, abortion, genetically modified organisms, and evolution—are often framed as a dichotomy of science versus spirituality. Strikingly, many of new biological discoveries—such as the millions of microbes that we now know live together as part of each of us, the connections between those microbes and our immune systems, the nature of our genomes and how they respond to the environment, and how this response might be passed to future generations—can actually be read as moving science closer to spiritual concepts, rather than further away. The Enlightened Gene opens up and lays a foundation for serious conversations, integrating science and spirit in tackling life’s big questions. Each chapter integrates Buddhism and biology and uses striking examples of how doing so changes our understanding of life and how we lead it.
|Publisher:||University Press of New England|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Table of ContentsForeword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Are Bacteria Sentient?
Life, Death, and Sacrifice
How Did Life Begin?
Altitude and Attitude
Ecology and Karma
Are Humans Inherently Good?
Meditation and the “New” Diseases
Beyond Science and Religion
What People are Saying About This
“This book . . . represents something close to my heart. [It is a] real collaboration between a modern scientist and a Tibetan monk-scholar. Their work represents not only scholarly achievement but also the friendship and understanding that can come from open dialogue between great intellectual traditions. . . . I have no doubt that all who read this book will benefit from the insights generated by the convergence of science’s understanding of the material world and contemplative traditions’ understanding of the workings of the mind.”
“The remarkable intellectual and spiritual voyage of an American biology professor and a Tibetan Buddhist monk exploring how the basic principles of cell biology, developmental biology, and neuroscience can be viewed as Buddhist themes on impermanence, the eternal cycle of life and death, and the communality of all creatures, small or large.”
“Chronicles a fascinating dialogue. . . . There are real benefits for humanity to be gained by this historic encounter. I highly recommend this book.”