9780231138345

Contemplative Science

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780231138345

  • ISBN10:

    0231138342

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-10-01
  • Publisher: COLUMBIA UNIV PRESS

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Summary

Science has long treated religion as a set of personal beliefs that havelittle to do with a rational understanding of the mind and the universe. However, B.Alan Wallace, a respected Buddhist scholar, proposes that the contemplativemethodologies of Buddhism and of Western science are capable of being integratedinto a single discipline: contemplative science.The science ofconsciousness introduces first-person methods of investigating the mind throughBuddhist contemplative techniques, such as samatha, anorganized, detailed system of training the attention. Just as scientists makeobservations and conduct experiments with the aid of technology, contemplatives havelong tested their own theories with the help of highly developed meditative skillsof observation and experimentation. Contemplative science allows for a deeperknowledge of mental phenomena, including a wide range of states of consciousness,and its emphasis on strict mental discipline counteracts the effects of conative(intention and desire), attentional, cognitive, and affectiveimbalances.Just as behaviorism, psychology, and neurosciencehave all shed light on the cognitive processes that enable us to survive andflourish, contemplative science offers a groundbreaking perspective for expandingour capacity to realize genuine well-being. It also forges a link between thematerial world and the realm of the subconscious that transcends the traditionalscience-based understanding of the self.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Principles of Contemplative Science
1(27)
Where Science and Religion Collide
28(22)
The Study of Consciousness, East and West
50(15)
Spiritual Awakening and Objective Knowledge
65(29)
Buddhist Nontheism, Polytheism, and Monotheism
94(15)
Worlds of Intersubjectivity
109(26)
Samatha: The Contemplative Refinement of Attention
135(14)
Beyond Idolatry: The Renaissance of a Spirit of Empiricism
149(22)
Notes 171(18)
Bibliography 189(8)
Index 197

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