The Quantum and the Lotus by Matthieu Ricard
A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Matthieu Ricard trained as a molecular biologist, working in the lab of a Nobel prize—winning scientist, but when he read some Buddhist philosophy, he became drawn to Buddhism. Eventually he left his life in science to study with Tibetan teachers, and he is now a Buddhist monk and translator for the Dalai Lama, living in the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. Trinh Thuan was born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam but became intrigued by the explosion of discoveries in astronomy during the 1960s. He made his way to the prestigious California Institute of Technology to study with some of the biggest names in the field and is now an acclaimed astrophysicist and specialist on how the galaxies formed.

When Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Thuan met at an academic conference in the summer of 1997, they began discussing the many remarkable connections between the teachings of Buddhism and the findings of recent science. That conversation grew into an astonishing correspondence exploring a series of fascinating questions. Did the universe have a beginning? Or is our universe one in a series of infinite universes with no end and no beginning? Is the concept of a beginning of time fundamentally flawed? Might our perception of time in fact be an illusion, a phenomenon created in our brains that has no ultimate reality? Is the stunning fine-tuning of the universe, which has produced just the right conditions for life to evolve, a sign that a “principle of creation” is at work in our world? If such a principle of creation undergirds the workings of the universe, what does that tell us about whether or not there is a divine Creator? How does the radical interpretation of reality offered by quantum physics conform to and yet differ from the Buddhist conception of reality? What is consciousness and how did it evolve? Can consciousness exist apart from a brain generating it?

The stimulating journey of discovery the authors traveled in their discussions is re-created beautifully in The Quantum and the Lotus, written in the style of a lively dialogue between friends. Both the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and the discoveries of contemporary science are introduced with great clarity, and the reader will be profoundly impressed by the many correspondences between the two streams of thought and revelation. Through the course of their dialogue, the authors reach a remarkable meeting of minds, ultimately offering a vital new understanding of the many ways in which science and Buddhism confirm and complement each other and of the ways in which, as Matthieu Ricard writes, “knowledge of our spirits and knowledge of the world are mutually enlightening and empowering.”


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Matthieu Ricard

See more books from this Author
Mattieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk residing at the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. He is coauthor of the critically acclaimed The Monk and the Philosopher and is the official French translator of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Trinh Xuan Thuan is a professor of astronomy at the University of Virginia and the author of the critically acclaimed The Secret Melody and several other popular science books.
 
Published February 4, 2009 by Broadway Books. 320 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Quantum and the Lotus

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A study of the intersections between the teachings of Buddhism and the tenets of modern science.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Quantum and the Lotus: A ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

This transcribed and expanded dialogue between Buddhist monk Ricard and astrophysicist Thuan claims few original insights but provides a good general introduction to science-and-religion issues representing two notably different Buddhist perspectives.

| Read Full Review of The Quantum and the Lotus: A ...

Reader Rating for The Quantum and the Lotus
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 49 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×