The Natural Cosmology Group Tuesday, November 29 at 7 pm in room 203.
This Month we’ll discuss Robert Wright’s new book (or articles and podcasts related to it), called “Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment.”
The book isn’t just about meditation, but about why evolutionary biology built us to survive but not necessarily to “enjoy” or “appreciate” living in its fullest sense. Wright claims that Buddhism (at least its philosophical or naturalistic form) offers the best diagnosis and prescription for our otherwise inevitable life dissatisfactions and frustrations.
These links should give you enough background to participate in the discussion even if you haven’t read the book.
· “Why Buddhism is true – Robert Wright on the wisdom of mindfulness meditation.” Extensive interview with Sean Illing at Vox.com (Oct 12, 2017)
· “Is Buddhism True? – A Conversation with Robert Wright” A long (almost 2 hour) conversation between Wright and Sam Harris, who has also practiced meditation and wrote a book (“Waking Up”) about that and the illusion of the self. If you want to listen to it, you may want to skip the first 11 minutes of preliminaries.
· “Can Buddhism Save Us?” A new book argues that meditation can benefit us individually and globally – review by John Horgan in Scientific American.
Scientific American had a series of recent articles on meditation:
· “An encounter with a Buddhist teacher provokes a meditation on the nature of spirituality,” By John Horgan on October 24, 2017, Scientific American.
· “Where’s the Proof That Mindfulness Meditation Works?” The ubiquitous technique for relieving stress and pain has remarkably little scientific evidence backing it. By Bret Stetka on October 11, 2017, Scientific American.
· Another good resource on meditation itself by Joseph Goldstein and ABC News reporter Dan Harris, who wrote a book a few years ago, called “10% Happier”.
· And another view of doubt about the benefits of meditation from “The Skeptics Guide on Meditation”
Because science and technology keep on keeping on, check these out these articles of interest (and feel free to send others along to us all:
· Brain scientist Christof Koch agrees with Elon Musk that the best way to contain superintelligent AI is not to beat ‘em, but to join ‘em. Too late for most of us, but don’t underestimate its inevitability for perhaps our grandchildren.
· I found this one fascinating (though some of it is technically difficult) because it comes out and says, you need 3 dimensions to make a knot! “Why is our universe three dimensional? Cosmic knots could untangle the mystery”.
· Indoor and low impact farming goes bigtime. This could be revolutionary if it spreads around the U.S. and beyond.
We’re looking forward to seeing you on November 21 at 7 pm.