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Why Buddhism is True The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment Summary ☆ 105 As the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy With bracing honesty and fierce wisdom it will persuade you not just that Buddhism is true which is to say a way out of our delusion but that it can ultimately save us from ourselves as individuals and as a specie. 62nd book of 2017I imagine the author at a diner party demanding complete attention from those present while he describes at length being at an intense macho meditation retreat in the Maine woods having the unfortunate luck of sitting next to a fat flatulent person Telling all present very seriously that he s not the sort of person who is OK with flatulence especially from other people especially if they are fat but because of his very serious but also very modest attempts at mediation he was able to step back from his intense hatred of the person sitting next to him and was able to experience the beauty of each particular fart in turn smelling different notes and if not loving them at least seeing their beauty for what they are He also felt some sort of oneness with the farter next too him Now he tells us how some super meditator that he blush could never be was put in a brain scanner and showed almost no brain response when smelling evil odours Imagine that Now throw in some random passage from either Buddhist scripture or some other pre 20th C source to make some sort of weak point Now repeat for another 300 pagesI would have been much happier if it had either 1 been a serious attempt at accessing the science and philosophy of meditation and enlightenment or 2 been offered a serious discussion of Buddhism The book offers neither It s a shame because I think the topic itself is worthy of a serious book

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Why Buddhism is True The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment Summary ☆ 105 From one of America‚Äôs greatest minds a journey through psychology philosophy and lots of meditation to show how Buddhism holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happinessRobert Wright famously explained in The Moral Animal how evolution shaped the human brain The mind is designed to often delude us he argued about ourselves and about the world And it is designed to make happiness hard to sustain But if we know our minds are rigged for anxiety depression anger and gr. The problem with introspection is that it has no end Philip K Dick For years I ve told people I was a Zen Mormon More as a way to suirm into the edges of LDS cosmology and less because I was practicing anything really approaching a hybrid of Buddhism and Mormonism But I ve always been attracted to Buddhism like many Westerners before me I m thinking of Herman Hesse W Somerset Maugham Jack Kerouac and Peter Matthiessen I ve always been attracted to the intersection of cultures philosophies etc So I guess it is natural for me to be attracted if somewhat lazily to Western Buddhism Zen gardens and the potential of mediationI m also a big nerdy fan of Robert Wright I ve read most of his books It is probably easier to just post the one book of his I haven t read rather than list the ones I have I enjoy Wright s evolution from Evolutionary Psychology to Buddhist writings I think the premise of Wright s book is mostly correct There is something that evolution has burdoned us with that meditation specifically Mindfulness Meditation and Buddhism can help us with The books title I should note here IS a little off putting I think Wright almost meant it as a joke with a hook of truth It comes across like some Mormon Southern Baptist or Jehovah s Witness tract a bit evangelical But Wright is not just trying to convert the reader and he s not exactly NOT trying to convert the reader either He lays out pretty good arguments about how Evolutionary Psychology and behavioral psychology show lots of caveats obviously the mind is complex and not everyone agrees with everything that a lot of our feelings motives choices are built on genetic coding which might actually make us unhappy unhealthy etc The Buddhists seemed to have climbed that mountain before us Wright seems less of a philosophical or religious Buddhist and of a pragmatic Buddhist I think his time studying how religion the mind behaviors etc have evolved over time has also provided him with ample evidence about how these traits that were evolved to help our primitive selves reproduce survive etc don t always help us in a modern age that includes HR departments Facebook politics etc Buddhism Wright would argue can help untangle some of these evolutionary knots So What does this book mean for me Someone who calls himself mostly in jest a Zen Mormon who has spent exactly 10 minutes mediating in a half assed way Well I m thinking of hooking up with a local BuddhistMeditation group and giving Mindful Mediation a try I m pretty chill but I think mindfulness can only help I m also not above exploring truth beyond my own familiar cosmology When I told my wife and kids of my plan they did laugh however My wife suggested meditation might not be easy for me given my competitive natureWife You can t win at meditationD8u Sure you can isn t enlightenment basically winningDaughter Yeah Mom the Buddha definitely wonD8U SeeMy daughter laughing said the closest I ve come to meditating was my nightly scalding bath with headphones in my ears a cold diet Dr Pepper and candy She thinks anything that would help me unplug one or two of my sensory addictions might not be a bad thing I agree It is worth a shot I haven t read Three Scientists and Their Gods Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information

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Why Buddhism is True The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment Summary ☆ 105 Eed what do we do Wright locates the answer in Buddhism which figured out thousands of years ago what scientists are only discovering now Buddhism holds that human suffering is a result of not seeing the world clearly and proposes that seeing the world clearly through meditation will make us better happier people In Why Buddhism is True Wright leads readers on a journey through psychology philosophy and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve. I disagree with the author s view of meditation as a study of one s thought But then there are so many schools of meditation I m primarily interested in the evolutionary psychology angle here but have to sit through these pages that don t entirely accord with my Soto Zen dharma But as Shunryu Suzuki roshi once said read Zen Mind Beginners Mind there s something to be gained from all schools of meditation and we should seek those aspects of any dharma which strengthen our practice instead of seeking to tear down by way of a brittle Western style critiue which let s face it is little than dogma mindset or just plain envy masked by pedantic connoisseurship The author goes through the many self delusions evolution instills in us as a means of making our genes viable in a hunter gatherer society These include our ability to generate fundamentally baseless feel good stories about ourselves as a means of instilling confidence in others our tendency to convince ourselves that we are valuable than the average team member Our egocentric biases are aided and abetted by the way memory works Those certain painful events get seared into our memories perhaps so we can avoid repeating the mistakes that led to them we are on balance likely to remember events that reflect favorably on us than those that don t which presumably makes it easier to convince others that our story is true p 84We are in short a species of hustlers No wonder the one percent is flourishing Overall the book is too collouial too chatty to be genuinely engaging I like the evolutionary biology angle but it s buried among too much padding Meh Stopped reading at p 109 The prose being dull as dishwater I say this not really knowing how or why dishwater is dull just that the simile seems apposite

  • Audiobook
  • 336
  • Why Buddhism is True The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment
  • Robert Wright
  • English
  • 22 October 2020
  • 9781508235408