Chopra/Mlodinow book

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:12 pm

Just got a copy of this book: I think that both sides have the wrong approach. As we have said here many times, science vs spirituality doesn’t do it as a duality.

A bit of commentary can wait

“We need a worldview grounded in science that does not deny the richness of human nature and the validity of modes of knowing other than the scientific. If we can bring our spirituality, the richness and wholesomeness of our basic human values, to bear upon the course of science in human society, then the different approaches of science and spirituality will contribute together to the betterment of humanity. This book points the way to such a collaborative endeavor.”—His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“Deepak Chopra did an excellent job explaining why the all-embracing holistic quantum field suggests a dynamic, alive cosmos. This is an interesting and provocative book which will be read and talked about for a long time to come.” —Hans Peter Duerr, Director Emeritus, Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics

“Bravo! This delightful book is bound to be the Gold Standard by which all other books on science/spirituality will be measured. Bold, refreshing, lucid, and insightful, this thoughtful collection of essays seeks to unveil the mysterious of our very existence. Is there a purpose to the universe? What is our true role in the cosmos? This book dares to ask some of the deepest, most profound questions about our very existence, and comes up with some surprising, even shocking answers.”–Michio Kaku Prof. of Theoretical Physics, City Univ. of NY. Author of the New York Times best sellers Physics of the Future, and Physics of the Impossible.

“Science is rapidly gaining the capability to explore the nature of consciousness, and the origins of all things—a domain sacred to Eastern spirituality. The inevitable result, as science encroaches on spirituality’s turf, is this compelling clash between scientist Leonard Mlodinow and spiritual advocate and physician Deepak Chopra.”
—Kip S. Thorne, The Feynman Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Caltech, and author of Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy

“Two compelling figures of our time mindfully joust on the battlefield of brain, cosmos, and evolution. This is a win-win for the authors and for every reader.”
—Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., The Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

“Whether you root for science or spirituality, you will find in these incisive, insightful essays more than enough ammunition to get you through your next debate over the two opposing ways of seeing the world. And you just may find that ‘the other side’ scores some points, too. A fascinating, thought-provoking tour through some of the deepest questions of existence.”—Sharon Begley, author of Change Your Mind, Train Your Brain and science writer, Newsweek

“This book, by two outstanding intellectuals, is a timely revival of the debate between science and spirituality. In alternate chapters each author defends his position without disrespecting the other and the result is a remarkable contribution to the history of ideas; eminently readable, no matter which side of the fence you are on.”
—V.S. Ramachandran, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego and author of The Tell Tale Brain

“A lively, engaging and far ranging debate between a sharp-witted physicist and a proponent of Eastern spirituality whose poetic metaphors about science appeal to the heart.”—Christof Koch, Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology, California Institute of Technology, and author of Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist

“In War of the Worldviews, Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow have given us one of the most compelling, important, and significant books written on the relation of science and spirituality in today’s world.”—Ken Wilber, author of The Integral Vision

“Quantum mechanics demonstrates the reality of particle entanglement. The reality of today’s world is that all of our lives are entangled. The dialogue between these two extraordinary writers serves as a source of awe and inspiration to all of us.”—James R. Doty, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery, Founder & Director, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), Stanford Institute of Neuro-innovation and Translational Neuroscience, Stanford University School of Medicine

“A refreshing and more useful approach to the old combat between science and religion. The two authors want the best for humanity, and their zeal is revealed even when they fiercely disagree. The value of this book will only become greater and more appreciated with time.”—Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Dean, Schmid College of Science, Vice Chancellor for Special Projects, Chapman University

“There is nothing more important than the worldview you hold. It determines nearly everything you think, do, and say. Like the fish who notices not the water in which he swims, we live in our worldviews without even noticing them. Yet most conflicts in life can be traced to worldview differences, and none more so than the worldviews of science and religion. War of the Worldviews is the best single volume I’ve ever read on this vital subject. Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow well capture the essence of the debate and do so in such an engaging style that you can’t stop reading. I know both authors well, and even though I side with one worldview over the other, I found myself compelled to read Deepak deeper to understand his worldview. Those on Deepak’s side will feel the same compulsion to read Leonard’s contributions. Either way, this book is a game changer in the science-and-religion wars.”—Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist Scientific American, adjunct professor Claremont Graduate University and Chapman University, and author of Why Darwin Matters and The Believing Brain

“Astrophysicist Sir James Jeans wrote: ‘The Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.’ This is the essence of Chopra’s view: that a great consciousness—which we share—is the basis of the Universe and all reality. From Mlodinow’s perspective it is unimaginable that consciousness could be anything more than brain chemistry at work and certainly not something capable of creating a universe. The book presents a lively and articulate debate on this and that most important human question: are we simply complex biological machines destined for oblivion at death… or are we immortal spiritual beings temporarily experiencing reality through physical bodies.”—Bernard Haisch, astrophysicist

“Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow argue convincingly for their particular worldviews. However reading this book convinces me they should call a truce: Science and spirituality are two sides of a quantum coin.”—Stuart Hameroff MD, Professor, Anesthesiology and Psychology, Director, Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

“Finally! The beginning of a dialog in the true spirit of open-ended science that should be inclusive of all phenomena including spirituality. Congratulations to Chopra and Mlodinow for the breakthrough. May their book become a trendsetter!”—Amit Goswami, quantum physicist and author of The Self-Aware Universe and How Quantum Activism Can Save Civilization

“We physicists are concerned with observations of the physical universe, and the mathematical theories that explain them. Others seek enlightenment through a focus on subjective experience. In this book these approaches meet, often throwing off sparks, occasionally agreeing, and always remaining both illuminating and entertaining.”—Jay Marx, Executive Director, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory, Caltech

“Is consciousness an aspect of nature that had no precursor prior to the appearance of life, or is it a feature of nature that was in some form always present? This question is debated in this lively, informative, and entertaining book co-authored by skilled writers Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow. On the basis of their extensive coverage of much of what we know about the cosmos—from its origin, to the origin and definition of life, to the issue of what makes us human—Chopra argues for the pervasiveness of consciousness, while Mlodinow argues for emergence of everything from the purely physical, in the absence of adequate scientific evidence to the contrary. This book is a good read even if, and particularly if, you already have a fixed opinion on the matter.”—Dr. Henry P. Stapp, Physicist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechanics and Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer

“Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow have opened the discussion on the fundamental physics of the spirit.”—Juliana (Brooks) Mortenson, MD, Founder, General Resonance

“Ours is a time of unprecedented change and complexity. Never before have so many worldviews, belief systems and ways of engaging reality converged. Such a moment of contact has many consequences. On one hand, there are abundant instances of conflict and intolerance, as people fail to see other points of view. …

About the Author
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than sixty books translated into over eight-five languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and nonfiction categories, and a leading figure in the field of emerging spirituality.

Leonard Mlodinow received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of California at Berkeley. He teaches at Caltech and is the New York Times bestselling author of The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives and the #1 New York Times bestseller The Grand Design, which he co-authored with Stephen Hawking. His other books include Euclid’s Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace and Feynman’s Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life. He also wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation.


#occupy buddhism!?

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:13 pm



Astrology and the myths of age periods

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:07 pm

One aspect of the question, discussed here many times, is the side show to astrology involving the measures of the Great Year based on the precissional periods of the equinoxes. The issue was the set of age periods related to that. To measure age periods based on the Great Year is not inherently superstition, but the associated beliefs connected to all that certainly were superstition. There is no real way to associate those age periods with historical dynamics or cultural content. But the match is close enough over a short range to confuse many.
Here, J. G. Bennett did a lot of harm by falling for the confusion and adopting the measures of The Great Year in his book on the ‘dramatic universe’. The result is that the Gurdjieff movement caught the diisease, where its sufi background should have spared it that fate.

I have always recommended a lot at the ‘eonic effect’ which shows how the long view of antiquity might confuse someone into thinking in terms of astrological age periods. But the explanation is something totally different.
In general, Bennett’s work is completely spoiled by this add on confusion. A pity

Astrology as flotsam of pre-Axial Age

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:56 am

I am going to simply bypass any discussions of astrology. There is no reason for it, and it has done immense harm to the New Age movement. Buddhism, Christianity and Islam were careful to keep the subject away from students and disciples, but now we see that the whole plague of astrological muddle infect the spiritual followers of medium intelligence, corrupting their understanding beyond repair.
So we should be wary of even discussing it: the solution to a vampire is to stop feeding it. Astrology is confusing to many modern seekers because it seems a legitimate object of tradition. But it is not. It is a virus of the mind that arose in the wake of Sumerian civilization, reaching its modern form in the backwater of Chaldean culture. Its sources in Sumer have little to do with the Chaldean superstition and were a still primitive ‘map of reality’ that is described nicely in Nicholas Campion’s The Great Year. The Sumerian original was a transient moment of proto-astrological cultural myth, and innocent enough. Its later pernicious form has no foundation in any real spiritual tradition. It is therefore a tremendous disservice to the less intelligent seekers who fall victim to this set of fallacies and get no real guidance from their peers. It was very different in the phase of the early Axial Age religions which were quite aware of the dangers of this remnant strain of the Sumerian cultural sewer.

Another sad irony is the way that modern skeptics lump everything together, astrology, religion in any form, beliefs in mind beyond neuroscience, anything beyond reductionist science, as ‘superstition’. The result is ironically a way to feed astrology, since people tend to associate the issues with other issues, controversial but not so easily rejected, ending in a validation of all of it. But the different character of astrology as a kind of flotsam of greater antiquity that passed through and survived the Axial Age which never validated any of it requires its dissassociation from more general questions of spirituality.


Posted in Uncategorized at 12:19 pm


Scientology books

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:13 pm


This past spring, in a course I called “American Scriptures,” my students and I listened to excerpts of a recording of L. Ron Hubbard lecturing on a boat in 1968. I had obtained the recording—which the Church of Scientology, the religious organization Hubbard founded, considers not for public circulation—from WikiLeaks, along with a transcript. I photocopied the relevant portions of the transcript and handed them out in class as aids to listening. The transcripts helped enable discussion of particular passages and allowed students to follow Scientology’s famously idiosyncratic lingo—”squirreling,” “ARC break,” “F/N.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Science Vs. Spirituality: Deepak Chopra And Leonard Mlodinow Discuss ‘War Of The Worldviews’

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:26 am

Science Vs. Spirituality: Deepak Chopra And Leonard Mlodinow Discuss ‘War Of The Worldviews’

The debate between science and spirituality is framed as a knock down fight for truth with winner take all. But does it have to be that way? On Oct. 4th, at 1 p.m. EST, Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow will debate science and spirituality based on their new book: “War of the Worldviews.” The event will be streamed here LIVE on AOL and Huffington Post.

Deepak Chopra is a physician and one of the most highly regarded spiritual teachers in the world; and Leonard Mlodinow teaches Physics at Cal Tech and co-authored, along with Stephen Hawkings, of “The Grand Design.” Chopra and Mlodinow wrote “War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality” to help start an intelligent and civil conversation about this very hot subject.

Some of the issues that Chopra and Mlodinow will be discussing include: How did the universe emerge? What is the nature of time? What is life? Did Darwin go wrong? What makes us human? What is the connection between mind and brain? Is God an illusion?

People interested in submitting questions can Tweet them to @huffpostrelig #huffpostdebate or leave them at http://www.facebook.com/HuffPostReligion or you can also tweet or leave a question through the box directly below.