Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on science and spirituality
Finding a balance between technological development and spirituality is the only way to avoid becoming part of the machine, without losing out on any of the fun.
The Dalai Lama has been interested in science since he was a child. Over the years he’s visited many laboratories and has attended conferences that discuss consciousness from the scientific point of view. In one of these symposiums, in 1983, he got to know biologist and neuroscience researcher Francisco Varela who, together with other scientists such as Ngari Rinpoche, put together the book of dialogues with the Dalai Lama, called Conversations with the Dalai Lama on the Sciences of the Mind.
Technology and spirituality speak for themselves, but a conversation between the two fields has the potential to be truly enlightening. The following is part of one of the book’s dialogues that took place in Dharamsala, India:
For quite some time I have had a great interest in the close relationship between Eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism, and Western science. My basic aim as a human being is to speak always for the importance of compassion and kindness in order to build a better, healthier human society, and a brighter future.
Western civilization’s science and technology bring society tremendous benefit. Yet, due to highly developed technology, we also have more anxiety and more fear. I always feel that mental development and material development must be well-balanced, so that together they may make a more human world. If we lose human values and human beings become part of a machine, there is no freedom from pain and pleasure. Without freedom from pain and pleasure, it is very difficult to demarcate between right and wrong.
The subjects of pain and pleasure naturally involve feeling, mind, and consciousness.
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