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Download The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality Audiobook, by Tenzin Gyatso Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 5 3.69 (26 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tenzin Gyatso Narrator: Richard Gere Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780739322666
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Gallileo, Copernicus, Newton, Niels Bohr, Einstein—their insights shook our perception of who we are and where we stand in the world and in their wake have left an uneasy coexistence: science vs. religion, faith vs. empirical enquiry. Which is the keeper of truth? Which is the true path to understanding reality?

After forty years of study with some of the greatest scientific minds, as well as a lifetime of meditative, spiritual, and philosophical study, the Dalai Lama presents a brilliant analysis of why both disciplines must be pursued in order to arrive at a complete picture of the truth. Science shows us ways of interpreting the physical world, while spirituality helps us cope with reality. But the extreme of either is impoverishing. The belief that all is reducible to matter and energy leaves out a huge range of human experience: emotions, yearnings, compassion, culture. At the same time, holding unexamined spiritual beliefs—beliefs that are contradicted by evidence, logic, and experience—can lock us into fundamentalist cages.

Through an examination of Darwinism and karma, quantum mechanics and philosophical insight into the nature of reality, neurobiology and the study of consciousness, the Dalai Lama draws significant parallels between contemplative and scientific examination of reality. “I believe that spirituality and science are complementary but different investigative approaches with the same goal of seeking the truth,” His Holiness writes. “In this, there is much each may learn from the other, and together they may contribute to expanding the horizon of human knowledge and wisdom.”

This breathtakingly personal examination is a tribute to the Dalai Lama’s teachers—both of science and spirituality. The legacy of this book is a vision of the world in which our different approaches to understanding ourselves, our universe and one another can be brought together in the service of humanity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The Dalai Lama lost spiritual leadership in his own country but now exercises it around the world. Like all good teachers, he comes to learn. He found that what Buddhism lacked in his country was a fruitful interchange with reason and modern science. Here he fosters that exchange, at a time when some Christians have turned their backs on science and the Enlightenment. We are losing what he has gained.”

    Garry Wills, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • “With disarming honesty, humility, and respect, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has explored the relationship between religion and science and suggested the way in which they can affirm and qualify each other’s insights. By juxtaposing traditional Buddhist teaching with the discoveries of modern physics and biology, he infuses the debate about such contentious issues as the origins of the universe, the nature of human consciousness, the evolution of species and genetic engineering with intimations of profound spirituality and shows how these questions can further our search for ultimate meaning. But above all, his gentle but insistent call for compassion is desperately needed in our torn and conflicted world.”

    Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of A History of God

  • “Wise and humble.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “For all the provocative and detailed reasoning found in this soulful and mind-expanding book, what emerges most powerfully is the Dalai Lama’s belief that science must embrace Buddhism’s mission and work toward increasing compassion and alleviating suffering.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug | 2/11/2014

    " Some good information about the roots and purposes of Buddhism. Also, the parallels and constrasts between some aspects of physics and Buddhism were interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matthew Konkel | 2/11/2014

    " Well, it's prettey effin' dense but extremely engaging. I maybe only really absorbed about 40 percent of it. I recommend this to anyone who thinks that testtubes and laboratories is all that's needed to discovering truth or to anyone who thinks science is just a way to disprove God or whatever. I guess the big thing I got out of this book is that a chair is never just a chair and EVERYTHING is related. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kara | 2/1/2014

    " Extremely interesting and a must read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paige Bleu | 1/26/2014

    " This was the first book by the Dali Lama I've ever read, so I did find it interesting. But to be truthful, it was a bit over my head. I really enjoyed some of the more personal side of the Lama. It was cool to see another portrayal of him, than what I always assumed, or expected. I just felt sort of lost in certain parts. I will definitely read it once or twice more and that may, or may not change my opinion. I would recommend this book for people who are genuinely interested in an insider peak at the life of the Lama, but not really anyone else. I read it more out of philosophical curiousity, and as mentioned above, at times felt swallowed up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 suzannah | 1/26/2014

    " wow, the dalai lama rocks! who would have thought physics could be so close to our own experiences? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Oleg Kagan | 1/20/2014

    " A lucid monologue on the intersections between Buddhism and science, though when His Holiness wrote science he meant mostly physics, cosmology, and some psychology. As with all of the Dalai Lama's books I've read, I enjoyed following his arguments. I'd say I learned some things about Buddhism and science, though my takeaway is more related to the way the Dalai Lama stays connected to the world. The things he learns from world-class scientists and scholarly monks are presented in a way that shows his obvious interest in the subject matter; how the ongoing pursuit of scientific knowledge relates to him, and to us. A good read for Dalai Lama fans. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nate | 1/13/2014

    " Pretty thought-provoking book overall, but nothing too hardcore. I had several misconceptions about Buddhism that were corrected. It really is more of a logical philosophy than a religion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 1/9/2014

    " too technical--very dry and hard to get through "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 12/19/2013

    " Wonderful clear exposition of likely the most important issue facing scientifically minded western Buddhists recently written. His Holiness is, however, seriously mistaken regarding the status of the opportunities to find a useful methodology to study consiousness. He criticizes both behaviorism and cognitive neuroscience as inadequate for vastly different reasons. He needs to go back and take a look at the satisfactory nature of current radical behaviorism in order to find a suitable nexus for current psychological theory and Buddhist conceptions of mind. Far be it for me to say what His Holiness should do; however, such is the case. I hope that this book gets more coverage, particularly by behaviorally minded psychologists interested in Buddhist psychology. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chad | 12/14/2013

    " Very honest book. This should be an example for other religious leaders "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katie | 9/17/2013

    " I was just too confused with the concepts and details in this book. I really gave it an honest effort and read as much as I could. This is probably the first book in 8 years that I have started and not finished. I just didn't have it in me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 7/28/2013

    " A wonderful exploration of the world in a new way for me. The Dalai Lama makes science at once very personal and very universal. I had to reread several of these chapters multiple times, and I really enjoyed trying to wrap my tiny mind around these large ideas. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lmmop | 7/11/2013

    " With all due respect to the Dalai Lama, I cannot keep up with the complexity of his thoughts or reasoning. A disappointment, because I usually find comparative religious topics very interesting. I just couldn't get through it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chraeloos | 7/8/2013

    " In his own humorous way, the Dalai Lama gives an excellent account of science and buddhism, and how the two could work together. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Leabelle | 6/16/2013

    " I call this line of thinking 'the quantum leap'... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Travis | 8/18/2011

    " The Dalai Lama is the only major world religious figure to fully embrace science and rejoice in what it can teach us about ourselves, our universe and our spirits. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jess | 6/29/2010

    " I love this man. His mind, his countenance, his purity of spirit- everything about him is curious and beautiful and this book shows us a glimpse of his brilliance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wade | 12/13/2009

    " Interesting and challenging topic. I like the idea of reconciliation of science and faith and this book does okay in its attempt. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Will Craighead | 11/23/2009

    " Dalai Lama...what else can ya say. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick | 11/9/2008

    " Fascinating book that blends and talks to Buddism and science. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Spauwen | 1/31/2008

    " In Dutch readed. Fine book. Later more maybe here "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen Grant | 10/31/2007

    " Excellent, excellent, excellent book. A spiritual leader who has a passion for science and is more than willing to discard traditional beliefs if science proves they aren't possible. This is a great read from a philosophical, spiritual and scientific perspective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 9/2/2007

    " Once again, this man demonstrates exactly what a human can be. Explores, through a re-telling of his own intellectual journey, the boundaries between belief and empiricism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan Pennell | 6/4/2007

    " This book is about my two favorite subjects. It was a no brainier that I would love it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hunter | 5/31/2006

    " This was an interesting read, but about 50 pages too long. Would have greatly improved in persuasiveness from a bit of brevity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 3/5/2006

    " Pretty damn good so far, more later "

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About the Author

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born in 1935 to a peasant family in northeastern Tibet and was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of his predecessor. As the world’s foremost Buddhist leader, he travels extensively, speaking eloquently in favor of ecumenical understanding, kindness and compassion, respect for the environment, and world peace. He is the author of over seventy books and has received a number of awards, honorary doctorates, and other accolades for his work.

About the Narrator

Richard Gere is a humanitarian and actor. He has appeared in more than forty films, including An Officer and a Gentleman, American Gigolo, Chicago, The Jackal, Pretty Woman, and Runaway Bride. In 1999 he was named “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine. He has received multiple Golden Globe nominations, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.