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

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Galileo, 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 inquiry. 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 philosophic study, the Dalai Lama presents a brilliant analysis of why all avenues of inquiry—scientific as well as spiritual—must be pursued in order to arrive at a complete picture of the truth. 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 examinations of reality.

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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (September 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767920813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767920810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

Dalai Lama XIV is a complete genius!!

 on September 17, 2017
By Nathan Winkler
If you’re into science and spirituality , this book might rock your world. This is the first I’ve read of Dalai Lama XIV, and the guy is a complete genius , as posing great questions to the reader, and humanity as a whole when faced with the emerging areas of science, technology and global interconnectedness.

and kept me from taking a defensive posture which allowed me to thoroughly enjoy this book

One person found this helpful.
 on November 13, 2014
By D. Rush
as a scientist, I found it fascinating and very refreshing to read a guy who is obviously religious in nature, acting with such an open mind and spirit. I felt proud when he lauded the scientific community for their dogma, and yet was humbled when he proposed challenges and examples of the ‘leaps of faith’ that us scientists make in our thinking. his open and curious mind came through in the book well, and kept me from taking a defensive posture which allowed me to thoroughly enjoy this book. The Dalai Lama really made an impression on me. I can see why so many think of him a great person.

Inspiration and balance in a complex world

One person found this helpful.
 on February 25, 2015
By drp
The Dalai Lama does not pretend to be a scientific expert– he is characteristically modest. But he has sought and found opportunities to meet at length and repeatedly with mentors during his life, and with a number of internationally leading scientists, in several fields. In my own field (biology, evolution) it is clear he has reflected deeply on some of the fundamentals and what they mean for understanding the world. He brings deep reflection and commitment to his efforts to integrate science into his worldview. He’s a wonderful example- I found this book valuable in the quest to integrate my own understanding of humanity and science.

I love this book

 on August 3, 2017
By Anna
I love this book. It’s interesting, it’s compelling, it’s well-written. I never thought I would end up reading the Dalai Lama write about quantum mechanics, but I’m sure glad I did.

If you like spirituality and also like science, this is a great find.

 on March 20, 2013
By JH-Cal
Everyone wants to talk about how science contradicts religion and spirituality or, the opposite perspective, that to be spiritual you must ignore science– this is a great book for those people. It really delves into the need for science to include a human factor (mainly compassion) and for religions to adapt and accept science as it reveals new truths about the universe we live in.

Again failed by my own great expectations

 on June 16, 2014
By RavenB&W
I expected so much more because of the status of the author but that’s my failing not that of HHDL and while at times it annoyed me that he sounded somewhat self depreciating he did in fact make some excellent points regarding the necessity and inevitability for merging science and spirituality. I did like how in some respects the book is a good primer on at least some aspects postmodern physics and neurobiology which could introduce and inspire further readings for many who don’t currently pursue knowledge of such knowledge. It also alerted me to the Mind Life Conferences which are on YouTube and which I intend to view. The book also served to inform me of certain aspects regarding the Tibetan tradition of cosmology.

will NOT turn you into a Buddhist but increase you knowledge of modern science.

One person found this helpful.
 on March 12, 2014
Not written to explain the tenets of Buddhism …it was written to demonstrate the Dalai Lama’s interest in modern science’s latest breakthroughs and ideas….through his thoughtful questions with some of the world’s great scientists we learn as all is explained to him….first to admit that he does not know but wants to know…a” is told to him in simple examples and terms….the reader will learn along with the “DL”…

Best book on Spirituality + Best Dalai Lama book

One person found this helpful.
 on January 25, 2013
By Dave
I have read many other books by the Dalai Lama, but the reason I liked this one the most, is as I become more interested in spirituality I have some struggle reconciling it with science, and understanding what ways it is in synch with science, and being able to have dialogue with people who see nothing existing outside of science.

A fantastic introduction to spirituality for an Atheist like me

One person found this helpful.
 on July 24, 2013
By Sandeep Goenka
The book blew me away in the first few pages itself. I knew this was the book to read for a materialistic, Atheist, non-believer like me.

A Beautiful Book That Really Delivers On Its Title

60 people found this helpful.
 on April 10, 2006
By Dr. Richard G. Petty
Many people feel that one of the really important issues facing us all, is whether it is possible to find some middle ground between science and spirituality, or whether they are simply different experiential and philosophical categories that have no business trying to get together.

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