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Why Buddhism is true the science and philosophy of meditation and enlightenment

by Wright, Robert, 1957-

Format: OverDrive Read 2017.
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New York Times Bestseller
From one of America's greatest minds, a journey through psychology, philosophy, and lots of meditation to show how Buddhism holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happiness.

Robert 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 greed, 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 more 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 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 species.
Taking the red pill
Paradoxes of meditation
When are feelings illusions?
Bliss, ecstasy, and other reasons to meditate
The alleged nonexistence of your self
The confirmed nonexistence of your self
The mental modules that run your life
How thoughts think themselves
"Self" control
Encounters with the formless
The upside of emptiness
A weedless world
Like, wow, everything is one (at most)
Is enlightenment enlightenment?
So remind me why I should meditate?

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Using a framework of evolutionary psychology and philosophy, Wright (The Evolution of God, 2009) leads his readers on a scientific search for the truth of Buddhism. In doing so, he proves to be an often witty, occasionally self-deprecating guide who eschews what he calls the supernatural or more exotically metaphysical parts of Buddhism and focuses instead on its naturalistic aspects. Some of those parts, it should be acknowledged, are dauntingly esoteric and abstruse, such as anatta or not-self, the idea that the self doesn't exist. Happily, Wright has a talent for bringing clarity to this and what could otherwise be his subject's murkier aspects. His examination includes familiar elements of Buddhism: Nirvana, Enlightenment (with both capital and lower-case E's), dharma, mindfulness, and, importantly, meditation, to which he devotes the final chapter. It should be acknowledged that this is not a book for the casual reader; it requires extremely close reading and intense concentration. But the patient reader will find much here that is worth contemplating and that is, well, enlightening.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Wright (The Moral Animal) fascinates readers with this journey through evolutionary psychology in search of answers to the question of whether Buddhism's diagnosis of the human condition is true. Rather than conceiving of the self-or the mind, for that matter-as an autocrat, Wright opts for the modular model of mind, in which behavior is shaped by the interplay of networks dedicated to different tasks and situations with conflicting goals. Because there are ultimately many versions of the self (or "no-self") in the modular model, Wright argues that emotions are far more integral than reason in constructing perceptions and interpretations of the world. He recommends meditation as a process of dispelling the illusions that natural selection has created (which have since gone haywire outside of natural pressures), suggesting that it can be used to interrogate, contemplate, and disengage from the foundation of feelings that color experience. Through mindfulness, Wright says, one can achieve clarity of vision, breaking out of tribalistic notions of thinking to begin helping others and the world. But this is not easy to accomplish, and Wright's stories about his meditation experiences include his failures, anxieties, and faults. Wright's joyful and insightful book is both entertaining and informative, equally accessible to general audiences and more experienced practitioners. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Buddhism -- Apologetic works.
Electronic books.
Apologetic writings.
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :Simon & Schuster2017.
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Audience Adult
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: OverDrive Read
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 303-311) and index.
ISBN 9781439195475
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