Cosmology and Buddhist Thought is the result of a conversation with astrophysicist and television celebrity, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, that took place in New York at the end of May, 2011. While cosmologists look at the outer space with massive instruments and difficult calculations using mathematics, Buddhists look at inner space with mindfulness and concentration. Both paths lead to insights about fundamental questions about why and how we got here, what we are doing here, what are our connections and interactions with the universe, and what is our destiny. Cosmologists study life on earth from an objective point of view and examine its causes. Buddhists study life on earth with regard to understanding its challenges and how to resolve them. Both Buddhism and cosmology recognize that we live in an emerging, evolving, and impermanent universe - everything is changing. Dr. Tyson's insights into the origins of life on earth, time scales, ecology, and religion are inspiring, to say the least, and extremely wise to read and contemplate. His responsiveness to Buddhist ideas of co-dependent arising, interbeing (interconnectedness), impermanence, the self, nirvana, and consciousness demonstrates much more than a Reader's Digest knowledge of Buddhism. A close reading of the conversation reveals that Buddhist thought does not have much to contribute to cosmology. Cosmology, on the other hand, has a lot to contribute to Buddhism. Excerpts from Cosmology and Buddhist Thought recently appeared on the Lion's Roar Blog.
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