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Newsletter Number 81 • December 2011

Even though our physical bookstore is closed, we will continue to keep our website up and running. We will also continue our monthly newsletter.

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Tony Kainauskas
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Thank you for any help in defraying the costs of our Newsletter

Len and Tony

War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality, by Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow is a book which I can recommend, but not without some reservations. The idea of the book, a debate between an intelligent, well-informed, and enthusiastic spiritual believer versus an equally intelligent, well-informed, equally enthusiastic materialist is a terrific idea. Chopra and Mlodinow are worthy of the task.

The topics were well-chosen. Part one allows each to lay out his perspective, spiritual and scientific.. Part Two: The Cosmos, is exactly the topic one would chose to be examined. The chapters include: “How did the universe emerge?” “Is the Universe conscious?” “Is the universe alive?” among others.

Part Three: Life, includes the very primal questions such as: “What is life?”, “Is There Design in the Universe?”, and “Did Darwin go Wrong?”, among others.

Part four: Mind and Brain is another perfectly chosen topic, and the chapters include: “What is the connection between mind and brain? and “Is the Universe thinking through us?” , among others.

Part Five tackles the biggie: God! The chapters include: “Is God an illusion, and “Is there a fundamental Reality?”.

Chopra and Mlodinow are intelligent and learned. The problem is that each, being an advocate for a certain position or viewpoint seems to fail to be totally objective and/or convincing. The “debate” reminds of one of the political debates on TV wherein each candidate avoids the really difficult issues and instead of directly answering the question he or she delivers a pre-packaged response.

Both authors are skillful, articulate, and have access to excellent information or data. My problem with the book is that each is too much of an “advocate”. In a “lawyerly fashion” each selects and argues data points that support his own position but ignores potential conflicts inherent in his world view.

I enjoyed the book and I recommend it because both have endorsed some very good arguments bolstered by excellent data points. The reason I have “reservations” about the book is that I found it reasonably easy to poke holes in both of their arguments.

For my money this is a more “commercially oriented” book than a very clear effort to seek truth. If one wants to look at how science and spirituality really come together, I would recommend The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot, a book reviewed on our website.

Although I have not yet read it, perhaps the book recommended below by Tony, The Quantum and the Lotus, might prove to be a better choice. In fact, I can’t wait to read it.

My next review is not easy to write. I am recommending Baby Doll (The Book), by Mike Oppenheim. Mike is my son, which obviously creates a conflict of interest. The book is self-published and available on Amazon (but not in Kindle).

This is a novel, fiction. Within that framework I am not sure whether or not one would classify it as Sci-Fi or not. Since it involves time travel I guess one might call it Sci-Fi. However it is mainly contemporary in its setting and has lots of insight in the various generations of our time, and includes a fair measure of social commentary.

The story is quite unique. I don’t think anyone will ever accuse the author of stealing a concept from anyone else. I found the book to be very entertaining. The dialogue is excellent and the characters are intriguing. The plot is clever and the entanglements are very engrossing.

At times I found myself laughing out-loud. I was definitely engrossed. For a “first effort” I think it is quite outstanding. Recently I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel and I think this is better (but of course I am not prejudiced).

The book certainly is entertaining and at the same time the opposite of “shallow”.

There is both humor and pathos in the story.

Friends who have read the book have definitely given it “two thumbs up”. All I can say is “Try it and I think you will like it”.

All the best, Len

If you wish a list of photographs for sale of Maharishi etc.

Please e mail me

info@21stbooks.com

Also e mail me if you are interested in the following books

Our Spiritual Heritage: History of the Holy Tradition
108 Discourses of Guru Dev

Maharishi on Guru Dev

or a DVD of Guru Dev lecturing and chanting

The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet

Matthieu Ricard trained as a molecular biologist, working in the lab of a Nobel prize—winning scientist, but when he read some Buddhist philosophy, he became drawn to Buddhism. Eventually he left his life in science to study with Tibetan teachers, and he is now a Buddhist monk and translator for the Dalai Lama, living in the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. Trinh Thuan was born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam but became intrigued by the explosion of discoveries in astronomy during the 1960s. He made his way to the prestigious California Institute of Technology to study with some of the biggest names in the field and is now an acclaimed astrophysicist and specialist on how the galaxies formed.

When Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Thuan met at an academic conference in the summer of 1997, they began discussing the many remarkable connections between the teachings of Buddhism and the findings of recent science. That conversation grew into an astonishing correspondence exploring a series of fascinating questions. Did the universe have a beginning? Or is our universe one in a series of infinite universes with no end and no beginning? Is the concept of a beginning of time fundamentally flawed? Might our perception of time in fact be an illusion, a phenomenon created in our brains that has no ultimate reality? Is the stunning fine-tuning of the universe, which has produced just the right conditions for life to evolve, a sign that a “principle of creation” is at work in our world? If such a principle of creation undergirds the workings of the universe, what does that tell us about whether or not there is a divine Creator? How does the radical interpretation of reality offered by quantum physics conform to and yet differ from the Buddhist conception of reality? What is consciousness and how did it evolve? Can consciousness exist apart from a brain generating it?

The stimulating journey of discovery the authors traveled in their discussions is re-created beautifully in The Quantum and the Lotus, written in the style of a lively dialogue between friends. Both the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and the discoveries of contemporary science are introduced with great clarity, and the reader will be profoundly impressed by the many correspondences between the two streams of thought and revelation. Through the course of their dialogue, the authors reach a remarkable meeting of minds, ultimately offering a vital new understanding of the many ways in which science and Buddhism confirm and complement each other and of the ways in which, as Matthieu Ricard writes, “knowledge of our spirits and knowledge of the world are mutually enlightening and empowering.”

The Quantum and the Lotus is a mind-expanding, eye-opening exploration of the exciting parallels between cutting-edge thinking in physics and Buddhism–a scintillating conversation any thinking person would delight in overhearing.” —Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

The Quantum and the Lotus is the rich and inspiring result of a deeply interesting dialogue between Western science and Buddhist philosophy. This remarkable book will contribute greatly to a better understanding of the true nature of our world and the way we live our lives.” —His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Up tp 10% of our population is in danger of contracting Diabetes
It is becoming one of the fastest growing diseases

My wife was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago.

First trying the ordinary medical route created much frustration... limited diet not much success than by some serendipitous event she happened to come across a show by Dr Neal Barnard … on PBS … she ended up ordering his book on Reversing Diabetes and her life changed dramatically... her blood sugar rate dropped and she ended up losing 40 pounds without any effort except for the change to an all vegetarian diet.

Dr Barnard is founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

The other title she recommends for those wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It doesn’t talk about vegetarianism as an approach for diabetes, but it is a short, fun read packed with good advice and information.. Unlike standard diet books, it actually makes the reader laugh out loud with its truthful, smart-mouthed revelations. Behind all the attitude, however, there’s solid guidance. Skinny Bitch espouses a healthful lifestyle that promotes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and encourages women to get excited about feeling “clean and pure and energized.”

If you have diabetes or know someone who does and are looking for alternatives I would suggest viewing the following http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqCxVEAUjd0

It possibly may change your life and health.

See me as you want

You think you know

You who sees in love

also sees in hate

Love me like you like.

fight if bothered by some imagined slight

or try
Peace with a clenched fist

Turn on now or fear being shut down

See all your trying’s what trials have created you.. your own ever eternal loop

It all fails when you are vanished and laughter or sadness is all lost

Even your
God slips away

Love and hate

see where it all goes.

One day long long ago
Your words were better than mine

Who will record this now?
when all time has gone

Tony

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