Review: Embracing Mind: The Common Ground of Science & Spirituality (B. Alan Wallace)

Via Todd Mayville
on Aug 14, 2008
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For what seems a long time now, science and spirituality have seemingly been at odds, with each one trying to cancel out the other, especially in Western society. However, that hasn’t always been the case, nor does it always have to be.

In Embracing Mind: The Common Ground of Science & Spirituality, Wallace traces scientific methods back to their Christian roots (!), and goes on to further explore the split between the two and how it came to be. The book then examines the role of the mind in scientific exploration, something that Eastern science and spirituality has spent much more time exploring in depth, and without the schism found in the West. Fans of The Universe in a Single Atom by His Holiness the Dalai Lama will enjoy this book a great deal; Wallace seems to follow up on the ideas presented by His Holiness and take them a step further, demonstrating that it is possible to live in a world where science and spirit exist as a compatible whole. This book will sit on my bookshelf in my “My All Time Favorite Books” spot for sure. On a related note, teachers of the Theory of Knowledge class in International Baccalaureate schools should really look into this book. The first two sentences of the introduction read: “How do we know things? How do we decide that something is true?” The book then goes on to set up some excellent possibilities for linking questions between the sciences and the humanities with a good dose of ethics tossed in. Printed on acid-free paper from Shambhala Publications, and available from the Shambhala Publications website or from your favorite, local, independent bookseller.


About Todd Mayville

Todd is a single dad of four diverse and lively kids, and is an English teacher and climbing team coach at a local public high school. A rock climber, cyclist and avid reader, Todd also practices yoga and meditation as often as he possibly can, which helps him stay at least a little centered and sane.


2 Responses to “Review: Embracing Mind: The Common Ground of Science & Spirituality (B. Alan Wallace)”

  1. D.Bheemeswar says:

    It is good article to read. The western or eastern it is embracing the mind. There are much deeper meanings in eastern ways and a method as it is individual’s feelings and experiences about mind and life. If we start analyzing them it shall be mind boggling. Much deeper science and much more depth in understanding the human values which entire western culture lacks; being based on individual culture. It is not needs of individual it is the need of the society as such, which includes all walks of life and materials. It is in Toto concept, it is universal truth. With science we are just trying to decipher some of those concepts. One should not forget that it is eastern science of living philosophy that has given raise to present concepts of sciences.

    The spirituality of the nature of mind is that to remove the dual mentality which shuttles between good and bad. Here good is for doing well for the society, and bad means acquiring all the material benefits for one’s own sake to satisfy, which never ends until unless one expires, which makes all the disparity between people of the society divides the entire structure of human values breaking entire morale and ethical values.

    Coming back nobody can embrace the mind but tries to control it from materialistic aspects so as the human chain continues.

    Coming to Dalai Lammas, they do not need this type of works they are already well above all this type of embracing’s, by practicing from very early age. It is the same case with some of Indian spiritual leaders those who realized what they are. But it suits all westerners, because they do not know what to be embraced and what not under the magical screen of so called scientific background.

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