“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration, we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are,” Dalai Lama argues.
Science and spirituality don’t have to be considered opposing views anymore. Things have changed a lot over time. In fact, these fields have been blending by way of consciousness and quantum physics, which has confirmed what Buddhists have taught for a long time. Both science and spirituality agree that people are connected with everything in their surroundings.
The Dalai Lama has been present at a conference on quantum physics where he has even given a speech related to the topic. The conference took place in November 2015: Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, also spoke of Madhyamaka philosophy in New Delhi. Madhyamaka means “one who holds to the middle” or “the middle way,” and was created by Nagarjuna, an Indian Buddhist philosopher.
“I hope conferences like this can address two purposes: extending our knowledge and improving our view of reality so we can better tackle our disturbing emotions. Early in my lifetime, science was employed to further material and economic development. Later in the 20th century, scientists began to see that peace of mind is important for physical health and well-being . . . As a result of combining warm-heartedness with intelligence, I hope we’ll be better equipped to contribute to humanity’s well-being,” the Dalai Lama said.
“When I was about 19 or 20 I developed a curiosity about science that had begun with an interest in mechanical things and how they worked. In China, in 1954/5 I met Mao Zedong several times. Once he commended me for having a scientific mind, adding that religion was poison, perhaps presuming that this would appeal to someone who was ‘scientific minded’. After coming to India as a refugee I had many opportunities to meet people from many different walks of life, scientists among them. 30 years ago I began a series of dialogues focusing on cosmology, neurobiology, physics, including Quantum Physics, and psychology. These discussions have been largely of mutual benefit. Scientists have learned more about the mind and emotions, while we have gained a subtler explanation of the matter,” the Dalai Lama further explained.
He also added that he had been amazed to find out how much of the things that Nagarjuna had to say matched with what he already knew of quantum physics. Vice-Chancellor Prof S Bhattacharya explained that according to quantum physics nothing exists objectively, which again matches with Chittamatrin and Madhyamaka views, particularly Nagarjuna’s contention.
“Although we may be inclined to pray to Buddha to help us solve such problems, they might reply that since we created these problems it is up to us to solve them. Most of these problems were created by human beings, so naturally, they require human solutions. We need to take a secular approach to promulgating universal human values,” the Dalai Lama concluded.
Quantum physics has shown that the present can change the past, that an afterlife is real, while time isn’t. In other words, quantum physics is the science of spirituality and consciousness. “The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust,” as per Nail DeGrasse Tyson.