Buddha's Way Through Darwin's World
By Dr. Charles Fisher
Released August 2007
Early hominids lived in an animal harmony with nature, free of the existential suffering we Homo sapiens experience. Evolutionary changes to our ancestors’ bodies and brains endowed us with both an increased capacity for creative productivity and the discontent that comes with the disconnection from our environment. It is this duality of our evolution that sets us apart from other species and inspires our most profound intellectual and spiritual yearning. Science and spiritual practice have long been considered mutually exclusive, and yet they are both methods of investigation, of striving toward understanding the universe in which we live.
Dismantling Discontent offers a provocative perspective on our existential suffering from the metaphorical viewpoints of Darwin and Buddha, synthesizing their two approaches, science and meditation, both rooted in the natural world, into a powerful union.
In writing this book, Charlie Fisher, Ph.D., has touched upon a scientific taboo and shattered previous assumptions about the incompatibility of these two very different ways of knowing. His daring, grounded in years of solid research and sincere practice, has cleared the path to an inspired, new “middle way” for us humans to be at greater peace with our selves, each other, and the world in which we live.
In Dismantling Discontent Charlie Fisher provides a profound
and provocative reflection on evolution, science and Buddhist
practice. He offers a rigorous and honest analysis, bringing
together scientific, cultural and anthropological knowledge in a
deep understanding of our biological and spiritual heritage.
To me, an open-minded skeptic and ignoramus in Eastern religious
traditions and philosophies, I actually found Charlie's descriptions
of meditation, death, disease, and old age in the context of our
biological natures informative and compelling. You too, will no
doubt enjoy Charlie's nature-loving revelation of the very
non-Victorian Buddhist view of our lives and their discontents.
Charlie has written of meditation in the clear light of evolutionary
very absorbing read with an unusual and provocative thesis
juxtaposing Darwin and the Buddha. Charlie Fisher probes behind the
surface with data from animal and human societies and from
neurological findings to explore the existential dilemma that the
Buddha proclaimed in the myth of the four signs: illness, old age,
death and the transcendence of these in the yellow robed renouncer.
An inspired teacher, with a brilliant mind that moves freely across
disciplines, Charlie Fisher is uniquely qualified to address the
intellectual issues that linger on the frontier between human
consciousness and the wild. He has spent years on the raw edge of
nature and years immersed in silent meditation. He brings his
experiences together in a profoundly original book.
Combining history and scholarship with his personal experience as a
meditator and teacher, he brings Buddhist practice down from its
sometimes rarified conceptual heights and places it firmly within an
Copyright © 2007 Dr. Charles S. Fisher
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