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Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory : The Dharma of Natural Systems - Joanna R. Macy

Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory

The Dharma of Natural Systems

Paperback Published: 3rd July 1991
ISBN: 9780791406373
Number Of Pages: 254

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This book brings important new dimensions to the interface between contemporary Western science and ancient Eastern wisdom. Here for the first time the concepts and insights of general systems theory are presented in tandem with those of the Buddha. Remarkable convergences appear between core Buddhist teachings and the systems view of reality, arising in our century from biology and extending into the social and cognitive sciences. Giving a cogent introduction to both bodies of thought, and a fresh interpretation of the Buddha's core teaching of dependent co-arising, this book shows how their common perspective on causality can inform our lives. The interdependence of all beings provides the context for clarifying both the role of meditative practice and guidelines for effective action on behalf of the common good.

Industry Reviews

"This book deals with a very important and contemporary topic - breaking out of causal patterns of a reductive sort into more holistic non-reductive ways of thinking and explanation. It also brings together Western and Eastern ideas combining a particularly important aspect of Buddhist thought with new Western conceptions. It belongs to movements toward global integration." - Henry Le Roy Finch, Hunter College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Preface Introduction Part One: Background 1. Considering Causality Like the Air We Breathe The Linear Unidirectional Causal Paradigm One-Way Causality in the West One-Way Causality in Indian Thought The Mutual Causal Paradigm in the West The Buddhist Vision of Mutual Causality The Reciprocal Hermeneutic of Buddhism and General Systems Theory Part Two: Perceptions of Mutual Causality 2. The Buddhist Teaching of Dependent Co-Arising The Central Role of the Causal Doctrine in the Dharma Linear Causality in Pre-Buddhist India Comparison with Western Linear Views Scriptural Presentations of Paticca Samuppada 3. Dependent Co-Arising as Mutual Causality From Substance to Relation No First Cause Syntax of Interdependence Reciprocity of Causal Factors Abhidharmist Interpretations Paticca Samuppada as Interdependence 4. General Systems Theory Science's Problems with the One-Way Causal Paradigm The Perception of Systems in the Life Sciences Cybernetics and the Concept of Feedback Systemic Invariances and Hierarchies Systems Theory in the Social Sciences The Cognitive System Systems and Value 5. Mutual Causality in General Systems Theory The Transformation of Causes within the System Feedback as Causal Loop Negative Feedback Processes Positive Feedback Processes Seeing Causes Part Three: Dimensions of Mutual Causality 6. Self as Process Everything Changes The Illusion of Separate Selfhood No Clear Lines of Demarcation The Lethal Mirage 7. The Co-Arising of Knower and Known Perception as Convergence of Factors Consciousness: Conditioned and Transitive Information Circuits Shaping the World through Projection Learning as Self Reorganization The Limits of Cognition Objectless Knowing Who is Knowing? 8. The Co-Arising of Body and Mind Linear Views "Like Two Sheaves of Reeds" Two Sides of a Coin The Internality of All Systems The Ubiquity and Particularity of Mind Beyond the Fear of Matter "Minding" 9. The Co-Arising of Doer and Deed Identity and Accountability The Question of Rebirth Kaya and Karma Structure and Function Past and Present The Dharma and Determinism The Determinacy of Choice The Cognitive System as Decision Center 10. The Co-Arising of Self and Society Participation and Particularity The Interdependence of Person and Community The Dharma of Social Systems 11. Mutual Morality Concern for Other Beings Tolerance and Iconoclasm Political Engagement Right Livelihood and Economic Sharing Ends and Means 12. The Dialectics of Personal and Social Transformation Free to Reconnect The Tree and the Flame Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780791406373
ISBN-10: 0791406377
Series: Suny Series, Buddhist Studies
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 254
Published: 3rd July 1991
Publisher: STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.56 x 16.56  x 1.73
Weight (kg): 0.39

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