This book addresses some of the most fundamental and troublesome questions that have driven a wedge between the realms of Western science and religion for centuries. Consciousness at the crossroads is the result of a series of meetings between the Dalai Lama and a group of eminent neuroscientists and psychiatrists. The Dalai Lama regularly dedicates several days out of his busy schedule to engage in these kinds of meetings, which have resulted in more than a decade of fruitful dialogue between Buddhism and Western science.
Is the mind nothing more than an ephemeral side-effect of the brain’s physical processes? Are there forms of consciousness so subtle that science has not yet identified them? How does consciousness begin? How do we know what we know? Buddhism, with its emphasis on empirical observation of mental processes, offers insights into these thorny questions, while the Dalai Lama’s own incisive, clear approach and open-minded pursuit of knowledge both challenges and offers inspiration to Western scientists.