- Future Directions in Study of Buddhism and Science
- Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto
I would like to suggest some areas in which
science could be improved upon, beginning with a discussion of "insufficiency."
Science is not sufficient to remedy the problems of the modern day world. To illustrate,
let us look at the situation in the environment. The problem of conservation is one of the
major issues of our time, and science must play a leading role in dealing with this
problem, especially in terms of research and proposals for solutions.
Scientific knowledge is invaluable. It can warn us of the dangers that exist, their
causes, and the ways in which we have to deal with them. Technology is an essential tool
in this work. But such valuable tools alone are not enough to solve the problem. Indeed,
we may find that the problems have largely arisen from science and technology.
Science and technology are not able to correct their own handiwork. In spite of having
the necessary knowledge at our disposal, we do not use it. In spite of having the
technical capability to solve problems, we continue to use the kind of technology which
aggravates them. Scientific knowledge is incapable of changing human behavior. Attempts to
solve these problems always flounder on indecision. Science may have to open up and work
in conjunction with other disciplines, by providing them with data for use in a collective
effort to address these problems.
From a Buddhist perspective, any attempt to solve human problems, regardless of type,
must always be implemented on three levels.
To give an example, environmental problems must be addressed on three levels:
2. the mind
These three levels must be integrated in the process of problem
1. On the level of behavior, there must be social constraint, that is,
restraint on the outward manifestations of bodily and verbal behavior.
There are two ways to constrain behavior in society:
Firstly, restraint from without, through regulations and laws, including punishment for
lawbreakers and so on. In Buddhism this is called "vinaya." The second
way is restraint from within the individual, through intention. Usually such intention
arises from religious faith. With belief or confidence in religion, there is a readiness
and willingness to restrain behavior. In Buddhism such internal restraint is called sila.
In short, the first way is vinaya -- regulations and standards for
constraining destructive actions, and the second way is sila -- the conscious
intention to be restrained within the restrictions thus imposed.
Both of these levels are related in that they are concerned with the control and
training of behavior. On a social level it is necessary to establish regulations, but
alone they are not enough. There must also be sila, restraint from within, moral
conduct that is fluent and regular.
2. In terms of the mind, since it is one of the factors
involved in causing problems, solving problems by control of behavior alone is not enough.
We must also deal with the mind. In our example, our aim is to conserve nature. If we want
all people to contribute in the conservation of nature, we must first instill into them a
desire to do so. So from "conservation of nature" we arrive at "wanting to
A desire to conserve nature is dependent on a love of nature. With an appreciation of
nature, the desire to conserve it will naturally follow. But that's not the end -- people
will only appreciate nature when they can live happily with nature. It seems that most
people have realized the importance of appreciating nature, but if that is all they see
they are not seeing the whole chain of conditions. Failing to see all the factors
involved, their attempts to address the problem will also fail. We must search further
down to find the beginning of the chain, to see what needs to be done to encourage people
to appreciate nature.
A love of nature will arise with difficulty if people are not happy living with nature.
Our minds must be at ease living with nature before we can love nature, and we must love
nature before we can a develop a desire to conserve nature, which is a necessary
prerequisite for the actual work of conservation.
Even though there may be other factors, or some discrepancies, in our chain of
conditions, this much is enough to convey the general idea. It seems, though, that so far
scientific work has obstructed this process from taking place. The desire to seek
happiness from the exploitation of nature has caused people to feel, deeply within, that
they can only be happy through technology, and that nature is an obstacle to this
happiness. Many children in the present day feel that their happiness lies with
technology, they do not feel at all comfortable with nature. They may even go so far as to
see nature as an enemy, an obstacle to their happiness. Nature must be conquered so that
they can enjoy the happiness of technology. Take a look at the minds of people in the
present age and you will see that most people in society feel this way. This is a result
of the influence of science in the recent Industrial Age.
The beliefs in conquering nature and seeking happiness in material goods, which are
represented and advocated by technology, have held sway over the minds of human beings for
such a long time that people have developed the feeling that nature is an enemy, an
obstruction to human progress. As long as this kind of thinking prevails, it will be very
difficult for us to love nature. Our ways of thinking must be changed. If we are to
continue living in a natural world we must find a point of balance, and in order to do
that we must develop an appreciation of nature, at least to see that nature can provide us
with happiness. There is much beauty in nature, and technology can be used to enhance our
appreciation of it.
In order to be more effective, constraint of behavior needs to be supported by mental
conviction. If there is appreciation of skilful action and a sense of satisfaction in such
behavior, self-training need not be a forced or difficult process.
3. In terms of understanding, wisdom refers to an understanding
of the process of cause and effect, or causes and conditions, in nature. This is of prime
importance. In order to understand the pro's and cons of the issue of conservation we must
have some understanding of the natural order. In this respect Pure science can be of
immense benefit, providing the data which will clarify the relevant factors involved in
the deterioration of the environment, in what ways the environment has deteriorated, and
what effects are to be expected from this deterioration.
An understanding of the situation will open people's minds and make them receptive. If
there is understanding that a certain action causes damage to the environment, and that
this will in turn have a detrimental effect on human beings, there will be an incentive to
Sometimes, however, in spite of understanding the ill-effects of something, we cannot
change our behavior because the mind has not yet accepted the truth on a deep enough
level. That is why it is important for the mind to have both an understanding of the
situation on an intellectual level, and also an emotional feeling, an appreciation, an
ability to be happy with nature. Scientific knowledge alone is not enough to induce people
to change their ways, because of attachment to habits, personal gains, social preferences
and so on. With enjoyment of nature as a foundation, any intellectual understanding of the
ecological system will serve to deepen or fortify all qualities on the emotional level.
The methods of Buddhism are a comprehensive solution to the problem at all levels.
There are three prongs or divisions of the Buddhist path. In Buddhism we call the first
level sila, the constraint or control of moral behavior through vinaya,
laws and regulations. Restraint of action is achieved through intention, which is the
essence of sila. Both these levels, regulations and moral intention, are included
under the general heading of sila, training in moral conduct.
The second level concerns the mind, training the feelings, qualities and habits of the
mind to be virtuous and skillful. This division is known as samadhi, the training
of the mind.
The third level is wisdom, pañña, or knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is
the quality which monitors the activities of the first and second levels and keeps them on
the right track. On its own, wisdom tends to be inactive. It must be supported by training
in moral conduct and meditation.
Wisdom not only supervises the practice of moral restraint and meditation, but also
examines the negative side of things, seeing, for example, the harmful effects of
unskillful behavior patterns, even when such behavior is enjoyable or profitable. If such
pleasure is seen to be in any way harmful, wisdom is the voice which tells us that such
behavior should be given up or corrected, and in which ways it can be done.
These three divisions work together and are interdependent. Initially we train our
actions, cultivating skillful behavior and giving up the unskillful. At the same time we
train the mind, instilling in it skillful drives and a feeling of joy or satisfaction in
the practice. We also develop understanding of reality and the reasons for practice,
seeing the benefit and harm of our actions as they are. As we train and the practice
becomes more and more consistent, the mind takes joy in the practice, which causes faith
to increase. When faith increases, the mind is keen to contemplate and understand our
actions. When wisdom or understanding arises, seeing the benefit in practicing skillfully
and the harm of not practicing, faith is enhanced once again. When faith is increased, we
are more able to control and adapt our behavior and make it more in accordance with the
Now we come to the quality of "too
late." I would like to give an illustration of what I mean by this statement to show
what it has to do with science. As an example I would like to compare the attitudes of
Buddhism with the attitudes of science, which have some strong similarities.
In science we have scientific knowledge on one hand, and scientific attitude on the
other. In many cases the scientific attitude is more important than scientific knowledge.
Why is this? Because the data or knowledge obtained by science has sometimes proven to be
wrong and had to be corrected. This tends to be an ongoing process. This scientific
attitude or objective is a constant principle, one which has been of immense benefit to
human beings. Whether individual pieces of knowledge can actually be used or not is not a
sure thing, but this attitude is a condition that can be used immediately and is of
immediate benefit. However, the attitudes of science and Buddhism have some slight
Firstly, let us define our terms. What are the attitudes of Buddhism and science? Both
attitudes have the same objectives, and that is to see all things according to cause and
effect, or causes and conditions. On encountering any situation, both the Buddhist
attitude and the scientific attitude will try to look at it according to its causes and
conditions, to try to see it as it really is.
For example: You see your friend walking towards you with a sour look on his face. For
most of us, seeing a sour expression on our friend's face would normally be an unpleasant
sight. We would think our friend was angry with us, and we would react in negative ways.
An awareness of unpleasant experience has taken place, and a reaction of dislike arises.
Thinking, "He can get angry, well so can I," we wear a sour expression in
But with a Buddhist or scientific attitude, when we see our friend walking towards us
with a sour expression, we do not look on it with an aggravated state of mind, through
liking or disliking, but with the objective of finding out the truth. This is the attitude
of looking at things according to causes and conditions ... "Hmm, he's looking angry.
I wonder why my friend is looking angry today. I wonder if something's bothering him.
Maybe somebody said something to upset him at home, or maybe he's got no money, or maybe
..." That is, we look for the real causes for his expression. This is what I call the
Buddhist attitude, which is applied to mental phenomena, and which correlates with the
scientific attitude, which applies to the material plane. It is an attitude of learning,
of looking at things according to causes and conditions.
If we look at the situation in this way no problem arises. Such an attitude leads to
the relief of problems and the development of wisdom. Searching for the causes and
conditions for our friend's sour expression, we might ask him the cause or act in some
other intelligent way, initiating a response which is attuned to solving the problem.
This is an example of an attitude which is common to both Buddhism and science. But how
do their attitudes differ? The scientific attitude is one that is used only to gain
knowledge, but the Buddhist attitude is considered to be part and parcel of life itself.
That is, this attitude is part of the skillful life, it is a way of living harmoniously in
society. In short, it is ethics.
The scientific attitude is one clear example of how science avoids the subject of
ethics or values while in fact containing them. That is, the scientific attitude is in
itself an ethic, but because science does not clearly recognize this, it fails to fully
capitalize on this ethic. More importantly, science fails to see ethics as an essential
factor within the process of realizing the truth of nature.
Buddhism does not use its attitude simply for the acquisition of knowledge, but
incorporates it into daily life, in the actuality of the present moment. This brings us to
the quality I call "too late." Because the scientific attitude is an attitude
and means simply of finding knowledge, any practical application must wait until science
finds out all the answers. As long as we don't know the answers our hands are tied. If we
don't yet know what something is, we don't know how we should behave towards it.
But in this world there are so many things that science does not yet have the answers
for, and there's no telling when science will have the answers. In the meantime, mankind,
both as an individual and as a society, must conduct life in the present moment. To put it
simply, the conduct of life for human beings in a skillful and proper way, within the
space of one individual life-span or one society, in real time, cannot wait for these
answers from the scientific world.
The Buddhist attitude is to search for knowledge in conjunction with living life,
holding that to look at things according to cause and effect is part and parcel of the
process of living a good life, not simply a tool to find knowledge. Therefore, with the
Buddhist attitude, whenever we meet something that is not yet known clearly to us, or has
not yet been verified, we have an outlook which enables us to practice skillfully towards
it. We do not lose our standard in life.
The scientific attitude seeks knowledge only, but does not give an outlook for living
life. Buddhism teaches both levels, giving a path of practice in relation to things in
present day life. I will give an illustration, one which has troubled mankind throughout
the ages and toward which even we, as Buddhists, fail to use a proper Buddhist outlook. I
refer to the subject of heavenly beings [devata].
The subject of heavenly beings is one that can be looked at in terms of its relation to
verifiable truth, or it can be looked at in relation to human society, in the light of
everyday life. Looking at the subject with the scientific attitude, we think of it in
terms of its verifiable truth, that is, whether these things actually exist or not. Then
we have to find a means to verify the matter. The subject would eventually become one of
those truths "waiting to be verified," or perhaps "unverifiable." And
there the matter ends, with mankind having no practical course to follow. As long as it
remains unverified, it becomes simply a matter of belief. One group believes these things
do exist, one group believes they don't. Each side has its own ideas. Take note that those
who believe that there are no such things are not beyond the level of belief -- they are
still stuck on the belief that such things do not exist. Both of these groups of people
are living in the one society. As long as they hold these differing and unresolvable
beliefs, there is going to be a state of tension.
In this instance, science has no recommendations to offer, but in Buddhism there are
ways of practice given in graded steps. On the first level, looking for truth by
experimentation, regardless of who wants to prove the matter one way or the other, there
is no problem. Those who are looking for the facts are free to continue their search,
either in support of the existence of heavenly beings or against it.
On the second level, finding a right attitude for the conduct of everyday life, what
should we do? In Buddhism there is a way of practice which does not contradict the case
either for or against the existence of heavenly beings. Our lives have a standard which is
clear and can be applied immediately. We are always ready to accept the truth, whether it
is eventually proven that heavenly beings do exist or they do not, and our way of life
will be in no way affected by such a discovery.
Most people are easily swayed or put on the defensive because of doubts about issues
such as this, which tends to make them lean towards either one of two extreme views --
either that heavenly beings do exist or that they don't. If you believe that heavenly
beings do exist, then you have to make supplications and perform ritual ceremonies to
placate them. If you believe that there aren't any heavenly beings, then you must argue
with those who do.
But in Buddhism we distinguish clearly between the search for facts, which proceeds as
normal, and the conduct of everyday life. Our life does not depend on the heavenly beings.
If there are heavenly beings, then they are beings in this universe just like us, subject
to birth, aging, sickness and death, just like us. We Buddhists have a teaching which
encourages us to develop kind thoughts to all beings in the universe. If there are
heavenly beings, then we must have kind thoughts toward those heavenly beings.
The essential teaching of Buddhism is self-development and self-reliance. The objective
is freedom. If we are practicing in accordance with the principle of self-reliance, we
know what our responsibility is. It is to train ourselves, to better ourselves. The
responsibility of the heavenly beings is to better themselves. So we both have the same
responsibility, to better ourselves. We can coexist with the heavenly beings with kind
thoughts. At the same time, whether heavenly beings exist or not is no concern of ours. In
this way, Buddhism has a clear outlook on the matter, and Buddhists do not have to worry
about such things.
Without this attitude, we get caught in the problem of whether these things do exist or
not. If they do exist, how should we conduct ourselves? We might create ceremonies and
sacrifices, which is not the duty of a Buddhist. The Buddhist responsibility is to
practice to better oneself. If a human being succeeds in fully bettering himself, then he
becomes the most excellent of all beings -- revered even by the heavenly beings.
This is an example of Buddhist attitude, which in essence is very similar to the
attitude described in the simile of the man wounded by the poisoned arrow. If you have
been pierced by an arrow, your first duty is to remove it before the poison spreads
throughout the body and kills you. As for searching for data in relation to that incident,
whoever feels so inclined can do so, but first it is necessary to take out that arrow.
This is very similar to the thinking of Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington. He had a similar
idea, although he did not put it in Buddhist terms. He wrote:
"Verily, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a
scientific man to pass through a door. And whether the door be barn door or church door it
might be wiser that he should consent to be an ordinary man and walk in rather than wait
till all the difficulties involved in a really scientific ingress are resolved."
In Christian texts it is said that it would be easier for a
camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven. Eddington
rephrased this a little, saying that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the
eye of a needle than for a scientific man to go through a door and into a room. What did
he mean by this?
I stress here that Eddington is talking about a scientific man, not a scientist. The
reason it would be so hard for a scientific man to enter a room is that a scientific man
would have to first stand in front of the door and wonder, "... Hmm, I wonder if I
should go through this door?" He would have to consider all the physical laws. He
might try to figure for example, how many pounds of air pressure per square inch would be
on his body if he walked through the door, how fast the earth would be spinning at the
time, how this would effect his walking into the room ... he would be thinking for ever.
In the end the scientific man would find it impossible to go through the door, because he
would never finish his scientific calculations. That is why Eddington said it would be
even easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a scientific man to
pass through a door. He concluded that scientists should behave as normal. Whether it be
the door of a church, a barn door or any other kind of door, then just to go through it.
If things continue as they are, science is in danger of becoming another kind of
"higher philosophy." That is, one of those "truths" which are
impossible to use in the situations of everyday life, because they are forever waiting to
be verified. Pure science maintains that it is void of values, but it is well known how
important the role of science has been in the development of society in recent times, even
though this development has been the activity of human beings, imbued as they are with
values. When we look closely at history we find that values have been exerting a subtle
influence over the birth and development of science, beginning with faith and the
aspiration to know the truths of nature, up until the most destructive value, the desire
to conquer nature and produce an abundance of material goods.
The solution to the problem of values in science is not to try to get rid of them. It
is not necessary for science to try to evade values. It is more a matter of trying to
clarify the values that science does, or should, have. Otherwise, science may unknowingly
become the victim of other values, values which obstruct the truth, and cause it to become
a negative influence, one that could even threaten the complete destruction of the human
In the preceding parts of this lecture I have tried to show the connection of science
to values on two levels, the highest value and the provisional value. This highest value
is one that science must adhere to in order to attain to the highest truth, because the
highest value is in itself the truth and thus an indispensable factor in the attainment of
ultimate truth. However, this highest value, the highest good, or freedom, is an ideal, it
is an objective, and as such will not exert a major influence on the quality of science in
The value which will have the most immediate influence over science is the secondary
value, of which there are two kinds: that which is derived from, and harmonious with, the
highest value; and the phony value which has infiltrated into science as a result of a
lack of reflection on values.
While scientists have no understanding of values, and fail to see the relationship
between them and the truth they are seeking, science will, in addition to limiting the
scope of knowledge to which it aspires and rendering the search for highest knowledge
fruitless, be taken over by the lesser and more counterproductive values, some inherited
from previous generations, and some fed by desire and the search for happiness within the
minds of present-day scientists themselves. When these inferior values dominate the mind,
not only do they throw the search for true knowledge off course, but they lead to
destructive tendencies, causing problems either in the immediate present, or if not, then
at some time in the future.
Conversely, if scientists, or those seeking truth, realize the connection between
abstract values and the physical world, they will also realize that to search for and
understand natural truth is to understand the nature of man; that for man to understand
himself is to understand the nature around him. When there is this kind of realization,
the secondary value which is derived from the highest value will arise of itself. It will
automatically be fulfilled. When there is right understanding, the result will be twofold,
1. The search for knowledge will not be limited or misdirected, but will be set
straight on the course for the highest kind of knowledge.
2. The correct kind of secondary value will automatically arise and human development
will proceed in conjunction with the search for knowledge.
If research is based on this right understanding, the right kind of value will
automatically be present.
The highest kind of value is a condition that will be attained on the realization of
truth. It is not necessary to strive to attain this value in itself, simply to bear it in
mind. When this is realized, a balanced kind of secondary value, which is congruous with
the highest value, will arise.
Even though in the path that is directed toward, and harmonious with, the truth, the
assurance of values is not necessary, being already included in the awareness of truth, in
practical terms, such as when scientific knowledge is transferred into technology, it may
be necessary to emphasize some values in order to clarify the direction of research and to
prevent the infiltration of inferior and destructive values. Examples of some of these
positive values might be: the search for knowledge in order to attain freedom from human
imperfection, or to search for knowledge in order to solve problems and further the
development of mankind and even such lesser values as striving to do everything as
circumspectly as possible, with minimal harmful results.
At the very least, the realization of the importance of values will enable scientists
to be aware of and to understand the way to relate to the values with which they have to
deal in their search for knowledge, such as greed, anger, hurt, jealousy, envy and so on,
such as in the case of Newton. More importantly, they will see the benefit of a correct
set of values and know how to use them effectively, even in the advancement of the search
for knowledge. At the very least, scientists will have a sense of morals and not become
the mere servants of industry.
One value which is of prime importance to humanity and its activities is happiness. The
value of happiness lies deeply and subconsciously behind all human activities and is thus
an essential part of ethics. Our conception of happiness will naturally influence all our
undertakings. For example, the values of the Industrial Age saw that happiness lay in the
subjugation of nature, after which nature could be used as humanity wished. This has led
to the developments which are presently causing so many problems in the world.
In order to address problems successfully we must see the truth of happiness and
suffering as they really are. Conversely, if we do not correct our values in regard to
happiness and suffering, we will have no way of addressing the problems of human
To correct our definition of happiness means, in brief, to change our social values, no
longer trying to find happiness in the destruction of nature, but instead finding
happiness in harmony with nature. In this way we can limit the manipulation of nature to
only what is necessary to relieve human suffering rather than to feed pleasure-seeking.
Mankind must realize that if he continues to seek happiness from the destruction of
nature, he will not find the happiness he is looking for, even if nature is completely
destroyed. Conversely, if mankind is able to live happily with nature, he will experience
happiness even while developing the freedom from suffering.
Roughly speaking, there are three main values with which scientists will inevitably
have to deal. They are:
1. Mundane values, which scientists, as ordinary people, have in common with everybody
else. This includes incentives or motivations, both good and bad, occurring in everyday
life, and also in the search for and use of knowledge. Such values include selfishness,
the desire for wealth, gains, fame or eminence, or, on the other hand, altruistic values,
such as kindness and compassion.
2. Values which are adhered to as principles, and which guide the direction of
learning, such as the idea of subjugating nature, the values of the industrial age, the
belief that happiness can be obtained through a wealth of material goods, or conversely,
the principle of addressing problems and improving the quality of life.
3. The highest value, which scientists should adhere to as members of the human race,
is the ideal of the human race as a whole, which, as I have said, has so far been
neglected by the world of science. Science is still only half way, with an aspiration to
know the truths of nature solely on an outward level. Such an aspiration does not include
the matter of "being human," or the highest good.
Science has still some unfinished business to do in regard to these three values.
Encouraging constructive technology
On the level of everyday life, or satisfying the
everyday needs of humanity, science plays the vital role of paving the way for
technological development and encouraging the production, development and consumption of
lopsided technology. On the other hand, social preferences for a particular kind of
technology encourage scientific research aimed at producing, developing and consuming that
From what we have seen, science, supported by the beliefs in the efficacy of conquering
nature and producing an abundance of material goods, has spurred the production and
development of technology along a path resulting in serious problems. Science and
technology may have actually done more harm than good.
The kind of production, development and consumption of technology which has caused
these problems is one geared to feeding greed (selfishly and wastefully catering to
desires on the sensual plane), hatred (causing exploitation, destruction, power
mongering), and delusion (encouraging heedlessness, time-wasting activities, and the blind
consumption and use of technology).
In the development of science on the technological level, it will be necessary to
change some of the basic assumptions it is based on, by encouraging the development of
constructive technology, which is free of harmful effects, within the constraints of these
1. Technology which is moderate.
2. Technology which is used for creating benefit.
3. Technology which serves to develop understanding and improve the human being.
I would like to expand on this a little.
1. We must acknowledge the needs of the ordinary human being. Ordinary people want to
be able to satisfy their desires for sense pleasures. We do not want to suppress or deny
these sense pleasures. The important point is to encourage the constraint of behavior to a
degree which is not destructive or extravagant, by encouraging restraint on the mind,
keeping it within moderate limitations. It must be a limitation in which self-created
sense desires are balanced by an awareness of what is of real benefit to and truly
necessary in life. This is expressed in the words "know moderation." This value
is closely related to the development of wisdom. In particular, there should be some
principles governing the production, development and consumption of material goods wherein
they are directed towards real benefit, aimed at bettering the quality of life rather than
satisfying inferior values. In short, we can call this, "technology which is
moderate," or technology which puts a limitation on greed.
2. In addition to selfishness and greed, mankind has a tendency to covet power over
others, and to destroy those who oppose his desires. The human potential for hatred has
found expression in many ways, causing the production, development and consumption of
technology which facilitates mutual destruction more than mutual cooperation. Mankind must
turn around and change this direction of development, by establishing a clear objective
and creating a firm and decisive plan to encourage the production, development and
consumption of goods which are constructive and beneficial to human society. This
technology for benefit will help to do away with or diminish the production of technology
which caters to hatred.
3. So far, the production, development and consumption of technology has mostly been of
a kind which leads people to heedlessness, intoxication and dullness, especially in the
present time, when many parts of the world have stepped into the Information Age. If
mankind practices wrongly in regard to this information technology, it becomes an
instrument for promoting heedlessness rather than an educational aid. Witness, for
example, the gambling machines and video games which abound in the cities of the world,
completely void of any purpose other than to waste time and money. Witness also the
ignorant use of technology, without any awareness of its benefits and dangers, leading to
environmental damage. These things not only degrade the environment, they also debase
For this reason we need to effectuate a conscious change of direction -- to stress
production, development and consumption of technology which promotes intelligence and
development of the human being, using it as a tool for the communication of knowledge that
is useful, and which encourages people to use their time constructively. There must also
be conscious use of technology, with an awareness of the benefits and dangers involved in
it. In this way, technology will be an instrument for enhancing the quality of life and
protecting the environment. Society will become an environment which supports and
encourages mental development. This third kind of technology can be called,
"technology which enhances intelligence and human development," which is
directly opposite to the technology which encourages delusion.
If production, development and consumption of technology can be channelled in this way,
and if science opens the way to this kind of technology, then sustainable development will
surely become a reality.
12. Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, "Defense
of Mysticism," in Quantum Questions, ed. Ken Wilbur (Boston: New Science
Library, 1984), p. 208.
[Taken from Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto., Toward Sustainable
Science, A Buddhist Look at Trends in Scientific Development. (Bangkok:
Buddhadhamma Foundation, 1993), pp. 129-149].
Sincere thanks to Ti.nh
Tue^. for transcription of this article.