Review: “Beyond the Self”

We review “Beyond the Self: Conversations Between Buddhism and Neuroscience” by Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer.

Andrea Miller
12 December 2017

Beyond the Self

Conversations Between Buddhism and Neuroscience

By Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer
The MIT Press, 2017; 296 pp., $29.95 (cloth)

Matthieu Ricard has a doctorate in molecular biology. He’s also a Buddhist monk, photographer, and bestselling author whose books include The Monk and the Philosopher, which he co-wrote with his father, the renowned philosopher Jean-François Revel. In Beyond the Self, Ricard joins forces with neuroscientist Wolf Singer in order to understand if and how the states of consciousness that are achieved through meditation and mind training are linked to neuronal processes. What is the unconscious? Is love the highest emotion? What should we make of parapsychological phenomena? These are some of the many questions the two examine in this conversation that looks at the mind and brain through many lenses.

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller is the editor of Lion’s Roar magazine. She’s the author of Awakening My Heart: Essays, Articles, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life, as well as the picture book The Day the Buddha Woke Up.