Date Published: August 8, 2017

Why Buddhism Is True:

TL;DR Summary

"Why Buddhism Is True - Uncover the Unexpected Intersection of Buddhism and Evolutionary Psychology!"

In "Why Buddhism Is True," Robert Wright presents a compelling exploration into the intriguing convergence of ancient Buddhist teachings and modern evolutionary psychology. The central thesis of the book: Buddhism's foundational principles about the human mind's nature align remarkably with scientific understandings, especially regarding our struggle with dissatisfaction and suffering.

Wright begins by dissecting Buddhism's Four Noble Truths, with a particular focus on dukkha - often translated as suffering, but better understood as pervasive unsatisfactoriness. From here, he delves into an insightful analysis of how our evolutionary past has wired our brains for desire, anxiety, and delusion – factors contributing to dukkha.

The author then draws from his personal experiences with mindfulness meditation, weaving them into a narrative that illuminates Buddhism's pragmatic and empirically supportable aspects. He presents compelling arguments on how mindfulness and meditation can help us recognize and free ourselves from the illusion of the "self" - a construct rooted in our evolutionary development but ultimately leading to dissatisfaction.

"Why Buddhism Is True" offers readers a thought-provoking journey, exploring how millennia-old spiritual insights and contemporary science can shed light on the workings of our mind and, more importantly, guide us towards a more contented, fulfilling existence.

Why Buddhism Is True:


Self-help book
Religion and Spirituality

Why Buddhism Is True:


The Illusion of the Self: Wright posits that our sense of a cohesive, unchanging “self” is an illusion, a notion consistent with Buddhist teachings and backed by psychological research.

Dukkha and Evolutionary Psychology: He explores how our minds, shaped by evolution for survival and reproduction, inevitably lead us to dukkha – a constant sense of dissatisfaction.

Mindfulness and Meditation: A central theme is the practice of mindfulness and meditation, tools that Wright argues can help us see through our illusions and reduce dukkha.

Buddhism and Science: The overarching theme is the convergence of Buddhism’s insights and modern scientific understanding, particularly evolutionary psychology, highlighting the relevance of Buddhism in our contemporary world.

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