Sunday, April 25, 2010


Am now reading a dialogue between Linus Pauling and Daisaku Ikeda in A Lifelong Quest for Peace, the English translation published in 2009 by I.B. Tauris, London.

Linus Pauling is the only person ever to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes, one for Chemistry in 1954 and one for Peace in 1962. According to Ikeda, he is considered as one of the greatest scientists and deserves to stand with Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Curie and Einstein.

Apart from advocating Vitamin C, he has consistently promoted opposition to the use of military force. Daisaku Ikeda was the third president of the Soka Gakkai, a lay Buddhist organization whose goal was to promote Nichiren Sho-shu, or "true" Nichiren Buddhism, worldwide. His peace dialogues has earned him hundreds of academic awards in addition to the UN Peace Award in 1983.

Based on the blurb, this book which is “richly anecdotal and warmly engaging....ranges over...critical themes as ethics and technology, the appropriate use of which science should be put, the nature of morality and the human quest for progress, justice and equality...”

1 comment:

Ann said...

Lend me later?

I just started The Mind of God by Paul Davies. Davies discusses reason and belief, the origin of the universe, the laws of nature, mathematics & the beginning and end of everything. Supposedly a book no inquisitive mind can do without.:-) I have always been fascinated by science and the universe, and this is like wow! for me. Davies is a Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, and his field of interests are in the black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity. Fascinating subjects!

The other fascinating book I completed recently (actually while I was supposed to be studying for the exams) is The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. It is a fantasy, but Lewis, as always, reveals a deep understanding of human nature. The plot is basically about a man who travels from a grey town to the foothills of heaven. He discovers on the bus trip that he is actually dead (a ghost). The story revolves around this ghost's observation of the various other characters (also ghosts) who took the bus journey. In the story, many of the characters choose to go back to misery (hell) even when given the chance to be in heaven. Quite interesting because I can see aspects of myself in these characters.

The Lovely Bones (also fiction) by Alice Sebold is another haunting book, and much more contemporary. The book is told from the perspective of a girl who was raped and murdered.

The latest book I just finished The Devil and Miss Prym by Paul Coelho. This one is about the struggle between good and evil. A stranger appears in a remote village and offers 10 bars of gold to the villagers, if they would commit a murder within a week. Again, we see how greed can overwhelm good judgement.

The last few weeks had been really good because I managed to read quite a few good books. Have not had time to read for the longest time i.e. for months. I read but never finish my books!