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Shelton Ranasinghe is a professional engineer. The early years of his career he worked in major civil engineering projects in Sri Lanka and Nigeria. Later he settled down in Australia and specialized in environmental engineering & management on contaminated site-remediation projects. His career in this field commenced in Australia and New Zealand, and later expanded to Canada, Mexico, UK and USA. He now lives in Ohio State in USA. From a very young age he has been a keen follower of philosophy, religions, anthropology, nature and social behavior. The exposure he acquired living in five continents over a large part of his active working life combined with his temperament of reflection, has given him a unique and intimate understanding of the multi-hued canvas that is humanity. With the humility and very fine sense of balance endowed on him by his sympathetic view of various cultures, social behavior patterns and belief systems he has encountered, he now ventures to crystallize his thoughts. He has published a booklet on Buddhist philosophy named "Buddha Impetus to Primitive psyche" - an effort that can be described as frank, refreshingly unforced and thought provoking. His next effort is a work of science fiction titled "Heaven at SETI's Doorstep". Readers of this book will however perceive many complex overtones that elevate the scope of this book way above and beyond its albeit quite interesting sci-fi content.
Shelton also published an e-book titled "Self - A Delusion?" It presents evidence suggesting that the notion of `self' could arise from deluded cognition. It sources the results of cutting-edge scientific experiments by leading experts in neuropsychology and employs findings from the author's own experience to correlate them with simple examples from nature, prompting you to seek an answer to the question through scientific and metaphysical inquiry. Shelton's fascinating hypothesis, explains how the make-up of the brain could be manipulating our conscious psyche to hamper deep inquiry into the entirety of our own cognitive process. His latest book is titled "Souls". This book explores the possibilities of afterlife. It is a thought provoking novel; light and fun read, griping and focusing the attention of the reader continually. Death is undisputedly a common denominator for humanity; but is the soul the highest common factor or is there none? If you don't believe in an afterlife be ready for a great shake-up. If you do, an even greater one!
I read this book from cover to cover and it is brilliant. I have not read any book about Buddhism as good as this one. His analyses, the use of computer models, logical presentations of facts and flow diagrams are amazing and clear. The author obviously has read many books on Buddhism and is extremely knowledgeable. Now I have had the benefit of educating myself through what he has written and this has given me an opportunity to re-evaluate my thinking on this subject.
The author's ability to read the Buddhist scripture and extract what Buddha really meant or said (also not said) is the greatest contribution he has made in this book. He has shown how and why rebirth and karma have been included as parts of Buddha's philosophy as practised today, and why those aspects have become cornerstone of the conventional Buddhist teaching. The cessation of suffering and "anatta" (non-self) are the two pillars of Buddhist teaching that Buddha regarded as the essence of his doctrine and the subsequent discourses he made during his life time. In this context the author has shown that the concepts of karma, rebirth, existence of gods and even nirvana were part of Hindu culture prior to Buddha's time. Buddhism, as known and practised today, has unfortunately married them to the original teachings of Buddha to make Buddhism more palatable to a greater mass of people.
This book is a `must' for anyone with an open mind, irrespective of one's religious background.
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