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.
Buddha Impetus to Primitive Psyche By Shelton Ranasinghe
The book Buddha Impetus to Primitive Psyche discusses the human mental process in accordance with the Buddhist doctrine. The author with his deep knowledge on Buddhism analyses what Buddha taught in 2500 y ago making comparisons with the modern science. In addition the author goes extra mile to discuss the elements of other religions hence providing a broader vison. This book gives and it is presented in a reader friendly language.
Though I have read many books and articles about Buddhism, I consider this book by far the best out of the lot.
In this book the author has eloquently presented the concepts what Buddha has taught in a simple manner with real life examples so that the reader can understand them very well. His analysis of the functioning of the brain using computer models and flow charts is exemplary.
No doubt that the author has well read various sermons that Buddha has preached and what is remarkable is his interpretation of the contents therein and epitomize them in a logical manner.
The book has been so interesting to read that I had a hard time to put it aside and even with my busy schedule I finished it in less than two days.
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone (Buddhist or non-Buddhist) who would like to explore who you are and the purpose of life in a philosophical manner in this age where we consider ourselves as a super intelligent species on this planet.
A personal statement based on deep reflection, the book is balanced and well developed, with much supportive data. A practical, implementable, everyday formula, reviewing of which will most certainly jog our minds to sort out our own viewpoints. A journey of discovery through refreshingly thought provoking reformulations of many everyday facts of Buddhism. A really good short read! Sad to say, a title such as "Buddhism - Facts without Fancy" would better describe the content.