Dalai Lama: To Rise Above All Differences!

Dr. Michael LaitmanOpinion (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama): “He said that the source of our problems is self-centredness. Theistic religions tackle this by complete submission to God, whereas Buddhism reduces self-centredness by focusing on selflessness, the lack of a single, autonomous self, and the advice to regard others as more important than us. He counselled that once we understand that our different religions have common goals, we understand the grounds for granting them equal respect. …

“‘Compassion brings peace of mind and with it better health; so cherish compassion. … As human beings we are all the same; we are born the same and we die the same. We need to emphasize the oneness of humanity, how we are all the same as brothers and sisters.’ …

“He said that when we are in the grip of destructive emotions we are unhappy, but when we develop love and compassion for others we feel happier and more at ease. Competitiveness and jealousy give rise to fear and mistrust; we lose friends and become lonely. When we are free from fear, trust and friendship grow. When our minds are at peace, we are less anxious and free from fear. And today, scientists and thinkers recognise that true happiness comes from peace of mind. …

“His Holiness then turned to the topic of secular ethics, his belief that in a materialistic world we need to find ways to foster and encourage people to nurture fundamental, humane, inner values. He feels that this can best be done through the medium of secular education, using the word secular as the Indian constitution does, not to exclude religion, religious believers or non-believers, but to accord all of them an inclusive respect. He encouraged his listeners to understand that if they passed on their interest in what he had to say about this to others, the word would spread.”

My Comment: Religions will never come together because they are based on the egoism of believers. They divide people. Rising above them and uniting, that is, accepting unity above all the differences, including religious, is the way out of the crisis. The appeal must be towards unity, despite the differences. We see in religions only hatred of strangers and people of other faiths and never true calls for unity and love. That is why, the Dalai Lama talks about non-religious ethics as appropriate to address the challenges of the 21st century.

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