Ethics for the New Millennium by The Dalai Lama

Posted: February 25, 2010 in Book Notes
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  • We find modern living organized so that it demands the least possible direct dependence on others…The increasing autonomy that people enjoy as a result of advances in science and technology has its good points…But with these development, there has arisen a sense that my future is not dependent on my neighbor bur rather on my job or, at most, my employer. This in turn encourages us to suppose that because others are not important for my happiness, their happiness is not important to me.
  • There are strong reasons for supposing a link between our disproportionate emphasis on external progress and the unhappiness, the anxiety, and the lack of contentment of modern society.
  • A major reason for modern society’s devotion to material progress is the very success of science and technology…The wonderful thing about these forms of human endeavor is that they bring immediate satisfaction. And we are impressed by results.
  • We must be careful not to idealize old ways of life…The challenge we face is therefore to find some means of enjoying the same degree of harmony and tranquility as those more traditional communities while benefiting fully from the material developments of the world.
  • I want to show that there are indeed some universal ethical principals which could help everyone to achieve the happiness we all aspire to.
  • I believe there is an important distinction to be made between religion and spirituality. Religion I take to be concerned with faith in the claims to salvation of one faith tradition or another, an aspect of which is acceptance of some form of metaphysical or supernatural reality, including perhaps an idea of heaven or nirvana…Spirituality I take to be concerned with those qualities of the human spirit – such as love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony – which bring happiness to both self and others.
  • The way in which things and events unfold does not always coincide with our expectations. Indeed, this fact of life – that there is often a gap between the way in which we perceive phenomena and the reality of a given situation – is the source of much unhappiness.
  • The principle of cause and effect, whereby all things and events arise in dependence on a complex web of interrelated causes and conditions…This suggests that no thing or event can be construed as capable of coming into, or remaining in, existence by itself.
  • Self and others can only really be understood in terms of relationship, we see that self-interest and others’ interest are closely interrelated.
  • The nature of happiness has a relative quality. We experience it differently according to our circumstances.
  • Internal suffering can be attributed to our impulsive approach to happiness. We do not stop to consider the complexity of a given situation. Our tendency is to rush in and do what seems to promise the shortest route to satisfaction. But in doing so, all too frequently we deprive ourselves of the opportunity for a greater degree of fulfillment. This is actually quite strange. Usually we do not allow our children to do whatever they want. We realize that if given their freedom, they would probably spend their time playing rather than studying. So instead we make them sacrifice the immediate pleasure of play and compel them to study. Our strategy is more long term. And while this may be less fun for them, it confers a solid foundation for their future. But as adults, we often neglect this principle.
  • The principle characteristic of genuine happiness is peace: inner peace.
  • In the behavior of children, we see what is natural to the human character before it has been overlaid with learned ideas.
  • Recognize that my interests and future happiness are closely connected to others’ and learning to act accordingly.
  • Our basic attitude toward suffering makes a great difference to the way in which we experience it…The degree to which suffering affects us is largely up to us…It is, therefore, essential to keep a proper perspective on our experience of suffering.
  • Shantideva: It is essential that when we face difficulties of whatever sort we do not let them paralyze us…Instead, using our critical faculties, we should examine the nature of the problem itself.
  • People tend to associate discipline with something imposed against their will…Discipline is something that we adopt voluntarily on the basis of full recognition of its benefits.
  • It is essential that we do not allow ourselves to be carried away by our sense of injustice so that we ignore others’ rights.
  • I believe that our every act has a universal dimension…In view of this, I am convinced that it is essential that we cultivate a sense of what I call universal responsibility.
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Comments
  1. ZAREMA says:

    Thanks the author for article. The main thing do not forget about users, and continue in the same spirit. http://odessacity.net/

  2. gualetar says:

    The subject is fully clear but why does the text lack clarity? But in general your blog is great.

  3. Awmobile says:

    У меня у самого есть несколько блогов и поэтому точно скажу, этот блог сделан для людей.

  4. Brockers says:

    Да в общем так оно и есть, в этом плане я с Вами соглашусь.

  5. Dubafikos says:

    Мне как журналисту понравилось наполнение, побольше бы таких.

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