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- Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:34 pm
There is one part of what the Dalai Lama speaks about that is a little short of the whole truth.
He speaks of us humans as wanting freedom, liberty, cooperation, etc. and as oppressed by a vaguely defined or described outside force, that leads ultimately to authoritarian rule, that eventually is overthrown by us humans. (These are not his words of course, but my effort to call something to our attention.) What he is overlooking is that those oppressive tendencies, or that which produces them, is not some foreign entity that tends to victimize us humans, but instead is a part of ourselves, every bit as basic as the positive aspects of ourselves that he (rightly, as I see it) values and hopes will prevail.
Our tendency to fight is every bit a part of us as is our tendency to "love" (do all those things that he is referring to that make for a wonderful existence for us, including empathy, compassion, affection, attachment, mutual pleasuring, helping, cooperation, identification, etc.). The process of natural selection has built into us and other higher species both of these tendencies, because they result in more effective promotion of and survival of the species. Natural selection has nothing to do with quality of life. Suffering leads to behavior that promotes survival, just as much as does joy. What we all need to do is to recognize that we have built into us these negative tendencies that lead to pain, suffering, disability, and early death, and that all of us working together to inhibit these tendencies while working together to promote the positive tendencies is what is essential, And that is the opposite of us dividing up into us, the good people, and them, the bad people, and trying to abandon and isolate, destroy, or beat into submission the bad people. And the Dalai Lama I believe absolutely agrees with that.
So his conclusions and recommendations are I believe quite correct and good. It is just that one omission, the recognition that the "bad" is not just in "them," but in all of us, and must be understood as such in order for us to successfully work toward the goals he recommends, that needs to be included.