Posted by: John Sutton | July 7, 2010

July 6, 2010 Namgyal Ithaca

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no educating at all.”

Statement from the Tibetan Association of Ithaca, NY on occasion of HHDL’s 75th Birthday Celebration:

“When we rise in the morning and listen to the news or read the newspaper, we are confronted with the same sad stories of wars, violence and disasters. It is clear that even in modern times precious life is not safe. I cannot recall a single daily news program without a report of crime somewhere. There is so much bad news now a days, such an awareness of fear and tension, that any sensitive and compassionate being must question the “progress” we have made in our modern world.

Ironically, the most serious problems emanate from industrially advanced societies, where unprecedented literacy only seems to have fostered restlessness and discontent. There is no doubt about our collective progress in many areas – especially science and technology – but somehow our advance in knowledge is not sufficient. But basic human problems remain. We have not succeeded in bringing about peace or in reducing overall suffering.

This situation brings me to the conclusion that there may be something seriously wrong with the way we conduct our daily affairs, if not checked in time, could have disastrous consequences for the future of humanity. Science & technology have contributed immensely to the overall development of humankind, to our material comfort and well-being and lists go on. But we are in danger of losing human aspects of knowledge that contributes to the development of an honest and altruistic personality.

Science and technology cannot replace the age-old spiritual values that have been largely responsible for the true progress of the world civilization, as we know today. No one can deny the material benefits of modern life, but we are still faced with suffering, fear, and tension-perhaps more now than then before. So it is only sensible to strike a balance between the two and in order to bring about a great change, we need to revive and strengthen our inner values.

Morality, compassion, decency and wisdom are the building blocks of all civilizations. These qualities must be cultivated in childhood and sustained through systematic moral education in a supportive social environment so that a more humane world may emerge. We cannot wait for the next generations to make this change; we ourselves must attempt a renewal of basic human values. Hope lies in future generations, but not unless we institute major change on a worldwide scale in our educational systems now. We need a revolution in commitment to universal values.

I hope that you share my concern about the present worldwide moral crisis and that you will join me in calling on all humans who share this concern to contribute to making our societies more compassionate, just, and equitable. I say this not as a Buddhist or Tibetan but simply as a human being. I also do not speak as an expert on international politics but as a part of the Buddhist tradition, which like the traditions of other great world religions, is founded on the bedrock of concern for all beings.”

Namgyal Monastery, Ithaca, NY July 6, 2010

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Responses

  1. Thanks for posting these words of wisdom.


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