India: A Thought from the Dalai Lama

The Sickness of Duality

It is important to become aware of interdependence by realizing that a phenomenon occurs owning to multiple causes and conditions. Reducing it to one single factor would lead to a fragmentation of reality. Awareness of interdependence eventually brings about a lessening of violence. All the more so because when one places oneself in a wider context, one becomes less vulnerable to external circumstances and acquires a healthier judgment. Non-violence is not limited to an absence of violence, for it is a matter of active attitude, motivated by the wish to do others good. It is equivalent to altruism.

Selfless love is often misunderstood. It is not a question of neglecting oneself for others’ benefit. In fact, when you benefit others, you benefit yourself because of the principal of interdependence. I want to stress the importance of enlarging your mind and bringing the suffering of others onto yourself. Altruism changes our temperament, our humor, and our perceptions and allows us to develop a more serene, more even temperament. The opposite of altruism makes us vulnerable to external circumstances.

Egocentrism is against nature, for it ignores interdependence. It is an attitude that closes all the doors, whereas altruism develops profound vision. We should develop the feeling of belonging to a large human family. The causes and conditions of our future are largely in our hands.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama – My Spiritual Autobiography”
Pg. 107 – Transforming the World

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