His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, 
 		   The Fourtheenth Dalai Lama
 	     First published in 1984: 12,000 copies
 	     Second printing July 1985: 10,000 copies
 	     Third printing August 1987: 10,000 copies
 	     Fourth printing March 1988: 10:000 copies
 	     Fifth printing April 1989: 7,500 copies
 			 ISBN 0 86171 027 4
 			 Wisdom Publications
 		361 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02115
 	Copyright 1984 Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
 		       DharmaNet Edition     1994
 	 This electronic edition is offered for free distribution
 	     via DharmaNet by arrangement with the publisher.
 	       Transcribed for DharmaNet by Mark Blackstad
 			  DharmaNet International
 		   P.O. Box 4951, Berkeley CA 94704-4951
 When we rise in the morning and listen to the radio or read the 
 newspaper, we are confronted with the same sad news: violence, 
 crime, wars, and disasters. I cannot recall a single day without 
 a report of something terrible happening somewhere. Even in 
 these modern times it is clear that one's precious life is not 
 safe. No former generation has had to experience so much bad 
 news as we face today; this constant awareness of fear and 
 tension should make any sensitive and compassionate person 
 question seriously the progress of our modern world.
    It is ironic that the more serious problems emanate from the 
 more industrially advanced societies. Science and technology 
 have worked wonders in many fields, but the basic human 
 problems remain. There is unprecedented literacy, yet this 
 universal education does not seem to have fostered goodness, 
 but only mental restlessness and discontent instead. There is 
 no doubt about the increase in our material progress and 
 technology, but somehow this is not sufficient as we have not 
 yet succeeded in bringing about peace and happiness or in 
 overcoming suffering.
    We can only conclude that there must be something seriously 
 wrong with our progress and development, and if we do not check 
 it in time there could be disastrous consequences for the 
 future of humanity. I am not at all against science and 
 technology -- they have contributed immensely to the overall 
 experience of humankind; to our material comfort and well-being 
 and to our greater understanding of the world we live in. But 
 if we give too much emphasis to science and technology we are 
 in danger of losing touch with those aspects of human knowledge 
 and understanding that aspire towards honesty and altruism.
    Science and technology, though capable of creating 
 immeasurable material comfort, cannot replace the age-old 
 spiritual and humanitarian values that have largely shaped 
 world civilization, in all its national forms, as we know it 
 today. No one can deny the unprecedented material benefit of 
 science and technology, but our basic human problems remain; we 
 are still faced with the same, if not more, suffering, fear, 
 and tension. Thus it is only logical to try to strike a balance 
 between material development on the one hand and the 
 development of spiritual, human values on the other. In order 
 to bring about this great adjustment, we need to revive our 
 humanitarian values.
    I am sure that many people share my concern about the 
 present worldwide moral crisis and will join in my appeal to 
 all humanitarians and religious practitioners who also share 
 this concern to help make our societies more compassionate, 
 just, and equitable. I do not speak as a Buddhist or even as a 
 Tibetan. Nor do I speak as an expert on international politics 
 (though I unavoidably comment on these matters). Rather, I 
 speak simply as a human being, as an upholder of the 
 humanitarian values that are the bedrock not only of Mahayana 
 Buddhism but of all the great world religions. From this 
 perspective I share with you my personal outlook-that
 	1 universal humanitarianism is essential to solve global 
 	2 compassion is the pillar of world peace;
 	3 all world religions are already for world peace in this way, 
 		as are all humanitarians of whatever ideology;
 	4 each individual has a universal responsibility to shape 
 		institutions to serve human needs.
 Solving Human Problems through Transforming Human Attitudes
 Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities 
 and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, 
 however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, 
 and can be corrected. One such type arises from the conflict of 
 ideologies, political or religious, when people fight each 
 other for petty ends, losing sight of the basic humanity that 
 binds us all together as a single human family. We must 
 remember that the different religions, ideologies, and 
 political systems of the world are meant for human beings to 
 achieve happiness. We must not lose sight of this fundamental 
 goal and at no time should we place means above ends; the 
 supremacy of humanity over matter and ideology must always be 
    By far the greatest single danger facing humankind -- in 
 fact, all living beings on our planet -- is the threat of 
 nuclear destruction. I need not elaborate on this danger, but I 
 would like to appeal to all the leaders of the nuclear powers 
 who literally hold the future of the world in their hands, to 
 the scientists and technicians who continue to create these 
 awesome weapons of destruction, and to all the people at large 
 who are in a position to influence their leaders: I appeal to 
 them to exercise their sanity and begin to work at dismantling 
 and destroying all nuclear weapons. We know that in the event 
 of a nuclear war there will be no victors because there will be 
 no survivors! Is it not frightening just to contemplate such 
 inhuman and heartless destruction? And, is it not logical that 
 we should remove the cause for our own destruction when we know 
 the cause and have both the time and the means to do so? Often 
 we cannot overcome our problems because we either do not know 
 the cause or, if we understand it, do not have the means to 
 remove it. This is not the case with the nuclear threat.
 Whether they belong to more evolved species like humans or to 
 simpler ones such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, 
 comfort, and security. Life is as dear to the mute animal as it 
 is to any human being; even the simplest insect strives for 
 protection from dangers that threaten its life. Just as each 
 one of us wants to live and does not wish to die, so it is with 
 all other creatures in the universe, though their power to 
 effect this is a different matter.    
   Broadly speaking there are two types of happiness and suffering, 
 mental and physical, and of the two, I believe that mental 
 suffering and happiness are the more acute. Hence, I stress the
 training of the mind to endure suffering and attain a more lasting 
 state of happiness. However, I also have a more general and concrete 
 idea of happiness: a combination of inner peace, economic 
 development, and, above all, world peace. To achieve such goals I 
 feel it is necessary to develop a sense of universal responsibility, 
 a deep concern for all irrespective of creed, colour, sex, or 
   The premise behind this idea of universal responsibility is 
 the simple fact that, in general terms, all others' desires 
 are the same as mine. Every being wants happiness and does not 
 want suffering. If we, as intelligent human beings, do not accept 
 this fact, there will be more and more suffering on this planet. 
 If we adopt a self-centered approach to life and constantly try 
 to use others for our own self-interest, we may gain temporary 
 benefits, but in the long run we will not succeed in achieving 
 even personal happiness,  and world peace will be completely out 
 of the question.    
   In their quest for happiness, humans have used different methods, 
 which all too often have been cruel and repellent. Behaving in 
 ways utterly unbecoming to their status as humans, they inflict 
 suffering upon fellow humans and the other living beings for 
 their own selfish gains. In the end, such short-sighted actions 
 bring suffering to oneself as well as to others. To be born a 
 human being is a rare event in itself, and it is wise to use 
 this opportunity as effectively and skillfully as possible. We 
 must have the proper perspective, that of the universal life 
 process, so that the happiness or glory of one person or group 
 is not sought at the expense of others.    
   All this calls for a new approach to global problems. The world 
 is becoming smaller and smaller -- and more and more 
 interdependent -- as a result of rapid technological advances and 
 international trade as well as increasing trans-national relations. 
 We now depend very much on each other. In ancient times problems 
 were mostly family-size, and they were naturally tackled at the 
 family level, but the situation has changed. Today we are so 
 interdependent, so closely interconnected with each other, that 
 without a sense of universal responsibility, a feeling of universal 
 brotherhood and sisterhood, and an understanding and belief that we
 really are part of one big human family, we cannot hope to overcome 
 the dangers to our very existence -- let alone bring about peace 
 and happiness.
    One nation's problems can no longer be satisfactorily solved 
 by itself alone; too much depends on the interest, attitude, and 
 cooperation of other nations. A universal humanitarian approach 
 to world problems seems the only sound basis for world peace. 
 What does this mean: We begin from the recognition mentioned 
 previously that all beings cherish happiness and do not want 
 suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically 
 unwise to pursue only one's own happiness oblivious to the feelings 
 and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the 
 same human family. The wiser course is to think of others also when 
 pursuing our own happiness. This will lead to what I call 'wise 
 self-interest,' which hopefully will transform itself into 
 'compromised self-interest,' or better still, 'mutual interest.'
   Although the increasing interdependence among nations might 
 be expected to generate more sympathetic cooperation, it is 
 difficult to achieve a spirit of genuine cooperation as long as 
 people remain indifferent to the feelings and happiness of 
 others. When people are motivated mostly by greed and jealousy, 
 it is not possible for them to live in harmony. A spiritual 
 approach may not solve all the political problems that have 
 been caused by the existing self-centered approach, but in the 
 long run it will overcome the very basis of the problems that 
 we face today.
    On the other hand, if humankind continues to approach its 
 problems considering only temporary expediency, future 
 generations will have to face tremendous difficulties. the 
 global population is increasing, and our resources are being 
 rapidly depleted. Look at the trees, for example. No one knows 
 exactly what adverse effects massive deforestation will have on 
 the climate, the soil, and global ecology as a whole. We are 
 facing problems because people are concentrating only on their 
 short-term, selfish interests, not thinking of the entire 
 human family. They are not thinking of the earth and the 
 long-term effects on universal life as a whole. If we of the 
 present generation do not think about these now, future 
 generations may not be able to cope with them.
 Compassion as the Pillar of World Peace
 According to Buddhist psychology, most of our troubles are due 
 to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we 
 misapprehend as enduring entities. The pursuit of the objects 
 of our desire and attachment involves the use of aggression and 
 competitiveness as supposedly efficacious instruments. These 
 mental processes easily translate into actions, breeding 
 belligerence as an obvious effect. Such processes have been 
 going on in the human mind since time immemorial, but their 
 execution has become more effective under modern conditions. 
 What can we do to control and regulate these 'poisons' -- delusion,
 greed, and aggression? For it is these poisons that are behind 
 almost every trouble in the world.
    As one brought up in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, I feel 
 that love and compassion are the moral fabric of world peace. 
 Let me first define what I mean by compassion. When you have 
 pity or compassion for a very poor person, you are showing 
 sympathy because he or she is poor; your compassion is based on 
 altruistic considerations. On the other hand, love towards your 
 wife, your husband, your children, or a close friend is usually 
 based on attachment. When your attachment changes, your 
 kindness also changes; it may disappear. This is not true love. 
 Real love is not based on attachment, but on altruism. In this 
 case your compassion will remain as a humane response to 
 suffering as long as beings continue to suffer.
    This type of compassion is what we must strive to cultivate 
 in ourselves, and we must develop it from a limited amount to 
 the limitless. Undiscriminating, spontaneous, and unlimited 
 compassion for all sentient beings is obviously not the usual 
 love that one has for friends or family, which is alloyed with 
 ignorance, desire, and attachment. The kind of love we should 
 advocate is this wider love that you can have even for someone 
 who has done harm to you: your enemy.
    The rationale for compassion is that every one of us wants 
 to avoid suffering and gain happiness. This, in turn, is based 
 on the valid feeling of 'I,' which determines the universal 
 desire for happiness. Indeed, all beings are born with similar 
 desires and should have an equal right to fulfill them. If I 
 compare myself with others, who are countless, I feel that 
 others are more important because I am just one person whereas 
 others are many. Further, the Tibetan Buddhist tradition 
 teaches us to view all sentient beings as our dear mothers and 
 to show our gratitude by loving them all. For, according to 
 Buddhist theory, we are born and reborn countless numbers of 
 times, and it is conceivable that each being has been our 
 parent at one time or another. In this way all beings in the 
 universe share a family relationship.
    Whether one believes in religion or not, there is no one who 
 does not appreciate love and compassion. Right from the moment 
 of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our 
 parents; later in life, when facing the sufferings of disease 
 and old age, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. 
 If at the beginning and end of our lives we depend upon others' 
 kindness, why then in the middle should be not act kindly 
 towards others?
    The development of a kind heart (a feeling of closeness for 
 all human beings) does not involve the religiosity we normally 
 associate with conventional religious practice. It is not only 
 for people who believe in religion, but is for everyone 
 regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation. It is 
 for anyone who considers himself or herself, above all, a 
 member of the human family and who sees things from this larger 
 and longer perspective. This is a powerful feeling that we 
 should develop and apply; instead, we often neglect it, 
 particularly in our prime years when we experience a false 
 sense of security.
    When we take into account a longer perspective, the fact 
 that all wish to gain happiness and avoid suffering, and keep 
 in mind our relative unimportance in relation to countless 
 others, we can conclude that it is worthwhile to share our 
 possessions with others. When you train in this sort of 
 outlook, a true sense of compassion -- a true sense of love and 
 respect for others -- becomes possible. Individual happiness 
 ceases to be a conscious self-seeking effort; it becomes an 
 automatic and far superior by-product of the whole process of 
 loving and serving others.
    Another result of spiritual development, most useful in 
 day-to-day life, is that it gives a calmness and presence of 
 mind. Our lives are in constant flux, bringing many 
 difficulties. When faced with a calm and clear mind, problems 
 can be successfully resolved. When, instead, we lose control 
 over our minds through hatred, selfishness, jealousy, and 
 anger, we lose our sense of judgment. Our minds are blinded 
 and at those wild moments anything can happen, including war. 
 Thus, the practice of compassion and wisdom is useful to all, 
 especially to those responsible for running national affairs, 
 in whose hands lie the power and opportunity to create the 
 structure of world peace.
 World Religions for World Peace
 The principles discussed so far are in accordance with the 
 ethical teachings of all world religions. I maintain that every 
 major religion of the world -- Buddhism, Christianity, 
 Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, 
 Taoism, Zoroastrianism -- has similar ideals of love, the same 
 goal of benefiting humanity through spiritual practice, and the 
 same effect of making their followers into better human beings. 
 All religions teach moral precepts for perfecting the functions 
 of mind, body, and speech. All religions agree upon the 
 necessity to control the undisciplined mind that harbors 
 selfishness and other roots of trouble, and each teaches a path 
 leading to a spiritual state that is peaceful, disciplined, 
 ethical, and wise. It is in this sense that I believe all 
 religions have essentially the same message. Differences of 
 dogma may be ascribed to differences of time and circumstance 
 as well as cultural influences; indeed, there is no end to 
 scholastic argument when we consider the purely metaphysical 
 side of religion. However, it is much more beneficial to try to 
 implement in daily life the shared precepts for goodness taught 
 by all religions rather than to argue about minor differences 
 in approach.
    There are many different religions to bring comfort and 
 happiness to humanity in much the same way as there are 
 particular treatments for different diseases. For, all 
 religions endeavor in their own way to help living beings 
 avoid misery and gain happiness. And, although we can find 
 causes for preferring certain interpretations of religious 
 truths, there is much greater cause for unity, stemming from 
 the human heart. Each religion works in its own way to lessen 
 human suffering and contribute to world civilization. 
 Conversion is not the point. For instance, I do not think of 
 converting others to Buddhism or merely furthering the Buddhist 
 cause. Rather, I try to think of how I as a Buddhist 
 humanitarian can contribute to human happiness.
    While pointing out the fundamental similarities between 
 world religions, I do not advocate one particular religion at 
 the expense of all others, nor do I seek a new 'world 
 religion.' All the different religions of the world are needed 
 to enrich human experience and world civilization. Our human 
 minds, being of different caliber and disposition, need 
 different approaches to peace and happiness. It is just like 
 food. Certain people find Christianity more appealing, others 
 prefer Buddhism because there is no creator in it and 
 everything depends upon your own actions. We can make similar 
 arguments for other religions as well. Thus, the point is 
 clear: humanity needs all the world's religions to suit the 
 ways of life, diverse spiritual needs, and inherited national 
 traditions of individual human beings.
    It is from this perspective that I welcome efforts being 
 made in various parts of the world for better understanding 
 among religions. The need for this is particularly urgent now. 
 If all religions make the betterment of humanity their main 
 concern, then they can easily work together in harmony for 
 world peace. Interfaith understanding will bring about the 
 unity necessary for all religions to work together. However, 
 although this is indeed an important step, we must remember 
 that there are no quick or easy solutions. We cannot hide the 
 doctrinal differences that exist among various faiths, nor can 
 we hope to replace the existing religions by a new universal 
 belief. Each religion has its own distinctive contributions to 
 make, and each in its own way is suitable to a particular group 
 of people as they understand life. The world needs them all.
 There are two primary tasks facing religious practitioners who 
 are concerned with world peace. First, we must promote better 
 interfaith understanding so as to create a workable degree of 
 unity among all religions. This may be achieved in part by 
 respecting each other's beliefs and by emphasizing our common 
 concern for human well-being. Second, we must bring about a 
 viable consensus on basic spiritual values that touch every 
 human heart and enhance general human happiness. This means we 
 must emphasize the common denominator of all world religions -- 
 humanitarian ideals. These two steps will enable us to act both 
 individually and together to create the necessary spiritual 
 conditions for world peace.
    We practitioners of different faiths can work together for 
 world peace when we view different religions as essentially 
 instruments to develop a good heart -- love and respect for 
 others, a true sense of community. The most important thing is 
 to look at the purpose of religion and not at the details of 
 theology or metaphysics, which can lead to mere 
 intellectualism. I believe that all the major religions of the 
 world can contribute to world peace and work together for the 
 benefit of humanity if we put aside subtle metaphysical 
 differences, which are really the internal business of each 
    Despite the progressive secularization brought about by 
 worldwide modernization and despite systematic attempts in some 
 parts of the world to destroy spiritual values, the vast 
 majority of humanity continues to believe in one religion or 
 another. The undying faith in religion, evident even under 
 irreligious political systems, clearly demonstrates the potency 
 of religion as such. This spiritual energy and power can be 
 purposefully used to bring about the spiritual conditions 
 necessary for world peace. Religious leaders and humanitarians 
 all over the world have a special role to play in this respect.
    Whether we will be able to achieve world peace or not, we 
 have no choice but to work towards that goal. If our minds are 
 dominated by anger, we will lose the best part of human 
 intelligence -- wisdom, the ability to decide between right and 
 wrong. Anger is one of the most serious problems facing the 
 world today.
 Individual Power to Shape Institutions
 Anger plays no small role in current conflicts such as those in 
 the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the North-South problem, and 
 so forth. These conflicts arise from a failure to understand 
 one another's humanness. The answer is not the development and 
 use of greater military force, nor an arms race. Nor is it 
 purely political or purely technological. Basically it is 
 spiritual, in the sense that what is required is a sensitive 
 understanding of our common human situation. Hatred and 
 fighting cannot bring happiness to anyone, even to the winners 
 of battles. Violence always produces misery and thus is 
 essentially counter-productive. It is, therefore, time for 
 world leaders to learn to transcend the differences of race, 
 culture, and ideology and to regard one another through eyes 
 that see the common human situation. To do so would benefit 
 individuals, communities, nations, and the world at large.
    The greater part of present world tension seems to stem from 
 the 'Eastern bloc' versus 'Western bloc' conflict that has been 
 going on since World War II. These two blocs tend to describe 
 and view each other in a totally unfavourable light. This 
 continuing, unreasonable struggle is due to a lack of mutual 
 affection and respect for each other as fellow human beings. 
 Those of the Eastern bloc should reduce their hatred towards 
 the Western bloc because the Western bloc is also made up of 
 human beings -- men, women, and children. Similarly those of the 
 Western bloc should reduce their hatred towards of the eastern 
 bloc because the Eastern bloc is also human beings. In such a 
 reduction of mutual hatred, the leaders of both blocs have a 
 powerful role to play. But first and foremost, leaders must 
 realize their own and others' humanness. Without this basic 
 realization, very little effective reduction of organized 
 hatred can be achieved.
    If, for example, the leader of the United States of America 
 and the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 
 suddenly met each other in the middle of a desolate island, I 
 am sure they would respond to each other spontaneously as 
 fellow human beings. But a wall of mutual suspicion and 
 misunderstanding separates them the moment they are identified 
 as the 'President of the USA and the 'Secretary-General of the 
 USSR'. More human contact in the form of informal extended 
 meetings, without any agenda, would improve their mutual 
 understanding; they would learn to relate to each other as 
 human beings and could then try to tackle international 
 problems based on this understanding. No two parties, 
 especially those with a history of antagonism, can negotiate 
 fruitfully in an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and hatred.
    I suggest that world leaders meet about once a year in a 
 beautiful place without any business, just to get to know each 
 other as human beings. Then, later, they could meet to discuss 
 mutual and global problems. I am sure many others share my wish 
 that world leaders meet at the conference table in such an 
 atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding of each other's 
 To improve person-to-person contact in the world at large, I 
 would like to see greater encouragement of international 
 tourism. Also, mass media, particularly in democratic
 societies, can make a considerable contribution to world peace 
 by giving greater coverage to human interest items that reflect 
 the ultimate oneness of humanity. With the rise of a few big 
 powers in the international arena, the humanitarian role of 
 international organizations is being bypassed and neglected. I 
 hope that this will be corrected and that all international 
 organizations, especially the United Nations, will be more 
 active and effective in ensuring maximum benefit to humanity 
 and promoting international understanding. It will indeed be 
 tragic if the few powerful members continue to misuse world 
 bodies like the UN for their one-sided interests. The UN must 
 become the instrument of world peace. This world body must be 
 respected by all, for the UN is the only source of hope for 
 small oppressed nations and hence for the planet as a whole.
    As all nations are economically dependent upon one another 
 more than ever before, human understanding must go beyond 
 national boundaries and embrace the international community at 
 large. Indeed, unless we can create an atmosphere of genuine 
 cooperation, gained not by threatened or actual use of force 
 but by heartfelt understanding, world problems will only 
 increase. If people in poorer countries are denied the 
 happiness they desire and deserve, they will naturally be 
 dissatisfied and pose problems for the rich. If unwanted 
 social, political, and cultural forms continue to be imposed 
 upon unwilling people, the attainment of world peace is 
 doubtful. However, if we satisfy people at a heart-to-heart 
 level, peace will surely come.
    Within each nation, the individual ought to be given the 
 right to happiness, and among nations, there must be equal 
 concern for the welfare of even the smallest nations. I am not 
 suggesting that one system is better than another and all 
 should adopt it. On the contrary, a variety of political 
 systems and ideologies is desirable and accords with the 
 variety of dispositions within the human community. This 
 variety enhances the ceaseless human quest for happiness. Thus 
 each community should be free to evolve its own political and 
 socioeconomic system, based on the principle of 
    The achievement of justice, harmony, and peace depends on 
 many factors. We should think about them in terms of human 
 benefit in the long run rather than the short term. I realize 
 the enormity of the task before us, but I see no other 
 alternative than the one I am proposing -- which is based on our 
 common humanity. Nations have no choice but to be concerned 
 about the welfare of others, not so much because of their 
 belief in humanity, but because it is in the mutual and 
 long-term interest of all concerned. An appreciation of this 
 new reality is indicated by the emergence of regional or 
 continental economic organizations such as the European 
 Economic Community, the Association of South East Asian 
 Nations, and so forth. I hope more such trans-national 
 organizations will be formed, particularly in regions where 
 economic development and regional stability seem in short 
 Under present conditions, there is definitely a growing need 
 for human understanding and a sense of universal 
 responsibility. In order to achieve such ideas, we must 
 generate a good and kind heart, for without this, we can 
 achieve neither universal happiness nor lasting world peace. We 
 cannot create peace on paper. While advocating universal 
 responsibility and universal brotherhood and sisterhood, the 
 facts are that humanity is organized in separate entities in 
 the form of national societies. Thus, in a realistic sense, I 
 feel it is these societies that must act as the building-blocks 
 for world peace.
    Attempts have been made in the past to create societies more 
 just and equal. Institutions have been established with noble 
 charters to combat anti-social forces. Unfortunately, such 
 ideas have been cheated by selfishness. More than ever before, 
 we witness today how ethics and noble principles are obscured 
 by the shadow of self-interest, particularly in the political 
 sphere. There is a school of thought that warns us to refrain 
 from politics altogether, as politics has become synonymous 
 with amorality. Politics devoid of ethics does not further 
 human welfare, and life without morality reduces humans to the 
 level of beasts. However, politics is not axiomatically 'dirty.' 
 Rather, the instruments of our political culture have distorted 
 the high ideals and noble concepts meant to further human 
 welfare. Naturally, spiritual people express their concern 
 about religious leaders 'messing' with politics, since they 
 fear the contamination of religion by dirty politics.
    I question the popular assumption that religion and ethics 
 have no place in politics and that religious persons should 
 seclude themselves as hermits. Such a view of religion is too 
 one-sided; it lacks a proper perspective on the individual's 
 relation to society and the role of religion in our lives. 
 Ethics is as crucial to a politician as it is to a religious 
 practitioner. Dangerous consequences will follow when 
 politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we 
 believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every 
    Such human qualities as morality, compassion, decency, 
 wisdom, and so forth have been the foundations of all 
 civilizations. These qualities must be cultivated and sustained 
 through systematic moral education in a conductive social 
 environment so that a more humane world may emerge. The 
 qualities required to create such a world must be inculcated 
 right from the beginning, from childhood. We cannot wait for 
 the next generation to make this change; the present generation 
 must attempt a renewal of basic human values. If there is any 
 hope, it is in the future generations, but not unless we 
 institute major change on a worldwide scale in our present 
 educational system. We need a revolution in our commitment to 
 and practice of universal humanitarian values.
    It is not enough to make noisy calls to halt moral 
 degeneration; we must do something about it. Since present-day 
 governments do not shoulder such 'religious' responsibilities, 
 humanitarian and religious leaders must strengthen the existing 
 civic, social, cultural, educational, and religious 
 organizations to revive human and spiritual values. Where 
 necessary, we must create new organizations to achieve these 
 goals. Only in so doing can we hope to create a more stable 
 basis for world peace.
    Living in society, we should share the sufferings of our 
 fellow citizens and practice compassion and tolerance not only 
 towards our loved ones but also towards our enemies. This is 
 the test of our moral strength. We must set an example by our 
 own practice, for we cannot hope to convince others of the 
 value of religion by mere words. We must live up to the same 
 high standards of integrity and sacrifice that we ask of 
 others. The ultimate purpose of all religions is to serve and 
 benefit humanity. This is why it is so important that religion 
 always be used to effect the happiness and peace of all beings 
 and not merely to convert others.
    Still, in religion there are no national boundaries. A 
 religion can and should be used by any people or person who 
 finds it beneficial. What is important for each seeker is to 
 choose a religion that is most suitable to himself or herself. 
 But, the embracing of a particular religion does not mean the 
 rejection of another religion or one's own community. In fact, 
 it is important that those who embrace a religion should not 
 cut themselves off from their own society; they should continue 
 to live within their own community and in harmony with its 
 members. By escaping from your own community, you cannot 
 benefit others, whereas benefiting others is actually the basic 
 aim of religion.
    In this regard there are two things important to keep in 
 mind: self-examination and self-correction. We should 
 constantly check our attitude toward others, examining 
 ourselves carefully, and we should correct ourselves 
 immediately when we find we are in the wrong.
 Finally, a few words about material progress. I have heard a 
 great deal of complaint against material progress from 
 Westerners, and yet, paradoxically, it has been the very pride 
 of the Western world. I see nothing wrong with material 
 progress per se, provided people are always given precedence. 
 It is my firm belief that in order to solve human problems in 
 all their dimensions, we must combine and harmonize economic 
 development with spiritual growth. However, we must know its 
 limitations. Although materialistic knowledge in the form of 
 science and technology has contributed enormously to human 
 welfare, it is not capable of creating lasting happiness. In 
 America, for example, where technological development is 
 perhaps more advanced than in any other country, there is still 
 a great deal of mental suffering. This is because 
 materialistic knowledge can only provide a type of happiness 
 that is dependent upon physical conditions. It cannot provide 
 happiness that springs from inner development independent of 
 external factors.
    For renewal of human values and attainment of lasting 
 happiness, we need to look to the common humanitarian heritage 
 of all nations the world over. May this essay serve as an 
 urgent reminder lest we forget the human values that unite us 
 all as a single family on this planet.
 	I have written the above lines
 	To tell my constant feeling.
 	Whenever I meet even a 'foreigner,'
 	I have always the same feeling:
 	'I am meeting another member of the human family.'
 	This attitude has deepened
 	My affection and respect for all beings.
 	May this natural wish be
 	My small contribution to world peace.
 	I pray for a more friendly,
 	More caring, and more understanding
 	Human family on this planet.
 	To all who dislike suffering,
 	Who cherish lasting happiness--
 	This is my heartfelt appeal.
    The publisher gratefully acknowledges the kind help of the 
    following for sponsoring the publication of this booklet:
 		East-West Foundation, Fullerton, California
 		Adam Engle, Boulder Creek, California
 		Potala Publications, New York
 		The Tibet Fund, New York
 		Tibet House, New York
 Wisdom Publications
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 Tibet House
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 His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader 
 of the Tibetan people.
    Its purpose is:
 	* To preserve as a living tradition Tibet's cultural and 
 	  religious heritage,
 	* To present, as vital knowledge, Tibet's ancient traditions 
 	  of philosophy, art and science, and
 	* To share with the world community Tibet's unique 
 	  contributions to universal spiritual understanding and human 
    Tibet House is currently seeking a permanent residence in 
 New York City. Through educational programs and lectures, 
 exhibitions, research facilities, publishing enterprises, 
 broadcast programming, concerts and special spiritual and 
 secular events, Tibet House will stir the heart of the visitor 
 who will encounter there the mystery, power and beauty of Tibet.
 We have begun to realize Tibet House with the following 
    Tibet House has co-sponsored the North American tours of 
 several Tibetan performing arts group: the Gyuto Tantric 
 University Multiphonic Choir from October 1988 through February 
 1989; the Loseling Monastic University's Great Prayer Festival 
 program, "Sacred Music, Sacred Dance," in February 1989; and 
 the Namgyal Monastery's Kalachakra Dancers from July through 
 October, of 1989.
    Tibet House is working with the American Institute of 
 Buddhist Studies and the New York Open Center to present a 
 series of seminars on Tibetan history, culture and religion at 
 the Open Center. The first, in the Fall of 1987, and the 
 second, in the Fall of 1988, were both well attended. Major 
 conferences on all aspects of Tibet will follow during The Year 
 of Tibet.
    In 1991 Tibet House will sponsor a series of nationwide 
 cultural events to be called //The Year of Tibet//. At the heart of 
 this event is //Wisdom and Compassion// -- the most extensive 
 exhibition of Tibetan art yet seen. Organized in cooperation 
 with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the show will 
 include rare and extraordinary examples of Tibetan art and 
 sculpture from museums and private collections around the 
 world, as well as from the personal collection of His Holiness 
 the Dalai Lama. Many of these works of art are to be displayed 
 publicly for the first time. After its initial opening, //Wisdom 
 and Compassion// is scheduled to travel to major art museums in 
 Washington, New York and Chicago. Concurrently, plans are being 
 made to present a show of Traditional Tibetan Folk Art to be 
 seen in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. 
 Catalogues and related publications focusing on Tibetan art and 
 history are being developed with Harry M. Abrams, Inc. The Year 
 of Tibet will also mark the premiere of a newly commissioned 
 opera by Philip Glass at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, based 
 on the life of the great Tibetan saint Milarepa. A world tour 
 will follow.
    Additionally, audiences across the country will have the 
 opportunity to see authentic Tibetan Opera, as performed by the 
 Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts from Dharamsala, India, 
 the capital of Tibet's government in exile. Complementing these 
 activities, a series of newly produced narratives and 
 documentary films, focusing on Tibet's culture and history, 
 will be shown on national TV stations. //The Year of Tibet// will 
 initiate the first annual Tibetan film festival.
    Your help is needed and appreciated. Your contribution will 
 make these programs possible. If you with to be notified of our 
 future events and our progress or make a tax-deductible 
 contribution, payable to Tibet House, please contact: Tibet 
 House, 625 Broadway 12th Floor, New York, NY 10012. (212) 353-8823.
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 TITLE OF WORK: A Human Approach to World Peace
 AUTHOR: His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
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