ETHICS FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM by Dalai Lama

ETHICS FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM

KIRKUS REVIEW

This call to compassionate ethics fuses 1990s universalism with the Golden Rule. The Dalai Lama (Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama, 1990) bemoans the apparent erosion of ethical behavior around the world. People have embraced materialism, foolishly thinking that possessions will make them happy; they have turned to violence (both physical and ideological) because they no longer feel connected to one another. He calls for an ethic based on human interconnection. When we truly experience one another’s pain, we learn compassion, which is the basis of morality. The exiled Tibetan leader is oh-so-careful to distinguish religion from spirituality; religion may or may not encompass the value of compassion, while spirituality always must. True happiness is based on an inner peace which is unperturbed by circumstance; such peace is only attained “when our actions are motivated by a concern for others.” We need discipline to look beyond ourselves and past the fleeting pleasures of immediate gratification, toward a more rewarding (and permanent) quiet joy. And although we try mightily to avoid suffering, pain can engender the empathy which unites us with others and makes morality possible. As His Holiness himself says, very little in this book is original. But his message is so often neglected that it sounds very fresh indeed. Simple but not simplistic.

Pub Date: Aug. 2nd, 1999
ISBN: 1-57322-025-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1999




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