Main CategoriesTibetan BuddhismJe Tsongkhapa and the Kadam/Gelug School Beyond Religion

Beyond Religion

Product no.: 978-0547844282
Ten years ago, in the best-selling Ethics for the New Millennium, the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles.

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Publisher's Synopsis
With Beyond Religion, he returns to the conversation at his most outspoken, elaborating and deepening his vision for the nonreligious way—a path to lead an ethical, happy, and spiritual life. Transcending the religion wars, he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that makes a stirring appeal for a deep appreciation of our common humanity, offering us all a road map for improving human life on individual, community, and global levels.

"Now, as he steps down as leader of Tibet, the perpetually smiling monk in saffron and burgundy robes makes in Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World what some may regard as a heretical pronouncement: You don't need religion to lead a happy and ethical life.

Amid the clash of global, multicultural societies and religious values today, he argues in his new book that what is more important is 'an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally accessible to those with faith and those without; a secular ethics.'

A metaphor the Dalai Lama likes to use goes like this: The difference between ethics and religion is like the difference between water and tea. Ethics without religious content is water, a critical requirement for health and survival. Ethics grounded in religion is tea, a nutritious and aromatic blend of water, tea leaves, spices, sugar and, in Tibet, a pinch of salt.  'But however the tea is prepared, the primary ingredient is always water,' he says. 'While we can live without tea, we can't live without water. Likewise, we are born free of religion, but we are not born free of the need for compassion.'

This is anything but a book denouncing faith. But some readers, particularly those with strong religious beliefs, are bound to find the Dalai Lama's argument troubling. Even the power of prayer has dissipated in his eyes. 'In fact, I consider prayer to be of immense psychological benefit,' he says. 'But we must accept that its tangible results are often hard to see. When it comes to obtaining certain, direct results, it is clear that prayer cannot match the achievements of, for instance, modern science.'

This volume could be viewed as the distillation of the Dalai Lama's lifelong interest in science and its evolving understanding of consciousness, subjective experience, rhythms of nature and the fabric of the universe. It draws heavily from personal recollections and regular meetings with researchers in the fields of physics, cosmology, biology, psychology and neuroscience."       ~Los Angeles Times

Author Lama, Dalai
Coauthor Norman, Alexander
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 208 pp.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012
Browse these categories as well: Je Tsongkhapa and the Kadam/Gelug School, Vajrayana and Crazy Wisdom Masters, Western Buddhism, Self-Help and Relationships, Noteworthy Releases 2012

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