Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dalai Lama: Develop peace of mind through meditation, not through injection, drugs or alcohol




I think there are three ways to promote moral ethics.

One, theistic religion, the concept, belief in God, or Allah, like that.
That's one way. That also has a limitation. 

Then, non-theistic religion, such as Buddhism and Jainism, emphasis on the law of causality. Through that way, promoting moral ethics.
That also has limitations.

Therefore, now, we must find a third way. That is the secular way. Nothing to do with religion. Simply some other reasons. Some other basis to promote these values or moral ethics. Now here, number one: Use our common sense
Second: Our common experience. 
Third, most important is: Latest scientific findings

A more calm mind is very essential for a happy life, including a healthy body. Constant fear, anger, hatred, actually eat our immune system. A calm mind reduces stress, blood pressure, so the result, your body becomes healthier. 

So, in America, now actually, at least three universities: Stanford University, Emory University and Wisconsin University, these three universities, already you see, have some programs carrying out research about how to develop peace of mind. 

Not through prayer but through meditation.
So these are…
Just recently I was in Wisconsin University, with one famous scientist, neuroscientist (Prof. Richard Davidson), a specialist about neurology and these things. So they have already now planned some program, special research work, on how to develop peace of mind - 
through meditation, not through injection, not through drugs, not through alcohol. So these are very healthy sorts of methods. 
The scientific way, research, on how important warmheartedness is in order to have a calm mind, and a healthy society, a healthy family, like that. 

So these are the ways to promote inner values through the secular way.
Nothing to do with religion. That will be universal. 

Otherwise you see, the methods promoting these values on the basis of religion will not be universal. 

~
1 Inner peace, 2 health, 3 friends, 4 money and material things, in that order.  

~
May all beings be happy, free of suffering and its causes.
Inner peace for world peace. May there be no more untimely deaths.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Three Forms of Ethics by Matthieu Ricard

 
Matthieu Ricard and friends

   Three main forms of ethics are distinguished: deontological, consequentialist (which includes utilitarianism), and ethics based on virtue. 

    According to the form of ethics called deontological, which is related to the notion of duty or obligation, certain acts should not be committed under any circumstances, no matter what the consequences might be. Immanuel Kant is the most eminent advocate of this “categorical imperative,” which sometimes can have unacceptable implications. For example, Kant affirmed that we should never lie, even to a criminal who is asking us where his intended victim has fled to. By lying, according to Kant, we strike a blow against one of the foundations of society, the belief in the given word, especially within the framework of contracts. Thus by lying, in Kant’s view, we commit an injustice against humanity as a whole. 


    Another vision of ethics consists in deciding whether an act is justified by considering its consequences. Main proponents of this utilitarian point of view are John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham. More human than Kant’s outlook because closer to reality as we experience it, utilitarianism can nevertheless lead to excesses and deviations. It aims to bring about “the well-being of the greatest number” by aggregating the well-being of individuals, and thus as eminent Greek thinkers of old pointed out, can bring us to conclusions such as that it would be good to enslave a hundred people in order to make a thousand free citizens happier. We see what extremes this attitude can take us to, if it is not tempered by other factors such as justice, wisdom, and compassion. 


    The ethics of virtue is the ethics proposed by Buddhism and some ancient Greek thinkers. It is based on a way of being that, confronted by different situations, spontaneously expresses itself either through altruistic or egoistic acts. As the neuroscientist and philosopher Francisco Varela wrote, a truly virtuous person “does not act out of ethics, but embodies it like any expert embodies his knowledge; the wise man is ethical, or more explicitly, his actions arise from inclinations that his disposition produces in response to specific situations. 


    A purely abstract ethics that is not based on a manner of being and does not take into account the specific aspects of circumstances is of no use. In real life, we always work within a particular context that requires an appropriate reaction. According to Varela, “the quality of our availability will depend on the quality of our being and not on the correctness of our abstract moral principles.” 


    We may remark along with the Canadian Charles Taylor that a good part of contemporary moral philosophy “has tended to focus on what it is right to do rather than on what it is good to be, on defining the content of obligation rather than the nature of the good life . . . . “ Ethics must be concrete, embodied, and integrated into experience as we live it. It must reflect the unique character of each being and each situation. In our time, the movement toward concern and care for others that has recently been on the rise, especially in the English-speaking world, provides us with an example of the ethics of virtue. 


    According to Buddhism, ethics is part of the general project of seeking to relieve all forms of suffering. This process requires us to renounce whatever kinds of egoistic satisfaction that come at the expense of the suffering of others and to make every effort to bring about the happiness of others. To fulfill its ethical contract, altruism must, from this point of view, free itself from blindness and illuminate itself with a wisdom that is free from malevolence; it must enrich itself with altruistic love and compassion. Here, Buddhism agrees with Plato, who said, “The happiest man, then, is one who does not have evil in his soul.” 


~
© 2014 Matthieu Ricard; Translation © 2016 by Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boulder, Colorado. Previously published in French as Plaidoyer pour les animaux: Ver une bienveillance pour tous.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Developing Equanimity

This presentation is adapted from the research of Dr. AmyCuddy, professor of social psychology at Harvard Business School. The terminology is mainly from Dr. Cuddy and from Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training teacher Elizabeth Pyjov. I hope you enjoy it. 

Developing equanimity is essential for any person, for any mind. What's genuinely good for the mind is good for everyone. 




Elizabeth Pyjov, Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training teacher, substituted 'compassion' for Dr. Cuddy's 'admiration.' I added 'respect.'


The encapsulated “I'” is the “I” that perceives itself to be separate, independent, not interconnected, fixed, permanent, unchanging and that exists inherently, intrinsically, from its own side. The encapsulated constrained I is the I in the square, the small narrow self. When the sense of “I and mine” is very strong, all other people are “them,” “not I and not mine.” That is a suffering mind, an ordinary mind. How can an ordinary mind perceive all other people? 


According to Dr. Cuddy, we perceive four types of people based on two characteristics that are represented on two axes: warmth and functioning (which Cuddy calls 'competence'). Those we perceive as being high warmth and high functioning are perceived as “like me” and we react to such people with respect and compassion. Let's take a look at all four types...


 We regard people we perceive as being high functioning and low warmth with envy and schadenfreude.


Dr. Cuddy attributes the genocides of Jews and Tutsis in Rwanda to the ordinary tendency of the mind to perceive so-called successful people with envy and schadenfreude. The antidote to envy is rejoicing in the happiness of others, sympathetic joy. 




In a neuroscientific study, when people were shown pictures of homeless people, the pre-frontal cortex, which becomes activated when we recognize another human being, didn't respond at all. Consistently, people did not perceive homeless people as human beings. We also tend to treat single mothers as lesser beings, with an attitude of contempt and disregard. 



The types of people shown in the graphs are just examples (e.g., rich, poor, housewives). For every person, the specific categories will be different. For instance, instead of housewives, some might feel pity and sadness towards children, the elderly, pets, etc. 




Now let's do the whole round again, but this time we'll do it with mind training. We are learning to think and use the mind in a realistic, correct, kind, wise and beneficial way, for ourselves and others.

The starting point is the exact same starting point. We start training our minds exactly where we are right now. 


We consciously choose to treat others differently. We begin opening our hearts in stages. Changing a habit requires a lot of practice. We need to be very patient and forgiving of ourselves and others. After all, we are all just human. 
 






The divisions disappear and we perceive ourselves exactly as we are – interdependent and interconnected with all others. My own happiness depends on the happiness of all others.





With the hope and prayer that we will all come to perceive the light that is within each and every heart, for the benefit of all beings. 
 -- -- 
Being Your True Nature is the title of a documentary film by Osel Hita and Matteo Passigato 
Hebrew version on The Marker Café - mobile devices require Desktop setting

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Happifying

Inspired by the Buddha's Twelve Links of Dependent Origination and Happify.com

We often think of happiness as being due to external factors, as a noun or an adjective. Happiness has no verb form. It's a little sad that there's no happiness verb. Without a verb, all we can do is hope for happiness, wait for it, long for it – happiness remains an object somewhere out there in the distance. Sometimes, we get lucky and we experience it a bit.



Thinking of happiness as being dependent entirely on external factors is totally mistaken. We incorrectly think of happiness as either being outside of our control, or being dependent entirely on external factors, such that I try, endlessly and tirelessly, to control them.



In reality, my happiness mainly depends on me, on my mind, on internal causes within me. Happiness is a state of mind, and my mind is essentially the only thing that is in my control – as long as I train it. Right now I'm at the mercy of my mind. But through mind training, it's possible to change that situation, to change habits of mind, to gradually become happier and happier, and eventually, to develop genuine and lasting happiness.



There are causes for happiness and causes for suffering. When we abandon the causes for suffering and adopt the causes for happiness, we happify ourselves.


Public Health Model to Heal Violence

The Public Health Model to Heal Violence can help us understand how the destructive emotions that mess up our happiness, that obscure the supreme happiness, the hidden inner radiance that lies within each one of us, that hover like a cloud hiding the sun, arise.


Let's look more closely at what happens in the mind when the mind engages with any object.


 What happens in the mind?


Since our mind is untrained, as soon as we engage with any object, as soon as the mind perceives an object, as soon as an object appears to the mind, and without us noticing it at all, that troublesome “I” is already there. Because of the “I” point of view, the “I” perspective, the "I" misperception, “I like” and “I don't like” immediately pop up and forcefully overtake us. As a result, we grasp at the object, reify the object, give the object a concreteness that it doesn't really have. “I like” so intensely that I MUST get that thing. I hate so much that I HAVE TO get away from it or destroy it. 

The three main destructive emotions or the three root destructive minds or mental states that we need to abandon are: (1) Ignorance, our mistaken view of self/ego/"I," (2) Attachment/Greed, and (3) Aversion/Hatred/Anger.  


A trained mind, a mind that is mindful of itself, discerns the stages that precede the intense splitting. The ability to discern the mind moments that precede the arising of attachment and aversion (splitting, dualistic perception) frees our grasping at the object and reduces our destructive emotions. We begin to become the masters of our own mind, instead of being its subject, instead of being enslaved by it.



In this image, we can see what really happens, without our noticing it, without our realizing it. One of our sense consciousnesses (seeing, hearing, etc.), a physical sense organ (eyes, ears, etc.) engages with an object. We discern an object. This is Contact. Alternately or additionally, our mental consciousness engages with a non-physical object, for example: love, truth, ethics. We discern these non-physical objects with our mental consciousness, not with our sense consciousnesses (after our eye consciousness and the physical eye engage with text, in this instance). 


Immediately after some object appears to the mind, immediately after Contact, we feel, we experience, we perceive, one of three feelings, one of three possible perceptions: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. Neutral is not very interesting, not so important. Every mind, every consciousness, every sentient being, will always feel an infinite continuity of “pleasant” and “unpleasant” (and neutral). This is Feeling.



A mind that is free of suffering experiences pleasant and unpleasant, but does not grasp strongly at the pleasant and the unpleasant. The pleasant and the unpleasant simply pass; they come and go, arise, abide and disappear. The drama happens when the mind grasps strongly at the “pleasant” and “unpleasant,” and as a result, also grasps strongly at the object.



This perceptual error of a solid, permanent, independently existing ego is responsible for all the destructive emotions, for all our negative emotions. All the violence in the world comes from this mental misperception. If we want to cultivate happiness, to happify, and if we want a more pleasant world for all of us, the way to expel violence from our hearts and to eradicate violence in the world is through learning, through education, by mindfully observing the process by which the destructive emotions arise in our mind.



Once we understand that we are all interdependently linked and interconnected, that my happiness depends on your happiness and vice versa, we will not want to harm any other being. We will be ethical and happy. Lack of ethics is like mud that clouds water when we stir a cup of water and mud. The mental mud can only settle by practicing ethics and honesty, and then we can start to discern the internal mental process I described. I pray and wish that everyone's mental mud settles.

--

These are the days of the Tibetan New Year, the Year of the Fire Bird. I wish everyone a happy New Year, health, long life and the realization of all our compassionate wishes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Identitylessness v. Identity Excess

Professor Robert Thurman loves making up words and he's good at it too. Thurman has been translating from Sanskrit and Tibetan to English for 50 years.

Professor Robert (Bob) Thurman
His Holiness the Dalai Lama says that the English vocabulary for describing mental phenomena is limited and that we need more English words in order to be more precise. As an example, the Dalai Lama points out that the term “inner peace” does not depict the broad emotional and expressive range of a mind that has attained or developed inner peace. When we say 'inner peace' we may think of a passive vegetable staring out into space or of a vegetarian pacifist. But inner peace is not necessarily 'vegetarian,' neither literally nor figuratively. Inner peace has great power. Inner peace is not at all indifferent.

Two views of the "I" - Right: Identitynessless; Left: Identityness
I don't remember all the wonderful words I've heard from Robert Thurman, but two stuck. One great word is “identitylessness.”

Typically, 'selflessness' is the most common term that is used, and people who don't understand what it means are afraid that they'll lose their precious self, something like committing suicide.

Identitylessness is a very precise descriptive term that helps to understand what exactly the inner enemy is that we're supposed to conquer, so that we won't have any more outer enemies.
(Is that possible? I wish...)

Identitylessness explains that what we don't have at all is something that we never had to begin with, and only seems to be something we have, namely: a solid, independent and permanent identity, 'identity excess.'

Identity is fine. We all have many identities: first name, last name, extended family, people or tribe, nation, mother / father / parent / son / daughter / brother / sister / uncle / aunt / nephew / niece / cousin, friend / buddy / enemy / stranger etc. We all have these conventional and merely labeled identities.

We also have religion (religious identity, religious identification), or we have no religion, or we have something sort of in between, uncertainty, deliberation, believe a little, skeptical, believe but not religious, or we are religiously secular and have turned secularism into something fanatical, or we are something reasonable, secularly religious – sincerely and honestly adhering to making an effort to help others.

We all have all sorts of identities, some of them good, wholesome and nourishing, and some of them totally unnecessary, like: ugly troll, chronic alcoholic.

But what we don't have at all and what we all walk around with like roosters is: a solid and permanent identity, an excess of identity.

The imaginary, delusional, solid, permanent, independent 'identity excess' is completely extraneous – and, lo and behold, it does not even exist! When we try to find out in what way our solid, permanent, independent 'identity excess' exists, we will find that there is no such animal! 
 

What is a solid and permanent identity, what is 'identity excess'? In order to understand how such a solid and permanent identity, an 'identity excess' does not exist, we need to understand what we imagine we have, and what we actually do not have at all.
For example, there is no pink elephant in the middle of the room right now. So our solid and permanent identity, our 'identity excess,' is our pink elephant. 


A solid and permanent identity or the feeling of independent identity, our 'identity excess,' arises when someone insults us, when they tell us that we've done something that we didn't do at all, when we are blamed for no reason and are very angry, or when we're terrified without any logical explanation, or when we must have something that we don't need at all – and on top of that, we also feel justified.

A solid and permanent identity, 'identity excess,' is not something that we feel or are aware of all the time, but its potential to jump out is there all the time – until we recognize that it is a complete illusion, a kind of mirage, like the pink elephant that does not really exist in this room right now.

We can bring to mind (imagine, think about) a pink elephant in the room and we can ascertain that it does not exist at all. In a similar way, when our strong sense of identity, our strong and exaggerated sense of "I" that gives us all the trouble arises, when it jumps into our mind despite the fact that it really doesn't exist, we can ascertain, logically, that it is only an illusion, the product of our mistaken perception. 

 

That is how we can completely conquer our exaggerated sense of identity – when we realize that it is just a bubble in the mind, it bursts and disappears. 

(The object of negation, 'identity excess,' is also variously referred to as 'the true self' or as 'the false self.' In any case, this misperceived self or mistaken view of identity definitely does not exist at all, and is utterly and completely and totally unfindable on examination.)

The realization of identitylessness is a huge relief; it's a huge relief to be free of this 'identity excess' problem.

Another nice word that Prof. Thurman invented is 'psychonaut': the psychonauts of Tibet, he says. Synonyms are: yogi, meditative adept, inner researcher, inner explorer, mind researcher, mind scientist, inner space traveler, inner voidness traveler..

May everyone recognize their identitylessness and also succeed in ascertaining that identity excess, a solid, permanent and independent self, indeed does not exist at all.

On August 22, 2016 10:04 a.m MelahHaaretz ('salt of the earth' 'salt of Israel') wrote:
Excess identity. I've adopted it. [end comment]

Great.

Now that you've adopted it, you can get rid of that accursed thing, you can let go of it. It is said that all of spirituality, the entire spiritual path up to enlightenment (everything the Buddha, the genius, scientist, social activist, superb teacher who understood the human mind and all minds) can be summed up in three words: Let it go.

Understand that it's not this label or another, 'the problem' is not this label or another. Our basic problem, the basic problem that all people have, is the emphasis, the excess weight that we give to the label 'mine': “my children (and to hell with all the other children!),” instead of perceiving that all the children in the world are precious.

That's why it is not accurate or not completely correct to blame 'Zionism' – the problem is essentially 'excess Zionism-ness.' If we heal from excess Zionism-ness, from excess Jewish-ness, from excess arrogance, and develop humane Zionism, humane Judaism (for those who are observant) and healthy self-confidence, everything will be just fine, everything will work out. 

 

In English we see the problem very clearly in the language itself: I is written in capitals, as a capital letter. The problem is not 'I' itself. The problem is the exaggerated I that haughtily and condescendingly towers above everyone else, that perceives itself in the center, cut off and disconnected from everyone. 
 

No 'I,' none of us, exist in the detached, disconnected, lonely and isolated way that we imagine. We all depend on each other, for our livelihood, our food, our housing, our clothing. Everything we have comes from others. We are very dependent on each other and it is very important that we appreciate the role that we each have by virtue of our mere existence, by virtue of our very existence.

When we understand and internalize the fact of our interdependence, we will also not want to kill others and will not justify killing. We will not want to exploit others for profit. We will be able to make a living from “right livelihood,” i.e., a realistic livelihood, a livelihood that is based on a realistic perception of self and other.

Identity, vs. 'identity excess,' is a correct and truthful view, a conceptual view that brings us closer to the view of reality as it is, the direct perception of ultimate truth, the direct perception of ultimate reality, the direct perception of how we and phenomena actually exist, to a genuinely scientific approach to understanding how self and others exist.

(P.S. The Buddha taught that two truths are both true simultaneously: conventional truth or conventional reality, the way things appear, and ultimate truth, the truth of the absence or emptiness or voidness of inherent, intrinsic, independent existence, which is the way things exist ultimately.)

Thank you.

Keywords [world peace, secular dharma, identity, identity, identitylessness, what's this, secular religion, lasting happiness, ultimate happiness, genuine happiness, happiness]

Original post in Hebrew, The Marker Cafe Current Affairs Forum, August 21, 2016
On Janna's Hebrew blog, The Marker Café
------
Corrected/updated December 10, 2016 -- I mistakenly wrote 'identitynessless.' The word Bob Thurman coined is: identitylessness. The two are not interchangeable, as identityness might leave some idea of something still existing, where nothing at all exists. I hope I have done identitylessness justice. It is a critical concept to understand. The end of all violence and destructive emotions in the mental continuum depends on our grasping this critical point.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Being Human: The Person

What is a human being? What is a person? How does he or she exist? We'll look at various aspects of the person. First, from a scientific perspective -- not the science we're used to, but a scientific perspective that accords with reality as it is. 


Outdated materialistic view of fertilization of the egg (ovum) by a sperm cell

What Is the Person? Science 
The person or a human being is made up of two main parts, a body and a mind. The body is matter, and consciousness, the mind, is non-matter.
Every person has two lineages, a physical lineage of the physical body -- our parents and all the forefathers and ancestors up until the lake in Africa where the first human being was born, and everything that preceded that lake, up to the amoeba, symbiosis with mitochondria, the formation of the first RNA segment in the primordial soup. 
The second lineage is the lineag of consciousness, of awareness. Our present consciousness, our present mind, our present awareness, is a continuation of the previous mind moment. The first mnd moment in this life (the mind moment that followed its previous mind moment met a fertilized egg (zygote), which is the beginning of the gross physical body. So not only do we have countless fathers in the physical lineage, but we also have countless mothers who raised and cared for us in our various bodies and our many and changing mind moments in our countless previous lives. That's how it is. 



Super-subtle mind (body-mind), 'spirit,' meets fertilized ovum (Image: Dirk Laureyssen)
A model that accords more closely with reality as it is: Meeting of the mind ('spirit' in the model, the most subtle or very subtle or super-subtle mind or body-mind) with the fertilized ovum (sperm + egg).
Dirk Laureyssen's website: http://www.mu6.com/life.html 
Dirk Laureyssen details the fertilization process in the video on karma. Recommended.


The Religious View of the Person Is Closer to Reality As It Is Than the Pseudo-Scientific Materialistic View

Now we can understand that the religious model of “mother, father and holy spirit” – with all the variations in the different religions and the many terms – is closer to reality as it is than the pseudo-scientific materialistic model of biology as it is taught today.



In the Old Testament we find:

Then the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the soul of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2: 7) According to the Old Testament, all human beings were created in the image of God; every person has a godly soul, a living spirit, is a living sentient being. The biblical view is more in agreement with reality as it is than the materialistic model. In other words, with regard to the understanding of what a person is, the religious view is more realistic, more scientific, than the materialistic view.


Contradiction Between the Religious (Jewish) View of the Nature of Existence and the Scientific View of Reality As It Is

From a scientific perspective, every being originates in a way that is similar to the above model:

being = body + mind. Animals are also sentient beings. They also have a mind and the basic nature of the animal's mind is no different from the mind of a human being. Animals have the exact same potential to realize the nature of their mind in some future lifetime.


As far as the mental ability to realize the nature of the mind in this lifetime, in this present body, there is an enormous difference between human beings and animals. There is a huge difference between the intellectual capacity or cognitive ability of animals and humans. The essential, true or basic nature of the mind, and the innate potential of each and every mind, are the same for humans and all other beings. While in the limited condition of the animal body, an animal does not have the possibility to improve or transform its mind


The enormous possibility we have in this lifetime to realize the full potential of the true or basic nature of our mind distinguishes humans from animals.



It is a mistake to deduce that because of the marked difference in our cognitive/intellectual capacity and the cognitive or intellectual capacity of animals, that there is also a difference in the basic nature of the mind. There is no realistic basis for such an assertion. An animal's mind can take rebirth as a human being and the mind of a human being can take rebirth as an animal. What kind of rebirth we have depends on what we think and do in this lifetime.


The Place of the Human Being in Judaism

At the literal level of interpretation, the Bible (Old Testament) relates the lineage, ancestry or history of the Twelve Tribes, the Children of Israel. After the Story of Creation, the Bible does not start with Abraham, but with Adam (Man). We are, first and foremost, human beings, children of Adam.

From there, the Bible moves on to Noah – we are a nation or a people as all people, we are all members of one human family, we are all brothers and sisters. Then we come to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Twelve Sons (and two daughters)....


A Bible Lesson Based on the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama usually introduces himself in the biblical sequence.

When he talks about himself, he opens with, “I am one of 7 billion human beings.” Therefore, the first priority he dedicates his life to is cultivating and promoting secular science based basic human values, values that every person needs in order to be happy in life.


Secondly, he says, “I am a Buddhist monk.” So the second most important thing in His Holiness' life is to develop interfatih understanding, between all the religions of the world and between the different Buddhist traditions.


At the third level of identity he says, “I am Tibetan.” So his third life priority is to devote his time and energy to a solution for the suffering of the Tibetan people. When the Tibetan problem is resolved, he will not need to dedicate himself to that issue any longer.


What About Us?

Kindness (courtesy, treating others with respect, self discipline) precedes the Torah.” At least six of the Ten Commandments deal with universal basic human values. “Love your neighbor as thyself, where neighbor is any and all people, is a great priniciple of the Torah”. “What is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbor is the (essence) of the whole Torah” – the whole Torah in a nutshell (“on one foot”).


Do we view ourselves in the right order? In the order in which the Bible presents the issue of identity? Are we first and foremost human beings? Without being human first and foremost, we cannot be good Jews, good secular people, good Marxists, good capitalists, good right or left wingers or good whatever-we-happen-to-be. In other words, to be a good Jew means to be a good person. We can change the identity designation: To be a good x means to be a good person. (Fill in the blank.)

The broadest view, the view that encompasses “all beings,” “all our rebirths,” “all the three times” and helps us to “find the similarities” between all of us, is an excellent habit of mind. Every way of looking at things that decreases a strong view of “self and other”, of “me vs. you” is an excellent way of seeing that increases peace within ourselves and peace in the world.


May all beings be happy. Happiness for all.

More Aspects of the Person and the Mind (that I took out of the main text for easier reading)

The human being or the person can also be divided into three main parts. For the division into three, some say: person = body + mind + name (label) and some prefer: body + mind + speech.


We can expand the discussion to the 1. gross, 2. subtle and 3. most subtle or very subtle or super-subtle levels of body and mind. At the super-subtle level, body and mind are indivisible. Levels of Mind http://therealjannaweiss.blogspot.com/2012/04/buddhism-science-of-mind.html


For a more detailed understanding of the mind from a scientific perspective, you are invited to visit Prof. Paul Ekman's Atlas of Emotions. Negative, destructive, i.e., egotistical self-centered, emotions belong to the domain of “mind” and not to the physical body (matter). The mind governs, controls or leads the body. For example, destructive emotions, stress, can cause many diseases.

The original Hebrew post is titled "Jewish Identity Chapter 11: Adam" and has a P.S.: If the title “Jewish Identity” bothers you, you can change it yourself to “Human Identity” or “Secular Identity” or to any other identity that suits you. There's no point in getting upset over nothing.  


Jewish Identity Series - English translation follows Hebrew
Chapter 1: Altruism in Judaism
Chapter 2: Einstein and Universal Responsibility 
Chapter 3: I and Thou -- and We 
Chapter 4: Jewish Renewal
Chapter 5: Universal Ethics
Chapter 6: Reincarnation
Chapter 7: Compassion -- Hebrew only -- a translation of this page on Chabad.org  
Chapter 8: Rabbi "I'll Be Walking" and Mindfulness of Speech
Chapter 9: Meditation
Chapter 10: The Heart
Chapter 11: Adam -- Hebrew only -- this post