Author Topic: Animals more honest than humans: Dalai Lama  (Read 6010 times)

WisdomBeing

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Animals more honest than humans: Dalai Lama
« on: December 05, 2012, 01:19:44 AM »
Animals can be more honest than humans, sometimes, says the Dalai Lama. He is probably right. I know some really dishonest human beings. Really. Is it a result of our supposedly higher intelligence which makes us more inclined to deceit, especially with relation to self-interest? However, there are people who may be outwardly dishonest but with a genuine motivation to help somebody but sometimes, whether that is misguided or not is subject for interpretation.

Animals more honest than humans: Dalai Lama

By Ismat Tahseen, TNN | Dec 4, 2012, 02.10 PM IST
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/people/Animals-more-honest-than-humans-Dalai-Lama/articleshow/17476323.cms

In Mumbai recently at a function on World Compassion Day (WCD), The XIV Dalai Lama shared his ideals and thoughts on ahimsa (non-violence) and compassion.

Pritish Nandy Communications and Humane Society International, the global partner of The Humane Society of the United States, hosted the programme.

This year the focus is on animal welfare and the growing importance of vegetarianism for reasons of both healthcare and to discourage killing of other species. And the Dalai Lama spoke about his own experiences with animals. When questioned if he had any pets he said, "I have some birds, dogs and a cat. I have always felt that if you treat animals well, they respond accordingly. Animals can be more honest than humans, sometimes."

He felt the way forward in society was to use education to further compassion. "The human mind is easily spoilt; so it must be taught to nurture education from an early age. Take the thought of compassion and use the human intelligence or mind as a seed to sow it."

He also said he would remain compassionate till his death. "There is nothing better than standing by our principles. One must also have concern for the well-being of even our enemies," he stated, adding, "This does not mean that you accept anything unjust, but that you take action keeping others' well-being in mind."

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buddhalovely

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Re: Animals more honest than humans: Dalai Lama
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 12:46:58 PM »
Nietzsche was one of several heroes under Nazism whose work was distorted to become more brutal and aggressive, particularly his conception of the “blond beast.” Glaser calls this element of National Socialism “man as predator.” “The domestic animal who had been domesticated on the surface only was in the end superior to and more honest than man; in the predator one could ‘rediscover his instincts and with that his honesty’” (Glaser 1978, 138). Animal instinct came to represent rebellion against culture and intellectualism. Returning to the animal nature within man, communing with nature, and elevating animal life to the level of cult worship were seen as alternatives to modernity, technology, and urbanization, according to Glaser. Acceptance of this view, it was thought, would lead to the spiritual and ideological changes necessary and desirable in German cultural life for a new national self-identity to emerge (Gasman 1971).

hope rainbow

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Re: Animals more honest than humans: Dalai Lama
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 05:21:29 PM »
I had a philosophy teacher at university who went on and on about the potential humans have to create "heaven" or "hell" on earth. Potential that is, he explained, a responsibility because other beings do not have this potential, thus it makes humans responsible for those beings.

Once a student did ask him if this potential was what definitely made us different from animals.

His answer was:
"What do you think makes us different? A potential or what we make of it?
Humans may no more be animals, because of this potential, but they are yet to be something else unless they produce a result from this potential.
Thus humans are no more animals but not yet anything else..."

Manjushri

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Re: Animals more honest than humans: Dalai Lama
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 08:27:20 PM »
For most to develop compassion, they should be kind to animals for the animals cannot reciprocate the kindness back as we expect it but to show us care and love in their own way. If you are mean to them, they will run. If we are kind, they will stay. No games, no lies, no sneaky ways, nothing. Sometimes your pets can be the best companion you could have for they remain loyal and firiendly,

Humans on the other end lie, deceit, cheat, shout to get what they want. They manipulate sometimes to get things their own ways, with the emotions and status of "i" being more complex and of higher priority. Therefore all the things that come along with men are more complicated than animals, who only live to eat and sleep, whilst most of mankind live to satisfy themselves.

vajratruth

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Re: Animals more honest than humans: Dalai Lama
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 12:43:05 AM »
I had a philosophy teacher at university who went on and on about the potential humans have to create "heaven" or "hell" on earth. Potential that is, he explained, a responsibility because other beings do not have this potential, thus it makes humans responsible for those beings.

Once a student did ask him if this potential was what definitely made us different from animals.

His answer was:
"What do you think makes us different? A potential or what we make of it?
Humans may no more be animals, because of this potential, but they are yet to be something else unless they produce a result from this potential.
Thus humans are no more animals but not yet anything else..."

Sorry to go off topic but I thought Hope Rainbow's comment is wonderful. Clearly it is not merely potential that makes us different but what we make of that potential. In Buddhism, we are told that we have the potential to attain Buddhahood but even animals have that potential. There is a quote from Shantideva that says "Even flies, bees, mosquitoes  and other types of insects can attain the highest enlightenment so difficult to attain, if they exert powerful effort..."

To use a somewhat silly example, though I am not a carpenter and have no knowledge of how to make a chair yet I still have that potential. But in order for that potential to be translated into a chair, I have make an effort to acquire the knowledge, obtain the tools and materials and use my aggregates to actually build a chair. An animal may also have the same potential but is severely impaired in its ability to transform that potential into something tangible. So, if we do not work on our ability and take advantage of that potential, then that potential has no special value.

The difference between a human and an animal is our superior ability to realize our potential and our ability to transcend the state we are in. And seeing that the state that all sentient beings in samsara are is one of suffering, our realization that we can overcome our state of suffering and an animal cannot should give rise to two realizations: (i) that unless we take advantage of that superior ability and opportunity, we are no more than animal trapped in samsara; and (ii) that we should feel compassion towards animals because they are very much stuck in a situation where they cannot help themselves. Being aware of point (ii) and acting on that compassion actually takes us on the right direction towards ending our own suffering.

As for animals being honest than human beings, I think it is a given. Human beings have a more intricate mind that gives us greater capability but we forget what our true potential is, and we go on to make up reasons for our being here. In that way we complicate our minds and become trapped in that complication, missing the forest for the trees. Mark Twain has a great quote: "Man is the only animal that blushes, and feel a need to" I guess we are conscious of our shame.

Tenzin K

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Re: Animals more honest than humans: Dalai Lama
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 05:09:17 PM »
On some level, I find this a sad reflection on the nature of relationships with humans, and I acknowledge that it’s simply more comfortable around animals than than around people. People have on numerous occasions caused  disappointment and betrayal. I can seldom recall feeling let down in a similar manner by an animal. Maybe we simply expect more from people than we do from animals. Are our impressions of animals misplaced because our expectations of them are simply not as great? I suggest quite the opposite.

I believe that animals are devoid of all of the malevolence that people inflict on each other. In my view, animals are never deceitful, dishonest, manipulative, or malicious unless they are severely provoked or are in the wild. Animals are often able to forgive humans for unspeakable treatment. I can't imagine that animals would ever take up hunting humans simply to entertain themselves, yet hunting remains a popular "sport" among humans.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."
—Abraham Lincoln