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Power and Care. Towards Balance for our Common Future—Science, Society and Spirituality in Dialogue with the Dalai Lama



Original Language: English | tbc | May 2018

2 Seas Represents: World excl French.

Under option: World English, Germany, Korea, Spain, Italy.

World rights for images cleared


Preface by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

With the aim for a balanced, common future, 19 renowned researchers and leaders present their work to the Dalai Lama within the context of the forces of ‘power and care.’ This dialogue includes perspectives from:

  • Ethology, anthropology, and ecology
  • Psychology, endocrinology, and neuroscience
  • Spiritual and religious traditions
  • Economics and society
  • Personal commitment and global responsibility

While the notion of power can be seen as a neutral concept, neither harmful nor beneficial by definition, the Western historical perspective links it to concepts such as domination, instrumentalization, or sovereignty. This idea of power as ‘power over’ is apparent in political, societal and interpersonal spheres, as indicated by problems such as the wealth gap, racial and gender inequality, and countless others.

At the other end of the spectrum is the notion of ‘caring for’, an enabling force in the service of individual and social transformation. Care evokes concepts such as altruism, compassion, interdependence, and responsibility, and is customarily seen as incompatible with the notion of power.

How might we understand the relations between these primal forces that shape human development on both the individual and collective levels? A deeper understanding of their function and dynamics leads us to see how they can be conscientiously and fruitfully allied, and engender projects and actions that promote the flourishing of living beings and of our environment.

Begun in 1987, the Mind & Life Institute arose out of a series of conferences held with the Dalai Lama and a range of scientists that sought to form a connection between the empiricism of contemporary scientific inquiry and the contemplative, compassion-based practices of Buddhism.

Power and Care is based on a conference held by Mind & Life Europe in Brussels, Belgium, in which experts from all over the world gathered to discuss the possibility of balancing power and care. Each chapter consists of a presentation by experts, followed by a discussion with the Dalai Lama, in which he offers his response and his own unique insights to the subject.

In this provocative and inspiring book, the nature of the fundamental forces of power and care are comprehensively examined, as well as their expressions, and the relations between them.

This book serves to inspire readers, and serve as a significant catalyst for the formulation of new research ideas and for imagining societal and governance structures that will contribute to a better world.

Edited by Tania Singer, Director of the Department of Social Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, international best-selling author and Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, and non-fiction writer Kate Karius.