Power and Care. Towards Balance for our Common Future—Science, Society and Spirituality in Dialogue with the Dalai Lama
Edited by Tania Singer and Matthieu Ricard, with Kate Karius
“At a time when humanity is rethinking the very nature of our being, this book is a powerful reminder of an age-old truth—that our most important quality is our innate ability to empathize with and show compassion to our fellow human beings and fellow creatures that co-habit this small oasis in the universe.” — Jeremy Rifkin, Author of The Empathic Civilization
“Meditation or prayer alone cannot solve the problems we face on our planet. We must act. This book offers valuable insights on the powers at play, especially with regard to power and care, and how we can—though education and the cultivation of our inner values—effect change for the benefit of all sentient beings.” — Richard Gere
“From the natural sciences to psychology and from economics to the contemplative traditions, this remarkable volume will prove far-reaching as it strives to bridge the divide between the power inherent in scientific knowledge and the care we must extend to each other and our beleaguered planet if humanity is to flourish in the decades ahead.” — Arthur Zajonc
An urgent and groundbreaking work, which deconstructs the widespread thought that the concept of power and care are opposites.
With the aim for a balanced, common future, 19 renowned researchers and leaders including biologist Frans de Waal, Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams, and Harvard associate professor of psychiatry, Richard Schwartz, Ph. D., present their work to the Dalai Lama, within the context of the forces of “power and care”.
This book 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.
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 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.
A Mind & Life Conversation: Founded 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.
Over 8.000 copies sold.
World rights for images cleared.
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