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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

In our view: Tibet merits reflection

June 10, 2009

Joplin Globe - Joplin, MO
June 08, 2009

- This is not a topic controlling the headlines today in our tumultuous
world, but it is one deserving some reflection, in our view.

The Tibetans practiced a culture at least 1,200 years old centered on their
version of Buddhist beliefs.

Their land was the size of Western Europe today. An essential element of
their belief is reincarnation of all human souls in a continuous cycle of
regeneration. In that regard, Tibetans believe that the Dalai Lama is in
fact the reincarnation of Buddha himself.

Until 1949, when communists established their ideology in China, Tibetans
lived in relative isolation near the "top of the world" surrounded by the
Himalayas to the south and west and a high desert plateau to the north and

With more than 6,000 Buddhist monasteries, they were a center of Asian
culture and intellectual achievement pertaining to the human spirit.

While the West explored outer space, Tibetans did the same with "inner
space." Most of that culture and the libraries and "universities" reflecting
it have now been destroyed and Tibetans themselves scattered around the

To some degree, the Chinese destruction of Tibetan culture over the past 60
years is reminiscent of what we, the predominantly white European culture,
did to the American Indians in the 1800s.

While Indians were far more tribal and without a dominating leader such as
the Dalai Lama, they lived in relative isolation practicing a culture of
deep spiritual significance and communion with the land, sky and all forms
of life therein.

American Indian "libraries" were verbal rather than written, but nonetheless
libraries of history and knowledge now lost to modernization and

World population, technology and other forms of civilization are expanding
geometrically. The new overwhelms the old, leaving in some cases devastation
in its wake as "progress" marches on.

This is a story as old as human existence itself. We, as humans, have yet to
find a way to preserve and cherish the old while the new continues to
We sometimes ponder where and when it will eventually leave us as a species.
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