Quora answer: Why does the Dalai Lama wear glasses?

Feb 26 2012

This is a dumb question. I think we need to start pointing out when questions are not so swift so the questioners will think twice about posting them.

This is like perhaps the opposite question, why did Pol Pot kill people who wore glasses, was there a deeper reason underlying that decision, than just stupidity.

Is there a deeper reason beyond the fact that the Dali Lama is human and just happens to have a human limitation that many of us share, that causes us to have to wear glasses to see anything at all as we age, or natural distortions in our eyes that need correction.

This very question the kind of place were things go wrong, because we are attributing some super human capability to him, when indeed the reason he is considered the good Pope is that he is just so naturally human.

Attributing super human capacity, for instance infallibility, to cult leaders is always the beginning of the end. This is not to say he is a cult leader, but he is a very charismatic leader within his own branch of Tibetan Buddhism which is so well established historically that it could never be considered a cult. It is the living Buddhism. And the fact that it is a living religion right down from the Buddha himself in an unbroken chain, is what gives him the authority he has. The fact that these Tibetans were serious intellectuals who developed Buddhism, and preserved it in their language, and built their whole society and culture around it is even more amazing. Until the Chinese came and burned their books, turned their monks out of monasteries, and destroyed their temples in order to get the minerals that the temples were sitting on, they lived peacefully at the top of the world, thinking deep thoughts, meditating and achieving deep states of consciousness, and generally pursuing the heights that the human spirit can attain. Of course this is all mixed up with a lot of shamanism, and questionable practices, and politics, and all the normal human illusions and delusions that you can expect anywhere. But as we read their works, we can see that here is a tradition older than the Western tradition, with deeper books, and wiser humans, and humility despite the fact that they have looked down upon the world torn with war from their heights for so long. But eventually that would of war got to their country as well, because the Indo-European world view, destroyer of worlds, cannot stand to leave any portion of the world untouched and uncorrupted, and ultimately undestroyed.

He obviously has wisdom. Unlike some other Popes who claim infallibility we could name who may be indicted for covering up years, perhaps centuries of child molestation as many priests have been in that religion. And who want to keep Europe pure by not allowing Turkey to be part of the European union. We always will wonder if he learned that idea of European racial purity at a Nazi youth camp. Turkey is just so lucky right now that they never made it into the European union, since it is on the verge of collapse.

So far we have not heard of any systematic child molestation and its cover up by Buddhist Monks. That difference is one which we should take seriously. It is a moral difference. It is nothing to do with the transcendental but is purely immanent, purely human.

But what will be the outcome of the Tibetan Monk Refugees coming to the West? I look for profound changes as purely Nondual ways of seeing things encounters the profound dualism or monism of the Western worldview, which was so shaped by Catholicism, and other forms of Christianity. The intelligentsia has given up on Christianity and many have turned to Tibetan Buddhism because of its primal authenticity. It has everything we desire in the nihilistic marketplace for enlightenment, Shamanism, Spirituality, Intellectually deep analysis of existence, strange ceremonies even more bizar than those of the Catholic church. Yet because they are organized and have a Pope of their own there is still some recognition of the structure of their community which is like Catholicism. It is a Catholicism without the Inquisition. Did we mention that the current Pope of the Catholic church was the head of the living inquisition, prior to being elected Pope. Yes the Inquisition is still going on as far as the Catholic church is concerned. It still has that office within its bureaucracy. Tibetan religion is all the new age could have hoped for and more. And the best thing is that we get to see what happens when Nonduality confronts Dualism first hand. And we can only hope that out of that confrontation, we become more human finally. And perhaps we can get rid of the office of the Inquisition for good which symbolizes all that is evil in our worldview.



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