We're celebrating our fourth printing of The Inner Philosopher: Conversations on Philosophy's Transformative Power by posting an excerpt from the concluding chapter to our website. In the excerpt, called "Life Itself is Our Common Ground," co-authors Lou Marinoff and Daisaku Ikeda explore the interplay between respect for local communities and unique traditions and the need to foster global unity around issues of peace and well being.
Lou Marinoff summarizes:
"The key concept is transcendence. Biologically, humans are one species, but for a long time, natural selection favored human dispersion via competitive and often hostile tribes. Political and religious cultures have the unfortunate tendency of enlarging the totems of tribalism, depicting one’s own tribe (e.g., nation or religion) as superior and demeaning other tribes as inferior or subhuman. By contrast, a real global citizen views all human beings not only as one species biologically but also as one community globally. Only a transcendent philosophy can inculcate this view. Such a philosophy must teach people that cultural diversity produces beautiful human mindscapes, just as geographical diversity produces beautiful natural landscapes. In other words, global citizenship requires a philosophy that respects and values local cultures and also transcends them in order to unify humanity."