A Multiplicity of Dialogues

Bin Song

[Posted 4-20-13] The first topic considered during the two-hour, April 6 seminar with Profs. Garrison and Hickman was how to transform our lesser self and come to recognize and foster our greater self. In Buddhism, the former is associated with selfish desires and the latter with compassion and empathy. Garrison, who is Professor of Philosophy of Education at Virginia Tech University, observed that Daisaku Ikeda articulates an important perspective by insisting that “in striving to discover the greater self, the genuine Buddhist approach is not to try to suppress or wipe out the lesser self, but to control and direct it so as to help lift civilization to better, higher levels.” This notion, said Garrison, is quite compatible with the ancient Greek view that a prime purpose of education is “the education of Eros.” Buddhism, Dr. Garrison added, also teaches through the doctrine of dependent co-arising that no self or phenomenon exists independent of other selves and phenomena. Thus, the movement toward a greater self must always occur in relationship. Dialogue, he said, is a form of relationship that is especially fruitful in fostering the greater self.

Read the complete article

Print Friendly and PDF