- -1- Buddhism and Peace
- The International Year in Need of Peace
- The Origins of Man’s Problems
- The Undeveloped Condition of Man
- Freedom As the Guaranty of Peace and Happiness
- Proper Assessment of Science and Technology
- The Loss of the Way to Freedom
- The One Solution
- Development of Man As the Prerequisite for Peace
- -2- Sangha: the Ideal World Community
- Two Kinds of Sangha
- The Monastic Sangha and the Creation of the Noble Sangha
- Foundations of the Sangha
- The Real Mission of the Sangha
- Evolution of the Monastic Sangha
- The Monastic Tradition in Thailand
- The Sangha, the State and the Ideal World Community
- Author’s Note (Second Impression)
The International Year in Need of Peace
Instead of peace, wars and conflicts have become widespread and develop, both in kinds and in degree of fatality. People are too familiar with news and reports on racial conflicts, terrorism, ideological persecution and warfare and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, to the point of risking a nuclear war and the mass destruction of mankind. In addition to these lethal operations, so many conditions pointing to a state of social disorder and degeneration predominate, such as domestic crimes, drug addiction, environmental pollution, the energy crisis, unemployment, mental disorders, suicide and all forms of violence. Seemingly, people are turning all their efforts into making the earth an unsafe place to live. Peace and happiness seem to be farther and farther away, if not beyond reach. The various kinds of problems affecting peace are on the increase, eroding any hope of happy and peaceful living.
The official symbol or logo of the International Year of Peace is portrayed by a dove above two hands, enclosed by an olive branch. To stray a little from the traditional symbolism, the dove represents peace and the olive branch prosperity, while the two hands stand for the whole of mankind. The dove looks like it is flying out of the enclosure of the olive branch, away from the two hands, which are trying to hold it back. In an arbitrary interpretation to suit the current situation, peace has slipped out of the hands of mankind who, even though in the midst of wealth and affluence, has lost it and is desperately struggling to get it back.
It has been a hope and a dream of mankind that, with scientific and technological advances, he will be in possession of all that he wants and in control of everything he comes into contact with, and so live happily in peace. Truly, man has succeeded to a considerable extent in scientific and technological endeavours. Through scientific and technological progress, man seems to have been equipped with all that he needs to make himself and his society happy and peaceful.
However, on the contrary, problems have so increased that man himself cannot find peace and society is in turmoil. While, through medical advances, the life span of human beings has been lengthened, more and more people, including the youth, find their lives and society so unsatisfactory that they seek to shorten their lives by suicide. These people turn their hate and dissatisfaction inside to kill themselves, while many others turn it outwardly to cause conflicts with their neighbours and troubles in society. Moreover, in man’s efforts to conquer nature, the natural environment has become polluted and causes many to live shorter, unhealthier lives. Nature is not on good terms with humanity. Finding no peace with nature, man’s hope for happiness is even more frustrated.
All in all, man fails to realize peace and happiness; his dream does not come true. The year of peace turns out not to be the year in which peace prevails, but the year in which peace is badly needed. The road to peace turns out to be the road out of peace, and the path to happiness transforms into the path away from happiness. At least, peace and happiness are on the wane, while troubles and miseries gain eminence.
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