The One Solution

3 December 2529

The One Solution

Now, it is at this point that the contribution or complementary service of true religion, or the Dhamma, is needed. It is needed for the development of the individual himself, so that he will create only constructive technology and make wise and proper use of science, technology and resources, both human and natural, for beneficial purposes, to realize a good life and society for all mankind.

Right education or the right development of man is the long-term and sole solution to the problems of man. It entails a fundamental change in the pattern of human thinking and behaviour. Any proposed solutions other than this are superficial and impractical. We may propose many shortcut methods which make the solution seemingly easy, but there will be too many ifs which cannot be removed and lead only to an impasse. Words may sound very beautiful, but they are lacking in practicability.

For example, in a conflict or an arms race, we may say that if one party stops, problems will be solved. But, in practice, the rivals will dispute as to who will be the first to stop. Naturally unable to agree, they each would complain that they are forced to take action or to struggle for primacy, there being no other choice. As a result, the conflict or the arms race continues and becomes increasingly intensified. This is the usual pattern of thought and behaviour of the undeveloped man, which leads to problems and needs to be changed if any solution is to be realized.

The undeveloped man thinks arbitrarily, unsystematically, at random, usually under the influence of passing motives or inherent tendencies. When science and technology come, he is taught and trained to think systematically. He then thinks in terms of science and technology. In terms of science, he thinks: What is it? along with all the facts and data such as hows and whys about that thing or phenomenon. This may be followed by a thought in terms of technology: What is the use of it? What use can we make of it? or: How can it be turned into use? Here ends the thought in terms of science and technology. Beyond this point, man again thinks at random or habitually, influenced by selfish motives or inherent tendencies.

Thus, scientific and technological thinking does not make any fundamental change in man’s pattern of thought and behaviour, it makes no development of the thinking man. Moreover, it leaves a wide gap in the thinking process of man, the gap in which his habitual thinking, under the influence of inbred motives and tendencies, will follow and exploit scientific and technological thinking. Thus, scientific and technological thought is at the service of habitual and arbitrary thinking and serves to expand the dimension and magnitude of the latter. The motives or tendencies to be served are usually the three self-centred ones mentioned above.

Following the first phase of scientific thinking, “What, how and why is it?” and the second phase of technological thinking, “What is the use of it? How can it be put into use?” man further thinks: “How can I make use of it to gain profit or for my enjoyment? How can I use it to dominate my neighbours, to show my eminence over them, to put them in my service? How can I use it to win people over to my opinion, to my faith? How can I use it to press them to accept my theory or ideology?” The thinking process of man can thus be shown in three phases, in terms of science, of technology and of exploitation. Certainly, it is the third phase of thinking that will direct and control the ensuing behaviour and actions. Then, beginning with selfishness both within the mind itself and pervading the whole process, the hope for peace is surely to be frustrated.

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