Cover image for Ethics for the new milennium
Ethics for the new milennium
Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, 1935-
Publication Information:
New York : Riverhead Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 237 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BJ1012 .B74 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BJ1012 .B74 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BJ1012 .B74 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BJ1012 .B74 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The Tibetan leader presents a plan for a new human and social paradigm, arguing that man is not inherently sinful, and discussing how redirection in the perception of our fundamental natures can bring positive change.

Author Notes

The exiled 14th Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935 to a peasant family living in a former Tibetan village. He was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous spiritual leader of his nation at the age of two and enthroned on February 22, 1940. In 1959 he and 100,000 followers fled the country following a failed revolt against the Communist Chinese forces that had occupied Tibet for almost a decade.

Since that time, the Dalai Lama has met with numerous world leaders and U. N. officials in a tireless effort to free his country and preserve the traditional Tibetan way of life. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and has been awarded honorary citizenships by many international cities and countries, as well as multiple honorary degrees and human rights awards. In 2007 the Dalai Lama received the United States Congressional Gold Medal. He has written many books and lectures around the world. His book, My Spiritual Journey, made the iBooks bestseller list in 2016. He is the author of the best seller, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, with the Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams.

(Bowker Author Biography) The Dalai Lama, spiritual & political leader of the Tibetan people & a Nobel Peace Laureate, has in the last decade become a global spiritual leader whose message of universal & individual responsibility has won worldwide acclaim.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Fascinated by science and technology as a boy living in isolated Tibet and certain that such advances would improve people's lives, the Dalai Lama was surprised to discover how prevalent feelings of isolation and despair are in affluent and developed societies. The more acquainted he has become with the West, the more he believes that the pursuit of material comfort and wealth is not only immoral but also leads to neglect of the "inner dimension," fostering emotional and societal chaos. In his most forceful book to date, the Dalai Lama responds to this malaise--which, along with American popular culture and computer technology, is spreading around the world--by calling for a spiritual revolution free of any religious trappings. Stating bluntly that it is far more important to be a good human being than to be a religious believer, the Dalai Lama encourages his readers to act out of concern for the well-being of others rather than indulge "our habitual preoccupation with self." This may sound simplistic, but there is nothing superficial about the Dalai Lama's argument or the ethics he defines. He possesses a deep and fluent understanding of the human psyche, and he writes about the true meaning of spirituality with unfailing wisdom and transcendent intelligence. His sophisticated yet commonsensical approach to spiritual practice does not involve rule-following; rather, it demands discipline. Learning to control negativity, the source of unethical behavior, is a "lifelong task," the Dalai Lama cautions, so practice compassion, share the wealth, aim for serenity, and don't worry about Nirvana. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

"This is not a religious book," asserts the Dalai Lama about a volume that's his most outspoken to date on moral and social issues. "My aim has been to appeal for an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles." The Dalai Lama adopts this approach because, he notes, the majority of humanity ignores religion, the traditional vehicle for ethics, yet observation shows him that happiness, which he discerns as the prime human goal, depends upon "positive ethical conduct." The entire book, written in simple, direct prose, reflects this sort of step-by-step reasoning, taking on color and drama with numerous anecdotes drawn from the Tibetan leader's personal experience. Methodically, the Dalai Lama explores the foundation of ethics, how ethics affects the individual and the role of ethics in society. He resorts often to Buddhist principles (as in employing the idea of dependent originationÄthat nothing arises or exists of itselfÄto demonstrate the interrelatedness of all life), but also to native Tibetan ideas and, occasionally, to secular thought or that of other religions. The book represents no radical departure from his previous work, but it does present a number of forceful views on issues ranging from cloning to vivisection to excess wealth ("the life of luxury... is unworthy"), as well as personal flavor not seen in his books since his autobiography, Freedom in Exile. The Dalai Lama refers, for instance, to his unwillingness to sell his watch collection for money to feed the poor as an example of ethical limitation. With its disarmingly frank, kindly manner and authoritative air, the book is what one would expect from a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and could appeal as widely as the Dalai Lama's current bestseller, The Art of Happiness. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetans, is highly respected for his gentleness and his constant quest for a reconciliation with the Chinese, who have oppressed Tibet for more than 40 years. This book proposes a morality of acceptance and compassion. The Dalai Lama encourages without being preachy and admonishes without being accusatory. He intends his book for the widest possible audience and writes in a simple, straightforward style that some sophisticated readers may find off-putting. Lacking footnotes or bibliography, this is not useful as a text for scholars or students, and it adds nothing new to ethical theory. The Dalai Lama explicitly avoids ethical principles derived from any religious doctrine; people often use religion, he says, to justify harming others. Instead, he counsels us to examine our motives and to try always to act with compassion. Though his emphasis on individual intention may alienate believers in Judeo-Christian and Muslim scripture, many others will find him persuasive. Recommended for public libraries.ÄJames F. DeRoche, Alexandria, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-The Dalai Lama examines the world, its ills, and its coming changes in a disarmingly conversational style that engages readers. With a perspective that should appeal to teens weary of negativity, he offers an encouraging view of the future, arguing convincingly that we humans are better than we tend to believe. Avoiding technical terms and dogma, he presents Buddhist values and ethics, chiefly the dynamic of compassion and a recognition of the "complex interlinking of relationships," in such a way that individuals from a variety of cultural or religious backgrounds can understand their application to modern dilemmas and personal choices. Chapters focus on concepts such as restraint, discernment, non-harming, and responsibility as they apply to far-ranging subjects including the environment, disarmament, religion, science, and education. In a world in which many historical boundaries are becoming irrelevant, he focuses upon the essential qualities of humanity that we all share and from which new forms of social organization can evolve. An important book for thoughtful teens to muse over now, and return to in the future.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.