The Dalai Lama – Choosing Love Toward Our Enemies with Robert Thurman, Ph.D.

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“Strong force” is a term used in physics to describe the force that holds particles together in the atomic nucleus and the force that holds quarks together in elementary particles. As the name implies, this is the strongest force known in nature. Scientists know it exists but not how it works. Thurman enlightens us with these ideas from the Buddha: “Buddha’s discovery is that the strong force in the universe is love. It is beings and things wishing to associate with each other, enjoying relativity and relationality… [I]f you go deep enough you’ll find the true nature of things beyond matter and mind and including both matter and mind. Reality is all right. It is goodness. It is happiness. It is freedom.” Love is the glue that holds us all together. Thurman points out that Jesus demonstrated the strong force of love, even defying death. In this far-ranging and exciting dialogue we touch on subjects including the life of the Dalai Lama, Jesus, ethics, generosity, despair, voting, activism, violence, peace, compassion, and mindfulness. The Dalai Lama as a multinational leader is calling for a spiritual and ethical revolution on this planet. Thurman encourages us not to despair: “The key thing is to make sure to go and vote and not accept despair and depression or that nothing we do will help… There is a syllogism people who think of themselves as radical and wanting to do the right thing should learn: ‘the lesser of evil equals less evil.’ How about that as a syllogism? That’s unassailable actually. The lesser of evil doesn’t mean everybody’s evil. It just means less evil and we need that always. Less evil is going toward goodness.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Robert Thurman is an eminent scholar of Asian and Tibetan history and Buddhist art and sciences. For over 50 years he has been a close student, colleague, and personal friend of the Dalai Lama. He’s professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, and co-founder with his wife Nena, and President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization.

Robert Thurman is author of many books including:

To learn more about the work of Robert Thurman go to:

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How the Dalai Lama represents true love and nonviolence
  • What is true happiness
  • How we have been ruled by bad rulers for thousands of years
  • What is the message that Jesus demonstrated with his life
  • How love is like glue and is stronger than evil
  • Why the Dalai Lama is a true multi-national leader and model for world peace
  • What is the difference between sacred and secular ethics
  • What is the breakdown of the world’s populations into different religions
  • What is good advice for developing generosity
  • Why the U.S. is exporting despair and what the antidote for that is

Host: Justine Willis Toms         Interview Date: 9/10/2017        Program Number: 3622

Music Playlist

Album: Sacred Chants of Tibet
Artist: Monks of Gaden Dokhang Monastery
2014 CD Baby B00QO3RVFO

Opening Essay: Track 04 Mandala Chant
Music Break 1: Track 05 Long Life Guru Chant
Music Break 2: Track 06 Kangso Pt. 1
Music Break 3: Track 11 Dedication Pt 2