The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Dalai Lama on Bush & Reality

Let’s face it, we’ve known for a while now that the president — and most, if not all, of his administration — has a hostile relationship with reality.

ImageIn the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

So, while I don’t fully agree with the Dalai Lama’s assessment of Bush’s grasp on reality, I think he’s pretty much on the mark.

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The Dalai Lama, in a lecture in Philadelphia today, told a group of about 2,000,

Things are not black and white. Things are relative. Things are interdependent. When we look at a situation we have to consider all the factors.

Many world disasters, including war, including the Iraq war, are due to lack of this holistic nature (looking at all the factors.) Like Saddam Hussein– ending things for him. “Reality is not that simple.

Of course, I have great respect for, in fact, I love President Bus, because he is very frank, very straightforward. His intentions are good, but some of his policy in spite of his sincere motivation and right goal, and some of his method becomes unrealistic because of lack of understanding about reality.

He went on to explain,

“You cannot look in one direction. In order to see reality, (you) have to see in three or four or seven dimensions” and that this applies in the economical field, political field and international relations.”

Bush had good intentions? OK. I guess I’m not feeling quite that generous towards him right now, but I can’t quite convince myself that the man meant well.

The rest? I can’t argue with it.

One Comment

  1. Many world disasters, including war, including the Iraq war, are due to lack of this holistic nature (looking at all the factors.) Like Saddam Hussein– ending things for him. “Reality is not that simple.I have great respect for, in fact, I love President Bus, because he is very frank, very straightforward. His intentions are good, but some of his policy in spite of his sincere motivation and right goal, and some of his method becomes unrealistic because of lack of understanding about reality.

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