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As a writer, individual words are important tools in collecting thoughts into coherent stories. My first book, Death and the Dream, touches on science and conscience. “Con” with “science” adds the thought and the heart to it. What is the work of science without conscience? It’s a little frightening to say that I know what it is.

My new book, Vector, centers on passion and compassion (currently in edit). What is passion without compassion? Here too, the “com” adds the thought and heart to it. I won’t provide a spoiler, but most of us know that moment of passion, even if it is just the angry shout-out, carries consequences.

Sunlight Image, Pantheon, Roma

Using the opposite forms of the word is a way of kneading through the different sides of the idea. When I think about compassion, I often turn to an expert of our own times, who is both wise and a prolific writer, the Dalai Lama. His book, The Universe in a Single Atom, is one of my favorites.

Compassion is a connecting theme of most recent quotes from the Dalai Lama.

  • On education:”Modern education pays attention to the development of the brain and the intellect, but this is not enough. We need also to be able to develop warm-heartedness in our educational systems.” – Dalai Lama, Sept 9, 2011
  • On Sept 11 remembrance: “This tragedy in particular has reinforced my belief that fostering a spirit of peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding among the world’s peoples and faith traditions is an urgent matter of importance to us all.” – Dalai Lama, Sept 11, 2011

From Tibet, in his later years he is facing the question of what comes next for his reincarnations as a leader. The Tibetan culture throughout hundreds of years, has had a Dalia Lama reborn to lead them – both their experience and belief.

Facing the death experience and the future after death, is a difficult gray area for most of us. I was delighted to see the Dalai Lama outline the Tibetan experience of reincarnations in a public statement Sept 24th. His description of his experiences as a Tibetan, and his thoughts of death and rebirth are fascinating.

I was completely surprised to see in his statement on reincarnation, that a political authority can plan not only to take a person’s life but their rebirth. It seems that because of this, he may chose not to be reborn at all.

What do you think?

Read the Dalai Lama’s inspiring and full statement is at his site at: http://dalailama.com/messages/tibet/reincarnation-statement

Please leave a comment to share views with readers. I’ll look forward to hearing from you here.

Related links: you may also be interested in Short Stories “Death and the Dream” available at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-and-the-dream-jennifer-j-brown/1104803325 and book retailers world wide, as print and ebook editions.