Saturday, March 28, 2009

Viewing systems as a whole: an insight from the Dalai Llama about medicine, economics and morality

As I was posting the part of my sabbatical proposal dealing with systems analysis, a passage from a book I was reading earlier this morning came to mind.  The book is entitled, How to See Yourself as You Really Are (2006).  His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, is the author.  Here is the passage (from pp. 52-53).

In the field of medicine, is not sufficient to concentrate just on one speciality.  The whole body needs to be considered.  In Tibetan medicine, the diagnostic approach is more holistic, taking into consideration interactive systems.

Similarly, in economics, if you just go after profit you end up with corruption. Look at the increasing corruption in many countries.  By considering all commercial actions to be morally neutrai, we turn a blind eye to corruption.  When, as they say in China, “It doesn’t make any difference whether a cat is black or white,” the result is that a lot of black cats - a lot of morally bankrupt people - are creating a lot of problems.

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