Juan Carlos University
Statement by Professor T.Y.S. Lama Gangchen
Inner and the Outer Culture of Peace:
Support of the
Ladies and Gentlemen:
us first invoke ‘peace’ with a minute of silence. Let us use this
moment of silence to link into the deepest statements of peace: our own
inner peace. (SILENCE)
The Great Paradox
greatest paradox facing humanity today - and this gathering in
particular - is the fact that while we are here to promote “the
culture of peace”, we are at the same time experiencing major wars and
conflicts in today’s world. Just think about Africa and the Middle
see myself around this table surrounded by souls who are
“converted”, who are seekers of peace, or who understand the real
importance of a peaceful world, rather than a world in a state of
seems that the choice we have is a simple one: we all want to live at
peace and in peace.
Yes, all of us belong to this club that groups together those who are already converted.
your permission, I would like to take this opportunity and my
intervention as a vehicle and as a conduit to reach:
want to reach those millions of children who are in combat today and who have become heads of
household because of the death of their parents.
want to reach those innocent lives lost as casualties in so many
conflicts in this world.
want to speak to those who are at the negotiation table taking ‘grand
stands’ in the name of winning the war rather than of establishing
are not here, although they should be here, and share their personal
testimony. But, we all know that they are either the architects of
conflict and war, or, clearly, they are the victims of major
destruction. Simply said, right now, they are at war somewhere else in
They are the ones who need our peace energy, our peace hearts, ad our peace souls.
Culture of Peace
culture of peace, if ever applied in practice, is the most revolutionary
paradigm that humanity has ever put forth on the table of each and every
household in the world.
paradigm that touches the rich and the poor, the north and the south,
the developed and developing countries, all different races and
communities in the world, governments, private sector, NGOs, and so on.
The key to this revolution is a fundamental change in the existing value
system so dominated by economics, excessive consumption, exclusion and
marginalisation. All of these are happening in a world that globalises
so rapidly, and sees that poverty is increasing at an ever high rate.
culture of peace is not a title, or another theoretical proposition, but
a totally new way of life on this planet.
planet that is getting smaller and smaller, as billions of people search
for co-existence and betterment.
culture of peace is, and should be, the foundation of everything we do.
economics and finance to equality and an acceptable form of distribution
of productive assets. From social imperatives in our societies to
cultural and institutional sustainability. From the human dimensions of
progress and change to the moral and ethical dimensions of life and our
is the culture of peace that provides the substantive elements to close
the existing gap of a notion of economic development that is practised
today within a major ethical and moral vacuum.
But we seem to be far from having adopted this culture of peace. We seem to talk about it rather than to identify the true transformational instruments and actions that will actually provoke the changes we are all looking for.
way forward requires three fundamental steps.
first fundamental step is the basic distinction between our outer peace
and inner peace.
second fundamental step is to recognise the importance of what I call
the “presence factor”.
third fundamental step is to bring in action.
cannot be just another meeting. This cannot become just yet another
self-congratulatory event. This cannot be the platform of speeches that
have no transformational implications or that remain in one book of
proceedings for historians to decide if we made it or not.
meeting must be the new beginning of a massive concerted effort to
transform the world into a world of peace, once and for all.
personal commitment is to go out of this door with my heart and soul
full of that peaceful light and that peaceful energy that will be able
to transform everyone I see, everyone I touch, everyone I think of. My
personal commitment is to go out of this room and create the level of
awareness that this problem deserves before more people get killed on
the streets of so many cities in the world. My personal commitment is to
heal those who have been affected by war and conflict and those whose
wounds go far beyond the physical body.
what is our collective commitment?
actions are we planning to take here and now so the impacts of our
existence touches every corner of the world?
this regard, I would like to propose only one simple idea: the opening
of the international bilateral or multilateral dialogues - anywhere they
happen - into a debate that
takes due account of human, spiritual, cultural, ethical and moral
have gone too far in promoting material welfare. It is time we promoted
practical terms, I have called this idea the creation of a Spiritual
Forum in every instance of public policy making. This is practical and
do-able, if we are in the vein of transformational change, and if we
would like to reach far beyond political or allegorical declarations.
is stand up for peace. The choice is really ours.
Thank you very much.